Monday, February 9, 2009

Bullshit Economics

All our lives, the most repeated statement regarding economics is that "it's all about supply and demand", which on the surface, seems quite agreeable with common sense. It is reasonable that if the supply of a particular commodity is low and demand for it is high, then one would expect to pay a premium for that commodity. Likewise, the inverse, there being a more than adequate supply of a commodity and not much of a demand for it, would not require a premium and be less expensive.
Many would perhaps think that an 'ole farmer wouldn't be much more versed than the above regarding this subject. But, I am here to say "bullshit!" I realize, of course, that "the shit I know, is all I know" however, I do know some stuff and I will share some with you in this post:
(1) I know that our economy has evolved into a consumerist pig trough enabled by available credit.
(2) I know that the flow of credit is, at best, stagnant and that we are collectively 10s of trillions of dollars in debt.
(3) I know that we are allocating several more trillions of dollars in an attempt to revive the very same debt based consumerism that recently blew up in our face.
An 'ole farmer need not go much further in knowledge to recognize what is happening with our economy makes no sense what so ever. It's like having stuck a finger in the garbage disposal,then going to the ER and having it sewn back on, so as to stick it in the disposal again. It's hard to believe that these congress folk with Harvard degrees don't know the problem lies in the false premise that an economic system can develop on the basis of debt. Isn't that something like a multilevel marketing scam, or one of those ponzi schemes in the news lately? So, I thought I'd Look into it a bit.
Seems as though since at least 1864 we have been operating on a Debt based banking system. Well, hell, that's our real problem right there. Who's stupid idea was it to allow banks to loan more money than they actually have- theirs, I'm sure. But, how is it possible for a bunch of 'ole farmers to agree to allow such non-sense as the basis of a national economic system. I'll tell you, confusion and deception. Deception is evil.
Almost a hundred years back a bill passed in the senate called "the Federal Reserve Act of 1913" seems as though most folks in the senate were deceived by thinking business was put on hold 'till after vacation. When they returned, they found that technically , the session had not been officially closed, and that a handful of senators unanimously passed a bill into law, effectively giving control of the nation's monetary system to a bank. This bank named itself the Federal Reserve Bank; further deception so as the 'ole farmers would associate the word Federal with Government- so for almost a hundred years, most all the people have assumed the Federal Reserve is a government entity. It is not. It is a private,for profit bank with shareholders and all that good stuff. Further deception is added by the President appointing two folks to the Board of the Federal Reserve. The thing is, however, there are seven members on the Board, thus making the nation out numbered by the stock holders.
Here is a farmer's version of how our monetary system works, and keep in mind whatever faction controls the system, ultimately, controls the economy:
Our government needs money to operate. We get this money by issuing bonds and selling them. These bonds are backed by only our good word that we will honor the debt, the full faith and credit of the United States. So, we sell them to other countries and private factions. When we need money fast, or there is not enough market for the amount of money needed, we sell bonds to the Federal Reserve Bank. The Federal Reserve Bank pays for the bonds with nothing more than an "entry" into the books- with their full faith and credit. They then are allowed to loan back to our government 10 times the face value of the bond which they purchased for nothing out of pocket, and the government pays this amount back with interest to boot! Thus the need for income tax on the people. This is so absurd that most folks can't even accept it as true, however, sadly enough, it is.
Here is what Representative Charles Lindberg said about the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 back in the day. "This Act establishes the most gigantic trust on earth. When the President signs this bill, the invisible government by the monetary power will be legalized. The people may not know it immediately, but the day of reckoning is only a few years removed...the worst legislative crime of the ages is perpetrated by this banking bill."
In the more recent past, Sen. Barry Goldwater said, "Most Americans have no real understanding of the operation of the international money lenders...the accounts of the Federal Reserve System have never been audited. It operates outside the control of congress and...manipulates the credit of the United States." Just recently we know that they won't even say "where the monies went or how it was spent" We as tax payers have allocated over 9 trillion dollars to "fix" the economic problem with only about 2 trillion voted on by congress or talked about- that leaves the remainder unaccounted for. I ask a simple question; Who is running this show? Certainly not congress, and certainly not 'ole farmers.
Most folks, even having knowledge of this slight of hand absurdity, come to the conclusion that there is not much to be done about it. However, as simple as the scam is, so too, the solution.
All that needs to happen to relieve our dire economic situation is to pay off the debt (bonds) with debt free notes that are printed by the U.S. Treasury rather than the Federal Reserve Bank. We need to abolish fractional reserve banking. As the debt is paid off, the reserve requirements of all banks and financial institutions would be raised proportionally at the same time, thereby curbing the resulting inflation from the influx of all the new money. Keep in mind, that at present, a bank only has to have 8 percent of the money on their books in reserve. Thus, we could pay off debt until banks had 100 percent reserve, without inflationary risk.
Of coarse, we would also need to repeal the "National Banking Act of 1864" and the "Federal Reserve Act of 1913", since they delegate the money power to a private banking monopoly - they must be repealed and the power be transferred back to the Department of Treasury as was under President Lincoln. Also, we should withdraw from participation in the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, as they operate along the same debt based ponsi scam.
So, it could all be that simple. I will leave it to the reader to surmise why this isn't debated or implemented.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

A Brief Introduction to Islam

This post is a farmer's attempt to aid in the understanding of a noble culture that has been misunderstood by the majority of Western society. Just as Christians study and follow scripture put forth in the Bible, likewise, Islam views the Quran as more than just a book. It provides millions of people with a way of life; the way of Islam. Written in Arabic and initially embraced by the Arabs it was not allowed translation until the 14th century. It is assessed by scholars that much of its endowment is corroded in the process of being translated, and thus, only those truly versed in Arabic can fully appreciate its splendor.

Muslims have a very authoritarian view of the Quran. To the Muslim, it is the revelation that ends revelation, the consummation of the profits' wisdom. It is the last scripture, and therefore, is complete in its requirements to Islam. The Quran is purely divine in the sense that Mohammad is its author. Mohammad, being a prophet, is infallible concerning prophecy.
The most outstanding characteristics of the Quran is the concern for human morality and the absolute supremacy of God. It is strongly monotheistic and depicts an unbending bough of justice. This idea of justice flows directly from the moral aspects of its content. It has unshakable concepts of right and wrong, and is taken by millions as the deciding authority on how to behave. I will use an English translation by A.J. Arberry in my endeavor to support the above statements and others which follow, concerning the idea of morality and social justice.

"Those who believe and do deeds of righteousness, and perform the prayer, and pay the alms - their wage awaits them with their Lord, and no fear shall be on them, neither shall they sorrow.

This passage also supports other important aspects of Islam, such as prayer, almsgiving, and the Day of Judgement. Another example of the precedence of justice and morality is presented in the following verse:

"O believers, be you securers of justice, witnesses for God, even though it be against yourselves, or your parents and kinsman, whether the man be rich or poor; God stands closest to either. Then follow not caprice, so as to swerve; for if you twist or turn, God is aware of the things you do."

Yet, here is another verse: "If you do good openly or in secret or pardon an evil, surely God is All-powerful." Here, "All-pardoning" suggests that if you do good, God will have mercy: "All-powerful" suggests God's absolutism, which is another very important aspect of the Quran.

To take an expedient approach in determining the underlying structure of the Quran, one need only recall the five pillars of Islam; (1) That there is only one God - Mohammed is the prophet of God, (2) prayer, (3) fasting, (4) almsgiving, and (5) the journey to Mecca. Numerous examples can be found in support of these, but for the sake of the reader, I will cite only a few

(1) That there is only one God, and Mohammad is His prophet:

"O mankind, I am the Messenger of God to you all, of Him to whom belongs the kingdom of the heavens and of the earth. There is no god but He. He gives life, and makes to die. Believe then in God, and in His Messenger, the Prophet of the common folk, who believes in God and His words, and follow him; haply so you will be guided."

(2) Prayer:

"The Quran is the Book wherein is no doubt, a guidance to the godfearing who believe in the Unseen, and perform the prayer."

Islam was primal in the downgrading of slavery. The following is a passage supporting such:

"True piety is this: to believe in God, and the Last Day, the angels, the Book, and the Prophets, to give ones substance, however cherished, to kinsman, and orphans, the needy, the traveller, beggars, and to ransom the slave, to perform the prayer, to pay the alms."

(3) Fasting: This is a requirement of Islam, however, not to the degree of being detrimental to ones health. I offer the following scripture in support:

"O believers, prescribed for you is the Fast, even as it was prescribed for those that were before you- haply you will be godfearing- for days numbered; and if any of you be sick, or if he be on a journey, then a number of other days; and for those who are unable to fast, a redemption by feeding a poor man. Yet better it is for him who volunteers good, and that you should fast is better for you, if you but know; the month of Ramadan, wherein the Koran was sent down to be a guidance to the people, and as clear signs of the Guidance and the Salvation. So let those of you, who are present at the month, fast it; and if any of you be sick, or if he be on a journey, then a number of other days; God desires ease for you, and desires not hardship for you; and that you fulfil the number, and magnify God that He has guided you, and haply you will be thankful."

(4) Almsgiving:

The following is an excellent verse commanding Almsgiving ; "Know that, whatever booty you take, the fifth of it is God's, and the Messenger's, and the near kinsman's, and the orphan's, and for the needy, and the traveller."

(5) Journey to Mecca:

If at all possible, the faithful follower of Islam is to make a pilgrimage to Mecca. There are some constrictions which can be seen in the following passages, and also, ways of proper substitution for the journey.

"Fulfil the Pilgrimage and the Visitation unto God; but if you are prevented, then such offering as may be feasible. And shave not you heads, till the offering reaches its place of sacrifice. If any of you is sick, or injured in his head, then redemption by fast, or freewill offering, or ritual sacrifice. When you are secure, then whosoever enjoys the Visitation until the Pilgrimage, let his offering be such as may be feasible; or if he finds none, then a fast of three days in the Pilgrimage, and of seven when you return, that is ten completely; that is for him whose family are not present at the Holy Mosque - And fear God, and know that God is terrible in retribution."

I could expand a lot more on the Five Pillars of Islam, but suffice it to say they are the foundation and the core principles - please take note that there is nothing about strapping bombs to oneself and taking others' lives.

Circumstances of time and place necessitated the prophecy of Mohammad. There was the social unrest in Mecca and Medina, the movement toward monotheism, the reaction against Hellenism in Syria and Egypt, the decline of the Persian and Byzantine Empires, and a growing realization by the Nomadic Arabs of the opportunities for plunder in the settled lands around them. Yet these forces, and more like them that could be depicted, did not in themselves account for the rise and development of Islam into a world religion. Without the remarkable combination of qualities in Mohammad, it is improbable that the expansion would have taken place, and the military potential of the Arabs might easily have spent itself in raids on Syria and Iraq with no lasting consequence.

Through him -the revelations he made - the Arab world was given a framework of ideas within which the resolution of its social tensions became possible. The provision of such framework involved both insight into the fundamental causes of the social malaise of the time, and the genius to express this insight in a form which would stir the hearer to the depths of his being. He had these qualities to the extent that any prophet prior to him had shown. Mohammad was much more than a man; he was a wise man, and wisdom comes from God. He saw that the "given" structure in his prophecy was the basis on which to support a building of concrete policies and institutions. His God-given wisdom of this matter was shown by the rapid expansion of his small state to a world-empire after his death, and by the adaption of his social institutions to many different environments and their continuation for thirteen centuries.

He was the founder of a world religion - this, in itself, depicts him to be a prophet, for in the minds of many, he is. He proclaimed ideas connected with what is deepest and most central in human experience, with special reference to the particular needs of their day and generation. The mark of a great prophet is the profound attraction of his prophecy for those to whom it is addressed.

On the whole, Mohammad was remarkably free from pride. He was a man who worked at deep levels, and he had to have a beautiful relationship with God to have produced such relevant ideas concerning human existence. His prophecy has had a widespread appeal, not only in his own age, but in succeeding centuries. Perhaps not all of his prophecy seems completely true in the present time, but by God's grace, he was enabled to provide millions of men with a better religion than they had before they testified that there is no god but God and that Mohammad is the messenger of God.
When Mohammad died, the state he had founded was a "growing entity", able to withstand the shock of his removal and, once it had recovered from this shock, to expand at a rapid pace. The more one reflects on the "Prophet" and of early Islam, the more one is amazed at the vastness of his achievement. Circumstances provided him with an opportunity such as few men have had, but as a prophet, he was fully matched with the hour. Had it not been for his gifts as prophet, statesman, and administrator, his trust in God and firm belief that God had sent him, a notable chapter in the history of mankind would have remained unwritten.

Monday, January 19, 2009


To begin, I'd like to say that this bear hunt was exhilerating to the max. Being somewhat up in age, in the "Big Country" alone,without dogs, in the middle of bear season. The hunt began previously during bow season. I went bowhunting in this area and had sat in a tree stand for five days. The only bear I saw was the second biggest I had ever seen in my life. It was surely over five hundred pounds, and appeared equal in size to my mule, Farley Gus. About the time my mind affixed the goal of putting an arrow into this monstrous specimen of an Eastern Black Bear, my heart was pounding so loud I'd bet that fella heard it. He turned uphill at 120 yards. I took note of the route by which he took.
Now came gun season; for seven years I had taken one day a year to hunt bear during gun season. So, this was my seventh day of hunting. I had already prayed for God to help my shot be true if I should be blessed with the sight of the same, or different bear. As I was entering the woods an hour before daylight with my caplight on, I saw what I thought was a sappling someone had cut, but I happened to notice it was skinnier at the bottem- Wow, what a great walking staff someone had given me. I used it to journey to my tree stand area.
I use a Summit Cobra climber, but I was not using it this day. I was on the ground and climbed to the area where I had spotted "Ole Greenbriar". Once to that point, in the darkness, I visualized his previous meanderings. Quiet and focused, I worked my way up the mountain to the thick patches of laural about 200 yards from the top of the ridge. I stopped at a point where I suspected "Ole Greenbriar" had come down toward my tree stand. I envisioned three "shooting lanes" as I looked toward lower elevation. One was to my left that opened at 45 to 50 degrees across the expansive hollow, one was straight down and to the left 10 degrees, running about 150 yards, and one down and to the right with a nole about 100 yards from me.
I took a drink of water and put in a chew of copenhagen, and waited as motionless and quiet as I could for about twenty minutes. As daylight came I discovered that my envisioned shooting lanes were much how I imagined. I could see nothing behind me however, but thick laural.
I remained motionless and in a heightened state of awareness for about an hour. Dad always told me that daylight was the best time of day to see big game. During this time I regretted not choosing a seat or tree to lean on, and noticed "greener grass" in the form of a root engulfed boulder with a tree growing out of the top- I wanted to be sitting on that rock, leaning against that tree. It was 40 yards to my left and nearly the same elevation. I moved to the rock very quietly. It was about five feet high. I managed to get on top easily and got comfortable.
About an hour passed and I pulled out a piece of jerky, washed out my mouth and took a bite. I then stood up and remained motionless for 15 minutes.
Have patience I emplore, as it may seem I am veering off, but it will all come together in the end.
All the time I was sitting on that rock I could hear a dog off in the distance. I had once killed a big six point buck not too far from where that dog was. It was far away and of no consequence, I thought, to my current efforts. I remained attentive however, and after several minutes, the once stationary location of that dog's desire seemed to be moving out the ridge just on the other side and toward the highway. Still, too far for concern.
After a short while, I heard another dog bark at the point of the ridge near the highway. I immediately thought to myself, "so that's how they do it." For "ole Greenbriar" or any mature bear in this neck of the woods knows that if he can just get across the highway and the river, the relentless hounding will soon dissipate and he may live, rather than be shot while having no course but down into ravenous teeth. Let's see- GPS tracking, radios, dogs in reserve on the highway.... these guys may soon be using helicopters mounted with 50 cals. I thought, "I am bear hunting, they however, are dog monitoring while sitting in their nice warm trucks. But, to each his own.
Just then I heard a familiar sound above me. I turned around. About 100 yards up and to the left laural was snapping. My heart began to pound. There was only a very small possibility that whatever was making this noise was anything but a bear. Then I saw a piece of black, then another- still heading closer and to my left. I cocked my Marlin lever action 35 rem. cal. rifle and there he was 40 yards straight to my left. He stopped. I could see all of his head and four or five patches of black about the size of my hat just behind a laural bush. "Take one more step big boy", I said to myself. then, I realized I have never seen a bear stop and not change direction, and that this senerio is why I had 200 grains of 35 cal. ready to launch. I aimed through the bush at where I suspected his vitals were and without hesitation pulled the trigger, and reloaded with the flick of my wrist.
Immediately, he was accelerating straight toward me,very powerfully. I could not get a bead on him. In two seconds I was in serious danger,and I could not get a bead on him! My 35 cal. went off an instant before my leg may have. The round hit him smack in the top of the head , which was now resting one foot from the rock I was standing on. There was no death moan, no life in his eyes. I immediately gave praise to the Lord. The first shot was mine, the second shot was His.
I will never know if "Ole Charger" was intent on my demise, or his fleeing path a coincidence. But, that's a good thing I suppose. He was not as big as "Ole Greenbriar", but big never the less. My family and friends had their fill of bear roasts, bear stew, and bear burgers. As for myself, a hunt of a life time, and a beautiful bear rug on the wall behind the chair I am now sitting in.