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Archive for August, 2010
A recent article in Newsweek magazine ranks countries on the basis of several factors, including health, education, economy, and politics. The overall winners are Finland, Switzerland, Sweden, Austria, Luxembourg, Norway and Canada, in that order. The United States ranks 11th, just ahead of Germany, New Zealand, and the U.K.
The report contains some interesting and unexpected results. For example, among Latin American countries, Newsweek ranks Cuba tops in quality of life while ranking it last in terms of politics. Amongst my Asian favorites, Malaysia places 37th amongst all countries in the world overall, while Thailand ranks 58th.
You can explore the interactive chart here.
The agribusiness juggernaut marches on as its minions in Congress push through new legislation to disable small farmers and put all food production into the hands of corporate behemoths. Watch this 3 minute video. – t.h.g.
I don’t like to think about it either, but in conditions of instability and disintegration, it is only prudent to give some thought to possible scenarios and acquire some basic knowledge that you may need.
Here’s a description from the website:
We are going to look at a bit of a darker subject today. We are going to discuss security and not security on a day to day basis against say robbers, thugs and general low life. We are going to discuss secruity and security planning for large scale and long term break downs. Today’s show was prompted by Episodes 1 and 2 of season two of Discovery Channel’s show “The Colony”. I have watch thus far in disbelief at how little attention the people on that show have paid to security and how little they understand the threat and honestly survival as a whole.
Today’s show won’t be totally based on The Colony, it will simply use it as a jumping off point so even if you haven’t or don’t plan on watching it today’s show should be a good one for you. Security is one of the five primary components of survival and the one that is most overlooked, often not an issue but the one that when needed can get you killed in a milisecond.
Join me today as we discuss…
- The five primary components of survival
- Understanding the threat to your safety
- Consideration about where you “make your stand”
- Six methods of attack mitigation
- Identifying the weak spots
- The lesson of 300 – Funnel an enemy to counter large numbers
- How and why guns change the entire equation on both sides
- The importance and difference between security “protocols” and “procedures”
- Splitting up resources – no central storage points
- Developing and deploying decoy resources
- Developing timberlines and evac plans
I highly recommend it. A little bit of forethought can make a big difference in the quality of your life, in any situation. — t.h.g.
Americans revere the Founding Fathers and the Constitution but few of us bother to examine the historical context or to ask some fundamental questions. For example, what was wrong with the Articles of Confederation? Whose interests were served by replacing them with the new Constitution? Why was the Constitution drafted in secret? Did you know that the Bill of Rights, the most important part of the Constitution, was added as an after-thought, and only as a political expedient to help get it ratified?
Bob Taft points out that, “There were 65 men delegated by their states to attend the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia. Did you know that ten of these refused to attend, including one whole state, Rhode Island? Did you know that of those who did attend another sixteen were too ashamed of the document to put their names to it? That means that of those who were delegated to attend not even a two-thirds majority could be mustered to ratify the thing, let alone the unanimous agreement required by the Articles of Confederation, the amendment of which was the sole purpose for calling the 1787 convention. Of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, 16 signed the Articles of Confederation; 8 attended the 1787 Con-Con, but only 4 of those signed the Constitution. If it was so great, why didn’t those who were a party to its creation jump at the chance to add their names as signers?”
Taft argues that the Constitution amounted to a power grab by the moneyed interests. You can get a lot more background on this matter by reading Taft’s article US Constitution and the Founding Scoundrels.
Oh, and if you want to get some deeper insights about what was going on following the end of the Revolutionary War, you might do some research on The Whiskey Rebellion. When I was a school boy, and history was still being taught, we were told of the Whiskey Rebellion but given no idea of what it was all about. It was more than just a bunch of frontiersmen rummies complaining about the tax on their booze. It was about the livelihoods of western (Pennsylvania) farmers who needed to get something that was valuable and easy to carry to eastern markets. This story is told by David Blume in his book, Alcohol Can Be a Gas! — t.h.g.
The embargo has had profound effects upon Cuba, not all of them bad. Watch this for a hint.
You can get a more complete picture by watching the documentary, The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil
Placebo and “nocebo”–more from Bruce Lipton on the biology of belief.