Sunday, December 11, 2016

Sideshows

“If we broke up the big banks tomorrow, would that end racism? Would that end sexism? Would that end discrimination against the LGBT community?” (Hillary Clinton)




The single most important step "we" as citizens can take is to reclaim national monetary sovereignty from the "big banks" and their political lackeys like the has-been hack Hillary Clinton. So-called racism, sexism and the plight of the perverse are sideshow issues drummed up to distract the dumbed-down from the single issue upon which all others depend: national monetary sovereignty.

As Henry Kissinger put it so succinctly: "If you control the oil, you control entire nations; if you control the food, you control the people; if you control the money, you control the entire world."

For over a century, the monetary sovereignty of the United States of America has been and remains controlled by a cabal of private and international banking interests in collusion with a group of US banks--the "big banks" that so generously funded the Clinton campaigns--that act in their own interests and against those of the citizens of the nation from which they exact their pound and more of flesh in terms of profits earned from intangible money manipulation. To keep the citizenry's attention focused elsewhere, the sideshow issues are funded and promoted in the captive mass media. 

It's easy to play to emotions: Jo-Jo the Dog-Faced Boy will fill the tent far faster than Professor Fact-Finder.  A child indoctrinated from pre-school on "issues" that are in fact social engineering disguised as "social justice" initiatives playing directly to emotions rather than intellect. When Jack is told by the gluten-free muffin dispenser dressed as an androgyne that he can be Jill tomorrow and anyone who says otherwise is Hitler, then told that Jack oppresses Jill, who must be empowered, particularly if Jill is a "POC", then a pattern is being set. When Jack/Jill is old enough to be told about the workings of finance (something that will NOT be taught at the "l'il red schoolhouse"), eyes will glaze over and the "Out to Lunch" sign appear when the subject is raised. Far away in the counting houses, palms are being rubbed with glee: Jack and Jill will be paying for that pail of water until they drop, all the while having their emotions played with the skill of Maria Kliegel on the cello. 


All subjective issues fade into insignificance when compared with national monetary sovereignty. Either a citizenry has charge of its financial and economic affairs or it remains if not infantilized at least in a state of perpetual adolescence with respect to the "grown-ups" who manage the society in which one lives. This management is designed to be centralized; the notion of subsidiarity is anathema to those who must control the nations and their resources, the people of the planet and the planet--the universe!--itself. Placing a society on the defensive with respect to its cultural and civilizational norms and traditions effectively diverts attention from the plundering going on while the perpetual adolescents hold their collective breath until they turn purple because...because...well, because!

We need to break up those big banks tomorrow! We need to take back control of our own affairs, financial, economic and otherwise, not by allowing a nanny state to supervise but rather by decentralizing government, adopting the Subsidiarity Principle to the greatest degree possible in a reasoned and measured transition, and to put on the back burner or better yet right off the stove the subjective concerns of special interest groups that play into the grasping hands of the plutocracy. 

There's no reason to believe this will happen, of course: Meatball doesn't work that way.

copyright R. Crumb



Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Sixteen Tons




Tennessee Ernie Ford: "Sixteen Tons"


While I wouldn't describe myself as tanned, rested and ready, I'm rested enough to consider myself ready to resume work: shoulder back to the wheel, nose to the grindstone and all that. Fit of pique passed, eyes clear, spirit restored.

The gentleman with the rich baritone singing the title song was Tennessee Ernie Ford, a star during my childhood. The song itself was his biggest hit, I believe. It was written and first recorded in 1946--the year of my birth--by country singer Merle Travis, but it became a nationwide number one hit in 1955 when Tennessee Ernie sang it.

"One fist of iron, the other of steel, if the right one don't get ya then the left one will". What nine-year-old boy could resist such lyrics? These days, the sad, pussified victims of Frankfurt-School-feminized fanatics, perhaps, but in 1955 the castrators were still stealthily sneaking their way into the schools, so boys were still boys and even if we had no idea what the hell Tennessee Ernie was talking about when he was telling St Peter about owing his soul to the "company store", we we were in full agreement that no "high-toned woman" was gonna make us "walk the line". Play it again, Sam!

Sixty one years later, more and more males are walking the line in a shuffling zombie swarm reminiscent of the overwrought but disturbing ending of the 1938 re-make of the 1919 black-and-white silent film classic J'Accuse!


And sixty one years later, the "company store" has been replaced by the banks and scrip by the credit card. Debt servitude may be less overt, less crude, but it is no less real than it was back in the days of the coal mine wars, dramatized in the 1987 film Matewan, among others.

 Matewan


Debt is deadly to the soul. Bondage to banks is avoidable, but not easily if one has little or no capital. The deck is stacked against those without the power to manipulate it, a power consigned by governments to a banking cartel that controls political discourse.  It is only the very self-disciplined and often self-denying soul that owes no one and owns itself. 

Subsidiarity, self-discipline and self-denial are linked concepts: each and all abhor excess. Using credit, i.e. taking on debt, for purposes of consumption is discouraged or outright avoided. Once upon a time in Christendom, any lending for purposes of consumption was considered usury, a topic that deserves a stand-alone essay; one is upcoming by year's end and the topic may require more than one. An understanding of usury both historically and in its contemporary connotation is fundamental in any education worthy of the name; unfortunately, ignorance of the topic abounds, even among the supposedly well-educated.

As time goes by and a regular writing rhythm is established, our hope here is that instruction about finance can be offered in a manner that is not so dry as to dry up interest in the topic. The Institute wishes to educate and then perhaps agitate, its efforts focused on small, localized and not overly ambitious government, the sort of familial self-reliance that is required for such a governmental system to function well, the providing of a succinct and sound  understanding of monetary systems, financial practices and manageable economies and how to put that understanding into practice. 

Overly ambitious? Probably, but nothing ventured, nothing gained.






Thursday, December 1, 2016

Zen

The "Institute", which when all is said and done is one person, is folding its tent. The founder (yours truly) recognizes that there is insufficient interest to merit sitting in front of a computer screen blabbing about matters that matter to nearly no one but himself. I have to face the fact that I'm a geezer who cherishes ideas that are no longer relevant to nearly anyone. I've been a Zen practitioner for about half a century, believe myself to be "enlightened" as to the nature of our existence in this worldly vale of tears and have concluded that in the words of the great prophet James Brown am "talking loud and sayin' nothin'·" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZkjo3mNmsA). Listen to the whole song, please.

Long ago, I was a drummer in an otherwise all black band. A white boy me, okay? I would have given my eye teeth to play behind James, but... Be that as it may, James was a genius, period, way beyond a minor talent like me. Now I'm an old guy, a geezer, a white guy who still enjoys this music, but has no illusions that it has much importance beyond entertainment and absolutely none that it truly represents a genuine contribution to the culture of the West. I taught myself to dance well to this music and the ladies liked that. Hey! But I'm still a white guy, something I haven't forgotten.

I'm very, very tired of people who believe I should apologize for what white people have accomplished in advancing the well-being of everyone else.

Okay, that said, back to the purpose of this blog: monetary reform and sovereignty plus living with small government per the Subsidiarity Principle. Ah hah hah hah! Nobody cares! And you know what? Neither do I any more. In the words of a 1959 movie (English), "I'm alright, Jack". Yeah, sure, I have to sue to get the deed to the property I bought, sadly employing a lawyer (he's called "doctor" in spite of not having any sort of doctorate) who seems incompetent and is unresponsive to complaints, even so, in a nation (Argentina) without a secure system of law, I manage. That's it, people: manage and go forward, all the rest is jive. Got it? JIVE!

Work it out for yourselves: I quit. Best of luck! Thanks for reading the bla-bla.

It's all a question of recognizing that in this vale of tears, illusion reigns and your best bet is to recognize that and transcend it.





Sunday, November 27, 2016

Let Them Eat Legumes




Quite by accident I discovered another USDA nutritional program that is the real deal: http://www.fns.usda.gov/csfp/commodity-supplemental-food-program-csfp This is what should be substituted for SNAP cards and the trash purchased with them. The federal government takes "let them eat cake" literally when it comes to the SNAP folks.

Let's take a look at what the aged (60+) poor are provided with as subsidy items: http://www.fns.usda.gov/sites/default/files/csfp/CSFP-Foods-Available.pdf . 

These are foods that the recipient prepares, as in cooks. Is this program costly to the taxpayer compared with the 6.6 billion dollars provided for the 2011 SNAP program? You decide: Congress appropriated 202. 682 million dollars for the Commodity Supplemental Food Program! What´s more, the program isn't even available in all states: Alabama, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Virginia and West Virginia aren't elderly-poor-friendly states. Priorities are sadly misplaced. A local food bank would almost certainly provide a program better suited to the elderly and everyone else, although the subsidized might complain that the gifts come with too much "work" attached. In the days before food stamps and now SNAP cards, however, this was the way "food welfare" worked. Handouts may have been a bitter pill to swallow for the unfortunate who needed to resort to them, but at least they required effort to prepare.

Having just returned from pruning tomato plants with a little unexpected "assistance" from my 2 1/2 year old grandson wielding scissors with an enthusiastic gleam in his eyes, I have little sympathy for the SNAP beneficiaries. Sounds cruel, eh? I'll revise it: I have no sympathy for them. Sadly, too many people are being subsidized in a manner that will only make them more and more dependent upon unsustainable programs that produce a citizenry that is defenseless against hardship.  

You Can Lead a Horse to Water...






The US federal government has taken over the feeding of folks in a big way, spending a staggering sum of taxpayer funds on SNAP cards and "food education", school meal programs and then "health care" costs to remedy the maladies brought about by the poor diets consumed by those who live their thoughtless lives relying upon funds forcibly extracted from others.

A November 2016 Nutrition Assistance Program Report of the US Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) using five year old data demonstrates the futility of such federally-funded foolishness. The report is entitled "Foods Typically Purchased by SNAP Households" and the data gathered is stomach-turning but well worth reading: http://www.fns.usda.gov/sites/default/files/ops/SNAPFoodsTypicallyPurchased.pdf

If after reading this anyone still believes that the federal government--any central government--has any business involving itself in feeding the populace, there is no point in that person reading any further here.


It isn't likely fish the SNAP card folks are eating, unless it's part of a microwave meal or tinned tuna: fish doesn't figure on the list of commodities. In fact, the number one expenditure ($357, 700,000) was for soft drinks!! As if that weren't bad enough, we also see nearly 200 million dollars spent on "bag snacks" and 96 million and change on "candy-packaged"! Bottled water ranks 18th in terms of total expenditure, while fresh vegetables don't make the top-100 list, although potatoes do come in 40th in the standings. Prepared foods far outweigh fresh foods by category. Conclusion: preaching subsidiarity and self-reliance is equivalent to the sound of the tree that falls in the forest when no one is there to hear it.

The report makes for dull reading, so perhaps it might make more sense to refer the reader to a "prepared-food" style synopsis, a "media microwave meal" that's easier to digest: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-11-23/look-how-much-junk-food-bought-taxpayer-funded-food-stamps. It was through that site that I learned of the report, so credit where credit is due.

It is no exaggeration to state that this report was among the most depressing documents that I have read in a long time, and I read a great deal. I leave it to you whether or not to read the entire report, but a perusal of the Zero Hedge article is certainly worthwhile.

Time to reflect upon whether or not I should continue with this project, given that social trends clearly do not favor subsidiarity as a subliminal--much less open--desire of the citizenry. Time for a serving of humble pie and picking some plums from the orchard and gathering the vegetables for today's meals to be washed down with water from the tap.

Chop water, carry wood.



Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Slowing Down the Pace

The Institute bit off more than it could chew when claiming there'd be a post every day.

We are slowing down the pace a bit, but hope you will return frequently to see if we've picked it up again!





Monday, November 21, 2016

One-Room Schoolhouse Redux!




The factory system applied to public education is counter-productive, not to mention soul-deadening. The vast educational bureaucracy is impersonal, dreadfully wasteful of human and economic resources and standardized to an absurd degree. It is meant to turn out interchangeable human widgets, not individuals who think for themselves and has proven quite successful in this respect right up to university-level. The Subsidiarity Principle needs to be employed in education!

Public education on a large scale is a relatively recent phenomenon. In the West, the "factory model" even more so, dating back some 200 years with a forerunner in Prussia in the late 18th century. Nevertheless, as a widespread system, factory-style schooling  is more a 20th century phenomenon, particularly in the USA. Could be it's time to turn back the clock and shut down or drastically alter the "edufactories".

Public schooling is all well and good, but it doesn't need centralized planning, compartmentalization and massification. The Institute favors reading over mixed-media learning and isn't intended for those who favor the latter. Therefore, we offer up this wonderfully instructive 94 page tome for your perusal: http://history.sd.gov/Museum/education/One-RoomSchoolhouse.pdf . It's hard to imagine a child who wouldn't benefit from schooling of this sort when compared with the "bells and cells" factory-style schools of the 20th century and particularly the post-WW II period.

As stated in an Infogalactic entry: "The key characteristics of factory model education are top-down management, separation from the community, emphasis on management, centralized planning, standardization, outcomes designed to meet societal needs, and efficiency in producing results. [emphasis added]". The entire entry (https://infogalactic.com/info/Factory_model_school) is worth reading. These dreadful facilities are in fact meant more for social engineering than for education or even simple academic instruction.


Homeschooling is frequently the only alternative to the institutionalized, taxpayer-funded flesh-drone factory replete with unionized, pension-awaiting time-servers droning on in front of an audience of techno-lobotomized "learners". The outnumbered educators who are dedicated, well-prepared and committed are wasted in such an environment, given that in a more community-based school they would be effective in their vocation, because for them, teaching is a vocation, not a "job" down at the factory. 
 
Communities could, however, develop other options, but often face legal challenges if they wish to do so. The State rarely lets its subjects simply slip away. In the village in which the Institute is housed, a group of parents wanted to introduce a Waldorf-style preschool that would "compete" with the factory-prep preschool. The educational "authorities" informed them that if their children did not attend the "official" and obligatory preschool (beginning at age four), they would be prohibited from entering the system until they had completed the requisite time in the "official" child receptacle. If one can afford it, the factory can be avoided and children educated as human beings rather than grist for the labor market mill or occupants of a low-security day care facility for the ineducable.

An unpleasant truth that few care to admit is that the percentage of "students" whose "education" provides them with any genuine benefit other than free meals is far higher than the bureaucracy and even parents are willing to face. But what are we to do with them? This is where community-based educational programs could be very effective, assuming they recognize the hard truths of reality. 

It's simple, really, the more self-governance, the more local sovereignty, the greater the potential for community solidarity.