A Giant Ponzi Scheme

Why is it that in order to make a living, you must waste fuel idling in traffic? Why do we waste precious resources producing things totally unnecessary and sometimes harmful to our own health. Is there a rational reason why our economy produces and distributes junk food? Instead of producing healthy food, we use our scarce, depleted land, and draw mega-gallons of the water rom our ever-shrinking aquifer.to make junk food. Why must we squander our land, water, and energy to produce and consume useless crap.

Western economic model.
It’s a living

We go about our daily routine. We get up; go to work and complain about traffic. Sometimes, we like our jobs, sometimes we hate them. We sit in traffic coming home.  Not that we like it, but many of us are comfortably miserable with this daily grind.  Of course,  we complain, but do we have a choice? Got to make a living!  It’s a job.  We have dinner – if we have time, it’ll be homemade, but often it’s precooked, frozen and microwavable. Then a little TV,  followed by some restless sleep.  Morning: and the routine repeats itself  – day after day.  People are creatures of habit. We accept it and get used to it.

We don’t think much about how what we do affects our world. We  just live as everybody lives. It’s always been like that, and always will be.  Right? 

We watch the news.  At last, the economy is recovering,  more jobs are available and unemployment is decreasing.  Hooray, we can afford to buy more stuff.

Some of us watch the History Channel – Mystery of the Lost Civilizations . Cool stuff!  Of course,  it could never  happen to us. We are smarter and know a lot more than these ancient civilizations. We are here to stay

Yes, finally, we can afford it; it’s time to go shopping. We are surrounded by wondrous shopping malls, and more are being built all the time. Life is good.

Rarely do we think where the stuff comes from or what becomes of all that garbage we take out every day. It’s simple: the truck comes and takes it away.

Apparently we have the mentality of a Thanksgiving Turkey!

Consumption may be a two way street
Consumption may be a two way street

Dead end!

 

Ignoring the environment
Jobs at any cost?

Researchers at one of the world’s leading think tanks have developed a computer model that predicts serious implications for our way of life as a result of our incessant need to consume resources like oil, food, and fresh water. According to a team of scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the breaking point will come no later than 2030, and when it does, we can expect a paradigm shift unlike any we have seen before in human history – one that will not only collapse the economies of the world, but will cause food and energy production to decrease so significantly that it will lead to the deaths of hundreds of millions of people in the process.” A renowned Australian research scientist says a study from researchers at MIT claiming the world could suffer from a “global economic collapse” and “precipitous population decline” if people continue to consume the world’s resources at the current pace is still on track, nearly 40 years after it was first producedhttp://news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow/next-great-depression-mit-researchers-predict-global-economic-190352944.html

A giant Ponzi scheme.

GENEVA (Reuters) – The global jobless queue will stretch to more than 200 million people this year, the International Labour Organization said in its annual report on Tuesday, repeating a warning it has made at the start of each of the last six years. http://news.yahoo.com/global-jobless-hit-record-200-million-ilo-230617257–business.html

Wasting the planet
Making a living?

Question: What do we need to live and be happy?  Answer:  We need food, water, a place to live,  fellow human beings, family, friends and a livable climate.  Additionally in order to have fulfilled lives, we need to do something that we love, whether it be growing a garden, reading a book, appreciating a painting or traveling the world.  Doing keeps us alive.

Our society, our way of life, our economic model are all in trouble. A portion the world’s population is experiencing food and water shortages. We are dependent upon non-renewable energy sources.  Human population grows , resources decline, and now climate change is upon us.

Why is it that in order to make a living, you must waste fuel idling  in traffic?  Why do we waste precious resources producing things totally unnecessary and sometimes harmful to our own health.   Is there a rational reason why our economy produces and distributes junk food? Instead of producing healthy food, we use our scarce, depleted land, and draw mega-gallons of the water  from our ever-shrinking aquifer.to make junk food. Why must we squander our land, water, and energy to produce and consume useless crap. 

We are busy, so busy that there is little time to enjoy our family and  friends. Is the really the way to go? Do you really need all this stuff?  How can this be?  Why do we need to make and consume more and more in order to “make a living”? 

The answer is simple : Our Western economic model is a Ponzi scheme, a pyramid scheme.

 

Scorched Earth economy
Coal mining in Appalachia.

Ponzi scheme: A fraudulent moneymaking scheme in which people are recruited to make payments to others above them in a hierarchy while expecting to receive payments from people recruited below them. Eventually the number of new recruits fails to sustain the payment structure, and the scheme collapses with most people losing the money they paid in.” http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Ponzi+scheme

The  Western World’s Ponzi economy: in order to sustain itself for itself, it must have consumers with insatiable appetites, and  those appetites must be continually stimulated by producing more goods. Thus using more limited resources. Of course, the scheme must and will collapse when resources are not available. No resources equals no goods which equals no consumers and thus no economy … game over! Countries around the world are rushing to adopt and implement this Western economic model. They are happily joining the crowd running toward the cliff.

Farmland is shrinking
Food crisis

Food and land shortages are growing. Arable land and food production are intrinsically locked together. Land suitable for food production is declining every year. The implications of a food crisis are closely linked to another issue that has the potential to further threaten global food security.  Building more factories and cities turns potential life giving crop land into concrete.  That concrete may result in stronger GDP numbers, but the urbanization, rising disposable income and population growth contributes to rising demand for food. “Up to 30 million hectares of farmland are lost annually due to environmental degradation, conversion to industrial use or urbanization,”notes Olivier De Schutter, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food in a report. China is one of the best examples of this. The country’s population is set to level out slightly by the middle of the century, but its accelerating economic expansion is increasingly destabilizing the food balance.” http://www.sott.net/article/255795-Why-Chinas-explosive-economic-growth-could-trigger-a-global-food-crisis

An infinitely growing economy is dependent on an infinitely growing population, a population that is already placing inordinate burdens on the finite resources of a finite planet. Unrestrained growth, like any cancer, will kill us, and it could happen quicker than we think. It’s time we seriously think about these problems, and seek solutions.  We are heading towards catastrophe, an inevitable catastrophe, unless we humans recognize the problem and change our waysOur future is ours to build or to destroy.

Defending our freedom!

“For every fatal shooting, there were roughly three non-fatal shootings. And, folks, this is unacceptable in America. It’s just unacceptable. And we’re going to do something about it.” George W. Bush.

Gun control laws.
Great communicator
Gun violence in America
Can we shoot straight?

“For every fatal shooting, there were roughly three non-fatal shootings. And, folks, this is unacceptable in America. It’s just unacceptable. And we’re going to do something about it.” George W. Bush.

I totally agree with our greatest leader of all times! How can we protect our freedom and our children if we cannot shoot straight? It is unacceptable. W. is the man! He is a better communicator than any of us, horses!

An Assault Weapon Owner’s Embarrassing Confession

So why the hell do I have this thing? Why the hell do thousands of people possess this type of weapon? And most of all, why are people raving and screaming that it is their constitutional and God-given right to keep weapons that by definition are designed to cause bodily injury to another?

Over two months have passed, and I have contributed zip, nada, zero to Democracyinactionblog.com. No raves, no rants, no rhetoric . . . simply nothing. Why? Political exhaustion took its toll.

Mae West famously stated, “Too much of a good thing is wonderful.”  Well, Mae, sometimes it ain’t so.  My love and my passion for politics were satiated. I OD’d on MSNBC, Nate Silver, and Move On.  My inbox overflows with unread emails from Barack Obama.  I have had enough, more than enough.

Then, on Dec. 14, 2012, in Newtown, CT, 20 little kids were slaughtered.  I couldn’t write a goddamn word.  What could I say?  Besides, everyone was talking, most with compassion and some with stupidity.  What could Matt add?

Hurts the Heart
Hurts the Heart

Not a day goes by that that indelible scene of little children holding each other’s hands being led out of their elementary school does not bubble to the surface of my mind, causing my heart to ache.  This may be pompous, but now I believe this old guy might be able to add a little personal insight into the unending gun-rights debate.   So, I will add my insignificant but heartfelt thoughts in two parts.   In a few days l, as a veteran teacher, will comment on the myriad of suggestions for school safety, but first I need to speak, ashamedly, as an assault weapon owner.

I am a dad and I am a grandpa who loves his grandchildren beyond description. A dear friend of mine along with his brother, nephew and three employees were shot to death in a workplace attack nine years ago.  As a deer hunter, I own three high-powered hunting rifles.  I possess a 12-gauge shotgun to dispatch insatiable squirrels intent on destroying our Wisconsin cabin.  I have several handguns which were purchased for protection when I needed to respond to alarms at my workplace late at night and when I truly feel threatened and 911 is not an option.  AND I OWN AN ASSAULT WEAPON.

Ashamedly Mine
Ashamedly Mine

Mine is a Soviet-designed, Chinese-made military weapon.  The SKS is the predecessor of the infamous AK47 assault rifle.  My SKS chambers the same ammunition as an AK47 and is likewise a semi-automatic, rapid-fire weapon.  It is quickly loaded and reloaded using stripper clips holding ten 7.62X39-mm cartridges, but it can easily be retrofitted with a high-capacity magazine.  This weapon is designed for assault.

Stripper Clip-  For Qucik and Easy Loading
Stripper Clip- For Quick
and Easy Loading

as·sault

n.1. A violent physical or verbal attack.

2. a. A military attack, such as one launched against a fortified area or place.

    b. The concluding stage of an attack in which close combat occurs with the enemy.

3. Law a. An unlawful threat or attempt to do bodily injury to another.

                b. The act or an instance of unlawfully threatening or attempting to injure another.

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/assault

This is an attack weapon, not a hunting weapon, not a weapon for defense.  It is designed to attack.  It was purchased at the Lake County Gun Show 20 or so years ago.  Its price was 60 bucks.  I was asked no questions nor required to fill out any forms.  I do possess a Fire Arms Identification Card, but if I didn’t have one, I could have had a friend buy the gun.  It was an impulse buy, stupid and easy.

Ready For Massacre
Ready For Massacre

So why the hell do I have this thing? Why the hell do thousands of people possess this type of weapon? And most of all, why are people raving and screaming that it is their constitutional and God-given right to keep weapons that by definition are designed to cause bodily injury to another?

My answer is: Blame Ralphie. If you don’t recall, Ralphie was the little kid who, even though it might shoot his eye out, yearned for a Red Ryder BB rifle in Christmas Story.  Ralphie needed a BB rifle no more than I needed an SKS.  Virtually no civilian needs an assault weapon.  An SKS may be more deadly, but like Ralphie’s BB rifle, it is a toy, an empowering, addictive toy.  Like alcohol or cocaine, weaponry provides the possessor with real or imagined power.  To pull the trigger on a high-powered weapon, and have it launch a metal-jacketed projectile hundreds of yards away where it tears objects to shreds, is for many otherwise normal men and sometimes women magical and almost mystical.  Having a 9mm Glock handgun under one’s coat is intoxicating.  Its purpose: more likely to puff up than protect.  It’s gotta be fun to imagine yourself a potential super-hero. It’s a trip. A trip you don’t want to cancel.

It'll Shoot Your Eye Out
It’ll Shoot Your Eye Out

I have had dozens of visitors to my farm shoot that SKS–professional people, liberal people, non-violent people–and the vast majority of them smile and can’t wait to reload.  It’s literally a blast.  We all laugh at the command, “Let’s go blow some shit up.”

A neighbor once came over and brought with him a single-shot, 50-cal sniper rifle. This thing is about five feet long and fires a bullet 1/2 inch in diameter. Its almost 6-inch-long cartridges cost about 10 bucks apiece.  The rifle itself costs in excess of $2,500. It can kill a man over a mile away, and unless one is in a war, it has no sensible use whatsoever.  Yet my unwarlike buddies and I yearned for the chance to put on the ear-protectors and fire this thing at a concrete wall 400 yards away.  Crazy, ridiculous, nuts and euphoric.  (This is embarrassing.)

Only 2500 and It'll Get em at 2000 yds
Only 2500 and It’ll Get em at 2000 yds

People simply don’t want to give up stuff that makes them feel good.   Those of you who have dieted, quit smoking or left a casino because you were out of chips know that feeling.  Most people stop using drugs or abusing alcohol neither from preaching nor from prohibitive laws, but rather when their lives or the lives of others fall apart.

Lives fell apart in Newtown.

For me, the slaughter of 20 little children by a madman has forever taken any possible joy out of firing that SKS of mine.  I will be turning it over to the Wilmette police this week.

Some toys are just not worth the cost. I can only hope that others feel the same way.

Yoga Program in Physical Education.

Parents of Encinitas Union School District in southern California have slammed the district’s twice-a-week yoga program, accusing it of religious indoctrination, the North County Times reports.

 

Yoga classes
Yoga for kids.

“A system of exercises practiced as part of this discipline to promote control of the body and mind.” http://www.thefreedictionary.com/yoga

“A system of exercises for attaining bodily or mental control and well-being”
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/yoga
Parents of Encinitas Union School District in southern California have slammed the district’s twice-a-week yoga program, accusing it of religious indoctrination, the North County Times reports.

Yoga
See? Just like Muslim Terrorists!

I totally agree. What we really need is prayer. Prayer in schools will protect our children from Hindu indoctrination by sneaky manipulation of our kids with yoga practice. If we don’t nip it in the bud these Hindu Yoga sympathizers will install the Hindu Sharia law in America.

The danger of growing ignorance in America
Ignorance

“The entirety of democracy in the United States is based upon a principle that has become increasingly flawed: the concept of “the wisdom of the masses.” According to Cornell University psychologist David Dunning, Americans are so ignorant that they are not even aware of their own ignorance, and are also unable to determine the ignorance of elected officials. If we do not address this problem soon, the ignorance of our countrymen will become our greatest threat to national security.”

“….the growth of ignorance is becoming more and more important with each successive year. Americans are laughably ignorant of the world outside of our own personal bubbles, and eventually that lack of knowledge will lead to our downfall.” http://cornellinsider.com/2012/11/04/the-perils-of-the-ignorant-american/

U.S. Lags Peers in Life Expectancy

Americans die younger and have more illnesses and accidents on average than people in other high-income countries—even wealthier, insured, college-educated Americans, a report said Wednesday.

America the sick nation
Free to be sick

“Americans die younger and have more illnesses and accidents on average than people in other high-income countries—even wealthier, insured, college-educated Americans, a report said Wednesday.
The study by the federally sponsored National Research Council and Institute of Medicine found the U.S. near the bottom of 17 affluent countries for life expectancy, with high rates of obesity and diabetes, heart disease, chronic lung disease and arthritis, as well as infant mortality, injuries, homicides, teen pregnancy, drug deaths and sexually transmitted diseases.
“The [U.S.] health disadvantage is pervasive it affects all age groups up to age 75 and is observed for multiple diseases, biological and behavioral risk factors, and injuries,” said the report’s authors, who are public-health and medicine academics recruited by the government panels.”
http://finance.yahoo.com/news/u-lags-peers-life-expectancy-021000978.html

We real patriots believe that this black Kenian Muslim President of ours will  makes us sick in order to make us accept Obamacare.  His wants to become a socialist Marxist dictator for life and he will take our freedom and our guns.

Exceptional American
Our Hero

Those guns are are last defense… we need more guns to defend ourselves from those terrorist Muslim bacteria and viruses. We need to defend our freedom from all this doctors who want to force their way of “healthy” living on us. This “healthy” stuff is for liberals, not for real Americans.

We are more exceptional and fatter than any other nation,  and if you disagree, we have guns to prove it.

Larry the cable guy, Joe the plumber and Rambo are our heroes. And these liberal professors and scientists can kiss our exceptionally fat asses.

Don’t bite the hand that feeds you. You may need that hand one day.

AIG is suing the US Government (taxpayers) for saving its ass. This omnipotent company now states that you, the taxpayer, prevented it (AIG) from committing suicide. So now it has to continue to rob its customers (taxpayers) because that is the only way it operates Result: the taxpayer bears full responsibility for being cheated and that is why AIG is suing its customers (the taxpayer) for being cheated by AIG. This is exquisite logic that only us, horses can understand.

AIG bailout
Daily wisdom

 

AIG is suing the taxpayers for saving it.
AIG response: Thanks for saving our asses.

AIG is suing the US Government (taxpayers) for saving its ass. This omnipotent company now states that you, the taxpayer,  prevented it (AIG) from committing suicide. So now it has to continue to rob its customers (taxpayers) because that is the only way it operates Result: the taxpayer bears full responsibility for being cheated and that is why AIG is suing its customers (the taxpayer) for being cheated by AIG. This is exquisite logic that only us, horses can understand.

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/borowitzreport/2013/01/a-letter-from-aig.html?mbid=nl_Borowitz%20(68)

Happy New Year!

Another year passed.
One cannot help guessing about what lies ahead.
I have mixed feelings
Sadness
Another year passed.
How many left?

What this year will bring?
Year 2013.

Another year passed.

One cannot help guessing about what lies ahead.

I have mixed feelings

Sadness

Another year passed.

How many left?

Coices we make
Life is an adventure

Thankfully the future is unknown.

An adventure.

Don’t we love the adventure?

But I sense fear.

Fear envelopes our country.

Fear of the future.

Fear of the unknown

Happy New Year
Fear of the unknown

A poisonous fog of fear is creeping up in the soul of America.

A self fulfilling prophecy.

And life is not an adventure anymore

Just a nostalgic longing for “good old times”

But one cannot reverse the flow if time.

The future scares some.

Yet some welcome the future and are exited by an adventure life brings.

And life welcomes those who welcomes life’s unpredictability.

We make choices.
Tree of life

Those who know that the future is what we make of it

Dear friends.

Happy New Year!

There will be bumps on the road

And turns and twists.

So hold on and enjoy the ride!

Just don’t miss your turn.