Left Freedom, Right Freedom

Down in Texas they were debating a bill that would have banned abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.  The bill failed to pass, largely because of an eleven hour filibuster by State Senator, Wendy Davis which prevented the bill from being voted on before the deadline.

Opponents of the bill argued that it infringes on a woman's “reproductive freedom”.  Maybe they have a point.  We conservatives talk about freedom and the need to preserve it all the time, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom to defend ourselves.  In this case, the left says that they are defending a woman’s right to decide whether she wants to terminate a pregnancy.  It’s her body, and her problem.  Is saying that a woman has a right to have an abortion the same as a gun owner saying that he has the right to keep and bear arms?  There both personal choices, so what’s the difference?

Here’s where a lot of conservatives “get stuck”.  They might feel that they know what’s right, but apparent logic of a pro-choice person’s position in an argument similar to the paragraph above may seem infallible.  Fortunately, it’s not.  Their logic is flawed, and I’ll explain why.

The right to own a gun and the right to have an abortion are nothing the same.  Why?  Pro-Abortion advocates like to describe themselves as “pro-choice” and being the defenders of women’s freedom, but you know what?  Women have always had the freedom of choice, and always will, even if all the pro-abortion people just dried up and blew away.  All free people have the freedom of choice in most matters - right up to the point where their actions have negative consequences affecting the lives of others.  

Except in the case of rape, (and there is almost no need to bring that up because so few people are against abortions such a case) all women who have became pregnant had the freedom to choose to become pregnant or not, without anyone else infringing upon it.  Once a woman becomes pregnant however, like it or not, other people besides just her have become involved.  So much for the “it’s just her and her body argument”.

What the “pro-choice” people really are, is “pro-do-over”.  “I didn’t want to get pregnant, but I did, so I want a do-over.”  What’s so special about unwanted pregnancies that so many people feel they warrant do-overs?  

Who else get’s do-overs?  Do drunk drivers?  Hell no!  They’re held to even higher standards.  Even if they’re driving down a deserted road and a quarter mile from home, we feel that we must nail them to the wall.  In such a case, we don’t punish them for the harm they caused, we punish them for the harm they might do, or could have caused.

No one’s asking unmarried women who have sex (the vast majority of women who have abortions) to be punished for the harm they might cause.  Some people are suggesting however, that they be responsible once other lives are involved. Everyone talks about how horrible drunk drivers are, but compare the number of deaths caused by drunk driving to the number of deaths caused by abortion.  

The convicted drunk driver would love to have a chance for a do-over, but no one’s ever gonna let him have it.  A person has the freedom to choose whether he or she is going to become a drunk driver, every bit as much as a woman has the freedom to choose whether she become pregnant, and since they both have the same freedom of choice, they should both be held responsible for their actions.   

Once a person understands this, it’s easy to see that there is no comparing the right to own a gun with the “right” have an abortion.  The pro-choice position is more comparable to an irresponsible gun owner asking that he not be held accountable for a death he caused because of his irresponsible handling of a firearm.  No gun ownership rights advocates are asking for anything like that, quite the opposite, if anything.

Both the left and the right talk about freedom, but by freedom, they mean two very different things.  Conservatives understand that in order to have a functioning society, freedom and rights must be intrinsically tied to responsibility and accountability.  Liberals view freedom as freedom from responsibility, but freedom from responsibility can only exist where freedom itself does not.

After reading all this, you’d might think that I am anti-abortion.  I honestly don’t know where I stand on the issue.  Things are going to be a mess whether abortion is legal, illegal, or legal in some cases.  I just don’t feel right about allowing pregnant women who acted irresponsibly (along with the men who were involved), do-overs without consequence when we don’t cut anyone else the same amount of slack.

Best of the Golden Geese

Authors note:  This was one of my most popular posts.  It still get's about 10 views per day.
Saturday, February 2, 2013

Intellectual Bullies - They're Not Smarter Than You

Intellectual Bullies – They’re Not Smarter Than You

            There is a law professor at Georgetown University who has actually been promoting the idea that we should do away with at least parts of the U.S. constitution.  (Does anyone else sense the irony of a law professor suggesting that we abandon the constitution?)  He has a whole list of reasons and historical examples to support his claim, but it’s still a stupid idea.  It’s got to have some merit, doesn’t it?  After all, the man is a professor, so he has to be intelligent.  Right?  He may be, but if intelligence is horsepower, common sense is traction. Every racer knows that all the horsepower in the world is useless, unless you can put that power to the ground, and this guy – he doesn’t appear to have the traction of a set of drag slicks in a snowstorm.
It’s bad enough when someone from the “Occupy Wherever” crowd spouts off such nonsense, but when someone that is supposed to have some credibility proposes something like this, at least two bad things happen:  1) People with big mouths and small brains latch on to the idea and repeat it.  2) People who know better are intimidated because an “expert” promoted the idea.
             Originally, I set out to debunk the professor’s idea, and refute each of his reasons, one by one.  It would be very easy to do.  I have chosen not to because other people have already done that, and the idea is so bad it will probably fade away into obscurity on its own.  Bad as it is, CBS still thought it was worthy of airtime.  I still think it’s worth mentioning, as an example of how bad ideas can become mainstream media stories.  If they get too much attention and not enough criticism, they can become planks in a campaign platform, and then, even worse, our government can enact them.  We’re watching that happen with health care right now.
 Many people, who instinctively know that the professor has a terrible idea, would have a hard time refuting others who parrot his claim. It’s not because they’re stupid.  Sometimes, things we take for granted can be hard to defend simply because you never dreamed that anyone would ever challenge them.  Sure, you could do some research and come up with a perfectly logical, factual argument to support your position, but at the spur of the moment, there’s not time for that. Sometimes, people know exactly how to rebut a claim, but they fear confrontation and say nothing.  When either of these two things happens, the people making such outrageous statements can end up going unchallenged and winning arguments.
There’s a lot of talk about bullies these days.  Mention the word “bully”, and the classic playground bully usually comes to mind.  He’s the kid who has the reputation for being tough, whether he deserves it or not.  He usually will continue to torment his victims until someone stands up to him.  About the only good news for victims of bullies is, you don’t have to defeat them, you need only stand up to them.  The bully might win the fight, but he will have to fight, and since bullies like to pick the easiest target, he will usually move on to someone else.  Playground bullies in general, do not have a reputation for intelligence, so the process mentioned above, usually must be repeated many times before he learns not to treat others so poorly.
There are different types of bullies, but they all want to impose their will on other people through intimidation.  There are people out there that I refer to as “Intellectual Bullies”.  I’m sure you’re familiar with them.  They will often point out to you, their level of education.  You know, so just in case you didn’t already know that they are superior to you, that graduate’s degree they have will prove it, kind of like how a middle schooler might treat a sixth grader.  The only opinions that matter to them belong to people on their side, with the same level of formal education or higher, and these opinions are to be regarded as facts.  They always have plenty of these “facts” and figures to support their arguments, but don’t question any of it, or you will make them angry.  They feel entitled to win an argument by virtue of their extensive education, and one way or another, they will try to intimidate people who disagree with them.  Never mind if any of it makes any sense, they’re “more educated” than you. 
At this point, I’d like to remind everyone that intelligence, knowledge, and formal education are not interchangeable terms with identical meanings.  There are few things more offensive to me than someone who thinks that they are smarter than anyone who has less formal education than they do.  It implies that school is the only place anyone can learn anything.  This is ridiculous because at some point, everyone eventually finishes school, and what then?  Are you done learning for the rest of your life?  Of course not!  We continue to learn through out our entire lives. You never realize how dumb you were in your twenties until you reach your forties. 
I’m not disparaging education here.  Obviously our colleges and universities play an important role, especially in this high tech age we live in, but for the most part they provide educations related to specific fields.  A brain surgeon does not necessarily have any more expertise in economics for example, than a fireman. Even if someone has a degree in a certain subject, that doesn’t always mean that your opinion has no value compared to his or hers.  You may have relevant experience dealing with the subject. 
In college, you can write a paper presenting a theory that would never work in practice and still get an “A”.  In the real world, if you try something that can’t work, you get burned.  In which case do you think someone might learn a lesson with the most value?
OK, we all know that intellectual bullies aren’t smarter than us, but they’re still out there. How do we deal with them?  Stand up to them!  Don’t let them get away with it!  Come to the defense of anyone being verbally assaulted by these a-holes!  If you’re not confident about your position on a particular issue, do a little research and get yourself prepared.  It’s not hard to do and doesn’t take long.  And remember, you don’t even have to win the argument, all you need to do is show these clowns a little resistance, they’re not used to that.
We’re never going to rid the world of intellectual bullies.  Many of them eventually figure out that education doesn’t end with college, and they finally learn to treat others with some respect, but a new crop of graduates always replaces them.  We just have to let them know that they’re not going to get away with any of their crap on our playground.

Best of the Golden Geese

Author's note:  Bummed about SCOTUS overturning DOMA?  Know in your heart all this kind of stuff is wrong but  just can't put it in words why?  Here's why, all spelled out in plain English.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Morals: The Barbecue Grill Assembly Instruction Manual of Life

Morals: The Barbecue Grill Assembly Instruction Manual of Life

            I know what you’re thinking – where the heck is he going with this?  Keep reading.  In the past, I have gotten into debates with people who are proponents of certain activities that deviate from the traditionally accepted norms of human behavior.  I would always get stuck when my opponent would ask me, “Why shouldn’t people be allowed to act that way?  Who are you to judge what’s right or wrong?  I didn’t know how to respond.  I knew that I couldn’t defend my position on religious grounds, because invariably, my opponent was not religious.  My gut instinct was to say “Just because!” but that response would have made me look worse than saying nothing, so I just hemmed and hawed and lost the argument.  My opponent won the argument even though I knew that I was right, which of course, was very frustrating.
            To the credit of my opponent, those are very legitimate questions.  If I am truly the lover of freedom that I claim to be, how could I ever disparage the actions of anyone else?  You’ve heard the saying, “You can’t legislate morality”, and it is true, on both theoretical and practical grounds.  There is a plethora of reasons why we should have as few laws as possible governing people’s behavior.
            I couldn’t support my argument on legal or religious grounds, so maybe I should just shut up and go away.  Never!  I still have morality on my side.  “What?” you say, “I thought you implied that you could defend your position upon something other than religion.”  I can, and I already have the atheists on my side, even though they may not realize it.  You see, they say that atheists are good people even though they don’t believe in God.  They say the reasons for living a moral life stem can from practical matters just as easily as they can stem from any religion.  They might say for example, “If we all try to get along with each other, there will be less violence and hatred, and we will all be better off.”  This is most certainly true.
            Many people say that morals stem from religion.  I dare profess that oftentimes; it’s the other way around.  How else could the rules concerning how to live one’s life of so many religions be so similar?  Here’s where the barbecue grill thing comes in.
            I’m sure that a lot of you have been here before, and this applies to the assembly of anything, but barbecue grills are probably the most notorious.  You don’t bring an assembled grill home from the store.  What you get is a big cardboard box full of grill pieces and you have no idea just how many pieces until you rip open the box.  The first thought that comes into your mind is, “Boy, maybe I should have spent the extra money to have the store assemble and deliver it.” Since you have already destroyed the box, you are literally at the point of no return, so you dive in.  There’s a million parts scattered on the garage floor along with a white booklet.
            At this point, there’s two ways you can go.  The real man way – To hell with the instructions, I know what I’m doing, I not even gonna look at the damned book.  Or, the wuss way – I don’t really know what I’m doing here so I will follow the assembly instructions.  Either way, you’re screwed.  The real man finds out that he can’t just wing it, and the wuss finds that the instructions are incredibly hard to understand, so no matter which approach you use, you end up deviating from the instructions.  They’re so hard to understand, you wonder, “Why do they say that you have to do this that way?”  You think it would be a lot easier to put a component together as a subassembly first, and install that, than it would be to install each individual piece separately into the cramped spaces of the grill.  Great idea! – Until you find that the subassembly will not fit in where it is supposed to, unless you tear the whole grill apart which would be more work and take more time than just following the instructions in the first place.  You remember asking yourself, “Why do I have follow these stupid instructions?” and a voice inside your head responds in a defeated tone, “Oh, that’s why.”
            Finally, you get the damned thing put together and you not only understand the instructions, you know why they told you to do the various steps in the order that they did.  You are now a grill expert. – At least with that particular model.  Too bad you couldn’t do a few more.  You could now probably knock one off in about half an hour instead of the whole day it took you to do your first one.
            Take heart, the wisdom you gained from this experience will be valuable to you in the future, especially if you have to assemble anything.
            “Wow”, you say, “That’s a pretty long winded parable.  What’s it got to do with morality?”  Bear with me, and I will explain why the morality part of religions is so similar the world over.
            How did you get that grill put together when at times you either purposely didn’t follow, or didn’t understand the instructions?  The answer is: through trial and error.  There are a lot of ways to learn things, but the one method in which you can be most confident that what you learned is correct is trial and error.  Let’s say that there are four different colored cups on a table, red, yellow, green, and blue.  Someone tells you that there is a ball under one of the cups and asks you to tell them which cup the ball is under.  How would you figure it out?  Duh, you would pick up each cup until you found the ball.  You might not find the answer after you picked up the first cup, but you would certainly know the answer by the time you had checked under all four.  If you find the ball is under the blue cup, you can then state that it is, with more confidence that is true than if you had proclaimed that the world is round.
            Another benefit of learning by trial and error is that oftentimes, it not only provides thecorrect answer to a particular question or problem, but as in the case with our grill example, it gives you insight on why it’s the correct answer.  Lastly, learning in this manner tends to give the same results regardless of where you happen to be in the world.  Through trial and error, you would learn, “Don’t walk on thin ice.” or “Don’t touch a hot stove.”, just as effectively in China as in the United States.
            The disadvantage of learning through trial and error is that it can be inefficient.  The examples we have used so far are fairly simple, but it could take a lifetime to learn the answers to more complex problems this way.
 The good news is we are not restricted to only learning in this manner.  We can learn from the mistakes made, and thus the wisdom gained by others, kind of like following the barbecue grill assembly instructions.  At the grill factory, they have a more extensive knowledge of your grill than anyone else.  The designers and engineers, drew up the plans, the factory workers made the pieces, but some poor suckers had to put that first prototype together andwrite the instructions on how to put it together.  Now, who are you going to trust more for guidance when it comes time for you to assemble your grill?
There are a lot of things that irritate me about liberals, but one of the things that bugs me the most that they are so arrogant, they act like they’re so far ahead of us Neanderthals when it comes to social evolution. They actually believe that acceptance of activities they condone is cutting edge or avant-garde.  Believe me, the world has been around for a long time and everything as far as social behavior is concerned, has been tried, more than once, much of it a very, very long time ago.  Through the process of trial and error, various societies found that certain activities caused problems that were more damaging to everyone than any benefits such activities gave to people practicing them.  Eventually such activities became taboo.  This process has been repeated thousands of times over the eons and across the globe.  This is why so many societies, so far removed from each other, have such similar moral codes.
The problem is that so many of these lessons were learned so long ago, that often we are only left with the rules of morality.  The reasons for the rules have been long since lost to history. It’s a lot harder to adhere to a rule when you don’t understand the “why” behind it.  When this happens, people are prone to disregarding rules and sentenced to learning from their own mistakes.  Then, it’s like picking up that barbecue grill assembly instruction manual for the first time.
Even though you may not fully understand why something is or is not morally correct, it’s a pretty safe bet that a hundred societies that are in agreement with each other are not wrong. For the most part, morals are tried and true rules that have stood the test of time and will continue to be around long, long after all of us are gone.  They help a society function with the least amount of problems, and are kept alive by all of us passing them to the next generation.  So now, when someone says to me, “You have no right to judge me.”  My response is, “It’s not only my right, it’s my obligation.”

Best of the Golden Geese

Author's note:  I know it's a rerun, but read it!  If I were a bragger, I'd say that this is one of the best pieces on constitutional rights, particularly second amendment rights, you're ever going to read.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Wrong about Rights and the Caveman Test

Wrong About Rights and the Caveman Test

            There’s a lot of talk going on about rights, - rights to healthcare, rights to affordable housing, rights to free contraception, rights of free speech, rights to bear arms, etc.  Rights are good.  Right?  Right.  It would seem then, that all the people in favor of all these rights would be on the same side.  Right?  Wrong.  How can this be?  Rights are good.  Rights are right.  Doesn’t everyone deserve all these rights?  Who’s wrong?  Who’s right?
            Everyone is entitled to equal rights, but not everyone knows what rights are.  The Declaration of Independence states that we have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and the constitution says, eh, the constitution says, the constitution says a lot of things. Here is where the problem is.  Only a small percentage of people in this country have ever read the constitution and even a smaller percentage understand it.  Here’s a very, very brief and simplified explanation of it.
            The constitution of the United States went into effect in 1789 and is mostly a bunch of stuff about how our federal government is to be set up and run.  There, you can’t get more brief and simple than that.  Now what about all this rights stuff?  Soon after and even before the constitution went into effect, many people thought there needed to be more stuff in the constitution than just that “how the federal government is to be set up and run” stuff.  They felt that the rights of the country’s citizens needed to be protected and rightly so.  They had just recently been in a big argument with England about that stuff.  So rather than starting over from scratch, they added to the constitution, first ten amendments, which we refer to as the bill of rights.
            The fifth through the eighth amendments deal with prosecution, eminent domain, trials, bail, and other judicial stuff.  The tenth amendment says that any powers not expressly granted to the federal government by the constitution belong to the states and or people. 
The third amendment says that citizens cannot be forced to feed and house soldiers in their homes and the fourth amendment prohibits unlawful search and seizure.
The first and second amendments are the ones we are all probably most familiar with. They are what people are most often talking about to when they are legitimately referring to constitutional rights.  It’s the ninth amendment were things get murky.  It says that people may have other rights that are not listed in the constitution and just because they are not listed, it doesn’t mean that they can be violated.
So what is and what is not a right?  Is health care a right?  Is it one of those unlisted rights that the ninth amendment was referring to?  How can anyone know?
Setting aside the fifth through eight amendments, which deal mostly with our judicial process, I use what I call the “Caveman Test” to determine if something is indeed a right.  What I mean is this.  If someone claims that they have a particular right, I ask myself, “Would that person still have that right if they were a caveman?”  The Declaration of Independence says that we are endowed by our creator with rights that include life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  This means people were born with these rights long before any government was created, and such rights exist always and everywhere regardless of the existence of any government.  True rights are independent of government.  A government cannot give anyone a right; it can’t even take a right away.  The worst a government can do is to violate rights and the best it can hope to do is to try and protect rights.  Our forefathers were smart enough to know this and defined rights as limitations on what the federal government could do.
There’s an additional benefit to using this criteria to determine if something is a right.  It saves (or least helps prevent the spending of) government money.  It doesn’t cost (or at least directly cost) anything to let people have the freedom of speech or let people own guns. Financially speaking, health care is an open-ended question limited only by national bankruptcy.
Let’s put the Caveman Test to the test and apply it to some of these so-called rights.  Is health care a right?  No.  Why?  Health care is a commodity, not an idea.  If healthcare were a right, you should theoretically be able to go back in time, before hospitals or doctors, in an area where there weren’t even any people, demand healthcare and receive it.  The same holds true for affordable housing, and don’t even mention the right to free contraceptives.
What about free speech?  Yes, that is a right.  As soon as the first language was developed, people were saying whatever they wanted, until the first tribal chiefs (government) arrived on the scene.  People have been fighting to protect that right ever since.
What about guns?  Cavemen didn’t have guns.  Wouldn’t this mean that we can’t own guns?  Well let’s look at the second amendment.  It doesn’t actually say, “We have the right to own guns.”  (“What?!!!”, all the NRA dudes are screaming.  “Yes!!!”, the gun control advocates are cheering.)  The second amendment says, “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”  The word gun is not even in it.  Why?  The first weapon was a rock.  You either threw it at an enemy or hit them with it.  Then came the club and then the spear.  The guy with the rock was no match for the guy with the spear.  Even at time of the revolutionary war, weapons technology was rapidly evolving.   The proponents of this amendment knew that the guns of tomorrow would be vastly superior to the guns they had at that particular time.  They purposely left out any description of arms in the amendment because they knew that limiting the people to revolutionary war style muskets would, in the future; leave them just as vulnerable to criminals and tyrannical governments as if they had no weapons at all.  Rather than describing what weapons the people could have, they wanted to prevent the government from infringing (read setting limitations) upon the peoples right to own them.  So much for the constitutionality of gun control laws.

Best of the Golden Geese

Authors note:  The wife and I are going camping till Sunday.  It's not (or maybe, it's exactly)  what you think.  A population density over 1000 times that of where I live, we'll seldom leave a paved road, and DWI is perfectly fine as long as you are operating a golf cart.  Since, I'll be taking a break, I thought I'd throw a few "Best Of's" at you.  These are some of my favorite posts from way back when. (six months ago)  
Gun Control and Crazy People

It’s been over half a month now since the last mass shooting homicide and I suppose in a few weeks, we will be due for another and another round of calls for gun control. There is probably nothing I or anyone else can say to sway anybody’s opinion one way or another on this matter.  You’re either for more gun control or you’re not.
In the short term, none of it matters.  Legislation takes time to be enacted and we will surely have another mass shooting before any laws are made or changed.  In addition, even the most avid supporter of increased gun control would have to admit that even an all out ban on guns would not remove all guns and gun violence from our society.  True believers in the right to bear arms are not going to give their guns up and criminals by definition are not going to obey the new laws. 
Guns have been around longer than our country has existed, but until the last part of the 20th century, shootings like the one in Connecticut were virtually unheard of.  Over the past few decades, it has become increasingly difficult to legally purchase a firearm, but mass shootings have increased.  These facts indicate that there is more to the problem than just guns themselves.  You heard the mantra, “Guns don’t kill people, people do.” but there has always been people and guns.  What’s different now?
Shootings of this type are often explained by people saying, “Well that guy was just crazy.” but in addition to guns and people, we have always had crazy people, so that can’t be the only explanation.  People try to blame entertainment and pop culture for glorifying gun violence, and they do deserve at least some of the blame, but I think there’s more to it than that.  Cowboys were shooting each other up on the silver screen way back in a much safer time.
I’ve been thinking about this for a long time and here is what I think what explains the increase in senseless gun violence.  Today we have gun control.  We used to have “Crazy People Control”.  Crazy People Control wasn’t a set of laws like gun control; it was just the way people allowed others to behave.  Compared to today, people used to stay relatively close to the area where they were born.  Because of that, families used to be much closer.  Not just geographically, but personally, emotionally, and spiritually.  Towns and neighborhoods were populated by families that lived there for generations.  Families were stronger, and so were friendships because the same people interacted with each other everyday for a lifetime.  Instead of being anonymous strangers, people were part of something; a family, a group of friends, a town or neighborhood.                   
Being part of something does something to you.  It makes you aware of more than just yourself.  You feel a loyalty to others because you know that they will be there when you need them and you would never want to do anything that would embarrass them or let them down. Children growing up in this type of environment are raised with these sensibilities and are corrected when they deviate from them.  They are reprimanded for infractions far less serious than a shooting and praised for towing the straight and narrow.  It’s called “Learning the difference between right and wrong”.
With any of these mass shootings, it is a certainty that it was not the first time that the perpetrators did something that most people would call “crazy”.  They probably did many lesser things that would not be considered acceptable, but were there enough people in their lives to call them out on it.  Did they have that feeling of belonging and loyalty that keeps the rest of us from acting out on uncivilized impulses?  Did they ever fully develop a sense of right and wrong?
Even if more gun control would have the exact effects that its proponents desire, it would only work to eliminate gun violence.  “Crazy People Control” works to diminish all kinds of societal woes.  That’s why we used to have it.  Can we ever go back to it?  Not without societal sea change, but I think what we have here is more a people problem than a gun problem and there is no amount of laws that can ever change that.

17 Signs That Most Americans Will Be Wiped Out By The Coming Economic Collapse

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Michael Snyder of The Economic Collapse blog,
The vast majority of Americans are going to be absolutely blindsided by what is coming.  They don't understand how our financial system works, they don't understand how vulnerable it is, and most of them blindly trust that our leaders know exactly what they are doing and that they will be able to fix our problems.  As a result, most Americans are simply not prepared for the massive storm that is heading our way.  Most American families are living paycheck to paycheck, most of them are not storing up emergency food and supplies, and only a very small percentage of them are buying gold and silver for investment purposes.   They seem to have forgotten what happened back in 2008. 
When the financial markets crashed, millions of Americans lost their jobs.  Because most of them were living on the financial edge, millions of them also lost their homes.  Unfortunately, most Americans seem convinced that it will not happen again.  Right now we seem to be living in a "hope bubble" and people have become very complacent.  For a while there, being a "prepper" was very trendy, but now concern about a coming economic crisis seems to have subsided.  What a tragic mistake.  As I pointed out yesterday, our entire financial system is a giant Ponzi scheme, and there are already signs that our financial markets are about to implode once again
Those that have not made any preparations for what is coming are going to regret it bitterly.  The following are 17 signs that most Americans will be wiped out by the coming economic collapse...
#1 According to a survey that was just released, 76 percent of all Americans are living paycheck to paycheck.  But most Americans are acting as if their jobs will always be there.  But the truth is that mass layoffs can occur at any time.  In fact, it just happened at one of the largest law firms in New York City.
#2 27 percent of all Americans do not have even a single penny saved up.
#3 46 percent of all Americans have $800 or less saved up.
#4 Less than one out of every four Americans has enough money stored away to cover six months of expenses.
#5 Wages continue to fall even as the cost of living continues to go up.  Today, the average income for the bottom 90 percent of all income earners in America is just $31,244.  An increasing percentage of American families are just trying to find a way to survive from month to month.
#6 62 percent of all middle class Americans say that they have had to reduce household spending over the past year.
#7 Small business is becoming an endangered species in America.  In fact, only about 7 percent of all non-farm workers in the United States are self-employed at this point.  That means that the vast majority of Americans are depending on someone else to provide them with an income.  But what is going to happen as those jobs disappear?
#8 In 1989, the debt to income ratio of the average American family was about 58 percent.  Today it is up to154 percent.
#9 Today, a higher percentage of Americans are dependent on the government than ever before.  In fact, according to the U.S. Census Bureau 49 percent of all Americans live in a home that gets direct monetary benefits from the federal government.  So what is going to happen when the government handout gravy train comes to an end?
#10 Back in the 1970s, about one out of every 50 Americans was on food stamps.  Today, about one out of every 6.5 Americans is on food stamps.
#11 It is estimated that less than 10 percent of the U.S. population owns any gold or silver for investment purposes.
#12 It has been estimated that there are approximately 3 million "preppers" in the United States.  But that means that almost everyone else is not prepping.
#13 44 percent of all Americans do not have first-aid kits in their homes.
#14 48 percent of all Americans do not have any emergency supplies stored up.
#15 53 percent of all Americans do not have a 3 day supply of nonperishable food and water in their homes.
#16 One survey asked Americans how long they thought they would survive if the electrical grid went down for an extended period of time.  Incredibly, 21 percent said that they would survive for less than a week, an additional 28 percent said that they would survive for less than two weeks, and nearly 75 percent said that they would be dead before the two month mark.
#17 According to a survey conducted by the Adelphi University Center for Health Innovation, 55 percent of Americans believe that the government will come to their rescue when disaster strikes.
Just because you are living a comfortable middle class lifestyle today does not mean that it will always be that way.
If you doubt this, take a look at what is going on in Greece.  Many formerly middle class parents in Greece have become so impoverished that they are actually dumping their children at orphanages so that they won't starve...
Scores of children have been put in orphanages and care homes for economic reasons; one charity said 80 of the 100 children in its residential centres were there because their families can no longer provide for them.
Ten percent of Greek children are said to be at risk of hunger. Teachers talk of cancelling PE lessons because children are underfed and of seeing pupils pick through bins for food.
If the U.S. economy crashes and you lose your job, how will you and your family survive?
Will you and your family end up homeless and totally dependent on the government for your survival?
Get prepared while there is still time.  If you do not know how to get prepared, my article entitled "25 Things That You Should Do To Get Prepared For The Coming Economic Collapse" has some basic tips, and there aredozens of excellent websites out there that teach people advanced prepping techniques for free.
So there is no excuse.  You can trust that Ben Bernanke and Barack Obama have everything under control, but as for me and my family we are going to prepare for the giant economic storm that is coming.
I hope that you will be getting prepared too.

Check this out from Laguna Madre Pirate http://lagunamadrepirate.wordpress.com/

My wife and myself have busted our asses at thankless jobs for decades. Barely scraped by, missed out on so much time with family and friends. Fought and struggled to pay our bills and “live right”.

So many times I have gone to the grocery store in my 10 year old plus ragged out vehicle, bought ramen noodles, bologna, cheap ass frozen “chicken nuggets”, and a bunch of other such garbage, just to stand in line behind some fat ass with a cart piled high with ribeye steaks, shrimp, crap junk food, piles of lunch meat, cheese… And then “pay” for it with their fucking welfare card. While I spend the pittance I earn busting my ass, sweating until I piss orange, while my joints snap crackle and pop, if not scream out in outright agony. Sweat raining down into my eyes from a hard hat. Clothing soaked through the inside, and covered in filth from the outside. Sleep deprivation, time lost which could have been spent with my family… I am the sucker. I am the dumb ass retard who is killing himself for no reward at all to support some Escalade driving fucking douchebag who is eating ribeyes on MY labor while they don’t do a fucking thing to support themselves. They just work the system to their advantage.

I have always had pride in supporting me and mine as best I can. I have had some help, and I appreciate what I have been given, but I have busted my ass regardless. It sickens me to stand behind some welfare queen with $500 worth of groceries they did not earn, while I have $50 worth that I worked like a slave for.

I am a sucker. I am a shmuck. I am killing myself to support parasites who don’t give a fuck whether I live or die. Who drive Escalades, get Obammy phones, live in “section 8? housing, get $800 per month in food stamps, get subsidized electricity, get their entire livelihood handed to them on a silver fucking platter…

I have worked my ass off. Spent years in the Navy, only sleeping 8 hours a night every three days. Broiling in a 120 degree engine room. Getting foot fungus and crotch rot as my only reward. Then I worked on call 24/7 for an equipment rental company that services refineries for peanuts, and got fired for being exhausted enough to sleep through the SECOND time my pager went off that night. Wee hours of the morning actually. Then I worked 24/7, seven days on two days off as a petroleum inspector. Next I worked 12 hour flip-flopping shifts as a power plant operator. Hell, even when I landed a “cushy” state job, I had to work shifts, including a 4 A.M. to noon shift for seven days straight. That killed me worse than the 12 hour flip-flop shifts.

You can call it “whining”, “complaining”, or whatever, I really don’t give a fuck. I call it murder. Who knows how damn many years were sheared off my life by this crap. But I did it, because I had a family to provide for. Because I was naive enough to believe the bullshit story they feed us about “working hard and achieving success”. I worked hard, and have fell further behind year after year after miserable year, while deadbeats have prospered on MY nickle… I am now at the point of “if you can’t beat them, join them”. I am tired. I am sick of missing out on life while earning a living for me and mine, plus a train of others I don’t know from Adam. Fuck it, it just ain’t worth it to me anymore. Lost too much that I will never get back. The price is no longer worth keeping on going. Fuck it, might as well join the Free Shit Army, because there is no Galt’s Gulch to retreat to. There is no Midas Mulligan. There is no John Galt. There is no Francisco D’Aconia. There is no Dagny Taggart. There are only moochers, looters, and the politician cockroaches that empower them while sucking the life blood from those of us left still stupid enough to keep on producing for them to leech off of.

Fuck it, I have had enough of being bled dry. I am going to join the Free Shit Army.

Hard work and honesty are no longer virtues, nor have they been for a long time. Now dick sucking and capitulation have replaced them as the core “values” necessary for “success”. In the corporate world. Going off on your own? Yeah, try it. I have, multiple times. Going about it The Right Way™ requires a lawyer or two and a mountain of cash. The days of starting up a business in your garage are gone. That’s not even taking into consideration “zoning laws” and such. It’s all the rest of the bullshit bureaucracy that kills things before they ever have a chance to get off the ground.

But once again, I know I am just pissing in the wind. Wasting my time, and howling from a distant mountain top. It is pointless. Yet, still necessary, if for no other reason than to warn some future generation who might actually wake the fuck up and read these words. Who might have gotten past the brainwashing which makes these words irrelevant to the modern masses, if not outright “treasonous” in their nature. Because non-adherence to the “will of the majority” (of brainwashed dumbfucks) makes one “anti-social”, “treasonous”, “criminal”, and whatever other bullshit labels they might want to brand me with. Well I got two words for you shit for brains that think me some kind of “enemy”: FUCK YOU. I just want to live my life and be left the fuck alone. But you can’t have that. So I will fight your thieving asses until the day I die. No mercy, no quarter.
  • There is no worse tyranny than to force a man to pay for what he does not want merely because you think it would be good for him. Robert Heinlein 
  • Anyone who would impinge upon your rights is properly and rightly called a tyrant, and resistance to tyrants is obedience to GOD! -Unknown 
  • It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society ~ Jiddu Krishnamurti 
  • Resolve to serve no more, and you are at once freed. I do not ask that you place hands upon the tyrant to topple him over, but simply that you support him no longer; then you will behold him, like a great Colossus whose pedestal has been pulled away, fall of his own weight and break in pieces. ~Étienne de la Boetie
  • Good people will work together for their mutual benefit, regardless of the ruling regime; and bad people will do what they will in spite of it. -Me

Who Didn't Already Know This? (Besides the Politically Correct?)

talk Us!   

The Word ‘Man’ was Originally Gender Neutral

DAVEN HISKEY AUGUST 25, 2010 8Today I found out that the word ‘man’ was originally gender neutral, meaning more or less the same as the modern day word “person”.  It wasn’t until about a thousand years ago that the word “man” started to refer to a male and it wasn’t until the late 20th century that it was almost exclusively used to refer to males.
Before “man” meant a male, the word “wer” or “wǣpmann” was commonly used to refer to “male human”.  This word almost completely died out around the 1300s, but survives somewhat in words like “werewolf”, which literally means “man wolf”.
Women at the time were referred to as “wif” or “wīfmann“, meaning “female human”.  The latter “wifmann”, eventually evolved into the word “woman”, but retained its original meaning.  The word “wif” itself eventually evolved into “wife”, with its meaning obviously being changed slightly.
Interestingly, the word ‘men’, meaning “to think” or “to have a cognitive mind”, was also gender neutral and connected to “man”, which meant “the thinker”.  So we can see from that how “man” originally referred to all humans.
Largely due to the stigma that using the word “man” meaning “humans” is supposedly sexist, despite its original meaning, the use of the word “man” in that fashion has all but disappeared in the last 50-100 years, with it now only showing up in words like “human” and “mankind” as referring to both male and female.  Even those instances still garners quite a bit of controversy in terms of being thought of as sexist, despite these words predating the point when “man” meant “male” only.
One interesting convention that was thought up in the early 1900s to deal with this issue of “man” coming to mean both male and female and also sometimes meaning males exclusively is, in literature, to do the following: when referring to humans, “man” should be capitalized as in “Man”; when referring to “man” as in “male”, it is to be left lower case.  This convention was used in such literary works as “The Lord of the Rings” and was a key point in the prophecy concerning the Witch-king of Angmar: “no man can kill me”, meaning that according to the prophecy a woman, Eowyn, could because “man” in the prophecy was not capitalized.

The only thing that surprised me here was that it appears that the author had just recently learned this prior to writing the article.  Come on, who didn’t know this?  The word “man” can mean people or the human race, and it’s easy to tell when, simply by the context in which it is used.  

This is why I don’t like it when people feel that we must come up with new terms for things in the name of being politically correct.  We now have to call mailmen; letter carriers, firemen; firefighters, a spokesman; a spokesperson, a manhole; a personhole, and the list goes on and on.  This shit started when I was a kid who didn’t know a thing about politics or sexism, but the idea of everyone having to change what we always called something just to satisfy a small minority of people who were complaining, rubbed me the wrong way and it has ever since.

There has never been a good reason to give in to any of the demands politically correct crowd.  Using the term man in place of people or person was never sexist or confusing.  Everyone knew what someone meant when they said things like man made, mankind, manslaughter, or any compound word that ended in “man”.  No one (except for the pioneers of political correctness) ever thought that any of these terms were used to exclude women.

No one (or at least almost no one) was ever offended by any of these terms until they were instructed to be so by the PC people, and that is the reason that I wrote a previous post “I’m a Native American”.  http://goldengeesenews.blogspot.com/2013/06/im-native-american.html

You might think that is no big deal that we all have to bow down to the whims of politically correct, but it is.  If you were to go back fifty years ago and asked any 100 people of American Indian descent what were the biggest problems they and they’re people faced, none of them listed “being referred to as Indians” as one of them.  Why?  Because it wasn’t a problem!  The United States government referred to them as Indians and they referred to themselves as Indians.  They were not offended by it because they had not yet been instructed to be offended by it, and there was seldom any confusion between them and people of India, once again because of the context in which it was used.

Political correctness is an evil that goes far beyond changing accepted terminology and doesn’t do any good, not even for the people the PC folks claim they’re trying to help.  All it does is instill anger and resentment where it did not exist before, and cost people who didn’t even have a dog in the fight, money.  We have had to change wording on signs and in literature because of it, but the worst example is what so many communities have had to do concerning the names of school sports teams.  Most people don’t realize it, but it cost a lot of money for school to to change the name of their teams.

Once again, do you think any people of American Indian descent cared that school mascots were named after Indians or various Indian Tribes fifty years ago?  Of course not!  It never even crossed their minds.  Why would it?  They were just like other people with real problems to deal with, and something so insignificant wouldn’t have even made it on their radar screens.  Virtually no one was offended by such things until they were instructed to be.  How do I know this to be true?  Because if it was not, we would have heard about such things earlier, before the disease of political correctness spread across the land.

I’ll be the first to admit that the American Indians have suffered many real injustices at the hands of the United States and many of it’s citizens. but terminology, school mascot names are not among them, and having these be flagship causes in their name only diminishes other’s awareness and concern for any true injustices.  

Political correctness does no one any good and here’s why.  It is a relatively new phenomenon and the people pushing it claim that they are trying to solve various social problems, but guess what?  The most effective ways to deal with the problems that the politically correct claim they are trying to remedy have already long since been thought of.  It’s just that the PC crowd doesn’t like the traditional solutions.  What do I mean?

Take “not liking what other people refer to you as” for example.  What is the traditional way of dealing with this?  It’s going by the age-old saying “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.”  Now that may sound like advice one might give to a child, but what is more childish?  The politically correct way to deal with such a situation is to get whatever authorities to make rules against other people using terms the “victim” finds offensive.  Let’s look at the outcomes of the two different approaches being used in the real world.

First of all you got the “n-word”.  I can’t even write it here without being trashed by someone.  The politically correct powers that be have elevated it from racial slur to the granddaddy of all hate words.  Then you got “Redneck” which at one time, was poised to become the white counterpart to the n-word.  How did the way whites and blacks deal with these words differ and what was the end result.

The blacks chose to go the PC route and as a result may now have something that can destroy the careers of celebrities and politicians that are caught using it, but they also gave the people that truly hate, a powerful weapon.

The whites on the other hand, chose to deal with the word “redneck” in the traditional manner.  They didn’t let it bother them, in fact many of them considered it a badge of honor.  As a result, the word now has no power to insult or hurt them.  The people of Wisconsin did the same with the term “cheesehead” which was supposed to be the people from Illinois response to F.I.B. (fuckin’ Illinois bastards).  If you think Wisconsinites let it bother them, just watch a Green Bay Packers game on TV.

You might be inclined to say that the n-word is a much more serious slur than redneck or cheesehead and maybe it is, but I can’t help but think that going the PC route in dealing with it, did not make anything better for anyone, black or white.

Everything PC touches is a disaster.  Take dealing with bullies for example.  What’s the traditional way of dealing with a bully?  Stand up to him.  You don’t even have to win the fight.  All you have to do is stand up to him and he will move on to an easier target.  After this process repeats itself enough times, the bully finally learns it’s just easier to treat people with respect and decency.  What’s the PC way to deal with bullies?  Rules, sensitivity classes, and special treatment for the victim.  The problem here is that it makes the victim especially vulnerable when he is away from the protection of authority.  Instead of kicking his ass on the playground, the bully kicks his ass after school.

This is why the PC way of addressing problems never works.  People learned tens of centuries ago what works, and doing something other than what we know works, more often than not, will not.