This is the “Quiet Time”, Choose Wisely

we are at a fork in the roadWe are at a fork in the road, the path will no longer go in the same straight ahead direction. We now have to mindfully decide which fork to choose and either choice will take us in a totally new direction. The choice we make will profoundly affect the world we live in. We now have the “quiet time” to reflect and make our choice wisely. One fork or direction is based on fear and competition, the other fork is based in caring and cooperation.

The one thing that is certain about the Covid19 pandemic is that the world as we currently know it will no longer be the same after the pandemic passes. There will be tectonic shifts that will overlap in the post pandemic social, political, economic and spiritual realms.

Dramatic changes in any of the above realms rarely happen during periods of comfort and abundance. However during times of crisis or stress people are much more willing to consider ideas or solutions they may not have during the comfortable times. Many people have already encountered an eerie sense of quiet as external circumstances such traffic, activities, and events have been reduced or stopped completely. These “quiet times” can also be internal and often come after a traumatic event such as the loss of a loved one, job, relationship, or some other traumatic event. It is during these “quiet times” that people tune out the external world and enter into a period of deep introspection, and when they emerge, a shift has taken place and things are usually not the same. Some form of metamorphosis has taken place and we emerge as different people. This “quiet time” is a key part of our growth as individuals. This “quiet time” can also be a time of growth and dramatic change for our institutions, governance, and lifestyles.

This “quiet time” can be viewed with either fear or as an opportunity to reflect on life and the people who travel in this life with us. Will you use this time to cower in fear about the uncertainty we are facing or is this an opportunity to spend some quality time with your children, family, and to reconnect with neighbors? What a wonderful opportunity to play board games with your children, take the time to talk, dream, and plan with your spouse, and engage in things that really matter. The earth has sent us to our rooms to take the time to reflect on what we have and have not done.

We were meant to live our lives in joy and share that joy with others. How is it that we were fed the lie that the most important thing in life is all about working for others so we can collect a paycheck? Is your job really the most important part of your life? (This is not to minimize the importance of being able to support your loved ones, but should it be your top priority in life, and perhaps other things are more important? )We have been so busy working at our jobs that we have allowed our powers to be usurped by others in positions of power. This is a time to reflect on this question and come up with the answer that resonates with you.

Yet, this “quiet time” is being interrupted by a shrill corporate controlled media seeking to instill fear and divisions between us. It is like someone disturbing a quiet and beautiful scenic park with a megaphone. How can we grow at this important fork in the road when the “quiet time” is being usurped by those with an agenda? The powers that be would certainly prefer to keep us divided and in fear as it serves their purposes. These powers want things to change as well, but not to serve our collective growth, but for their own self-serving purposes.

Some of these changes have already been implemented and the resulting consequences are manifesting themselves. In many states businesses and schools have been forced to close, gatherings have been prohibited, unemployment is rapidly rising, Constitutional rights are being discarded, the bailouts of dozens of privately owned hedge funds, and “shelter in place” mandates that are spreading to more and more areas.

Certainly some of the above changes can be justified in order to slow the spread of the virus, but the question on everyone’s mind should be on how many of these “temporary” changes will become the new normal and stay in place long after the crisis has passed. Consider what happened to your freedoms and rights after 9-11 and the 2008 economic crisis: the grossly misnamed Patriot Act, the wars without end, the constant and expanding surveillance of citizens, secret courts, the taxpayer paid for bailouts of criminal banks, and other examples where fear and hate begat more fear and hate. These changes were implemented during times of fear and are now still with us as permanent features of our political, judicial, economic and social landscape. We need to remain vigilant to make sure this is not repeated. The consequences of not remaining vigilant will be far greater than the consequences of the virus itself.

Do we really want to expand the powers of government and corporations for the illusion of temporary safety? Now is the time to reflect and decide if you want to live in a world of fear and competition or a world of caring and compassion. Living in a society of fear and competition would be a dystopian and Orwellian world.

The structures of our system are rotted and corrupt and would have eventually collapsed on their own even without the virus. The virus has acted as a catalyst. These structures certainly will fall now and will not emerge the same as they were before this crisis. This is inevitable. The question is what will they be replaced with? The fork in the road offers us an opportunity to institute real changes, but will these changes be for the better or for the worse?

The changes that need to take place must happen within us first before they can manifest in the external world. So what can we as individuals do to make sure that we take the fork in the road that will change things for the better?

The key element is not to become consumed by fear. The corporate controlled media is THE key source of disseminating this fear. Will you spend your new “quiet time” with your loved ones or watching the news with its never ending fear mongering? Certainly being informed during this time is important, but do you need to be glued to the TV or computer screen most of the day? Ask yourself: “is this news story designed to keep me informed or to instill fear?” Once you apply this filter to your viewing, you will be surprised how most news stories provide just a little useful information and that most of the content is about fear dissemination.

The economic impacts of this virus will be substantial. Already supply chains that rely on foreign manufacturing are being disrupted. Economic activity has already slowed and unemployment is rising rapidly. The dismantling of local manufacturing and shipping local production to global sources is one of the rotting elements of the current system. Globalization has benefited a small few enormously. What we need now is more localization, not globalization. We need to build resilient local communities that are as self sufficient as possible. Instead of going to a big box store, shop at a local merchant. Since small store has fewer people in it, there is the added advantage of less possible exposure to the virus.

A big box store takes its profits and ships them out of the community, impoverishing it, and often they pay less taxes than small merchants or even no taxes at all. The book “Free Lunch”, by David Kay Johnston explains this in wonderful detail. The local merchant is paying taxes into the local system and profits are recycled back into the community. That 35 cents you saved by ordering from Amazon rather than buying locally enriches one person and makes it harder for the local merchant to survive. Get to know your local merchants by name as they are part of your community family.

Restaurants are one of the segments of our local economies that have been hit hard. You can help that local owner by ordering take-out. You can help by purchasing gift cards. This will provide these owners with immediate cash during these difficult times, while you will be able to enjoy the meals later once the crisis has subsided. We can help other local businesses in similar ways. Talking to owners who may have been forced to close permanently and expressing your sympathies will not help them or your community. Helping them NOW in their time of need will. Your support will be both appreciated and remembered, strengthening the connections in your community.

The most radical thing you can do is to grow as much of your own food as possible. This breaks dependence on corporate food chains and strengthens the community. You will find you have surplus produce and this abundance can be shared with extended family and neighbors. This further strengthens local community connections. Reducing dependence on governments and corporations to the greatest degree possible is a key element in bringing about changes that will benefit the people, not a select few.

Support your local farmers by buying at farmer’s markets. This helps build self sufficiency and resilience into your local community. Many local farmers will allow you to purchase shares on their future production, and this helps them now during the lean planting season and allows the supporting community to share in the abundance at harvest time.

The corporate media has sown divisions among us in every possible way they can. They seek to divide us racially, ethnically, economically, politically, and socially. Is that neighbor who votes for the “other party” really your enemy, or is it those who feed off of and profit from our induced mistrust of others? Isn’t that “other party” neighbor in the same boat as you are? They are also worried about their health, families, and jobs. Get to know your neighbors, and you will find you have far more in common than you have differences. Developing connections with your neighbors will strengthen your community. In the end he may have a tool you need to borrow for some important task. Strong communities will develop local “libraries” of resources that can be shared by all. In the end it is not necessary for every house to have its own ladder, soil tiller, or snow blower. Your neighbor has one and you have the other. Now you have access to both. This is what cooperation looks like.

At the very heart of the rotting system is the current monetary system. It was designed to benefit the few at the expense of the many. If we do not change our monetary system, then we are only nibbling at the symptoms of the problem, not attacking the root cause. We can send a powerful message by removing our money from the Wall Street Too Big To Fail banks. These banks have been indicted multiple times for criminal behavior. Most people would not walk up to a known criminal and say “please hold my money for me”. Yet, so many people ignore corporate criminality and do just that. Why would you trust your money with the same people who have defrauded customers and have reaped obscene profits from gambling with YOUR money, while creating this pyramid scheme that has made the entire economic system vulnerable? Remove your money from the Too Big To Fail banks, and place it in a local bank or savings and loan. Keep the money close to home where it circulates locally serving the community. It is much safer as an added benefit, since small local banks are generally not gambling in derivatives and other leveraged bets.

Start local currencies. This can break dependence on outside money to run a local economy and has been used successfully to stimulate local economies across the U.S. Having people ready to work, people ready to make things, people ready to sell things but not being able to because of a “shortage” of money, is like having an airline with passengers willing to fly, planes ready to fly and full of fuel, and the airline cannot fly because of a scarcity of tickets. This would be considered insanity, and yet this is the current paradigm. Local currencies can fill that “shortage”.

What a wonderful opportunity to take advantage of this “quiet time” to read “Web of Debt”, by Ellen Brown. After this fascinating read, you will never look at money the same way again. It is amazing that people will spend a considerable portion of their life working for those little green pieces of paper with fancy printing on them, and yet have no idea of how that money came into circulation. This book will help you understand this important concept. It clearly lays out the problems with the current system, and provides practical solutions where public banks can work together with community banks to bring prosperity to local communities by eliminating interest payments to Wall Street and keeping the money circulating locally. This has worked well in the past, has worked well in other countries, has worked well in North Dakota, and can work well for our future.

Individually and collectively, we have HUGE power that can bring about needed changes at this time. Whenever you give someone your money, you are turning over some of your power to them. This power is cumulative and can result in wealth and power extremes. Once we become mindful of to whom or to what corporation we give our power to, we can take back control of our own destinies. There is no need to confront the forces working against us, we can simply make them obsolete and they will wither away on their own. Every time you are ready to purchase something, consider carefully who you are giving your power to. It matters.

Pay in cash or local currencies as much as possible. The Too Big To Fail banks charge merchants an average of 3% of every transaction. This money leaves your community and enriches the Wall Street banks where the current paradigm is to privatize profits and socialize losses. Buying something with cash is one of the few things left you can still do anonymously. Buying with any form of digital currency, or credit cards by design allows the transaction to be tracked by government and corporations. If we do not use cash, we will lose it and the control that will be given to the powers that be will be complete. Do your own research on the dangers of a cashless society.

All of the above actions can be done relatively easily by being simply aware and mindful. We have power to influence the direction the changes that are coming will take. These changes start with the individual, extend out to the family, the neighborhood, and out into the community. We now have the “quiet time” to maintain vigilance at what the powers that be are attempting to do,. It is our responsibility to make sure they do not overreach. Your inner voice or intuition will tell you what is right and what is not. Have the courage and wisdom to listen to it.

So, here we are at the fork in the road. The choices we make will profoundly affect the world we live in, and we now have the “quiet time” to reflect and make those choices wisely. The changes we make within ourselves will be reflected in the reality in which we live.

One fork or direction is based on fear and competition, the other fork is based in caring and cooperation. Which direction will you take?

Categories: Uncategorized

Harley Shovelhead Exhaust Leak Solution

September 3, 2019 Leave a comment

[Community]
Harley Shovelhead Exhaust Leak Solution
by Rudy Avizius
Posted September 1, 2019

Troublesome shovelhead exhaustAfter decades of enduring what may arguably be one of the weakest links in the design of the Harley Shovelhead engine, I believe that there may be a solution that many Shovelhead riders will appreciate.

There is a solution to Shovelhead exhaust pipe leaks and I want to share this with the Shovelhead loving community. While targeting this article to Shovelheads, it is not limited to just this specific engine and is a solution that could probably also be utilized for other motorcycle and automotive applications.

Due to there being only a single bolt to hold the exhaust flange, most Shovelhead riders have experienced the annoying exhaust leaks where the pipes connect to the heads. These leaks result in exhaust blow collecting on pipes, frames, and other places, as well as a muddled exhaust tone. However, the worst part is probably the very annoying popping and backfiring one gets when they let off the throttle.

I have tried double gaskets and that did not solve the problem. Then I tried using high temperature red silicon gasket paste, and that seems to work for a short while. However, but the temperatures at the pipe flange exceed the temperature capacity of the silicon and it eventually just turns to a soft sticky mess requiring resealing.

I tried the hardening exhaust sealers, but they quickly crack and are very difficult to scrape and clean up to prepare for new sealing attempts.

After researching different gasket materials and compounds used in industry, I came across 3 products that looked promising. I eventually settled on one product and it will be the focus of this article, but will cover the others later in this article. I wish to preface this that this article with disclosure since it may appear like a commercial for these products. I receive no financial benefits from anyone associated with the manufacture or distribution of these products. This is being done simply to share my experiences with other riders.

Deacon 8875 sealantThe research uncovered a compound called Deacon 8875, which is a heat curing fibered paste for high-temperature flange sealing and gasket dressing applications. This is a sealant / refractory hybrid that does not become weak or brittle, and is not affected by the thermal cycling that would be associated with the normal heating and cooling of motorcycle exhaust pipes. It has temperature range: 500°F to 1800°F, which is below the operating temperature of motorcycle exhaust pipes. This product comes with comprehensive information and safety handling sheets.

It can be be used on warped or pitted flanges, exhaust systems, turbines, ductwork, any metal-to-metal joints, gaskets, hot blast valve flanges, high temperature steam, hot air and gases, corrosive conditions, up-grade sealing capability of standard non-asbestos gaskets, with good chemical resistance. This certainly sounded like all of the properties a good motorcycle exhaust sealant should have.

Deacon 8875 is a thick, fibrous thermal reactive paste sealant/refractory hybrid used in high temperature and high pressure applications. In the presence of heat, Deacon 8875 will expand and form a mechanical (“mechanical type”) seal that is not weak or brittle like ceramics. Very importantly, Deacon 8875 will not cement the flanges together, thus, it will not interfere with future repairs of metal
-to-metal joints.

This sealing material does not air dry, but cures when exposed to heat. It took approximately 1 hour of normal riding for it to fully cure, and it still seals totally even before curing since there is little pressure in the flange area because the exhaust pipe itself is a large open port to release the exhaust gasses.

To install the sealing compound, I removed the exhaust pipe and cleaned up all carbon buildup around the flange surfaces of the pipe and the heads. I then applied the compound to the flange surface of the pipe using a butter knife I was willing to lose. Then the exhaust gasket was placed onto the pipe. Personally I prefer the copper based gaskets instead of the aluminum ones since copper can withstand more heat that aluminum can.

I then spread more of the sealing compound to the top of the gasket and carefully installed the pipe onto the motorcycle. Once the exhaust port bolt has been tightened, the excess sealing compound will be squeezed out, and you can carefully remove the excess compound and clean up around the joint. Again, the sealant will expand as it cures filling small gaps.

(It may not be necessary to place any sealing compound below the gasket, and if anyone tries that any feedback would be appreciated by me and other readers as to how well or not well that works out. I am merely stating what I did and what worked for me).

locking bolt for shovelhead exhaustFor another quick tip: while I am on the tightening of the the exhaust bolts, if you are not using some sort of locking hardware on your exhaust bolt, you might want to consider purchasing a “Shovelhead Locking Hardware Exhaust Gasket Kit”. If you do a Google or DuckDuckGo search you should find distributors for this kit. I purchased mine on eBay. In my earlier years of riding my Shovel, exhaust bolts working loose was a recurring problem until I started using these kits.

Once the excess sealant has been removed, you can take the bike out for a ride in order to apply heat so that the sealant will cure. Once it cures it will create a mess on the outside of the flange which can be cleaned up with a razor and some steel wool. I then masked off the pipes and applied a little high temperature touch up paint to the heads and the pipe seal looked really nice on the bike.

pipe well sealedNow for the best part, there were no exhaust leaks anywhere on either cylinder and without any leaks, the exhaust on my bike has never sounded so good. The best way to describe it is to say that it has a “crispness” that it never had before. There are no more annoying pops or backfires when the throttle is let off and the bike even seems to run better overall. The result were so impressive that this sealant was applied to my wife’s Shovelhead, with the same positive results.

Now, here is the big downside of this sealer. The smallest amount that I could find is a one quart can and it costs $130 which is probably more than most riders would want to spend. Perhaps if you are a motorcycle shop, this would make sense. The product does have a 2 year shelf life if stored in a refrigerator.

I toyed with the idea of purchasing smaller containers and making a profit on selling small amounts over the Internet. I decided not to do this since I only wish to share my experience and knowledge with the riding community. However for someone who may be unemployed or having financial difficulties, this could represent a potential economic opportunity for some extra income since most riders would not want to part with the large payment for the quart can.

Deacon 8875 Thin sealantNow, there were other products that were also considered that are available and they may also accomplish the sealing of the exhaust pipes. One was Deacon 8875 Thin. This product was considered because it comes in a tube that fits into a caulking gun and costs about $38 which is significantly cheaper than the quart can. I also liked how it would probably be easier to apply than the Deacon 8875. The reason it was rejected was because it lacked the fibrous filler material of the Deacon 8875. I was concerned the Thin version might not fill flange gaps as well.

Another product that was considered was Deacon 3300, which is an extruded product. In fact this was the first sealant considered,. However, it was even more expensive than the Deacon 8875, and had a lower temperature operating range, so I opted for the Deacon 8875.

I would be very interested in receiving feedback from people who try any of these products or products from other manufacturers that work (or do not work out) for you and share your experience with others in the riding community so we may all benefit. Please feel free to share your experiences in the comment section below.

Wishing everyone out there good and safe riding!

 

Categories: Social

Once We Awaken

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once We Awaken

 

Do you get a sense, that something is wrong
like that dissonance, that does not belong

As we move through the journey of life, many people are experiencing a sense of dis-ease, that something is off-kilter, that the narratives we are receiving do not match the reality we are experiencing. There is great hope in this knowledge because once one recognizes this dissonance the process of awakening begins.

Deep down way inside, you may have suspicions
that much what we’re told, are but veiled omissions

The narratives are controlled by a small handful of people who determine what issues and discussions we should be examining. As we watch the main stream news and follow social media, the news and discussions we see are mostly spectacle designed to boost ratings with little or no coverage of the real issues such as: our wars without end, corporate and big money control of government and media, or anything critical of the powers that be. Most of the journalists we see on the main stream media are basically celebrity faces who no longer practice journalism, but are simply parroting what those in power want them to say with little effort made to investigate and corroborate the stories. There is great hope in recognizing this knowledge, as it allows one to view the narratives more critically and to filter out what does not resonate with them.

Why do we listen, to those who would divide
those who leave us empty, with our humanity denied

Both of the main stream political parties support the Military/Industrial/Security Complex.

Both of the main stream political parties support the multiple simultaneous wars and occupations of other nations.

Both of the main stream political parties support a foreign policy of economic and military sanctions on nations that wish to pursue paths that do not fit interests of the global central banking system.

Both of the main stream political parties support their corporate donors over their constituents.

Both of the main stream political parties voted to extend the surveillance of citizens.

Both of the main stream political parties have made little or no attempt to stop the flood of big money into political campaigns.

However, the powers that be are very successful at projecting that there is a real difference between the two political parties. Both political parties are successful in getting people to fight each other over social issues that in the big picture are really not the key issues. Then, as long as the people are focused on fighting each other, those who orchestrated this fight enjoy the benefits of this effective diversion, keeping people from paying attention to the criminal syndicate that has taken over the government. There is great hope in recognizing this old divide and conquer tactic because once one does recognize it, one can stop fearing or hating “the other” and recognize that we have far more in common than what is dividing us. We can stop with name calling and finger pointing, and instead engage in meaningful conversations.

Why listen to those, with so little to tell
the very same ones who, have so much to sell

So many listen to the main stream media where sensationalism such as murders, car crashes, kidnappings, sex scandals and the like dominate the content. This is the same media where 90% of the media is owned by 6 corporations. One does not need a PhD to understand that this concentration of control over the narrative that people experience is not a positive development. Those that control the news keep the masses living in fear. This fear can take many forms, but often it is physical, economic,

or social. This is the same media that now has 36% of its hourly content filled with commercials. The fact that people are recognizing this is good news because they will becoming more discerning about who they give their money to. They will start to question whether they really need that product or service, or do they just want it.

Once we will awaken, things won’t be the same
we will manifest, an end to their game

Once we will awaken, the angels will observe
as those with dark souls, we’ll no longer serve

Our current political system has been totally corrupted by those with vast accumulations of money. This cuts across all ideologies and political party lines. This system of legal bribery has even been ratified by the highest court in the land which opened the floodgates to even more money corroding our system. How can someone represent you when they are being paid millions to represent others? What we need now goes beyond simple reforms and enters the realm of transformational change. Many articles and videos (mostly those in the alternative media space) connect these dots so that more and more people are becoming aware. This awareness or awakening is a critical step as it opens up the possibility for transformational change to take place.

The changes we are seeking will not take place from the top down, they will take place from the bottom up. Those who benefit from the current paradigm have little motivation to implement meaningful changes. Once we are ready to accept our own roles in this process, we will realize that what needs to happen is that we have to change ourselves. Once we stop playing their game of competing with each other, we will start cooperating instead. Local, self sufficient, and resilient communities will spring up like wild flowers in a field where they grow much of their own food, start their own currencies, and their citizens will stop buying from the big corporations, instead they will patronize their local businesses.

The current system of how we create and distribute money is at the very heart of most of the problems we face. It is absolutely amazing that people will work a significant portion of their lives away to earn money, and yet have only the most elementary understanding of how our debt based monetary system works. What does debt based monetary system mean? When was the last time your main stream media covered this? When was the last time your school taught you this? Why is this information withheld?

This debt based monetary system perpetuates and amplifies the inequalities of how Earth’s abundant resources are distributed. Our very existence on this planet is being threatened as unlimited economic growth within a finite biosphere remains the current paradigm. Until we move to a totally new monetary system, we are only hacking away at branches, and not getting to the root. There can be no effective transformation of our societies until this happens.

The models for a new monetary system are already in place. However the private individuals who have been given the monopoly power to create money and are benefiting from the current system will fight to make sure that knowledge of these systems does not spread widely. Those benefitting from the current system will work hard to make sure it stays firmly entrenched. When was the last time you heard a corporate media network discuss monetary reform?

Once we have local control of money, food production, energy generation, and governance, the current paradigm of corporate and big money control of our systems will simply become obsolete. It will simply fade into oblivion as it becomes less and less relevant. There will be no need to confront the system. Once we awaken and change our ways, we will “manifest an end to their game”.

Those who sell their souls, for their daily bread
may not take the time, to think of what’s ahead

There have always been those who would sell their souls and use the excuse “it’s my job” to justify their actions. From those who tortured Jesus to more modern times with concentration camp guards to even more currently the mercenaries who were hired to confront those seeking to protect their water supplies from pipeline companies.

Think about this, these mercenaries are people who left the communities they pledged to “protect and serve” to answer a call to “protect and serve” corporate interests in another community, while these corporate interests were placing local people’s water supplies at risk.

These mercenaries were the tip of the spear, there were many behind the scenes who acted as enablers for their behaviors. There were the corporate executives, prosecutors, judges, minor bureaucrats, and politicians without whose support, such injustices could never take place. Those who served helping these forces have “sold their souls for their daily bread.”

“It was my job” is not an acceptable response when it curtails the access of life sustaining necessities of fellow human beings.

It is very easy to develop an “I see nothing” attitude, or to allow oneself to be silenced by monetary gain by “playing along” with those who control and manipulate the system. It is time to witness, it is time to speak up, it is time to resist when you see injustice taking place.

Those that are insatiable, always seeking moar
ever quite so willing, to send others to war

Why do we accede, to their self served schemes
rather than just simply, following our dreams

Once we awaken we will no longer serve those who think only of themselves and their own self serving schemes. YOU can start making a huge difference by the way you spend YOUR money. Think about this, when you give your money to someone or some corporation, as you are transferring some of your your power to them. Is this really something you wish to do?

Do you shop at a local merchant or do you save that 35 cents by buying from Amazon? Do you give a percentage of every purchase to the big banks by using credit cards or do you pay in cash? Do you buy animal products humanely produced? Do you buy organic food or food produced using chemicals that threaten our ecosystem? Do you bank at a “too big to fail bank” or a local community bank or Credit Union? Sometimes the lowest price is not the best buy and can carry an even higher unseen cost.

As we develop our own resilient local communities and economies, our dependencies on the corporate model will be reduced, weakening their tight grip on us. Mother Teresa once said “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”

Once we will awaken, we will clearly see
many of the others, who’ve also broken free

This is the best part of the awakening process. It is easy to think that the problems we face are overwhelming and that nothing can be done. The powers that be are glad when we think that way. Yet as we awaken, it becomes very clear that there are so many more of us that feel this same way than we originally believed. Once we awaken we become aware of others who have broken free. It is very empowering once we realize we are not alone. A critical mass is forming. It turns out that it takes only 10% of a population to bring about real changes.

We live in a world of abundance. There is enough air, water, and food for every person, animal, and plant on the planet. We have the resources and ability to make our existence here a paradise, to continue to develop socially, intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually. It is within our power to create a true golden age on this blue oasis floating through space and attain wondrous levels of development on a personal, family, community, regional, and global level while creating this paradise.

This article was interspersed with lyrics from a song. If these lyrics or the article resonated with you, a lyrics/music video of it can be viewed in its entirety on YouTube.

It has two amazing female vocalists who really put their souls into the song singing harmony, followed by an awesome two guitar riff near the end of the song. Hopefully many people will be inspired by this article and/or song and will join those who have awakened.

It is my hope that as many people as possible view it to receive its message and that people find out about it the old fashioned way: learning about it from their friends. This old fashioned method can now be accomplished through the use of modern tools such as social media, text messages, emails and other ways. If this article and/or song have moved you, I would ask that you share it with your friends.

Rudy Avizius

Categories: Social, Spiritual

Time To Eliminate Your Wall Street Tax?

Wall Street is thrivingAs we get older, and hopefully wiser, we generally start to become more discerning on how we view the world and the problems we face. Many of us who seek to make the world a better place try to look at the problems, analyze them, and do what we can to correct them. However, because there are so many different problems facing us, this approach often overwhelms us and can instill a sense of hopelessness in our ability to create positive change.

Looking more deeply into this situation, we discover that many of these difficulties are SYMPTOMS of much deeper problems, and that attempts to address these SYMPTOMS are not an effective or efficient way to bring about the changes we desire. One can compare this to having abdominal pains and visiting a doctor who offers you pain killers without investigating the underlying cause of the pains being experienced. If the pain is the result of a cancer or an ulcer, then the pain is only a SYMPTOM, not a ROOT CAUSE. Treating the SYMPTOM in this case is not an effective or efficient way to address the problem. It may bring about temporary relief, but ignores the ROOT CAUSE.

A similar situation exists when we look at the wide range of issues we face as a society. Some of the issues include homelessness, lack of medical care, unemployment, high debt loads, widening wealth gap, declining schools, infrastructure neglect, fraying safety net, increasing government fees and tolls, etc. Trying to address each one of these issues individually becomes an overwhelming task. These issues are not ROOT CAUSES, but SYMPTOMS.

If we take time to ponder and analyze each of these issues looking for a common thread, one can determine that they are all the result of money, more specifically the lack of money. This process starts getting us closer to the ROOT CAUSES.

So how is it that as a society we can work so hard and still experience this lack of money?

Consider this…. If you have a given amount of money in your possession or control, all of that money is available to you to spend. Once you give some of that money to someone else, it is no longer available to you and is now available to others. While this concept may seem to be quite elementary, this is the basis of where much of the problem lies. If one applies the same principle to a larger group such as a family, a community, a county, state and even nation, the result is still the same. Once money leaves the group, it is no longer available to that group. Understanding this brings us another step closer to the ROOT CAUSES.

Most homeowners can relate to this. Let’s suppose that you have taken out a mortgage for $100,000. By the time you have completed paying off your mortgage, it will probably have cost you well over $200,000. The cost of the interest payments exceeds the original cost of the home. These interest payments are money that you and your family no longer have to spend on your needs.

The same principle applies when a school district, municipality, county or other entity wishes to do a repair, a capital improvement or infrastructure project. The costs of these projects can easily double or even triple due to the interest charges. It almost seems insane, but we pay more to the financiers of these projects than to those who provided the materials and labor for the project. This does not even include the fees imposed by the bank on the borrowers. Now we are approaching the ROOT CAUSES.

In California, the long awaited new Bay Bridge span was recently completed at a cost of $6.4 billion, which was 4 times over the initial projected costs. What most Californians don’t realize is that the total cost of the bridge will eclipse $13 billion when interest payments are considered over the life of the loans or bonds. So when we talk of projects costs doubling or tripling, it is not hyperbole.

So exactly where does all this interest and fee money go when it leaves the community?

It flows to the big Wall Street banks, enriching them, while impoverishing the community. This is the “Wall Street Tax” that effectively doubles or triples the cost of every project across every community in the nation. It is YOU, the taxpayer who pays this tax. Once the money leaves the community, it can no longer circulate locally and is no longer available to the community, exactly as described in an earlier paragraph. This is a ROOT CAUSE of why so many communities are struggling. To add insult to injury, these big Wall Street financiers are not even using their own money, they use other people’s money so they can skim the interest payments to line their own pockets. We have all seen how Wall Street has prospered since the 2008 crisis, while Main Street has been left to languish.

So why do school districts, municipalities, counties and states (we’ll just refer to them as “communities” from this point on) use these big Wall Street financiers to fund their projects? It is because the costs of these projects usually exceed the ability of small local community banks to finance them. Additionally, because of capital requirements, the deposits of these communities can not be handled by the smaller local banks leaving only the big banks capable of handling such large deposits and transactions.

This means that even the deposits of these communities which can include tax revenues, payrolls, and pension funds, are deposited with the large banks and therefore also shipped out the community,. These funds are then “invested” by Wall Street anywhere in the world where they can obtain the highest return. These funds are not being used to invest in local needs. This is another ROOT CAUSE for why Main Street has been struggling, while Wall Street has been thriving.

With the current banking system we have witnessed the largest concentration of wealth in human history, while the vast majority of people have experienced stagnant wages, declining wealth, and recurring recessions.

Maybe it is time to engage in some “out of the box” creative thinking? Wouldn’t it be wiser for communities to be able to obtain local funding at reduced interest rates where any interest payments would remain in the community and get recycled? Any good businessman would tell you that it is sound business to eliminate any middleman in a business transaction. Wall Street is nothing more than a middleman between funding and community needs, and if the Wall Street middleman was eliminated, more money would remain in our communities. How could this be done?

There is another way to finance public projects and it is already happening across the world and in the state of North Dakota. North Dakota has its own public bank, the Bank of North Dakota. This bank has been in existence for a century and provides communities and businesses with low cost loans. Some examples of this: A new business in North Dakota can get a 1% loan for 5 years, student loans are available at below market rates with no bank fees, no town or county in ND has or needs a “rainy day” fund, they instead have the Bank of ND where they can obtain low interest loans should an emergency arise.

The Bank of ND does not compete with community banks, but rather partners with them. There is a correlation between this partnering and the fact that North Dakota has the largest number of community banks per capita of all states in the nation. Additionally, the Bank of ND has only one office and no branches, no tellers, and no ATMs that compete with community banks.

This partnering with local community banks means that the Bank of ND does not lend directly to small local businesses, but relies instead on the local community banks to originate those loans. The public state bank can provide funding beyond the deposit base of a small community bank allowing the community bank to finance projects it could not have financed without the partnership. If a local bank had a $5 million limit, and a business wanted $10 million for a new showroom, the bank would have to say no to the loan, forcing the business to go to a Wells Fargo, Citi, JP Morgan Chase or other large Wall Street bank. This results in the loss of business for the community bank. With the public state bank, the community bank could partner on the loan, raising its loan ceiling, retain the money in the community, and provide the services needed.

One very important issue that needs to be raised is that of the safety of the loans being made. It is important to be sure that bank loans are made to people and entities that are truly credit worthy. In North Dakota there is a double check on this process. Any loan that a community bank requests a partnership with would require approval by both the community bank and the state bank officers, since both would be providing the funds. This results in a lower default rate as two sets of eyes are examining and approving the loan.

There are those who may say that a state public bank could be at risk of failure and may need to be bailed out by the taxpayers. This was an issue that created much anger during the 2008 crisis. However, the Bank of ND was properly managed and did not need a bail out and in fact returned a profit of millions that year and every year since then to the state treasury. Politicians on BOTH sides of the aisle in the North Dakota Legislature love and support their state bank! How common is that?

The proper management of the Bank of ND can be attributed to the fact that the officers of the bank receive appropriate salaries (far less than their Wall Street counterparts) and have no bonuses and therefore no incentives to take on excessive risk. The private Wall Street bankers are pressured by their shareholders to return high profits, which often leads to excessive risk taking rather focusing on the economic growth of the state and nation. Some of these investments could possibly be for things the community would not support or would even work against the best interests of their community. The public bank is required by its owners, which would be the people, to invest wisely to promote the economic vitality of the community.

The prosperity created by keeping deposits locally and recycling the fee and interest money locally, would create new jobs, new businesses, fund “wish list” projects, and as a result would raise tax revenue. As more businesses thrive, the tax base and ratables would became larger, which could possibly contribute to tax cuts.

A public bank is not limited to only states. Municipalities and counties could also form their own. There are public banks being considered in New Jersey, Philadelphia, Santa Fe, Vermont, California, Seattle, Los Angeles, Oakland, San Francisco and other places. These public banks have the ability to transform how communities obtain funding. It will keep deposit and interest money circulating locally and out of the hands of Wall Street, thus enabling our local communities to thrive.

I would encourage readers to do their own research and discover how a public bank can tip the balance towards Main Street, rather than Wall Street, and help their small community banks at the same time. A good place to start is with the Public Banking Institute. Perhaps this is a good time to eliminate the Wall Street Tax that you are paying.

On Thursday April 6, 2017 two world-renowned economic thinkers, Michael Hudson and Ellen Brown, came to Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, PA to discuss how a public banking option can affect governmental effectiveness. This discussion was moderated by Walt McRee, the chair of the Public Banking Institute. This discussion which was open to the public focused on the key differences between government’s unquestioned reliance on private capital markets and how an entirely new, more productive arrangement could be devised. Kudos to Franklin & Marshall College for providing their students and community with such a high caliber seminar. The following video is that discussion.

Journeys

Life takes everyone on journeys…

The journeys may be spiritual or literal…

As we journey, we grow…

As you change, so does the world

Break Out of the Illusion

In the old Soviet Union, people had “free” elections and were “free” to choose any Communist candidate that had been selected for the election. Most of the people of the Soviet Union understood well that their elections were shams.

Here in the United States, we also have “free” elections and the corporate media narrative is that you need to vote for one of the two candidates that have been selected for you, because if you go outside of that “choice”, the other terrible candidate that you do not want will win the election. You may not particularly like the candidate you plan to vote for, but that candidate is certainly the “lesser evil”. The corporate media has successfully spun that illusion so now many people do not even realize that there are choices outside of the Democrat/Republican duopoly that is strangling our election process.

So exactly how has the media created this illusion? Here are 2 examples:

Peoples’ Exhibit A:
In Maryland, there are 3 candidates that are on the ballot for the office of U.S. Senator. Logically, you would think that the televised debate to inform voters of all their choices that the televised debate of these candidates would therefore include all three candidates. Unfortunately, you would be wrong.

Only the candidates representing the Democrat/Republican duopoly were allowed to appear on stage, censoring the voice of Dr. Margaret Flowers, who is running on the Green Party ticket. This was done  despite the fact that both of the candidates clearly said that Dr. Flowers should participate in the debate. (Notice how it was the corporate entities that dictated who appeared and who did not). The Republican candidate Kathy Szeliga, openly suggested that the third podium be opened for Dr. Flowers to participate, yet she was ignored. THIS IS KEY: what does this tell you of the real power structure here?

The YouTube video below will show Dr. Margaret Flowers boldly going on to the stage and challenging the censoring of her voice. (Things start getting interesting around 5:50) Once you have seen this video, what are your thoughts about how “free” our elections really are? Do you like the fact that the corporate media gets to make the decisions of who should be heard and who should not?

 

Additional information can be found on Dr. Flower’s FaceBook page:
https://www.facebook.com/flowers4senate/?fref=ts

After being ejected from the stage, Dr. Flowers issued a statement:

“We are fighting for our families, and our communities. I will not be silent about this rigged political process and this televised sham debate I was just excluded from.

 Shame on Ralph Watkins of League of Women Voters, Andy Green of the Baltimore Sun, Jay Newman of WJZ-13 CBS Baltimore, Ann Cotten of The University of Baltimore, and thanks to Kathy Szeliga, all the brave voices that rose to speak up, and everyone sharing the word on social media.“

People should find it especially troubling that institutes of higher learning, the University Of Baltimore and the College of Public Affairs were engaged in the censorship of a candidate who was on the ballot, but outside of those selected for public consumption. What ethics, morals, and values are they teaching their students and our future leaders? As a student or a parent of a student attending the University of Maryland, I would be very concerned about the leadership of this institution. Should not the very purpose for the existence of the College of Public Affairs be to engage in uncensored free debate of ideas? How can they be a party to the limiting and censoring of ideas? As a student attending these schools, I would certainly be reevaluating my enrollment. This is a purposeful dumbing down of the curriculum and this school could eventually find itself losing its relevancy, much as the public distrust for the corporate media has been steadily and continuously eroding their relevancy.

Additionally, the reputation of the University was further damaged by the fact that the University of Baltimore refused to meet with Dr. Flowers and that it was the University Police that forcefully escorted Dr. Flowers from the debate.

This entire episode illuminates how “our” electoral process has been hijacked by corporate interests and others who serve those interests. The fact that the Maryland League of Women Voters were integrally involved in this silencing saddens the heart. Here is an organization that previously had tremendous integrity, but has over time been co-opted and now serves the power interests.

Peoples’ Exhibit B:
Remember those presidential debates? They only included Clinton and Trump, despite the fact there are two other candidates on the ballots in most states. Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party and Jill Stein of the Green Party were not part of these debates. Who was it that excluded them?

They were excluded by the Commission on Presidential Debates. So who exactly is this Commission on Presidential Debates?

Most people would be surprised to learn that the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) is a private corporation. It is under the joint sponsorship of both the Democratic and Republican political parties in the United States. The Commission’s debates are sponsored by private contributions from foundations and corporations. It becomes easy to understand why such a corporation would want to exclude candidates from other political parties that would question the existing power structure.

With the CPD being privately funded by big money, just whose interests do you believe that the CPD represents? If they were to allow outside political parties to participate in the debates, the illusion that they have spun through their mouthpieces in the corporate media would begin to unravel. People would realize that there are other choices beyond the “lesser evil”.

The sad part is that most people I talk to have not even heard of Gary Johnson or Jill Stein. Despite the fact that Trump and Clinton are the most unpopular candidates in recent history, the campaigns of Johnson and Stein do not get any traction in the corporate media. So exactly how has the corporate media provided the people with unbiased and neutral information?

When was the last time the corporate media news presented you with a contrast and comparison of the candidates’ positions on the issues?  When was the last time the corporate media presented you with the voting records of all the candidates on specific issues? When was the last time the corporate media presented you with information on who contributed to the candidates? Corporations and big money do not want you knowing this information about their hired and paid for servants. What we have received from the corporate media is mud slinging, scandals, and basically a horse race mentality of who is ahead and who is behind in corporate run polls.   A substantive discussion of the key issues affecting the nation and the planet has been missing. It is the corporate media that is limiting your information and choices, and yet most people still unquestioningly accept the “lesser evil” paradigm constantly repeated by these self-serving entities.

In Summary
When you look how the how the Supreme Court essentially legalized government corruption through its infamous Citizens United ruling, when you see how big money has flooded the electoral process, when you witness the forceful ejection of a candidate by corporate interests from a televised debate, when you see big money and corporations essentially bidding for government favors, it becomes apparent that we have a corporate state with a government that services its needs.

img_2128The corporate media is used as a tool to make sure that the current power structure stays in place. Just look at the revelations by WikiLeaks, (an alternative media site) on how the corporate media was used to favor establishment candidates during the primary elections. Isn’t it interesting that these WikiLeaks documents also did not get much corporate media attention? People are forced to go to alternative media to obtain this information. These leaks will most certainly be used by historians to write about this corrupt 2016 election.

The fact that the corporate media excluded candidates on the ballot from the televised debates should not surprise anyone as it would have disrupted the illusion of having only two choices in the election. As we saw in the debates, the power resided not with the political candidates, but with the corporate interests.  What would you expect from such a media when you have a Green Party that accepts no corporate donations.

It is time to break out of the illusion that has been spun by the corporate interests. Take a good hard look at the platforms of Gary Johnson and Jill Stein. You may just find that they represent the values, ethics, and morals that you really believe in. Take a look at the platforms of other candidates further down on the ballot. Do not allow yourself to fall for the “lesser evil” paradigm that has been repeated over and over again. The Democrat/Republican parties are all part of the same Money Party. As long as we keep rewarding them with our votes, what incentive is there for them to change?

In case anyone reading this still thinks their elected officials are representing them, what do you think would happen if you and a lobbyist were waiting to see your elected representative, who would be seen first?

You can expect that the corporate media will keep repeating the refrain that you are throwing your vote away if you vote outside of the duopoly. But try to explain to yourself how you are not throwing your vote away by voting for someone you do not want? Look where generations of voting for the “lesser evil” has brought us.

So I leave you with this parting thought: exactly just how is our electoral system different from that in the old Soviet Union? Both the USSR and the US preselect the candidates offered to the masses and suppress those outside of the power structure.

There is an old saying: “as long as you keep doin’ what you are doin’, you will keep gettin’ what you are gettin’ ”. It is time to End The Illusion.

Categories: Uncategorized

Highwaymen Motorcycle Club – Highwaymen MC

January 14, 2016 8 comments

Highwaymen MC colorsAfter a long absence, I have returned to blogging. I believe that this article is probably not what regular visitors to this site would expect to find, but it is a story I wished to have told. You can double-click on any of the images to see the full size version.

I recently surfed the Internet and decided to look up a Jersey Shore motorcycle club called the “Highwaymen”. The reason for this, was that  I was a member of that club during the late 60’s and early 70’s and I just wanted to see what posterity would have to say about this organization. I also want to add at this time, that the Highwaymen from the Jersey Shore were not affiliated with other clubs with the Highwaymen name across the nation.

To my dismay, after spending much time searching, there was absolutely nothing about them anywhere on the Internet. It was as if this group, which at that time was such an important part of my life had never existed. While the “footprint” of the group was local, and not as wide as the larger clubs, I feel that to have this memory erased from history would be a loss. Since this group was not written about, there was no record, it stood to reason that this memory would therefore be lost to time. I am sure that there are many people from the shore area that would remember The Highwaymen from many Long Branch and other shore area bars, the social scene, the protests, and from the Windmill on Ocean Ave where we would often assemble before our rides. So I am writing this one article just so the memory is preserved and so that some our interactions with the people of the shore area as well as the other motorcycle clubs of that time are documented.

 

original Highwaymen business card.The Highwaymen started sometime around 1967 with a group of motorcycle riders mostly based  in the shore town of Long Branch, New Jersey. I joined the club in mid 1968. Our numbers varied from a low of 6 members to a high of 23. We were a club that liked to ride a lot and we often had runs (rides) to some beautiful sites in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland and other surrounding areas where we would often party and camp overnight. (Yes, New Jersey does have some great sites as well as plenty of wonderful camp grounds.) Our parties were always a good time and since we often stayed overnight on our runs, we did not have to worry about getting too wasted. Of course, the cops at that time were much more relaxed about these sort of things than they are now.

 

old crown members

This is one of oldest pictures I have of a Highwayman party. This was when our patch was a crown, not the highwayman in flames that replaced it. The older members of the club later placed these patches on the front of their colors and were known as ‘crown members”.

You may notice the amplifier being used for the music is a vacuum tube amplifier (old). We had rented this house out as a temporary club house in Allenhurst, but I guess the landlord didn’t like parties as much as we did and we ultimately had to leave. However, it did serve its purpose for one very cold winter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

first Delaware Water Gap party siteOne of our favorite locations of the runs we used to take was to visit the Delaware Water Gap on the Pennsylvania-New Jersey border in the northern part of NJ. We found a a farmer’s field right next to small river that during certain times of the year was basically unattended. Here we could camp out, party, and go swimming during hot days. (OK, I admit we were probably trespassing, but I can write about it now because the statute of limitations has probably kicked in almost 4 decades later).

This wonderful location was within easy driving distance to the most scenic areas, best bars and good food places. The main reason I am mentioning this area is because we did not take many group shots or even photos of our activities, and the best pictures I have are from these runs. The image to the left was the very first ride we took to this location when a small group of us were exploring the area. From left to right: Patty, Crash, Rudy, Momo, Spider, Joline, Gypsy, Patty, and kneeling Spike, Mary. The spot was so perfect we resolved to bring others the next time we came.

 

 

 

BearWe had 3 presidents during the life of the club, Gypsy, Bear, and Zee. The picture to the left is Bear, just before he was shipped off by the army. He left for his home in North Carolina before he was finally shipped off to Europe. He was sadly missed and unfortunately never returned after leaving. I actually ended up buying his bike which he is riding in this picture. The military draft played a large role in the changing membership of the club. We lost people to the draft, many returned after serving, and we also had several members in the club from the military who were based in Fort Monmouth. Some of the Ft. Monmouth members I recall included Bitch from Iowa, TC from Missouri, and Satch from Pennsylvania. When Satch left the military and returned to Pennsylvania, he briefly started a chapter of the Highwaymen in West PA.

 

 

 

 

 

Water Gap site a year later

Highwaymen MC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next ride we took to “our spot” by the Delaware Water Gap took place about 1 year later. It was a fantastic ride and with a great time swimming, drinking, and just carrying on. In the picture on the left, from left to right: Momo, Rudy, Rasa, Stiff, Crush (with helmet), Spook, Gypsy, Skrinky, Babo, Evil, Muskie and Yank. Yank was drying his underpants on his head so he did not have to wear wet underwear. The picture to the right from left to right: Stiff, Spook, Gypsy, Muskie, Skrinky (with hat), Yank (lying down), Evil, Zee, and Rudy.

 

 

 

 

 

Branded MC As a club we had contact with other clubs  in the area including Branded MC, Breed MC, and Pagans MC. We considered Branded MC to be our “sister club” and we had many great parties with them and great meetups at some bars in Atlantic Highlands. The picture to the left is the only picture we have of them and we were meeting to go on a joint run to the Cape May area. We also attended many parties with the Breed MC in Jackson Township, and once in Staten Island. The Highwaymen MC also partied with the South Jersey chapter of the Pagans MC.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Highwaymen party

We had many of our own great parties and the picture on the right is from one of them. I believe that this was a New Years Eve party. The house location of this was practically right on the beach and the site of other good parties. We had a live band playing that night. We actually had a college fraternity party going on next door, and many of its attendees left that party and ended up at our party. From left to right: Spike, Fast Eddie, Gypsy, Rudy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

highwaymen help start recycling in Long Branchhighwaymenimg021highwaymenimg018In order to maintain good relations with the locals, as a club we decided that it would be good public relations if we helped the township with its new efforts at recycling. This was one of the first recycling efforts in NJ and our efforts provided the labor needed to keep it running. Once a week we would help in the effort and it was successful at reducing any animosity the local police had towards us.

Upon reflection, I take pleasure in the fact that we helped to launch the recycling movement that would eventually be adopted by most municipalities across the country. Our efforts were recognized by 2 local newspapers, and we were guests of honor at a symposium held at Monmouth College.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After approximately 4-1/2 years in existence, in December 1971 the club decided to disband. We met on a cold night on a deserted beach in Long Branch, and all records, secretary’s notes, logs, rockers, and patches were burned in a bonfire and we had a few final drinks together as a club. Those who were current members in the club kept their colors. It was sad, but it was the right thing to do and it was the right time to do it. I did find it ironic that the police showed up to this final “meeting” and actually wrote down our information for their records, — on the same night that we were disbanding. Over time, many of the former members stayed in the Jersey Shore area, but most left for other areas or states.

 

 

2012 Highwaymen Reunion, Brighton Bar, Long Branch

As a final postscript: in Spring 2012, several of the members had an informal reunion 4 decades after the club had disbanded. We met at the Brighton Bar in Long Branch, one of our old hangouts which is still is business. It was nice to get together with the brothers we once rode and partied with. From left to right: Yank, Zee, Spook, Skrinky, Woody, and Rudy.

 

 

 

 

 

You can click on any image to see it full size.

Cape May run stop

Zee and BaboSkrinky, Gypsy, PattyRudy bringing newly customized bike out SkrinkyCrushonly picture I know of us ridingMomo

Water Gap ride highwaymen018 swimming hole "Mooses", by Skrinky Newer Highwaymen business card Bear

 

 

 

 

 

my 3 wheeler filling up in Oceanport rope over river nookie nookie picture through car window trident sissy bar more nookie nookie hangover my bike after winter of building Yank's wild BSA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So there it is. This small group of fun loving riders  from the Jersey Shore now have a written record so they will not be forgotten forever, and can be a footnote for the Long Branch Historical Society. 

 

82 ShovelI am personally still riding. I have a Harley Shovelhead along with my wife who also has her own Shovelhead. You can still find us patronizing some of the finest watering holes in South Jersey.

 

 

 

 

 

 

If anyone has additional photos or stories they want to share, please contact me by filling out the form below, your email will never be shared with any outside people or groups:

What Is In Your Food?

According to the USDA, 89% of corn is genetically modified, 94% of soy is genetically modified, and 90% of canola is genetically modified. Try finding a breakfast cereal or salad dressing that does not contain genetically modified ingredients. It is very difficult. If your food is genetically modified, what is in your food?

You Know A Politician or Talking Head is Clueless When…

July 19, 2014 1 comment

Often you watch TV and some politician or talking head starts spouting on some subject as if they are an expert in that field. It is easy to be taken in unless you are knowledgeable in that subject. This video is on a subject that affects everyone and after watching it, you will be able to spot a clueless politician or talking head.

Prosperity for Main Street, not Wall Street

January 30, 2014 1 comment

The key reason that communities are struggling is the huge burden of interest payments that are flowing to the big banks. Think about this, if you buy a home for say $100,000 dollars, typically you will have paid $250,000 once the loan is paid off. This means the typical loan will incur $150,000 in interest charges.

The same concept applies when a community builds an infrastructure project such as school, road, bridge, sewer or other project. That $1 million dollar school could end up costing taxpayers in the community $2.5 million after interest charges.

So taxpayers are paying more to the financiers of the project than to those who supplied the materials and actually did the labor to build it. Are you OK with them acting as a middleman sucking prosperity from our communities? Any good business model dictates the efficiency of eliminating middlemen.

If we look at cities like Detroit and Philadelphia, hundreds of millions of dollars in interest payments and fees are leaving the city and flowing into the coffers of Wall St. This lost money impoverishes your community while Wall St gets bigger and richer than ever. The video below describes a solution to this problem.

Monsanto Death Genes

Monsanto’s mutations of nature’s genetic structure represents one of the greatest threats to the planet. Does anyone really think that people, especially corporations have the wisdom to be playing with this fire?

Money Is Not Safe In The Big Banks

August 23, 2013 1 comment

People think that money is safe in the big banks because the FDIC will protect the deposits. This assumption is not based on the facts. This video will show official government documents that describe the plans for confiscating deposits when, (not if) a big bank fails. Individual, as well as public funds from municipal, university, county deposits are at serious risk. YOUR taxpayer money will disappear in the next crisis! Public officials in charge of taxpayer funds need to be aware of the dangers here. The loss of taxpayer funds  and the inability to meet payrolls and obligations will certainly prompt a response that will both immediate and forceful.

This video will show how Cyprus was not a one-time event and how the Cyprus confiscation was planned well in advance and how M.F. Global was the blueprint for future confiscations and how a legal precedent was created when these losses were upheld by the legal system.

Ask your public official in charge of finance where they keep YOUR taxpayer money!

Ask them if they have researched the public banking option! Do not accept no for an answer, ask them why. If they say that you do not understand these things, tell them to explain it to you.

After all, this is your money that you worked so hard for, so don’t let the big gamblers from Wall Street use YOUR personal or taxpayer money to cover THEIR losses. These big bankers are money addicts, they have no appreciation of how much work went into making that money. They do not care about you or your money, all they care about is their addiction. Don’t let public officials continue to put your taxpayer money at risk with these gamblers, just because this is how it has been done in the past.

How Many Warnings Do You Need?

How Many Warnings Do You Need?

If you knew someone with a gambling problem, you probably would not give them your money to hold. If you knew that they had placed bets that were 30 to 70 times more than the amount of money they had, you would certainly consider them totally reckless. If you knew that the money they were holding and betting with was with borrowed money, other peoples’ money not their own, you would probably conclude that they are hopelessly addicted to money. Remember these thoughts as you continue to read this article.

Picture these scenarios:
1. You go to buy groceries and when you use your credit or debit card the transaction is denied despite the fact you have money in your account.

2. You are a public official, such as a school business administrator, county treasurer, municipal finance manager, pension fund administrator, or anyone who has responsibility for protecting public money. You try to access the money and the transaction is denied.

Under either scenario, you investigate why you cannot access money you know is in your account and you find out that the bank has failed and has been closed until further notice by the authorities. You also discover that the government will be confiscating part of your savings in order to “stabilize” the bank.

So you think that “cannot happen here”? You think you are safe because the FDIC “protects” your money?  You placed your money into one of the big banks and believe it is safe because it has large vaults and is insured by the government. Perhaps you placed the public monies you are charged with into a large bank because they are properly “collateralized” and therefore you believe these funds are safe. If you truly believe any these previous statements, you really need to read the rest of this article because your money is at serious risk.

So you think your money is safe? Let’s examine why that assumption could cost you all or part of your savings. Would you be surprised to learn that money sitting in everyday peoples’ savings accounts in Cyprus was confiscated in order to “stabilize” the banks? If you are surprised by this news, hopefully this article will provide you with an incentive to do some research. This article is filled with links to more information, and I encourage you to follow them. If you are aware of this bank confiscation, do not make the mistake of believing that it is an isolated event that “cannot happen here”.

In a nutshell, what actually happened in Cyprus was that the banks were overleveraged and the size of the liabilities of the banks exceeded the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the entire country of Cyprus. Given the fact that the “bail outs” of the large banks in 2008 were so politically unpopular, the European “troika” imposed a “bail in”, where customers with savings accounts were to have some of their savings seized (read: stolen) in order to stabilize the banks. The losses to some accounts were as high as 60%. The banks were closed for 12 days, so people had no access to their money and once the banks reopened, they had only limited access to their money in order to protect the banks.

Was this plan by the “troika”, just a one-time event or was this something more? It turns out that this eventuality had actually been planned in advance in 2012 at the G20 Financial Stability Board in Basel Switzerland where the US FDIC and the Bank of England created a joint paper outlining a confiscation scheme. Under the FDIC/BOE joint paper, accounts of $250,000 or less could be seized by the failing bank and converted to stock equity as part of a “bail in” scheme. The stock would of course be essentially worthless because the bank has already failed.

There is also a plan to confiscate savings in New Zealand if necessary to save the banks. Canada also has a confiscation plan in the wings should their banks falter. The European Union has just reached an agreement where shareholders and depositors will be tapped to “bail in” any bank in trouble.

So you still think that this “cannot happen here” because the FDIC will protect your money? Consider that our largest banks have derivative contracts with a notional value of more than $700 trillion (think $700,000 BILLION!). The entire world GDP is only $70 trillion, therefore the liabilities of the big banks could not be covered by the entire GDP of the United States. Does this sound similar to what happened in Cyprus? Does this sound similar to the gambler at the beginning of this article? What is very important to keep in mind is that Cyprus is a small country and that much larger outside forces came in to “stabilize” the banks. If one (or more) of the large U.S. banks experiences a derivative failure, there is not enough money on the planet to “stabilize” them.

These derivatives are really nothing more than “bets” placed by the banks, and when (not if) these “bets” start going bad, the banks will be on the hook for their value. You need to know that these derivative “bets” have been given super-priority status in case of a bank bankruptcy. What this means is that the holders of these derivative contracts will have first priority for payment and that you either as an individual or government entity will be placed at the back of line – as a bank creditor should a large bank fail. This means that you will probably get little or nothing back.  Most people do not understand that once you give a bank your money, the money legally is no longer yours. Under the law, you are an unsecured creditor to the bank and are treated as such in any bankruptcy proceeding. As an individual or as a public official, if you have money in one of the big banks, you have essentially given your money to that gambler and now you are a creditor to the gambler.

This sort of loss has already happened with the MF Global collapse. While this was a futures trading company and not a bank, the blueprint for confiscations was tested here and with the Sentinel case the legal system upheld the customer losses. These trading accounts were supposed to be “segregated” accounts that belonged to the account holders, not MF Global. As an analogy, think of a “segregated” account as a safe deposit box at a bank, the contents belong to you, not the bank. Yet in the MF Global collapse, in this analogy it essentially gambled with the assets in the customers’ safe deposit boxes, and the legal system placed the creditors of the bank above the safe deposit box holders.

Still think the FDIC will protect the derivative and account holders?  JP Morgan Chase has $1.1 trillion ($1,100 Billion!) in deposits and Bank of America also has over $1 trillion ($1000 Billion!). Again, remember that gambler, JP Morgan Chase has about $70 TRILLION in bets out there, but is holding only about $1 Trillion in deposits and another Trillion in assets. It has made bets with a value approximately 35 times all the money it has access to. Again, this is YOUR money they are betting with, not their money.  Bank of America also has about 30 times its assets in derivative bets. Citigroup and Wells Fargo each have over $900 billion each in deposits and also have many times their assets in derivative bets. Once these bets start going bad, there is no way the banks can cover them. The FDIC has only $33 billion available to insure deposits. That means that once any one of these banks fails, the FDIC has less than 3% of the money needed to cover the depositors. If any one of these big banks fails, these banks are so interconnected that it is also likely to bring down the other large banks. In fact both Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase have moved their riskiest derivatives from their uninsured trading houses to the FDIC insured subsidiaries, which are their retail banks, putting the funds in those accounts at a significantly increased risk.  Once even one of these biggest banks experiences a derivative meltdown, there is not enough money in the FDIC or probably even the U.S. Treasury to cover the losses. Still think Cyprus cannot happen to you?

If you are a public official who has responsibility for protecting public money, you probably have that money deposited into an account with one of the largest banks. Do you still believe that money is safe? Are you doing your fiduciary duty to protect that money in the public interest? So as a government official in charge of finances, what are your options?

One option is to start a public bank such as the Bank of North Dakota. First public banks do not gamble with derivatives and the Bank of North Dakota thrived during the crisis of 2008. Not only will you get the safety of the money for which you have responsibility for, but other advantages to this approach include: the ability to provide interest free or low interest loans for public infrastructure projects, the ability to create jobs, generate revenue, and build up the local community. This article clearly explains some of the huge advantages of financing your projects using a public bank.

Consider this – if you buy a home for $100,000, by the time you have paid the mortgage in full, the total cost will have been close to $300,000. Consider the absurdity of paying those who build the home and provide the raw materials $100,000, and paying the financiers $200,000 for money that was not even theirs. This makes little sense. The same principle applies if a state, county, or municipality wants to build a road, school, bridge, or other infrastructure. They need to go to Wall Street for financing at high interest rates. However they could form their own bank and finance the project at zero or near zero interest.  The projects would cost less than half and the finance costs would not be siphoned out of the community, impoverishing it, and ending up on Wall Street or in Cayman Island tax shelters. The finance costs would stay in the community.

Think of the things that could be accomplished if you could eliminate debt service as a line item in your budget! The money deposited in the public bank would be safe and would serve the local community. You could use the public bank to refinance existing debt at zero or near zero percent interest. You could lower tax rates! This idea has such appeal that currently there are initiatives in 20 states to start public banks.
Money controls governmentIf you are a public official with a fiduciary responsibility to protect public funds and one of these large banks fails and you lose the public money, think of the consequences that will arise once the public becomes aware that you did not heed the warnings that Cyprus provided. Think of the consequences that will arise when the public becomes aware that you did not consider alternatives to the big vulnerable banks. It is time to bring home the money from Wall Street where it is at risk. If there is a derivative crash, try meeting your payroll with stock equity (in a failed bank).  The impact of not meeting a payroll will be both immediate and forceful. It is vital to get that money out of Wall Street BEFORE the next meltdown.

To those public officials who are truly interested in serving their communities, this is your moment. This is your time to step up to the plate. Be bold, be innovative, and empower your communities. You owe this to your fellow citizens, your children and your future. Visit this website to learn more about the possibilities that public banking offers, to learn how to get started, and where to find help in implementation. You are not alone of you wish to make this happen.

If you are an individual saver who wants to protect your money, you need to move your money out of the big banks because that is where it is most vulnerable. Move your money into local community banks or Credit Unions. This will help your local banks as well as your community by keeping the money local. It is also important to MOVE YOUR DEBT to these local banks as well. The way bank accounting works, a deposit is actually considered a liability to the bank, while a loan is an asset on its accounting ledger. (I know this sounds convoluted, but this is the way it is). By moving your debt to the local banks, you create assets for them as well as helping your local community. While there are no guarantees that a smaller bank could survive the crash of one or more of the bigger banks, very few of the small banks have gambled with the super-priority derivatives. This is huge advantage that at provides insulation from the large banks.

So, consider yourself warned, money is not safe in the big banks. The MF Global losses, the Cyprus confiscations, the Sentinel case, the FDIC/BOE Joint Paper, the plans in the European Union, Canada, New Zealand, and Spain to raid private accounts, and finally the information in this article should be raising all sorts of red flags. HOW MANY WARNINGS DO YOU NEED? Personal accounts, as well as any school, municipal, county, and state funds that are deposited in any of the big banks are not safe. The plans for confiscation have already been developed, they have been approved, they are awaiting the next crisis.

Ask your public official in charge of finance where they keep YOUR taxpayer money!

Ask them if they have researched the public banking option! Do not accept no for an answer, ask them why. If they say that you do not understand these things, tell them to explain it to you.

After all, this is your money that you worked so hard for, so don’t let the big gamblers from Wall Street use YOUR personal or taxpayer money to cover THEIR losses. These big bankers are money addicts, they have no appreciation of how much work went into making that money. They do not care about you or your money, all they care about is their addiction. Don’t let public officials continue to put your taxpayer money at risk with these gamblers, just because this is how it has been done in the past.

Socialism and Capitalism

February 23, 2013 3 comments

I recently came across this anecdote on the Internet. I was unable to determine who the author was so I cannot provide proper attribution. However the story does illustrate some interesting points:

An economics professor at a local college made a statement that he had never failed a single student before, but had recently failed an entire class. That class had insisted that Obama’s socialism worked and that no one would be poor and no one would be rich, a great equalizer.

The professor then said, “OK, we will have an experiment in this class on Obama’s plan”.. All grades will be averaged and everyone will receive the same grade so no one will fail and no one will receive an A…. (substituting grades for dollars – something closer to home and more readily understood by all).

After the first test, the grades were averaged and everyone got a B. The students who studied hard were upset and the students who studied little were happy. As the second test rolled around, the students who studied little had studied even less and the ones who studied hard decided they wanted a free ride too so they studied little.

The second test average was a D! No one was happy.
When the 3rd test rolled around, the average was an F.

As the tests proceeded, the scores never increased as bickering, blame and name-calling all resulted in hard feelings and no one would study for the benefit of anyone else.

To their great surprise, ALL FAILED and the professor told them that socialism would also ultimately fail because when the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great, but when government takes all the reward away, no one will try or want to succeed. Could not be any simpler than that. (Please pass this on) These are possibly the 5 best sentences you’ll ever read and all applicable to this experiment:

1. You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity.

2. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving.

3. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.

4. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it!

5. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that is the beginning of the end of any nation.

Response:

While the model of substituting grades for dollars is flawed, the article above did illustrate what happens when people do not have appropriate incentives. In order to bring this model closer to reality, let us:

  1.  substitute tuition payments for taxes
  2. allow for the personal accumulation of grades (money).

So here is the capitalist system that is currently in place:

Those with accumulated grades (money) hire others to do the hard work of studying for them.
capitalist pyramidThose with accumulated grades (money) now accumulate even more money because the fact that others are doing the work for them, and that they are not being paid as much as those who are not doing the work.

Those with accumulated grades (money) use their growing wealth to influence the government for policies that assure that their tuition rates (taxes) remain at an Effective Rate that is lower than those who do the work. They also get special rates if they use their accumulated wealth to generate even more wealth for themselves (Capital Gains rate).

These lower taxes helps those with accumulated grades (money) to maximize the accumulation of their wealth despite the fact that they no longer are doing the real work to create this wealth.

Those with accumulated grades (money) have now accumulated such massive amounts of  wealth that they need the services of a financial class to manage their wealth. The financial class merely moves around the accumulated wealth of others and despite the fact that the financial class also does no productive work, they earn the largest compensation of anyone.

The financial class uses its enormous accumulated wealth to influence the government to bail them out when they make poor decisions that result in massive losses to the general economy.

The financial class uses its extreme wealth to influence the government to provide them with immunity from prosecution for money laundering, rate rigging, massive foreclosure fraud (robo-signing) , and other crimes. In fact they even get others, the shareholders to pay the fines for them.

Those with accumulated grades (money) start to form paper shells (corporations) whose sole purpose is to maximize profits for those who already have accumulated grades (money). Those with accumulated grades (money) accumulate even more.

Those with accumulated grades (money) use their wealth to influence government to declare that these paper shells (corporations) are actually people who have the same rights as flesh and blood people. Those with accumulated grades (money) now can spend unlimited money to further influence the government.

Those with accumulated grades (money) use their now unlimited influence on government to provide these paper shells (corporations) with massive amounts of taxpayer subsidies with corporate welfare spending eclipsing general welfare spending.

Those with accumulated grades (money) fight hard to keep the grades (money) they pay to those who actually do the work as low as possible, to the point where some those who do the work cannot even provide for their families. This helps those with accumulated grades (money) to accumulate even more grades (money).

Those with accumulated grades (money) discover that they can outsource the work to other countries where they can pay the workers even less than here, and so they leave those who do the real work with a rapidly shrinking work market driving the grades (money) paid to them to even lower levels.

Those with accumulated grades (money) are now starting to feel fear because so many of those who used to do the real work are so desperate and tensions are rising. So they use their wealth to influence the government to increase the military-industrial-surveillance -security state despite the fact the liberties for all are eroded as a result, all under the ruse of patriotism.

Conclusion:
Now that we have seen the worst that unbridled socialism has to offer, and the worst that unbridled capitalism has to offer, perhaps it is time to rethink our current system and to incorporate the best of each system. A balance is needed. Those partisans who only see one of these two stories remain the obstacles to real change that will benefit everyone.

Climate Rally – Washington D.C. – Feb 17, 2013

February 22, 2013 Leave a comment

On a chilly February day, 35,000 people gathered in Washington DC for a climate rally. This video shows some of the highlights and a surprise ending to the march that had tremendous symbolism.

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