Here Thar Be Monsters!

From the other side of the argument to the other side of the planet, read in over 149 countries and 17 languages. We bring you news and opinion with an IndoTex® flavor. Be sure to check out Radio Far Side. Send thoughts and comments to luap.jkt at gmail, and tell all your friends. Sampai jumpa, y'all.

27.10.10

TEOTWAWKI

Do you sense it?

Do you have that feeling that something big is about to happen? Does it seem like the world is holding its breath waiting for that next big "whatever it is?"

In Europe, France and Greece are in melt-down. The UK is collapsing. Spain and Italy are in slow-motion dissolution.

In America, the dollar is dying, the people are losing their way of life and the so-called 'president' hasn't a clue how to fix the drip, much less the flood. Foreclosures are becoming epidemic. Jobs are gone and not coming back. Even the 'Fed' admits that.

In Asia, China has become a black hole of resources, and has even felt ready to challenge Japan for territorial claims. Thailand has experienced political problems. The Koreas are threatening to take their war hot again. India and Pakistan are beating the drums over Kashmir.

In the Middle East, the illegal rogue nation of Israel appears hell-bent on destroying everything it cannot steal. Iraq, Iran and Afganistan look to be forming a close working relationship through mutual hatred of America and its NATO puppets.

Through it all, there seems to be a growing awareness in the global population that we are being had by a bunch of 'they.' There are myriad definitions for who 'they' are, but a good functioning handle is 'The Powers That Be,' or PTB. This PTB, through the use of something called the Hegelian Dialectic, which is deceptively simple in theory and diabolically effective in practice.

Simply put, the dialectic is a group (PTB) determines a goal that it wants to achieve. It then formulates that goal into a set of actions. Finally, it creates a problem and offers its solution as the answer. For instance, the PTB wanted to implement the despicable set of laws now known as The USA Patriot Act. The legislation was drafted, probably years in advance. Then a massive terrorist attack was perpetrated and within weeks a multi-thousand page law was introduced, ostensibly to solve the problem (which it doesn't, but that wasn't the point). Hitler did the exact same maneuver with the Reichstag fire, which produced a remarkablly similar document to the USA Patriot Act, called the Enabling Act.

Though the global economic melt-down appears to be chaotic and unmanageable, make no mistake: it it being orchestrated at the highest levels in order to usher in order to offer the pre-packages solution already formulated for decades, of centralized global governance, single world currency and a host of other distasteful 'solutions.'

Of course, the whole thing is a sham, a farce and a ballywick. If you look at it, the greed of bankers have caused the problem, and now they stand poised to offer us their solution, as being the only viable solution.

We, the global mind, the inhabitants of Earth, the people have been carefully and purposefully guided over centuries to accept what the PTB are offering us. The roadmaps to this debacle have been openly published: Machiavelli's The Prince, Marx's Das Kapital, even Sun Tzu's The Art of War and the Protocols of Zion. They are all part of the development of this Grand Scheme to enslave the masses, and enrich and empower the very few at the top. It is even enshrined on the reverse of the $1 Federal Reserve note: the pyramid (us) and the All-Seeing Eye (them).

Even our response to becoming aware of this Plot has been effectively defanged. We have been taught, nay indoctrinated, to believe that that way we change things is through protest, strikes and activism. In fact, these are red herrings designed to effectively release the anger and power of the masses in a completely impotent manner. Just like the old American maxim of 'write your congress-thing.' Ineffective and toothless tools given to us by those who seek to rule us, designed to make us think we have the power to effect change, when in fact it saps our true strength.

Furthermore, we have been sold 'fear' as a means to herd us en masse in any direction the PTB choose. Fear of poverty, fear of terrorism, fear of the unknow. Y2K, 911, 2012. They are all tools to make us afraid and to seek answers from 'authorities.' And of course the answers we are given guide us inexorably in the direction 'they' wish us to go: the slaughterhouse.

Yes, the economic system is, and will continue to be, crashed. 'They' must place us in a position in which we have no choice but to accept 'their' solution so that we can eat again, have our TV and amusements again, return to our comfortable couches and absorb the propaganda again. Make no mistake, every man, woman and child on Earth will be put over the economic barrel until we submit to 'their' solutions.

The answer is so deceptively simple that most people simply overlook it. The answer doesn't require legislation, it doesn't require fear and it doesn't even require action. On the contrary, just the opposite: do NOTHING. That's right, stop buying into the system that wants to enslave you. Don't vote. Don't protest. Don't consume the mass propaganda. The one thing the PTB fear the most is that no one takes them seriously. 'They' wake up at night in cold sweats fearing that one thing. The one thing 'they' can't abide is that we wander away and stop listening and following.

Here's your real solution: start forming collectives and use barter and alternative currencies like gold and silver for private commerce. Don't borrow money from the banks and stop spending money at the corporate outlets. All the protesting and voting and striking is taking our energy and channeling it into pressure valves, effectively wasting our time. Don't protest. Don't vote (it only encourages them, as Will Rogers pointed out). I mean, imagine the hand-wringing and utter terror 'they' would face if 'they' held an election and simply no one showed up. 'They' could not claim any legitimacy to power at all. A simple and elegant solution that requires absolutely no action or energy on your part at all!

The only reason a leader can exist is because someone follows him. If we simply stop following and start developing our own lives, if we stop buying the corporate output and start making our own, if we just ignore the insecure little bastards that are The Powers That Be, 'they' would quickly shrivel up and die. Make no mistake. 'They' will fight. 'They' will create wars and famines and any number of horrors to get us to run back to 'their' solutions. But, instead of fearing that, look at it with pity. Pity those poor little minds that cannot handle people being truly powerful, of being their own leaders, of producing their own needs. Those poor Rothschild/Rockefeller/Zionist/Tri-Lateralists/Masons, etc. You can choose your own bugbears, but 'they' are all the same behind the curtain. 'They' are bullies, whose power comes from us being afraid. If we are not, 'they' wither and shink back into the hole where 'they' came from.

The real solution is so simple. Instead of taking energy, it requires nothing...literally. We all just walk away and ignore 'them.' We find our own solutions, grow our own food, use our own money, create our own world free of fear and control. The first shot we can fire over the bow is November 2, in America. Don't vote. Very simple. Don't vote Democrat, or Republican, or Libertarian, or Green, or Socialist, or Tea Party, or anything. Don't go, don't pull a lever and don't care. I laugh to think what would happen the next day. No one would have power. 'They' would be in an absolute panic. 'They' would be powerless overnight with not a single calorie being burned on your part. It is the ultimate 'none-of-the-above.'

There is so much more to this issue. There are a great number of writers, speakers and populations who are 'waking up' and seeing that the whole thing is a sham. So of those people are quite eloquent and others are, well, just more of the same trying to steal our energy and freedom by offering more of the same with different packaging. One very succinct video I have come across lately is a David Icke interview. You don't have to like him or believe him or follow him, but I think he clearly illuminates the situation and provides a healthy meal of 'food for thought.' This video acts as a very good primer for some Big Pictures that can then be researched and acted upon with further meditation. Just open your mind to the possibilities, without forming judgement. See if you don't hear some real truth in it. But, in order to truly free yourself, you can't give up one leader to be replaced by another. Don't follow anyone. Research, pray and find your own truth. You are far better at leading yourself than anyone 'outside' of you can ever be.

Yes, it's all about to come crashing down. Yes, it will be nasty. Yes, many people will die or be hurt. It is inevitable. What we do have control over is the outcome. Either we have more of 'them,' only far worse, or we find our own solutions, ones that empower and free us from what we have been force-fed for centuries now. We don't need leaders, we are leaders!

In America, there is an expression that 'a man's home is his castle.' By extension, every man is his own king. Now is the time to act like it. Take back the power you have given away. The beauty of it is that to take it back, you really need to do NOTHING. The rest will sort itself out.

Life's a hologram and then you die.

26.10.10

A Texas Gully-Washer In Asia

I am frequently asked what the weather is like in Houston compared to Jakarta. I think perhaps there is a bit of wishful thinking that somehow it is closer to paradise than the relative monotony of life on the equator. Or perhaps folks think that I am having a difficult time adjusting to the tropical climate. Regardless the reason, they always seem surprised that Houston is much like Jakarta in many ways, not the least of which is the good old fashioned gully-washer.

Yesterday was a prime example. Along about 3 in the afternoon, the heavens opened up and there came a torrent of rain. There was literally sheets of rain that made dogs and cats look rather tame by comparison (or frogs and turtles, if you prefer). For the next three hours, there was little respite.

I was at the Ambassador Mall in Kuningan, while my girlfriend was literally across the boulevard in Setia Budi. She wanted to pick me up in the car so that I didn't have to pay for the cab to get home. Great idea, but as it turned out, it took her the better part of an hour to get across the street.

As I stood there, I watched as traffic ground down to a halt, and so it was for the rest of the evening. All across Jakarta, the city went into gridlock. Flooding struck in various parts of the city -- parts that usually flood on a regular basis.

After picking me up, my girlfriend and I sat in traffic for five hours to go about five kilometers...basically slower than the average person can walk. We finally gave up about one kilometer from the house and let the driver go home. We walked through the neighborhood until we came to the bridge over the toll road that serves the TransJakarta system. At this point, I had contacted my usual ojek and she had called her oldest son, and they met us on the other side of the bridge. Since my driver had grown up in the area, he knew the best route, which turned out to be not only dry, but almost completely free of traffic.

All seemed well as we pulled up to the front of the house. There was no overt signs of flooding in the neighborhood, which is one reason I had selected it. When I opened the gate, there was a bit of water on the patio, which was expected, but the area around the front door was dry. Relieved, I opened the door and stepped into an inch of water on the floor.

Though that might seem like a crisis, I learned in a very real and tangible way why Indonesian houses are built like they are. To a Texan, the houses seem very stark and bland. Everything is tile and concrete, with some rooms -- such as kitchen and bathrooms -- having tiled walls and floor drains. There's almost no difference between indoor and outdoor areas. Furthermore, Indonesians have a curious habit of putting everything up on low tables, so that the entire interior of the house sits about eight inches off the ground. There is also a profound lack of wall-to-wall carpeting, even in apartments. Just isn't done here. Now I know why...

During the rainy season (the last three months of one year and the first three of the next), it is likely as not to rain torrentially, usually for a couple of hours, but sometimes even days at a time. When looking for a new house, one of the first questions anyone asks is about local flooding. Obviously, areas of the city that don't flood are highly prized. One will usually ask older folks about past exceptional floods, as well. Areas that don't normally flood can still get whacked every ten or twenty years. Best to check the location of rivers in the area also.

As it turned out, five stressful hours in the traffic were followed by five equally stressful hours of bailing and mopping, BUT it could have been much worse, all things considered. With no carpet to rip up and no sheetrock to warp, the greatest concern was to bleach everything after it was dry to make sure things were sanitized. The front room was simply bailed onto the porch, and the bedroom was squeegied into the bathroom and the floor drain there. Nothing was lost or even damaged because it was all up off the floor, and the entire floor is tiled and the walls concrete.

The cause was two-fold: the sheer quantity of run-off from the roof caused a great amount of back-splatter onto the porch, which overwhelmed the drain and led to water seeping under the door and into the living room; the other problem was water backing up out of the floor drain in the bathroom and coming into the bedroom. So on Saturday, I will build up a dam of sorts at the gate to prevent the back-spatter, another at the front door and a third at the bathroom door. The addition of a gutter at the eave will carry run-off away safely. Finally, a rubber stopper for the floor drain when the bathroom is not in use.

The bring this around to the original point, Houston has had some spectacular floods. I have been witness to lakes appearing where an interstate highway used to be. I have had friends whose houses were flooded to the peak of the roof. I have also known many folks who have had as much water in their house as I did yesterday, and they lost a significant amount. They had to strip out carpeting, dry wall and clean and dry lumber to prevent mold and mildew. This sort of remediation has occured on mass scales as well as from things like burst water pipes in one home.

How much more sense it makes to have homes in flood-prone areas that are concrete and tile. It is completely non-sensical to insist on a certain aesthetic that is so out of harmony with the local environment. Furthermore, the concrete construction is far more environmentally friendly in that it doesn't kill off an entire forest to build a house and is cheaper to heat and cool, using the thermal properties of concrete to best advantage. A squeegie and a mop were all that were needed to do the same work as a team of contractors and thousands of dollars in insurance money. Oh, and just think of the savings on termite control.

Just something to think about if you are one of the four people left in America with enough money to build a house. Instead of fighting the environment and setting yourself up for enormous costs later down the road, why not change your aesthetic and look at alternative designs that would save money, improve health and lower energy costs?

Just a thought...

24.10.10

Put A Little English On It

"Language! It's a virus!
Language! It's a virus!
Language! It's a virus!

"Well I dreamed there was an island
That rose up from the sea.
And everybody on the island
Was somebody from TV.
And there was a beautiful view
But nobody could see.
Cause everybody on the island
Was saying: Look at me! Look at me!
Look at me! Look at me!"
-Laurie Anderson, "Language is a Virus"

In billiards, you can spin the cue ball left or right to control the angle of deflection of the target ball. That spin is called 'english.'

In English, you can have a house that isn't a home. You can 'take' a shower, when you really leave something. You can 'make' a phone call when you really don't make anything at all. In English, a corporation can be a 'person,' and you can have a dozen different ways to murder (homicide, justifiable homicide, manslaughter, premeditated murder, etc.). You have 15 different ways to describe the past, the present and the future, and show the intricate relationship of one action to another in time.

If language is a virus, then English is the H1N1 of languages.

English has killed so many other languages. There are scores of native American languages that will never be heard again because of English. Gaelic is fighting to stay alive. Latin has died a painful death after centuries of dominance. India has been deeply infected. France had to form a committee to replace English infections with healthy French tissue. German schools were infected after WWII, and now Asian schools are picking up the epidemic.

The the WHO does nothing. Merck and Lily aren't scrambling to create vaccines. Against reason, people are lined up to become infected. The virus has infected even the halls of science, so that studies and research are all published in English. In business, no one takes you seriously unless you have the virus.

English is an amazingly complex virus. It evolves and changes over time to fit into any eco-system. It thrives on education and millions of people have come down with symptoms. It starts slowly but quickly the infection spreads. First, it's words like 'e-mail' and 'computer,' but before you know what's happening, you've got things like 'boring' and 'hangout.' It started on an obscure island off the coast of Europe and now has infected a greater part of the world. Patient Zero was a people called the Angles, who inhabited the central part of an island. They built some ships and began spreading the virus far and wide, and now the virus is indemnic in some areas.

The situation has become so bad now that there has formed an elite group of carriers who call themselves 'native speakers.' They travel around to different countries infecting large numbers of people, while looking down on 'non-native speakers.'

In the movies and on TV, everyone speaks English, no matter where they are from. Even aliens for distant planets speak the language eloquently. Some shows, like Star Trek, invent things like Universal Translators that change any native language into English. And it's getting worse.

In meetings all over the world, people from disparate backgrounds and cultures get together to talk about business, and the only thing that comes out of their mouths is English. If you make a film or write a book, no one will pay attention unless it's in English. Product labels can have anything you want on it, as long as it includes something in English.

Something must be done.

Soon this virus will invade every corner of the Earth. It will displace other beneficial viri until all life on the planet will depend on English. Even now, the French are destroying their country from the inside out trying to fight the English invasion. Before you know it, even simple words like 'thot' will be written like 'thought.' Alphabets will die on the vine. Great words like 'Rheinfahrtsgeselschaftkapiten' will be replaced with colorless phrases such as 'barge captain.' Tenseless languages will be invaded with incredibly precise time statements for no good reason. Even the non-sensical use of present continuous when speaking of future events will sully every tongue.

We must do something now, before it's too late. Already, school kids in remote places are being taught the difference between 'to, too and two' and 'for, fore and four.' You can just see their pained expressions when they learn that to+too=fore. Will we subject our future generations to this horrible fate? Will our progeny cause us for making words like 'ot' spell like 'ought?'

Where is the justice? Where is the WHO? Where are the myriad NGOs who worry endlessly about bird and swine viri, and not this horror that is unleashed upon us?

The only ray of hope is that the British strain of the virus is not as virulent. The American strain at least saves us from such painful spellings as 'colour,' 'programme' and 'centre,' not to mention 'tyre.' Those of us infected with the North American variety can also be thankful we don't have symptoms, such as pronouncing words like 'funny' and 'foo-nay.' Even worse are the effects on vocabulary, such as the British 'boot and bonnet' for the more masculine 'trunk and hood.'

Time is short. Taking action now will save countless lives from English. You can start with a simple process of using Esperanto. There is still hope that an artificial virus such as Esperanto can painlessly replace the English virus using genetic modification of existing languages to form a hybrid. If English is allowed to infect and replace all the other 'wild' viri, then in 50 to 100 years, there will be nothing but dialects left.

And the French will have completely destroyed themselves for nothing.

17.10.10

Buddy Can You Spare A Roop?

Well, it's a foregone conclusion at this point. We are headed for the deep chasm of The Greater Depression. Them that run things (PTB) have spent decades piling fraud upon fraud, and now comes the time when the piper must be paid.

Some of us have parents or grandparents who remember the Great Depression of the 1930s. My parents were children, but certainly they had tales of doing without. For instance, my father didn't own a pair of shoes until he was in his teens, being the middle of eight children. My great aunt's stories were even more harrowing (she came to Texas in a covered wagon at the turn of the 20th century. Even in the 1960s, she was still saving newspaper for fuel and jelly jars for glasses. The people who survived that era learned to recycle, reuse and make do with less.

Today there are generations of Americans who have never known hardship. They expect electricity to always be available. They expect drinkable water to come out of the taps. They can't imagine walking further than the garage and gas pumps that always have fuel for their cars. They have been so spoiled by modern convenience that they have buried themselves in Facebook and video games to the point where they couldn't cook a meal that didn't need a microwave or grow a tomato plant to save their lives (literally). Can you imagine the panic the day the hairdries stop and the malls close?

Here in the "Third World," people are quite a bit smarter and better prepared for economic disaster. Here in Indonesia, many people over 30 have grown up with little or nothing, in much the same fashion as my parents. I have spent time in villages here where water is carried from a central well and the toilet is little more than a hole cut in the floor. Even in middle-class homes here, many people stil bathe with a bucket and ladle, and most take cold baths, as hot water heaters for an entire house are unheard of. In other words, people here live their daily lives ready for anything.

When it come to being prepared -- disasters, economic catastrophes, etc. -- Indonesians got it going on!

The average Indonesian, and by that I mean a very large number, live life well prepared for just about anything. Water storage, generators, food stores, patio gardens, and even small livestock are mainstays, even among city dwellers. Why, on my lane alone, I count five chickens and the occasional goat is not unusual right here in the middle of Jakarta.

My house alone has over 500 gallons of non-potable water in various tanks, with some connected to a rather ingenious gravity-fed system, with a roof-top reservoir that directly feeds the house, and a ground-level tank that acts both as back-up and overflow. Each bathroom has a 25-gallon cistern built-in, plus I have an additional 50-gallon tank. The kitchen has a tank, there is one under the stairs and another next to the washing machine on the second floor. None of that is unusual, although the design of the gravity system is pretty darned unique, from what I have seen so far.

Most Indonesian households have a bulk supply of rice, among other things. Of course, an Indonesian could starve to death with a full belly if they didn't get their daily rice fix. Most keep a substantial supply of soy sauce and cooking oil on hand. There is also a week or so of drinking water on hand, though some have filters and keep tanks full around the house.

There is no central gas lines to provide fuel for cooking, so every house has a stove that hooks up to a 75-liter propane tank, which in an average house is about a month's supply. Most households I have seen have at least two tanks on hand, while some I have seen have as many as siz at all times. With frugal use, even two could supply cooking gas for up to six months.

A good number of households have small generators, and the design of the electrical system here makes using them fairly straight-forward. Since a decent generator costs about US$300, many homes can't afford one, but many can. When the power goes out, as it frequently does here, the machines can be heard firing up all over the neighborhood. One simply plugs the generator output into any wall socket, and it will power that circuit as long as the gasoline supply holds out.

A great number of people I see have some sort of food growing around the house. Being the tropics, there are fruit trees, of course, but it's common for people to have chickens, goats and even fish farms on their front porches. Quite a few have edible plants and produce growing, such as tomatoes, cucumbers and spices. In normal times, these are simply side-businesses to make larder money for Momma's household needs, but in stressful times, they obviously become food sources and barter items.

Amost everyone here has some tradeable skill. Many folks I see are capable of making textiles or tailoring, others can do masonry or carpentry. Wiring and plumbing are good, but without electricity, that doesn't help much. I am always amazed at how many tools some folks can make out of materials lying around the place.

Indonesians are wizzes at recycling. Almost everything gets used at least twice, if not more times. Plastic containers, glass jars, scrap cloth, and any other usable material will get used and reused many times. Even many household items have multiple uses. It's not unusual to see a man picking through the trash every day to find items that can be reused or reconditioned. There's also someone who goes through the neighborhood regularly, buying junk and broken items that are then repaired and resold.

This is not to say that a city of 12 million people doesn't generate a mountain of trash, but the situation would be a lot worse, I think, if there weren't people making use of a good amount of the waste.

Indonesian homes are a marvel of aero-dynamic design. Using a system of vents and transoms, the average home 'breathes.' Just opening a window will cause a fairly good breeze to circulate through the house, generally from bottom to top to carry heat out. This is not unique to modern architecture, either. Even 1,000-year-old houses had a design that easily captured the tropical sea breezes and funneled them through the house for natural cooling.

When, not if, the current paradigm collapses, I will lay odds and Indonesians to be better survivors than the average American. Americans have become so spoiled and so trained to rely on centralized supplies of daily needs that they have forgotten how to make do without. It's a given that the average American couldn't forage for food. Most young folk today don't even know what a food plant looks like outside of the grocery store. Urban areas have long outlawed even small livestock like chickens. Most folks can't imagine trudging more than a couple of houses from their front door, much less walking up to a mile in one direction and carrying large loads back. Even in areas prone to earthquakes or hurricanes, many households have little more than a couple of extra batteries in the tool drawer by way of preparation.

It's a bit late now to start preparing, although buying tanks to store quantities of water is a viable option, even now. The problem is, that if the coming Depression is truly as bad as it appears, then preparation for weeks, even months, is insufficient. Having the ability to grow food and do things without electricity (or having a supply that is independent) requires careful planning. Even getting skills like being able to start a fire without matches takes practice, and is much easier to learn when you are not desperate.

Americans, for all their bluster and saber-rattling, are quite vulnerable. They have built a society that is intricately interdependent on multiple supply lines that, if cut, will leave many panicked.

There is a rather easy solution. Find a few friends and family that you trust implicitely and together buy some good farmland. Plenty available right now. Try to get a mix of people with various skills and talents. Pool resources to install a well and solar power. Look for land with trees, if possible, since that is a prime supply of fuel and building materials. Get some farm animals, not just for food, but for work. Place the whole thing in a perpetual trust, so there's no inheritance taxes and the trustees even serve as an ad hoc government. Buy things like looms and knitting needles (might have to bone up on the skills a bit).

Why people don't do this, I don't know, because even if the worst never comes and our house of cards never collapses, your group can share the place as a weekend get-away and place to teach the kids about things like farming and self-reliance. And who will argue with the biennial slaughter of a cow that stocks several freezers with good, organic, non-GM meat? What do you have to loose, right?

Whether you are prepared or not, the Greater Depression is coming. Americans can stand to take a few lessons from the "Third World."

14.10.10

On Traveling and Touring

In life, there are two basic kinds of people. All behavior, all personalities, all characters can be distilled down into one of these. Unlike other classification systems, there is little or no cross-over. You are absolutely one or the other.

In essence, all people are either travelers or tourists. You may not think there is a difference, but bear with me on this. When I am finished, you will see that this system is a fine way to classify anyone, and there is no need for such things as matrices, since there are only two ans ince they are absolute.

On the one hand are Travelers. Travelers are the group that include adventurers, thrill-seekers, life-long learners, entrepreneurs, and people for whom safety zones are confining and restrictive. This group would include pioneers, discoverers and people for whom pushing the envelope is just starting to get fun. A traveler avoids major highways and interstates like the plague. For them, going to "popular" tourist destinations is the antithesis of excitement. If millions have done it, then what's the point in emulating their experience?

Travelers are easy to identify. They commonly carry multi-function tools every day of their lives. At the airport, train station or boat landing, they are often alone and all of their baggage is highly practical, completely portable and doesn't require checking anything for handling. If you were to examine their baggage, you would find everything in it to be of multiple use, and most likely they will be carrying a towel (a tourist expects towels to be provided wherever they go).

A travelers will rarely interact with natives of their own land. They prefer to mix with locals, learn the language and eat the same food and in the same manner as those of the host country.

Travelers rarely carry cameras. Where they go is for their own memories, not for entertaining the meek back home. Furthermore, they don't want to attract the wrong people to the places they like to go, so they don't advertise the locations and experiences. Even with photos to proves it, most people wouldn't believe their stories anyway. A location where a traveler is most unlikely to meet others of their kind are the places that attract them. Travelers prefer the experiences that no one else but the natives have experienced.

The Tourist, on the other hand, is the polar opposite, and comprises the vast majority of people on Earth. These are the people who have made America what it is: purveyor of the repeatable experience. These are the people who go to Paris, meet only with other folks from the home country, require guides, stay in Holiday Inn, eat at McDonald's, and then go home and say that they have been to Paris.

The Ugle American is the quintessential tourist. They only speak Merican and think the whole world does. If a local doesn't understand, they speak louder and slower, thinking that will solve the problem. They can't imagine that anyone would want to be anything but like themselves. They want to go to the Eifel Tower, because somehow the millions of photos spanning the entire history of the object is not enough. They must go and touch it like a million other people. Tourists think that a somewhat stable pile of steel girders is a worthy object of pilgrimage. They can't wait to get home and regale their friends with tales and photos of what it was like to ride the elevator to the top, as if that is different from any other elevator ride available up the street at home.

The tourist is easy to spot. They wear garish clothes and, at the sirport or train station, they are the ones with a trolly loaded six feet high with baggage. To them, losing the make-up kit is a major catastophe that threatens the stability of the Free World.

The tourists wants a repeatable experience. They want the hotel, meal or tour that they are comforable with at home, and have experienced many times. Their biggest thrill in life is to be able to say, "Me too!" Their entire goal in going on a trip is to take a photo of themselves in front of some landmark. They wake up at night in a cold sweat at the thought of running out of traveler's cheques.

The traveler and the tourist both collect souvenirs, but the objects the traveler finds are mostly meaningless to anyone but themselves. The tourist buys the little key chains and paper-weights and refrigerator magnets. The travelers spend most of their lives far outside their comfort zones, where tourists have never even explored the limits of theirs. A traveler will try some unknown food where the tourist is shocked if the local KFC doesn't serve original recipe.

In short, the tourist goes to the Grand Canyon and looks down in the hole from the safety of the Kodak Moment overlook, while the traveler hikes deep into it with only minimal concern for life and limb.

So, what does all this have to do with the price of tea in China, you ask? Good question. The The next time you hear some "authority" give dire warnings of terrorism and offer to take away your freedoms to save you, check your reaction. If you think it's a good idea, you're a tourist in life. If you immediately have a desire to go to the heart of the 'danger zone' to prove it's all bullshit, then you're a traveler. The traveler knows that the real terrorist is the one who tries to manipulate you with fear.

The great Merican Imperialist, FDR said it best, "We have nothing to fear but fear itself."

7.10.10

Guts, Guns or Gold: Nobody Rides For Free

Looking back at my e-mail records, it was October 12, 1999. I had sent out an e-mail to my family and friends, admittedly a wild-eyed, but none-the-less valid. Contained within the long-winded reasoning behind the message, I advised everyone to get out of the stock market immediately and buy physica gold and silver coins.

If it weren't for the laughing, there would have been dead silence. Just Ol' B going off again on one of his tirades. After all, the Dow was pretty danged close to its all-time high in absilute value (factoring inflation and all), gold and silver were around $260 and $4, respectively. The precious metals hadn't been much of a concern since the 80s mania. Hedge funds and tech IPOs were the order of the day. Clinton had deregulated banks, happy days were here again, and we were all going to skip to the bank with armloads of money.

Some lone nut preaching, "The end is nigh," sure wasn't convincing a lot of folks. I did, however, put my money where my mouth was and cashed out my 401(k), sold out my options and stocks, and bought up all the gold and silver coins I could afford.

Sitting here 11 years later, I see that the Dow has only hit an all-time high once since then, in both absolute and notional value. Gold has risen better than 500%, silver has shot up almost 600%, and the markets are set to drop in the crapper yet again, taking the last of everyone's life savings with them.

So, was I right or what?

In July of 2001, some guy nemed George Ure, whose site about long-wave economics I had been reading for about a year, started twisting off on some new technology he was pimping for a guy named Clif High. It came out that Clif, while working on a way to predict future market moves, had hit on something much deeper.

Clif's theory was that future events could be predicted by people's current expectations, and that their expectations could be discerned by parsing the words that they chose when posting on internet fora and bulletin boards. He would send out small programs called 'bots' to search for a pre-determined set of 'hot' words, and when the bots found them, they would sample a bit of the text around the words and send the whole package home.

Clif could then read the hidden subtext of people's thoughts by fermenting the results with his own algorithms. The product was, what I imagine to be, a 3-dimensional scatter-graph that he calls model-space. Certain hot concepts form a cloud in this space, surronded by various adverbs and adjectives that modify them. Those descriptors are given numerical weights based on the emotional value of the words. The clouds are connected to each other through various relationships, and the whole thing overshadowed by the meta-data layer, which holds the archetypes that people use to manipulate the world within their minds.

Model-space can be rolled back and forth over time to see how and when these concepts develop and their relationships evolve. Clif takes this view and puts into narrative form and releases it as occasional reports (formerly called ALTA, and now called (SOTC)

All that was build-up to the summer of 2001, when George and Clif started releasing warnings that some major, world-changing event was in the offing. The details were a bit vague, but it involved a hugely emotional event that Clif called a 'tipping point,' before which the tension values of words were increasing, and after which they decreased rapidly. This point in time was pegged to happen in the Fall and there was some talk of buildings and changing attitudes.

Sure enough, on September 11, 2001, a lot of things changed.

By now, I can just picture you, dear reader, scratching your head and asking, "What is this nut going on about now?" Glad you asked.

Point number 1: If you're been watching the price of gold and silver lately, you have noticed that they are running up the ladder like nobady's business. My nose is twitching, telling me that there is more distance to cover before this run finishes, if my spasming nose is anything to go by. Past episodes would seem to indicate the positive. I especially am watching silver, since supplies are tighter than gold, deliveries have been very slow and Clif's work indicates that it has a big leap to make in the near future. Just today, the story is the (hahahahahaha) Federal Reserve may inflate the crisis out of existence. If you've been paying attention, that started a while back, say around 1933. The (NOT) Federal (NO) Reserve is acting like they just discovered it. HAHAHAHAHAHA! What a maroon, as Bugs Bunny might say.

The second point is this: Clif's and George's work is pointing to a time in November when there will be a tipping point that is orders of magnitude greater than 9-11, and has been showing up for several years in model-space. Now, normally I would put future predictions in the category of 'here comes the apocalypse' fantasies, which have predicted the Second Coming daily for 2,000 years. Hey, it's going to be right one of these days, que no? (snicker) However, I have watched the bots' output hit the mark repeatedly: the shuttle disaster, the NE blackout, the Banda Aceh tsunami, Katrina). Granted, on some of the smaller things, it's been a bit of a stretch to say that the bots have hit their mark, but on the Big Ticket items they seem to be batting 1,000.

So what to do?

Well, if you are still in the markets, then there's no hope for you. You are brain-dead and no amount of talking will convince you to save your own ass. However, if you've cashed out and are looking for somewhere to park it, gold and especially silver are your best bets, I think. The only thing better is farm land, since you can't eat metals, but you can sure use the land to feed yourself.

The next thing to do is strap yourself to the mast, because a storm is rising and the seas are going to be mean. I have little to no idea what to expect other than to expact the unexpected. If you are ready for that, then you should be able to ride out the storm.

Check out Clif's site and if you can part with $10, buy the latest report. Also, give his blog a read, as he spells out a little information there with regars to what's coming.

As with all dire future predictions, no guarantee or warranty. You're on your own. But, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and anything you do to prepare will still have value, even if the sun keeps shining.

If Buddha is right, which he sure seems to be about a lot of things, then we make our own future. After you prepare for the worst, then envisioning some good things for Life As We Know It sure can't hurt matters.

Every little bit counts.

5.10.10

The Road to Marrakesh, Part 1

The cool thing about backpacking around the world is that you could meet all sorts of people, travel together for a while, then split at the crossroads. Almost immediately, you would meet someone else going in your direction and you would have a companion or three or four.

I was in Madrid, having just survived a close encounter with the Guardia Civil with Tim from Waco. Tim had to go back to work and so I was casting about trying to figure out my next destination. I was at the central train station in Madrid, staring up at the big tote board: Paris, Rome, Amsterdam, Munich...all the great cities of the world waiting for my decision. I had already done Paris and had no interest in going back, but where to now?

I looked over at the guy next to me, also staring up at the board with the same gape-mouthed expression. He was well-built, chisel jawed, blond hair, with grey eyes. In other words, the poster child for Aryan perfection.

"Where are you going," I asked in German.

"Oh, you speak German," he replied. "That's good. I'm going to Morocco."

My imagination immediately took flight. Scenes from Cassblanca filled my head and I thought of sitting in Rick's Cafe American or the Blue Parrot, living the terrestrial version of the cantina scene in Star Wars.

There was also the matter of the elusive zero-zero, a black, tarry hashish made in Morocco that was well-known for its hallucinogenic effect and unusual flavor. Around these parts, hash was smoked by breaking it up and mixing it with tobacco, and then rolling the mix into large 'spleefs' with a cardboard tube inserted into one end to act as a sort of filter. This had the effect of being rather harsh when smoked, but the legendary zero-zero blended with the tobacco to make a very smooth and enjoyable experience.

"Who are you traveling with," I inquired.

"Oh, I am traveling alone. Maybe I will meet some friends at the concert, if they come."

"Which concert," I asked.

"Bob Marley and Frank Zappa. You haven't heard about it?" He looked at me as if I were from another planet, since it was all the buzz across the continent. "They're giving it in a kief field."

My knees almost buckled. This was too much! Bob Marley and Frank Zappa, both of whom I really grooved on, were jamming together in a field of marijuana! Someone needed to pinch me and fast!

"Can I travel with you," I practically begged.

"Yes, of course! It will be nice to have some company. My name is Klaus. I'm from Duesseldorf."

I introduced myself and after figuring out the train schedule, we moved to a small cafe to pass the time with a couple of expressos. A few hours later, we were standing at the ferry port in Algeciras, the famed northern Pillar of Hercules. Ahead lay North Africa and Terra Incognito.

We set off on the ferry at dawn and sailed for six hours across the meeting point of the Mediterranean and the Atlantic. I sat on the deck and enjoyed the vast nothingness that is any great body of water. There is something both alluring and unsettling about that view. It is a grand desolation that makes the sight of land all the more startling.

In this case, it was the sight of Gibraltar rising from the smooth line of water on the horizon. It's shape was so familiar, from the logo of Prudential Insurance to the thousands of photos one comes across in history books, travel guides and the like. But there is something that takes your breath away when you see such a famous site. It's like standing in the Roman Coliseum or lying in the center of Stonehenge: the abstract legend becomes reality. The mind struggles to take the intangible concept that was instilled in your brain from childhood and turn it into a real memory with solid textures.

We sailed past the eastern side and rounded out on the south. Then it faded into the distance at almost the time that Africa rose up at the bow. By the time we docked in Ceuta, my heart was pounding with anticipation. I was about to set foot on my third continent and enter a radical adventure, and I could hardly wait!

Ceuta is a curious place. Barely bigger than the Rock of Gibraltar itself, it is Spaish territory held since the Moors were chased out of Europe. This was the southern Pillar.

According to legend, when Hercules was captured by Zeus, he was imprisoned on the Rock of Gibraltar, with his chains terminating in southern Spain and northern Africa. Using his massive strength, Hercules eventually broke the chains, but in the process he pulled the two continents together, resulting in two large capes that form a sort of gateway to the Mediterranean.

My mind was swirling with these thoughts as Klaus and I stepped off the ferry and walking into the city. We weren't really interested in Ceuta, and we had three days to get to Marrakesh for the concert, so we made our way to the bus station and boarded an old rattle-trap to the frontier. When we got down, we were on a small hill at the Morrocan border overlooking the town of tangiers. There were dozens of young 20-somethings like us in line to cross, obviously on their way to Marrakesh, as well.

The city of Tangiers looked a lot like Mos Eisly in Star Wars. It was hundreds of two-story brick and plaster houses, punctuated by minarets and domed mosques. Everything was whitewashed. The only colors that stood out were the ochre sands and the white building under a blue sky. It was almost as if colors were at a premium and only the three cheapest were used in this scene. I imagined that the same view had greeted visitors and armies for centuries. The only things that showed any indication of 20th century were the cars and buses, and thousands of TV aerials sprouting like mushroom skeletons from every rooftop in sight. The whole picture was rendered surreal by the heatwaves shimmering in the distance.

Klaus and I looked at each other. He was obviously struck by the same sort of 'other world' feeling as me. We got in line and began chatting excitedly with other folks about the experience we were all here to have. At one point, two young Moroccans got next to us and befriended us as we waited.

Little did Klaus and I know, but Fate had just dealt us a couple of wild cards and things were about to get rather interesting.

(to be continued)

4.10.10

Mediots, Thy Name Is Psychotic

Lest anyone think my rants and raves about media and mind-control are vacuous or specious, I present Exhibit A.

This dandy bit of filmaking is a prime example of so many arguments, that I hardly know where to begin. It comes to us from the 10.10 crowd, whose link I will not suffer to include here. They are seeking to get everyone on Earth to reduce their "cabon footprint" by 10%, beginning on October 10 (10.10, get it?).

This bit of tripe was supposed to be "pythonesque," and succeeded in mimicking the form, but not the substance. Now, had they followed their own arguments to their logical conclusions, they would have shown a crack suicide squad of 'greenies' run into the classroom and demonstrate their commitment to reducing their "carbon footprints" by falling on their own swords. That would have been both pythonesque and funny.

So, back to this little gem of propaganda...where to begin? Let's start with the smallest issues and work up, shall we? The producers completely misused this form of humor (which was on purpose, as we shall see), the film uses a very standard type of propaganda technique and the whole issue of global warming/climate change is a ruse that requires so many logical fallacies that invalidate the argument almost from the moment a proponent opens his or her mouth.

The first point requires a knowledge of how humor works and how to use it effectively. One assumes that using "40 industry professionals" to create this bit of claptrap would have produced something truly funny.

The first rule of this kind of humor is that it must be self-effacing and reflexive. In the video, 'true believers' are shown slaughtering without remorse anyone who does not agree with them. Not funny. Rather, this is shocking and sick-making. To be funny, the violence must do two things: it must be self-directed and it must be over the top and not realistic. Thus, the pythonesque 'crack suicide troops' in The Life of Brian, or the classic 'bleeding tennis players' are funny, wasting kids and office workers who don't comply is not.

Surely, with the talent that was collected to produce this 'thing' would have known that, being 'top professionals,' and all. Also, having produced projects similar to this in my career, I know that it was vetted by committees and test audiences, which means there are several hundred pairs of eyes out there attached to very sick minds.

I would have been far more subtle and effective, I think. I mean, the first idea that comes to my head is a man wiping lampblack with his finger and showing to the camera (you) while saying, "This is carbon." Next we cut to various scenes of Al Gore on his Mission from God, with the voice-over saying, "This is Al Gore leaving his giant mansion, flying on his private jet all over the world and talking to 'true believers.' Cut back to the narrator as he asks, "Any questions?" Or instead of Al Gore, we are shown the cremated remains of a human body. Same message.

The next point is that this mental virus uses a very common form of mind-control to propagandize the audience. The technique uses shock to destabilize the conscious mind and keep it busy trying to analyze what it has just seen, while subtle messages are pumped into the sub-conscious mind, bypassing the usual filters in a person's psyche. A classic example of this is 9-11. The shock of the images and events completely overwhelmed the conscious minds of viewers while piles of hidden messages were being installed: you are under attack, muslims are bad, petroleum fires can destroy steel and concrete, homeland is in danger, etc. This caused a standard 'circle the wagons' effect and left people scrambling for anyone who could explain what they had just witnessed. Unfortunately, that person was none other than the Supreme idiot, George Dubya.

The the techniques were used in a way that was rather blunt and unrefined, and because the first objects of murder were children, one must assume that the target audience is children. Adults can easily filter these images, even if they are not aware of the mind-control and propaganda techniques being used. However, children see themselves being attacked at school, daddy attacked at the office and their sports stars attacked at practice. Combined, these images keeps their minds destabilized for a full four mintes while subconscious suggestions are installed: conform or die, if you are not good you will kill your parents, your heroes are wrong and evil, etc.

For the adult audience, there is a much more subtle message at the end. This uses a technique called 'transference,' which transfers symbolic meanings from one object to another, and can be very powerful if done well. To do this, they have chosen Gillian Anderson to voice the narration. She is trotted out to transfer her cultural icon of Dan Scully, from the X-Files series of TV shows and films. You may recall that her character was the skeptic who played foil to Fox Mulder's true believer. Her role in this film is voice-over, yet we are shown her face to make sure that we sub-consciously recall the skeptic icon and then transfer it to the issue of Global Warming/Climate Change. In other words, her character in the X-Files became a true believer by witnessing events over and over that proved Fox's contentions. Therefore, the viewer is led to think that if she is convinced of Global Warming/Climate Change, then it must be true. Very subtle and took me a minute to catch it. Probably the most effective part of the schlock, though they made the mistake of chasing away their audience before they delivered the coup d'grace.

Finally, we need to address the logical fallacies of the whole Global Warming/Climate Change argument. This quasi-religion espouses the idea that human activity over the past 200 to 300 years has radically altered the Earth's climate to the point that humanity is facing extinction. Gosh, were do we begin? There are so many assumptions and false choices and ad hominem attacks involved, not to mention outright fraud on the part of supposed 'authorities' and 'researchers.'

First of all, we must recall ClimateGate, in which last year, the personal e-mails of a number of 'top experts' in the field of Global Warming/Climate Change were released just before the Copenhagen climate summit. They revealed what can only be termed as fraud and malice aforethought. The intent and de facto efforts of a number of people to falsify, alter and obfuscate data in order to deceive great numbers of people invalidates the entire argument. One can not salvage anything from that smoking heap of trash. Building an argument is like building a house: if one creates a bad foundation, then the entire structure crumbles. There is no picking through the rubble to see what is still usable.

Let's just take a few undisputed facts, shall we? One, the Earth's climate vacillates between hot and cold on scales ranging from yearly to thousands of years. Two, all of the planets in the solar system have been showing signs of climate change for the past 25 years. Three, a single volcanic eruption spews out more greenhouse gasses in a single event than all of humanity's efforts over the past 500 years. Four, the average global temperature over the past 15 years has been steady or dropping (thus the change from Global Warming to Climate Change, since we weren't warming any more). Five, warming cycles, even in recorded history, have been far more drastic, and pre-date the use of fossil fuels on a mass scale. Six, carbon is a very weak greenhouse gas, compared to methane and water vapor (i.e.-all natural byproducts of life itself). Seven, all life as we know it is carbon-based, exhales carbon (except plants which inhale it during daylight hours) and coral reefs are built with carbon. So all these things are part of the problem.

I could go on ad nauseum, but I think you start to see the point: in order to achieve what the Global Warming/Climate Change numbnuts want, significant amounts of life must be extinguished, and the whole thing is predicated on scientific fraud. This doesn't even begin to address the role of the Sun in Climate Change, or the involvement of electro-magnetic forces in the cycles of planetary cycles. In other words, we as a species hardly understand what we are talking about, much less how to manipulate it to our advantage.

The natural conclusion of the Global Warming/Climate Change argument is that great amounts of life must be extinguished in order to maintain a climate that is suitable for some ideal standard that is completely arbitrary. Furthermore, most of the people who espouse GW/CC also believe in evolution, which posits that life adapts to external stimulae, therefore they are denying our right as a species to evolve based on external changes.

Frankly, the whole thing is insane and is so easy to pick apart. I just took the low-hanging fruit here, but with several hours of your time, I could easily pull the whole thing apart line by line. And that's just off the top of my head.

In conclusion, the film linked at the top of this screed can be seen for what it is: a propagandistic min-control tool to sub-consciously force conformity on children, whose minds are not yet ready to filter such filth. Furthermore, it espouses an idealism that is clearly fraudulent and logically unsound, containing multiple internal fallacies, as well as denying other arguments upon which these same people rest their worldview.

Frankly, I am both apalled and amused. Apalled that these people would resort to such crass and blunt attempts to force us into submission, and amused that they have shown their hand so clearly and publically.

This ditty of a film, combined with ClimateGate, should easily demonstrate to any thinking person that the GW/CC argument is a dead-letter, and show that by resorting to this kind of crap, thay are aware of it and desparately trying to save their precious religion.

But, of course, you and I are much smarter than that.

2.10.10

It's All Bullshit!

Don't you see it? Doesn't it register? Has everyone been OWNED?

Ever get the feeling you're Kevin McCarthy in a world full of Pod People? The whole freakin' world's gone berserk and you are the last man standing.

See...here's the thing...you can do anything you want as long as it is within the parameters laid out for you. That's right, you are free as long as you stay inside the fence. If you dare to wander outside the fence, THEY with caddle prods (Tasers) to shoo you back in. If that's not enough, then THEY have brain taps (shotguns) that both ensure you don't get out of line again, and provide fodder for the Soylent Green factory.

You and I are nothing more than meat for the well-fed. As long as you stay within your corral, you will be allowed to live. If you step outside of it, you must die. Or everyone around you must die, so that you finally cry, "Uncle," and end up loving Big Brother.

You see? It's not enough that you knuckle under...you must be broken.

The WHOLE DAMN THING is a sham, a farce, a buah si malah kala.

Remember the opening for the Outer Limits?

"There is nothing wrong with your television set. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are controlling transmission. If we wish to make it louder, we will bring up the volume. If we wish to make it softer, we will tune it to a whisper. We will control the horizontal. We will control the vertical. We can roll the image; make it flutter. We can change the focus to a soft blur or sharpen it to crystal clarity. For the next hour, sit quietly and we will control all that you see and hear. We repeat: there is nothing wrong with your television set. You are about to participate in a great adventure. You are about to experience the awe and mystery which reaches from the inner mind to the outer limits."

To be fair, we were warned, just that most of us didn't take it seriously. Here's an example:

You feel that the public schools are a sham, but you can't afford or don't want your child indoctrinated into private schooling. So you homeschool. At first, that got you Tasered. Now, you are ALLOWED to do it, but you must choose from approved curricula and you must abide by STATE rules. Free inside the fence.

Here's another example: you don't think, after hours of eye-bleeding research, that vaccinations are good for your children. So you refuse. You can fill out the form at school that gives you exemption, but all that does is call in the Satanic Child Protective Services, because you aren't injecting your children with untested and unproven poisons.

Think vaccinations are effective? Then why do THEY quarantine kids who get mumps? Gee, didn't they get their injections? Aren't they immune? How did that first kid, with all the damn injections, get sick in the first place? And if the vaccines really work, then why is that kid quarantined, since all the other kids are supposedly immune?

How about one more example? You live in a police state, I mean country, that is waging illegal wars all over the planet under false pretenses, and that country's annual budget is about half allocated to the military. So, in good conscience, you withhold 50% of your taxes to protest the wanton slaughter of innocents in your name. Hey, that'll get you a brain tap right there.
!
It's all B-U-L-L-S-H-I-T!

Don't believe any of it. That's a good start. The next step is to listen to that little voice inside that is increasingly being squished. It's telling you, "This is all wrong." And if all that is stopping you is fear of Tasers, then douse yourself in water before a confrontation.

The next big step is turn OFF the damn TV! There is nothing worth watching on it, no matter how many channels you have. Not only turn it off, but throw the damn thing out in the streets, while screaming, "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!"

There is life after media, if you just take the first step. Start consuming it, before it consumes you. From what I can see, you're just Debra Harry's bitch.

Wake up world! The mediots own you. Stop it now! It's almost too late. Don't let Kevin McCarthy be right...show him there is still some humanity in the world. Start exercising your mind. Don't wait for 'authorities' to tell you what you already know. Follow that little voice inside. It is trying to tell you what is best for you. Believe it or not, THEY don't own that voice yet...but THEY are getting there.

From now on, anytime someone wants to tell you what to do, ask them to do it to their children first.

You'll get the picture.

1.10.10

The Family That Prays Together...

American families and friends are joining forces to survive the new depression.

It's about damn time! Having lived in the 'third world' for close to three years now, I for one celebrate this new direction in American cultural dynamics. Frankly, the primary difference between 'advanced' nations and 'developing' countries is the destruction of families. The only major advance that is so-called 'first' and 'second' world offers is the complete ruin of families, and the subsequent reliance on Big Brother for the daily bread and butter. The unintended (or was it intended) consequence of FDR's Social Security and LBJ's Great Society was the undermining of the family unit and the of the father as ultimate authority.

Here in Indonesia, there are low taxes, strong families and a complete reliance on self for survival. The result is a weak government, cheap health care and expanded economic opportunities. In other words, America could stand to learn from the 'developing' world.

In Indonesia, there is no MediCare or MediCaid, no Social Security, no welfare or subsidized housing, no food stamps, and a nearly 100% cash society. As a result, taxes are low, government regulation and control is virtually non-existant and families are strong and cohesive. The father is the ultimate authority and his value to society is judged by the success of his family. The family helps its own, with multiple generations living in a single or group of houses. All members of the family are expected to contribute to the overall needs of the family, and even children who move away to other locations for work send home monthly stipends. The family contributes to educating the children and by pooling resources, can hope to get some or all through collage so that they can improve their income and thus contribute greater amounts to the family wealth.

Health care is cheap and there are multiple alternatives. One can get therapeutic massage, two hours for less than $5. One can choose traditional hearbalists, acupuncture, western-style pill-popping, and any of a number of other options, for low cost and easy access. Doctors build up their practices because they are effective, not because they have a staff good at milking the government teat, and they compete with the traditional herbalists and reflexologists. A doctor visit runs about $18, and that is not a co-pay, that is the out-of-pocket cash price. If the individual requires surgery or long-term care, the family shares the burden, not the society. All decisions regarding a member's care are kept within the family and not delegated to some anonymous review board or (God forbid) a government agency.

Due to a virtual lack of government regulation and no army of tax-paid nincompoops with guns running around enforcing laws willy-nilly, the family can freely pursue many avenues to generate income. If the house has a large forecourt and there is a good cook in the family, they can open a small restaurant in front. No licenses, permits or jack-booted thugs demanding a cut. The only regulation is the market. If the food is good, the portions fair and the price reasonable, the customers come. If it gets a reputation for making people sick, they stop coming. Very simple and effective and uses no tax money whatsoever. Grandma can take in laundry. Mom can open a small store. Dad can operate a motorcycle repair. If you are good at something, you open your own business; no DBA, no permits, no bullshit. Dad is expected to have the job outside to bring in the paycheck, but Mom can operate any number of businesses out of the house while watching the kids and there's no need to day-care.

For those who go off in search of work, there are rooms for rent, called kost, that run about $40 a month, and a bowl of meatball soup costs around 50 cents. If you are fairly successful, you can rent a house for less than $2,000 per year, your monthly electric bill for high usage runs about $30, and you can eat pretty darned good for far less than $100 per month. If things are going really well, you can buy a house in many areas for around $25,000 for three bedrooms, and you can run businesses out of the house to make it pay for itself without burdensome government interference. You can buy a motorcycle, no frills, for $1,000,and you can help pay for it by charging folks for short rides (called ojek), or you can use the public transportation (most of which is privately owned) for less than a dollar a day to go pretty much anywhere in the city. You can completely gut the house and remodel it without a single permit or license, if you want.

The long-term result is that people rely on themselves for their own well-being. Taxes are low because there are no services from government, no regulations to enforce and people generally never consider looking to government for help of any kind. In fact, there is no equivalent expression in Indonesian for, "There oughta be a law." Government agents don't carry guns and most people simply ignore them. What a great system!

What's the downside? You are responsible for your own mistakes. Success or failure is entirely your own. The well-being of the family requires strong leadership from the father and he is given more-or-less free rein to operate. The family is self-regulating. If there is an abusive member, the family deals with it. Problems are addressed inside the family and the government leaches are not allowed into the circle.

The whole point here, is that once a society turns to some 'authority' to police itself and to provide 'security' for it, then the natural result is rising taxes, lower efficiency, intrusive regulation, and destruction of the social and cultural core: the family. Once the family is destroyed, civil society breaks down, gangs roam freely and the moral and ethical fabric unravels. When that happens, then corporations become predatory, greed becomes the norm and government becomes authoritarian, if not outright totalitarian. One need look no further than America at this moment to see the results. Beginning with FDR and culminating with Obama, the country has unwound itself, with the concomitant destruction of society and economy. Once public servants became 'authorities,' then people stopped thinking for themselves. Once government became the provider of 'social welfare,' society stopped caring for itself. Once society looked to 'law' for moral direction, it stopped worrying about right or wrong. To support the outcome, it was necessary to tax the individual into poverty and borrow against posterity in order to maintain the facade, while the interior living space degraded into unlivable conditions.

How can America call itself advanced when it has legislated and mandated that every individual remain a child for life? Unable to mature into adults, enforced by the threat of death, the country has devolved into chaos and poverty, not just for its current inhabitants, but for generations to come. What would be if America had chosen to build a Great Society without the help of government? What if it had chosen to strengthen families and clear the path for individual success? What if?

Indonesia is by no means perfect, but if it stays on its current path and rejects an increased role for government in the daily life of the family, it may become a greater society than even America ever dreamed. It will certainly be mentally and spiritually healthier than the rotted out soul that is America today.

There are many lessons to be learned from the 'third world.'