I hope they do fall of the cliff.
Both parties just disagree on HOW they waste money, not IF they should waste money. Democrats want wasteful government programs and Republicans wan't wasteful wars and tax cuts for rich.
And no one is even touching defense spending.
"Think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of them are stupider than that." --George Carlin
PREFACEEvery election cycle we are treated to candidates who promise us "change," and 2008 has been no different. But in the American political lexicon, "change" always means more of the same: more government, more looting of Americans, more inflation, more police-state measures, more unnecessary war, and more centralization of power.
Real change would mean something like the opposite of those things. It might even involve following our Constitution. And that’s the one option Americans are never permitted to hear.
Today we are living in a fantasy world. Our entitlement programs are insolvent: in a couple of decades they will face a shortfall amounting to tens of trillions of dollars. Meanwhile, the housing bubble is bursting and our dollar is collapsing. We are borrowing billions from China every day in order to prop up a bloated overseas presence that weakens our national defense and stirs up hostility against us. And all our political class can come up with is more of the same.
One columnist puts it like this: we are borrowing from Europe in order to defend Europe, we are borrowing from Japan in order to keep cheap oil flowing to Japan, and we are borrowing from Arab regimes in order to install democracy in Iraq. Is it really “isolationism” to find something wrong with this picture?
With national bankruptcy looming, politicians from both parties continue to make multi-trillion dollar promises of “free” goods from the government, and hardly a soul wonders if we can still afford to have troops in – this is not a misprint – 130 countries around the world. All of this is going to come to an end sooner or later, because financial reality is going to make itself felt in very uncomfortable ways. But instead of thinking about what this means for how we conduct our foreign and domestic affairs, our chattering classes seem incapable of speaking in anything but the emptiest platitudes, when they can be bothered to address serious issues at all. Fundamental questions like this, and countless others besides, are off the table in our mainstream media, which focuses our attention on trivialities and phony debates as we march toward oblivion.
This is the deadening consensus that crosses party lines, that dominates our major media, and that is strangling the liberty and prosperity that were once the birthright of Americans. Dissenters who tell their fellow citizens what is really going on are subject to smear campaigns that, like clockwork, are aimed at the political heretic. Truth is treason in the empire of lies.
There is an alternative to national bankruptcy, a bigger police state, trillion-dollar wars, and a government that draws ever more parasitically on the productive energies of the American people. It’s called freedom. But as we’ve learned through hard experience, we are not going to hear a word in its favor if our political and media establishments have anything to say about it.
If we want to live in a free society, we need to break free from these artificial limitations on free debate and start asking serious questions once again. I am happy that my campaign for the presidency has finally raised some of them. But this is a long-term project that will persist far into the future. These ideas cannot be allowed to die, buried beneath the mind-numbing chorus of empty slogans and inanities that constitute official political discourse in America.
That is why I wrote this book.
The Revolution, a manifesto.
Dr. Ron Paul
I hear that everyone talks about Ron Paul, but I'm curious about everyone's opinion on Ralph Nader.
"Think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of them are stupider than that." --George Carlin
More of the same if you ask me.
He is apparently against the corpocracy, but aren't all politicians until the time to put the ink to the paper is at hand.
As a late leftover from the hippy era, I was a proponent of self sufficient living long before it became popular (now considered "green"). We saw this coming long before it was so obvious, and yet so many people still can't see what is happening.
For most people,
as long as their own lives is not obviously affected at the very moment,
they could care less about the activities of politicians & government.
Give them their amusements & distractions, their new styles, possessions, toys, TV's, CD's, cell phones, video games, & every other technological form of "entertainment", and they will go on their merry way, blind to the activities of their political "leaders". (We are blinded by our own technological inventions.)
Turning a blind eye to the behavior of our government can only work for a while.
Our currency is becoming totally worthless, its value only balanced out by increased unemployment. No wonder gold & other metals are being bought up at record prices.
I think it was wrong for our country to stop using gold & silver (and even copper) for its currency, as was once the standard. Our "founding fathers" knew the reason for it, & people have since lost the understanding of it. Our paper money & "common metal" coins are worthless. We might as well trade Manhattan Island and our property for a handful of shells!) Our money & coins have no innate value as they once did. (For those of you old enough to remember the true "ring" of "real" silver & copper coins jingling in your pocket, you know how "dead" sounding our "money" really is today.
Civilizations have risen & fallen in the past. The USA was once one of the greatest & most powerful & advanced nations on the planet. Its past generations of people built it up from near nothing. They took pride in their work, made things of the highest quality. And they did it all without the use of many of the machines, devices and especially computers that we have today! Now how did they do that? Here we are so smart today, that we can't even count change for a dollar, write a letter or find our way to the next town without the use of a computer!
(I still remember that when something said "made in Japan/China" on it, we knew it was crap and would likely be of inferior quality! Now it seems everything Americans want, is made there!) We may have won wars, but indeed we ultimately LOST!
In the end, we have allowed other nations to take us over! They own our companies, our farmland, and many of our resources. Our debt to other nations shows how much we "consume & buy" from them, but no longer sell nor supply them as we once did.
We pretty much don't produce "hard goods" in this country any more! We have & produce nothing to sell to anyone!
For some reason, our new generations feel entitled (why I do not know) to the finer things in life. Yet by getting things they are made weak by their lack of work ethics, integrity & knowledge. They have no desire to work, but sure want to be rich...and quick! And it seems that is the new American "way". One person or small group becomes millionaires while all the "peons" who actually do most all the real "work" at a company barely make enough to survive. And forget about retiring! Social Security that we were forced to pay into has been stolen by our own government! (Where is accountability for that!? The people responsible should be held accountable & they & their families made to pay it back!)
Even on a personal level, things we created/invented to help us, have actually harmed us. First we allowed automation to help us do our work, but eventually it replaced workers... and now computers do our thinking, and look how many people loose their jobs every time we depend on it do do more for us. Not only that, but it weakens us as a people. Forget about interacting with others, learning to do or think for ourselves.... let the computer do it! (So many people I know can't even find their way across town anymore without their GPS telling them where to go!... and with remote control of everything, we can sit on our butts to do things. Everything from changing the TV channel to mailing a letter or paying a bill is automatic, although now we have to go to a health club to exercise our fat lazy bodies!) And forget customer service! It is all automated! And most of us know how good a job automated phone service is! The person who came up with that should be tortured on "hold" for the rest of their lives!
As a result of our technology, inventions & advances, where has it gotten us? What was designed to help us has been allowed to make us become lazy, inept, and even unable to think for ourselves. (How many cashiers can't even count change back to us, or think logically when there is obviously incorrect information presented... "well that's what the computer says" is their only retort.)
Even here on TF, many new people have gotten lazy, and find it easier to ask how to do every little thing, basic knowledge about growing or what to plant in, instead of bothering to look up the information for themselves. This is not the way we used to do things, and indeed not the best way to actually learn things.
A person won't know what questions to ask, that may be the most important things to learn, unless they actually get off their butts to start doing something for them selves!
Indeed, our nation & that of others is in a volatile position.
Change is coming. Things cannot continue as they are for much longer.
With all our current advances in the past 200 years, the men who started this nation were in many ways still so much smarter than we are today. In fact, they themselves went thru much political "mis-representation" and abuse as we ourselves are experiencing, and they stood together & formed this nation to get away from it. And yet here we are, back where we started! How they must be turning over in their graves!
Our "political parties" can't work together on the simplest of things, and as is said, "a house divided is doomed to fall". Personally, either no one should be allowed to serve more than a couple terms, or we need to begin holding people accountable again. While it could be a good thing to serve many terms if there are good, honest people of integrity in office, it also allows controlling people who serve the interests of select groups to remain in control & ultimately use the system to serve a chosen few/group. Actually, I like the idea of holding those in authority accountable, and their punishments severe. As they are in a higher than normal position, then they should rightly be held to a higher standard of accountability. And most of all, they should NOT have a different (and better) system of retirement/pension/health-care etc.
And one out of office, they should NOT be paid or guarded or given any other benefits that the normal citizen doesn't get! Politics is a service one does for their country, not a profession! History is littered with tyrants who think they are destined for that position! No matter how they may justify the position by giving it an acceptable name and image, they are all the same.
It has been said that those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it.
Civilization collapse has happened before.... and to think it can't happen to us is just plain arrogance & ignorance.
Well, that's my opinion, thoughts, & some of the things I think about these days (and in days past).
I am not well versed in politics nor many other things of that sort. However when I see things happening to decent people (like Tamlin recently), it is an indication that even people who are highly educated, high paid and in high political office are not that "wise" either! Why we spend tax dollars on petty things is something only those living high in a governmental position can explain. (And don't get me started on the foolish "grants" that our government has funded, or the nations we have given money to.)
Personally, we can blame & point fingers all we want. The bottom line is that this mess is happening. The real issue is what each of us are going to do about it!? Our nation is no longer strong as it used to be. Its people were once of a caliber that could "pull themselves up by their boot-straps. Well, what kind of people are we today? Do you really think you are as strong, enduring & resourceful as your grandparents & great grandparents? They endured wars, depressions, and disasters of every kind. Can you?
Jeez, I hear people moaning when it gets too hot out, or immobilized when their GPS or internet doesn't work for a few hours! And they totally freak if their cable, computers or cell phones stop working. They can't even count change or remember their appointments!
We have put all our "eggs" into this new lifestyle, this "technology" basket. If & when it becomes unavailable or stops working, what then? Wake up people! You can't even function without it anymore!
In time past, I and many others thought & tried "living off the grid", but the reality of it is that it is a lot harder than people think... especially if you don't have a chunk of money to start things rolling (to purchase solar/wind electric generator equipment, food production & storage equipment, fuel of some sort, etc.) Self sufficiency is a difficult position to acquire & maintain. Yet those of us who used to favor Mother Earth News & the Whole Earth Catalog; side products of the "Age of Aquarius" era, we saw this mess coming back in the 60's & wanted a different life from it! We saw the good in it, but also saw what we were losing in exchange for this technological "ease".
It wasn't that long ago that it was safe for a kid to ride his bike alone across town. People didn't put up with disrespect. We discriminated against people of poor standards, bad influences and didn't tolerate people who abused others. We respected our elders, including parents, grandparents & those with more experience, and saw the wisdom that they held.
Sad to say, I find myself becoming too old, too sick & too broke to do much about preparing for things for myself anymore. My wife missed the city life back when we owned property out in the country , (and the "green acres" lifestyle was not for her!) so we have spent the past 30+ years addicted to the grid. Not a good choice in some ways, but then as I said, life is hard surviving off the "grid" without a good financial start.
Had we stayed out in the country "living off the land", I likely would be dead by now anyway! (Thru accident or just plain over-working hard labor.) (If you don't know what I mean, try splitting a cord of wood, let alone enough to keep you warm for a winter!) But seeing as I am still here, I am hoping for the best, but realizing the worst may lie ahead.
Indeed it seems that the way things are going in this country, whether we want to do it or not, we are in for "a different lifestyle" very soon!
As far as the current decisions being made by our government these days, time will tell the results. For some reason we have allowed our politicians to operate under a different system than the one most of us are under. And yet we allow them to make decisions affecting our systems (Like social security, health care, retirement...)
One thing we don't do is hold the people in office RESPONSIBLE for their decisions and actions. No wonder there is so much corruption & abuse, as well as simple foolish decision-making. (I am not old enough to remember public executions, but history documents its place time & again as a viable course of action!)
Indeed, some chaotic future may be in store for us. (Why do you think governments outlaw automatic weapons? And why do you think people want to own them! Economic failure/mass chaos.)
Okay, I have grumbled enough. I guess I can't stir up any more trouble here than I already have. But indeed, these are concerns that many people have.
I apologize for the bleak outlook I may have. But it is hard to blow sunshine when you see the writing on the wall becoming as blatant as it is!
But, Nuff said. This is after all a carnivorous plant forum. I wouldn't have ever brought this subject up in the first place, but seeing as it was & was open for views and opinions, I figured I would give people something to think about.
As for me,
I am going back to something more important, like tending to my garden & my plants.
I have enough trouble keeping them happy & contending with the hot weather & wilting plants, and have no real time to get involved further in political issues!
Besides which, in my condition, I find I need to take more naps!
Take care all.
It does seem, for those who understand the real "Mayan calendar & cyclic viewpoint, that the end of an "era" may indeed come shortly (12/21/2012) as predicted. Not the end of the world perhaps... but possibly the end of the world as we know it; and along with it of course, comes a new beginning also. That could be the good news!
PS: I apologize if I have said anything inappropriate here. Not my intent to offend anyone nor scare the kiddies. I am just getting to an age where I have seen enough BS to make me sick, and have tolerated the liars, bullies, controllers, manipulators, and other people who are out for themselves at your (my) expense.
Personally, I am glad we don't live to be 100 or 200 or longer here. I am pretty sick of this place already! If it weren't for the plants, animals and other wonders of life & nature, this would be a pretty sad place to live! For me they have been my saving grace. (Along with creating, inventing, doing art & an honest days work and a job I can be proud of... family & friends.... all the things in life that are pretty much free for those who are patient and fair.)
By the way... interesting links!
I am not sure what the world's most valuable asset is that I heard about, nor how I could afford it (unless it is merely patience, peace of mind & a clear head in accepting change that is!)... but it was an interesting listen none-the-less!
Experience is the best teacher. At least it used to be.
But then, common sense isn't so common anymore, is it.