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Seeds, Hope and the Benevolent Universe Premise

by John Young

Today I planted seeds. There is still a foot of snow on the ground, torrential rains have flooded out roads and we got an inch of sleet last night. Still, today, I planted seeds. I planted them indoors in little containers and put them under close fluorescent lights.

Why?

Because I know that even though the weather today is taciturn; in six weeks it will be smiling on the transplants as I place them in the tilled earth. Planting the seeds now, means I will have the transplants later. And I know that given proper care, those transplants will bring me vital sustenance.

Is it hope that leads me to plant those seeds today? No, it is not. Hope is not required. All that is required is the ability to visualize a value that I wish manifested in the future; and take rational action today that, based upon knowledge of nature, is most likely to lead to that value.

This is the core of the idea of a Benevolent Universe. The Benevolent Universe Premise is NOT the belief in a universe that is benevolent in and of itself. Rather, it is a belief in a universe in which the laws of cause and effect apply; such that an effect can be manifested through creation of its cause. In other words, a benevolent universe is one in which knowledge, reason and foreseeing outcomes is rewarded whereas ignorance, whims and lack of foresight are punished.

So today I planted seeds, not because of hope; but as an application of reason and knowledge in pursuit of values.

There is a lesson here.

2010 will be the last year in which the majority of Americans born are of our genotype. It is a preliminary tipping point that our current President aims to cement through offering illegal immigrants amnesty and even the right to vote. Such a move, if successful, will irrevocably create an environment in which our economic system will be socialist and it will not be reversible any longer through democracy.

This situation is rather dire, because it is a harbinger of the effectual removal of an entire race of people from the planet. No matter where you stand in the political continuum; the removal of an entire race from the planet, no matter the means, is genocide. And when it is an actual planned result of public policy; it is evil.

But how are we to counteract this evil? Hope? No. Through the application of knowledge, reason and foresight.

March 15, 2010 at 2:08 am 12 comments

Thanksgiving Morning

The first light of the rising sun cast long slanting shadows through the leafless trees as I stood on the small hillock observing my surroundings with care. Dew that had gathered on branches during the night slipped from large branch to twig, gathering into small round prisms that refracted the sunlight until they finally gathered enough mass to break free from the tree tips and fall onto the leaves on the forest floor below. In the stillness of the forest at dawn, the combined falling of thousands of dewdrops at random times made a constant sound that kept my senses alert.

I stood upon sacred ground. Less than two hundred yards to my left, atop a small embankment, lay the family cemetery, with stones so worn with time that only family memory recalled who lay beneath them. Thirty five yards behind me was an old chestnut tree, one of the few to have survived the chestnut blight intact.  When we plowed the adjoining fields, we still pulled up rifles and buttons from both the Revolutionary War and the War between the States. My family had made this land their home since at least 1700; and the land retains the memory of the battles fought, the harvests reaped, and the singing laughter of generations of children as they played. For generations, we have drawn sustenance from this land, and it has drawn sustenance from us in turn.

A round was chambered in my Marlin model 336 30-30, but the hammer was still forward. I wouldn’t pull back that hammer until my sites were aligned on the wily whitetail. The whitetail deer is not usually considered a wily quarry. In reality, its superhuman senses and caution can make him difficult to spot. And I had one particular buck in mind this Thanksgiving morning: a magnificent six-pointer who had been leading a small herd of does into our garden for a rather impressive midnight snack.

I had scouted carefully for the past couple of weeks; and knew that unless someone threw off his routine; he’d be stopping by the chestnut tree on his trip from the nearby creek to higher ground any minute. My task was simply to be as still and scent-free as possible so I wouldn’t throw him off. To that end, I had laundered all of my clothing with a bunch of spruce needles in the old wringer-washer; and had bathed myself similarly. I had improvised some camouflage to break up my outline; so as long as I didn’t move or make an unexpected noise; that wily buck should be along.

And so he came. Folks used to hearing the sound of human footsteps might not have noticed because of his cautious approach. He almost seemed to float in, like a ghostly presence as the dew was starting to evaporate from the leaves on the forest floor. A truly majestic creature of creation, to see him barely thirty yards away was awe-inspiring. He would take a step, look around, smell, and then take another. He looked past me several times, and I stood still as stone hardly daring to breathe. I kept waiting for him to settle down and start pawing through the leaves for chestnut burrs; as I knew he had done on previous mornings. Perhaps what little scent I had was making him nervous.

Finally, he gingerly re-oriented his body to get a better look at his trail; I moved my rifle into position, sited, and pulled back the hammer. Because of his angle, this was going to be a neck shot. At longer ranges, I wouldn’t have considered it. But as close as he was, and with the Marlin’s reliable lever action giving me a fast followup if needed, I was ready. I took a deep breath in, held it, and then let it out slowly as my sites settled perfectly where I could break his neck with one shot. Slowly, ever so slowly, I squeezed the trigger until the hammer fell, igniting the primer and sending a 150 grain flat-nosed bullet hurtling toward the buck at 2,100 feet per second.

There was no drama. The sound of the shot still seemed to be reverberating from the surrounding hills while he crumpled in one smooth motion and lay still in instant death. There was satisfaction in a job well-done, but no joy. There is never exuberance in the taking of such a creature; but it was necessary. The damage he was doing to our other food sources combined with the vital nutrients he would provide at the table left me free of guilt, but nevertheless somber as I laid my hand on him and thanked him for his sacrifice. And I assured his spirit that out of respect for his sacrifice, nothing would be wasted and all would be returned back to the land to continue the cycle.

I heard someone approaching loudly, slipping and sliding down the hill from the cemetary, and glanced over to see my father. He, too, had been hunting and came to see the results of the unmistakeable discharge of a high-powered rifle. We unloaded our rifles, laid them on the ground; and he took out his hunting knife so we could field dress this fine animal before carrying him back to the farmhouse. All in all, our traditional Thanksgiving morning hunting had proven productive indeed.

November 26, 2009 at 10:10 pm 2 comments

Recreational Drug Use

by John Young

I recently received a communication asking what I think of recreational drug use. The short answer is that I believe recreational drug use is self-destructive and incompatible with the mandate in our Statement of Ethics that we each and all make the most of ourselves in every way that we can.

Most people engaged in the use of drugs lie to themselves about the effects, and ignore contradictory inputs. After all, if they admitted to themselves the full reality of the situation, there would be no rational alternative but to cease the activity.

I have seen a great deal of potential destroyed by drug use.

About ten years ago, when I was single, I met a girl for coffee at an upscale coffee house. She described how she had just gotten out of a mental hospital as a result of disorders triggered by illegal drugs, and would probably never be right again. She described how, when she had graduated college with a degree in molecular biology, she had high hopes for solving all manner of problems afflicting humanity, but that now she had her hands full because she had to concentrate just to “keep the table under her food solid.” While I certainly had compassion for her, I didn’t ask her out on a second date.

When I was a kid, an older kid who lived next door went to jail for manslaughter. He and his buds had been smoking dope in the midst of transporting some dope for a party. They came upon a bridge and because of the impairment, hit the bridge railings — which led to one of the passengers having his head sheared off of his body.

And I know a man today who has always had enormous potential as a singer, composer and musician. Yet, he has never gone anywhere because his spare cash has gone into dope and the errors in judgment he has made while under the influence of dope — including shoving his pistol into an unsuspecting woman’s nose and threatening to kill her — have landed him in jail for
years at a stretch. He can’t even obtain a decent regular job, much less fulfill his dreams. And as his recreational drug use has progressed, what potential he had to start with has been diminished day by day through destroying his powers of memory, creativity and concentration.

If you are using drugs for recreation and you believe it is not adversely affecting your potential, you are lying to yourself.
Recreational drug use is simply incompatible with being the best you can be, and is thus incompatible with the EAU Statement of Ethics.

But there is another dimension — the law enforcement angle.

I’ll be the first to tell you that the so-called “War on Drugs” is a sham. The illegality makes drugs expensive and profitable — generating billions upon billions of dollars in black-market profits that are used to fund everything from sex slavery to bribing police. It’s a disaster. And the drug war has served to increase the power of the state enormously; especially with regard to the use of informants, entrapment, and civil asset seizure. It has also provided an impetus leading to the militarization of civilian law enforcement that bodes ill for our future freedom.

So I have real issues with the so-called “War on Drugs.”

At the same time, because these drugs ARE illegal, anyone who uses them is putting his or her money into a ruthless and murderous underground economy whose actions almost universally run contrary to the best interests of our Folk.

Most dope originates outside of the U.S., in places like Mexico and Central/South America. When folks here buy it, the money ultimately goes to fatten the coffers of ruthless criminal gangs who have all but out-gunned the civil and military law enforcement authorities of their respective areas of operations. This destabilizes the region leading to economic displacement and the inability to establish the sort of civil order needed to have a functional society. As a result, millions upon millions of refugees are created.

And where do they go? Why … HERE, of course. Illegal drug use is one of the factors that ultimately fuels both legal and illegal immigration.

Meanwhile, the economy and infrastructure created by this trade creates serious power disparities on our side of the border as well. There are entire sections of California, for example, that have been surrendered to the drug gangs in actual written agreements because it is no longer possible to deal with the problem using civilian law enforcement. Those areas will only grow.

This is just the beginning. The entire organizational culture dealing with drugs for recreational use is brutal and inhumane in the extreme; and includes utter insensitivity to human beings to the extent that summary execution, torture, and sexual slavery are common. And the more drugs we use — the bigger this gets.

I’m sure it never crosses whatever passes for a mind in a recreational drug user; but every penny he spends on his “recreation” ultimately goes to support murder, extortion, bribery, rape and more on a grand scale. Contributing to this — voluntarily — is unconscionable.

In an ideal dope-user’s world, maybe things would be different. But we don’t live in that ideal world. Instead, we live in a world in which our decisions make a difference in other people’s lives; and in which buying some marijuana today contributes to a little girl getting raped tomorrow.

Think about it.

June 19, 2009 at 12:32 pm 4 comments

Where has John Young Been?

It’s good to be able to post again!

My regular job had an extended emergency that kept me working as much as 36 hours at a pop without rest.

Then, and this is predictable, I got sick. What started as a cold ended up as pneumonia.

But meanwhile, I have been researching a podcast that will be posted this weekend that I’m sure you’ll find very illuminating! This one has sixty-eight citations — so I hope you’ll find what I didn’t accomplish in terms of frequency will be more than balanced by quality and thoroughness.

Now the crisis at work has finally passed, the illness as been beaten with antibiotics and I’m catching up. Soon, you’ll be hearing from me just like usual!

June 18, 2009 at 1:49 pm Leave a comment

The Bloodshed in Gaza

(Written 12/30/2008)

The Gaza strip is a concentration camp whose borders are controlled by Israel. The people there live in deprivation and want, and aren’t even allowed to receive humanitarian aid in a timely manner.

For days now, Israel has responded to attacks with homemade rockets that are certainly more dangerous than fireworks with full-fledged air-strikes that have killed hundreds and severely injured hundreds more.

Not one innocent civilian should be killed with either American made munitions OR with munitions whose manufacture was made possible by U.S. funding.

The United States, as a government entity, is supposed to represent the will of the American people. As such, American-made bombs carry our implicit endorsement. Therefore, such armament should only be deployed when doing so clearly serves the interests of the American people.

A perusal of Jimmy Carter’s recent book on the topic makes it clear that Israel is acting abominably and in a fashion contrary to even basic human decency — much less upholding the ethical standards that should be required to earn our nation’s endorsement. When Israel uses American weapons to deploy unwarranted or disproportionate force or to engage in behavior such as “collective punishment” which is internationally recognized to be a war crime; it hurts us by destroying our reputation in the world and by exciting animosity against us that need not exist. In the occupied territories, practically everyone knows someone who lost a child — or a limb — to bombs made in the USA.

Allowing Israel to use our munitions and money to advance illegal and immoral behavior only serves to breed generations of dispossessed and anguished people who deeply resent the people of the United States and wish to reciprocate our largess by killing OUR children.

Clearly, this is not in the best interests of the American people.

I am not going to dispute Israel’s right to exist as an ethnic-nationalist Jewish state within its pre-1967 borders. Within that context, Israel has no lesser or greater right to exist than any other state … nor any greater or lesser claim to ethnic exclusivity.

What I WILL dispute is the uncritical support of America’s government for the illegal and immoral actions of that state. Such support effectively protects Israel from the logical consequences of its actions, thus incentivizing outrageous behavior that elicits revulsion in the hearts of millions of reasonable people worldwide — including many Jewish-Americans. With Israel billing itself as an explicitly “Jewish state,” the actions of Israel reflect back upon all of the Jewish people on earth — even those not in Israel and those who object to Israel’s actions. Thus, what should properly be anti-Israeli-government sentiment can too-easily become anti-Jewish sentiment; thereby perpetuating a cycle of anti-Semitism that Israel’s existence was supposed to stop.

In other words, America’s uncritical support of Israel CAUSES rather than diminishes anti-Jewish sentiment by protecting and promoting the most militant and extreme elements of Israeli society; while simultaneously causing anti-American sentiment. This is stupid as it could ultimately lead to the destruction of Israel and put ALL Americans — including Jewish-Americans — in unnecessary and preventable peril of terrorist attacks.

It is high time America heeded George Washington’s advice and stopped all foreign and military aid to all nations — including Israel.

And it is also high time for Israel to be a big boy, stand on its own two feet, and learn how to co-exist with its neighbors by being a good neighbor. The cessation of American support would assist the ascendancy of a more reasonable — and more humane — political class within Israel. This would ultimately be to the benefit of the Palestinians, we Americans, the Israelis, and all of the Jewish Folk.

In the long run, the REAL anti-Semites in this mess are the members of AIPAC who ceaselessly pressure American politicians to engage in behaviors that will ultimately lead to an entire world that despises Israel — not for it’s ethnicity, but for its BEHAVIOR. Intelligent people who think further ahead than next week should de-fund the AIPAC monster and its tentacles as soon as possible. Of course, if we had politicians with backbones, it wouldn’t matter what AIPAC wanted. Then again, if politicians had backbones they probably wouldn’t be politicians.

January 27, 2009 at 1:37 pm 6 comments

The Home: Asset or Liability?

A single family home these days is quite expensive. In fact, compared to median wages, it’s more than twice as expensive as it was just 30 years ago; even considering the “housing slump.”

When you buy a house, no matter how you slice it, it’s going to cost a LOT of money.

Rather than buying a house as a “tax deduction” or because you think it will appreciate (maybe it will, maybe it won’t), you should look at a home as though your family is a business and the buildings and land are a capital investment. You should then look to see in what ways that capital can generate revenue that offsets the costs.

For our ancestors, their homes were not simply hotels where they slept when not busy elsewhere. Their homes were the center of their economic lives — a center of production where raw materials were converted to useful products. All over America, pharmacists lived in apartments over top of their shops — where they actually compounded many of their own medicines. Blacksmiths practiced their trade out back. Attorneys had their offices in a first floor room of the house. Practically everyone had a garden out back, the basement was used as a root cellar to store produce and the kitchen generated nearly every meal that was consumed.

In other words, homes were not merely a cost center — they were a revenue center as well. By arranging affairs in this fashion, our ancestors were much more economically secure in terms of the basics of food, shelter and clothing.

One of the problems we face today, as a people, stems from the fundamental way in which we view our home. We think bigger is better, and we think that the best use for acreage is growing grass for which we buy seed, and then buy expensive mowers to cut. This is a mode of behavior that only makes sense for the independently wealthy. For people who actually have to work jobs — it’s a senseless waste. Instead of the home helping the homeowner — it turns into an endless pit of expenditure from which little is recovered.

Oh — you at the back of the class — what’s that? You say the home will appreciate in value?

Okay. Fair enough. Let’s subject this “appreciation in value” to the test to see if it justifies the bushels of money.

Pretend you bought a house in 1978 for $120,000 and that it is now worth $250,000. At first glance, this looks like you are putting $130k in your pocket in pure profit. But are you?

Well, first off, you paid $839/month for 360 months for that house — which comes to $302,000+. So — now where’s your big profit? And then, over that time, you paid property taxes every year; you paid for insurance and the whole nine yards. You probably spent thousands of dollars over thirty years planting grass seed and mowing the lawn.

The bottom line is that buying property for the purpose of realizing a capital gain through appreciation may work for some people in some markets, but is truly no different from betting on the stock market. Maybe you’ll win, maybe you’ll lose. But, in a sense, it is even WORSE than betting on the stock market because most people don’t borrow the money they are using to gamble there. By borrowing the money, you essentially eliminate any gains you would have made by appreciation.

The only way for property to make sense is for it to be viewed as a capital asset that will be USED to accomplish something.

Obviously, when you buy a home you are using it to replace paying rent. So that’s some return there. If you also use it as a place to perform oil changes and minor repairs for the cars in the family, that’s a positive benefit. If you use it as a place to grow and preserve food, that’s a benefit. If you use it as a source of fuel for the wood stove, that’s a benefit. If you use it as a law office — that’s a benefit. If you use it as a place to produce nifty new rifle slings or kits for ham radio operators — that’s a benefit.

The point is that the home, to be anything but a liability, must be turned into a center of production rather than merely a center of consumption.

Think about it.

October 18, 2008 at 2:22 am 1 comment


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