Wednesday, May 30, 2012
It cannot be all that far off. I see too many things that will trigger a major correction. Financial: 1) Debt of the U.S. And the ability of rest of world to continue to purchase U.S. debt. For how long can China and the rest of the world buy U.S. debt? (At a steady level, it may be possible to go on a very long time, but this is not happening.) 2) Debt of Europe and the instability that it is already triggering. Any economic system that takes on more debt than it can maintain or reduce is unstable. 3) Financial crises used to come up every 10 years or so are now occurring with alarming frequency. Now they are happening multiple times a year. Overview: No individual or organization can continue to spend more than it makes forever. Economies of scale can sustain a certain amount of debt, but human nature will tend to overspend. An increasing rate of debt will explode exponentially. Like a reverse mortgage. Once a certain limit is reached, a collapse will occur. As you get closer to the limit, you accelerate toward it. Human: 1) It has been 70 years since the end of the last major, worldwide correction. They happen once in a while. It is only a matter of time until the next one. 2) Humans are unpredictable. We do the dimmest things. Just look at World War I. I am not referring to the waging of the war itself. I refer to the cause and reasons for waging it opposed to the cost and benefits of winning and losing. Islam: 1) Islamic nationalists WILL obtain WMD. It is recognized that only this will obtain for Islamic rule the ability to deal with the nuclear powers on a ‘level playing field’. It is only a matter of time. Anyone want to bet that any WMD would NOT be deployed by Islamic forces? 2) Islamic legal system is spreading. We are losing this war right now. 3) The capabilities of Islamic forces are steadily improving as the massive attrition involved in engaging the U.S. military in Iraq AND Afghanistan has dropped drastically. I refer to not just the human losses but the financial drain as well. This can only improve the Islamic army’s strength and capabilities. 4) Islam is very capable of changing its tactics. The mistake of hitting us too soon on 9/11 may not be made next time around. Things remain stable for only so long. Time periods like this are impossible to predict as to how long they will last, but it is a certainty that it will end. The question is: When? With all of these factors (Plus more that I am sure that I have missed) I am convinced that we will see some type of major, worldwide correction in less than 10 years. If drastic CHANGE is NOT implemented soon, I expect something to happen in less than 5 years. The CHANGE that I am thinking of is major reform in spending by BOTH Europe AND the United States. The wild card is the Islamic army and its activities. This part of the picture is far too widespread and as it strengthens can easily upset the balance.
Friday, May 25, 2012
The past couple of posts have dealt with emergency response to disaster. It is always wise to have extra resources and planning in case of emergency. I have posted this stuff because I believe that a major disaster is in our future. The problem is figuring out how far off. My study of warfare has led me to believe that major conflicts crop up from time to time. It has been close to 70 years since the end of World War II and the world is due. It could still be 10 or 15 years off, who knows? I also believe that Islamic nationalists will eventually obtain WMD and deploy them. This could also be 10 years away. 9/11 was a mistake for Islamic terrorism. They made their move too quickly. They should have waited. They may not make this mistake again. Then we have the economic situation. History has shown that most wars are basically economic. Some is taking something from someone else by force. It could just be a struggle for scarce resources, like any argument that couples experience. In any case, the economic problems the world face today can easily be a cause of a major war. Europe and the U.S. are spending far more than they can economically support. This has to lead to some type of major correction. The problem once again is how long? And this assumes that things keep going the way they are currently. After all, we do have a choice and can correct many things. I don’t believe that human nature will allow us to make the choices that we need to make. Just look at France and Greece. I am just as human as you are. I can be wrong about this. But if I am correct, it may still take years before the conditions reach critical mass. I still believe that the shit will hit the fan before 2017, but it could be 2020 for all that I know. Again, assuming that things keep going the way they are going today. In summary, build and maintain emergency supplies and planning. My wife and I attempt to inventory our supplies at least once a year. Twice a year is even better. We also attempt to make at least one move a month. Purchase an extra container of propane, or change a habit. Like keeping your keys on you at all times, just in case. If you take small steps on a consistent basis, you will be far better prepared than most people. Just like a fire, it just may make the difference of survival.
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
The second major threat is hyperinflation. This is where the money supply is expanding so rapidly that prices are going up on a daily basis, perhaps hourly. The best thing you can do in this situation is to understand that hard items that are useful tend to hold value. 1) Paper currency goes up so fast that you must spend it immediately. Then you trade for what you need. 2) Gold and Silver will be more of a stable currency. Experience has shown that hard commodities like gold can be used to purchase other hard commodities, like clothes, shoes or weapons. Hard commodities are not as useful when attempting to purchase consumable items like food, water and fuel. 3) A six-month supply of food is recommended. Back up water, fuel and even gas is recommended. For example, I keep the two gas cans in the garage full. I empty them into the cars at the beginning of each month then I re-fill them. I have a spare propane tank for our gas grill. I may purchase a 2nd backup. Dehydrated food can have a shelf life of many years. REM (Ready to eat meals) can also be a good supplement. 4) Begin a vegetable garden if you do not have one. Expand if you don’t have one that provides extra supplies on a yearly basis. Any and all food will be in demand. 5) Gas and fuel of all types will be in demand. Alternative forms of transportation may become necessary. Bicycles can provide this on a limited basis. 6) If hyperinflation does hit the US Dollar, the barter system will replace money. You will need to become proficient at exchanging items. Everyday items will be extremely expensive. Shoes, clothes, soap and toiletries: Yes, toilet paper. Many will disagree with this statement, but our President has placed the U.S. on the strategic defensive. This means that anyone living in or near a major city is now in the front line. With all of the financial problems in Europe and the U.S., things can easily spin out of control. People will fight over scarce resources. We are already beginning to see this. (Wisconsin is only a minor example) The question is how far will it go before it settles down? Hopefully, none of this equipment will be needed. I do attempt to make things as inexpensive as possible, not to mention useful even if things DON’T become extreme. If anything does, at least you may have some equipment that is in demand and is readily tradable for something else. At best, it just may help save your life.
Saturday, May 19, 2012
The biggest advantage anyone can have for the unexpected is to have a plan. The two major threats today are some type of physical disaster (part 1) and hyperinflation.(part 2) In a physical disaster situation, a major decision that must be made immediately is to ‘hunker down’, or to flee. Do you set up in your home, or do you flee to a destination far enough away to be out of danger? If you decide to flee, it will help a great deal if you already have a number of potential destinations. Do you have relatives in Wisconsin or Western Illinois? Or friends who you can rely upon? You will also require at a minimum a ‘bug out bag’. Search on Google for detail. A ‘bug out bag’ is a survival kit to keep you going for 3 days. The seven items listed are: 1) Water: One liter of water per day per person. 2) Food: Energy bars or back pack meals. 3) Clothing: Boots or shoes, long pants (Not blue jeans) 2 pair of socks, 2 shirts (One long sleeve and one short sleeve) A jacket that is warm and protects from rain, Long underwear, a hat, a bandana. (30 uses for bandanas) 4) Shelter: A tent or tarp and a way to set it up. A floor tarp is necessary to stay dry. A bedroll. 5) First Aid kit: Build your own. The prepackaged kits can be OK, but probably don’t have the right mix. 6) Basic gear: 3 ways to make fire (Prefer 5 ways) Small pot/large cup to boil water. Backpacking stove and fuel are better. At least 2 dependable flashlights and a backup set of batteries. A knife is the most used and versatile tool in the bag. Be careful what you select here. 7) Weapons: A firearm is best although your knife can be a backup. A walking stick or club can also be used. If you decide to ‘hunker down’, you will be advised to have a variety of supplies available. 1) Flashlights and radio. Battery backups for all. Hand crank so no need for batteries and/or backup power supply. I am looking into a solar power generator that would supply power and recharge any batteries that we would need. This would require an inverter to convert DC to AC power. I have seen articles that say this can be obtained for as little as $300.00. More realistic is $500 to $600. 2) Reserve of fresh water. 1 liter per person per day. Tablets for making unknown water supply safer to drink. A filter to make water safe for drinking is also available. Collapsible water bottles will be useful. You could drain the water heater and tanks that supply water for the toilets. 3) Spare blankets and canned food. We rotate food supply to keep it fresh. Energy bars are easily transportable. The stores have only a 3-day supply of food. It is recommend having a 3 to 6 month supply of food at home. Freeze dried or dehydrated foods have a shelf life of many years. 4) Spare clothes: A pair of sturdy boots, long pants (not blue jeans) 2 pair of socks (Not cotton) 2 shirts (1 short sleeve and one long sleeve) A jacket that is warm and protects from rain. Long underwear. A hat. A Bandana. (Up to 30 uses for bandanas) 5) Plan of action: Do you leave the area as soon as possible, or do you ‘hunker down’ and wait a few days for the dust to settle before you move out? Where will you go if you had to leave the general area? 6) Cash - $500 to $1000 on hand. Credit cards, debit cards, cash stations may not work. Cash will be important to have. Even small amounts of Gold and silver can be of great value. (Note* gold and silver may not be good to purchase fuel and food. It WILL be good for purchase of arms and ammunition) 7) Three ways to make fire. Lighters and matches. Candles may become very important. A flint or magnifying glass may be used. 8) Backup transportation: The EMP from a nuclear explosion will destroy ALL electronic devices. Cars will be disabled and stop immediately. Can you walk or have bicycle backup? 9) Medical supplies. A first aid kit is a good start. Bandages along with tape, crutches and splints may be useful. Build your own kits. The do-it-all in one package is likely to have too much of things that you don’t need and not enough of things that you do. They are a beginning only. 10) Weapons for defense? People will probably panic. They just may take violent action. Not that anyone wants this to happen, but it may be very useful to have a night club or some other hand held weapon to defend yourself with. Your knife can be useful here. A pistol is recommended. A shotgun and rifle have more functions. Binoculars may be useful. 11) Potassium iodide in tablet form can protect from radiation ingestion to a certain degree. It has a shelf life of 6 to 7 years and can be safely taken far beyond expiration date.
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
I was watching FOX News on Sunday (5/13/12) and caught part of a show on honor killings. In this show, the argument was being made that Islam was not the problem, but the culture of the area was responsible for the actions of the father. What was not pointed out was how Islam IS a culture. Culture is a system of beliefs and behaviors built up by a group of people over many years. It can be argued that Christianity has developed its own culture over the 2000 years since inception. Islam has been around for more than 1400 years and certainly has had enough time to develop similar engraved beliefs and behaviors as a direct result of its teachings. And Islam has the force of government to ensure its establishment in a more direct way. The changes in governments taking place in the Middle East and North Africa are resulting in Islamic governments coming to power, or at the very least, gaining political control that it did not have in a long time. Islamic governance is hostile to Israel and the United States. Islamic government is hostile to every other form of government, but we are first on the agenda because we are the most in contact with Islam and we are the strongest. We are also more in opposition to the majority of its concepts and teachings which is where the cultural conflict comes into play. In any case, Islam is winning right now. The terrorists who attacked us on 9/11 believed in Islamic government and law. They were part of the Islamic army, an army that is not only still active today, but expanding. As new nations come more under its direct influence, we can expect more activity from our enemies. And we do not have a ‘killing ground’ like we did in Iraq that forced our enemies to confront an organized armed force directly. Today, our enemies are facing the police and internal security forces of the national entity that they are attempting to defeat. This is not a favorable match up for us. Bin Laden himself said that “We will back the stronger horse.” Another result of our withdrawals from Iraq and Afghanistan is that we can expect our enemies to gain support for their actions. In other words, we are losing the war. If this continues, the net result will be the use of WMD by our enemies. This has always been only a matter of time, but this timetable has been moved up considerably. How close is anyone’s guess, but the end result will make Iraq and Afghanistan look like a warm up routine.
Saturday, May 12, 2012
Most of the peaceful phrases in the Koran were spoken in the early stages of the formation of Islam. The Koran specifically states that in cases where the ‘laws’ are contradicting, the later rules are to be followed. (The Koran is NOT organized by when the phrases were spoken, but by the length of the phrase) The phrases that were spoken in the later times are the ones that mainly concern governance and foreign policy. After all, this is when Islam held the power of government. This is also where the war against the U.S. begins. As far as the ‘Nation of Islam’ was concerned, the United States was just another infidel country. A big change occurred during the mid-20th century with the U.S. support of Israel. Even then, the United States was only indirectly involved. In 1982 and 1983 when the U.S. troops were in Lebanon, we were violating Muslim land directly with our ground forces and had to be thrown out. From Islam’s point of view, the U.S. was successfully thrown out. Then in 1991, Iraq invades the national sovereignty of Kuwait. When U.S. troops moved into Saudi Arabia and other Muslim countries in order to kick Iraq out of Kuwait, we became ‘occupiers’. Even if the government invited us in. Islam does not recognize the authority of the modern national government. Ever since then, Islam has been at war against us because we continue to be ‘occupiers’. The Islamic terrorist groups are the ‘army’ of Islam. These are not ‘extremists’ as much as they are followers of the Islamic system of governance that overrides any and all national governments. Bin Laden is an excellent example. He believes (as do many others) that the sovereignty of Islam is being challenged. Historically, sovereignty issues have started plenty of wars. Most Muslims worldwide are ‘good’ people. They do not want war. However, they will fight for their way of life. Like the ‘good’ southerners in 1862 and the ‘good’ Germans and Japanese in 1944, many are already fighting against a foreign influence that is in conflict with Islamic governance and ideology. Naturally, Islamic reaction is hostile. Hostility does not necessarily lead to war, but the tendency is toward violence simply because the human frustrations that Islam imposes upon its followers requires an outlet. Anger is one of the few emotions that appear at least to an outsider, to be acceptable. Anger easily leads to violence. In addition, violence is more common at least in part because Islam has a relatively low threshold for waging war. War tends to make people chose. Most will naturally chose the side that they live with and understand. (Even if evil, like slavery) We can expect that many Muslims if not most, to side with Islam in any open conflict. Human nature demands this. This helps explain why so many others believe that we are creating new enemies by our actions ‘over there’. You may not agree with many of the reasons that I have listed as to why ‘political’ Islam causes wars. Many contain overlapping features. Yet even if you disagree on a number of these issues, this is enough to explain why peace has been so elusive in the Middle East and with Israel in particular. Too many issues within Islam are of a nationalist nature to NOT cause organized violence. It is noticeable how Islam and the modern national government do not get along. Just look at how well the governments that are host to Islamic organizations like HAMAS and Hezbollah relate with those very same groups. They may be in agreement on a number of important issues, but the government is supposed to be accountable for the actions of it’s own people within its borders. These groups are NOT accountable and this creates a very serious conflict of interest. Nationalist issues of this type have caused wars and will cause wars in order to obtain a resolution. The issue of separation of church and state has in the past and will in the future, trigger wars. Religions cannot muster armies today like they could in the 7th century. Only national governments can raise and deploy armies. The fact that Islam is doing so today (as if we are still in the 7th century) creates national sovereignty issues that historically have taken wars to resolve. On top of this, Islam in general has a very low threshold for waging war. The Koran allows for the waging of war far more easily than ANY modern government would consider. The nation-states of today are far more powerful and numerous. As a result, warfare is far more destructive today. This makes war much more dangerous and more of a threat to each governmental body than when Islam was born, when governments as we know them today did not exist at all. Notice how Zionism is a term commonly used by leaders in the Muslim world to describe the political nature of the ‘Nation of Israel’. The ‘Nation of Islam’ can easily identify with this concept because this is precisely what ‘political’ Islam is. One key difference is that the nation of Israel is a modern national government whereas the nation of Islam is not. I have studied wars for more than 40 years. I have never studied one where so many GOOD reasons exist for violent conflict in order to resolve. Until one side or the other implements some very large changes, this war can only be just beginning. I am fearful of what can possibly occur after a severe economic downturn. The war is much, much larger than what is being fought in these various conflicts where the Islamic terrorist groups (The Islamic army) are active. The U.S. is only directly involved in a few of them. A major downturn in the world economy could easily be the match that starts a major conflict. It has been a long time since the last major, world war. History has demonstrated that major wars occur every so often. On top of this, it is only a matter of time before one of these terror groups obtains and deploys an effective WMD. Control of the war can easily be lost at that point. It will become difficult, if not impossible to prevent the war from escalating. After all, escalation is generally how wars are won. Time is NOT on our side and the U.S. government is playing for time. Wrong strategy. We are in big trouble if our President doesn't figure it out fast enough. The sovereign ‘Nation of Islam’ IS the cause of much of the warfare that is involving the Muslim world today. To use President Lincoln’s words (With a different intent), before this war is over, the army of Islam (Islamic sovereignty) ‘must perish from this earth’. It truly is them or us. I choose US. (United States) Naturally.
Tuesday, May 8, 2012
Separation of Church and state: Islam was designed and built as a system of governance. (In addition to being a ‘religion’.) Islam was around long before the modern national government evolved and became common. In most of the Middle East, Islam has been the ‘law of the land’ since the 8th century, yet many of the modern governments in the Middle East were only established in the 20th century. The Ottoman Empire, which controlled the area for centuries, was based upon Islamic law. As a result, loyalty to Islamic laws and culture is far more established than any government that has been put in place since. (Bin Lauden is a good example. He is loyal to Islamic government, and no other) This is slowly changing, but the loyalty to the ‘Nation of Islam’ is still widespread. We still hear major Islamic leadership refer to the “Nation of Islam” and the “Sovereignty of the Islamic Nation”. We hear of Imams ‘declaring war’ upon the ‘occupiers of Muslim ‘Land’. The modern world has no place for a ‘religion’ that can declare war. The modern world cannot accept ANY ‘religion’ that can field it’s own armies to protect it’s own ‘land’ or ‘waters’ from ‘occupation’. Historically, national sovereignty issues of this type have required open warfare to resolve. These are not issues that people change their minds over easily, nor quickly. (If at all.) This is why war is required to settle the issue. Islam has no separation of church and state. The very idea of separating the two has been, is and will be fought violently both spontaneously and in an organized manner. The Islamic ‘army’ (Islamic terrorist groups) is fighting for the implementation of Islamic governance and ideology. Just look at how the terrorist groups get along with the ‘parent’ government of the area where they operate. Even they don’t get along very well because of the conflict over the national sovereignty issues that separation of church and state resolves. Wars were fought to rid the Pope of the ability to form and lead armies. People will wage war to protect the power they have. Imams wield REAL power. Giving this up will not come without a fight. Historically, this is another very common reason for wars being fought. In Iraq recently, an election was held. One person who was interviewed had said that his imam had told them to go vote, so he went. If the Imam had said to not vote, he would not have gone. In a sense, this Imam has greater power than the government. An example: The Catholic Church is against abortion. However, the Church as NO power to overrule the law of the United States. As along as Catholics obey the law of the U.S., they can obtain abortions. All the church can do is attempt to persuade Catholics (And all others) to NOT obtain an abortion. We need to respect religious leaders, but Islamic leaders have far more power than the modern world can accept. Imams can enforce Islamic ‘law’. One way Imams obtain this power is by fielding their own armies. This must end, TODAY. People do not give up that kind of power by choice. Once again, historically it has been shown that it will take warfare to resolve. Reason number seven in my list of why Islam causes wars is the lack of separation of religion and governance. Concerning Islam, they are the same.
Saturday, May 5, 2012
Capitalism works because people and organizations are held accountable. Socialism does not because no one is held accountable. Example: Fraud in the Medicare and Medicaid programs are estimated between $60 and $100 billion a year If a company were losing money like this, they would be bankrupt and the executives facing jail time. (Office furniture would become cheap for a limited time.) This is because they (The politicians and bureaucrats) are spending someone else’s money. We don’t even know how much fraud is occurring, just estimates. If this was YOUR money, I am certain that you would track down what the hell was happening and not just accept reports issued by group. Heads would roll simply because no private person or organization COULD afford to allow this to continue on this type of scale. Only government could absorb this kind of losses without dramatically effecting the entire organization. The money is accountable in business because of the check of profits. The losses are such that they would impact profit, if not eliminate it altogether. The company, person or organization would go bankrupt or make changes to stop the losses immediately. They simply could not afford NOT to take drastic action, or else have drastic action taken against them. (Not just by bankruptcy, but prosecution by the legal system) Whereas in government, all they need to do is raise revenue. The threat of prosecution is slim to none. The threat of bankruptcy is non-existent. It is the people’s money after all. And the services are important enough to provide those who administer it jobs and income of their own. (At least this is the justification) Not exactly why companies exist although the side product of capitalist activity is just this. The overall point is that capitalism works better than any other economic system simply because the system itself provides the accountability of resources that is lacking in socialist and communistic economic systems. (Government allocation of national resources) In other words, I can find lots of places to invest YOUR money. Places that no way in hell would I put my own resources into.
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
The house of war: “In Muslim tradition, the world is divided into two houses, the house of Islam and the house of war.” (B.Lewis) Not a great deal to comment on here. If tradition sees the non-Islamic world as being in ‘the house of war’, then few if any excuses are required to start a war against infidels. I would like to point out how this ‘tradition’ demonstrates Islamic attitudes about government and influences foreign policy. At least part of the reason why Islam is so hostile is because so many of the ‘laws’ that dictate foreign policy follows this attitude. One example is when the Koran specifies when truces are to be made and when war can commence. Please note how truces are to be implemented, not peace. And truces are to be broken when the situation changes to where Islam will gain an advantage by opening hostilities. In other words, the non-Islamic world can be attacked for any reason whatsoever, because it is infidel. The non-Islamic world truly is the ‘house of war’ simply because war can be waged against it any time Islam has an advantage. This is foreign policy by a ‘religion’, for a ‘religion’ and because of ‘religion’. Once again, execution of people, waging war and making treaties is the responsibility of governments. This is anther area where Imams obtain authority from the ‘Nation of Islam’. As mentioned in a prior post, the very fact that Imams have this authority is in direct conflict with the modern nation-state. In general terms, wars are to be fought when Islam can win. And when Islam is at a disadvantage or losing, truces can and should be implemented. Please note how peace can only be accomplished when Islam is dominant and the area in question is within the ‘house of peace’ or under Islamic control. In other words, continuous warfare until no other places exist outside of the ‘house of ‘peace’. If this does not supply a full amount of excuses to start wars, I do not know what else will.