BRICS Union’s Golden Future

B= Brazil  (Gold)

R= Russia (Gold)

I= India (Gold)

C= China (Gold)

S= South Africa (Gold)    South Africa alone, holds <40% of world gold reserves.

Smearing the Lines Between News and Opinion

It’s so difficult, to watch and read news these days. It’s the use of government, special interest, and corporate quotes as facts. It’s representing these statements as truth, with no follow-up investigation to assure truth and accuracy in the reporting, that is disturbing.
The smearing of the line between news facts and opinion, until one isn’t discernible  from the other, by most viewers and readers, is an important  issue . The act alone, almost precludes consumers of these forms of media, from making logical choices based in fact. With dumbed down  news programs, that are short on fact replacing the pertinent, with word manipulation, opinion based propaganda, and additions or censorship’s for the sake of supporting a corporate agenda, I’m not sure what I expect.

These circumstances within sources of information amount to at least lies of omission, and at worst bold-faced overt lies.

Some might think I’m referring to one source over another, right or left broadcasting. No, that is my point. Right/Left broadcasting is counter productive. Whether it’s Fox News or MSNBC, whether it’s Rachel Maddow or Sean Hannity, whether it’s Piers Morgan or Bill O’Reilly, presenting the opinions it matters not. It’s all a disservice to the public.

The public is now and will be, denied facts, investigation, and truth. We’re fed a news diet of opinion based fear and greed. News that’s full of saturated fat, additives, preservatives, and sweeteners. An information diet so unhealthy, were it food, Michael Bloomberg would try to limit or cut it completely from your diet.

Bringing Back Balance

Balance is not achieved by “bailouts” or  protection of “too big to fail” businesses and banks. you gain balance through competition. Balances isn’t gained by treating those who’ve been associated with ethical impropriety, like deities.  Giving them huge bonuses, as if tithing to god.

You create balance when there is competition. This would exclude the act of making “too big to fail”, even larger.

Competition relies on choice. Choice between the medium and the small institutions competing for your business and deposits, with ethical services and care for their customers, “the savers”. A punished class today and tomorrow, if such trends continue.

This is a supply and demand, capitalist structure. A structure that has been totally lost since the end of 2007.

So many things have been and will be lost with this quiet and complete change. The confusion was a created  crisis. The prefect cover and misdirection to keep the public blinded by distraction.

With our change and the worlds change, to saving banks because of their own poor derivative sales purchases and frauds, opposed to protecting their citizens voters and people tells me, the battle ground is now the public’s fight against an elite, power imposed Neo-feudalism .

What’s Sanity?

What is sanity? When the violence crime and other threats to the public are gone, what becomes the new criteria for judgement? Especially when one understands how Psychiatric conditions become known, and have treatment defined.

The loose set of symptomology, within various conditions, allows now for multiple diagnoses. Thus making some condition or another almost assured. Not that is the biggest problem. The biggest problem is getting the correct diagnosis.

So again, who’s to say in the future, who is in need of help? Especially when, voting determines new conditions and treatments, for a group of people requiring a client to return for prescription medication, to support and grow their practices.

When that is the business model, of a supposed medical discipline, the adding of new voted on mental health conditions, not research from a lab, do you really think anyone will leave the office without a prescription? Also, how do you treat with medication, a condition that isn’t always  clear or  diagnosed by medical testing? How is prescribing medication based on guess-work and opinion, medically effective? Who’s then safe from becoming labeled?

Do remember their thinking. For example, now if you’re concerned with health and eating good safe foods, you have a mental health condition called Orthorexia. So remember, there’s always a new condition they want to treat with a pill.  Now in this day and age, even taking good care of yourself and being careful about what you eat, is now a mental illness.

Are You Safe?

Cereal Crimes

I’ve taken some time to considering a few issues conditions and circumstances, I feel could meld into a problem greater than they would otherwise be individually. The connected concerns relate to health, nutrition, family finance, a change in kitchen skills, menu planning, meal preparation,  the advertisement, chemist created, and processed foods.

My first concern was the health of family, friends, and frankly all my human fellows. I see the trends our culture spreads. As we’ve become less healthy in our living style, other counties have taken up the same dangerous path, our changing work and life habits have traveled.

Our change in Nutrition, or what would become known of as nutrition, came with advancements in industries technology and transportation. These sectors required, an ever-increasing work force to support and grow these businesses sectors. First this growth removed time from those already working, as they worked ever-increasing hours. Then the advancement required and took a new workforce. These new workers, drawn from what were at the time traditional family homes. A workforce last employed in war production. When these laborers last worked, they were not just wanted but desperately needed, to make up for those sent to fight overseas.

Family finance had begun to change too, and one income was no longer enough, as public and private debt grew and slow inflation decreased the buying power of the dollar. However, we continued to strive for the instilled ideal, we called the American Dream. The choice was in general, lost for men and women right then. Whether to stay home and raise a family or work, was no longer a question. This new and close to life requirement occurred, just as real calls for women’s rights gained their highest acknowledgment in the public’s eye, for the growing movement. Which for some sharpen beliefs in conservative or traditional values, as it simultaneously changed how the future would define it.

With the change to the family structure, whether it be two parents working, dual parental guardianship between two homes, post divorce , or the fast advance of single parent families over the next two decades, habits further changed in how we fed ourselves, and most particularly our children.

The skills of a new generation changed, as practices from the previous were not longer passed on. The understanding of how to manage a kitchen was lost, as counter space became a pile of plastic and wires, with generations of supposed labor-saving devices. Each of these seemingly to prepare quick, refined, and packaged food stuffs.

Shopping for the weekly groceries had changed. People now had less time. and available stocks of chemically altered, preserved, long shelf-life, long traveled edible products had increased. The shopping of the past, where people purchased fresh ingredients to created meals from, had turned to something mostly seen in Sunday meals and family holidays. Everyday eating had and has turned into something on the run in a bag and a box, to something quick at home from a bag or a box. The term “Convenience Foods” was accepted by the public, and became the pillar of our diets.

Taking the changes over time, and a silent American philosophy, our changing diet’s damage would continue. What is this philosophy? “Bigger is Better”. So we super-sized our diets, wastes, closets, food budgets, cars, health issues, costs and debts.

In all, these problems aren’t only from within, or made strictly based on the time constraints of what we see as the modern world. No. We’ve had more help than we realize, in changing our habits. Our growth into this modern age came with the technology of mass visual media, mass marketing and advertising. All of these capture the mind after you work long hours. All of these manipulations have confronted, and will continue to affect, entire generations of latchkey kids. Visual media becoming a time filling device, as much as entertainment or an electronic baby sitter. But the resulting effect of visual media, even in small children, is readily observed.

There aren’t many of us who haven’t seen the conflict between parents and their children on the cereal aisle or with impulse items at check out. These conflicts often happen over brand named products, and include children younger than reading age. I’m sure many have noted this phenomenon, whether with your own children, or by simple observation on your own shopping journey. But, have you ever asked why? Have you ever asked, are these impulses instilled in me?

With out a doubt, they are in all of use who experience the subtle manipulations of marketing and advertising. Our actions, like over eating, brand name recognition, wanting of a new updated upgraded and improved everything has come over the ether and into our homes each day. We’ve been trained over generations of change and supposed advancement. We’re manipulated by commercials made with the best and brightest in psychology and psychiatry, participating in their creation. Our entertainments reinforce the Clockwork Orange programing. With convenience foods like chips, pizza, and soda taking center stage, but in subtle placements.

Dissatisfaction and boycott, complaint and notification to a complicit press, don’t often bring change. Reason awareness and dissemination of education, as to these bumps weighed options and mind manipulations is a start. The path behind us destroyed. and the other we influence are destroying their paths back, never looking behind.

Our true revelation of the path we’ve tread is still ahead. What caused our turns on this path, who set up the signs, and who changed them, like a table-cloth, is still to unfold. But for now, as you sit down for your next 16 oz steak, pint of Ben and Jerry’s, or giant tub of movie theater popcorn with extra butter, maybe some of what I’ve mentioned here, could be food for thought.

 

The Austerity Sandwich

What is the result of gorging, on economic indulgence? The Austerity Sandwich.
There’s a lot more gorging going on, on the people, than by the people. Even though few within the middle working classes have acknowledged it. Soon though.
You see the “Funny Thing” is, the corporate person can’t eat the sandwich. Who eats the austerity sandwich? Take one guess……with a continuing zero percent interest-rate policy (ZIRP)…it’s you. You, the non corporate, real human-being .
I fear soon, capital from middle and working class investments will have finally depleted enough for true, cross party line outrage. Whether the change will present a new leading political, economic philosophy, for our banking and investment culture, I can’t say. I also can’t say if it would be for the better. Unfortunately, my gut says, I doubt it, and I have Celiac Disease.
All I can say looking into the future at The Austerity Sandwich is, Oh Sh*t.

Make the Transformation

The observer in me has little to do with, the entertainments on offer from the mainstream media.

I  know when my taste for the light programing on offer, transformed. I had been a TV junkie from youngster, into my mid-teens. The sheer fiction, was an escape then for me. The change was a realization, while watching real people in real distress, over a 90 day period.

Fiction of a mind and the realities of a life, are overwhelming at times, just to see. Hearing the truths of a life, can bring you to sobbing tears. Being let into the fiction in a mind causes laughter intrigue, and even at times fear.

The transformation is one of understanding, even maturity. Movies, sitcoms, night-time soap-operas serials,and the news, will never be real. Ads try to sell you what you don’t need. The news is, dumbed down and propagandized. A sit-com shows you a life of mirth, people don’t normally have, and make you want it. Night time soaps show men or women stylized in a dream, and they will never be your partner. The serial dramas show you power and wealth regular people don’t have, but leave you desirous of both. The Movies are all the above.

These tools used to manipulate opinion and sell products, have the mind trapped. They have minds earning for a false reality. Why does the world not change? Trapped minds living in a media created, false reality of escapism.

Escapism to other lives and experiences. And all the goods advertised during the ad break, silently say, I can give you  your hearts deepest desire.  These goods will bring you happiness success and love, is a brazen fiction of the mind. The shows serve to distract you, from the problems and concerns of daily life. The news shapes itself, to what you need to hear., to keep you feeding into the Colosseum for the show.

The slap of reality, brought the transformation. Real people. Real life. These are real entertainments. It all starts with turning off “The Idiot Box” and tuning back on our real relationships. . As there will never be anything more interesting, comical, scary, moving, alluring, educating or down right entertaining, than those we allow into our lives. When we make our transformation, and turn off the tool of manipulation, “The Idiot Box”, and turn on to the one truth, all we will ever really have is each other. Frugality is all that’s needed, not forbiddance.

A Disposable Future

IMAG0708 I wanted to write something of my thoughts, about what I feels is an odd change in us and our thinking. Personal and corporate. I’ll start with family. My mother is careful with all she has. When I think about her kitchen, there are things my eyes are drawn to, that have been around for decades. An example of that is a set of knives. I’ve used knives as a professional, and these are great.  They are also, over 40 years. old. I find that amazing, because I think we all know now, that the Ginsu with all the wonderful advertising  through commercials and infomercials, are a waste of 20 bucks. That’s still true, no matter how much free plastic they give you with it. To send it back under its lifetime warranty, a waste of time. Why a waste of time?  Because all you get back is another crappy knife. I think this shows nicely, the change we’ve gone through, in what is actually a very short time.

I believe this says something about where we are going, as we slip into our self imposed future. A disposable future . The rise of the infomercial age and beyond.

I remember when you bought something, not already thinking about your next something.  This is caused by, the changed expectations we now have for our purchases. Actually planning to spend  money on the same type of product again, as soon as we buy or finance our new “Thing”. Why?  We know, even though no one said a word, that what we spent our money on won’t last.

Cellphones are on two year contracts, which is good because you can’t  rely on it lasting longer. Televisions are made to last 5 years. Cars 5-7 years, for a regular driver. Clothing’s made to fall apart, permeates the market. But that’s really not the manufacturers.

In the late 70’s early 80’s advertising and marketing professionals, created this market of lowered expectations. It appears, as our consumer confidence waned in American made goods, it became easier to allow the overseas manufacturers to flooded our markets with goods. Not all of these products were poorly made, but a great many were.

Then pop culture, with its quickening pace and the jaded new generation of consumer, gained purchasing power. Consumers who grew up with no expectation of reliable goods. When they met our economy full on, the mix of the two, consumer and manufacturers, truly lowered the perceived standard of quality and construction. As a  business, why strive to make a quality, long lasting product at a good value, if none of your customer have that expectation of a product?  You meet the quality the consumer expects, and keep your costs, and the consumers cost, down. The theory being, if your customer only expects to buy crap, and does so, give them crap.

Remember, the only responsibility business has is to their stockholders, even if they are considered “persons”. A concept, I never seem to be able to wrap my head around.

I think with crappy products, we as Americans should be happy all these poorly made goods don’t come from here.  (most of our manufacturing base is gone). We need to stop wasting our money, encouraging this behavior from consumers, corporations, and manufactures. I like the idea of buying American, but that’s not now possible in our new world economy. So, I’d like us to be “Smart Consumers”. When I say that, I’m not so much thinking about big-ticket items, as I believe most of us at least try to make quality decisions there. Trying, is all I ask.

Where I think we fail is in everyday items. I make jokes about dollar stores. I shop there myself, but still I feel the same. I see a ton of things that will be tossed away. Why not buy a pancake spatula that will last, and won’t melt the third time you use it? Doing this is only causing  you go spend another dollar for a new one. And trust me, that new one will do just the same as the first. I really feel, we would be better off making more quality goods and more quality durable goods. Even if they cost more, like the old Curtis Mathes Televisions.

I’d like a manufacturing base returned to us, that was more than building machines of war. I’d like to have a better export to offer, than Hollywood movies. I’d like to bring back an expectation in reliable goods, and fill that niche with our countries high quality manufactured goods. I believe we would succeed in the world market, even with higher priced product, because of the quality and durability. It’s possible, because we know we can back those goods, with a promise of quality and service. Because of our pride, knowing we make the best products. There is pride in being able to say, “Yes our products are the most expensive in the world, but unlike the others, ours are darn well worth the price”. I don’t want us to continue down the path we’re on, to our self imposed, “Disposable Future”.

Fighting the Egocentric Army

Worry, concern, compassion for ones fellow human beings, has faded. The manufactured, self-centered, egocentric army advances. As well as the societal filters that blind us to the suffering of others, and the growing inequity within our own systems of belief. With little notice or commentary, the populations of advanced countries are guided to their own self-absorbed doom. Led as they are, even in times of crisis, to accept the manipulations of the media. Even answering the call for increased consumption of goods, propagandized as the public’s duty. This “duty” going almost completely unquestioned. Because those that do question, receive the media’s label of anti-American. Or worse.

Just the promotion of these actions to the public, serves to advance an intolerant view. Between disinformation and the advancement of a competitive consumer culture, you have a less informed population willing to stand in a line. Sometimes, for days. Simply to replace a still workable and functioning gadget, with a slightly revised version of the same product. Never taking into account, they already have and own the same product.

It’s manufactured madness. A condition which allows specific concerns, to tell the public who they are, by what they believe and consume. It allows for the stifling of dissenting opinion, and sets the mark between the in and out, the haves and have not, the popular in crowd, and those to be considered outside the excepted norms. It divides a population, because a united population is a danger to the dominate systems power.

Government, finance, and business worldwide, can’t survive in their present form, if a united front, of an educated populace, not distracted by entitled consumerism, or a feeling of needing to keep up with the Joneses”, truly grows in numbers and voice. If awareness grows, concerning the actions of the manipulative mainstream media. The public might speak out against the dumbing down of information and the reporting of half stories. The public could begin to see how media corporations edited news stories and choose advertising that fits the media company’s corporate agenda.

The conversation about a media created, first world, programmed consumer culture, must continuing. It is key to ending its folly. There are many unread news sources, columns, and bloggers, opining on the same issues mentioned here. I am proud to add my thoughts and words to the others, with continued posts on this subject.

I want the best for my fellows, and that includes truth. One person at a time, is how to break the hold on the public’s psyche. The possibility of my words, added to the other voices, helping one person to change their perspective and point of view, away from the self-absorbed doom, is why I continue writing.

 

Entitled to Consumption

Our reality is tainted by our own sense of entitlement to luxury. Even a view into the deprived lives of those in third world countries, or the suffering of refugees, from countries at war, has little to no effect on our sense of entitlement, and it’s practice of consumption.

Before Starbucks, advertisements pleaded for assistance. The claim, for just the price of a cup of coffee you could make the life of an impoverished child a bit better. Now post Starbucks creation, millions of children are still starving, and the price of a cup of coffee is 3-5 dollars. The strange thing in this situation is the coffee Starbucks uses for its 3-5 dollar cup of coffee, came from a country were non-profits seek to aid impoverished and suffering populations.

Our world is ripe with these counter intuitive situation, under which people and families struggle to survive. Petroleum and Mining are two major players, in conflicts between a local populations need, and the power of multinational conglomerates. This situation of suffering populations makes no difference to the entitled. This is proved true by all the gas guzzling SUV’s on our roads today. Funny though, most will never take their off-road work horses off paved roads. The roads we’re lucky enough to have, yet every driver complains about.

This is yet another oddity I find elsewhere, when looking at our perceived entitlement to consumption. The oddity is a relatively new phenomenon I call, “The Upgrade Entitlement”. This is almost a competition between associated consumers to see who’s electronic technology is the newest. Just think of all those lines of consumers with quality working telecommunication devices, queuing to replace all their working devices. However, the devices the upgrade entitled have, and will re-purchase, rely on rare earth elements from mining and close to slave labor for manufacturing device components. But the issues are either ignored or unknown to the upgrade entitled.

Another type of entitled consumption, that’s usually forgotten, is that of the recreational shopper, fashion slave, clothing horse, or shoe collector. A simple look at the tags inside the clothing shows the issue with this type of compulsive entitled consumption. The News of recent, also tells the tale. One of workers locked in at clothing manufacture sweat shop, when fire broke out. The fire causing a loss of life tragedy.

I use these three areas as examples, but they are not the only examples. I have commented on consumption in other opinion pieces and need to reiterate, there is nothing wrong with intelligent consumption, as we are all consumers. The issue here is consumption for consumptions sake, with no acknowledgment or understanding of real value, or a balancing of want with need. So I write, and hope maybe one person might be affected, and change their personal habits. I also plead with my readers,  please take an intelligent look,  at value based consumption.  As opposed to the ever present, mindless habits of the entitled consumer.

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