Nonsensical Drought Restrictions

Hello dear reader(s)!

Do you live in an area that is currently experiencing drought?  Have you lived in an area that experienced drought?  Do you know what drought means outside of referring to a sports team’s failure to win in a while?  Have you ever dreamed of opening up your own drought business?  Would you like to know how you can profit from the drought crisis?  Do you often look for ways to make money off the suffering of others?

If you answered yes, yes, yes, no, no, and no, then this post is for you.

If you answered yes to the last two, you should probably do humanity a favor and end it all right now.

But enough with the pleasantries (because encouraging people to kill themselves is so pleasant) and on with the show!

As you may or may not know, I live in an area in the grips of a years’ long, extreme drought situation.  The water supplies for the area are dangerously low and experts in the field are warning that the situation (and forgive me as I use their technical jargon) sucks ass.

To combat this situation our Water Authority (a profitable business selling the people’s water back to them) has decided to take measures in a show of restricting wasted water so that they may charge more, claiming it as a deterrent to using more water, but actually just increasing their revenue.

Now, I understand that the sewers to take away, and infrastructure built and maintained to treat and deliver the water should be paid for; but I know that infrastructure existed in most areas prior to the set-up of this government subsidized for-profit business that was essentially gifted public property.  You see, before the creation of this “Water Authority” we did pay for the water…it was called taxes.

But, due to the conservative drive to privatize everything, a business was given the power to charge customers for water use, rather than just have everyone chipping in for the use of water.  It gained momentum during the last major drought that lasted 7 years.  On the surface, it sounds fair.  “Why should I pay more for Mr. X because that fucker is always wasting water, but I don’t even flush when I pee?  Charging by use will encourage people not to waste water!”

Seems great on the surface, but as with most things that seem good on the surface, (celebrities) one must look deeper into the ugliness within.

What is water waste?

Here where I live, we are restricted to watering our lawns to 3 days a week.  The Water Authority also uses sonar to drive by your house and listen for water leaks.  Violate these and you get a warning, then a staggering fine.  Does the fine go into the area’s general fund, or the water infrastructure?  No.  Does using sonar on people’s homes with no probable cause of a leak violate the spirit of the 4th Amendment?  You bet your ass.

Environmentalists began pushing a series of draconian water austerity measures including Xeriscaping, (taking out lawns and replacing them with rocks, a few desert trees, more rocks of a different color, and desert shrubs).  Low-flow toilets and shower heads are required on new home builds.  People are being encouraged not to flush their toilets as often.  My swamp cooler likely draws the ire of any environmentalist that has signed off.  But again I ask…

What is water waste?

Let’s look at the root cause of these droughts.  If you subscribe to the theory of climate change (as most environmentalists do, as well as 97% of climate scientists, and NASA), then you believe that carbon emissions are heating the atmosphere causing weather patterns to shift, disrupting regular seasonal cycles, melting ice caps, etc…  There is also the issue that too much ground water (even in states not currently in a drought, due to the proverbial drinking of one’s milkshake) is being sucked up.  And I buy into that.  So here is my question:  How are removing carbon scrubbing plants, in favor of rocks going to attack the cause?  Even if you don’t subscribe to climate change, you can surely know that standing over pavement or rocks, is going to be hotter than standing on a nice lawn.  This is why cities are generally hotter than country meadows.  I let my lawn die, and the temperature goes up.  Do that city-wide, and the whole city’s temperature goes up.  Do that area wide, and your entire microclimate’s temperature goes up.

What is water waste?

Additionally, it is not as if the water I use just disappears.  When I water my lawn, it goes into the grass and anything not absorbed by the carbon scrubbing grass evaporates or goes into the ground.  That is called ground water.  If water is no longer being put into the ground, but we continue to take it out of the ground for other uses, then our ground water supplies run out faster.

What is water waste?

When I flush my toilet, the water doesn’t disappear either.  It goes into a sewage treatment plant, where it is cleaned and treated, and put back into the sources.  Is all the water that goes in able to be extracted?  No, but it isn’t like people would have you believe, that every time you flush 5 gallons of water it is gone forever.

What is water waste?

The correct term for swamp cooler is Evaporative Cooler.  The water it uses soaks a foam (in my case) or straw pad.  Air is drawn through that wet pad and evaporates (hence the name) cooling the air as it rushes through my house and out the window.  Any moisture in left in that air evaporates again.  Evaporated water creates moisture in the atmosphere, which condenses, which produces clouds, which produce rain.

But does that mean water waste doesn’t exist?  No.

What is water waste?

Water waste is when formerly usable water is rendered unusable, and aside from a small percentage of sewer water; what our capitalism at all costs system is hiding, is that the primary way formerly usable water is rendered unusable…is industrial pollution.

While in California for example, only 8% of water use comes from industry, the way it is used is different.  Additionally, the gallons per person of an industrial city like Vernon with only 112 residents is 94,111 gallons of water per person per day, compared to Palm Springs, home of desert golf courses and lush lawns with 736 gallons per person per day.¹

And I assert that the way the water is being used defines waste, not the amount of water.  Vernon, likely wastes a large percentage of the 94,111 gallons of water per person per day, whereas Palm Springs mostly redistributes it.

Once fresh water is contaminated with too high of levels of certain pollutants, that water can’t be used again.

But please, let’s all continue to kill our lawns and trees, and make the temperature hotter in order to allow industry to continue to dump their shit in our lifeblood.

Removing the Confederate Flag from Statehouses is Good but Ending the Slavery that it Represents is More Important

Let’s make this clear for everyone: Due to the racial bias involved in the totally unnecessary and barbaric drug war, prison labor is nothing more than a means of legal slavery onto a mostly non-white population.

Please do not like or comment here but on original post.

The Progressive Cynic

© Josh Sager – June 2015

Last week, several states—including South Carolina, Virginia and Alabama—removed the Confederate flag from their public buildings and are signaling their intentions to abandon the symbol for all state uses (ex. license plates). This is very encouraging and definitely a step by southern states towards distancing themselves from their racist histories.

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Unfortunately, the removal of the Confederate flag is a largely rhetorical gesture, given the fact that many of the same evils that the Confederacy stood for are alive and well—one of these is the institution of slavery.

Yes, slavery still exists in the United States today. While it isn’t as pervasive or brutal as it was in the past, slavery has survived the decades since its supposed abolition by moving into the prison population. In many states, inmates are forced to work at little or no pay and are horribly punished if they refuse…

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Burning Churches

Black churches are being torched across the South in alarming numbers.  For anyone who thought that the Charleston shooter was a lone-wolf, or was not part of a long, deeply rooted culture of hate and discrimination, this should serve as a wake-up-call.

Throughout the South, in the open and with the support and cooperation of some in government and law enforcement, terrorist organizations…sleeper cells; have been waiting to strike against the people of the United States of America since after the Civil War.  These groups have formally disbanded, existed in secret, regrouped in public, gone underground, and emerged at various times throughout history.

With the election of the nation’s first black President, and the civil rights gains achieved not by his administration, but from the attitudes of the rest of the nation along with the demand for the just application of existing laws; these terror groups have activated once again.

The Tea Party, and the Republicans who embraced them, have actively courted these groups and stoked the fire of hate and fear of anyone different.  The homophobic, xenophobic, and racist elements within this country are not just talking in secret, but are celebrated in speeches by major party politicians, and given a voice in the mainstream media.  The Republicans are attempting to remain relevant as an opposition party and since the policies of the administration (most, not all) are so overwhelmingly favored by the people, they are actively pushing racial fears to draw people to their side.

Donald Trump’s inexcusable comments about Mexican immigrants seem like they would take him out of the running for the Republican nomination alone (not including the rest of his idiocy) but afterward he surged to 2nd among Republican contenders in the polls.  That is very telling.

The Texas Attorney General has called the Supreme Court’s ruling on marriage equality illegal and is saying that Texas clerks can violate the Constitutional authority of the Supreme Court in interpreting law (and therefore violate the Constitution) by refusing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Now I believe very plainly that if you are against same-sex marriage you are a bigot, but that doesn’t even matter in this situation.  What matters is that the Constitution gives the Supreme Court the final authority in interpreting the law, and this is how they interpreted it.  Like it or not, it is not only legal, it is the supreme law of the land and there is no appeal process.  If you claim to support the Constitution, you must support the fact that even if you don’t like the decision of the Supreme Court, they have the final say.  If they didn’t, we never would have had the George W. Presidency.  Citizen’s United would have failed.  Corporations would be seen as state created artificial entities, entitled only to the rights under their charter granted by the state, instead of given the rights of people.  But that is not what was decided.  It is what it is, and you can’t have it both ways.

The only say we as Americans get is in the informed voting of those who represent us.  They appoint the justices, under the Constitution.  They pass bills and laws, under the Constitution.  We can lobby them, and hope they follow the will of the people, but they are purposely not required to, under the Constitution.  Go against that, you are going against the Constitution.

Make no mistake, the Republican party is giving material aid and comfort to enemies of the United States Constitution.  Under the law, we call that treason.  47 Republican Congressmen, sent a letter to Iran in an attempt to undermine treaty negotiations, a clear and direct violation of the Constitution.  The rhetoric is one thing.  It is protected under the First Amendment, the actions are quite another.  As law enforcement and Southern governments not only ignore their responsibilities under the Constitution, but openly defy them…they are in full-blown insurrection against the United States of America.

As churches across the South burn, and the National Guard is not activated to protect them; the governments of the South have made clear that they only support law and order when it serves the purposes of keeping power in the hands of white people.  Last night it was 8 black churches after the Charleston shooting.  I do not know how many it is this morning.

When a CVS is torched in Baltimore, the peaceful protesters are lumped in with the rioters and all are called “thugs”.  There is national outrage, the city is locked down under martial law and a curfew is implemented.

1 CVS

8 churches

No National Guard.  No outrage in the mainstream media.  No operations to root out the terrorist organizations.  No investigations into terrorist KKK members permeating the government.  No Congressional hearings.  No impeachment of the Texas attorney general.  No arrests.

Look at the not-so-subtle message in this tweet from Speaker John Boehner.

Official tweet from Speaker John Boehner, (R)
Official tweet from Speaker John Boehner, (R)

Now, the death of officer Kim was surely a tragedy.  And sending condolences to the family and comrades is certainly something the Speaker of the House should do.  In a separate tweet.  By incorporating the killing of a police officer at the hands of a black man, into a tweet about heading to Charleston to pay respects to the families and the community; Boehner is essentially making a thinly veiled argument that the two issues are linked.

And don’t think it is only me.  White Supremacists are jumping on this and citing this official message from the Speaker of the House saying, “If black people would not be so violent, these things wouldn’t happen to them.”  I will not post the tweet from the terrorists who said that, because they are not in an official government position, and I don’t want to give those people the attention they seek.

This wasn’t just a gaffe on the part of the Speaker.  The man is very good at toeing the line between the full-blown racists within his ranks and the public face he attempts to maintain as an opposition leader.  It is a dangerous game, with destructive and sometimes deadly consequences.

The administration can’t just go and arrest Republicans.  Not even the 47 who explicitly committed treason by attempting to undermine the US Government’s authority.  To do so would look like an abuse of power to eliminate the opposition.  They could, however, use the FBI and NSA to investigate the reach of domestic terrorists within the South, and arrest those card-carrying members of terrorist organizations.  They could nationalize the Guard to protect the property and rights of the oppressed, which the Southern states are unwilling to do.

And you can do something too.  You can call and demand action from your governments and law enforcement, especially if you live in the South.  You can refuse to vote for the party who supports domestic terrorists and undermines the Constitution.

Some of those that work forces, are the same that burn crosses.” – Rage Against The Machine

Image of church arson credit to @UrbanCusp

179 Days Until Christmas!

Hello dear reader(s)!

What is your favorite holiday?  Is it Independence Day?  Halloween?  Rosh Hashanah?  Wesak?  Eid-al-Adha?  Diwali?  Christmas?

Well, mine is Halloween but that isn’t the point of the this post.

My second favorite is what Christians often refer to as Christmas and so do I because when I was growing up that is what it was called.  We’ve been celebrating Christmas as long as I have been alive and I can tell you right now that Christ was never the focus.  I guess that is what happens when one tries to incorporate two pagan holidays into one giant birthday party in the wrong month for a zombie.

“So Josh, why call it Christmas and not one of the two pagan holidays it incorporates?” 

Because I just don’t care.  I don’t care where the traditions come from.  I don’t care the religious significance it has to religious people.  I don’t care if someone wants to call it December Cheese Fest or Creepy Guy Breaking Into Houses And Exchanging Cookies For Toys For Children Day.  I.  Don’t.  Care.  I call it Christmas, because that is what it is in this area whether or not I subscribe to the beliefs that started the name.  Come up to me and say Merry Christmas to me.  Guess what I will say in return?  Merry Christmas!!!

There is no war on Christmas, no war on Christianity.  If I have friends (and I do) who aren’t Christian or have their own meaningful holidays around the same time, I may send a Happy Holidays card rather than a Merry Christmas card, but that isn’t to be PC.  It isn’t to offend Christians or attempt to not offend non-Christians.  It is to INCLUDE everyone in the joy of the time of year and having a pretty major holiday season that could be really awesome if people weren’t fighting each other for cheap electronics to give.

Quick story before the fun:  I was getting clothes around Christmastime and after the sale said something to the cashier.  I didn’t know she was Jewish.  I said, “Merry Christmas!”

She said, “Thank you, but I’m Jewish.”  (note the “Thank you, but…”)

So I asked, “Oh cool, is it Hanukkah?”

She replied, “No, it ended yesterday.”

I said, “Well I hope you enjoyed it, and happy belated Hanukkah!”

She smiled and said, “Thank you.”  Then she asked me, “Did you know that Hanukkah isn’t even our most important holiday?”

I said, “I had heard something like that, but now I know for sure.”  Then we exchanged smiles and I walked away with my purchases.

DOES THAT SOUND LIKE A WAR TO YOU?  I call it a nice conservation.

So, here are some photographs that explain my idea of Christmas.  To me, the holiday is about family, friends, joy, happiness, treating people as you would have them treat you (wait, that’s everyday), lights, decorations, and fun.  I don’t mind giving gifts when I can, but it has never been about that, even if they were there.

Stockings from left to right.  Josh, Hannah, Dobson, Piedmont at the first official place we got together.
Stockings from left to right. Josh, Hannah, Dobson, & Piedmont at the first official place we got together
Piedmont and Dobson on the Christmas Chairs.
Piedmont and Dobson on the Christmas Chairs

We had these red and white chairs at the condo that we hated the colors of, until Christmas time.

Our first Christmas tree together at the same place as the stockings.
Our first Christmas tree together at the same place as the stockings

I can’t find the pictures of the rest of the condo but we had garland strung over the tops of the windows, lights in the window facing the street, and we gift wrapped our pictures on the walls to look like hanging presents.  We do that every year.

The tiny house we moved into next with our Christmas lights candy-cane style around the red polls.
The tiny house we moved into next with our Christmas lights candy-cane style around the red polls
Monster tree prior to decorations at the tiny house.
Monster tree prior to decorations at the tiny house

This was taken right after we squeezed it into the door and got it set up.  It took a half-hour to get in, and I wasn’t sure we would get it.

Hannah and I by the tree before the Santa Crawl.
Hannah and I by the tree before the Santa Crawl
Hannah next to decorated tree with more decorations up, just before Santa Crawl.
Hannah next to decorated tree with more decorations up, just before Santa Crawl
Decorated tree stands alone.
Decorated tree stands alone
First bar of the Santa Crawl
First bar of the Santa Crawl
Downtown at the Santa Crawl
Downtown at the Santa Crawl
Under the arch at the Santa Crawl
Under the arch at the Santa Crawl
Hannah in front of Christmas decorations at South Lake Union, Seattle
Hannah in front of Christmas decorations at South Lake Union, Seattle
Christmas ships from Carkeek, Seattle
Christmas ships from Carkeek, Seattle
The one tree my mom let us have at her condo in Seattle.  The next year she was not into it.
The one tree my mom let us have at her condo in Seattle. The next year she was not into it.
Christmas lights
Christmas lights
Hannah modeling at the holiday store
Hannah modeling at the holiday store
Piedmont extremely thrilled about her Christmas outfit
Piedmont extremely thrilled about her Christmas outfit
Dobson wouldn't even let us get the vest on
Dobson wouldn’t even let us get the vest on.
More lights
More lights
Me holding Piedmont in the stocking
Me holding Piedmont in the stocking
Hannah holding Dobson in the stocking
Hannah holding Dobson in the stocking
Hannah and I in front of a lit up house
Hannah and I in front of a lit up house
Wild Lights at Woodland Park Zoo
Wild Lights at Woodland Park Zoo
Wild Lights
Wild Lights
Wild Lights mountain display
Wild Lights mountain display
Hannah and I at Wild Lights
Hannah and I at Wild Lights
More lights
More lights
Me on the carousel at Wild Lights, Hannah was on a horse in front, taking the pic.
Me on the carousel at Wild Lights, Hannah was on a horse in front, taking the pic.

There are hundreds of pictures from the Christmases we have spent together, but I think this gives you an idea of how we do it.  We love the lights, the decorations, the trees, and the fun.  I’d show you pictures from our Christmas party in the condo, but I do not want to self-incriminate.  I’m not sure any laws were broken, but I’m not really sure of anything from that night.

I guess what I am trying to say is, if you attach a religious significance to a day or time of year, then good for you.  I hope you are happy or peaceful in doing so.  But don’t get offended if someone else does not.  Don’t get offended if someone incorporates your religion’s incorporation of different celebrations to celebrate differently.

If someone says Merry Christmas to you, and you do not celebrate it, understand that the person saying it to you may just be trying to spread the joy they feel at that time of the year to you.  Likewise, if someone says Happy Holidays, do not get offended if you are a Christian.  Holidays is basically the English language’s tendency of turning 1 word into 2, in action.  Holy days.  People are telling you to have happy holy days.  Is Christmas not a holy day for a Christian?  And if you’re agnostic or atheist and someone says either to you?  Don’t sweat it.  Who cares?  It is a national holiday.  It is Christmas around here, whether you believe in the reasoning behind it or not.  Thank the person, wish it back, and go on with your life and beliefs.

Let’s put the humanity back in any celebration.

Chickenshits

Hello dear reader(s)!

Have any of you had a comment that was pretty rude, perhaps pushing their fire and brimstone views into your comments?  Have you then blocked their site and IP address only to have that same person leave a hate comment on your post after they deleted their site and signed on from a different location?  No?  It is just me?

Or how about being sent a message on social media that told you that because would never enter into a race war (that will NEVER happen) and that even if some factions did, you sure as hell would not be on the side of the white supremacists; you are a non-white white?  Some asshole took the time to make up a certificate and send me an award for being the non-white white of the day.  Well, if ignoring the construct of race while acknowledging the reality of racism makes me a non-white white….so be it.  At any rate, not wanting messages from white supremacists I immediately decided to block this person…but the chicken shit beat me to it.  He made up a certificate, sent it to me, and then blocked me.  What a little chickenshit.

I’ve always been relatively open to debate and disagreements, (barring hate speech, because I am not the government, and did not grant anyone First Amendment protections on my site), but otherwise I think respectful debate is healthy.  But when someone comments on my post that is not pushing my agnosticism, but simply letting people know that I do not really subscribe to the beliefs of organized religion and appreciate if people recognize that for me as I recognize their right to their beliefs provided they do not infringe upon me…a post written months ago…that says, “you have already condemned yourself” I am going to dump that shit right into Spam.  I do not go onto Christian’s posts and tell them of all the contradictory bullshit and different interpretations of their book.  I don’t do it to Jews.  I don’t do it to Atheists.  I use my blog-type-thing to express my opinions and thoughts on things.  If you don’t like it…move the fuck on.

This is not a forum I have set up for your soapbox and hateful opinions.  I do not run ads or charge fees for your right to participate.  This is MY soapbox, or echo chamber, or practice sessions.  I created it, and it is mine.

I have been hearing a lot of talk about how many (not all) Christians are under attack because the court of public opinion is turning against their right to discriminate based on that religion.  They have been saying they can not worship and believe as they choose.  They say they can not speak their mind and beliefs without getting called bigots.

They are full of shit, on everything but the last part.  You can worship, you can believe whatever the fuck you want.  The government can not stop you from holding those beliefs but as always (just ask Satanists) they will attempt to stop you from hurting someone in the name of your religion.  They will uphold the rule of law (most of the time) over your theocratic beliefs.  You will not be thrown in jail for being a racist homophobic asshole.  That is a First Amendment guarantee.  But guess what…that shit does not trump MY right to exercise MY First Amendment beliefs either.  You discriminate against gays?  I call you a bigot.  You tell me I’m going to Hell.  I say if being around people like you would be Heaven, then I am ready to meet the devil.  This isn’t infringing on your right to free speech, this is exercising mine.  I’m not constraining your religious freedom by calling your beliefs a fairy tale, I am stating my beliefs.  And we are protected in doing so…from the government.

From the government.  From the government.  I am not the government.  If you say something I don’t like, I will not allow it on my page.  I don’t have to.  Show some fucking respect.  This is my house, and I don’t let rude ass people into my house telling me that my views are condemning me to an eternity of suffering, which sounds so much better than the eternity of suffering hanging around you.

If we were at my house, face-to-face, and said that to me…you wouldn’t because you are a chickenshit.

Keep running your mouth though.  I’m not a violent person (typically) and likely wouldn’t start something over words.  My cancer has somewhat weakened me too although much of my physical strength is returning.  At any rate, I’d probably just tell you to leave and slam the door in your face, rather than getting violent.

However…just because I wouldn’t start a fight over something like that does not mean that someone else won’t.  The next person you go at might not be as forgiving as I am.  And no matter how strong or great you think you are…I can guarantee that at some point you will cross paths with someone quite a bit stronger, faster, or more aggressive.

So by all means, keep going onto people’s creations and talking shit.  Do it.  See how that works out.

Maybe you should channel all that excess testosterone into getting laid, rather than being a dick to people you believe differently from.

Saturday…In the House…Think It Is The 27th of June

Hello dear reader(s)!

How the hell are all of you this fine Saturday morning?

I woke up to the swamp cooler already being turned on by my lovely Hannah (who probably woke up at 4) and I shut it off at about 12 am before I went to bed, meaning, the damn thing has been running almost all day for the past 5 days.  It is hot.  Too hot.  Yesterday, our area tied a record for the day that has stood since 1968.  1968.  That is insane that people in the 60’s could survive this kind of heat with their less-efficient AC and lack of good insulating windows.  Also, bottled water was not commonplace, so I wonder how they stayed hydrated.  Beer maybe?  Although the alcohol is not such an efficient hydration tool.

Speaking of tools, how about Ted Cruz and Mike Huckabee?

My cat was up in the window chittering at the birdies.  It is a beautiful morning and would be great barbecue weather if you felt like grilling in the morning.  Unfortunately, later today, it will not be beautiful, it will be hot, and I might have to murder someone for their more powerful central air system.  I’m sure I could assume someone’s identity.

Still, I am in a good mood.  Not just because of the recent events of the last week.  Not just because my nosebleed last night ran for less than 5 minutes, as opposed to the hours long nosebleeds I was getting as the blasts were taking over my blood.  Not just because I woke up to news that someone had scaled the flagpole in SC to remove the Confederate Battle flag since lawmakers are attempting to wait out the public outrage over the symbol to die down so they can keep it.  (Yes, the flag is back up, but symbols have meaning, and non-violent civil disobedience removing a symbol of hate from public property gets this guy excited.)

I hope this positive outlook lasts through the heating of the day, but I am pretty prepared for another day of whining and home wet t-shirt contests that only I participate in.  I swear to you, and you can’t make this up, well, you could if you wanted I suppose, you could make anything up, couldn’t you?  Except for maybe down, but I digress.  At any rate, where was I?  Ah yes, yesterday I soaked one of my t-shirts and put it on, and after the icy chill of about 5 minutes and when I first sat down against a towel on my chair, it didn’t do any good.  It was dry within 20 minutes.

Hannah and I have been pissy with each other the past few days.  We’re not having problems, we’re just miserable, so everything sounds like we are snapping at each other.  Usually we are not, but are just annoyed with everything heat related and it comes out in our voices.  I am trying to be mindful of it, but it isn’t easy because it is simply too damn hot to be mindful of anything.

However, last night, during the slight cool-down in the dark, I had an epiphany.  World peace could be achieved if everyone would just move to cooler climate areas.

Think about it, where are the current hot-spots for violence?  Places that get too damn hot.  Does violence happen elsewhere?  Yes, but not as often, and more often in those areas when it is unusually hot.  Police use to theorize that more people are out in the summer and therefore you are going to see more incidents…but I think there is more to it.  I just think the human mind is not capable of dealing with this much heat and irrationally lashes out at totally unrelated things.

Israel doesn’t hate Palestine, they are too fucking hot, and vice versa.  Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Syria?  Too fucking hot.  The deep South?  Too fucking hot.  Texas?  Too hot.

The only reason Las Vegas has not turned into a hot-bed for extremism is because even if you don’t have a great AC, you can always stand in a casino that is kept nice and comfortable at no charge.  And get drunk while you’re at it.  And if you are an angry drunk, instead of an “I love you, man” drunk, then there is a lot of security to take you to the nice air-conditioned holding cells, possibly giving you a fine for disorderly and sending you on your way the next morning.

I am currently looking at designing a machine I call “The World Happiness Maker” which is essentially a giant, space-based, green AC unit that will just blast cold air into our atmosphere and blow the hot air out into deep space.  Since our carbon emissions trap the heat in, and powerful industry doesn’t look like they want to slow that any time soon, I figure not only is this necessary to our environment, but to the mental well being and peace on this planet.

“But Josh, what about the tropics?”

We’ll try to angle the giant vents away from popular vacation destinations as the people in the tropics, for the most part, seem to be able to tolerate the heat better than the rest of us.  My assumption on that would be the easy access to the ocean.  It might also be due to the large amounts of weed in those areas, but either way, we do need some warm vacation destinations.

If you would like to support “The World Happiness Maker” design and build, you can do so by going to my GoFundYourselfIamNotSerious page.  I accept all currencies except for the soon to be released Drachma.

Greece and Economic Slavery

Hello dear reader(s)!

Since I consider myself to be a world citizen, and because I have this little thing called “empathy” toward people regardless of where they live…I have been following the events in Greece in regards to their EU membership, debt, default and subsequent EU exit.

I’ve been trying to understand and figure out what was happening through the complicated economics and politics involved.  Then, as I was watching some BBC coverage (because that shit never gets beyond the money pages of MSM in the US) it began to sink in.  Greece was set up.  I recalled as I realized this, a book “Confessions of an Economic Hitman” by John Perkins.  If you haven’t read the book, you need to.  It is no hack conspiracy book, it is an accurate description of economic subjugation, perpetuated by the IMF, largely under the direction of the US.  It was also a New York Times Bestseller.

The book explains how loans are issued in exchange for a say in governmental policies, allowing for corporations in the West to exploit the country’s resources, or people.  Usually the loans are for promised development in those countries, and under the terms of those loans, all the development is done by Western corporations at inflated rates.  Then, the loans and interest must be paid back to the IMF for the privilege of letting a Western corporation profit from them.

The situation in Greece is a little different.  After the economic crisis of 2008, Greece, like all Western economies, was suffering from the mega-banks’ bad and fraudulent investment bubble bursting.  In October, 2009 Greece announced that its deficit would soar to 12.5% of GDP.  Now that isn’t good at all, but in December of 2009 the US deficit was 10.1% of GDP.  Unlike in the US however, the EU, IMF, banks, and the credit rating agencies all got together to pounce.  The only reason the US credit rating was ever downgraded was because of the GOP’s refusal to raise the debt ceiling, in order to fund the money they had already spent.

The credit rating agencies all downgraded Greece’s rating within the next couple of months, using the deficit percentage as reasoning.  This of course led to many investors moving their investments elsewhere, hurting revenue.  Keep in mind that prior to that deficit announcement Greece had a credit rating that was considered a good investment by all 3 agencies.  After, they became neutral.  As if that didn’t hurt the economy of Greece enough, they also added a negative outlook telling investors there was a good chance they would do it again.  As investment and credit dried up, so too did any chance of a quick or even moderately paced economic recovery.

Then came Austerity to add fuel to the fire.  As International investors were running around like Chicken Little thinking that Greece’s sky was falling, the government of Greece decided to implement austerity measures to slow the growth of its debt.  This only made things worse because the last investment in Greece’s economy, (domestic investment), was substantially reduced.  As salary freezes were implemented, and bonuses and overtime were cut; the economy only worsened as now people could not afford to invest or consume in Greek companies.  Next, they passed even stricter austerity measures that included public sector pay cuts, a rise in the sales tax, rises in taxes on fuel, rises on cigarette taxes, rises on alcohol taxes, and rises on luxury taxes.

Spending in Greece ground to a virtual halt.

Seizing on this opportunity, the credit rating agencies pounced again and dropped the ratings further.

The downgrade worked exactly as intended and forced the Greek PM to ask for a bailout or risk the collapse of the Greek financial system.  The money came from the IMF, EU, and the EBC, in exchange for another round of austerity measures.  The loans, were to keep Greece from defaulting on their debts, and really were designed to do nothing to aid the economic situation of Greece.  The loan was the banks and financial sector (including the rating agencies) using the taxpayers of the EU (specifically Germany) to pay for their investments.  The money was just enough to cover the interest on the debt.  Germany, and the EU it leads, would get political control and subjugation of Greece, and reap any economic benefits that resulted.  It could keep applying austerity measures and continue to ensure that the Western banks get their money back for as long as possible, before eventually austerity would force Greece into total collapse and there would be a fire sale on all Greek assets which could then be snatched up by the investors and banks.

But Greece had other ideas.

Russia and China have been courting Greece steadily, ready to step in and assist Greece when they default, nationalize their banks, create a new currency and give a proverbial middle-finger to the EU.  Greece will take another economic hit once they default, but the damage should be mitigated by continued investment from countries who do not subscribe to the IMF system of economic subjugation.  Russia and China will spend money to score political points that undermine the West, the US, and the EU.

Regardless of whether or not the latest offer with more austerity attached including taxes on food makes it to a referendum, and regardless of how Greece votes in that referendum; the Greek exit from the EU and a default is almost guaranteed.  If not now, then in 6 months, when this loan runs out.

The investors and banks have already made their money back and then some.  When Greece defaults, it will not be a major economic hit to the rest of the world.  For the people of Greece, times will be tough for a while, and they might be trading one ruler for another.

The plan to keep Greece on the hook paying interest and signing away more and more of their sovereignty failed because Greece decided it didn’t want to play anymore.  The economic impact to the EU is not disastrous, but the political fallout for the entire Western IMF scheme may be huge.

As Greece leaves the EU, and eventually scrapes by and rebuilds with their new friends, other nations indebted to the EU and IMF may realize they can do the same.

Money isn’t real.  It is all numbers in accounts stealing resources from the people and consolidating them in the hands of the few.  Digits and paper used to control.  Rather than sign on with Russia and China’s money schemes, Greece should opt-out entirely.  And we all should follow suit.