Sunday, November 18, 2007

Breaking Free of the Money Tyranny by Louis Evan Palmer

There are alternatives to money and the more and better they are, the stronger our collective liberty will be: for there is no doubt that money is the key to the now creeping, now galloping, enslavement we find with us and all around us. As with everything, there are good alternatives and problematic alternatives.

For example, Liberty dollars, issued by the National Organization for the Repeal of the Federal Reserve Act and the Internal Revenue Code, have been targeted by the US Justice department as illegal. You may not want to get too deep into that source of value even though they're mostly made of silver and backed by silver and gold.

Company script is another option although one that has seen its share of abuse especially in company-run towns of the type made infamous by the Ernie William's song "Sixteen Tons". For those who may not have heard about this, it's where you have a one company town, usually resource-based, and everything in the town is owned and operated by the company; in addition, everything is paid for in company script - food, clothes, shelter, etc. Of course, if you have a monopoly, you're going to get robber-baron prices and the workers ending up owing the company money so they can't even quit. If we did this to prisoners, they'd never get out!

There are other types of script from stores, usually chains, or "destinations" like Disney where you can spend their money in their stores and parks and ships. The city of Toronto has an alternative money called "Toronto dollars". Several American cities also have their own type of script or "dollars".

As long as these alternatives don't encompass much of the economy, they won't attract the wrath of the government. However, when they do, such as the above mentioned "Liberty" dollars, then the government can be expected to act. There is something profoundly wrong with this though. Some countries will allow foreign currency, say American dollars, to circulate either officially or without protest. With currencies trading across borders, countries have given up a measure of control to persons and entities that have, and can move, large amounts of currency quickly.

With other financial instruments such as Bonds and Stocks, the government has permitted themselves, corporations, other governments and various money managers to inject supply into the system as these instruments must at some point translate into dollars or yen or euros, etc.

Then there are any and all types of credit cards and debit cards and checking accounts with overdraft privileges. All ways of creating money. So, there shouldn't be an issue with ordinary citizens taking some control and benefit for themselves.

In theory there is nothing to stop a group of like-minded individuals from setting up a trading & supply organization that is sufficiently large enough to be able to provide for all the necessities of life and issues its own trading vouchers. For people working within that trading block, they can be paid in these vouchers and pay for everything they need from within it. To some degree, they will have broken away from the official economy although they will have to accrue official currency or credits for it to pay taxes and the like but aside from that they will be autonomous.

Alternate systems of exchange are happening on a widening scale and with the right push here and there, it can become the mainstream way of running things. At the very least, it will serve as a brake and a check on the runaway robber-baron system we currently have.
Breaking Free of the Money Tyranny, Louis Evan Palmer, The Way It Can Be, --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Copyright 2007 Louis Evan Palmer lives in Ontario Canada. His short stories have appeared in numerous publications.


The "Non-Lethal" Deception by Louis Evan Palmer

The ACLU states that a person has died every 600 times pepper spray has been used by the police. It's front page news, although not enough it appears, when people die from tasering. There are arguments about whether these so-called non-lethal weapons are non-lethal or used properly or necessary. The key premise underpinning everything is whether police forces should be allowed to kill people under any circumstances. The euphemism "use of lethal force" is a ruse to get us to avoid re-evaluating that fundamental premise. If it's not to be allowed anymore then most of the debates melt away. Anything that can be expected to kill someone would not be permitted. After that, strict usage guidelines on permitted non-lethal weapons based on independent testing must be enforced to ensure public safety.

Hospitals face irrational and violent people on a daily basis and are able to effectively deal with these people in a non-lethal, usually non-violent, way. In a democracy police forces are subject to society's control and direction. We can't allow the agenda to be usurped by weapons-makers and apologists for the new arms-length policing.

The advent of the so-called non-lethal weapons has seen an increase in police violence. It would be interesting to see if police shootings have even declined in numbers. Part of the game is to control statistics so the public can't discover the truth and draw its own conclusions. It's a certainty that many previously ordinary situations have escalated into taserings or pepper-sprayings. We read about children and the elderly being tasered. This reflects a lazy, me-first and the public-be-damned type of policing that is taking hold.

The most common police motto is "To serve and protect". That is the noble tradition to be upheld. It should have nothing to do with killing anyone and the way to make that happen is for society as whole to declare that that's the way it's going to be. Then the vast ingenuity of all our societies can become focused on truly non-lethal weapons that, in some cases, would be wielded by specialist forces with validated cause. For the rest of the situations, police should be trained and compelled to use old-fashioned approaches and techniques like talking to people and the simple & fast use of pressure points and the twisting & grappling of limbs.

Police work can be dangerous because you may be called upon to confront and deal with dangerous violent people. That doesn't mean you get carte blanche to "serve & protect" yourself or your colleagues. It's not about "us and them" or declaring war on broader and broader swaths of society. It also doesn't mean that society should allow weapons-makers to taint the testing and accreditation process and to foist weapons on the public via police forces and ex-officers turned shills. It goes without saying that any and all mercenary "for hire" type forces are strictly prohibited.

Yes, this would mean no guns, tasers or pepper spray for the police. We need a return to face-to-face hands-on policing and a new no-killing-ever philosophy. We need serious research and development into truly safe, non-lethal weapons with independent testing and non-police-affiliated oversight and transparent decision-making. This would be real progress. What we have now is a quickening descent into fascism.

The "Non-Lethal" Deception, Louis Evan Palmer, The Way It Can Be,
Copyright 2007 Louis Evan Palmer lives in Ontario Canada. His short stories have appeared in numerous publications.


Monday, November 12, 2007

When Loyalty is Everything by Louis Evan Palmer

Loyalty can be anything you want once you get into the breathtaking variety of things one can be said to have loyalty to or the ways one can express loyalty. But this article is more of an exploration of what loyalty should be in its best sense.That is, it is about "good" loyalty; more, it is about the kind of loyalty that ennobles living or can even redeem a life.

That kind of loyalty calls to mind the unswerving faithfulness of Penelope in the Iliad and Odyssey. It might also make us think of a comrade-in-arms who risks or gives his life to protect others in their unit. It is an expression of a personal relationship. It may be a one-way relationship which might be considered as "bad" loyalty in that it is likely to be infantile or imagined versus a mutual loyalty in which each person, or being, bonds at some level with the other. "Being" is introduced to account for bonds of loyalty between people and animals.

Good loyalty is between one being and another and is an expression of allegiance to higher values. It is not swayed by considerations of money or favour. It will endure hardships in the defense of a given person or upholding their interests or reputation. Good loyalty has a duty to a higher good as expressed in a given person and their relationships.

When times are difficult, when dangers abounds, the premium on loyalty climbs. It is probably evenly split in those trying circumstances between "bad" loyalty and "good". Between loyalty wrapped in fear and food and survival and loyalty founded on deep connections and affection. Then who is loyal is a matter of life and death. One who lives because of the loyalty of another will carry an obligation. Loyalty is the feeling that something is owed, that something must be paid.

We know that loyalty is a good because someone who was devoid of it would not be recognized as truly human; their dealings would be flawed and it would be noticeable that they could not be trusted. Yet, it is not a slavish deference or catering. It is often best expressed as what it is not - it is not betrayal, abandonment or deceit. It does not countenance diminishment or insult.

Let us end our look at loyalty with dogs: the expression "a dog is man's best friend" to a great extent reflects their loyalty and their "by your side" reliability and genuineness. Loyalty is what makes your best friend best. In a world gone bad, it might be the only good thing left.

When Loyalty is Everything, Louis Evan Palmer, The Way It Can Be, --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Copyright 2007 Louis Evan Palmer lives in Ontario Canada. His short stories have appeared in numerous publications.


Saturday, November 03, 2007

Ban Genetically Modified Organisms by Louis Evan Palmer

The horrible truth about GMOs beyond anything that anyone does or claims is that creating a GMO is always a roll of the dice and we cannot survive a single loss. The reason it's a roll of the dice is we understand very little of the intensely complex and long-reaching relationships between the various organisms and environments and their associated chemistries and physics. Once we make a mistake in this sphere, it's in play, it starts replicating and interacting and altering its environment, our shared environment. We don't know enough to play this game. We may never know enough. We only have this one Earth and if we lose it then we're doomed.

There are already stories of how close we have come to obliterating ourselves. It's a certainty that for every story that makes it into the public domain, however briefly or tangentially, there are ten others that don't, that happened but knowledge of which is blocked by non-disclosure agreements, by the inability of people to lose their income, by threats or actual violence.

One such roll of the dice goes by the non-descript acronym of SDF-20. It is different from SDF-15 which is a normal regular baterium called Klebsiella planticola. We are told that SDF-20 is "genetically engineered" which implies that we know what we're doing. It's a lie. We know how to modify certain bacterium but we have only the sketchiest of ideas on how it fits into everything else which is where it's being placed.

It almost doesn't matter why SDF-20 was created, the basic reason is always the same, to make money. In this particular case, the object was to create more ethanol out of farm waste. It would also use the fermentation residues on the farm soil as a fertilizer. The testing used sterile soil as all testing does. Here was a huge error. This was caught in time by a Phd candidate at Oregon University who decided that testing should also use normal soil. All the plants in the test in normal soil died. SDF-20 had coated the plants' roots with deadly concentrations of ethanol.

There were various presentantions before government agencies such a one in New Zealand. The New Zeland scientists argued like their next paycheck depended on Monsanto. But none of the INs and OUTs of their nuances and point counterpoint matter. This could have slipped through and killed all living plants because we don't completely and profoundly know what we're doing and that is what is required. We can't outsource this or 80/20 it or anything else.

The GMO danger is immense. They must be banned immediately!

Genetically Modified Organisms, The Way It Can Be, Louis Evan Palmer,
Copyright 2007 Louis Evan Palmer lives in Ontario Canada. His short stories have appeared in numerous publications.