Monday, August 22, 2016

Back in Amerika

Firstly, let me just say that I love my country.  I'm on social media calling out the corruption and decline I see going on with America not because I get off on that, but because I hate it.  I want my country and it's people to be as strong, moral, and prosperous as possible...and I see us collectively continuously making choices that take us in directions far from those three things.  I try to wake people up, and people are waking up (not due to me but due to a lot of factors, like the internet being mostly free of interference at the moment).  I perhaps play a micro part in this larger macro movement.  Yet even though I'm glad people are "waking up" I fear what form that "waking up" will take.  More on that another time.

But sometimes I need a break from the slime I read and share daily (and I hope you take many breaks as well...and balance the slime with positive things...sanity is a good thing).  I had a long break for two weeks.  I was in Bulgaria with my wife trying to work out an adoption of a little boy with special needs.  In the end it was a heart breaking trip as the adoption did not work out...but amidst the heart ache it was really good for me to get into another part of the world and gain some perspective.

We are so blessed in this country.  Europe has been ripped apart for centuries as little tribes and ethnicities duke it out for land and glory.  Our own country has a dark history with slavery and the treatment of native peoples, but despite that we mostly get along and those with the will to succeed mostly can...though crony capitalism and the outsourcing of our economy threaten that.  Again more thoughts on that another time.

All I can say is it is kind of a bummer to be back.  I met some great people in Bulgaria.  The food was inexpensive, healthy, and better tasting than what we eat here in America.  I have some health issues and NONE of them affected me when I was in Bulgaria...but literally the day I got back to the States they hit me.  Part of that might have been some grace from God just so I could enjoy the trip more...but I have a feeling it was also related the the crap food I eat.  In Bulgaria you don't have to go out of your way to farmer's markets or trendy expensive specialty grocery stores to eat healthy because (at least for now) most of their food is organic by default.  We here in America are essentially eating bio-engineered dog food...and obesity and health problem are skyrocketing because of it. I LOST weight in Bulgaria even though I ate like a pig because the food was so good and cheap.

Part of that weight loss is the cities in Bulgaria tend to be more designed to foster community.  You walk to the city centers and walk to the grocery stores or whatever you need.  Sure they have cars but you need them a lot less.  I dug going to city centers where people of all ages congregated for people watching, meeting up, letting their kids play, and eating some good food.  There are a lot of cities/towns in the USA that are like this, but there are so many (usually the more modern ones) that are not.  I miss that already even though the smaller town I live in has this to a degree...but not to the degree that I observed in the towns I saw in Bulgaria.

Lastly dealing with US regulations and bureaucracies is a bummer.  The amount of hoops we had to jump through and the expense of our adoption attempt has been staggering.  Dealing with security at the airport and filling out the little custom declarations were minor announces but it could be so simplified.  And then I got home to some random IRS audit triggered by me being honest on some health care spending that triggered some auditor to declare all my health care spending from my HSA as "income" and hitting me up with a huge bill and penalty.  And of course I was gone so I have a very small window to correct this. So I have to deal with documenting all my HSA spending today.  Fun times.  Welcome back to Amerika, here is a little reminder of how our bureaucracies and corporations are tending to treat us like serfs and revenue streams rather than sovereign citizens.  Fill out your little forms and pay your fines.

Of course my stay in Bulgaria had only a limited view.  I'm sure daily living and dealing with bureaucracies there might even be worse...but I keep reading how expats that have been away from America for ten years don't even recognize the country when they come back as it is changing (generally for the worse) so fast.

I'm proud of what my ancestors have done here in America.  I'm proud of my country's mainly positive impact on the world (despite some dark chapters and the recent wars we screwed up in the Middle East...more on that another time).   But in life I'm always about looking for another adventure...looking to hike over another hill hoping that what is on the other side is different than what I just left.  My wife and I stood on a hill and looked down into a valley with a lot of possibilities, challenges, and most of all...different.  I think that will affect us and possibly lead us to living overseas for a few years very soon.  If I can continue to work as I do now my income is high enough to support us both in Bulgaria in a lifestyle that is greater than what my income alone can afford here.  If my wife can find something online or in Bulgaria (which will be a pain because of EU and Bulgarian rules) we might find ourselves there in a year or two.

I love my country but maybe I need a break.  I acknowledge that Americans even in our decline are still blessed more than any other people in the world.  But individual millage might very in the new world order...and I'm mobile so I can test the waters.  I think we will test those waters, and have an adventure, leaving our current set of troubles behind for a new more interesting set, all things remaining equal.

Friday, July 15, 2016

My Thoughts on the Unfolding Turkish Coup

I think I can shed some light on what is going on in Turkey, so I will.
1) The country's government was secularized by Mustafa Kermal who is known as the Father of Turkey, or "Ataturk", in the earlier part of the 20th century. Since then the secularist, or "Kermalist" have generally held power in Turkey and the military there is taughtsecular principles.
2) The secularist are corrupt, and people get tired of them. So they vote for the islamic parties as a protest vote, knowing if the islamist take things too far the military will step in and kick them out. This has happened (four?) times recently in Turkish history.
3) Turkey is obsessed with becoming part of the EU. For this reason the military has shown great restraint and not thrown any coups lately. This has enabled islamist to take things farther than previously would have been allowed.
4) US policy in the region (i.e. invasion of Iraq) has pissed a lot of people off in Turkey, and has strengthened islamist support more than in the past.
5) Ergodan, the islamist current president of Turkey, has used points 3 & 4 above to really push Turkey in a more islamic direction. Ergodan recently rewrote the Turkish Constitution and replaced mentions of secular Ataturk with the term "the founder" and basically removed some of the secular controls in the old version. Ergodan has also recently consolidated power by firing and forcing out / replacing many of his more secular leading opponents both in government AND in the Turkish military, which is kind of unprecedented. Ergodan has been removing strong secularist generals in the military, and snubbed a potential coup a few years ago successfully and tried a lot of senior military leaders for treason.
I guess the secularist have finally had enough. Due to the attitude changes I'm not sure how this coup will play out. I hope things settle down with the minimal amount of life and property loss as possible. I'm more of a Kermalist so I'm not sorry to see Ergodan ousted, but I'd really, really hate for this to get ugly.
Turkey is an interesting country full of beauty and history. The people there are mostly nice to foreigners. I'd hate to see it be ripped apart by civil war. Hopefully this will end soon.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

10 Thoughts on the #Brexit

Here are my quick thoughts on the UK's referendum to leave the EU.
  1. I figured the referendum had popular support, but I thought it would be close enough so the usual powers that be could use voter fraud to make the referendum fail.  This didn't happen.
  2. It was strange to me that the EU didn't really try (at least from my limited knowledge) to keep the UK in the EU.  No big pushes to try to negotiate a compromise that would keep the UK in the EU.  Elites and EU backers grumbled and threatened, but not really that much.  Some like George Soros even publicly denounced UK's efforts to leave while at the same time he was arranging his financial assets to make money off of a UK exit.
  3. The  bodes well for a Trump presidency. It shows the leftist globalist order weakening...everywhere. At least it appears this way, it may not be.
  4. It will be interesting to see how this affects NATO. I'm worried it's affects will be negative, and a weaker NATO is bad for Balkan nations bordering on a resurgent Russia.
  5. is a destabilizing event. There will be ripples. The British Pound took an immediate hit, but I don't expect that to last. Other financial and political problems will arise from this globally. As to how big those ripples will be I'm not sure.
  6. More EU states will seek to withdraw. Not sure 3 years from now what left in the EU other than Germany and a few others.
  7. Scotland and other parts of the UK might try to stay in the EU or do a which will be interesting to watch. Other areas outside of the EU might look at the UK's exit out of the EU as a role model for their own separatist aspirations. Heck even in the US the Texas secession movement got a boost from the Brexit.
  8. In the end all of this is the EU's fault. The EU got too undemocratic and Brits got tired of taking orders from un-elected bureaucrats and they did something about this. There is a lesson to be learned here by all parties.
  9. The British Parliament has to ratify this referendum (likely) and there is also a two year time table for with drawl. I have a feeling this won't be a clean break and a lot of forces will try to negotiate a lot of side deals between the EU and the UK (like the UK still adhering to many business and medical standards devised by the EU). So I'm not sure this will even be a clean break from the EU for the UK. Just more autonomy.
  10. This could be taken as a big setback for Globalism and it's supporters.  As [THIS] article points out that may not be the case at all.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Predictions for 2016

Normally I like to make predictions for the upcoming year, but I gotta tell ya.  This year I'm kind of stumped.  I mean I could make a bunch, but my confidence level in any of them is pretty low.  But I'll try to come up with 10 of them, not setting my sites too high.

  1. Fed will have the interest rate back up to at least .5% if not .75% by the end of the year.
  2. The Trans Pacific Partnership will pass.
  3. Trump will get the republican nomination and will be the next president (my confidence level in this one is low...but out of all the scenarios I see this as the most likely).
  4. There will be legitimate Congressional blow back to Obama's lawlessness on immigration.  Some of his executive orders will be reversed.
  5. Nothing will happen to Hillary for all her illegal activities at the State Department and with the Clinton Foundation.
  6. Fighting will continue in Ukraine for most of the year but stabilize towards the end of the year.
  7. Ebola will make a big come back in Africa, and you could see more cases in the West, but it will not be a pandemic, yet.
  8. Assad will still be in power in 2017.
  9. Middle class will start becoming a real voice of power in America.  The middle class will make it harder for the party of DC to get it's way, though they still will but with substantial more push back.
  10.  Private companies will begin censorship on their own on a much greater degree in 2016 to comply with the regimes expressed or hinted at's wishes.
  11. There will be at least two islamic militant attacks on US soil...unfortunately.
Well, there is 10 predictions plus a bonus.  Write yours in the comments.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Seven Quick Indicators of Disinformation

This list is a rough approximation of "Signs of Disinformation" from Russ Dizdar's podcast from 2014-07-07 (yes a year ago not a mistype). I think we all need to look at this list and think real hard on the various "fringe" conspiracy sites that dribble (mis)information as a self check. I know I do.
  1. Seems like info is a secret or semi secret
  2. Details but not enough to nail anything down
  3. Comes in pieces
  4. Leads to looking in wrong direction
  5. Leads to old/uncollaborated info
  6. Keeps you running in circles
  7. Leads you to a trap to set you up (discrediting, using you as a dupe, worse)

I won't name names of sites or "ministries", but I've been into the conspiracy game since I was 18. I've seen a lot during that time. Some popular sites / people immediately came to mind when reading this.

BTW, the picture above comes from the book, Disinformation: Former Spy Chief Reveals Secret Strategies for Undermining Freedom, Attacking Religion, and Promoting Terrorism

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Podcast: Cognitive Dissonance and the Occult in Politics

Why is our political leadership so horrible?

  • Natural corruption of man (Both parties corrupt)
  • Systemic Corruption allows deep state / corptocracy to get it's way on items it cares about
Yet this doesn't explain it all.  We should be able to over come these issues and inact meaningful political reform.  But we cannot.  Why?

Why Reforms Fail: The Spiritual Component of Politics
  • Cognitive Dissonance makes us forget what we know.  That there is a spiritual war on and our leaders are targets. We must keep that in focus.
  • Some talented individuals when young are targeted by dark forces and groomed to be in positions of power.  Some believe they are working for divine forces and are deceived, some know exactly who they are working for and don't care because they gain power/wealth/fame/sex.
  • Well meaning politicans gain power and are targeted to be compromised.  They are lured into immoral behavoir / addictions so that they can be controlled by black mail or other forms of intimidation.
  • Dark forces using human dupes and spiritual dupes to protect it's minions in power so when they are caught in bad or illegal behavoir they are protected so nothing comes of it.
  • Ezeikiel 8 in the Bible provides a good model of how the leaders of a nation turn from righteousness to idolatry.  For America it is turning from individualism, Biblical morality, and Constitutional limited government something else.
So, How Do We Win?
  • Romans 13 We must pray for our leaders and our country.  Without spiritual protection and the provision of God politicians no matter who they are make easy targets for spiritual forces that seek to keep control of world governments.
  • Pray for both the good one and the bad ones.  Jesus died for them and wants to free them.  I'm convinced he also wants to use them and their talents He gave them to be a blessing to us and not a curse.
  • Give up hate.  That doesn't mean you shouldn't oppose bad policy nor evil men, but understand our leaders are targets and slaves.  When they fall do not rejoice instead feel sorrow and pray for the leaders that remain will repent and lead wisely

Friday, April 3, 2015

More Cautious Predictions

I was cleaning up my computer and I found this....not sure when I wrote it but not that long ago.

1) % of GDP represented by gov spending will go up
2) Wide gap between promised benefits and what you get
3) Prices for things will go up, but not across board evenly, more and more things will debut in Europe / Asia before they get here
4) More fees, taxes, gov might float confiscating 401K's to "protect you".
5) Tangible assets will grow in value way above inflation rate
6) Moves to make it harder to expat with your resources
7) Less small business, more gov / business partnerships
8) Wealth inequity will grow and grow, regardless of who is in office
9) Push to make driving / freedom of movement harder (taxes by the mile, expense)
10) Greater generational divide in wealth and opportunity (gen y sucked)
11) Greater surveillance and use of para military forces
12) Illiteracy and lack of even basic math skills from gov schools
13) More "gated" communities and more slums (Detroit coming to more places)
14) More pot holes, water quality less, brown outs
15) More draconian licensing fees for dogs, cats
16) Less good paying jobs, greater reliance on food stamps / subsidies, many work no job or 2 or 3 jobs
17) College participation will go down, and higher percentage of women then men by growing margins in traditional college
18) More checkpoints
19) Increasing soft persecution of dissidents and undesirables (background checks of social media)
20) Harder to legally own firearms
21) Gonna be lot's of international conflict in which US / West is retreating, will affect value of dollar and trade, some shortages of items and cost of things will fluxuate, plus anxiety in USA will go up.
22) Medical bankruptcies still a #1 reason ppl will go bankrupt, and it will get worse.

Should I bail (Expat)
1) Is your income still US based, and what would that mean if USD declines dramatically?
2) Do you have a network of support?
3) Would world events cause resentment towards Americans? Will you stick out?
4) Do you need to travel into and out of USA a lot? Taxes a pain.
5) Police state has a far reach...
6) US was gauranteer of security in much of the western world, will be very unreliable, you will be even more on your own.  Might want to live in areas where regional hegemon projects stability.