The Independent Daily
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An Online Journal of Independent Views & Discussion
June 7, 2013
Name, Website, All Contents copyright 2011-13, Warren-Hill Productions
Published in Northern Arizona, USAhttp://www.TheIndependentDaily.commailto:editor@TheIndependentDaily.comshapeimage_2_link_0shapeimage_2_link_1

Merry Christmas and Pass the Ammo


“ America, the person most likely to kill you.”

Here in Arizona most of us see Guns as an inherent right: Something inexorably granted to us by a freely interpreted Constitution, without much thought or consideration for the consequences.

We’re hardliners here tending to see things as either black or white. We don’t want to be told what to do. Ironically, we pride ourselves on our deeply-rooted American values while we shop freely at Walmart and at the other purveyors of Chinese products to ensure continued under- and unemployment of Americans.

Let me get this out on the table immediately: I sometimes carry a firearm. I have a permit to do so. I have been cleared by the Federal government on many levels throughout my life for various reasons. I have no criminal record. I am a graduate with a significantly high GPA from a Catholic University. I have an Honorable Discharge from the military. I very rarely consume alcohol. I am an “Older” American by definition, and even I don’t trust myself to carry a firearm in some situations, and anyone who says they do under all circumstances is naïve, foolish, and believes in his own infallibility.

I am a supporter of Gun ownership. But I believe that there is a time and a place. I think, though, that we’ve allowed our fears to over-reach logic, and that’s what this rather lengthy article is about.

As Americans we scratch our heads wondering why violence is so prevalent in schools, at offices, and in our neighborhoods, yet everyday as a country we condone violence on a global level through our military and glorify those deeds in film and television. We don’t show the underside of war…the deaths of the innocents.

As an example, following the horrific event at Sandy Hook where 26 children and adults were killed in a violent fusillade of gunfire in 2012, the group known loosely as the Sandy Hook Mothers took to the media to denounce the availability of firearms in America: They wanted them banned. They – Guns – had killed their children. The causality of this dreadful occurrence escaped them completely, as it did many Democrats and Republicans – most of whom failed and fail to see the clear link between what we as a country do to others, and, thus, what we have learned to do to each other.

Diane Feinstein for one was a vocal supporter of the Iraq war and the devastation that led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of women, children and noncombatant men, and yet she purports to be against gun violence and gun ownership by Americans. She is not alone: Hypocrisy and truncations in logic abound in America today.

We wring our hands in frustration and confusion over neighborhood crime while allegedly Liberal Hollywood loves nothing better than to cast America’s Black people into the roles of felons, miscreants, sex-crazed punks, gangsters and pimps, with the possible exception of one-out-of-three Denzel movies. Middle Easterners fill the balance of on-screen mix in their roles as Terrorists, fueling impressively high anti-Muslim hate crimes on our streets in small-town and metropolitan America.

Our children learn through violent gaming that conflict is vanquished by might. They spend hours upon hours on Social Media sites mingling unfettered with friends, acquaintances and a slagheap of predators and social misfits who are guaranteed anonymity by virtue of the medium.

Like in Arizona, a large part of America is taught, and believes, that it is not only a God-given right to own a firearm, it is also a survival necessity. And that, sadly, has become a self-fulfilled prophecy. (read Entire Article here.)

Obamacares Deeply About Alcohol



The Associated Press’ Alonso-Zaldivar released a brief yet informative article describing a little-known clause within Obamacare likely to blacklist millions of Americans from the law’s provisions – effectively pricing them out of the market – and insurance coverage.

It’s a provisional penalty for those who smoke. Not for the obese, like most Americans, and most importantly, not for those who abuse alcohol, like far too many Americans. You can catch the article online at AZ Central, here. Unfortunately, the article stops short. Here’s the rest of the story:

Every year alcohol-related automobile accidents kill 25,000 Americans. 700,000 are injured requiring medical attention, from cursory to life saving.

The total annual cost for healthcare in alcohol-linked medical care is more than 170 Billion US Dollars for the alcohol abuser, only.

This does not include billions of dollars in medical expenses for the victims of drunk drivers and victims of violence, domestic and otherwise.

It does not include the cost of law enforcement time and equipment in response to alcohol-related incidents: traffic, domestic violence and otherwise.

It does not include the cost of adjudicating drunk drivers and those who commit domestic violence.

It does not include the cost of incarceration, probation and parole for violators.

Nor does it include the billions of dollars in lost productivity and opportunity in America’s factories and offices, and very importantly,

The untraceable cost and the irrevocable harm done to America’s families.

For smoking the total cost is about 120 Billion US Dollars. While not pocket change, on a comparative basis it pales to near-translucence when held next to the sum of costs for alcohol abuse today: By most estimates, far in excess of two trillion dollars.

Well how can this be? Given these irrefutable facts, why would Obamacare not place a greater emphasis on those who abuse alcohol?

Political Action Committees (PACs) are those organizations that "contribute" money to Congressional Representatives. During the period 2011-2012 the top PAC contributors in Alcohol-related industries were (in US Dollars):

National Beer Wholesalers Organization, 2,884,750

National Restaurant Association, 3,595,097

Joseph E. Seagram and Sons Inc. (a distiller of alcoholic beverages), 3,518,684

Anheuser-Busch Co. (a beer and beverage maker), 2,473,220

Brown-Forman Corp. (a diversified alcoholic beverage maker), 1,433,980

Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America, 1,182,500

Harrah's Entertainment Inc., 982,741

Outback Steakhouse Inc., 951,350

Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, 834,378

Chili's Grill and Bar, 725,400

Et cetera, et cetera...That’s how.

Obama Affirms Feinstein’s Federal Hunting Limit on Children



“ continue killing more than ten (10) children, as an example, (he) must change out (his) magazine...” - Barak Obama and Diane Feinstein

This week President Barak Obama approved Senator Feinstein’s proposal to limit the number of “Kills per Weapon” to not more than ten (10) children without requiring a shooter to change out a magazine or revert to a second or subsequent weapon, failing once again to understand that it has nothing to do with the firearm.

The proposal advanced by Senator Diane Feinstein, California, and Manchin, West Virginia (both supporters of the Iraq War), is very reminiscent of the long-expired Assault Weapons Ban, a law which did nothing to curb violence in America (see the Shepherd’s Billy Club, column left).

Under the provisions of this legislation, weapons (or the magazines that feed them) may not have a capacity in excess of 10 rounds. Ipso facto, if any given shooter is a qualified marksman he will thus be limited to not more than 10 kills per magazine or weapon. Thereafter to continue killing children, as an example, “the shooter must change out the magazine and replace it with a fully charged magazine...”

As an alternative, the law will clearly imply that he may, “ the shooter’s own discretion, carry a separate, 10-round weapon hence obviating the need to re-charge the firearm previously so depleted...” (“Optionally, the shooter may avail himself of as many additional weapons as needed of said capacity.”)

In this way, Feinstein and our other Congressional members may avoid having to confront the issues of violence in our society: Please read, Connecticut, Why Are You Shocked, elsewhere in this issue. Likewise, no single Senator will be required to generate any original thoughts that might raise the ire of our friends at the National Rifle Association, the NRA.

As well, and foremost, to admit that our societal ills lay (at least in large part) at the feet of a government that promotes and condones violence on a global basis is tantamount to having pulled the trigger on the children of Connecticut. Thus both Feinstein and Manchin, who dually supported the 2002 resolution to invade Iraq are manifestly culpable in the murders of those 20 children.

...Reagan decided that providing help to the mentally ill was an unnecessary expense...

I suppose it goes without saying that likewise are Obama, Bush, and a host of other ne'er-do-wells, or as we theorize in an article appearing on this page, “Kill ‘Em All”, Lunatics.

Historically, culpability extends to the late 1960’s when then-Governor of California, Reagan decided that providing help to the mentally ill was an unnecessary expense, releasing people who otherwise would have benefitted greatly from mental health treatment: Fortunately, and seemingly, most have found their way into the US Congress.

We cannot legislate good behavior. We cannot legislate civility. We can only teach our children that violence is not an end in itself, and then, practice what we preach.

Fake Environmentalism

Ricardo dela Luna

You Cannot Call Yourself an Environmentalist

and Shop at Walmart!

I was turning left to move further down a main street waiting patiently in the turn queue. In front of me was a new, small fuel-efficient hybrid car with far too many bumper stickers: Two or three Obama stickers; Anti-war slogans; Dire warnings about Global Warming; The World is a Village sort of thing, and on and on. You could barely see the back of the car.

I deduced, quite astutely I might add, that the driver, a woman maybe in her late fifties, was a left-leaning liberal, of which we don’t have many in Arizona.

From the left turn lane queue she moved to the right lane, and from there into what I consider to be one of, if not The greatest contributors to the downfall of American industry: Walmart. That got me thinking…

Like many Americans I was born when forty percent of American jobs were in the Manufacturing sector: four of ten of my Dad’s friends participated in the making of something. This was always considered a good thing, because making things meant that these things we made were hopefully sold to people somewhere else in the world and that put money into the system that didn’t exist before in the US economy.

This also helped something called the Balance of Trade, a thing we talk a lot about today but really pay no attention to. China has a very positive Balance of Trade with the United States. Through the latest statistics available from the US Census Bureau, China exported billions of dollars more in goods to us than we exported to them.

The very good news is that, owing to our prolonged Depression, China’s exports have fallen off somewhat, because Americans don’t feel like spending as much as they did.

Over the years, the same as most consumers, I saw reduced prices as the focal point of my consumer duty. Of course, back then Sam Walton promoted Walmart and Sam’s Club as safe harbors of American made products. Poor Sam died, though, and that left the operation up to his kids. Anyone who is a parent knows that children are greedy little bastards, and Sam’s kids and all of the shareholders of Sam’s Club and Walmart became greedy little bastards too, just like our children and grandchildren are - or will be - but certainly not anything like we were when we were children.

Cost, Quality, and Availability are the variables in anything we buy. No one can argue the cost-effectiveness of Chinese made products: substantially low labor and transportation costs have led to an absolute glut in Chinese made products around the globe. As a result Availability is assured.

For a time we lived not too far from the main east-west artery of the Burlington Northern Railroad. From several vantage points we could watch traffic in both directions. On the eastern route, stemming from the Port of Los Angeles, (railroad) car after car after car (ad infinitum) laden with cargo containers bearing the names of shippers from the Far East rolled onward to their retail destinations. On the western route, as rail cars lumbered back unfettered by the weight of merchandise and containers, one couldn’t help but notice the absence of American made product moving to super-happy consumers in China, Japan or elsewhere.

This leaves us passing the buck: If six of us get together and we have one dollar between us we can all agree that we’re in deep (crisis). For quite awhile now, that’s what America has been. If one of the six of us was any good at whittling and we were able to sell whatever it was that he or she whittled to someone outside of our circle, presumably through the Lehman’s website since our whittler would undoubtedly be Amish, we would add some level of wealth for every object sold.

The problem with America is we don’t whittle anymore. We have become literally a bunch of people passing a single dollar around to one another, placated by the imported crap we buy at deep discounts, all of which salves our need for immediate gratification. 

But, that’s not the point of this little piece. This is about people who profess to be environmentalists shopping at those places, and buying those things, that are made in those countries, by those people because of the appearance that they can buy more, or just what they need for less money.

So, the second issue is Quality. I have no product quality statistics to share: only personal observations confirmed by many other people. I used to shop at Walmart, K-Mart, Target and all the other places of similar merchandising. I stopped for several reasons, not the least of which was product Quality. It seemed that every time I bought (and re-bought) a shirt the sleeves became frayed, or the thread snaked out, or the buttons broke before the third washing. Every “Comfy” pair of pants suitable for sleeping gave way to ripped seams with virtually no effort on my part. Every pair of shoes irritated my feet in one way or another and fell apart after a few wearings. Every wrench I ever bought that said, “China” was good for one twist. Every broom fell apart; each screw stripped; saw blades didn’t; electric drills wouldn’t and the list is endless.

Why am I buying this crap? I thought. I just have to buy it over and over again. How true. Yet, it takes just about as much energy to make a bad product as it does a good. Here’s an excerpt from the International Herald Tribune, by Joseph Kahn and Kim Yardley, published way back in August 2007:

“No country in history has emerged as a major industrial power without creating a legacy of environmental damage that can take decades and big dollops of public wealth to undo.

“But just as the speed and scale of China's rise as an economic power have no clear parallel in history, so its pollution problem has shattered all precedents…

“Public health is reeling. Pollution has made cancer China's leading cause of death…”

So, there are probably thirty different reasons to shop for a comparable American made product, not the least of which is to buy a product that has to only be made once, thus preserving the environment.

In 1950 about four of ten jobs were higher-paid Manufacturing jobs, leaving only six of ten to the dregs of the Service sector. Today? Fewer than one out of ten jobs is involved in manufacturing to some extent. NAFTA has only further tipped an already slippery slope. Only a part of American Made has to be American Made. So, we’ve reached out to our neighbors South of the Border and Up North and have combined forces to insure our mutual failure.

Until America decides it’s going to enter the world economy the Sierra Club can forget about me as a new member. And, if I see that woman turning into Walmart again I’m going to slit her tires. Of course, she’ll probably just replace them with Cooper’s, which are nowadays, made in China.

The Syncretic Party

Is On The Rise


There is a new political party: One I’m giving serious consideration to joining. It’s not Utopian: it’s just a synthesis of the many disparate voices around us today - Democrat, Republican, and even a little Teabagging thrown in for balance. Today, we’re regressive: We’re de-evolving. It’s time to take a different and higher road. A road of Plurality.

The Syncretic Party regards all of our nation’s people (and people throughout the world) as equals and deserving of our respect.

It does not promote violence except as a final and last resort when all other systems have failed, and then limits the use of nation-violence to that of defense, in its simplest definition. War will no longer be used as a tool of Greed. As a result, the need for Homeland Defense will all but be negated.

The Party’s leadership unfailingly weighs their decisions and actions against the good of all. They balance the wealthier of society with the less-advantaged. They are regarded as the leaders of progressive thought by the rest of the world.

The Party’s primary tenet is to foster personal growth and achievement at the expense of none and to the benefit of all.

The Party’s adherents urge that everyone – all members of society – ought to do all they can to assure society’s success, and that no one ought to consider him- or herself entitled to anything other than the honor of being a productive member of society, and the gratitude of others for being so.

If a member of society is in earnest physically or mentally unable to contribute as an active member, they are cared for in a manner that is dignified and respects whatever contribution they are capable of making.

The Party believes that truly affordable Health Care ought to be available to everyone through his or her own financial resources, balancing ability to pay against cost.

Also, the Party believes that the attainment of personal goals is critical to the success of all, yet sees Greed as in conflict with this principle: Thus, Philanthropy is the rewarded ultimate end of attainment, resulting in greater funding for the Arts and Sciences, and recognition for its benefactors.

Through the Party’s leadership we will come to embrace all religions and beliefs as essential – Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Atheist – all are critical to a homogenous society where the value and fulfillment of life is held paramount.

The Party often displays the message, To Lead an Unfulfilled Life, is to Spit in God’s Eye, at the bottom of its various messages.

Because of the unceasing efforts of the Party’s leadership, and by the examples clearly illustrated through the lives of those who lead, all of our society’s members will be as productive and determined as they can be within the scope of what for them is possible, and, so, Homelessness and Hunger will not exist. Violence will be nearly eliminated. Hatred will be controlled and neither articulated nor acted upon. A profound sense of freedom will engulf us, and we will become far more than we ever thought possible.

If we could just take Humans

out of the equation.

Premature Ejaculate


Per favore scusarci. We’ve left the below article intact in the event that Berlusconi does prove to be the eventual victor in Italy’s (now) highly contested seat as the country’s top official. Our readers ought to recognize, please, that we were in good company, with the BBC and other international journals  drawing the same premature conclusion. We all experience this sometime in our lives: There is nothing to be ashamed of.

The Merkin of Venice*

La Parte Due



Fare attenzione delle signore! È ritornato!

Immediately to mind comes the expression, What were they (the Italian electorate) thinking? Perhaps. Perhaps not. In either frame of reference, the Dow didn’t respond well sending the index plummeting on the heels of the announced results. (A few other factors, like a crumbling US economy, may have played into it, too.)

When considering Berlusconi, though, it’s important to remember that no country’s electorate has a monopoly on truncated logic, or, as they say in the world of academia, Dumbness.

Recall the 1992 election during which the American electorate voted into office a known philanderer and tax and spend Democrat. Undeniably, his accomplishments were many, two of which immediately come to mind: 1) A level of peacetime economic expansion hitherto unseen in our history, and 2) A clever alternative to curing a good cigar in cognac, rum, or brandy. Overall, although certain to manifest great rebuke from some of our readers, President Clinton more than met the expectations of the office, and certainly of what I expected him to do: Philander.

A little further back and we find a Hollywood B-grade actor finding his way to the most powerful position in the world. A freewheeling Capitalist and sometimes confused and arrogant man, under his leadership the US economy skyrocketed and we were all rolling in it. Most of us, anyway. Admittedly, there were losers in the equation, as well. And, during his term we learned to refer to our wives by the sobriquet of, Mommy, which is not the same as asking, Who’s your daddy?

So, why would the impact of Berlusconi’s return carry such international significance as to knock the pegs out from the Dow? No one knows. Those who profess to understand the markets’ myriad personalities are, of course, Bullshit Artists. Keep that in mind while you surf the channels seeking an answer for your losses.

My guess is that it was an excuse to extract profits following the massive run-up the markets had enjoyed. It’s called, Greed.

Who paid for the billions lost today? The small investor. Large portfolio managers and investors set the theme for the day. They are the players and rarely the losers. So...

In an earlier article (archives) we asked, What future within the EU will Italy have if the Merkin of Venice (our coinage, by the way), who maintains sufficient voter appeal in Italy among the male of the species, as well, mounts both a teenage model and a successful campaign?

There is neither rhyme nor reason. I guess we’ll just wait and find out. (*Our apologies to W. Shakespeare.)

Haggling Over Hagel


The Middle East is nearing ignition point. An even-eye and a more holistic approach is what the region desperately needs to circumvent the certain calamity awaiting all of us just over the horizon.

Mr. Hagel promises to bring a sense of reason and fairness to the international arena in dealing with Israel and Iran in a more meaningful and effective way than any of those who have hitherto served in the position of Secretary of Defense. Striking an equitable balance in an emotionally charged and highly complex region such as the Middle East, he will bring an improved level of equanimity to an otherwise disintegrating and chaotic circumstance, the result of which is likely to overshadow anything we have witnessed or felt the brunt of to-date.

So, why isn’t everyone onboard?

Although unraveling daily, being replaced by far more independent-of-thought news and opinion venues, the vast majority of control of today’s popular media still rests in the hands of those more Israel-friendly politicos and financial leaders in America. Thus, one who is not devoutly pro-Israel is often colored by deprecating innuendo, insult, and fallacious charges. Those who do their bidding are thus a forceful and vocal group, our own John McCain among them.

Mr. McCain’s interests and thoughts appear to be cloudy and festering with confusion. In all fairness, though, the majority of his constituents here in Arizona are much like those in any conservative state, the bulk of which spend little or no time understanding events beyond their backyard.

Shallow of mind and incapable of voicing opinion, save for those issues on the base level of a Maslovian scale, such as guns and immigrants, every two, four, or six years they lodge an opinion at the voting booth (if then) and default on their responsibility for the rest of their elected official’s term.

Once keen of mind and dedicated to his country, McCain today is muddle-headed and reactionary. While Lindsey Graham, who ought to be far more progressive in his views, continues to vote on behalf of his financial backers like a 90 year-old, 10-term Senator who tenderly wipes a tear from his eyes when recalling the days prior to Abolition.

Consider the issue of Iran and their nuclear program: From where does our inherent distrust of Iran’s intentions come? Are we as a government concerned about Iran’s potential use of nuclear arms against its neighbors, most specifically Israel, because we see Iran as less stable and prone to terrorism than those who direct the strategic goals of Israel?

Israel’s track record on all counts is deplorable, yet they control a nuclear arsenal thanks largely to us, that has yet to be used other than through the perceived threat it represents to Israel’s less acquiescent neighbors.

Israel is a country that has continued to ramrod further settlements, in violation of international mandate, into the West Bank and Gaza without regard to the human suffering and death they have caused daily at their ever-expanding doorstep. It is a country that has exported terrorism throughout the world, but we trust them with the most destructive weapon ever known.

And yet the furor over Benghazi continues, too, but only as a truncheon with which to beat Obama over the head into some level of submission. A very few Americans died in Benghazi. Outraged Republicans find that unacceptable. 6,000 Service Men and Women have died in Afghanistan and Iraq. We have, by any standards, bankrupted the country fighting two historically unwinnable wars to sate our need for Oil. (If you believe it was for a higher, more transcendent goal, you are a fool.)

McCain opposes the man who was one of the voices of reason at a time when so few of us expressed dissent while caught in the trappings of manufactured Patriotism and media-hype.

McCain, who spent years incarcerated in Hanoi while a Prisoner of War, supports the victors of that war every day in the Senate. He is a staunch supporter of trade with Vietnam, yet he vigorously opposed that enemy 40 years past. Why has his position changed so radically?

Follow the money…

It’s time to confirm Mr. Hagel and get-on with the business of bringing America back from the fiscal and moral precipice about to destroy whatever remnants remain of our once-great country.

It’s time for a better world, so put down your fiddle, Nero.

Fritters and Gabby



While frittering away your time on Gun Control, the US Congress has managed to divert your attention from several key issues:

Our National Debt Ceiling has been raised by $650 billion bringing the total each of us owes to about $53,000. (Even our children owe that much, each, and they’re still busy with Sesame Street learning how to count to “10”.);

Actual Unemployment, although we’re all slapping ourselves on the back otherwise, is 22,400,000, or about 14.5% per the US Government;

No progress has been made on the forestalled Fiscal Cliff catastrophe awaiting us in March. And, although Hillary Clinton bid us, Farewell and announced that we live in a safer world today (because of her)...We’re just not certain if we’re safe from ourselves.

Appearing Nationally via the Senate Judiciary Hearing, our former Congresswoman Giffords begged the panel to effectively change the way guns are bought and sold in the US, and to better control the types of weapons available, such as by banning High Capacity Magazines and Assault Weapons.

Voted by the NRA as a “C” Congressional member when sitting for re-election three years back and before being shot in the head, Giffords has found her voice in her newly formed organization, called, oddly enough having failed to reference the Shakespearian Dictionary of Really Inappropriate Acronyms, Americans for Responsible Solutions, or ARS. (A “C” Grade is just as it was when we were children in school: You got a dime. About the best you could do was buy a candy bar and steal a bottle of pop to wash it down.)

The NRA’s Wayne LaPierre followed Ms. Giffords at the lectern and made several cogent comments regarding the lack of enforcement of the thousands of existing gun control laws, arguing that added laws will change nothing.

LaPierre concluded his remarks by saying that the NRA was going to mark Giffords down to an “F” and, “...Miss Gabby should go home and think about why she received such a bad grade, and write a 500 word essay to Mr. LaPierre telling him how she will do better next time.” LaPierre hinted that severe brain injury is no excuse saying, “...Anybody can get shot in the head...this is America, after all.”

On tour, Ms. Giffords’ intent is to heighten awareness of the dangers of firearms, rather than the dangers of people behaving insanely toward one another.

As a fellow Arizonan, this is more than a bit dismaying given that Arizonans, notwithstanding the abhorrent act perpetrated against her and the saturation of firearms in Arizona, behave quite well. (Read, Somebody Just Shot 20 Children: Don’t Answer the Phone, elsewhere in this issue.) I hypothesize, as do others, that we Arizonans are overly polite because we are overly armed.

More clamor…more distraction: There are other, far more important National and Global issues with which

to concern yourself.

¡Quid Pro Quo Mexico!

Mexico: The 51st State



While thinking about driving to the former British Honduras, currently known as Belize, we plotted a jaunt south from northern Arizona through the heartland of Mexico where some 2,500 miles later we would find ourselves crossing the border from Chetumal, Mexico into northern Belize. Corozal District was to be our initial destination.

Why would we drive 2,500 miles through Mexico? The adventure of it, really. And from time-to-time we’ve considered relocating to another country. The United States has sunk so low in international standing in Education, Productivity, Quality of Life, Government Invasiveness, Homelessness, Poverty, and is generally so rife with corruption and greed, that living here is much like living in a Banana Republic anyway, thus why not enjoy the benefits of warmer weather, much lower taxes, and a location central to the Caribbean while living under the same conditions?

Setting aside the issue of Belize’s current state of potential flux, given the pending referendum on its territorial dispute with Guatemala, her first language is English, so that makes it immediately attractive. Kriol follows, an interesting mix of English, West Indies, and other patois of varying origin that in its written form looks very much like the way most Arizonans in Mohave County write (see,

Belize’s communities of expatriates run the gamut of society, from the very wealthy to the very modestly financially capable, and, until most recently, John McAfee of software-virus-murderer-international-fugitive fame.

Homes are not that cheap in Belize, but taxes are very low, for now. The cost of living, overall, is somewhat less, but from our research so far, it appears that most expats spend on rum what they save on other things. Drunk driving is, therefore, a major cause of injury and death on Belize’s few highways. So is Narco-Trafficking and Robbery, Rape and an assortment of other opportunistic crimes afforded the Belizean (and other) criminal as a result of those who ought to be more careful, or not be there at all. And that is why we studied the route through Mexico before launching off on what could potentially be a Highway to Hell.

Departing Nogales on the Arizona-Mexico border is the logical starting point for any road-based excursion through Mexico, given our location. So, using the US State Department’s guidelines, which can be found here, we referenced the latest of the reports for travel advisories.

Using the State Department’s guide, we see that once leaving Nogales we would head south until we encounter the first probability of being murdered some three miles from the US Border. Surviving that, we would motor confidently along another six miles until being abducted and held for ransom by a group of Narco-Traffickers whose primary English expression, Chut up or I gunna puck you up goooood, leaves us in doubt as to our scheduled arrival time.

After losing my left ear, and both of us being repeatedly raped one might think that our next stop might be for a nice lunch and a cerveza or two, which it would be. Afterwards, checking our GPS we see that we’ve travelled about 28 miles from the US Border and are ready to take on the next leg of the journey…

Federales greet us warmly at our next unscheduled stop seeking compensation for their time and trouble some 42 miles south. Three hundred dollars later we’re on our way to Belize again, feeling the euphoria of having escaped three years in a Mexican prison where every inmate is guaranteed a fresh bowl of warm piss to be served three times a day.

Checking the guide we see that we have no way to move any further south owing to convincing descriptions of Government, Cartel, and Civilian Gang abominations perpetrated against Gringos (and Mexican citizens!) who think that motoring through Mexico, or even visiting Mexico anywhere today is a good idea, which brings us to the point of this brief piece: SB 1070, Arizona’s attempt at immigration control, and maybe a little about Joe Arpaio, Maricopa County’s highly controversial sheriff, for good measure.

First, given Mexico’s present state – overall and in every way imaginable – we cannot suppose why any law-abiding, hard-working Mexican (particularly those with a family) would want to live there any longer. Over our many decades of life, the aforementioned description applies to the vast majority of Mexican nationals we have known.

Second, considering this no BS assessment, why would we Arizonans enact a law that would retard the progress of the good people of Mexico who wish to emigrate to the United States to avoid what by any standards is a hostile existence fraught with dangers, death, and persecution?

Third, and most importantly, if our goal during Bush’s administration was to truly liberate a country in order to advantage from the Oil and Mineral wealth therein, which it was, why did we not invade and liberate the Mexican people? We would have destroyed the Narcotics industry, substantially reducing crime and incarceration in America (we’re Number 1 in the world); We could have availed ourselves of additional Oil reserves; Mexico’s proximity to us would have facilitated invasion, conquest, and nation-building at only a small fraction of the trillions of US Dollars spent in Iraq; Our troops would not have been absent from their homes and families for years on end; We would have – truly – stabilized an important region in our hemisphere, and lent greater intransience to the rest of Central and South America.

Fourth, the citizens and government of Arizona, including Joe Arpaio, would be more inclined to treat those illegally-entering our State with greater kindness and less as a quid pro quo for the abominable treatment received by Americans across the border, often resulting in torture, extreme abuse, and death. So, rather than eyeing Iran, Somalia or other nether regions of the world as prospective next targets, why don’t we concern ourselves with our immediate and most pressing situation?

Or, is doing away with Narcotics detrimental to the economics of our Law Enforcement, Judicial, and Prison industries?

About 17% of the 318 million of us are Hispanic. We’re distributed, according to the Census Department, throughout the US.

There is no good argument against Mexico becoming a single, or multiple additional states, to the US, thus allowing for a higher level of self-governance, greater safety for (current) Mexican citizens, a reduction (or potential elimination) of Narcotics and Human trafficking, more equitable border demarcations and processes for passing between regions, increased market opportunities for America’s manufacturers and retailers, and improved economic conditions overall.

The United States is not in the same position it was thirty years ago when the wage difference for the average worker between countries was so extreme: we have nearly reached the point of stasis. The symbiotic benefits of this solution are too great to ignore.

Tens-of-thousands of innocents are being murdered in Mexico every year from either being caught in the cross-fire of Cartels and Gang Warfare, or as targets of opportunity: The violence will find its way here to our doorstep soon enough if we continue to ignore it.

Go Fu(nd) Yourself!

Crowd Funding


TID’s Jack Shepherd, The Shepherd’s Billy Club, is seeking funding through the much trafficked GoFundMe: a website which collects contributions made for both (allegedly) charitable and not-so-charitable causes. From the gifted proceeds, 5% is removed by GoFundMe, and another 2.9%+ for the financial arm of the company. So, about 91 cents of every dollar reaches the recipient: Not too bad, given that for every dollar donated to United Way about three cents reaches the intended target. GoFundMe, though, follows the Walmart philosophy, “Make up for the margin with volume.”

In the true spirit of pursuing the derelict American Dream, most of the causes on GoFundMe are reminiscent of electronic versions of cardboard signs on your way into a supermarket parking lot or on the median of a highway off-ramp. Plausibility does not come to mind. Unfortunately, many of the people who choose to plead their cases by attaching photographs to their websites don’t realize the detrimental effects of their act. Our Jack Shepherd had the good sense to use a photograph from his days in the Marine Corps many, many, many years ago.

Among the mundane are pleas for money to cover catastrophic losses owing to medical illnesses and surgery; People who have been partially blown up; Car accident victims; Children who are allegedly suffering from strange illnesses…

I am compelled to use the word, alleged, because one cannot help but read some of the situations described and mutter, “Sure…” It’s a tough one: Who knows? 100% of those requesting assistance may be genuine and in genuine need. But, knowing the American public, I doubt it.

Some of the stranger causes? AnaMorphics 30th Birthday celebration where one donor promises to “Snog” her at the event itself. (I have no idea what that means.) The 2013 SJSU Sexual Diversity Event the theme for which this year, they proclaim is, Embracing Sexual Diversity. (This may not be literal.) And, Make My House a Mardi Gras Float, a request for donations being made by Levy Easterly so that he may, res ipsa loquitur, make his house a Mardi Gras float.

Jack Shepherd’s Cause? He is seeking a few million dollars to mine gold in Alaska.

I should mention that the link-up in GoFundMe is primarily driven by Facebook, so that, in itself, ought to give you some sense of the foundation on which many of the causes are built. As well, their search engine is very poor, so if a friend or relative has a cause to which they would like you to donate, make certain to get the exact http reference, because you’ll never find it otherwise…And, given that most or all of the donations come from friends and relatives, why not put another 9% in their pocket by just sending them a check?

And, if you find it annoying when people hit you up for money for something that sounds pretty bogus, remember what I always say when people ask me for money: Go Fu(nd) Yourself.

(If you live in northern Arizona and would like to see Jack leave town for several years, his GoFundMe site is at

The Merkin of Venice



Today’s news on Silvio Berlusconi reveals that he will pay about 36 million (USD) to his soon-to-be-former wife. Aside from his record-breaking philandering, Berlusconi’s recent Cannoli-Fallout with an 18 year old model at her 18th birthday party, no less, resulted in much indignation on the part of his lovely wife. Hopefully she will find some solace in the annual endowment from her once-husband, who promises to run for PM again, next year. For one-half the annual payment we’d be pleased to write her a yearly letter of consolation...she’ll do fine; Italy won’t:

What future within the EU will Italy have if the Merkin of Venice (our coinage, by the way), who maintains sufficient voter appeal in Italy among the male of the species, as well, mounts both a teenage model and a successful campaign? Italy is finally on the road to recovery: Greece, hobbled as it is, may surge from the quagmire nearly completely releasing Germany from her supportive role. We urge Berlusconi to remain fulfilling his primary life’s objective…and to leave politics to those more discretely prone to adventure.

The US and the majority of the world’s economic strength, including Asia, are girded by many things, not the least of which is the prolonged downturn in Europe. A Berlusconi (re)election will only exacerbate conditions. (Our apologies to W. Shakespeare.)

Singing in a Shitstorm, or

Sympathy for...



...the devil we know is far more preferable to the one unknown. In various articles in 2003 this is what we attempted to communicate prior to our invasion of Iraq, to deaf ears. The first article was entitled, The Exploding Brain, an imagery intended to convey the illogical nature of our impending act: the invasion of Iraq.

Certainly not a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize (or perhaps he was, given the awarding of this prestigious honor for traditionally, tireless effort toward the goal of World Peace, to Barak Obama) Saddam Hussein was a known commodity through whom a much larger region of the world was held in check. Removing him for personal and financial reasons, as was the sole motivation for George Bush (see, The Abduction and Trial of George Bush at no charge online) was certain to result in regional disaster: Any 8th Grader with a fundamental understanding of History might have easily deduced this, thus leaving most of America’s television-viewing audience (and our government) in-the-dark.

So, it happened. Saddam is a distant memory; a once-advancing nation, Iraq, has been reduced to the 16th Century; We, America, continue to be embroiled in a war in Afghanistan that is, was, and forever shall be unwinnable (again, please see any History text); We, America, have murdered more than one million Iraqis without even the slightest grievance filed by the international community (since in their silence lies culpability); In short, we have irrevocably destabilized the Middle East, and we must now be prepared to accept the consequences: This is the message from Yemen today.

America, embroiled in many – far too many – wars in the last 60 years, has had to do battle with people who fight for principles and beliefs, however subjectively right or wrong to Westerners, while we fight them solely to kill, for the pure fundamental glee of killing, for the bloodshed.

We do not fight any longer because we believe in a truth. We do not do battle because we believe in the transcendent nature of our existence, and by combatting those who oppose us we presume to find our reward on a higher plain. We do not strike out at those who take the name of our collective god in vain. We fight for Walmart, Shell Oil, Exxon-Mobil, and the rest. Thus, we do not evoke commitment on the part of our troops: we evoke bloodlust, and in return for the many, many thousands of innocents we kill we add to the numbers of those who despise us. We do not win hearts and minds: we destroy them.

“…for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”

While quoting scripture (Galatians) is not a common practice for the authors, the depth of these simple words ought to be at the forefront of the minds of every American in the coming months, for we are about to reap that which we had sown.

We have destabilized a large part of the world; Those we have not killed have become our enemy; The convoluted and hypocritical messages of the current administration have only deepened the abyss; The psychotic ramblings of the Israeli government only fuel the hatred further and will flashback directly at us with a ferocity that is likely to leave us dumbfounded. This is what awaits us as we enter the Age of Aquarius: Not the rosy picture I had hoped for decades ago.


Why Are You Shocked?



In March of this year, Staff Sergeant Robert Bales walked to two villages nearby his billet in Afghanistan and opened fire on children, women, and unarmed, noncombatant men murdering 16 innocents, nine children among them. Unfortunately, this is only one example of the many atrocities committed by us during the lengths of the Iraq and Afghan wars. Total dead: more than one million in Iraq alone.

We are a society that has become far too accustomed to killing and death. We value life not at all. Every day we export violence around the world illustrating our commitment to apathy. The tired argument about popular media glorifying violence stands true, yet we continue to permit our children to watch and learn, while our government funds a one trillion dollar a year military and ignores and vilifies the troubled, the hungry, and the homeless.

…So, what did you expect?

We, the authors, were not taken aback. We were not shocked. Our expectation is that until we become a different society, less steeped in violence, less hateful of those within and without America, we will continue to see an escalation in horrors such as the Connecticut shooting.

We will continue to see increased episodes of random and planned violence. We will continue to read in resignation and sorrow about the deaths of children and innocents who parish at the hands of the many deluded people in America who have learned that violence is a solution to all things, and who continue to support our efforts to inflict violence on the rest of mankind.

I distinctly remember the day My Lai hit the world’s media: You see, we’ve been stewing in this broth of insanity for decades.

It’s not about firearms: The authors have been around firearms all of their lives and neither have considered using one unnecessarily and would only under the most critical and dire of circumstance. It’s about understanding that everyone is not our enemy, regardless of what the popular media and our government would like you to believe. It’s about valuing human life.

In another, earlier article (on this page), Singing in a Shitstorm, the authors quoted Galatians, “…for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” We need to start sowing peace so that collectively we may harvest something other than hatred, here and abroad.

We have only one last question: Did Obama or Bush weep for the thousands of children murdered in Afghanistan and Iraq? To the authors, a child is a child: White skin does not make their loss more tragic. Ask any of their mothers.

Self-Loathing: It Used to be Just a Jewish Thing

Jos. Warren

In all fairness it’s been ascribed to Italians, too, and probably to other nationalities and groups as well. Its manifestations vary in range and severity from mere self-deprecating comments through the spectrum to near-suicidal actions. I can think of no other reason Barak Obama would continue to perpetuate the prosecution of that damnable internecine war in Afghanistan, and yet still, in Iraq, as well as consider launching “new and improved” violence against other predominantly Muslim countries.

Running over tough times during his initial election, owing both to his cultural and familial history, Barak Hussein Obama has probably by now collapsed under the weight of the assorted plagues that have lived-on through the first term of his presidency, along with the more personal attacks regarding his background and possible country of birth, unrelenting through the first months of his second term.

Is it his Muslim heritage that makes him so intractable in his views regarding the need to corral, cajole, and continue pursuing Muslims nearly everywhere in the world? Is he turning his hate for his father, perhaps, outward through an expression of disdain that has cost us dearly in lives and undermined our financial well-being in this continued struggle initiated by his predecessor, GWB?

Or, is there something else at work?

The Muslim community of the world continues to be disparaged by the Media on a daily basis. Notwithstanding their level of faith, Muslims throughout the world are falling victim to slanderous ranting, Hate crimes, and to deliberate attacks by US Drones violating international law and practices, such as in Pakistan. The only other country capable of sustaining an international footing amid such intentional disregard for the rule of law is, Israel.

Both Barak Obama and Bibi Netanyahu might be well-advised to seek out psychiatric counseling. Personally, I’m ready for a more peaceful world: A world directed at solving the seemingly insurmountable problems humanity faces today. Need I itemize?

We ought not hate Muslims: We ought to hate the irreparable harm we are doing to our planet. We ought not hate Jews: We ought to be striving to find a way to end our world-over dependence on Oil through alternative, renewable resources. We ought not hate Guns: We ought to hate the violence so prevalent in our world, and seek ways together to teach our children to deal with conflicting opinions in other constructive ways. We ought to be doing so much more than we are...

Yet Another Militia



Occasionally the editors are the recipients of emails from people who wish to make their book, political views, or group’s activities known to us for publication: Free Thought expressed through Free Speech.

Right-Wing militia groups designed to “protect America from enemies both foreign and domestic” outside the parameters of already existent law enforcement and military forces, are experiencing another resurgence in enlistment, apparently. And we are occasionally beckoned to embrace a group’s ontological platform. On the contrary, if we were likely to subscribe to any militia point of view, it would be one more reminiscent of the more romantic Left-Wing liberation forces operating at any time in the distant past in Cuba, Bolivia, Guatemala, Peru, Mexico, or any other country that had, or is, laboring under the weight of traditional imperialism and oppression.  Sadly, all Left-Wing organizations of today choose to only gather around and sing songs of yore while wearing t-shirts emblazoned with the image of Ché, without recognizing how much contempt Ché would have held for their passivity.

One such recent seemingly Right-Wing correspondence was from, this last week, submitted by the group’s Commander, one Runick Lanesra, which must be an anagram or some type of code, the meaning of which is only revealable to its membership – rather like the Masons. At any rate, the website exists and we took a moment to peruse its content: Dark rhetoric and veiled foreboding images, but interesting nonetheless. The site is more “Prepper” oriented describing the necessities of life, post-Armageddon, including weapons, supplies – both medical and otherwise, and everything else one ought to have at the ready: Just in time for making up your Christmas shopping list!

For the unschooled, a Prepper is one who is prepared for what the Prepper sees as either the inevitability of vast hardship and conflict soon to follow in America (such as those who operate the above-mentioned website), or those who suggest that such a series of events may happen, could happen, or for the editors who have a sound grasp of history, can happen regardless of how indestructible a society may appear to be: notwithstanding how complex and seemingly concrete things may appear to the docile masses. But, we are not Preppers, although our off-the-grid lifestyle is very reminiscent of the Prepper doctrine. Nor do we belong to a militia.

God only knows, though, that if one wished to seek out and join a militia in America today there are innumerable organizations from which one may select.

Depending upon the resource, America’s militia group count has spiraled from several hundred (the Anti Defamation League ( suggested 750 organization in the 1990s) to more than 2,000 today, much owing evidently to the repeated election of President Obama, a growing xenophobic response to increased immigration - legal and not, in concert with ever-increasing debt, worsening financial conditions, and for many of the groups’ members, the increased political influence of undesirables in American society. (An undesirable is a not too subtle code name for minorities and others, rather like Commander Runick Lanesra’s name.)

In Arizona we just have oodles of them: as many as 20 known and perhaps an equal or greater number of unidentified groups operating with impunity. We have one group, the Mohave Militia, who is even civic-minded and sponsors an Adopt-a-Highway sign for litter remediation. Here in the remoteness of northern Arizona, it’s rather like paraphrasing Matthew 18:20, “Wherever two or more pudgy white males in fatigues gather in the name of preserving the Constitution…there is Militia.”

We are not condemning of the individuals and their groups: they are symptomatic of what has gone vastly wrong in America today. As a country we are standing still, facing upward on a Down escalator. We’ve nearly reached the edge (See Forget the Fiscal Cliff: We’ve Been Doomed for Decades, column right).

Often (mis)quoted, George Santayana said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” The past dictates that revolution may occur everywhere, at any time, when the conditions are either disposed to revolution, or when they may be made so by an influential group or amalgam of groups. Revolt is the most common tool of change, the outcome of which may be either good or bad. America has no immunity from this prescription of history.

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До свидания Russia


President Putin has very recently implemented restrictions on Internet access for his fellow citizens: We’re sorry to hear this. Every month thousands of pages of this journal are downloaded by Russian Federation readers, and still more in the Ukraine.

Although we infrequently hear from our readers in the Other Europe - we know from past correspondence that most read The Independent Daily because they find the opinions expressed largely very different (as in unique, and not part of the mainstream view), thus difficult to categorize in traditional Two-Party terms: how the European reader views America’s political landscape.

Through this journal, I hypothesize, they gain insight into America’s less chattled thinking.

Some of our American readers have difficulty pigeoning us into a set of circumstances consistent with traditional media as well, and that makes them nervous and they feel a sense of discomfort reading this journal because they have difficulty reconciling how our writers, as an example, may simultaneously express abhorrence at violence and yet promote the sanctity of America’s Second Amendment protecting firearms ownership. It doesn’t fit within the logic set they’ve been told are the only two acceptable ways of thinking: Binary, if you will, across the spectrum of issues - Yes or No, Red or Blue, Zero or One, On or, most importantly, Off.

This feeling sometimes arises I imagine, because thoughts expressed by our writers (and by me) are not governed by Political Party Rhetoric or acceptable Schematics, but by Deduction, Syllogism, and Analogy. In Nausea or Troubled Sleep, I honestly don’t remember which at the moment, Sartre would have referred to this as the frictional relationship - imbalance - occurring when one considers what is, to what might be. We prefer the latter.

Refuse Your Daily Meds: Turn Off Your TV.

It’s time to wake up.

Redux: Cowboys and Palestinians



(Based on a recent email from a reader, I was reminded of the importance of this earlier article. Given our situation today in the Middle East, perhaps one  might take away a few words to consider regarding the possibility of peaceful co-existence. -ed.)

When I was a boy roaming my neighborhood streets of Los Angeles many decades ago one of our favorite games was Cowboys and Indians – for the unfamiliar, a game whereby a group of boys (and girls) choose sides and become either a Cowboy or an Indian. Given the life expectancy of an Indian, I was always amazed at how many took on the role of (expected) underdog and opted to be defeated in play.

A few basic rules were: Cowboys had guns and Indians didn’t; Indians could hide and surprise a Cowboy; Indians were supposed to lose. Alas, the outcome was not so certain in play. In historical fact, though, it was.

At the beginning of European settlement in North America there were from 1.3 to 3 million or more aboriginal people co-existing (relatively) peacefully on America’s “Fruited Plains”, mountains, and deserts. The concept of Manifest Destiny (variously interpreted in American history as, “Divine Destiny” or, “Obvious Destiny”) didn’t come into popular being until the 1840’s, yet the thought and actions of its adherents predates that time by nearly two centuries.

The Settlers approach (italics added for a reason) was to begin a slow, methodical push: to displace, to move, to contain, and eventually to control the Indian population. Control was popularly interpreted to mean eradicate or destroy, and so they were, leaving few more than 250,000 by the conclusion of the so-called Indian Wars in the 1890’s.

As the Indians were moved off of their lands the invaders claimed absolute domain and ownership. They destroyed villages, they built homes, tended the land, developed towns consistent with their cultural heritage, and through this simple means, combined with aggressive armed enforcement by both settlers and militia (and the US Army), and the infusion of alcohol into tribal culture, and by stimulating dissension between tribal groups thus preventing a united defense against the aggressors, turned what by today’s standards might appear to be a genocidal rampage into nothing more than a forgettable historical footnote, except to the hundreds of thousands of American Indians who today live in poverty and destitution.

Why forgettable? Of those Americans today who are not thinking about acquiring some new and important thing or how to keep from losing the things they have, the remaining are mostly divided on the Israeli-Palestinian issue, thanks in large part to the popular media which spoon feeds predigested brain pabulum for most Americans through carefully scripted dialectic, devoid of any true controversial matter or fact. It’s controlled. So, the historical lesson is lost.

To illuminate the lesson history has to teach us, let’s rewrite the second paragraph up above to the following by substituting the names of the principals involved:

As the Palestinians were moved off of their lands the invaders claimed absolute domain and ownership. They destroyed villages, they built homes, tended the land, developed towns consistent with their cultural heritage, and through this simple means, combined with aggressive armed enforcement by both settlers and militia (and the IDF) and the infusion of alcohol and drugs into tribal culture, and by stimulating dissension between tribal groups thus preventing a united defense against the aggressors, turned what by today’s standards might appear to be a genocidal rampage into nothing more than a forgettable historical footnote.

Having some difficulty with this analogy? Allow us to clarify: Imagine that East Jerusalem and the West Bank were the indigenously-occupied lands, and that the Israeli settlers were the invading Europeans, which, oddly enough in many cases, they were and are, having no claim to the land other than that which was manufactured or, as Newt Gingrich likes to say, “Invented”.

Since 1948 the number of Palestinian homes destroyed by the invaders is estimated at far more than several tens-of-thousands. The number of Palestinians driven from these homes shortly after the conclusion of the Arab-Israeli War by most estimates exceeds 800,000. Today nearly 5,000,000 refugees are concentrated in camps where food, medical, educational and all other basic human-needs are only marginally met or not met at all.

According to Mona Alami writing for Now Lebanon ( in an October 2011 article, “Drug use runs rampant in many Palestinian camps in Lebanon, where poverty and unemployment create a prevailing sense of despair among the youth.” Some, whether rightly or otherwise, have speculated that the availability of drugs in the Palestinian Refugee Camps can be tied specifically to Russian organizations with Israeli ties, suggesting something akin to the USA’s wholesale drop-shipments of Cocaine and Heroin in US ghettos in the 1960’s: the real Opiate of the Masses is actually Opium…

In the West Bank, according to many sources and much to the chagrin of the United Nations, gun ownership is seen by Israelis as an inherent right and obligation. Localized militias are well armed and serve to protect the intruding West Bank settler. Combined with police and Defense Forces, a committed and formidable contingent exists today in occupied territory.

Through a truncation of logic that defies rational thought, to be against Israel’s abhorrent and damnable treatment of the Palestinian is to now be tainted as anti-Semitic.

Division within various Muslim branches of the same faith continues to fire controversy and conflict. Those sects that are more West-leaning and localized in oil rich regions of the Middle East may be agents in this continued derision insinuating themselves into camp politics and stimulating dissent. (As an aside, in America it is sometimes speculated that the outcome of the Indian Wars may have been decided much differently had the great leader Tecumseh been successful in uniting, at least regionally, the American Indian.)

Division within the global community of the current state of affairs in the Middle East, and in particular with respect to Israel’s pogrom against the Palestinians, is kept alive by threat and intimidation.

Through a truncation of logic that defies rational thought, to be against Israel’s abhorrent and damnable treatment of the Palestinian is to now be tainted as anti-Semitic. This response defies logic on so many levels that if it weren’t so pitiable it might be laughable: Criticism of a government’s treatment of a people is criticism of its practices and policies. To be critical of the United States is not to be anti-Christian. To be critical of Mexico’s policy regarding civil rights, as another example, is not to be anti-Catholic. How does this mythological relationship between criticism of a Fascist government and that of the religion practiced by less than half of its population perpetuate?

You’d have to ask those who control the media for an answer…

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Time for a Purge?

Associate Editor


From the BBC, “The House of Representatives voted 398-1 on Wednesday (December 5, 2012) to strike the term, “Lunatic” from all federal legislation, after the Senate did the same in May.

“The measure is designed to remove language that has become outdated or demeaning from the US code.”

It remains, however, legal and correct to use the term in the following context, “The Lunatics running this country ought to be (insert verb of choice).” -ed.

A house divided: The American electorate – the few who vote, and the majority who do not – continue to bemoan the lack of coordinated progress toward resolving those cataclysmic issues portending bleak days ahead. Many of us don’t seem to have the common sense to understand that a house divided will generate no significant progress, yet a majority continue to vote in a way that sets America up for failure: how might we best deal with the continued impasse chronic within the system (other than to urge a greater number of Americans to vote, and to vote wisely)?

Well, Stalin did it, and so did Mao. Hitler did it for years, and through Guevara, Castro successfully jumpstarted his Agrarian (and other reforms) without much in the way of (lasting) dissent. Perón loved it, too, as have most newly evolved leaders over the millennia in Europe, Africa, Asia and elsewhere.

Looking to history – that thing we care so little about – we might garner from various successful dictators that the foremost method for accomplishing anything on a national level when the possibility exists that there will be dissenting views is to effect a Purge at the beginning of any new leader’s term. Left or Right, this method has been employed successfully following the overthrow, or collapse and presumption of leadership, of any number of regimes or political systems, in nearly every country, throughout history.

The process is quite simple and forthright, without much preamble, and allows for all final judgment to be made extrajudicially: that is, without requiring strict judicial review by a competent court of law.

Here’s how this might work for us: In January, shortly after Barak Obama takes his second oath of office, any member of the Legislative and Judicial Branch, Popular Media, and Local and State Government, (and any others) harboring or having demonstrated a dissenting view, as determined by either President Obama or any of his closest advisors (requiring many people to be empaneled given the rather extensive list of likely suspects) is placed in front of the Vietnam Memorial Wall (or any wall of sufficient height and depth to prevent the accidental shooting of someone who happened to be standing on the other side of the wall, rather than of an issue) and shot dead. Done. Dusting our hands off we might say, “That was easy.” And so it was.

Vacancies are filled by the willing masses anxious to participate in the freshly assembled government. Dissent is silenced. Discord is nonexistent. Harmony suffuses the halls of government, the extent of which hasn’t been seen since the second term of FDR (if then). The Fiscal Cliff is avoided. A budget – either balanced or not, yet with all in agreement on its terms – is passed into law. President Obama spends the balance of his Lame Duck term throwing back beers with selected, compliant “normal” people. There isn’t a Lunatic in sight…four blissful years of things getting done.

And in 2016, if there’s a change in the prevailing political philosophy based on the winning candidate, we’d bet that any concession speech is made by cellphone from an obscure town in the remoteness of the Paraguayan mountains (or Kenya), and the new leader would be well-advised to count the White House silverware.

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The Big Business of Anti-Smoking


Proposition 29 was last year’s anti-smoking, Buck-a-Pack-tax, placed before California’s electorate in June 2012. It was defeated by a split vote that would have been the envy of any Bush-Gore election aficionado. But not everyone lost on the deal: In fact, everyone won.

The Big Tobacco lobby (boo and hiss) dropped about $47 million on their No on Prop 29 campaign, and in the media the defeated played up the David and Goliath metaphor substantially, following their setback.

Actually, the mild thrashing the proposition’s supporters took resulted in a Win-Win for all parties involved: The Tobacco Industry won by being able to contain the price of Smokes in California, thus boosting (or at least sustaining) sales, and so did all of the people involved in the supporting camp through one financial payment or another, although the LA Times gave that fact no play in their article, which you may read here: LATimes Article.

To read the Times piece was to believe that the unrewarded masses who fought so valiantly for the good of the common schmo were left to sell pencils on street corners to sustain themselves into decrepitude. Not so.

Actually, it was Big Business on both sides, and it ought to give pause to anyone considering a donation to any of the organizations one might suppose are legitimately directed to finding a cure for Cancer, life’s great equalizer, including and most especially, the American Cancer Society.

Now that all of the chits are in, let’s take a look at who the true winners were in this loudly-touted race for the Smoker’s Soul:

We’ve already disclosed that Big Tobacco (BT) dropped $47 million into the fight. Along with BT the “NO” camp received some support both spiritually and materially from the Howard Jarvis folks who opposed added business taxes, and the State’s Chamber of Commerce. The two latter naysayers opposed the boosted tax believing that the State of California, under Governor Brown, not known for fiscal prudence, would fritter away the money on building greater administration into the State’s Educational bureaucracy, or on some other program other than its intended purpose.

To be sure, the money, about $800 million or more per year, was to be parceled out by a panel of Governor’s appointees: That always works so well, doesn’t it? Everyone looking out for the good of their fellow man, and such…

On the “Yes on Prop 29” side of things there were some heavy betters, and this is where those who contribute money to various good causes ought to take heed: Betting like a blue-rinse drunk at the dollar slots, the American Cancer Society, California Division Inc., threw at least $960,757.00 into the gaping maw of the One-Armed Bandit spinning up…not even a single Cherry; The American Heart Association, $515,989.00; and the American Lung Association, $384,925.00.

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, Inc. coughed up about $6 million as well. Presumably all of this money, along with many millions more were contributed by people and companies to these organizations expecting that in return they might sleep well knowing that they had, in their own way, taken steps to lead to a cure for Cancer…in all its varied and vicious forms, such as Pancreatic Cancer, the cause of Steve Jobs’ death: Ironically his widow, Laurene Jobs, donated $25,000 to the Yes on 29 cause, directly (but not a big hit to her handbook).

(O, and Michael Bloomberg – the one who’s forever the nosy uncle – slid a half-million to the organization. Most amazingly, Lance Armstrong’s, Lance Armstrong Foundation made a substantial donation of $1.5 million, representing only a small portion of the proceeds from his annual receipts from the sale of ...but has not been shown in laboratory rats to lead to lung cancer, only certain death.)

Well where did all this money go?

You might answer, Not to research a cure for Cancer, obviously! and you’d be right. However you may rest well knowing that California’s Media consultants, various Polling and Election strategists, Law Firms, Accountants, and a group of presumably connected people who apparently hold no job but knew the right person, benefitted.

Some of the major and minor players…

Far-and-away the greatest of the beneficiaries of the American Cancer Society’s largesse was Sadler Strategic Media down in Studio City, California. This little 2005 start-up company raked in at least $7.7 million. The company, owned by its founder, Sheri Sadler-Wolf, produced and placed some of the campaign’s media.

Chris Lehman Consulting – the guy who served as Media Point Man – drew down more than $170,000.00 in the short time of the campaign’s existence, while also apparently operating his consulting firm in SoCal.

Arno Political Consultants picked up $160,000.00 for circulating petitions. Stephanie De Hererra deposited $25,000.00 as a “Consultant.” Facebook generated $250,000.00, and they had some friends, too. Christian Garcia, was paid about $20,000.00 for doing Field Work. (His Twitter account posts no employment and only a couple of vague photos regarding Prop 29, but does have a digital image of a soda cup from Tacos El Gavilan, which he proclaims is the Best Taco Joint in LA, which must have been the Field Work he conducted.)

“Anti-Smoking People Prefer El Gavilan Tacos, Two-to-One”

(Research funded by the American Cancer Society)

The list is seemingly endless and would require a full-time staff of 20 working over a two-year period to understand the nepotism and interconnectedness of the Yes organization.

Probably the most interesting, from the author’s perspective, is this quote from the Times, “Former Democratic state Sen. Don Perata, who used unspent campaign money to help launch Proposition 29…” (Italics added.)

Makes him sound pretty magnanimous…what a giving individual. Unfortunately, the Secretary of State’s Office, from which all of the above data has been derived, lists only Rebecca Perata Rosati contributing $100, and Anne T. Willcoxon of Perata Consulting in Moraga, California for another C note. There was a Don Perata listed, but as a recipient of funds - several times. It seems that the Yes people said Yes to at least $12,500.00.

But in defense of the Times, it doesn’t make a very good story if David turns out to be a real-life BSD. So, why not omit?

Review all the data yourself, here at the Secretary of State’s Office:

Maybe next time the American Cancer, Lung or Heart Association beat on your metaphorical door asking for a donation, remember who your donation really benefits.

Why Secession is a Very Bad Idea


(That is, without a form of confederacy to unite those remaining nation-states into variously joined supranational governments or coalitions designed to insure Defense, Education, and a myriad of other functions that would be far too daunting for a single nation-state to secure and regulate.)

Texans will always be Texans: And while the authors always applaud their independent-mindedness, and their commitment to intolerance when it comes to government intrusion or that which opposes their Christian sensibilities, secession is not a logical alternative. It leaves too many questions unanswered; it leaves too much at risk; it is, plainly, jumping from the frying pan into the fire.

The reality is that Texas is Texas today because Texans, like the rest of us occupying the territories within the borders of the United States, have been shielded from those factions and nations that would have otherwise, had they had a smaller target to deal with, long ago occupied their geography to further their own interests. They have been protected from that threat by the U.S. Military, not by their slogans, affected gruffness, or crumbling John Wayne-esque self-image. They are a state of people whose ability to forge a nation from a frontier has long since vanished.

...These are people who would not have died at the Alamo, but would have suggested engaging in meaningful dialogue with General Santa Anna...

Today’s Texans are modern Starbuck’s-drinking, whiny and sophomoric, self-centered consumers whose pre-occupation with pickup trucks and firearms has deluded them into believing that they are something more than they are. One of the authors’ brothers is a middle-aged Fort Worth clinical psychologist who is representative of Texans today: he and his wife have built a business out of the multitude of weak, co-dependents (addicted to various substances or practices) with whom they bang drums and walk tiny labyrinths in an effort to provide an “outlet for their feelings” at a substantial hourly charge. These are people who would not have died at the Alamo, but would have suggested engaging in meaningful dialogue with General Santa Anna.

This is not to be overly critical of Texans. It is to be accurate in an honest evaluation of all of us today: residents in all states, in particular those considering secession. We in Arizona are the same, and it becomes almost laughable to imagine our citizens, those dependent for their daily bread on Wal-Mart and electric self-propelled shopping carts, as capable of defending themselves against an invading force, “foreign or domestic”.

Nobody reads history anymore: They’re too pre-occupied with television and Facebook to take the time to understand that the breakup of a country as massive as the United States (read, Soviet Union) will result in bloodshed on a massive scale as rival powers within and without the remnant-state conflict over ultimate control. It is foolish to believe that the remnant-state will quietly assemble into a law-abiding group of glad handing citizens focused together on a consensual agenda designed to self-direct the masses into a congenial conclusion. It won’t happen.

War will happen: War as a result of an invading force seeking to reclaim land that was, only a little more than a century ago, before we laid claim to it, their land (read, Mexico). Today’s across-the-border threat is not only a modern, organized military strength, but within her borders are hundreds, probably thousands of very well-armed drug cartel thugs who’d like nothing better than to acquire some geographic freedom. I doubt that many Arizonans are ready to watch as their children are beheaded on their once-serene suburban streets. Neither would they have the physical nor psychological facility to combat such ruthlessness.

Civil war, as well: Those same aspects of non-commonality, writ small, within our nation’s borders that have led to congressional impasse will remain. Citizens will not become more homogenous simply because they are no longer affiliated with a larger, intrusive government. Each group will lay claim to the geography and control thereof, and in the turmoil that would necessarily and unavoidably follow, seek to seize control, by whatever means possible, leaving scores dead.

Currency, inter-nation transport of goods and materials, access to the former nation’s river ways, education of the nation-state’s children, caring for those who truly cannot care for themselves, defense of the nation-state’s borders, taxation, governance, and a plethora of other issues must be addressed, and very rapidly following secession to avoid the paralytic and deadly consequences of lethargy and disagreement.

...If people capable of meeting these challenges existed within the borders of the United States today, the subject of secession would be moot...

What is it that’s driving some of the population of some of the states into petitioning for secession? The bitter taste of sour grapes: the election outcome, although through popular vote was reflective of the nation’s wishes, did not reflect their ethnocentric desire. It’s the changing landscape of America. The authors did not support Obama: we voted for the Libertarian candidate, Gary Johnson. The outcome did not meet our ideal, either, but Democracy, in its bastardized form of today, worked, as it should.

America is not predominantly White any longer: We are Black, Brown, Red, and Yellow. We are a melting pot in which millions of immigrants have recently been sautéed but have yet to become inseparably part of the broth, thus their opinions may not reflect the straightedge capitalism of those White immigrants who had preceded them, recalling that we are a country of immigrants with not even the American Indian having a valid claim against the land as indigenous, but only aboriginal.

Either we live with this reality or we retroactively invalidate the concept of America from which it was formed, and retrospectively denounce our forefathers’ foresight as fatally flawed. Secede and, what the hell, the world could use a few million less inhabitants.

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Are We Stimulated, Yet?


While you were sleeping, as most of us were and are, nearly one trillion of our tax dollars ($1,000,000,000,000.00, for clarity sake) were re-distributed to various government agencies and corporations under the guise of “Economic Stimulus”. As the reader may recall, this plan was contrived by the Bush Administration to reverse the deterioration in our economy that began sometime as early as 2006 (although some argue that it was decades in the making). Through this Stimulus program those charged with its implementation invested our tax money in industry and government with the intended result of creating jobs during a time when unemployment was spiraling upward toward “Great Depression” levels.

Left principally to the execution of his successor, President Obama, the payouts began: Bankers, Carmakers, Defense Contractors, State and Local governments, and the like were all recipients of the US Government’s largesse; in many instances arguably not the best targeted use of tax money to create jobs.

Other, less-notable recipients, though, deserve equal skepticism, begging the question, How did this massive, historical gift of taxpayer funds, at a time when our budget deficit weighed and weighs like an albatross around the neck of the world’s economy, lead to the actual creation of jobs?

First, though, let’s consider Unemployment: Although often touted as an eight-percent reality, unemployment by the government’s own Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, U6 unemployment) actually exceeds 15%. Other, well-considered resources place it higher to varying degrees to account for the unknown number of our citizens who have given up on job-seeking of any type and have instead turned to the underground economy to eek-out a living: Your neighbors who operate an every-weekend yard sale, swap meet regulars, unregulated car repair, or begging at Walmart driveways and freeway off-ramps for that matter, and other creative earning solutions.

Most importantly, in the last forty years we – you and the authors – all of us – have happily off-shored much/most of our manufacturing jobs so that we – once again, all of us – may buy what we have redefined as those products we must have to live comfortably, more cheaply (and with higher profitability to those who make and sell those products).

To be clear about this, no other type of job can create another job unless it adds value to a process. In other words, to add value the job’s activity must increase the value of a product, and not simply add to its cost of sale. (For a more complete discussion as to why the authors believe our economy has neared collapse read, “What’s Really Wrong with the American Economy?”)

Receiving, Shipping, Merchandising, and Selling a product do not add value. Healthcare for those who Receive, Ship, etc. does not add value. Levying, collecting and re-distributing Sales Tax on the product as it is sold does not add value. Educating those who will work at a retail store does not add value. Writing about our loss of jobs does not add value. Only those involved in the Design, Engineering, Material Procurement, Machine Operation, and all of the other customary, documented facets of manufacturing add value and, thus, create jobs.

Traditionally, one Manufacturing job financially supports at least five Service and Government sector jobs. (Any job other than Manufacturing does not financially support further employment, regardless of the disinformation one may have heard regarding the potentially-disastrous consequences of public worker furloughs proposed in the last few years.) So, to create jobs one might imagine that the payouts of Economic Stimulus money were directed toward the goal of thus stimulating job growth.

So how well did our government do? From our perspective, not well. Two cases in point:

The First: Kingman Unified School District (KUSD) situated in Mohave County, Arizona. During 2009 this school district received a total of $7,578,563 in Economic Stimulus payments, in addition to their regularly-received 100% State support, Federal Special Programs and Grants payments. In that same year they reduced teaching staff by 20 full time teachers. In 2012 another 17 teachers lost their jobs. There may have been more job losses, but at this writing the authors are still awaiting a response from the district’s administrator, Roger Jacks, regarding current levels in both teaching and administrative positions. (You’ll note that no reductions apparently were made to administrative staff, only classroom teachers, resulting in a consolidation of students and the resultant ratio of student-to-teacher of 36-to-1.) The school district’s graduation rate ranges between 50% to 67% and continually scores below average on all tests, such as Stanford 10 and Arizona’s Instrument to Measure Standards or AIMS.

From their 2010 supplied School Improvement Grant application:

“Kingman Unified School District # 20 is a pre-K – 12th grade district located in northwestern Arizona. The district covers nearly 3000 square miles of territory and serves students of central Kingman and 7 outlying communities. KUSD is comprised of 10 campuses: (5) K-5 elementary schools, (1) K-8 school, (2) 6-8 middle schools, (1) 9-12 high school and (1) K-12 schools. Demographic Analysis: 77% White; 1.6% Black; 16.8% Hispanic; 3.7% Indian; 1.7% Asian.”

“Teaching / Administrative staff: Administration (22); Instructional Support (31.5); Title I Certified (25); Title I Classified (34); Special Education Certified (45); Special Education Classified (45); Electives / non-core teachers (69); Core Teachers (208) (editor’s note: less 37, leaving 181 as actual number) All KUSD schools have a full time principal and vice principal with the exception of our smallest elementary school. The middle schools and high schools have guidance counselors. Schools within the city limits share (3) School Resource Officers and schools in the county share (2) Sherriff (sic) Resource Officers.”

The authors presume that the grant money provided was used to partially-fund the construction of a new, as-yet unoccupied High School campus for the diminishing number of students in the district, constructed by CORE Construction companies (a conglomerate of several companies each registered to various states in which they operate, being required to have a local presence owing to the nearly exclusive relationship they maintain with local and state governments.) CORE’s revenue is estimated to be in excess of $750 million per year but the company is not publicly traded and is, instead, a closely-held, family-operated business divided amongst the founder’s four adult children, of whom at least one actively participates in the company’s direction. He is based in Illinois.

Jobs Created: (minus) 37.

The Second: Masada Charter School, Inc. The name, Warren Jeffs evokes disdain in the minds of most people who can recall its significance: The fallen heir to the throne of the Colorado City, Arizona/Hildale, Utah Mormon Fundamentalist group, termed the United Effort Plan, or UEP. Centennial Park, Arizona located just a few miles from this notorious Campus of fundamentalism that has been the bane of Mohave County’s prosecuting attorneys for nearly one hundred years, is a variation on the infamous Polygamous community of Colorado City. What’s different about Centennial Park’s residents – all 1,500 of them – is that, although practicing and teaching the joys and wonder (authors’ italics) of Polygamy, they have abolished “Child Bridehood” and other, the authors might term, primitive aspects of the more notorious versions of Mormon Fundamentalism.

What’s also different is that they have had their own Charter School, funded by the State of Arizona, for many years now. It’s called the Masada Charter School; Masada being the name of the ancient site of conflict between Jews and Romans that had resulted in the mass suicide of more than 900 Jewish men, women and children, rather than subject themselves to the laws of the Romans.

One of the ways the criminal issue has been avoided elsewhere is through the pronouncement of  “Celestial” marriages...

What’s very different is that the school was founded by Leanne Timpson, the same surname as one of the community’s founders, Alma Timpson (and Joseph Hammon) and she is also, apparently, an avowed Polygamist working to overturn the laws criminalizing Polygamy.  (One of the ways the criminal issue has been avoided elsewhere is through the pronouncement of “Celestial” marriages and other non-legal, albeit attested to be spiritually-binding ceremonies.) Of the school’s board of directors: Alma A. Timpson, President; Don D. Timpson, Vice President; board members, Chris Holm, Fawneta Caroll, Esther White, and Lorin K. Zitting. What makes the founder of this school a very unique commodity in a “typical” Polygamist community is that she is an achieving, educated female – an unheard of blasphemy in otherwise traditionalist Fundamentalist Mormon communities.

From the school’s website:

“Centennial Park is a relatively homogeneous community in rural northern Arizona with an all-white population of native English speakers. Masada Charter School began as a Master’s degree project of Leanne Timpson, a teacher in the rural district’s lone K–12 school. Enlisting the assistance of other interested teachers and community members, Timpson developed a proposal for Arizona’s Charter School Board.

“The school received $150,000 from the state in start-up funds for each of the first three years, and has supplemented those funds with six grants and various fund-raising activities. The business aspects of running the school are outsourced to a firm in Phoenix that assists other charter schools.”

And business it is. Every year the State of Arizona – that would be all of us – contributes more than $5,000 for every student enrolled, now numbering more than 500. Additional grants may be made along the way to support special projects, supplies, and “special needs” accommodations, from both the State of Arizona and the US Government. The school employs more than 25 classroom teachers, and a full cadre of assistants, managed by those listed above. The school’s roster of teachers and administrators reads like a textbook definition of, “Nepotism” but it is, after all, a quasi-public school, advantaging by its isolation on the Arizona Strip. Also, they are mostly, it would seem by surname, related to the community’s founders – the breakaway sect of Polygamists, and are, once again presumably accepting of the concept of Polygamy, or practitioners themselves.

In 2009 the Masada Charter School applied for and received $930,680 in Economic Stimulus money, in addition, of course, to their above-referenced year-to-year funding.

Jobs Created: Zero.

Let’s set aside the issue of creating jobs from Economic Stimulus, since there are apparently very few examples to which anyone in government can point to illustrate the program’s success (yet nearly everyone in industry and government wants more…). What of the quality of education, then, between Charter and Public schools? Perhaps that’s the Payback.

The Arizona Department of Education routinely issues Report Cards for all schools, Public or Charter. The report card sheds light on several key performance factors, among which the all-consuming standardized testing which seems to occupy too much of our student and teacher time. Notwithstanding, here are the results for a representative school in the Kingman Unified School District (links to AZ Education):

And likewise, for the Masada Charter School:

Using 2012 as the comparison year, although the results would be nearly the same regardless of the period involved, 41%, 69%, and 40% of the students at Kingman Middle School passed, as a percentage of student body, the subjects of Math, Reading, and Writing, respectively. Overall, the school’s grade was a “D”.

At Masada Charter School, for the same subject areas, the percentages are 84%, 91%, and 84%.  School grade, “A”.

Why is Masada so much more successful than its Public counterpart? One could carefully dance around the issue of ethnicity, and attribute the difference to the vast difficulties English as a Second Language students experience when first being immersed in our Public Education system. One might decry the disadvantages of over-populating the classroom, 36-to-1 (or more), versus 20-to-1. One might point to the participation of parents in the learning process: Remember that for many households in Centennial Park the MPH is vastly higher than that in Kingman owing to the Polygamous community make-up (MPH=Mothers-per-Household). (As well, Latter-day Saint communities overall place a very high emphasis on learning and growth. The Centennial Park community apparently shares that vision, but shuns the “other” Church’s abandonment of Plural Marriages in 1890.)

In other Fundamentalist communities all of the “Sister Wives” as they are called by some, tend to share their expertise and teach all of the (female) children of their household how to cook, sew, clean, be obedient, and so on. The authors imagine that this type of contextual learning remains the same in Centennial Park, but to a different degree since education is not reserved for solely the male of the species. Thus, there are likely several MPH at any one time capable of tutoring the subjects being taught at Masada, reflected in elevated scoring.

In Kingman, Arizona, less than 10% of the population holds a four-year degree or better, while 15% did not complete high school. It is a retirement enclave bordering Nevada and California along the Colorado River. Many of the retirees are former US Military and spouses. It is a politically conservative community built on the remnants of the Mining and Cattle industries that brought moderate wealth to its citizens early-on in the late 1800’s.

Like most communities across America, time in Kingman is probably spent in areas other than time with family: the average American spends more than three hours per day interacting in Social Media forums, and less than 30 minutes in Family interaction. Perhaps that’s the cause of the disparate results.

In any eventuality, and for any reason, the difference is striking and reflective of something quite important. We’re just not sure of what. What we do know is that the Economic Stimulus program hefted on us beginning in 2008 did little or nothing to actually create the type of work that would become self-supporting following the termination of the funding: That should have been the program’s goal.

One might make the case that the Masada School is manufacturing a commodity that could, in fact, lead to sustained job growth, by developing educated, creative workers capable of leading America back to its former world-preeminence. But as the Bard said, here’s the rub: in our opinion these children cannot find their way into mainstream American life as active participants in the economy owing to their likely inclination toward Plurality in marriage: that’s the stated commitment of the community in which they live – its founding premise. We can use these eager young minds and talents only if the rest of America changes its perspective on the very controversial subject at the center of the community’s beginnings.

In Kingman, Arizona, where for every three people there are five definite opinions, that’s not likely to happen.

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Forget the Fiscal Cliff: We’ve Been Doomed for Decades



Why this article should be important to you, and why you ought to read it in its entirety:

Imagine a scale with:

Fourteen million on the right.

One hundred million in the middle.

The rest of America on the left.

What did we expect?

In an earlier article entitled, “Yet Another Article About Why the Republicans Don’t Get It...” (available in the Archives section) we touched on some of the more critical issues facing America today, attempting to illustrate the contradiction inherent within today’s political discourse both Democrat and Republican.

Although having voted for Gary Johnson, we did share one common footing with Mr. Romney: (at least) 47% of Americans are not pulling their weight in America today, leaving the capable remainder to support them through one government program or another. A long, painful, downward spiral since the inception of the New Deal that has left America where it is now without much hope of recovery. Ever. Without revolution in one form or another.

This situation is untenable in any economic schema: Communist, Capitalist or otherwise. Even Ernesto Guevara would shake his head in dismay, probably quipping that we are polar-opposite of his Modern Man ideal. And we are. “Work” means nothing to many of us today.

Authored in 2011 the below article remained hitherto unpublished. It is a comprehensive and heavily researched analysis of our current fiscal state. Read it and weep.


For the many years preceding this last economic “slow-down” Americans have been exposed to a plethora of articles all seemingly pointing to some single factor that led us to our current state, laying blame wherever possible to push that writer’s agenda. Yet causality from an economics perspective is rarely that specific.

Perhaps what’s missing is a more heuristic approach since most of us have some vague concept of what’s gone wrong, and by taking a brief look at the various trends over the last several decades we may be able to identify the nexus between what  we did and where we are.

From our view America’s economic machinery can be divided into just three categories: The first are those types of work that are Economically Positive (E+), Manufacturing, and in most cases, Agriculture and Farm work. The second are Economically Neutral (En) and includes only Service sector employment. The third are Economically Negative (E-).

E+ work includes primarily Manufacturing jobs along with Mining, Agriculture, and Farm work. Staying with the principle factor of Manufacturing, here’s what’s occurred in the relatively short time since 1950 when about 40% of all jobs in the United States were categorized as Manufacturing: We made nearly everything that the American Consumer (including the U.S. Military and its affiliates) could want.

We had virtually no reliance on imported oil (for processing into gasoline) at that time. “Imported” was caviar and the rare individual who could afford a Jaguar, Mercedes, or Triumph.

Today, owing to a variety of reasons, Manufacturing employment in the United States is about 9%: As a result one may easily argue that we’re a country of three hundred million friends all passing basically the same dollar around from one to the next because there is very little new wealth being added to the economy. So why is this important?

Some argue that it’s good for the environment since we no longer have a large number of pollution-creating businesses with which to contend. Let’s talk about that: The Non-Durable goods we now import, at one time made here in America, are now popularly identified by the authors as not as durable, being better defined as “Really Non-Durable” goods. The brooms we buy can’t be left sitting on the porch exposed to the elements year-after-year (yet still functional) as they once were; the clothing we buy from various Asian countries tends to break-down, fray and lose buttons after the first washing; patio furniture disintegrates when left outside on the…patio.

How much energy does it take to manufacture a Non-Durable product versus a Really-Non-Durable product? About the same. How much of the world’s very finite natural resources does it consume? About the same. How much pollution does it create that we – globally – must contend with? More. Why? Fewer controls on offshore manufacturers have resulted in what in some cases is irreversible environmental damage. That’s one of several reasons why many of our manufacturers relocated to overseas locations, and it’s hardly a secret.

Can we buy those things that we now need for less money? Yes we can (in the very short term). Unfortunately we’re doomed to buy replacements again and again, whereas those goods we manufactured here (past-tense) far out-lasted the imported. Does the manufacturer benefit through increased profits that in most cases are not subject to taxation? Yes. Is the profit associated with manufacturing this product finding its way back into America’s communities? No. Have we upset the balance of economics globally to our disadvantage?

In 1987 our Trade Deficit was $152,119,100,000 U.S. Dollars. At that time Manufacturing jobs in the United States stood at a little more than 20% of all jobs. (In 1950 we had no trade deficit, but a Trade Surplus and nearly 40% of our workforce was dedicated to Manufacturing.)

In 2010 Manufacturing stood about as it does today at 9%. Our corresponding Trade Deficit is…well it’s astronomical at $634,896,800,000 U.S. Dollars. This year it will most assuredly exceed that amount. If we make nothing, we have nothing to export. (Interestingly, if Software Engineering and its related activities had not been included as a Manufacturing activity our actual percent of jobs in this category would be substantially less.)

Multiplier Effect (ME): Manufacturing jobs have always been viewed as having a positive effect on other sectors of the economy. Although varying, most seem to agree that a Manufacturing job will generate more to the community for every dollar of wage paid than any other type of employment.

In California during the early 1980’s while doing legislative work specific to Employment Security, we generally held that every one Manufacturing job resulted in a return of about five  other jobs, supporting employment in the Services and Government sectors, Welfare, and so on, none of which can make this claim as we will discuss below.

Working for America ( uses the very modest Multiplier Factor of 143%, yet declares that Service jobs represent only a 73% return for cost (only seventy-three cents of every dollar spent for Services re-emerges in the economy).

So Manufacturing jobs strengthen our economy by adding wealth both on a local level and globally: While passing the metaphorical dollar around our little group of three hundred million we add more dollars (that are not derived through the mere act of printing money).

Let’s place Manufacturing jobs on the right side of our scale. Assumed with Manufacturing is the equivalent activity of growing food or Mining natural resources for consumption here in the U.S. and for export, further offsetting the Trade Deficit. (Unless otherwise noted, data for the above supplied through Bureau of Labor Statistics, Census, and US Commerce.)

E- programs and work are all of those activities that do not directly add wealth to the economy: in fact they are Subtractive. They are the sum cost of supporting all other Americans, other than perhaps Service employment.

They are not profit-driven but represent work and related expense that is seen as necessary, vital, important, socially significant, or entitlement in nature. And, from the office of the President of the United States to our nearly trillion-dollar budget for National Defense and Law Enforcement, all the way down the line to Bob-the-local-Building-Inspector none add to the wealth of the country. Some may safeguard our economic wealth but in doing so function as a cost-center – an expense - to our Manufacturing sector.

Currently (early 2011) there are about 312,000,000 people living in America. Our universe of those who are capable of working is about 239,500,000: what is defined as Civilian Non-Institutional population (people 16 or more years of age). Here’s how the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) defines it: “The civilian noninstitutional (sic) population consists of persons 16 years of age and older residing in the 50 States and the District of Columbia who are not inmates of institutions (for example, penal and mental facilities and homes for the aged) and who are not on active duty in the Armed Forces.”

The actual Civilian Labor Force, though, is far less at 154,538,000. BLS defines this workforce as “…all persons classified as employed or unemployed” as described above. That means it is the total of 140,129,000 people with jobs, plus the 14,000,000 who are “officially” unemployed, plus the 7,100,000 who “currently want a job”.

Where are the others? A short answer is, too young, too old, unable due to disability or military service. (Military Service accounts for about 2,000,000.)

So there are about 140,000,000 people working in America today – less than half the overall population. 9% of them are in Manufacturing jobs that support economic growth. Being generous let’s call it 14,000,000 people who do something for a living that brings in more than it costs, leaving us 126,000,000 non-manufacturing workers.

In the Subtractive category (E-) are:

Federal employment. As of March, 2011 the Office of Personnel Management identifies 2,124,000 Full Time Equivalent employees working for the U.S. government. That is up from 1,763,000 in 2000.

State government employment. Total state government employment currently stands at 3,836,500. Depending on the source, that number is up anywhere from 2 to 6 percent in the last decade, or more if one uses pre-9/11 figures.

Local government employment. Cities and counties as of 2009 employ about 11,114,889 people.

In addition Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs), funded partially or completely through one or more government agencies employ more than 9,000,000 people. While some may argue that NGOs are funded to some extent (or wholly) through private donations, the associated tax loss must be subvented by others, therefore resulting in direct government support to these organizations – everything from OxFam to your neighborhood spay and neuter clinic.

En: How many people left? From the above we know that about 26,100,000 people work for the government, in one form or another and exclusive of the military, 14,000,000 making something, leaving us a remaining workforce of 100,000,000 people.

Most of these people are employed in the Service sector of our economy, encompassing the vast array of employment represented in this very general classification. They are sales associates, nurses and doctors, mechanics and landscapers, and anyone who does not make something in his or her job, notwithstanding how good they and others may feel about that work. Regardless, their activity does not add to the wealth of the country.

Other E- (Subtractive) factors:

Social Security, while funded by employer and employee contributions, remains Subtractive. Currently there are about 38,500,000 people aged 65 and older who are receiving payments through this system and an additional 16,315,000 as surviving spouses, children and the disabled for a total of 54,815,000. This number will continue to rise, shortly very dramatically, as those who engineered this chaos reach retirement age: the Baby-Boomers, to which generation the writers belong. Some recipients qualify for both Social Security and Supplemental Insurance payments.

Supplemental Security Income, again funded by both employer and employee contributions, has become a refuge for the many in America who are unable to find work owing to some form of disability, real or fabricated. The number receiving this type of benefit has dramatically increased in the past few years as accessing the system has been perfected by those whose job it is to represent claimants. Currently the number of recipients is 8,057,000.

Public Assistance/Welfare in America, like all other entitlement programs, has dramatically risen in the last five years for those who have exhausted their unemployment benefits, and all subsequent extensions, and must fall-back on this system to provide for their family: it is the last vestige of hope for many. And, thus, the number of recipients has risen from 2008’s 2,700,000 to 2009’s 3,009,319. Today in 2011, the estimated number of recipients approaches 3,500,000 (perhaps more).

Unemployed and receiving benefits accounts for more than 14,000,000 Americans. “Discouraged” former workers – those who have dropped out of the system and exist through Public Assistance, odd jobs, or transient lives – account for more than 7,000,000, and the number probably goes much higher since they have fallen away from the system.

How does it balance out?

On the right side of the scale we have 14,000,000 workers who manufacture, by today’s definition, some form of product and thus bring wealth into our system.

On the left side of the scale are 2,000,000 military; 26,100,000 government and quasi-government workers; 54,815,000 Social Security and related recipients; 8,057,000 Supplemental Income recipients; 3,500,000 Public Assistance cases; 14,000,000 receiving unemployment benefits, for a total of more than 108 million people. Thus (E-)1086/(E+)146 = 7.71(F1).

In other words for every one (1) manufacturing job there are 7.71 others who are an Opposing Force. Using the more liberal Multiplier Effect described above of 5:1, we can see that we’ve outreached our ability to grow (or just to sustain) our economy by 65%.  And we passed that mark some time ago when our total Subtractive factors exceeded (5*146=) 70,000,000 people.

But what about the money? Aren’t Americans making more? Our answer is fairly concise, “Who cares?” The value of a dollar or of ten or of one million dollars is vague and inconsistent. A friend once said, “When gold reaches five thousand dollars an ounce we’ll be able to buy a loaf of bread for five hundred dollars.” The value of the Dollar is relative and volatile.

To understand what went wrong and how to fix the problem, we need to look at the one immutable factor of our economy, people.

A few paragraphs above we set aside our Service sector employment, numbering nearly one-third of the U.S. population at 100,000,000. A catch phrase during the 1980’s and 1990’s while we (the authors) were consulting to a variety of industries was “Value Added”: it was important that we were able to identify some empirically-based positive change in the way the company did business to demonstrate our worth or value (to make certain that our invoices were paid). In some cases – to what extent remains nebulous – we could do so with those client companies who manufactured a product.  For those who did not, there was no metric other than improved service levels reflected on some vague Likert–scale summary depicting Happiness levels, which in reality did and do nothing to bring greater wealth to our society. Waste Reduction in Service industries benefited only shareholders and those others who participated in any incentives shared for reduced operational cost.

In other words, Waste had an impact on those who derived their compensation from the efforts of others but did not add wealth to the economy. Similarly, Services themselves do not add wealth, and may, in fact, lead to an undeserved sense of economic well-being, such as when the BLS reports an increase in Service sector employment.

Imagine a scale with:

Fourteen million on the right.

One hundred million in the middle.

The rest of America on the left.

What did we expect?

Fixing It

We need to bring the economy back into alignment. Moreover, we need to bring it further back than just “in alignment” if we propose to reduce our National Debt. To stabilize the economy necessitates growth in E+ and/or reduction/transfer/shift in E- (and En). To address America’s long-term debt, piling ever higher, means that we must make a more dramatic change.

It’s that simple. Yet, it’s that complex owing to:

Our abandonment of our manufacturing infrastructure and a misguided and government-reinforced generalization of what constitutes job growth. (Plainly evidenced in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which funded jobs, to a very large extent in the Service sector. The effect? Adding some (large) percentage of the (borrowed) $267,000,000,000 to the profit margins of companies whose added jobs added nothing to the overall foundation of our economy.)

American Consumerism. We are driven to acquire at the lowest cost those things we “need” giving no thought to the true cost of acquisition, nor to the cost-benefit of its acquisition. For the most part, jobs, life-span, obsolescence, and environmental consequences do not enter the decision-making process.

Work, itself, has lost its significance to many, replaced instead by a vague yet committed sense of entitlement.

A loss of perspective by: Those who work; those who own the companies; those who invest in the companies; those who could otherwise work but do not; those who run our government; those who interact and advise all of the aforementioned.

Are we heading to a collapse? We don’t know. What we do conjecture, though, is that Collapse may be one of the only ways in which this very broken system may be rebuilt: It’s been decades in the making.

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Yet Another Article About Why the Republicans Don’t Get It...


…and why America’s minorities don’t either: We’re broke. According to an AP article by Nancy Benac and Connie Cass, summarizing this year’s election, “Ask white voters about the proper role of government…and 60 percent think it should do less. Ask Hispanics the same question, and 58 percent think the government should do more, as do 73 percent of blacks, exit polls show.”

As a country we lack the financial capability to fulfill the role of increased provider: The Republicans don’t understand this and press for further (and continuing) tax breaks for those most suited to pay additional tax (arguably on a fair-share basis); and the Democrats (and apparently America’s minority populations) don’t understand that our government cannot continue at its present pace to dole out billions of dollars in aide each year to what is approaching (or has long-since passed) a majority of America’s overall population.

Most importantly, we cannot continue to support other nations no matter how pro-Western at the moment they may be, including through our out-of-control Military budget.

This is, by anyone familiar with Family Law practices in the United States commonly termed, Irreconcilable Differences. The result of such differences, understanding their subjective emotional gravity leads to a definite and agreed separation between the two people involved, sometimes amicably, sometimes not.

By analogy, this is today’s carefree entitlement-based Greece to Germany’s Freedom through Work, most probably leading to the near-term dissolution, to some degree, of the European Union, thus allowing each component country to revert to its prior nation-status.  Gaining acceptance as an inevitability both abroad and here in the United States, it is a commonplace subject of debate among ordinary citizens, pundits, and government officials.

Yet, in America today the topic of dissolution – here – is rarely addressed, although from the authors’ perspectives it is a likely conclusion to our present impasse.

America as it is defined geographically today has a chronology of only a little more than 100 years...

Our nation, like any before or after our formation, was based on commonality: a shared interest in those premises that we as a people valued. They are reflected in our Constitution and our Bill of Rights, much like wedding vows where those being joined together promise to weather sickness and health, wealth and poverty, or in short, good times and bad. Unfortunately, it’s far easier to promise these things than it is to abide by the promises made.

America as it is defined geographically today has a chronology of only a little more than 100 years, and for the last few decades we’ve been holding on by our teeth, scratching and pulling, tugging and ripping at various facets of society, while being simultaneously pre-occupied with downturns and upturns. In reality, there is no cohesion in America: there is no longer a commonality among us.

Over the past few years a few of our states’ governors have suggested withdrawal from the United States as a means to what was from their perspectives (and ours) a logically-deduced end to the continuing and worsening debacle that is America today. There is, in fact, a faction currently in Louisiana proposing secession at this time. Variously, Texas, Arizona and other states’ leadership have suggested, as well, that the electorate of their state consider withdrawal as a solution to an unhappy marriage.

From our perspective, there is no denying that the break-up of this union – our experiment in Democracy on a grand scale – would lead to anything other than a safer, happier world devoid of any superpower, which history shows, regardless of how benevolent they profess to be are likely to be the chief bearers of violence and death; And, for those nation-states falling out of the sieve, a far more homogenous resultant populace who may more efficiently and coherently address the needs of their people: their commonality.

It is neither a racist nor elitist conclusion: it’s common sense. If any group of three Americans today have five different opinions regarding what’s wrong with America, how can one logically expect 330 million to agree on solutions to those few, yet very grave issues we face as we near the precipice.

Breakfast Serial


In a recent article I editorialized that true change comes, as Ernesto Guevara said, “…only from the barrel of a rifle.” In an informal discussion the other day this thought surfaced again as we discussed the potential changing of the guard proposed to occur sometime in January 2013 when either the next pretender to the throne succeeds President Obama, or Obama assumes the mantle of the lamed duck and concocts whatever schemes he, within the confines of Congressional approval, may wish to foist on us as ways to rid ourselves of the 600 pound albatross hanging about our collective neck.

(His platform in 2007 was all about Change. Nothing happened. Things are worse. He serves the same Masters as Romney. So it goes.)

Is was about this point in the conversation that I invoked Guevara believing that it may truly be the only way out of this quagmire. Those present seemed to agree, and yet none (including the author) would suggest actively working to overthrow our government. (The foregoing message was brought to you by the Department of Homeland Security.)

Later, it did remind me of a rather lengthy piece GL Hill and I wrote in 2006 entitled, The Coming of Deseret, which had heretofore remained lost on the hard drive of this and prior computers since its completion, languishing in a miserable, binary near-death coma. Yet it is a story worth reading. We thought so then, and we think so now.

It’s a story about the collapse of the United States, how it occurs, the battles fought, the thoughts and feelings of those involved, and what rises from the ashes. One country within the former borders of the United States, Deseret, is the re-invocation of a dream by Brigham Young: a sovereign nation in which all members of the LDS church might live their lives to the fullest extent as articulated in the prophesies of the church’s founder, Joseph Smith. Quite obviously, Deseret occupies what is now Utah, along with parts of Arizona, from where this journal is published, and other areas of the Southwest.

Owing to its length, about 26,000 words, it will be serialized. Read it in its entirety. We may have missed the projected date of occurrence, 2013, but by how many years? Perhaps this type of event will never occur: rather, we’ll plod along as a cancerous nation spiraling down the world ladder of wealth, education, illiteracy, poverty and ignorance. Or, as Che understood, maybe we’ll bring about real change through the rifle bores of a small percentage of the current American public. Remember, the vast majority of Colonialists supported remaining under the Crown. Only a few, vocal, independently-minded individuals brought this country into being, dragging the balance along kicking, screaming, whining but not effectively resisting, owing to various placations. Much like today.

- Editor

American Veal

(A  Serial)

Jos. Warren

Chapter One

Hitler: Friend of the Jews?

As we observe the anniversary of Darwin’s epic treatise regarding the evolution of all of the world’s creatures through Natural Selection, and in particular that of human-kind, the thoughtful reader may analogize the lessons evoked to a variety of circumstances in far more recent history. One such application may be found readily in the relationship between European Jewry and the rise of the Third Reich and its efforts to contain and destroy Europe’s Jewish population through enactment of the Final Solution.

While most readers may at first find the title of this chapter, Hitler: Friend of the Jews a bit ironic, to say the least, in more than just title there is overwhelming evidence of substantial irony: an unanticipated benefit as a result of the ignorant, bitter hate and arrogance of one people toward another.

To fully understand the complexity of the basic premise that a group of people can benefit through the violent and/or ignorant actions of another requires that the reader abandon emotion and consider the interactions of groups of people as nothing more than, say, the study of bacteria beneath the lens of a microscope or the interactions of heavenly bodies through the refraction of a telescope. Difficult to do? Impossible for most.

Yet, the most important lesson that can be taken away from allowing ourselves to consider the evolutionary advantages of a disadvantageous relationship, is that, similarly and conversely, there is a probability of a resulting evolutionary disadvantage to any advantageous relationship. And, therein lies the most important lesson for tomorrow.

To facilitate understanding of this maxim one need only look to Nietzsche: That which does not kill you only makes you stronger. Often quoted and largely taken only superficially, Nietzsche might have better said, “That which does not kill you only makes your progeny stronger and/or smarter as a result of breeding with those who have suffered a similar trial of the body, mind and soul” for it was under the most extreme circumstances that the Jews of Europe were forced to exist as best they could. Those who did possessed cunning, intellect, physical strength, spiritual resolve or any combination of other characteristics that permitted them to endure, to live, and, following this epic disaster of humanity, to procreate.

So, the sensitive skeptic might rail, “To say this is to condemn those who did not live beyond the camps to the category of lame, stupid, spiritually vapid or weak!” In some cases, yes, and in others, no: Circumstances, by analogy just as those that arose to exterminate otherwise healthy, thriving organisms in the distant evolutionary path, truncated their existence. So, at the various extermination camps – Death Camps – operated by the Nazi’s there were circumstances that may have arisen that would have nullified existence under any terms.

Europe’s Jews, the beneficiaries of Hitler’s pogrom, saw a substantial increase in measured intelligence, pre- to post-World War II. Certainly not the first, but decidedly the most effective and unintentional Eugenicist, Hitler’s regimen of human destruction accomplished in very few years what would have taken nature a millennium to bring forth, if at all.

What is the lesson, the reader might ask? It is the converse of

Nietzsche’s maxim...

If nothing can kill you,

nothing can make you stronger:

When those life-threatening affects in our lives are negated through science and /or legislation, sadly, everyone survives breeding a race of the weak - both physically and mentally, thus breeding, American Veal.

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The Ashamed American

Jos. Warren

“They’re going to take our jobs!” What jobs? We gave those away over the last 20 years to China (and Vietnam). If it weren’t such a vast body of water to cross you’d probably find people swimming west from Mexico.

To impose criminal penalties on people who come to what was their country before we took it away from them is as illogical as invading Iraq when it was 15 Saudi Arabians, an Egyptian, two Lebanese and one from the United Arab Emirates (led by another Saudi) who took down the Twin Towers on September 11. Who would do something as logically truncated as that?

How arrogant and egocentric can one nation of people be? And here’s a statement that’s sure to elicit a, “Well why the hell don’t you leave...” kind of response: I’m so ashamed to be an American today.

Was a time when that would never have been the case. When I was born, President Truman was in office. He was followed by Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and you know the rest, or if you’re a graduate of today’s American school system, you probably don’t. Check your favorite resource for in-depth research, Wikipedia.

A Maslowvian Massacre

When I was a child things were different. Life was different. People wanted things but the things we wanted were modest examples of a Capitalist (or any) society: We wanted access to education, reliable transportation, and clean, adequate living conditions, because for not too many years before, that was a tough need to fill. Today, our needs have changed. Needs and Wants are intertwined and have forged an amalgam of confusion and conflict – discordance: A Maslowvian Massacre.

When did this happen? Thinking back, the Prophet of Greed was Ronald Reagan: Greed is Good became our mantra. And from that point on Greed took over. Greed’s the simple motivation of everything most of us do. We’d like to believe that we’re complex and profoundly different than the rest of the animal kingdom, but we’re not, and may be a much lower-ranking species.

I have a brother who is a clinical psychologist. He and his wife, also a therapist, bang drums and walk a labyrinth and suggest pseudo-therapies, working closely with their patients on an hourly rate to insure their patient’s improved mental health, further perpetuating the myth that we are complex and require special handling. It’s just not true.

Greed Therapy is what we need: some way to cause us to reflect on our behaviors and how Greed figures into it., as it is defined today by most, is Greed driven; the acquisition of things we don’t need that are now manufactured overseas at a low price (and a lifespan to match) while we bemoan the loss of jobs in America as we shop the aisle ways of Wal-Mart buying more is nothing more than Greed at work; Politics is Greed – all political offices are Greed-driven rewarding the successful candidates and those who supported them with (greater) wealth and power; War is purely an act of Greed today, as it has been many times before for the millennia that preceded us, just as the invasion of Iraq was nothing more than Greed – in its ultimate form.

Greed’s at work every day around us and has become so integral to our way of life that we fail to see its influence. But it’s there driving us constantly, and in America, it has completely taken over.

It’s greedy to think that our motivations are anything but Greed-driven. And while much of the world faces (or will soon face) starvation, where fresh drinking water is quickly vanishing from the face of the earth, where adequate shelter is non-existent for many, where we have so greedily despoiled the once-vast resources of our little spaceship, our government on our behalf, and most importantly on the behalf of the businesses that thrive on its consumption, continues to seek out new acquisitions of mineral wealth to squander.

A popular pastime in the United States is speculating as to why we are such a violent society, imprisoning thousands of our citizens every year for the commission of violent acts. Yet, worldwide the USA is one of the greatest purveyors of violence in history, reducing other civilized nations to chaos and ashes, killing off hundreds of thousands – millions – of people in our quest to control all that can be controlled to satisfy our Greed. Some quick facts: The United States imprisons more people for violent acts than any other country. We are number one. Communist China, the alleged Oppressor, is number 121.

When did we begin to not care? Is it that Adolf Hitler was an over-achiever and the remnants of the deaths of the eleven million people he slaughtered has left us immune to the deaths of just one million? Have our genocidal acts been negated by Hitler’s raising of the bar on what constitutes a crime against humanity? And in 2002 why would George W. Bush not allow the United States to become signatory to the International Criminal Court so that war crimes, such as those we committed in Iraq could be rectified?

We are no longer a beacon of freedom, of justice, of liberty: we are darkness.

We have a long-standing embargo – a blockade – against Cuba as a result of a small, loud-mouthed group of insane people who live principally in Miami and New Jersey. The blockade has brought hardship to a country that does not deserve it. It is a country that has worked hard to bring literacy to a level that shames the United States; that provides free healthcare to all of its people; that maintains cordial and respectful relations with nearly every other country in the world. But we maintain an archaic and Greed-driven standoff that ultimately has hurt only ourselves.

We profess to maintain the blockade because the long-term ruler of the country, Fidel Castro and his brother, Raul, are Communists and because of a long, mixed history of bipolar, confused and hypocritical American policy. Based on extensive reading and research I could argue that point effectively, but why would it matter? Do we not maintain a trade deficit of such immense proportions with China that much of our country’s assets have been acquired by that government; the same government that during its formation caused the deaths of more than 70 million of its people? The same government which through its closely aligned Vietnam and North Korea waged wars against an invading force of Americans that resulted in the deaths of more than 100,000 of our own citizens, and more than three million of theirs?

Jimmy Carter, not arguably our last great president, is as dismayed as some of us that in a world where no other superpower exists we continue to spend ten times more on defense than any other country in the world. To fight whom? In a country where education is being relegated to last place; where feeding the hungry is second (or tenth) behind maintaining tax breaks for the wealthy; where a healthcare law intended to provide a base for all Americans to not fear seeking out medical treatment is nearly defeated by some type of anti-American, anti-Freedom rhetoric fueled by today’s Goebbelian media under the façade of American Free Spirit; where the longevity of the species is not likely to outlast the National Debt, is spending ten times what any other country spends on defense, sane?

The United States has a long-standing relationship with Israel. Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians and other Arabs is patently inhumane and ought to be adjudicated in the International Criminal Court, too. Yet, to be critical of Israel will brand the commentator as an anti-Jew (anti-Semite is an incorrect term to use since the Semitic people, or Semites, include Jews, Muslims and others of shared heritage). Is it anti-Christian to be against the US’s Middle East policy? I am opposed to many of our foreign policy practices, yet I am a graduate of a Jesuit university and of a Catholic background and childhood. Would it therefore be rational to presume I am anti-Christian?

Our First Amendment – the one that preserves our right to Free Speech – has been buried under a dung pile of Social Media. Where once the newspaper served as a focal point for discourse; wherein opinions were argued; wherein the community metaphorically assembled, are now like old whores selling what remains of them for a few dollars to keep the machinery going: to what ultimate end, who knows?

Now, Facebook et al serve as the basis for argument of non-issues doping the citizenry into further stupidity, engulfing them in self-centered drivel of no import. There are few arguments forging long- term solutions being discussed amid the illiterate swirl of self-aggrandizement in Social Media. The analogy is to throw a bucket of possible solutions into an ocean of ignorance. No single employment of technology has contributed more to the death of thinking and action and of the First Amendment in America than Facebook and the like. And, they are the Killing Fields of the English language and creative thought.

As we approach elections this year I, like many, am dismayed at what our society has to offer: a recipient of what once was a prestigious award for one’s untiring efforts to manifest peace in the world, yet bestowed on a man who has continued to prosecute an internecine war and continues to prostitute himself to the influences of wealth; or, a tireless corporate raider whose track record for destroying jobs and people places him high on the list of the demonic. Greed.

Perhaps the cure I long for lies in what some call the impending collapse. Perhaps someone will step forward and penetrate the wall of ignorance that has been erected around and within America. Perhaps I long for a Messiah: I just hope he or she is not on Facebook.

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Suspect No. 1: State of California


Mohave County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) released it’s official report January 18, 2013 regarding the State of California’s theft of the editor’s identity. (See, California, Shrinking the Deficit Through Identity Theft and Fraud, column right.)

The report asks, “Is suspect known?” Yes, is the official response. “Has suspect been apprehended?” No. “Suspect No. 1” is identified as, State of California.

There are 38,000,000 Californians. Through our penal system in Arizona we currently house 9,000 Californians serving their sentences here due to overcrowding there. Although it is very satisfying to read the report, I’m just not certain where we’ll put the other 37,991,000 inmates.

Save Our State:

A reaction to last issue’s report of California stealing identities to enhance the state’s coffers

“I was pleased to see your article on the State Board of Equalization's habit of making assessments on out-of-state persons. I have many stories about the Board's activities, but not like yours. I have been watching their activities though, based upon what I went through, (partially self-inflicted), and what case information comes within my sight. The Board makes many "determinations" upon people who live in other states, usually due to businesses operated (in California) that failed.

“I remember one business I (had) closed…and they made an assessment for taxes theoretically collected after the business closed, two quarters I think. My effort to convince them it was closed fell upon disbelieving…ears, even (after) showing the bank records with no income, and other documents.

“I was somewhat lucky that I even got notice of it to oppose it. Most move away to (other states) and don't learn about it until the state tries to obtain, or does obtain, a sister state judgment and collection begins (there).

“I have been publishing the roster of tax settlements where people have went through offers in compromise program. Millions are forgiven by the state…But what gripes me to no end is seeing the hypocrisy the state exhibits to selected classes of persons in the prosecution of the tax offenders. Each year, the legislature allows the Mexican government to set up shop at the state capitol on Mexican independence day.

“I could go on here for pages, but I just wanted to offer a bit of solace since you took time to write about your experience.”

Davi Rodrigues


Save Our State

Why On Earth Do You Care?

A regular, laconic featurette by the Editor-in-Chief

O. W. Holmes said that taxes ought to be like the rain: Equally falling upon each member of a political region.

So, why are they not?

Who is Save Our State? According to its Chairman, Davi Rodrigues, “Save Our State has its roots in the Save Our License, Prop 187, anti-illegal immigration movement. We have altered our corporate statement to include a few more efforts that contribute to illegal immigration, and infringe upon citizen rights by way of foreign influence.

“The tax issue is one we have complained about for many years (see, California: Shrinking... column right), in that the state was eager to enforce the tax code against people who operate above board, but were indifferent or dismissive where immigrants were involved. We specifically pointed out several block-long areas where the underground economy operated openly, but never saw any enforcement.

“There's one section of the forum (at the SOS site) called ‘Partners in Propriety’ where we are seeking to ask government agencies to embrace the concept of fair enforcement of tax codes, and employment codes. We work with anybody that asks for help in reporting violators, and trying to get the law enforced…

“It's too easy for government agencies to abuse…(the balance of society). Right now, we believe they are massaging the Latino/illegal alien/immigrant demographic for political gain by relaxing enforcement on them so they can grow economically, politically, and demographically: All to the peril of the rest of the citizens who suffer the full force of government intrusion…”

(Davi Rodrigues, Chairman)


And, a very brief letter from regarding our earlier article, Yet Another Militia:

“Good article, great read. We're not right wing: we’re Center Right.

“Keep up the fight.”


Editor’s reply: Rather than Center Right we think you fall more appropriately into the category of Pragmatists: Every day that passes it seems clearer that the prudent individual ought to be more prepared for the growing potential eventuality.

Refuse Your Daily Meds: Turn Off Your TV.

It’s time to wake up.


Shrinking the Budget Deficit Through Identity Theft and Fraud


…If any of our readers, anywhere in the world committed this same act they would be guilty of Identity Theft because that’s what it was: The knowing, willful, voluntary taking of someone’s identity for the financial gain of someone else…

California’s never-ending financial calamity is no secret: Every day the Associated Press reports the newest scheme devised by either California’s “shaken, not stirred” legislature or its still-crazy-after-all-these-years governor, Jerry Brown, to bring about renewed financial well-being to the once great, now crumbling state.

While the highways leading out of California to other neighboring and distant geographies are busily traversed by the multitudes departing California for good, the brooding remaining masses (energized by an influx of recent immigrants) continue to struggle over how best to impose new and better taxes on an already over-burdened populace.

How does one keep exorbitant welfare rolls, a bloated government, an excruciatingly painful infrastructure, a prison system that is so overcrowded that more than 9,000 inmates have been shipped off to Arizona to serve out their sentences, and a pork-barrel legislature in business when there are only so many residents to tax?

It is a problem, but not one insurmountable to California’s bureaucratic creative thinkers. Here’s their latest outside-the-box approach: Levy a tax on people who no longer live in California for businesses they did not operate. Simple, very creative, and illegal, but it’s the government, so why trouble one’s self over the question of legality, not to mention ethics.

Here’s how their latest idea works: If you’ve ever conducted business in California you had to register with one or (likely many) more of the agencies whose wills (and fees) they collectively impose upon you for the privilege of exercising a basic right in a Democratic society. Registration includes providing these agencies with information the nature of which is so sensitive that any consumer protection agency would caution you to shred, burn, then mix the ashes of the paper on which this information was printed into an edible paste…

The various state agencies in California don’t subscribe to this level of information security, though, and see it instead as a vast resource leading to a beneficial end. California’s State Board of Equalization – the people who collect the Sales Taxes paid by consumers to the state’s retailers – are heading the new effort through a program I like to think they call, Why not!

Within this vast whirlpool of computer-stored information is all the data one would need to re-construct anyone’s identity. And that’s what they did…with mine.

Briefly, the editors departed California in 2004 having spent fifty-three years watching as the state slowly ran its course from, What a beautiful place! to just, What? Leaving Newport Beach – the still lovely peninsula of Balboa – we trekked eastward overcome by the ability to buy an historic home in a lovely and friendly community (and another, and another) for the equivalent of a month’s worth of Toll Road fees. The years pass…happiness abounds…state government in Arizona vastly lacks the equivalent lunatic fringe so prevalent in California…we come to understand that Normal truly is much more pleasant.

March 2012 circuitously brings a letter from the California State Board of Equalization (the Board) I was able to receive only because the property to which it was addressed is tenant occupied, having bounced off our old Newport Beach address, then redirected: From the letter it would appear that while living in Arizona during 2007, my doppelgänger had been busy operating a hardware store somewhere in Pioneer, California, which I have since learned is north of where Mark Twain’s infamous Jumping Frog took place. (I love Mark Twain’s stories so I must have been enjoying myself.) Not only was he my double, but he also used my Social Security number, and was sleeping with another woman. For the sake of clarity in third-person narrative, let’s call this person, Mr. Editor.

Mr. Editor’s very concerned when it comes to letters from the government so he dutifully called the State Board of Equalization who was, therein, threatening to assess him more than one thousand dollars in delinquent taxes. After an exhaustive discussion with the Board’s representative (we’ll call her, Sandy Besso, for purposes of this article) he received assurances that the issue would be looked into. He provided Ms. Besso with all contact information so that if further discussion were necessary she could handily reach him: good man.

Subsequently, and after much further discussion via email, he received further assurance that the mischaracterization of Mr. Editor as Tax Deadbeat would be resolved. After some realignment of his psyche, happiness returns.

January 2013. Tax Deadbeat Mr. Editor receives another letter redirected as before through the same convoluted channels from the same entity – the Board. This letter assures him that he does owe more than one thousand dollars and that additional penalties will be assessed should he fail to make timely payment.

Ordinarily an Arizonan (or any other state resident) may cast aside a letter such as this and think, Good luck! But here’s how this works: Mr. Editor has Special Knowledge (gained through 10 years of painful experience) and knows that in California the Board shares information liberally with the Franchise Tax Board (FTB) a California department that collects individual income taxes from California’s taxpayers living in California and elsewhere. He also knows that the FTB shares information liberally with the Internal Revenue Service (the IRS). And you know who they are...

So, at some point in the future the FTB receives a copy of the final billing from the Board and they think, Wonderful! An opportunity to increase revenue and prepare a billing for failure to file a tax return in the State of California. They send it to the same old address (mail forwarding long expired) and of course, it goes unappealed and becomes a final tax bill appended to Mr. Editor’s Social Security number and full legal name with last known address.

Shortly thereafter, the IRS gets computer-wind of this and crosschecks revenue and tax filings, discovering that Mr. Editor didn’t report income from his Jumping Frog business, and this makes them hopping mad. So, they send a fraud assessment to Mr. and Mrs. Editor for a lot of money and threatening so many years in the slammer that Mrs. Editor out of fear leaves Mr. Editor for a young Latin writer named Ramon living in Mexico City two floors above the offices of Luis Ramirez, Abogado, specializing in expedient divorces.

How can this be the reader may ask? It’s the system: It’s what technology, incompetence, and laziness has wrought.

So, once again, Mr. Editor spends a very disquieting time trying to undo what the Board has done. What did they do?

Apparently, based on conversation with Ms. Besso, they knew that someone with the same last name as Mr. Editor operated a business in Pioneer, and that that person had committed the unspeakable act of failing to register with them while trying to squeeze a few bucks out of a crippled economy and maybe - just maybe - feed his family while keeping his house from being taken away by the banks who were so well supported by our federal government’s largesse. But, I digress.

Anyway, it’s far too difficult to actually investigate who that person might have been, requiring them to log-off Facebook and work while on the job, so the efficient government servant, under extreme pressure to assess a lot of people a lot of money so the machine may perpetuate itself, looked into the trash and digging amongst the smelly orange peels, used sticky Kleenex, and discarded financial statements, found Mr. Editor’s name and life story. She then thought, Why not! (That’s the derivation of the program’s name.)

That Mr. Editor hadn’t lived in California for many years prior was not of her concern. That there was no driver’s license or any other information placing Mr. Editor in California since Newport Beach years before and 600 miles to the south of where the frogs jump, did not enter their thinking…it’s not supposed to. It’s about revenue and revenue at all costs: kind of a, “Damned the torpedoes…” sort of response to prevailing conditions.

If any of our readers, anywhere in the world committed this same act they would be guilty of Identity Theft because that’s what it was: The knowing, willful, voluntary taking of someone’s identity for the financial gain of someone else.

Has it been resolved, or is Mr. Editor likely to be the recipient of a one-way ticket to Guantanamo’s Special Detention Center for Tax Terrorists?

Mr. Editor has received the same feeble assurance as before, but, having had it up to here (imagine the accompanying gesture), he decided to aggressively fight back:

On January 8, 2013 both Mr. and Mrs. Editor filed a criminal report with the Mohave County Sheriff's Office alleging Identity Theft, Fraud and Extortion against the California State Board of Equalization, including its directing members, Betty T. Yee, George Runner, Michelle Steel, Jerome E. Horton, and John Chiang who happens to be the California State Controller, and a few others just to keep the mix. (Obviously John Chiang doesn’t do a very good job of controlling things over there.)

The Deputy, a wonderfully competent law enforcement officer, admitted that it was probably the first complaint he had taken against any state, California among them, but he understood the nature of what we were doing: it’s a serious allegation for serious reasons. Interestingly, although I feared it may be the case the morning of our visit to the Sheriff’s office, he did not suggest medication or restraints.

Worse, what would have happened had Mr. Editor not still owned the tenant-occupied home and been able to intercede in this internecine debacle? And, foremost, how many others in and out of California have been similarly set-up and ripped off by this criminal cartel? It could not have been an anomaly; it must have occurred by design or by design failure.

If you have had a similar experience, let us know.

Contact the editor at:

Teach Peace


A recent letter by a thoughtful reader, Muhammad Khan, reminds me of how important it is to be fearless in the face of fear. Like Damocles’ proverbial Sword, the watchful eyes of government, ever more omnipotent and vengeful, constantly weigh and evaluate everything we confidentially say to one another through a sophisticated network of intrusive technology.

Mr. Kahn signs his name referencing,

But how are we to gain peace if those who seek this elusive and worthy goal are constrained by fear of government intrusion and the Kafkaesque consequences and machinations thereof? Simply, by not being obedient to fear: To urge ourselves to share thoughts and ideas that transcend today’s normative practices without apprehension, such as Mr. Khan has done.

We know of what we speak: Last year’s production and release of, The Abduction and Trial of George Bush brought us far too much attention. Being reproofed by the government is troublesome. Believing in an ideal, though, like reconciliation, admission of guilt, and striving to establish a line across which we as a country ought not step again, is far too important a goal: it must be our future if we are to survive.

We cannot Gain Peace if we cannot Talk Peace. To Talk Peace requires us to abandon Fear, Greed, and, perhaps deeply held personal Spiritual Beliefs for the ultimate good of all humanity. Thus, to successfully Talk Peace, we must strip ourselves naked leaving the soul – the essence – of our own humanity exposed and vulnerable.

Thank you for your kind letter, Mr. Khan.

“Somebody’s Just Shot 20 Children: Don’t Answer the Phone.”

-(Probable) NYPD Response to Newtown Shooting



As we initiate a series of sure-to-be-volatile debates this year regarding Guns in America, we need to begin with an accurate baseline. Such is not the case with New York City. To listen to Michael Bloomberg offer his sage advice on how to counteract the menace of violent crime is to listen to fiction.

The statistics look good: too good to the average thinking American (sounds like a Carlin-defined, oxymoron), and/or to anyone who has spent any time at all in Manhattan. Crime statistics in Index Crimes (Homicide, Forcible Rape, Robbery, Burglary, Aggravated Assault, Larceny, Motor Vehicle Theft, and Arson) are down, according to databases reporting statistics based on reported crime.

Actually being able to report crimes in New York City, though, appears to be the problem, as many of its savvy citizens are discouraged from reporting violations against them and others, or flatly turned away and refused the time it would take to prepare a report, including for suspected Murder victims! (The examples documented in journals ranging from the Village Voice to the New York Times are too numerous to cite here: Seek, though, and you shall find, with little effort, we might add.)

The practice is apparently so out-of-hand that the Office of the Mayor called for the assembly of a committee to study the problem. The committee includes the Chief of NYPD. (Objectivity will surely prevail. – ed.)

Examples of refused and “lost” reports are, as is crime, rampant. This includes all forms of criminal acts: those that involve a firearm and those that do not.

Sleight of hand manipulation is not a way to control crime, and only obfuscates what actual progress may (or may not) have been made defeating crime. Thus, to include any representative from the City of New York, Mayor’s Office or otherwise, to participate in any national Gun Control debate ought to be steadfastly avoided.

On the other hand, why is Michael Bloomberg so happy? Of reported crime (now recognizing that our friends in New York tend to deflate the statistics more than a bit) NYC’s crime rate in 2011 numbered 51,209. That seems terribly high to the authors, and especially so when recognizing that the actual statistics are much higher.

At the same time, the city of Phoenix, Arizona (one of the many strongholds of the Second Amendment) reported 8,089 for the same period with a population of about 70% that of NYC. (The population of the entire state of Arizona approximates that of New York City: 2011 Index Crime statewide: 26,311 or about one-half of NYC.)

The city of New Haven, Connecticut – the nearest metropolitan neighbor to Newtown, the site of the now-famous shooting, reported 1,748. Dallas, Texas, where not only ought one not “Mess with Texas” but with their firearms, too, reported 8,330. And, most importantly, in Aurora, Colorado, the site of last year’s theater massacre, statistically when combined with Denver, reported a total of about 5,100.

What does this tell us, other than that Michael Bloomberg’s pants are on fire?

From our perspective any blue-ribbon panel, the goal of which would be to better understand how to control Violence in America, might best be assembled of participants from anywhere other than New York, otherwise the result will be nothing more than a methodology on how to not report the shooting deaths of 20 children.

Foremost these statistics tell us with all certainty that Guns do not commit crimes: People do, as they always have and very likely, unfortunately, always will...particularly those who live in New York.

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Bomb the Old People


...In short, our defense budget is at least ten times that of any other developed country...

In an effort to shore up the dismally destitute and dilapidated American economy, the US Congress and our president, one Barak Obama, have elected to change upward the age of qualifying for Medicare from 65 to 67 years of age, thus potentially decreasing Medicare enrollment in a cost saving maneuver that would reap a benefit to the federal budget of about $400 billion over the next ten years, or the equivalent of about $40 billion per year.

In related news, and of equal importance, our friends at the Department of Defense have released their 2013 budget requirements. Their Christmas wish list includes funding in the amount of a whopping $614 billion, which does not include supplemental clandestine and other off-the-books expenditures that most experts tend to estimate at a little more than $300 billion annually, bringing total expenditures to about one trillion dollars for 2013. The number of active service personnel remains about the same today: two million, or about $500,000.00 per person.

In 2005 during the height of both the Afghan and Iraq wars the amount requested (and funded) was $478 billion, making 2013 about half-again as much as when we were actively involved in Afghanistan and Iraq...In short, our defense budget is at least ten times that of any other developed country while not operating in any major theater of battle.

So, we ask, “Exactly what are we protecting?” It certainly can’t be the American way of life:

•Educationally we’ve fallen to about 47th worldwide for college graduates, and that includes those foreign nationals who attend our colleges and universities.

•Our average wage has fallen to about the 50th percentile worldwide of developed nations.

•Our Homeless population has redoubled to the point where there are about three million people without homes, and the average age of the homeless child has dropped to 9 years of age: There are vast numbers of children walking the streets of America in our cities,  seeking shelter during this Christmas season. (TID’s Jack Shepherd, whose years of experience in working with the Homeless estimates that our nation’s homeless population far exceeds that number.)

•Unemployment remains at about 14%.

•Once abundant natural resources have been drastically depleted.

•Our air in the metropolitan regions of the country remains unfit to breath, and our water is polluted by carcinogens and other assorted filth.

•Illegal (and prescribed) drugs permeate our society destroying the underlying fabric of commonality that made us once a great country.

•Half of our population is on the dole, in one form or another, while most of the rest have no positive effect on the economy.

•Globally any right-thinking populace despises us, since our foreign policy, by any other name, is dedicated to destroying the hearts and minds of any opposing people, rather than uplifting them from poverty and ignorance.

•We manufacture nearly nothing, and represent only a drain on the balance of the world’s resources: We consume 25% of the world’s resources, yet we represent only 5% of the world’s population.

•In the last decade we’ve murdered more than one million innocent civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan, not combatants.

•Typically less than 50% of the qualifying American electorate cares enough about their government to participate in the electoral process.

The list of America the Failed is far too extensive to delineate in the pages of this journal. Overwhelmingly, though, the reality is that we have nothing left to protect other than our foreign oil interests, and therein lies the reason for our military budget. any definition this is insanity...

If Russia, China, France, England, and all the other developed countries see no reason to capitalize their military to such a ridiculous level, why do we?

America’s physicians earn an average of at least three times that of any other developed country, $280,000 per year, with Japan, the closest second at about $80,000. America’s hospitals are recording record profits. Pharmaceutical companies peddle heart medications (the costs of which are likely to induce heart failure) and a plethora of other drugs (the benefits of which remain highly suspect) at exorbitant amounts.

The effects of the proposed Medicare reductions for America’s older generation will leave most of our grandparents on the brink of financial ruin as they scramble to pay prescription medication costs, co-payments, and increased insurance premiums to the ever burgeoning, insatiable Healthcare machine in America.

Taken in sum, all of the above leads us to the inescapable conclusion that directing America’s military might toward destroying our elderly and homeless population might address the needs of all concerned: Maybe we’ll win their hearts and minds.

Here’s the bottom line: It’s time for you to actively participate in government. You must set-aside self-interests: Our government is your self-interest.

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Maybe George Bush had the right idea: There are too many of us inhabiting this little 66,400 mile-per-hour dirt-ball. We need to trim down a bit.

There are officially, according to the US Census Bureau, more than 7 billion of us elbow-to-elbow trying to nudge our way to the front of the line.

Which line is that? Pick one: Food Line; Energy Line; Dominate-the-World Line…it’s plainly just too many people. And, the way medical science is curing those diseases that would have trimmed the flock, purging the lame, diseased and marginally capable, we’re heading toward a complete breakdown. The Earth cannot support that many people.

So what’s a government to do? Kill a few million, of course: Somebody has to, since we’ve negated the basic function of Natural Selection.

The good news is that Congress has passed a US Military budget of $650 billion (USD), which when combined with a little more than $300 billion in off-the-books appropriations, brings our total “Culling Power” to nearly one trillion: Get ready Terrorists (and the hapless millions who happen to be standing anywhere within a thousand mile blast zone).

Maybe we’ll have the opportunity to use some of this Instant Thinner on some of our own people since Congress and former president Bush approved the use of our military on our people. (We should probably wait, though, until the Housing market stabilizes.)

The bad news is that the world’s governments don’t do that good of a job of thinning the herd: Since the beginning of the 19th Century we’ve only culled about 119 million from the Earth as a result of the genocidal acts of Superstars in the field like Chairman Mao (with about 70 million slain), while our population in that time has grown from 1.5 billion to today’s see-saw tipping 7.06 billion. It’s going to take a really fat girl to bring the teeter-totter back in balance, and that fat girl is Miss World Genocide.

An example of the more pitiful efforts: Efrain Montt’s Best in Guatemala in the 1980’s was about 70,000 dead. You’ve got to do better than that to take on the big boys like Mao, Hitler, Stalin and Bush.

Another poor showing? Although scoring high in name coolness, Papa Doc Duvalier did not live up to the expectations of those who saw him as a true potential contender for Despotic Tyrant, coming to the finish line with a body count of only about 60,000. Shameful showing for having so much potential.

In the category of Runners-Up in the Miss World Genocide competition, Leopold II had a fairly presentable showing eliminating about 8 million people down in the Congo. (As the reader likely knows, the United States will not interfere with pogroms directed at eliminating Africans because Africa’s black population en masse, do not meet the US Government’s definition of Human, thus providing Africa’s ruling tyrants with a decided advantage.)

Then, too, Tojo managed to take out about 5 million, while Pol Pot, who scored very high for great looking neckwear while slaughtering the masses, managed a meager 1.7 million, yet has been the subject of far more cinematic dramas than his rival, Leopold. Such is the life of a tyrant, subject as they are to the whims of a fickle world population.

Who knows? Maybe the world’s next savior is out there right now…sharpening his machete. We can only hope.

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Shall We Gather at the Liver


At our local Kingman, Arizona, Smith’s grocery store this past December milk was a little more than two dollars a gallon: If we don’t fall over the Cliff, it’ll stay about the same as long as our Dairy industry continues to receive its substantial stipend from the Federal Government totaling, according to the PCRM – Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine - about $500 million per year: one-half of a billion dollars. Of course, given the other Federal subsidies provided to related industries - those who provide the feed for the Dairy industry - it is, overall, a small drop in the bucket. Yet, once again all of this was made possible by the New Deal back in the 1930’s when FDR ruled the DC roost. Ironic that we’re still dealing with the New Deal, isn’t it?

At the same local store, Petite Sirloin Steaks sell for about $2.50 per pound or a bit more depending on the prevailing market. Great news. Now here’s the bad for 2013:

If you own a horse, as so many of us in Arizona and the Southwest do, you’ve noticed that the price of hay and alfalfa and other Forage products has gotten to the point where Ol’ Paint’s starting to look a little more like stew meat than original Western yard art. At least a 1962 Buick on blocks doesn’t have to be fed (or washed) and rarely craps in the yard.

Most of us tend to think it has something to do with the price of fuel combined with drought conditions in the Southwest. That’s not entirely true: That’s far too brief an answer, and there is at least one other very significant cause at work.

Horsemeat Fajitas

Recipe ingredients:

1/2 red onion, minced

1/2 red bell pepper, minced

1/2 green bell pepper, minced

2 Tbsp. safflower oil

1/2 cup medium salsa

1 lb. strips of horsemeat surlonge steak

To taste salt and white pepper

4 plain tortillas

1/4 cup 1% sour cream


Sauté the vegetables in oil. Add the salsa. Keep warm.

Quickly sauté the horsemeat until pink in the middle.

Mix the meat, the vegetables and the salsa.

Adjust the seasoning.

Spread the sour cream on the tortillas.

Spoon the mixture on the tortillas.

Fold the fajitas and serve.

It would appear as though our friends in China have a tremendous emerging need for Forage owing to their expanding Dairy industry. Once benign and not very robust, the Chinese Dairy market was very limited. That was before we started sending all of our money to them via the more than $2 trillion US Dollars we spend annually (and growing) on Chinese made clothes, TVs, computers, et cetera. Now, many Chinese have acquired a taste for designer Dairy foods such as flavored yogurt and other tasty treats previously reserved for Bourgeois Americans.

Here’s what’s happened: According to a recent market development report from USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), China imported nearly 95,000 metric tons of U.S. alfalfa during the first six months of 2010. In all of 2009, Chinese imports of U.S. alfalfa totaled just 76,000 tons. For the year (2012), the FAS reports that Chinese imports could approach 420,000 metric tons. Hooo-weee! That ain’t hay! Well actually it is hay, and a lot of it. But how can it be cheaper to send hay to China than it is to just feed it to Ol’ Paint here in Arizona or Texas or New Mexico or California...?

You know all of those containers you see on the railroad lines heading east along the tracks leading through town? Well ships brought them here and the Chinese still have many more wonderful and cheap products to send us, and that we can’t wait to buy, so the ships either go back west empty or they figure out a way to make a few bucks in the process: that’s where Forage and other food products comes into play: Given the availability of Forage in California and Arizona, it can be sent overseas to China for about $30 a metric ton (2200 pounds). Unfortunately for our trucking industry, that’s less money than it costs to ship the same products a few hundred miles to your local feed store.

Trigger Brochette

Recipe ingredients:

1 1/2 lb. lean ground or cubes horsemeat

1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil


2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1 cup tomato sauce

1 Tbsp. brown sugar or liquid honey

1 Tbsp. mustard

1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

1 medium onion, thinly sliced

Salt and pepper to taste


In a pan, sauté the horsemeat in oil.

Drain the meat and throw out the cooking fat.

In a glass bowl, mix all the sauce ingredients.

Pour into the pan over the meat.

Cover and simmer for 1 hour.

Serve with pasta and sprinkle with

parmesan or peccorino cheese.

Supply and demand. In 2010 China sent us us $273 billion US Dollars more in goods than we sent them. So, in a strange way this Forage and food product thing pays out for us. Or does it? Meat (beef, etc.) and dairy looks like a pretty good buy…for now. The problem is that very few people have figured out what this is all going to lead to except the ranchers who grow beef.

Here’s what the US Food and Agriculture people have to say, “Drought continues to motivate sales of feeder cattle and cows, which will likely reduce feedlot placement in 2012 and calf crops this year and in 2012. Commercial cow slaughter - primarily drought-driven at this point in 2011 - is set to exceed last year’s high rate and numbers for the first half of the year.”

Uh-oh. So we’ll have fewer cattle to start the year with. We’ll have less feed owing to the drought persisting in the Southwest. We’re sending Forage to China and placing a greater strain on cattle producers here in America – in particular the Southwest.

Need more convincing? In a March 2011 report the Asian Development Bank issued a report that included the projection, “Global food prices registered a new high in February 2011, rising by more than 30% year-on-year, underpinned by large increases in the prices of cereals, edible oils, and meat.”

So, at twenty bucks a bale today, one can only imagine what the world will look like in the coming year. But, if the thought of turning your favorite critter who does little more than eat (and you-know-what) into food is troublesome to you, consider this option:

Dog Meat Stew


100 g. of boiled dog meat

500 g. of gravy

20 g. of green onion

10 g. of a leek

10 g. of perilla leaves

100 g. of taro stalk soaked in water

8 g. of salt

2 g. of mashed garlic

3 g. of perilla

2 g. of red pepper

2 g. of mashed ginger


After boiling the dog meat with gravy and stalk of taro for some time, boil again after putting vegetables and other ingredients into it. Before eating, sprinkle pepper on it and put into an earthen bowl.

“Fetch the stewpot, boy! Good job.”

Ukraine: A Dose of Democracy


What do Corruption, Indifference of the Authorities, Lack of Local Governance, Inequality, and Poverty have to do with Democracy?

Answer: They are the five Deadly Sins unavoidably inherent within any Democratic system in-place in the world today. Vitali Klitschko and his Udar party of the Ukraine will just have to get used to the idea, no matter how subjectively vial he may perceive them to be. Why? Because Capitalism drives Democracy: Not the other way around.

In the United States as Capitalism becomes more and more the central force behind our nuoveau Democratic system, Corruption is an understood byproduct of the influences of Power. Power is derived from Wealth. The acquisition of (greater) Wealth is at the basis of Capitalism. Ergo, Corruption and Capitalism are hand-in-glove working to the ultimate end, contrary to what Kant may have categorically discerned.

And, most importantly, Corruption is in the eye of the beholder. That is, to the Corrupter it is merely a pejorative used by the varyingly impotent to describe what, to he or she, is merely the benevolent act of spreading an economic doctrine that serves the needs of the Corrupter, Corrupted as well as what Marx would have termed the Proletariat.

To attempt to deny Corruption its rightful place in a Capitalistic society is to elevate naiveté to its epitomic level.

Because Wealth, to its varying degrees, is manifest within a Capitalistic society, Equality is predicated on one’s ability to influence the direction of Government and Industry, from the very wealthy to the poor (whose influences are negligible or nonexistent). So, if Equality varies with level of Wealth (virtually negating the concept of Equality), it follows that Inequality must necessarily be a component of Capitalism, and, thus Democracy today.

Poverty is an unavoidable component of Capitalism because it, too, is entirely relativistic. In the United States our Poverty Level is defined for a family of six as below about $31,000 annual income, or the equivalent of UAH 253,670. In the Ukraine – a country where the monthly range of income is between 1,500 to 3,000 UAH – the equivalent UAH in US Dollars for a family of six at 21,140 UAH does not sound like Poverty.

For Capitalism to function “properly” there must be substantially representative numbers in each economic class in order to perpetuate Greed, without which Capitalism would not function and thus Democracy (as it is defined today) would fail.

Apathy necessarily follows complacency, and no one is more complacent than he who has risen to his desired level of comfort, as have most government administrators in the Ukraine (and in the United States). Indifference is symptomatic of apathy, as is the lack of interest in affecting change that may have the unintentional and negative consequences of affecting the comfort level of those in power on a local and national level, relegating Governance necessarily to nothing more than maintaining the status quo.

What does all this mean? It means that Klitschko’s 13% influence in Ukraine’s government is merely reflective of the level of naiveté inherent within most societies by their populace. Unfortunately, vainly rallying against what the authors believe is the inevitable in a Capitalist society only serves to lessen the shared influence that might have been gained through closer alignment with others of nearly the same interests, leaving the factionalized people of the Ukraine to the mercy of the enslaver, or Capitalist: Likewise another unavoidable derivative of Democracy, as we’ve learned too well, too late in America.

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The Coming of Deseret

Copyright 2007 Warren-Hill

Installment One

From the Seattle Times, Jonas Lindquist reporting:

“Less than one year ago I sat at a table under an umbrella at an outdoor bistro with an associate of mine while we commiserated on the ill state of society.

“We talked about the economy and how, although it seemed lackluster and stagnant, was as regular as a clock in its recovery. We spoke about politics and how in many times past we opined on the logical successors to leadership of these United States. We talked about our families – our wives and our children. We spoke about what we would do after we retired.

“We planned our individual futures and ‘prophesized’ that, although fraught with difficulties, the United States would continue, just as empires in the past had long succeeded in doing. We conjectured that eventually a future generation might bear witness to the collapse of the United States, and when that time came we speculated that it would be a period of immense upheaval.

“We mourned the loss of reason, but saw the world today as a place where the new logic that had settled in on the populace, although exceedingly different from what we perceived as the norm, was not deadly. Change has always been subtle. Change has always been slight. Who could have calculated, say, just five years ago in 2012 that the United States would end with such swiftness? In retrospect, I suppose anyone who has read history could have predicted it. It’s just that we were all so involved in our day-to-day lives: sitting at outdoor cafes, talking about politics, working, shopping, dining out, thinking about the future, while the ship sailed on with no one at the wheel.

“It’s ironic. It’s even thrilling in an eerie way to see something so wonderful caught in its last throes of life, like a great ancient beast finally caught by one too many spears from a horde of long-lost hunters. What will tomorrow bring, I wonder?”

(Jonas Lindquist was killed April 9th, 2017 while covering the Battle for Spokane. This was his last dispatch.)

(To continue reading, click here for the pdf file)

How to Fake an Orgasm


Politically. This election, we are imploring you to think. Consider what we are being offered as candidates in a side-show electoral process where not even a nod at legitimate Democracy is feigned: The media has abandoned any attempt to be inclusive of all candidates. Quit faking your orgasm: It’s time to waste your vote.

Over the years the list of Vote-Wasters includes Ralph Nader, Benjamin Spock, Ross Perot, Ron Paul (his original effort back about 20 years or more), and even Eldrige Cleaver. None really had a Chinaman’s Chance given the media’s focus on the two primary parties, which over the last many years has become more and more concentrated as heavyweight donors flood the media with advertising dollars, virtually assuring the media’s devotion to the race’s central contenders. This is the same influence that buys and controls those who run as primary party candidates – in this case either Obama or Romney.

So, whether a Green, Communist, P&F, Socialist, Progressive, or other alternative candidate steps forward, they can be assured of being on the receiving end of a complete and thorough thrashing. It wasn’t always like that, though: One of our greatest presidents – one who strove to unite and preserve America, Theodore Roosevelt, rose from the mired depths of alternative party candidates to lead America onto a path of progressive thought and action. The media – such as it was back then – couldn’t ignore him. But, there was no Television. Today he would be ignored.

Now, well-heeled commentators, who became well-heeled by serving their masters appropriately, lead the way reporting on the only two Non-Vote-Wasters in excruciating detail and to no substantial degree, leaving no room on the airwaves for alternative candidates, many of whom likely would do far better at the job of leading our country forward than the two Trojan Horses currently in this race’s distant lead.

Mindless drivel, endless quips, puns, sound bites, and a profluvium of pre-digested populist platitudes: this is what you apparently want most. You repeat what you hear on television as though you had invented the words, without understanding their meaning, depth and consequences. It’s easier that way. It doesn’t require work or thought. It just is. This is how we became embroiled in Iraq and Afghanistan.

It makes one wonder, What is wasting a vote?

America is on the precipice. Financially, Morally, Internationally, we are near collapse – even Candide would second that assessment. No one can effectively argue otherwise. The numbers are there: We are failing economically as America’s average wage falls off to the fifty-percentile globally. We are 46th in the world for Literacy. We imprison more people than any other country. Educationally, we have failed. Our National Debt will outlive our planet given the lack or respect and care we offer it.

Which is our savior? Obama or Romney? Neither: The answer should be obvious. They will do nothing to truly address those issues critical to our continued existence and balance. They will only continue to serve the same masters as most of those before them had.

Real change – actual, tangible, substantial change comes from only one of two ways: Either, as Ernesto Guevara said, …only from the barrel of a rifle. Or, when a majority of Americans cast aside the naïve assumption that either a Republican or Democratic candidate is capable of delivering anything other than more of the same.

This year I’ll be wasting my vote on someone whom I know will make a difference, Gary Johnson. May I suggest you do the same? Can you imagine the consequence if neither a Republican nor Democratic candidate was able to amass a majority of votes cast?

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Who Liked Jews the Most?

Obama, that’s who! And, What About Gary Johnson?


As sophomoric as it sounds this was one of the key issues in Florida (and Ohio) for this last election, combined with its polar opposite, Who Hates Castro the Most? Why? Because the two groups most vocal, albeit empirically insignificant in number yet influential from a contributions and press coverage perspective, are Miami’s pro-Israel, thus anti-Muslim, Jewish contingent, (and the Cuban exile community whose psychotic ramblings about Castro’s tenure in Cuba has reached fabled status). Squeaky, wealthy wheels. Not you and me, ché.

This is what drove our election this year? Yes, among other lesser issues in Florida and Ohio.

According to an American Jewish Committee (AJC) national survey Obama was a two-to-one favorite over his Mormon rival, Mitt Romney. Perhaps, if we may suggest so, owing to a few of the LDS Church’s past faux pas including posthumously converting dead Jews to the Mormon faith, graveside, without the deceased having benefit of expressing their reluctance to embrace a theology that is as novitiate as theirs is ancient. That, and if the truth be told Romney just looks like a Goy. Meta-Goy.

That’s one reason, but the key to this extends far beyond one’s ability to blend in at Canter’s on Fairfax while enjoying a good brisket on a kaiser roll with a bottle of overpriced Dr. Brown’s on the side. It’s about Israel. According to this and previous AJC national surveys, Iran and U.S.-Israel relations continue to be major topics for American Jews. Yet, America’s small, vocal Jewish population is somewhat divided on what Israel (and her ally, the US) ought to do with respect to Israel’s archenemy, Iran, if anything at all. Here’s a fairly concise summary graphic from the Jewish Press (an organization on the web, not an attempt at humor owing to its obvious redundancy):

As the reader can easily observe, 41% of the respondents to this survey believe that Israel ought to attack Iran right now. Not tomorrow. If one of the options would have been, “Attack yesterday…” it probably would have out polled any of the other possible choices. Cavalier, yes, but based on the presumption that the United States will back Israel’s play. Thus, Romney or Obama? became a pivotal issue: Who likes Jews the most (since most American Jews are Zionists)?

So how do just three percent of Florida’s, and only about one percent of Ohio’s electorate bring so much sway to the table? Influence: Money, Power, and the ability to Control the Media. It’s hard to forget that George W. Bush’s victory over Al Gore was at the least, Grand Larceny, while at best a quintessential example of the corruption inherent within our political system today as Money (Power) becomes the central controlling influence, where a small group of people can manipulate and pervert what ought to be a flawless, truly democratic outcome. But that, sadly, is the truth of it all. And that is what happened in Florida, way back when…

...those who watched the debates and thought that there was something other than Pig Shit coming out the other end are delusional.

There are so many things that are now inherently wrong with our election process, not the least of which from the authors’ perspective is that the debates consisted of only two people, one from each of the primary parties. There was no third party representation: no individual individual who might take a much different approach to our role as (quickly failing) World Leader, to the continuing economic crisis, to how we will truly deal with diminishing natural resources including the fossil fuels we continue to consume on a highly disproportionate basis, and the plethora of other civilization-halting issues facing America today.

Here’s the simple formula: There were only two people involved in the debates because there were only two candidates who could garner the financial resources necessary to compete in a (what has been recently tallied as a) two billion dollar political race. Because it is so costly, only those with sufficient backing can compete. Because only those with sufficient backing can compete, only those who are owned by those individuals and companies who Slop the Pig adequately influence America’s direction. Because only those who shovel financial slop to the candidates direct America’s future, those who watched the debates and thought that there was something other than Pig Shit coming out the other end are delusional. And, therein as traif as it is, is the reality of the race in Florida and Ohio.

So, who did like Jews the most? Obama.

This year we wasted our votes on someone whom we knew would make a difference, Gary Johnson. In nearly every state he  polled from one to two percent. From our perspective, not bad at all. In a few weeks we’ll be offering our readers, “Don’t Blame Me, I Voted for Johnson” bumper stickers. Since no one reads history anymore, few will mistake the name for Lyndon. (“Who?”)

On a brighter note, had Gary Johnson’s 1.129 million votes been cast in Rhode Island, he would have captured all of the electoral votes (4) of a state that is the definitive baseline of any geographic (or virtually any other) comparison: “You can fit 38 Rhode Island’s on the Senate floor and still have room for a trainload of Pork.”

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That Crazy NRA



"If it's crazy to call for putting police and armed security (armed volunteers) in our schools to protect our children, then call me crazy," Wayne LaPierre of the NRA recently said.

OK...You’re crazy, and we mean, it’s time to get your head examined, crazy.

Philip Elliot writing for the AP has reported that Wayne LaPierre, Chief of the National Rifle Association (NRA) has finally envisioned a plan to help us deal with our very violent society: More guns in schools, but this time wielded by, “armed volunteers.” Now why didn’t we think of that?

LaPierre told the Associated Press, "The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” We agree, somewhat: Unfortunately, he stopped short by placing blame only on “ games, movies and music videos for exposing children to a violent culture day in and day out…” without pointing out that we, as a country, are responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands – millions – of innocent people who happened to live in the same country as those we Americans hate. (Like a global version of your neighborhood, if you will.)

Look: television glorifies the warrior mentality as live streams from battlefields all over the world enter the homes of nearly every American via the (Black)Magic of Television. We – America – are the greatest purveyors of violence in contemporary history. We need to learn to deal with dissent a little differently, other than by teaching our children that a successful debate involves firearms rather than rhetoric.

More armed people is not the answer: It is only a demarcation line across which lies chaos and Fascism.

Be that as it may, LaPierre used the opportunity to describe some of the more prominent gun-friendly toys on this year’s toy shelves. They are:

Machine Gun Barbie. A near-duplicate of the well-established doll we have all known and loved over the decades, but with the addition of a Thompson .45 caliber with 100-round magazine. She sports a t-shirt, stiletto heels, black leather panties and, in this edition, possesses simulated genitalia and pubic hair.

Tickle-Me-Elmo. Just as before, Elmo laughs and laughs and laughs and laughs when you push the right button, but if you touch him in the wrong place he withdraws a Sig 9mm and says, “Suck on this, child molester.”

From a fairly new entry into the toys market, Doc McStuffins and his, “Time For Your Check Up” doll. In this rendition Doc McStuffins is a back alley abortion doctor, offering his services in trade for oral sex while holding your daughter at gunpoint.

In Fisher-Price’s Jake and the Never Land Pirates, your son will enjoy hours of hilarious fun while defeating “Invading Pirates” the old fashioned way: muzzleloading a .50 caliber rifle. Each set comes with a muzzleloader, one-pound can of black powder, three dozen lead balls, ignition caps, and instructions on how to make wadding using your “little sister’s underwear.”

Power Wheels this year offers their new, Dune Racer Ride On, with Phunny Phosphorous grenades and a fifty caliber chain gun.

"In a race to the bottom, many conglomerates compete with one another to shock, violate, and offend every standard of civilized society, by bringing an even more toxic mix of reckless behavior and criminal cruelty right into our homes," LaPierre said.

We ask, “Are you talking about NBC?”

More armed people is not the answer: It is only a demarcation line across which lies chaos and Fascism.

Facebook Rape


In a recent study Facebook’s United States user base has been quietly assessed regarding characteristics, traits, and oddly enough, through data extrapolation, Relative Intelligence.  Not surprisingly Facebook’s users display some unsettling, yet obvious (to the Editor, anyway), findings:

Less than one percent (<1%) of Facebook users know that the images they post are sold to companies the business of which it is to assemble and accumulate information, and then to in-turn, re-sell that information to the public. Numerous companies today offer People Search functions at a charge; most of the pictures displayed at these sites result from postings on social media sites, primarily, Facebook.

Less than one percent (<1%) of Facebook users know that the personal information they enter on their Facebook sites are subject to the same secondary sales approach.

Less than five percent (<5%) of Facebook users understood that Facebook targets marketing to individuals predicated on postings.

More than fifty percent (>50%) of Facebook’s users cannot immediately name the president of the United States prior to Barak Obama.

More than eighty percent (>80%) of Facebook’s users cannot identify on which continent the country of Italy is located.

Ninety-eight percent (98%) of Facebook’s users’ postings lack the sophistication of at least sixth grade (US standard), in grammar and punctuation; and nearly the same percentage misspell at least twenty percent (20%) of all posted words, allowing for acceptable “Text Speak”.

Ninety-nine percent (99%) of Facebook’s users’ postings utilize the personal pronoun, I, more than five times in any single posting.

“I” suppose that says it all...

But not quite: What is it that the Facebook user risks posting personal information on their site?

Sexual Assault: In far too many instances nationally, Facebook users, via their personal information, have been the victims of Rape. Law enforcement in numerous metropolitan areas report increasingly that victims of sexual assault are singled out predicated on geography and, of course, susceptibility. Sexual predators understand the personality subtleties of potential prey, and can quickly cull those most likely to fall victim to suggestions of meeting, or in disclosing personal information sufficiently enough on the Facebook posting, to identify their geographic location. Are these victims intellectually inferior? No, they’re just not as skilled at avoidance, as the professional predator is at hunting.

Identity Theft: The most efficient way to learn the details of someone’s identity is by reviewing their household waste (garbage). So much information is thrown away without consideration as to its value in establishing a clone of that person’s identity, yet, without hesitation many young (and older, should-know-better) people take no safeguards at all when posting to Facebook, disclosing location and type of work, a series of personal digital images of themselves and others, and other salient, pertinent data that should be safeguarded.

Why do people post this sort of information on their Facebook accounts? Purely vanity: it can get the best of any of us, but combined with Facebook’s liberal policy of selling personal data to the highest (and all other bidders) sets up every one of their users for the potential of falling victim to rape, scams, counterfeiting identity, and a plethora of other troubles no one needs to deal with in life…

…all because of the need to be someone. Ironically, that need could make you dead, which is to no longer be anyone.

Our Social e-Dung Pile

by G L Hill

Newspaper publishers and the vastly ignorant American public are missing the point when they waive off the death of the newspaper industry as, “So What”.


Our country was founded on the premise that no single form of communication ought to be guaranteed freedom of exercise more than the Press. From the days of the Pamphleteers through to the founding of America’s greatest, most powerful organs for the dissemination of information and opinions, the actions of governments and people were reported and commented on, heightening awareness, educating the public, and leading, thus, to a more equitable democratic process.


Today, as newspapers fall away by the dozens, reducing the quality and depth of online information to a few bellicose bloggers whose ranting and opinions rarely equal either journalism or reflect an understanding of issues, a minority of American public are left to gather the critical knowledge needed to make informed decisions affecting their lives and that of our country only through online resources who maintain an international presence, such as BBC, MSN, and so on. This leaves an inescapable void – one critical to maintaining our government on its most significant level: state, county and local – and one filled previously by the Fourth Estate.


Without newspapers governments on a local level can conduct business any way they wish, injecting into the process all of the contrivances and manipulations that seem to be inherent within our species. Eventually, democracy on a local level breaks down. Thus, so does democracy nationally. We may all point to evidence of this occurring daily, notwithstanding our political mindset.


It is up to America’s remaining publishers, though, to do what they at one time did: educate.


Buying a newspaper is not an act of consumerism: It is an exercise in democracy.

How many times over the many years of my life have I heard, “If (that country) wants to be considered a free, democratic state, then they must guarantee a free press”? Countless: Cuba, the Soviet Union, and many other countries all fell under this critical aphorism. Today, now, we do too, as our free press drifts slowly out to sea with no hope of its return unless they muster what resources remain and wage a battle for literacy, democracy and freedom of the press.


May we be frank for a moment? Social Media is a dung pile of half-thoughts, illiteracy and self-serving, vapid ideologies. Is that really the direction in which America’s newspapers wish to sail by imitation?

Democracy saved the Fourth Estate for hundreds of years: Now it’s time for the Fourth Estate to save Democracy. 

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American Dream or Nightmare?

GL Hill

Many, if not most Americans have dreamed of owning their own home, and likely succeeded at one time or another in doing so. We have been conditioned to believe that home ownership provides us with security and a sense of permanence. We’re no longer transitory rubbish, but lords of our own destinies. Motivations vary: Most often we became tired of paying a monthly rent to others instead of putting our money to a home that we can own, ourselves, without hindrance, control (save for Home Owner’s Associations, or HOA), and not at the whim of another, and we make the decision.

So, dutifully, we begin saving to make a down payment on our “dream” home and searching for the ideal. After some time, and finally, we have scraped together the down payment, found the home of our dreams (or at least a “starter” home), and after a mountain of paperwork for a “No Qualifying” 30-year mortgage we joyfully pack up everything in the hitherto rented domain and with a (fond) wave of goodbye to our former Lord of the Land move lock, stock and even the barrel into our new Shtettle.

For the years to come we toil endlessly at (sometimes) less than meaningful work in order to meet the Slaver’s Cry for our monthly payment, working tirelessly to pay off the mortgage; to arrive at the day when we finally own our home “free and clear.” But, the vast majority of us will never live that dream.

Real Property Tax is the primary lien against your home. It doesn’t get “Paid Off”

A Property Tax Lien for unpaid taxes even takes precedence over a loan that you may have for the initial purchase of your home. You can lose your home, even homes without a loan balance owed, if this tax isn’t paid every year.

A single case in point: Orange County, California. A Condominium heavily governed by an HOA. No Fee Simple land interest. Fair Market Value, $350,000. Annual taxes the equivalent of more than $1,000 per month, combined with HOA fees of $450, totaling $1,450 monthly payment, without mortgage. Only a score of years past this would have been for most Americans a ponderously high, keep-me-awake-at-night monthly obligation to ensure that the roof over your head stays over your head.

In our present economy many people are losing their homes specifically because the government must go on, and it must, therefore, be fed…regularly and abundantly.

No other purchases that we make are taxed continually at the risk of losing that purchase. Therefore, no one really owns their home or land, they merely lease it from the government after paying a sizable down payment – the “purchase” price. Consider this: no one will confiscate your vehicle if you don’t pay your annual registration. It remains your car, ad infinitum, which is Latin for “Up on Blocks in Your Front Yard”.

Many pay their property taxes in two payments; in Mohave County, Arizona the first half is due in the Fall of that tax year and the second half is due in the Spring of the year following.

Approximately eleven months after the second tax payment is due, Mohave County holds a tax lien sale for those taxes delinquent. This Tax Lien sale includes taxes that are 11 months delinquent and greater. In February of 2012, Mohave County sold tax liens against 1,621 parcels ranging from (mostly) residential to commercial, with funds posted of $2,756,073.31 (per the Mohave County Treasurer’s office).  With an interest rate on delinquent taxes of 16%, the County collected $417,235 in interest from this single tax sale. This outrageously high interest rate on delinquent property taxes further hinders owners from hanging onto their homes.

Three years after the tax lien sale, the property can be foreclosed upon by the tax lien holder (most often private investors) and the original owner can lose his or her home, permanently.

A little research tells us that property owners have had success in holding onto their homes from tax delinquent property sales, for now, but that hasn’t always been the case. During the Great Depression (the one before this one) there was widespread property tax delinquency and landowners – farmers and homeowners – revolted against the sale of tax delinquent property. (In response, several states exempted “owner-occupied” residences from taxation.)

So what can be done to prevent you from losing your home today? Pay your taxes, on time and forever.

Alternatively, owner-occupied residences could be exempted from property tax and remain exempt for the duration of tenancy. Would it be such a terrible loss of local revenue? Or, couldn’t “sales” tax charged at the time of transfer of the property offset any revenue loss? (A real property, transaction-based sales tax would equate to less than 20% of the real property tax paid over a 30-year period, but multiplied by the number of times a home is sold, thus sparing the long-term owner-occupier from the continued threatening burden of a never-ending obligation, bringing true Home Ownership to a reality. Home and Castle might once again become synonymous.

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