Miscellany 52: The Wave; United States Government Lies and Treachery; Freedom in Small Things; The Absurd US Population Policy; Ball Lightning; Our Debt-Based Money System; Selling the Benefits; Willing to Die for One’s Faith; True Hoaxes? The Georgia Guidestones; Mass Immigration Is Destroying America; On the Definition of Rights; The Power of Economic Incentive; Keeping Cuban Cigars out of the US; The Purpose of Sports; Constructive Criticism; Why Do I Not Criticize Obama? Or Ben Bernanke?; Haiti Is Not a Natural Disaster; We Are All Slaves, Only Our Masters Change; Haitian Coffee; Haitian Rum; French Bread; Word War III Is Imminent; Love; 19 Children; Perry Tuttle; Designer Babies; Eugenics in the US; Dr. Andrew Wakefield; The Christmas-Day Bomber; Diversity at Vanity Fair; Revolution in the USA; The Great Stock Market Crash of 2010; Blue Jeans
© 2010 Joseph George Caldwell. All rights reserved. Posted at Internet web site http://www.foundationwebsite.org . May be copied or reposted for non-commercial use, with attribution. (5 February 2010; minor edits 8 February 2010, 7 March 2010 (to The Wave))
Commentary on recent news, reading and events of personal interest.
I recently reread an interesting book by Laura Knight-Jadczyk entitled High Strangeness: Hyperdimensions and the Process of Alien Abduction (Red Pill Press, 2008). The book is a revision of her earlier book, High Strangeness of Dimensions, Densities and the Process of Alien Abduction (Quantum Future Press, 2004). In the revision, reference is made to a book series called The Wave. The Wave is a hardcopy version of material presented on the author’s website, http://www.cassiopaea.org . It consists of seven (soon to be eight) books published by Red Pill Press since 2007. I purchased The Wave series and just finished reading The Wave Book One: Riding the Wave (Red Pill Press, 2007).
(Note: Mrs. Knight-Jadczyk’s books are not available from Barnes and Noble’s online bookstore (http://www.bn.com or http://www.barnesandnoble.com ), and are available from Amazon’s online bookstore (http://www.amazon.com ) at twice their normal retail price. They are available at regular price from her website (http://www.cassiopaea.org or http://qfgpublishing.com (in US dollars or Euros), or from Red Pill Press at http://redpillpress.com (in Canadian dollars).)
Mrs. Knight-Jadczyk’s books are fascinating reading. If you have not read any of her work, I recommend that you do. She discusses a very interesting spiritual universe consisting of seven levels (densities), in which sentient beings evolve from “service to self” to “service to others.” While concept of soul development (separation, or “the fall”; development / evolution of souls; destiny of souls) is similar to the concepts of Rudolf Steiner, the Bible, and other spiritual systems, it has some very interesting details and “twists” to it. One key ingredient is the concept that “All there is, is lessons.” Another, with respect to alien abduction, is “Knowledge protects, ignorance endangers” (or “Awareness protects, ignorance endangers”).
One of her books dealing with alternative history is The Secret History of the World and How to Get Out Alive (Red Pill Press, 2005). The thesis of The Wave is that the world is entering a period of massive change, on both the spiritual and physical levels. Without commenting on the material presented in The Wave, it is interesting to note the parallel between my predictions for the immediate future of the world and those of mystics, such as Mrs. Knight-Jadczyk. While stemming from radically different sources (metaphysics versus physics), they are remarkably similar. It would appear that massive changes are occurring simultaneously in the spiritual realm and the physical realm.
From my point of view, the world of global industrialization will collapse very soon (within the next year or so) because of the passing of Hubbert’s Peak – the point at which global oil production starts to decline. Although it is estimated that the world’s oil supply could last up to 40 more years at current rates of consumption, it is very unlikely that the global industrial world will continue much longer, for several reasons, including the facts that the world population is increasing by almost one percent per year, that India and China have plans to substantially raise the material standards of living of their populations (thereby massively increasing their energy consumption), that resource wars are inevitable (since human beings short of resources do not simply sit around and starve to death), and that the biosphere is undergoing the sixth mass species extinction (caused by large human numbers and industrial activity), which is rapidly destroying the biosphere in which human beings exist.
On a regular basis I check to see who is linking to my website. One of them is Pravda (http://engforum.pravda.ru ). Recently, in commenting on one of my articles, a blogger (TerraHertz) wrote, “You know perfectly well that technology is fundamentally incompatible with 'species' continuity, and thus there are zero space-faring 'species' in the universe. Silly old Fermi and his Paradox! Technology always results in understanding of the informational basis of life and intelligence, and thence to the ability to re-engineer self-nature. At which point, the self-interests of self-engineering individuals diverge radically from the interests of 'the species'. Invariably and utterly inevitably resulting rapidly in one or more of the standard scenarios. None of which involve any 'species' as such spreading very far in space, or even lasting as a technological civilisation for longer than a brief industrial spike.”
A brief industrial spike. Is that the end result of mankind’s stay on Planet Earth? As Peggy Lee sings, “Is That All There Is?” As T.S. Eliot laments in his poem The Hollow Men, “This is the way the world ends. This is the way the world ends. This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang but a whimper.” It appears that mankind is hell-bent to destroy the biosphere and become extinct. From the physical viewpoint, things look pretty bleak for mankind and Earth. It appears that we will soon join the rest of the Solar System’s occupants as just another dead planet. Mrs. Jadczyk’s metaphysical / spiritual view of the future would appear to hold much more hope.
The industrial world is just about to collapse. Some people seem to think that the solution is to find new sources of energy. But that is not the solution. It is mankind’s use of massive amounts of energy that has enabled large human numbers and industrial activity, and is causing the destruction of the biosphere (i.e., the sixth mass species extinction). Mankind does not need more energy – it needs to use vastly less. It needs to get by on a small portion of the recurrent budget of solar energy, as it has done for millions of years, or the biosphere will be destroyed and mankind made extinct. The tragic thing is that the world leaders are not taking any steps to decrease mankind’s energy use. Instead, all leaders are calling for more economic growth and more energy use. And that is why nothing will be done to avert a catastrophic collapse of the industrial world. Collapse is imminent – a total collapse of the global industrial system and a total collapse of human population, from six billion to a few hundred million or less.
Precursors of the Wave have already been felt. Over six billion souls are about to depart the planet, and the passage of this event is registering on both physical and psychic levels. Billions of people are living and dying in abject poverty, and tens of thousands of species are being made extinct each year because of large human numbers and industrial activity. Large-scale industrial society is running out of petroleum and has severely damaged the biosphere, and passage of the Wave is imminent. Within just a few years, the human population will plummet from about seven billion to a few hundred million. These people are the “Left Behind.” They will inherit the Earth.
Although the biosphere has been damaged extensively by large human numbers and industrial activity, if the human population collapse happens very soon there will still be a rich biosphere left to “salvage.” The fundamental issue facing those Left Behind will be whether to continue the current system of planetary management (growth-based economics; large human numbers and industrial activity), which has been proved to be disastrous for both human society and the biosphere, or to attempt to develop a new, long-term-sustainable system of planetary management in which human society lives in harmony with the rest of the biosphere. Physical science and politics, through its handmaidens growth-based economics and organized religion, have devastated the biosphere and human society. As Einstein observed, the type of thinking that caused a problem is not likely to solve it. The solution to the human crisis, it would seem, lies in spiritual science, not in physical science. If both the high-tech and low-tech societies embrace spirituality, they may be able to establish and maintain a long-term-sustainable system of planetary management. Those Left Behind can choose to continue to savage nature and continue to live in a “hell on Earth” until they bring about the extinction of mankind, or they can choose to live in harmony with nature, for a long time. Or perhaps they cannot. Perhaps they are doomed, forever slaves to ignorance and greed. Perhaps the souls who depart Earth with the passing of the Wave will truly be the “saved” ones, leaving the survivors to perdition, misery, or perhaps a merciful quick extinction. Or perhaps they will be leaving the planet to a new species – a new set of “soul containers” whose DNA is better-matched to the biosphere and more able to survive in it. One thing is certain, however: If they continue to live in ignorance and as slaves to the current system that savages the natural environment, they will not improve their lot.
The survivors of the collapse of the industrial world will generally find themselves in either of two situations: they will be members of the technological society that prevails after the collapse of global industrial society, or they will be members of the “others” – human society that has been stripped of its technology and the energy resources to operate it. Both societies – the high-tech society and the low-tech society, will have a significant role to play in the post-petroleum world. In its full flower, the current system of planetary management had a stranglehold on human society. It was too powerful to resist or to change. After its collapse, however, -- after the passage of the Wave – the survivors can use the opportunity of dramatically reduced human numbers to transition to a new system.
For those who believe that history repeats itself, there is an interesting passage in The Wave: Riding the Wave (page 306) in which Laura’s source states that the population of Atlantis declined from a maximum of just over six billion to 19 million, subsequent to cataclysmic events. I find these figures interesting, since they correspond exactly to my prediction that current world population will decline from its current level of just over six billion to a few million (a few hundred million to as low as ten million) very soon, as the Petroleum Age ends. This is quite a coincidence!
The United States government recently began hearings to investigate causes for the financial “meltdown” of the past two years (the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission). So far, these hearings are a complete sham. The financial meltdown was the direct result of an intense and long-term campaign by the US government to create massive wealth for the wealthy elite who control the country, and to transfer massive amounts of money from the US taxpayers – the majority of whom are middle-class Americans of modest means – to the wealthy. To date, the hearings are nothing more than a “cover-up” intended to absolve both the US government and its wealthy controllers of blame in the financial crisis.
The principal direct causes of the financial crisis were two. They are:
In the hearings, the banks have admitted that they had incurred too much risk. They complained that no one foresaw that housing prices would ever fall. These are disingenuous lies. A similar crash in real estate had happened in the 1980s (the Savings and Loan collapse). The banks extended mortgages to unqualified buyers because they could flip the mortgages to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and not be held responsible for them. If they had to keep the mortgages, as they did decades ago, they would not have extended mortgages to unqualified buyers, and they would not have extended mortgages for no money down, and they would not have extended adjustable rate mortgages that the buyer could not repay as soon as the rate was adjusted up.
Bankers are not stupid people. They knew that they were engaging in absurdly risky behavior, but they also knew that the US government – and the US taxpayer – would be holding the bag when the scheme collapsed. It was a replay of the savings and loan scandal of the 1980s. The riskiness of derivatives was clearly demonstrated by the collapse of Long Term Capital Management (LTCM) and Orange County, California, but the government took no steps to stop this practice. The people in charge of our financial sector and economy, like Alan Greenspan, Larry Summers, Robert Rubin, Bill Clinton, and George Bush, approved and encouraged these ridiculous practices. They knew that they would fail one day, and that when they did, the government – the US taxpayer – would cover the loss. They had already done so, with LTCM and the S&L collapses. The government was acting solely as the servant of the wealthy elite, to enable them to engage in massive betting games, knowing that when the bets could not be covered, it would force the US taxpayer to cover the loss (saving banks and investment firms that were “too big to fail”).
The government response to the financial crisis is the same as its response to the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center and Hurricane Katrina. Arab terrorists had already attacked the World Trade Center years before 9/11. They were able to carry out the 9/11 attack successfully because of the government’s policies of mass immigration, open borders and massive international free trade. After the first attack, the government made no attempts to restrict immigration or trade, or secure our borders. It was just a matter of time before 9/11 occurred. The government had granted visas to the attackers, and US firms trained them in how to fly airplanes of the type used in the attack. In Hurricane Katrina, the government had in its possession for many years an engineering report that showed that the levees would fail in New Orleans with the occurrence of the first big hurricane. It chose to do nothing. In both instances (9/11 and Katrina) the government knew that the result of the incidents would result in a substantial amount of economic activity, and thereby generate large amounts of wealth for the wealthy elite (bankers, construction firms). In both 9/11 and Katrina, the government absolved itself of wrongdoing, claiming that it could not possibly have predicted these events. It lied.
The US government is complicit in bringing about the financial crisis. The bankers’ claim that they could not foresee that housing prices might fall is ridiculous. The reason why banks formerly required 20 percent down payments years ago is that housing prices indeed might fall. A substantial down payment was also a good indicator of the financial capacity of the borrower. The reason why they granted zero-down-payment mortgages to unqualified buyers until the scheme collapsed is that the government essentially insured them by allowing the banks to sell them immediately to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Through its policies and actions, the US government caused a massive housing “bubble,” that was bound to burst. In my own neighborhood, which was a new housing development, many houses were sold to people who could not possibly afford them. A house across the street was purchased by a young fellow of limited means, for no money down, as an “investment.” Many of the homes in my neighborhood are now empty, as the unqualified purchasers defaulted. If the banks had held onto the mortgages, as was done in the past, they would not have made such ridiculous loans, and the bubble would not have occurred.
Another factor in the financial collapse was the practice of “bundling” mortgages together into mortgage packages, and selling shares in the packages as financial instruments in their own right (“slicing and dicing”). These instruments were massive in total amount and traded worldwide, spreading the risk throughout the financial community.
One of the reasons why the bankers claimed to believe that housing prices would increase forever is that inflation is built into our economy on purpose, by the government. It is a byproduct of our debt-based money and interest-based financial system, in which the government creates money whenever a debt is made, but does not create the interest to repay the debt. The only way the interest can be repaid is for the money supply to grow (via increased debt).
(For more information on our debt-based money system, see Web of Debt by Ellen Hodgson Brown (Third Millennium Press, 2008) or Money as Debt (a DVD) by Paul Grignon (2006, http://www.moneyasdebt.net or YouTube).
The people who caused the financial crisis are not stupid. The mathematics of financial derivatives (stochastic processes) is complicated. The mathematicians who developed derivative pricing formulas and methodologies (e.g., the Black-Scholes formula, numerical solutions to partial differential equations) are very clever people, and they understand full well the conditions under which these methodologies apply. They knew that these schemes would eventually fail (e.g., the spectacular collapse of LTCM), and the government knew that they would fail, and they both knew that the US taxpayer would be forced to cover the losses when this happened.
The PBS video, The Warning (Frontline / WGBH, PBS, Jim Gilmore and Michael Kirk, Kirk Documentary Group, 2009) describes the attempts of a courageous woman, Brooksley Born, to get the government to stop allowing derivatives, and the total resistance she encountered from the Clinton Administration, from Alan Greenspan, from Lawrence Summers, and from Robert Rubin. The government had strong warnings of what would happen if it continued to allow uncontrolled derivatives trading, and it refused to listen. Greenspan, Summers and Rubin were not stupid, ignorant men, who mistakenly thought that they were doing right. They were educated, knowledgeable men who understood the risks perfectly, and acted solely in the interests of the wealthy elite who employ them. They are like government economists, who always make rosy forecasts. They now duplicitously claim that they could not have foreseen what was going to happen. They said exactly what their wealthy elite controllers wanted them to say. The government pretends that it was being responsible by listening to them – the economists, the “experts.” The fact is, when Brooksley Born tried to expose the charade in which they were engaged – with clear, strong, valid, logical arguments – the economists ridiculed her and the government suppressed her.
The government, which used to be the servant of the people, is now the servant of the wealthy elite. It is no longer a government of, by and for the people. It listens only to its wealthy controllers. It pretends that it could not have possibly seen what was going to happen. It did this with 9/11 and with Katrina, and it is doing it now for the financial crisis. It pretends to be blameless, when it worked hand in glove with the wealthy elite to perpetrate this scheme on the American people. The government has been a co-conspirator in this scam. It has deceived and defrauded the American people, and it should be taken to task.
The bankers and the government knew the risks they were taking, and they knew that the risk was being sloughed off onto the American taxpayer. They knew that the mortgage and derivatives schemes would eventually fail, that they could not possibly cover these bets, and that the American taxpayer would have to cover their losses. They defrauded the American people. How long will the American people abide their disingenuous lies that this fraud was not intentional? When will the American people demand retribution for this crime?
When Alan Greenspan says that he “made a mistake” in not seeing that the system he promoted and oversaw would fail, he is lying. He is not a stupid, ignorant man. He is a well-trained economist who knew exactly what he was doing. The same applies to Summers, Rubin, and all of the other financial “experts” who are now claiming that they could not possibly have anticipated the outcome of their absurdly risky behavior. They are lying. They are intelligent, knowledgeable men who knew exactly what they were doing. They knew that the unbacked derivatives market would collapse (LTCM was the first major instance), and they knew that the housing mortgage scheme would collapse (just as the Savings and Loan market had collapsed in the 1980s). They are venal, greedy men, who engaged willfully in their con game, and care nothing about the misery that they have brought to the American people.
It is interesting to note that President Barack Obama has appointed the very same men who were instrumental in causing the financial crisis to a “Blue Ribbon” panel to investigate its causes. These are people like Ben Bernanke, current Chairman of the Federal Reserve (the US central bank), Timothy Geithner, US Treasury Secretary, and many people from Goldman Sachs investment banking firm. How in the world can he do this? Easy. The financial sector is a massive con game designed to transfer wealth from the people to the moneylenders. The financial collapse did not hurt the wealthy elite – they are still collecting their massive incomes. Obama appointed the same people to investigate the financial collapse who caused it because the financial collapse was simply one “move” in the game. In our “free market” economy, financial contractions inevitably occur, and when they do, massive amounts of wealth are quickly transferred from the middle class to the rich. The mortgage and derivatives frauds were simply schemes to enable the transfer of much more wealth, much faster, from the middle class to the wealthy, than would ordinarily have been the case. Obama is simply the servant of the wealthy. He will do their bidding. That is why he has appointed the same men who caused the financial crisis to investigate it.
The Inquiry into the causes of the financial crisis is simply a whitewash of government and the banks. It is just part of the usual Washington cover-up, to pretend that they knew nothing about what was happening, could not possibly foreseen it, and are not at all to blame for it. But they are all to blame. The bankers are to blame, and the government is to blame. Through the Inquiry, they are both reassuring each other that neither side could have possibly anticipated the financial collapse. This is a bold-faced lie. They were complicit in this massive fraud on the US taxpayer, and they are attempting to absolve each other of guilt and blame. The financial collapse was a massive con game perpetrated on the US taxpayer by the banks and the federal government. They knew full well that the derivative and housing-mortgage schemes would collapse, because of similar recent failures, viz., the collapse of LTCM and the S&Ls. They willfully set up this elaborate con game, and they defrauded the American people, forcing them to cover the losses when it collapsed. They dug the hook in deep, asserting that if the nation let the banks fail, the entire system would collapse, and people would be even worse off. Their scare tactics worked, but their deception is now becoming apparent to everyone. When they claim that they could not have foreseen the problem, the bankers and lying, and the government is lying. They conspired to set up this scheme, and they are now absolving each other of blame, claiming ignorance, just as they did in the case of 9/11 and Katrina. But they are not ignorant. They are maliciously deceitful. How long will the American people suppress their outrage at this willful wrong – at the treachery of the US government and its wealthy-elite masters – and keep their peace?
The banks should fail. They should all fail. The creation of money should not be franchised to private banks, but should be kept within the purview of the government. Interest generated by creating money and charging of interest on loans of it should accrue to the government, and hence to the people, not to private bankers. With this approach, there would be little or no need for taxes. In any closed system based on interest on loans, all of the money eventually ends up in the hands of the moneylenders, unless loans are forgiven (e.g., via bankruptcies or “Jubilee” years). If the creation of money rests with the government, and interest accrues to the government, all of the interest is returned to the people, not to the wealthy elite. Under such a system, with interest continually returned to the people who pay it, the system does not have to grow and grow as our current system does, thereby destroying the biosphere.
Someone observed once – perhaps it was Alexis de Tocqueville – that what is most important to “ordinary” people is freedom in small things. People know that they cannot be completely free. They realize that with respect to large things, such as the government or their employer, they do not have a lot of influence or control. They can accept that. What is more important to most people is freedom in their activities of daily living, apart from the major controls.
If the US government wishes to maintain control, it had best recognize this fact. Thomas Jefferson observed that the citizen has two main enemies – criminals and the government. The purpose of the Constitution was to restrain the government by severely restricting its powers, so that it would not become a criminal to the people. Powers not explicitly delegated to the federal government were reserved for the states, and for the people. There are many people in government now who wish to weaken the Constitution, and give the government much more power – powers that were never identified in the Constitution. If this happens, the American people will lose much of their “freedom in small things.”
In a related vein, you cannot be free if you are deep in debt. When you are deep in debt, you have no discretionary money at all, to do the “little things.” If you owe too much on your home or car, then you will have to be saying “no” to little things such as taking the family out to for a pizza, or to the movies, or on an annual vacation to the mountains or the beach. When you cannot do these little things, your life becomes intolerable. In such circumstances, you do not care if Washington is run by Democrats or Republicans or Progressives.
The US government has promoted the massive use of easy credit, including home mortgages and credit cards, to the extent that many families are deep in debt. Many people cannot even afford to pay the interest on their debt. Their lives are miserable. Because they are deep in debt, many parents cannot do even the simplest things with their children. This situation is causing great unhappiness, and it is not about to be resolved. The banks and credit card companies are strangling the families of America. For many families, there is no way out. The situation was bad before the financial crisis, and is now much worse. The threat of violent and large-scale revolution is very great.
If the US government continues to allow banks and credit card companies to destroy the quality of life of its citizens, it will not last much longer.
In 1973, the US population was about 200 million, and the birth rate had dropped to replacement level. Without immigration, the population would have remained constant. Since that time, the US government has embarked on a population policy of massive immigration. New immigrants have high birth rates. The country’s population is now about 310 million, and growing by about three million per year.
The energy “crisis” has been around since 1974, with the Arab oil embargo.
Why, when we don’t have sufficient energy to cover our needs, did the US government deliberately adopt policies to increase the population from 200 million to 310 million? Is it that it wants its population to expand to the point where resources are very scarce, so that it exists in perpetual crisis? This maximizes economic activity, and it maximizes slavery. It does not lead to a good quality of life for mankind, and it eventually leads to the death of the biosphere.
Ball lightning is a very rare phenomenon. My mother, Evelyn Caldwell (born 27 July 1919) was a witness to ball lightning when she was about seven years old. The date was probably June 1926. Her family, my grandparents (Leslie and Emma Dow Barter) owned a farm a few miles out of Grand Cascapedia, Quebec, Canada. One day they were in the house (a two-story wooden structure) during a thunderstorm. The house was located on a fairly flat piece of open land, about fifty yards from the barn. (I can still remember visiting the farm, and playing in the house and barn. At some point the house was split in two parts and moved into the village. I last visited relatives in Grand Cascapedia in the winter of 1997, shortly after the great ice storm. At that time, the two parts of the house were still there. I can’t recall whether the barn was still there at that time – it is gone now.) In addition to my mother and her parents were her older sister Florence, her older sister Margaret, Margaret’s husband Joe Cleary, and their young baby, Wilson.
My mother still remembers the incident vividly. Ever since the event, she has been quite afraid of lightning. What happened was this. A storm was in progress, with thunder and lightning. She and other family members were sitting in the living room when all of a sudden, without warning, a ball of lightning exploded with a loud crash out of the door of the small wood-burning stove that heated the room. It was a bright yellow ball of fire about the size of a soccer ball. At the moment when it happened, her older sister Florence was walking across the room, going to play the piano. The ball crashed up and down from the ceiling to the floor several times. This continued several seconds, and the ball then disappeared into the floor over a food storage cellar.
No one was hurt in the incident. The only damage was on the second floor of the house, where a stovepipe cover was knocked off the wall onto the floor. Mother says that the stovepipe behind this cover was not connected to the stove in the living room.
Most people do not realize that our monetary system is based solely on debt. The creation of money is authorized by the Federal Reserve (the US central bank) whenever a bank makes a loan. It is not backed by anything of intrinsic value, like gold or silver. If all debts were repaid, all money would disappear. A debt-based money system continues only as long as debt continues.
When the recent economic recession occurred, people could not repay their debts. Since our money system is based on debt, the US government was frightened to death that the entire financial system would collapse, and it took extreme steps to create more debt. Within days it passed a 700 billion dollar “troubled asset relief program” or “TARP.” All of this was new debt, to replace the debt that had gone bad. It bailed out banks and major corporations, such as General Motors and Chrysler. It set up massive programs to encourage people to go into debt, such as the “Cash for Clunkers” program (credits of $3,500 to $4,500 to buy a new car, if an old one was traded in and destroyed) and the $8,000 tax credit for first-time home buyers. The Cash for Clunkers (Car Allowance Rebate System) cost the US government about three billion dollars. In addition, there are tax credits for making home improvements, such as upgrading heating and air conditioning systems, or installing new windows.
These programs create debt in two ways – the money spent by the government to fund the programs (such as the car-purchase credit), and the debt incurred by the consumer (e.g., the loan for the new car or house).
Some of the incentives to create debt were really absurd. Journalist John Stossel reported a few months ago that it was possible to purchase a new electric golf cart for free, under a government debt-incentive program. Here follows Stossel’s report (from http://stossel.blogs.foxbusiness.com/2009/10/19/free-golf-carts/ ).
October 19, 2009 05:36 PM EDT by John Stossel
Free Golf Carts!
After money from the "stimulus" bill was spent on destroying perfectly good cars and building an Airport for Nobody, the WSJ reports that government has found an even more ridiculous way to spend your money: free golf carts.
"The purchase of some models could be absolutely free," Roger Gaddis of Ada Electric Cars in Oklahoma said earlier this year. "Is that about the coolest thing you've ever heard?"
The golf-cart boom follows an IRS ruling that many golf carts qualify for the electric-car credit.
Tony Colangelo, in Florida, calls himself "golf cart man" and is already advertising free carts.
Golf Cart Man is referring to his offer in which you can buy the cart for $8,000, get a $5,300 tax credit off your 2009 income tax, lease it back for $100 a month for 27 months, at which point Golf Cart Man will buy back the cart for $2,000. "This means you own a free Golf Cart or made $2,000 cash doing absolutely nothing!!!"
I thought this giveaway was outrageous enough that it would embarrass Congress into killing the tax credit. I thought the media would be all over Colangelo, after the WSJ story. I was wrong. When we called him, he said, “I’ve never had so many phone calls,” But most of the calls come from potential golf-cart “buyers.” Colangelo said he had received some e-mails from newspapers, but my researcher was the first reporter with whom he’d spoken.
He also said the golf-cart credit is a very good thing. Good for the politicians:
It’s all [about] going green. They want all those gas vehicles off the street. They’d rather have the electric than anything.
And good for the average person:
I never, in my entire life, got anything back from the government and I’ve always paid taxes. Why shouldn’t the people who worked hard for their money get something back?
Because government shouldn’t be in the business of taking money and giving it back! That just gives the venal cretins more power over our lives.
[End of Stossel report.]
In selling these programs, the government tells egregious lies, such as that the Cash for Clunkers was going to save energy. In fact, much of the energy involved in cars is the energy required to build them – from an energy-conservation viewpoint, the best strategy is not to replace working cars at all, but drive them into the ground. The incredible thing about the government’s lying is that no one holds anyone responsible. The citizenry has now come to expect lies from its government.
One aspect of the program that really galls Americans is that the tax credits could be applied to purchase cars irrespective of where they were manufactured. Shortly after the US’ Cash for Clunkers program was instituted, the Japanese government instituted a similar program, but it restricted it to purchase of Japanese cars. Although the Japanese government was acting in the interest of its citizens, as the US government should have done but did not do, Americans were chagrined by this lack of reciprocity. To some extent their discomfiture was that they felt somewhat stupid that their government would show so little consideration of them.
The government debt is now at 1.6 trillion dollars, and increasing rapidly. The government cannot pay the interest on the debt without “printing money,” i.e., creating even more debt. The US government’s financial system is in the process of crashing. The price of gold is soaring. The end of this corrupt system is near.
President Obama is exhorting banks to make more loans to small businesses, just as the government previously exhorted them to make home-mortgage loans to unqualified consumers. The thing that is so very wrong about all of this is that it is economic growth that is destroying the biosphere. The only chance that mankind has to stop the sixth mass species extinction, which is caused by large human numbers and industrial activity, is to decrease economic activity, not increase it. Yet Obama and all other world leaders are calling for more economic growth. These people are consummate evil – they would destroy the planet and mankind, simply to remain in power and generate more wealth for the wealthy elite, for a few more years.
Why bathtubs in homes, instead of showers? Why massive energy-wasting McMansions, instead of fuel-efficient small homes? Why gas-guzzling sport-utility vehicles, instead of small electric cars? Why privately owned automobiles, instead of bicycles and trains? Why a biosphere-destroying population of six billion, instead of a sustainable population of a few million? Why a debt-based, interest-based system of economics, which is designed to grow and destroy the biosphere, instead of steady-state economics? The answer to all of these questions is that our leaders do not care about the future of the biosphere or the future of mankind. They care only about their own hedonistic pleasure, of maximizing their power and wealth, no matter what the consequences for the biosphere or for mankind – even the next generation! They have designed a system that minimizes freedom for individuals, that transfers most of the product of their labor to the wealthy elite, and that maximizes generation of wealth for the current wealthy elite. They have designed a system that converts living nature into dead wealth. All the while, they praise the system, saying that it promotes freedom for people. The system that they are promoting is enslaving mankind, destroying the biosphere, and leading to the extinction of mankind. Lies, lies, lies. Because the industrial world is running out of energy (the passing of Hubbert’s peak, at which global oil production starts to fall), this system is about to crash. We are just seeing the first few “cracks in the dyke.”
(For more on Hubbert’s Curve, Hubbert’s Peak, and Peak Oil, see the following videos (posted on the Internet): A Crude Awakening: The Oil Crash, a DVD by Basil Gelpke and Ray McCormack (2006), Peak Oil (2006), or The End of Oil (Parts 1-6), or any number of the many books written on this subject.)
From my college days, I recall a few of the basic principles of marketing. One is “sell the benefits” – emphasize the benefits of the product. Another is “show the product in use.” If you happen to see a toothpaste ad or a shaving-cream ad, you will see a person using about five or ten times as much toothpaste or shaving cream as they need. If you see an ad for a pick-up truck, you will see it soaring into the air and crashing to the ground in a way that no ordinary truck could do. Medical ads show a person having a nuclear magnetic resonance image (NMRI) to detect a tumor, without mentioning that he may be absorbing an amount of radiation equivalent to 400 regular X-ray pictures, and that he is increasing his risk of cancer. They tout the benefits of massive amounts of preservatives and other chemicals in our food, without explaining the serious health problems caused by ingesting these chemicals. They show only how drugs can improve the quality of life today, without mentioning the additional years of low-quality life that they also bring about.
The government does the same thing. The government touts the advantages of a new sports stadium, without mentioning that the stadium will be paid for by the middle-class taxpayer, and that the benefits of the stadium will accrue almost totally to the wealthy (“socialize the costs, privatize the benefits”). It has instituted a monopoly in sports franchises, which benefits only the wealthy, and causes the price of attending or viewing sporting events to be much higher than it would otherwise be (e.g., as in the United Kingdom). It tells the people that allowing banks to issue mortgages to unqualified purchasers and sell unbacked derivatives will benefit them (“is for the public good”), without telling them that the middle-class taxpayer will have to cover these bets when they go bad. The government is selling its current programs to create massive amounts of debt – and hence money – by telling only of the potential benefits of these programs. It says that doing so will “save jobs.” It does not mention that the creation of massive amounts of money / debt will lead to rampant inflation. It does not tell that the debt-based, interest-based system of economics will lead eventually to the destruction of the biosphere. It does not tell that increasing the world’s population to six billion will result in eventual enslavement and direst poverty for almost all people on the planet, the destruction of the biosphere, and the end of mankind – and the violent death of six billion people very soon.
The Christian faith places a lot of emphasis on the value of being willing to die for your faith, to lay down your life for another. In view of Biblical teachings, this seems a little strange. The argument goes that you will save your mortal soul if you do this. In other words, you are encouraged to do it for selfish reasons, but for personal gain. You are doing it to save your soul. Everyone knows that life is fleeting, and Christians believe that the soul is eternal. So you are giving up something that is of no long-term value in exchange for something of eternal value.
The Moslem faith, on the other hand, places value in being willing to kill for one’s faith. By killing, one is placing his soul in jeopardy. Being willing to kill for one’s faith, it would seem, is an infinitely greater act of sacrifice than simply giving up one’s life, which is of no long-term value.
The Bible says (Luke 9:24, English Standard Version): “For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.” Since we all eventually lose our biological lives (i.e., we cannot possibly save our lives), this passage is clearly referring to our eternal souls, not our biological lives. It would appear that the intended meaning is that whoever tries to save his soul (e.g., by laying down his life for another) will lose it, and that whoever loses his soul (e.g., by killing for his faith) will end up saving it. What do you think?
General George S. Patton once remarked, "The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other poor bastard die for his." Being willing to die for a cause is not nearly as useful to the cause as being willing to kill for it. Being willing to lay down your life for a loved one is understandable, but in general it is not natural or very helpful.
Two major hoaxes that have been around for a long time are The Report from Iron Mountain and The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion. Both of these are readily available from the Internet. The interesting thing about these hoaxes is their verisimilitude – they make many statements of fact. The hoax is in the attribution, not in the content.
From time to time I check to see who is linking to my website. About a month ago I noticed a link from Pravda, in a blog about the Georgia Guidestones. The rather amazing fact is, although the Georgia Guidestones are virtually “in my own back yard,” I had not heard of them. In late December, I made a visit to relatives living near Atlanta, and on the way there I stopped near Elberton, Georgia, to see this monument.
It is very impressive, and very interesting. The monument, set on top of a hill in rural Georgia, is a set of three large granite slabs, each of which has an updated version of the Ten Commandments engraved in a different language. It was erected in 1980 by an unknown benefactor.
You can read more on the Georgia Guidestones on the Internet, for example on Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georgia_Guidestones or The Georgia Guidestones website at http://www.thegeorgiaguidestones.com/stones.htm, the Radio Liberty Georgia Guidestones website at http://www.thegeorgiaguidestones.com/stones.htm or the Crystalinks site http://www.crystalinks.com/gaguidestones.html .
Back in 1973, the US population stood at about 200 million. The country had achieved the “demographic transition” from high birth rates to a “replacement rate” of about two children per female. After World War II, the country’s birth rate had steadily fallen. Under Presidents Truman and Eisenhower, immigration to the country was kept low. Then, in 1965, due to efforts of the Jewish Lobby and US Senator Edward Kennedy, the US government passed the Immigration Act of 1965, opening the floodgates of mass immigration from all cultures. The country’s population exploded, and is still increasing at the astounding rate of about three million people per year, all from immigrants since 1965 and their offspring.
Conservative leaders, such as US Senator Sam Ervin, warned that passage of the Act would result in America’s being overrun by foreign cultures. Senator Kennedy countered that this would never happen. Now, less than 50 years later, the country’s population has exploded to 310 million people and the northern European culture that founded the country and made it great is being overrun. Illegal aliens now kill more US citizens than the number of soldiers who die in the War in Iraq. Every additional person added to the US population results in the destruction of about an acre of natural land, through conversion to streets, roads, parking lots, homes, office buildings, schools, hospitals, and other infrastructure. Mass immigration has destroyed much of our living space and is replacing or destroying the culture that founded the country and made it great.
America’s leaders have brought about the mass immigration that is destroying the country. The US Constitution requires the President and other government officials to defend the country from invasion. The country has been invaded by 12-20 million illegal aliens, while the government has not only stood idly by, but actively encouraged and supported the invasion. Every US President since (after) Eisenhower has aided and abetted this invasion. They are all guilty of high treason and gross malfeasance in office, from John Kennedy to Barack Obama. They should be tried for treason and severely punished for their treachery.
America’s leaders sold the country down the river. Alien invaders have destroyed its environment and its culture, and are killing its citizens. America’s leaders supported this invasion for money – a country with a population of 310 million generates much more wealth than one of 200 million. How long will native Americans allow the continued destruction of their homeland, and the overrunning of their culture by foreign cultures? Americans did not ask for mass immigration. It was crammed down their throats by their venal leaders and their wealthy-elite controllers. America’s politicians have given the country away. The government is no longer of, by, and for the people, but for the wealthy elite. Now that the decline in the quality of life for native Americans is declining, it would appear that outrage over the leaders’ treachery will grow, and that the time for revolution is near at hand.
In his nightly television program on Fox News, Glenn Beck has spoken recently on the meaning of the word “rights.” He has been stating that rights are something that is granted by God, such as “unalienable rights” in the Declaration of Independence.
On this issue, Glenn Beck is wrong. Rights are privileges granted by a government that is willing and able to defend them. The unmodified term, “rights,” does not refer to “moral rights,” or “God-given rights.” “Rights” in the generic sense refers to defended legal privileges – “legal rights.” The Palestinians may have a moral right to what is now the modern state of Israel, but they no longer have any legal right to it. The Israelis moved into Palestine and in 1948 waged a war over the land, and declared that the land was now theirs. They extend the right to the land to their citizens, and they are able to back it up (with the support of the United States and the backing of their own nuclear weapons). As a result, the Israelis now have a right to the land, and the Palestinians do not.
In the past year or so my wife and I have taken have been stays at “all-inclusive” resorts in the Caribbean. The first of these was in the Dominican Republic west of Santo Domingo, the second in Mexico between Cancun and Playa del Carmen, and the third in Jamaica at Trelawney Bay, between Montego Bay and Ocho Rios. The term “all-inclusive” means that all of your meals and drinks are included in the price, as well as some amenities such as snorkeling equipment, but not extras such as massages or SCUBA dives. In the first two instances, waiters were omnipresent throughout the day, offering to get drinks or snacks for guests. In both of these cases, the service was identical to a standard hotel, in which waiters are always present, working for tips. In the third one, drinks were available only in bars and restaurants. No waiters were circulating to offer drinks or snacks. This was a noticeable difference from the usual setting.
It is surprising how noticeable this small difference made – the absence of a little thing that you are used to. In a country with low-cost labor, such as any of the ones I visited, there is no reason not to have plenty of circulating waiters and waitresses. Their absence suggests that the hotel is simply trying to minimize consumption of drinks and snacks. This is not what “all-inclusive” should mean – it should mean that basic services that you expect in an “à la carte” hotel – such as a cocktail waitress asking on a regular basis whether you want a drink or snack – are included in the price.
In protest over the Castro regime’s confiscation of US businesses in the late 1950s, the US has imposed an embargo on the importation of Cuban products to the US. The most famous Cuban product, or course, is the Havana Cigar. When I returned from a trip to the Dominican Republic some time ago, the US customs officer asked me whether I had brought back any Cuban cigars. I told him, no. He then informed me that that was good, since the fine for doing so was $3,000 per cigar.
US immigration policy toward Cubans is the so-called “wet-foot / dry-foot” policy. Under this policy, a Cuban who makes it to shore in the US is granted asylum, and provided with a visa for permanent residency. He is entitled to all kinds of social services. His children are granted birthright citizenship. On the other hand, any Cuban who is apprehended at sea is returned to Cuba. This bizarre policy is really absurd. Over the past 60 years, thousands of Cubans have been allowed entry into the US, and many thousands of babies have been born to them. All of these babies have been granted birthright citizenship. Many US citizens have been killed by Cuban immigrants and their progeny, both by murder and by automobile accidents. On average, every Cuban immigrant has caused the destruction of an acre of natural land, in conversion to infrastructure to accommodate his presence. Cubans have occupied our space, destroyed our environment, displaced our culture and killed our citizens. The cost of the invasion of the US by Cubans has been enormous, and it has been imposed by the government on an unwilling public.
How very strange it is that the fine to a US citizen for brining a Cuban cigar into the country is $3,000 per cigar, but the government imposes massive costs on US citizens to accommodate the Cuban immigrants that it accepts and harbors. How long will US citizens continue to put up with such bizarre nonsense from its government? The US Constitution requires the President and other high government officials to defend the country from invasion. How long will US citizens continue to condone the treachery of its government in allowing Cuban invaders to occupy our living space, destroy our environment and culture, and kill and maim our people? How long will native Americans condone the invasion of its country by 12 – 20 million Cubans and other illegal-alien invaders? When will they take up arms against the government that has betrayed them, and the aliens who have invaded their homeland? I imagine that it will be very soon.
The primary purpose of sports is to train a country’s citizens for war. A secondary purpose is improving the health of the citizens. A third purpose is entertainment.
In the United States of today, the purpose of sports has been perverted. The primary purpose of sports is now entertainment, and the generation of massive wealth for the owners of franchised sports teams. The US government grants sports franchises to wealthy oligarchs. This franchise system causes the cost of tickets to sporting events and broadcast of sporting events to be vastly higher than in other countries, such as the UK. Under its policy of “socializing the costs and privatizing the benefits,” it bilks taxpayers of millions of dollars to pay for sports stadiums that generate much wealth for the owners of the franchises.
The government could not stand to allow the citizens to have free or low-cost access to sports. This was simply too good for the people. Better to monopolize sports, franchise them, charge the people massive fees for the privilege of watching them, and give the fees to the wealthy. That is one more example of how the government serves the wealthy elite and rips off everyone else.
Even the dictators of ancient Rome knew to keep the people satisfied with bread and circuses. Our government is killing the goose that laid the golden egg – strangling the people, which is the ultimate source of wealth. It will not long endure.
Under the US sports system, most people are spectators, not participants. The system does not train citizens to defend the country, does not benefit the health of the citizenry, and transfers massive wealth from the citizens to the wealthy elite. Why do the people put up with such a system?
I launched my website over ten years ago, in 1999. The purpose of the website was to disseminate information about rational planetary management. The first item posted on the website was my book, Can America Survive?
When my website started, I received only two or three “hits” per day. Now, I receive about 500 hits a day – about 15,000 per month. Over the years, many people have read my writings, and commented on them on Internet “blogs.”
Most of the blogs are negative – people do not like to hear that the large human population is destroying the biosphere at the rate of an estimated 30,000 species extinctions per year and that the world’s population of six billion will decline to at most a few hundred million very soon, simply because the age of petroleum, which enabled the large population, is drawing to an end.
One thing I have always wondered about is, if people do not like my proposed solution – a “minimal regret” population consisting of a single high-tech nation of five million and a globally distributed low-tech (hunter-gatherer) population of five million – why do they not propose an alternative long-term sustainable solution? In the ten years that Can America Survive? has been posted, and thousands of people have accessed it, I have not received a single alternative solution. This seems very strange.
People ask me from time to time what I think of US President Barack Obama. I tell them that although I did not vote for him (I voted for Chuck Baldwin), I think that overall he is a decent person, that he is intelligent, and that he speaks well. With respect to his policies, I tell them that I think that he is doing a fine job of running the country for the benefit of the wealthy elite, just as his predecessor Presidents have done.
Unfortunately, what Obama and other recent presidents have done is to destroy the America of the Founding Fathers, not defend or protect it. Our nation’s founders set up a remarkable country of, by, and for the people. This had never been done before. The Constitution severely restricted the powers of the federal government, so that the people could remain free. In recent times, the wealthy elite have “highjacked” the country. It no longer serves the people, but the wealthy elite. Obama and other recent presidents serve their wealthy masters well, but they no longer sere the American people.
I wrote an article once on the topic of whether the US was a fascist state. What is a fascist state? My definition of a fascist state is one in which the government and business are closely linked, and which is highly nationalistic. The US used to be a fascist state, but it is now a “post-fascist” state. The government and business no longer work hand in hand. Instead, government is totally under the control of “business” – the wealthy elite – and does their bidding. The function of government now is to create massive amounts of wealth and transfer it to the wealthy elite. The US is now a “corporatist” state. It is totally under the control of corporations. The government serves the corporatists, not the people. The Founders warned that corporations were a serious threat to liberty, and they have been proven right. The beginning of the end of individual liberty began when the Supreme Court ruled (illegally) that corporations could have the same rights as natural persons.
Someone asked me what I thought of Ben Bernanke’s being named Time Magazine’s Person of the Year. Since Bernanke is from my home state of South Carolina (born in Augusta, Georgia, and raised in Dillon, South Carolina), I am inclined to favor him. I believe that he and others in the US banking /financial / economic system (e.g., Alan Greenspan, Larry Summers, Robert Rubin, Tim Geithner) have caused the current financial crisis, in general through their support for a debt-based, interest-based (and therefore growth-based) economy and money system, and in particular through their encouragement of financial derivatives and “flipping” of home mortgages from banks to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as soon as they made them. In my opinion, all of these men are doing a fine job of continuing the operation of a growth-based economic system that is destroying the biosphere. It seems to me that Bernanke represents a sterling example of what a “company man” should be and do. Time Magazine is an advocate of our planet-destroying system of growth-based economics, and it has selected someone who exemplifies the desires and interests of the system. If someone had proposed Heinrich Himmler as Person of the Year in Hitler’s Germany, I would have said that he was an appropriate choice, since he served the system well. Bernanke serves the system well. The fact that this system is destroying the biosphere and may well cause the extinction of mankind is not relevant to the choice.
In the news these days, you often hear the term “natural disaster,” with reference to the devastating earthquake in Haiti. The same term was applied to the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004 and to Hurricane Katrina, which struck New Orleans, Louisiana, in 2005.
This term “natural disaster” is a misnomer, perhaps even an oxymoron. Most so-called “natural disasters” are nothing of the sort, but are simply natural events that occurred, and mankind is in the way.
I am not sure whether there are in fact any natural disasters at all. Are the first five mass extinctions on Planet Earth “natural disasters”? Whether they are is a value judgment – as beauty, in the eye of the beholder. They may have been intentional, implemented by a higher being. If, from a certain perspective, the mix or existence of life on our planet does not matter, then from that perspective there cannot be any disasters at all. In any event, Haiti is certainly a disaster, but only from the point of view of mankind – it is a human disaster, but it is not a natural one. Natural events are simply natural events; they are not disasters from the perspective of nature. Haitians overpopulated their land and placed millions of people in harm’s way. Earthquakes happen there and elsewhere all the time, and if you build structures there, they will collapse when these natural events occur. If you build villages along the seashore, they will eventually be wiped out by a tsunami.
The term “natural disaster” is simply a “whitewash” term to exculpate mankind from the blame of its foolishness when mass death occurs because of its overpopulating. Haitians overpopulated. Haitians built homes in an earthquake zone. Thousands of Haitians died when an earthquake occurred. The devastation of the Haitian earthquake was a Haitian-caused disaster, and it may be considered a human disaster, but it is not a natural disaster. Haiti is not leaderless, and it is Haitian leaders who are responsible for this disaster (even though everyone is saying that they could not possibly be to blame for it!).
From time to time I read that the Chinese execute so many people so that they can sell body parts to cannibals (organ receptors and the medical establishment that feeds them) in the West. I read that shortly after the Haitian earthquake, the price of organs dropped noticeably. The “alien abduction” people say that aliens abduct many Earthlings for breeding during time of war or other disasters. It is also said that aliens “feed” on the extreme emotions of disasters, and are especially fond of children. In view of Haiti’s high population growth rate and large child population, this must be a time of great festivity in some quarters. From the point of view of maximizing violent deaths, particularly of children, Port-au-Prince was a “natural” choice for a “natural” disaster.
In 1975 and 1976 I worked in Haiti, and I stayed in a white hotel at the top of a hill in Port-au-Prince – I no longer recall its name. In the lobby was a very interesting and attractive picture showing a line of men walking along in chains. The caption to the picture was “Nous sommes toujours éclaves – seulment nos maîtres changent” – “We are all slaves, only our masters change.”
On Yahoo! News on February 2, 2010, was presented an Associated Press article by Marcy Nicholson and Lisa Shumakeer, “Lack of ‘excellent’ coffee blends: Consumer Reports.” I have been commenting for years that US coffee is not very good, and this article simply confirmed my point of view.
As a young man, I never drank coffee. I didn’t think it tasted very good. In 1975 and 1976, I worked on a project in Haiti, and my office was in the Haitian Ministry of Agriculture in Damien, a suburb of Port-au-Prince. Every hour or so, a petite young girl in a white dress made the rounds of the offices, serving free coffee. The coffee was excellent! It was smooth and tasty. It did not need sugar or milk to soften the taste. It was quite unlike the flat, harsh taste of US coffee, which had never attracted me. After a few weeks, I drank the Haitian coffee on a regular basis.
When I returned to the US, I was “hooked” on coffee. All I drank was a single cup each morning. It gives you an absolute “lift.” It “wakes you up” quickly and makes you feel energetic. If you don’t have it, you miss it. For me, there was no point to drinking more than one cup, since the second one didn’t make me feel any better, and I was already “awake.”
Because the US coffee tasted so bad, I tried many brands, and settled on Taster’s Choice and Yuban freeze-dried coffees as acceptable. I continued to drink a cup of coffee each morning with breakfast, for many years.
When I visited Haiti, I acquired “traveler’s diarrhea.” Upon my return from Haiti, it cleared up, but would always return. After some time – a few months later and then again a few years later, I consulted a physician about my chronic diarrhea. It was now colitis – I had nightly pain in my colon, along with the diarrhea. I went through elaborate medical tests, including tests for intestinal bacteria and parasites, and drinking a barium solution and having a full set of gastro-intestinal X-rays. The doctors could find nothing wrong.
My problems with colitis continued for 17 years. Then, in 1992, my wife and I were visiting my parents’ home for a few weeks, prior to my leaving for an assignment in Malawi. (This was a good time. My dad was still alive, and, despite his heart attack in 1982, he was in good health. I helped him work on some of his rental homes from time to time, and he “ran circles around me.” He died the following year, during the Malawi assignment, while I was visiting Mauritius.)
Well, Mother’s coffee was the “standard American fare.” It was so harsh-tasting that I simply stopped drinking coffee. Then, to my utter amazement, within two weeks, my colitis disappeared. The diarrhea was gone and the nightly pain was gone. Since I had had this problem for 17 years, and since I had made the major adjustment of stopping coffee, I was convinced that that was the problem. Later, I did few “test” trials, and confirmed that this was the problem – if I resumed drinking of coffee, just one cup a day, the colitis returned.
It is not the caffeine in coffee to which I am allergic – it is some other chemical in coffee. I can drink tea or soft drinks and have no problem. The problem with those drinks, however, is that they give me heart palpitations.
It is now surprising to me that I never suspected coffee as the cause of my diabetes. Over the years, as I have become allergic to a number of things, I have learned that there is much truth in the maxim, “You are what you eat.” It is amazing that no physician thought to ask me whether I drank coffee. Coincidentally, a few weeks after my discovery, my mother noticed a write-up in the paper reporting that quite a few people are allergic to coffee.
I now drink coffee rarely. I can have a cup about once a week, without its causing me trouble. I often drink it several days in a row when I am on vacation in a coffee-producing country, such as Honduras or the Dominican Republic. I miss it. Unfortunately, I like coffee, but it does not like me.
I visited Haiti four times during 1975 and 1976. I was supervising a project to conduct tax policy analysis with respect to five commodities – coffee, cotton, sisal, mangoes and meat – to determine ways in which the government might use tax policy to increase foreign exchange earnings and income of small farmers. On my second trip, the young girl who served coffee was not there. I asked where she was. I was told that she had become pregnant and died in childbirth. She could not have been more than 14 years old. When I asked her whether she had any sugar for the coffee, she replied, “Oui, j’en ai” – “Yes, I have some.” My French was poor at the time, and I did not catch what she said. I asked my friend what she had said, and he told me. She giggled. I asked my friend what she was laughing at. He told me that she was amazed that an adult person, particularly a white man, did not know how to speak French.
There were very few white people in Haiti at that time. The country had been pretty much closed to the outside world under the reign of Papa Doc (François) Duvalier, and was just opening up under his son, Baby Doc (Jean-Claude) Duvalier. As I drove along the rural roads of the countryside, men would raise their arms to salute me, saying “Mon Père” – “My Father.” As a white man, it was assumed that I was a priest.
Haitian culture was quite different from US culture. In the US, if you had a drop of Negro blood in your bloodline, you were considered black. In Haiti, if you had a drop of white blood in your bloodline, you were considered white – actually, Creole. Haitian attitudes toward sex were very “liberated.” Having sex was a normal body function, like eating, drinking, sleeping, and the like.
When I was in the Dominican Republic a couple of years ago, when I was in the airport waiting to leave, I noticed some Haitian rum for sale. It was Rhum Barbancourt. When I worked in Haiti in 1975-76, I tried some Barbancourt rum. It is superb! Prior to that time, the only rum that I had used was Bacardi white rum, in mixed drinks. It is harsh and raw, and not suitable for anything but a mixed drink. Barbancourt rum, on the other hand, is smooth, like fine bourbon whisky. You can drink it straight over ice, or mixed with water. There is no need to add a mixer to it, although it is fine in a Planter’s Punch or Rum Punch.
At that time, I purchased Rhum Barbancourt’s Réserve Spéciale, “five star,” aged eight years. I also tried the “three star” version, aged four years. I don’t recall the price, but it was very inexpensive – there was no need, based on price, to drink anything but the five-star label. At that time, mangoes in Haiti sold for five for a gourde – one cent apiece.
In US supermarkets you can find baguettes that are called “French bread.” The problem is that they are not “French bread” at all. The loaves may be in the shape of French bread, but they are evidently not made from French flour (hard winter wheat), they are not chewy like French bread, and they do not have the delicate and distinctive flavor of French bread.
I was eating dinner one evening, many years ago, in a hotel in Accra, Ghana (a popular hotel, where US Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton had stayed), and was served bread with my meal. I was amazed that the bread tasted just like French bread! I asked the waiter about the bread, and he told me that the bread dough was flown in by Air France every day, and baked by the hotel. It was literally French bread.
The world situation today is very similar to that of 1912. In 1912, people were celebrating 100 years of world peace. The last really big war had ended in 1812, with the defeat of Napoleaon by Wellington. Today, people are claiming that much of the world has accepted democracy, and that democracies do not wage war on democracies. To be sure, a terrorist group may detonate a “suitcase” nuclear bomb or two, but the policy of Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD) has kept superpowers from waging nuclear war for the entire period during which more than one of them has possessed nuclear weapons.
What these optimistic people do not take into account is that the world has now consumed about half of the global oil reserves (Hubbert’s Curve), and global oil production is now peaking (Hubbert’s Peak, Peak Oil). At the same time, world population is increasing relentlessly, by almost 80 million per year. China and India are planning to consume vastly more energy, in an attempt to bring a higher standard of living to their peoples. The world is now at the “tipping point,” where push has come to shove, and there is no longer sufficient oil to meet demand. The current global economic recession gave us a year or two of breathing space, in which demand for energy / oil temporarily decreased, but that brief respite is almost over, and the inexorable increase in human population and growth-based economics will soon lead to resource wars over oil.
It is my view that global nuclear war is just around the corner. It is my belief that world population will start to decline in the next year or two. The global powers will not simply wait for people to starve to death, as the world slips down the back side of Hubbert’s Curve. They will declare war, for whatever reason, in order to kill millions of people, and bring demand for oil into line with supply.
If you read Laura Knight-Jadczyk, you will know that World War II was simply a prelude of things to come.
Recently I visited relatives in Indianapolis, Indiana, and several of us visited the Indianapolis Musem of Modern Art. I did not realize that the original “LOVE” sculpture of Robert Indiana (LO (with the O canted sideways) over the letters VE), created in 1964, was located at that museum.
It is truly remarkable how someone can create something so stirring out of something so ordinary. On the 1 January 2010 edition of the NBC Today show, Indiana was featured, talking about the sculpture HOPE that he created in 2008. Robert Indiana’s creativity is impressive. Creativity is an amazing thing.
On the NBC Today television show of 28 January 2010, it was reported by Matt Lauer and Meredith Viera that the Dugger family had had their 19th child, born on December 10. The most amazing thing about this piece is that both Lauer and Viera were seemingly overjoyed at the event.
In former times, when large numbers of people were needed for “cannon fodder,” the desire for large families was understood. What is the purpose in today’s world of having 19 children? What is the cause for joy?
A local television station conducted an interview with former footballer Perry Tuttle, who lives in Charlotte, North Carolina. He has written a book entitled, What White People Want to Know about Black People, but Are Afraid to Ask. He appears to be a very pleasant person. If I get a chance, I will read his book.
Eugenics is alive and well in the United States. We have now imprisoned about one percent of our adult male population, and a much larger proportion of blacks, to keep them from breeding. Selective abortion is now practiced. Genetic modification is practiced.
Dr. Nancy Snyderman was on the NBC Today show on January 1, 2010, suggesting that fertility doctors implant no more than 2 embryos. Why should they implant any? Why should society bear the cost of any? It would appear equitable that the fertility doctors who implant embryos should be responsible for the care and upbringing of all babies resulting from their actions, just as the fathers of “natural” births are. The fertility industry is but one more example of the US government policy of “socialize the costs and privatize the benefits.” Fertility doctors reap large profits from their practice, and the rest of us are forced to provide (via taxes) for the babies that they create.
On the Today show edition of 29 January 2010, Dr. Andrew Wakefield, who has publicized a link between autism and certain vaccines, was criticized because he was paid for his research. Virtually all scientists are paid for their research, by organizations who hope profit from it.
The Christmas-Day Bomber (Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab) was allowed into the United States for money. He had absolutely no reason for coming here. He was granted a visa by the US government for no reason at all, other than his trip would generate business for the airlines and his visit would generate money for the US economy. We did not need Abdulmutallab in the United States. We did not need him here, because we do not need to generate additional planet-destroying economic activity. We do not need any Nigerians in this country, for any reason.
This month’s issue of Vanity Fair Magazine features a cover with nine young ladies on it – nine new Hollywood starlets. Every one of the celebrities is white. In response to the cover, Yahoo!’s Shine posted an article decrying the lack of diversity of the Vanity Fair cover.
This is really ridiculous! Last week’s issue of Vanity Fair featured a cover that was 100 percent black – a nude picture of Tiger Woods. Do the people at Shine think that we should have a quota system, in which every cover has ten females, one of whom is black and one Hispanic and one Asian?
Subsequent to the Tiger Woods cover, not a peep was uttered about its lack of diversity. It seems that diversity is important only when it is a charge that can be levied against whites. The attitude with respect to diversity is similar to that for racism – only whites can be racist. Here follows an excerpt from my piece, “Only Whites Can Be Racist,” from Miscellany21.
“When the War in Iraq started, there was an initial outcry that blacks were dying in much greater proportions than whites. This was screamed loud and clear by the US news media. There were charges that the US government was taking unfair advantage of blacks, and using them as cannon fodder. But then closer study showed that it was in fact whites that were being killed in proportions much larger than their composition in the population. All of a sudden, the racial composition of Iraq War deaths became a non-issue. It was never discussed further in the news media. It was only an issue if a minority group was being put upon, not if the white majority was.
“The same thing happened recently with respect to Hurricane Katrina. It was initially reported that blacks had lost their property to a much greater extent than whites. Once again, the media made a big issue of this, and railed against the unfairness of it. But then, it was determined that in fact whites had suffered losses out of proportion to their representation in the New Orleans population. All of a sudden, this was, as in the case of the Iraq war deaths, a non-issue. It did not matter a whit if whites – the majority race – were suffering out of proportion to their numbers.
“Not too long ago, Mayor Ray Nagin of New Orleans expressed his vision that New Orleans would be rebuilt as a “chocolate” city. There was an initial criticism of his statement, but that was the end of it. Had a white politician made a similar statement, his political career would be over.
The US news media railed against apartheid until the white government of South Africa was destroyed. But the black government now in charge condones the continual slaughter of white farmers by blacks, and the US new media never utter a peep. It is appropriate to ask why the US news media continue to attack white culture, both in the US and abroad.”
One of my sons got caught up in the recent recession. When the recession began he lost his job (his firm moved operations overseas). Before long he lost his house, and eventually he lost his car.
With respect to the car, when he got three months behind in the payments, a reposessor retrieved the car. My son and his wife still owed $12,000 on the car. The bank promptly sold the car for $4,000, and has been hounding my son and his wife (and me!) for payment of the difference between the balance owed and what they sold the car for.
My son and his wife were very upset over what happened. The car was worth $12,000, and it was obvious that the bank sold it in a “sweetheart deal” at a ridiculously low price, to a friend. This was clearly a con job, and so my son and daughter-in-law refuse to pay the difference.
Yesterday morning on Yahoo! Finance was an article by Les Christie on this very subject, as it applied to home mortgages. It appears that many people are losing their homes to foreclosure and the banks are selling the homes at “fire sale” prices for less than they are worth and then demanding that the mortgagee pay the difference.
The current practice of repossessing a car or home and holding the consumer responsible for the complete debt is reprehensible. This is but one more example of the government’s siding with the banks and not the citizens. The system is set up so that the banks will never lose money – only the individual. The asset used for collateral should remain with the party that is responsible for the loan. If the collateral is confiscated, then the loan should be cancelled. The practice of confiscating cars and homes, selling them at “fire sale” prices, and demanding payment for the difference is criminal. Unfortunately for many, it is perfectly legal under our current system. This practice is enraging many people, and this system will not last much longer.
US society has morphed to one in which a large portion of the population is now enslaved to debt. This debt includes home mortgages, car loans and credit-card debt. For credit-card debt, in many instances, the consumers have paid the full cost of the items purchased, and the amount of the debt is interest and fees. This situation was dire before the recession began, but now that the recession is in full swing and many people are out of work it is catastrophic.
As I have written before, it is my view that the growth-based economic system of debt-based money and interest is destroying the biosphere. If it were up to me, I would outlaw charging of interest – at the very least, the charging of compound interest, an exponential process which enslaves people in debt very quickly. I would prohibit all adjustable-rate loans, such as a consumer loan for “no interest for a year,” or a home-mortgage with an adjustable rate or balloon payment. I would restrict consumer loans such as “lay-a-ways” and “time payments” to three months, and car loans to a year. Interest could be accrued only on the original balance, not on accrued interest (i.e., compounded) or on fees, penalties, or other charges. Interest charges cannot exceed the value of the loan.
Many in the American middle class are so deep in debt that they can never get out, without declaring bankruptcy. In 2005, the US government made this much harder to do. The quality of life for many Americans is extremely bad, and there are dim prospects for improvement. The government itself is quickly going bankrupt, and there is little hope for the future.
My wife used to work as a legal assistant to a very successful lawyer who specialized in subrogation – collecting debts for other people. He did this mainly by obtaining court orders (judgments) to attach the debtor’s income. This gentleman was a young man, in very good health. One day, he got a judgment served against a native American Indian. The man appeared in his office, demanding that the judgment be dropped. When the lawyer refused to do so, the Indian placed a curse on him, right in the office. My wife’s former boss promptly developed cancer of the throat and died. His wife fell asleep in the sun and died.
People who are hounded by debt collectors become very angry. Since the government has abandoned them, perhaps they should call on the (American) Indians to help them out.
Americans are very angry. Many of them are deep in debt and have no prospect for getting out of debt. The US government has abandoned the concept of a country of, by and for the people, and now works to generate massive wealth for the wealthy elite. The US government is allowing the country to be overrun by millions of alien invaders. The government persecutes its own citizens but provides social and economic services to the invaders – and birthright citizenship to their children. On average, every additional person in the US causes the destruction of one acre of natural land, in conversion to infrastructure to support him. The alien invaders are occupying our space, destroying our environment and culture, and killing more native-born Americans than soldiers who die in the war in Iraq. The government has now imprisoned about one percent of the adult male population. The primary role of the US government is now to operate an economic system that generates massive wealth for the wealthy elite, transfers wealth from the middle class to the wealthy, and forces the middle class to cover risky financial transactions when they go bad. The government serves as a debt collector for the moneylenders – using taxes from the very taxpayers it prosecutes. Its policies of mass immigration, massive international trade and open borders have destroyed our security. Its policies of allowing unbacked derivatives and NINJA mortgages that banks could “flip” to Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac have caused a global financial crisis and the worst recession since the Great Depression. It encouraged banks to take incredible risks, such as issuing unbacked derivatives and home-mortgage loans that could never be repaid, and then requiring the taxpayer to cover the loss when these ridiculous bets went bad. Its financial policies are sinking the country deep in debt and causing a massive devaluation of our money. The US government operates a system of socializing the costs and privatizing the benefits, such as granting sports franchises to the wealthy and forcing the taxpayer to pay for expensive sports stadiums, or using taxpayer money to fund the development of new drugs and then granting patents to the medical establishment to profit from them. The US system of growth-based economics (debt-based money and interest) is causing never-ending industrial development that is destroying the biosphere.
The US government’s policy of mass immigration has exploded the country’s population, destroying the quality of life for all native-born citizens and making the energy crisis far worse than it would have been. Americans are uncertain of the future and do not trust the government, which has betrayed them by allowing the country to be overrun by aliens, by instituting policies that transfer the product of their labor to the rich and enslave them in debt, and send many of them to prison. In the face of this government repression, many US citizens have armed themselves with guns and ammunition. There are increasing reports that the US government is making contingency plans for suppressing large-scale civil insurrections. Revolutions happen when people are suppressed and see no way that those in charge can fix things. Things are now worse than I have ever seen them, in my 67 years. America is fast approaching the point of revolution. There really is no hope for the future of industrial society, since we are now passing the point at which global oil production starts to decline (Hubbert’s Curve, Hubbert’s Peak). I believe that the first major insurrections will occur this year.
In my view, armed uprisings will happen very soon. When they do, the US government will suppress them with brutal force. Armed with the Patriot Act, the situation will be reminiscent of Jack London’s The Iron Heel (Penguin Books, 2006; originally published by Macmillan in 1908).
Yesterday, 4 February 2010, the US stock market dropped sharply, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) falling briefly below 10,000 points. In my view, the stock market, despite a substantial decline in the last couple of years, is still considerably overpriced. Price-to-earnings ratios are still very high – 20 to 30, compared to a long-term historical average of about 15.
Stock prices have been grossly inflated in recent years not because firms’ earnings were increasing, but simply because demand for stocks was increasing – the increase had nothing to do with intrinsic value (as represented by earnings). Many Americans had been given some control over how their pension plans were invested, and many more had entered the market either to invest retirement wealth or simply to gamble. People were buying stocks simply because it was easy to do. The price of stocks became inflated simply because of increased demand for them, not because the earnings of the firms they represented were increasing.
Relative to earnings, stock prices are still substantially overvalued. As the recession continues, more and more people will take money out of the stock market, both because it now offers low long-term returns and because they need the money. The demand for stocks is falling, and the price of stocks will continue to fall. It is my belief that the stock market will soon crash, at least to levels corresponding to price-to-earnings levels of 15, and possibly (probably?) less. This would mean that the DJIA would drop from its current level of about 10,000 down to about 7,000, and perhaps to 5,000.
This opinion is based solely on the value of a single “fundamental,” viz., the average price-to-earnings ratio for the market, not on “technical” analysis such as consideration of the level of prices. The change in the price of an individual stock will depend on many additional factors. In the stock market (or any other market), the price is determined by price and demand. Although the returns on stocks (either through unfounded appreciation or earnings) are now low, the main issue in deciding whether to remain in the stock market is what are the alternatives for keeping your money (in terms of risk and return). Many people like to keep their money in a way that earns at least the rate of inflation. I have some money in a Bank of America savings account, and last year it earned $36 on $25,000 -- .1 percent return! Taking into account inflation, which is about three percent per year (as measured by the consumer price index), this money actually lost about three percent of its value last year. Last year the stock market did much better or much worse than this, depending on whether you got in and got out. Many people may tire of the wild fluctuations (up to 30 percent up and down in a year) in the stock market (“volatility”) and its heavy investment in manufacturing, or may decide that it is not a good hedge against inflation in the long run, and may switch to other investments or stores, such low-cost rental housing, loans to friends and family members, precious metals such as gold or silver, or even other commodities, such as oil or coffee. The fundamental theorem of finance says that it is not possible to find an investment having a higher return unless the risk is also higher. At the present time, it appears that the stock market offers a relatively poor return for a relatively high level of risk, and it would seem that people will move away from it to investments or stores that offer better performance on one or both of these factors. As this happens, stock prices will fall even lower (because overall demand is shrinking), and this will accelerate the collapse of the market. At some point, even the government’s intervention in the market (e.g., the “Plunge Protection Team”) will fail to save it.
I was in the airport a short time ago, and noticed that almost everyone was wearing denim blue jeans. I have two pairs of blue jeans, which I purchased perhaps 30 years ago (or before). I use them only to work on my car, and at my present age of 67 I do very little of this. They get washed maybe once every ten years.
Why do I not wear blue jeans, the same as everyone else? When I was a boy of age 11 or 12 (eighth grade, as I recall), when all of my friends were wearing blue jeans, I asked my parents for some, too. They obliged. I wore them almost all the time. One day, I asked my father why he did not wear blue jeans – he never even owned a pair. He responded to me, rather indifferently, that “They’re farmers’ pants.” That said it all. In his youth, a mass migration was taking place from the farm to the city. He had been raised in the city (Belleville, Ontario, Canada), and had no interest in being identified with the country.
When I became an adult, it seemed that I wore blue jeans less and less, to the point where, as I said, I used them only when I was working on the car. I guess that I “grew up” and “put away childish things.” To this day, whenever I see someone in blue jeans, I think to myself, “Farmer’s pants.” It is amazing the influence that your parents have on your attitudes and opinions. It would appear that you cannot escape your culture.