I generally avoid religious blogs as they tend to either upset my digestion or cause bouts of painful laughter. One usually encounters the two types of religious blogs; those who cry out with doom and gloom that the great day of judgment is upon us and woe is us, or the eternally happy and blissful let me blow continuous sunshine up your skirt. Neither of these two types ever deal with the reality of living in the moment and on this earth. Maybe that is why heaven doesn’t reside here, it’s always somewhere “up there”. Libertarian blogs are ok, in their way, a bit out of touch but still within the ballpark. The far right blogs aren’t even in left field, being mostly concerned with digging survivalist style bunkers and stocking them with dried food and water. Sometimes they can be entertaining but only a couple times a year. That “you can have my ideology when you pry my cold dead fingers off its neck” sort of attitude wears a little thin very fast. Of course those of the far left are no prize winners, either. A steady diet of neocon conspiracies and big government knows best for you, well, sometimes the far right makes more sense. Generally, I do not believe I am in need of special guidance from government masquerading as my long lost Dutch uncle, not that I have one. And those progressive liberal blogs that want me to feel guilty for thousands of years of ill treatment by every possible ancestor know to man and how come I don’t hand over my money, my house, my car, and my job (I’m retired, so they can have my old job, if it still exists) because they deserve it more than me. One feels constipated after reading a few lines worth. Yes, if you do exactly what we tell you to do you can have heaven here on earth, just remember that it does not belong to you. Nothing belongs to you.
But in order to keep an open mind one must read or listen to a few closed ones, if for no other reason than one’s own mind may be a trifle too shut against the world. In a way it’s like listening to Cramer pump stocks. If you make a note of what he is pumping then you know what to avoid since his percentage of winning stock picks is very low. Of course every once in awhile he does pick a winner but that is due to chance. In a way, picking one’s way through blogs on the internet is like listening to Cramer or throwing darts at the sheets of newspaper with the list of traded stocks for yesterday. Of course one can always get suggestions from google or yahoo searches but the problem there is that often those blogs have paid for a service that puts them in the first ten or twenty listings. And so many of these blogs have advertisements on them. Now I must say in all honesty, I think wordpress puts a couple of ads on my pages, I don’t know for sure, but they say they might. I don’t receive any money from them and in fact, have to pay my yearly fee as the price for my vanity in publication of my thoughts. Well, writing for money doesn’t make your truth any less valuable unless you intend to mislead, distort, or otherwise fool others. I may read Bloomberg or Huffington or some of the other “news” sources, but I rarely take what they have to say to heart. Media of all kinds are mirrors of the world. One may see distortions in their words and film at six, but taken as a whole one can get a sense of that larger image. It may be an image with flaws but it is still recognizable.
The amount of debt that exists in the world is staggering. Actually, it is more than simply staggering, it has become almost incomprehensible. Ultimately, dept is always repaid. Either the borrower repays all or some of what he has borrowed or the lender pays some of all of what was borrowed, meaning he takes a loss, he loses all or part of his capital. We are seeing this played out in the financial markets, which are more than markets dealing with money. When I took my first course in finance the whole of the course revolved around the value of money. Actually, if one considers the subject, finance is the value of money. when one save part of one’s income, one is withholding money from the marketplace. One is consuming less than one’s full wage. the fact of the matter is that one either spends one’s wage on consumption or diverts a part of that wage to investment. The idea is that investment makes new consumption possible. It’s like the farmer who grows his forty acres of corn. He must save a portion of that corn for the next planting cycle. This is called seed corn, but it is really a source of savings, capital, investment in the next harvest. No investment, no harvest. If he foregoes a little more consumption he can wither sell this corn as seed corn or rent out a few more acres and grow a larger crop. But investment has risk. He may plant and the weather is either too hot and dry or too wet and mouldy, thus he risks losing his investment, that future crop of corn. We are reaching that extremely high risk point where we will collectively lose one hell of a lot of capital. We could see the world situation as being a place where the weather and nature pose no risk to our future crops. So we plant more and more, certain that we will become rich. But we have reached a point where most of what we harvest has gone directly back into the production of more corn. But what happens when we produce so much of that crop that there are no buyers? Our corn rots and we lose our investment.
Now let us look at the social problems in our country and a few others. As a group, our society seems to have lost a great deal of its cohesion. A belief in general religion used to bind us together. Ah, we have become a godless nation. Well, not quite. Where we had that general belief in religion as defined by church, we now have religion as defined by political and social belief systems. Many of us have substituted belief in social and political ideologies for that or religious ideologies. this has been an almost world wide event. Centuries ago we invoked the name of god to support our political and cultural wars, now we invoke the name of truth and reason. In either case we tend to lose all sense of civility towards one another. Today we appear to be even more divided by the artificialities of race and culture. Indeed, in our brave new world we have lost sight of what culture truly is and what it does. We have paper mached over its form until it is no longer recognizable. Our society has turned into a series of us-versus-them arguments. We have seen the enemy but do not recognize we is they. Groups break apart because the goals, values, and purposes cease to be widely shared in the same intensity. We are not at the brink of civil war but we are briskly marching towards that situation. Even global warfare is in the cards. When the world’s collective economy breaks down, and it will soon enough, we are looking at a few years and not decades, war will become more attractive as a means of “fixing” the economies of the individual nations. From my vantage point of sixty eight years, which, on a world time scale, is not that long a reference, I have been observing more discontent, more impatience, and more stupidity. The times are worrying. And no, don’t pray to god, he won’t lift a finger to save us from ourselves. I mean, what would be the point?