Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Of Two Minds

Charles Hugh Smith writes a blog entitled Of Two Minds. For July 21, 2009 he and his contributors write:

"Frequent contributor Harun I. made these observations about self-delusion, greed and responsibility:
From the Mayans to the Romans, from Asia to Europe and now the U.S., all empires seem to experience a series of psychotic episodes that lead to their decline. It seems as if it is a necessary ingredient. What military might cannot bring down, self-delusion will.

However, I cannot accept that the idea that because we responded as encouraged, anger is now justifiable. What ever happened to that pithy adage, "you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink"? This represented choice. After all the history (which can be easily "googled" today) of bubbles and manias, how did we fall for it again?

I can think of nothing more potentially damaging to the psychological well-being of an individual than telling him/her, "its not your fault, you had no choice." I'd like to think that humankind is smarter than horses and do not involuntarily salivate when they hear a dinner bell.

I told my seven-year-old daughter to hold her breath and that it was okay because I would be breathing. She looked at me quizzically but complied (she innately understood the absurdity of the proposition). After she could no longer hold her breath, she blew it out and did the obligatory gasping. I asked her why she let out her breath. She yelled at me angrily, "DADDY, YOU CAN'T BREATHE FOR ME. I HAD TO BREATHE OR I WOULD DIE!" I smiled and quietly told her, "Just as breathing is essential to life and can be done only by you for you, so is thinking. Do not ever believe that you can let someone else do your thinking."

What was this so called dream? Regardless of the different forms in which it is presented, the "dream" has been and will always be simply getting something for nothing. Personal greed is and always will be the lever. Greed resides within us all but not all of us interact with it.

What was the encouragement? It was, is and always will be nothing more than someone validating what we already believe.

A democractic republic cannot survive without self-responsibility in the majority of its citizens; the crumbling of our society and those before it should be proof enough. No society/empire fails because of money problems. They failed because the collective citizenry began to believe absurdities.

As Voltaire warned us: "Those who can get you to believe absurdities can get you to commit atrocities." Believe is the operative word. It requires that a choice be made. What is the absurdity we have chosen to believe since 1913? To what atrocity has it led?

If, instead of passively accepting bailouts and government enforced charity, every voting age adult wrote or called his representatives and made it clear that the representative would lose his/her vote if they supported any legislation of this sort, and that he/she would actively organize and support tax revolts in their community, the outcome we are facing today would be different. Better yet, if every working age person had refused the debt trap, things would be radically different.

It is widely known that legislation is passed without being read, that our representatives often do not know on what they are voting but are told how they are going to vote. Let's face it, government is now combat ineffective. What is our response?

Yes, we have a right to be angry but only at ourselves. Every citizenry gets the government it deserves."

"Well said, Harun. Pondering that, I am not angry, but I am afraid for the citizenry and the Republic; for we have the government we deserve, and it is heading off the cliff of insolvency. The citizenry is still in denial, holding fast to the fantasy that their government can magically print trillions of dollars to fund their private entitlements, as well squander additional trillions backstopping $13 trillion in evaporated bad bets and pay for a global empire to boot.

Denial, fear and anger will not take us forward, of that we can be sure."

Monday, July 20, 2009

Man vs. Beast

Rented a 2009 movie this evening entitled The International with Clive Owen and Naomi Watts. The plot is built around a privately owned world-class bank dealing in power by controlling the debt of countries and the agencies who tried to stop it. Entertaining in a serious, disturbing way. Worth watching in light of the current financial fiasco.
LESSON: Above all else do not sell or give away your power to choose.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Gardening Progress Report

This is a short description of what is our long list of vegetables harvested so far in 2009:
zucchini, black currant, red raspberry, black raspberry (wild), strawberry (local, not our own), kale, lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, green pepper, chives.

Planted in 2009 but not yet harvested: tomatoes, onions, garlic, white potatoes, sweet potatoes, eggplant, summer squash, chard, peas, green beans.

Planted in 2008 or 2009 but will harvest next year: asparagus, rhubarb, blueberries.

Plan to add to garden in 2010: strawberries and an herb garden

Learning this year: continue amending soil, continue expanding the grow area, growing food is much more work than growing shrubs or flowers, need to calculate how much of each veggie to plant for our consumption, home grown produce spoils much faster than the grocery store produce - could it be all those chemicals? (Heard from a friend who recently travelled to Costa Rica that the locals will not eat the bananas ready for export to the U.S. because of all the chemicals used to keep them "fresh".)

The most graphic lesson this year: the slug is NOT the farmer's friend.