Archive for October 3rd, 2008

Some more observations

Three new snippets, ideas or statements which you can take up or ignore as you so wish.

Are you a Nationalist or a Patriot?

In “The Call of the Tyrant” by Thomas J. DiLorenzo, Clyde Wilson makes an important distinction between nationalism and patriotism:

A patriot is someone who loves his country and its people. A nationalist, on the other hand, loves government and all its powers. He worships “national glory,” “national greatness,” and a myriad of other governmental schemes and crimes. All nationalists who assume political office are tyrants to some degree, since they aspire to use the coercive powers of the state to regulate, control, direct, punish, brainwash, conscript, or kill the citizens whom they rule.

There is a scale of tyranny, ranging from the mere welfare/warfare statist who taxes half of his citizens’ income to keep himself and his friends in power with the help of the poverty and war industries, respectively, to the mass-murdering tyrants like Stalin, Hitler (the National Socialist), Mao, and Pol Pot. “

Families need to hold a meeting.

My family only consists of my wife and I, but this weekend we are going to hold a formal meeting, with minutes taken. On the Agenda are things like “Home” and “The Local Community”, “Transportation” and “General”.

Under “Home” we will discuss how we can save more gas. How we can save electricity. Did you know ASUS have developed a desktop computer not much bigger than a Notebook which only burns 20 watts an hour? We will look to buy an Intelliplug which, when you turn off the item in the main socket, it cuts electricity to other devices plugged in to it, one by one. We could buy one of these for the computer as well. We buy our food from Tesco and are going to build a spreadsheet which shows prices each week we pay for various items. Then armed with a printout we will look at high street shops for vegetable and fruit, and a local Aldi for other items. These are just a few of the items we will be discussing under “Home”.

Under “The Local Community” we will discuss what we can do here instead of going further afield, thus saving fuel and other expenses. In addition, we need to socialise with people in our local community as, if things are going to get as bad as I think they will, survival will depend on local people helping each other.

Transportation” isn’t quite what you think it is. Yes, it includes travel, but it will also include reasons to travel beyond one’s local community. This could be work, holidays, to dinner parties and the suchlike. Just to give you an idea.

Finally, “General” covers future purchases and expenses. Go through your home earmarking every item costing over £100. Put them into three categories. 1, Those that have to be replaced new, without exception. Then 2, those that have to be renewed but could be second hand and finally 3, Those that we could do without if the economy gets bad. Put against each item in lists 1 and 2, the length of time you can take to replace them. A Fridge-freezer could be a few days, a new arm chair a few months. Keep a running balance of the items that are essential and those that are not. We have two computers and the first thing I shall do when Pam retires from her one morning a week doing the accounts for her boss is to mothball all her kit so we can use it when mine reaches the end of its life. We have already moved to Linux which means our computers will last for many more years and it is free (18,000 free programs to choose from). More on this in a week or so after we have had our meeting.

Many of you will laugh and think “it hasn’t come to that yet” and you are right, it hasn’t. However, should it come to that, we will be in a position to benefit from our planning, for you it may be too late.

Conspiracy websites

The Internet is awash with conspiracy websites. However, I have found there is an element of truth amongst the glaring errors of judgements made. I do occasionally read some of them when an email comes in my “Inbox” pointing out a particular one. I go, look, evaluate on the Internet and come back with a little knowledge that needs to be investigated further.

This brings me to my point. When you are Googling to check information, you also always need to check and verify the source. Many years ago, Reuters trained their correspondents never to print anything until they had verified the information with two sources. However, with the advent of the Internet, you need to take this one stage further. Not only do you need verification from two sources, but they should be from two respectable sources. So now, not only should we check out facts, but we also need to check the source much more deeply as well. And even then, you can’t be sure.

For example, when you read an article on a miracle cure in the offering, the newspaper will also often publish another scientific body which comes up with a different conclusion. Both are scientists but let me give you an example of one. One body said that coffee is bad for you. Shortly afterwards another scientific body said four or five cups of coffee a day is good for you. So that can you do? Easy, find out who financed the study. In this instance, the former might have been sponsored by the tea suppliers? And the latter, perhaps, by coffee suppliers?

The most important thing is to learn to think for yourself nowadays. Especially when searching on the Internet.



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