Polls Details

BARBARA, THANK YOU

Thank you so much, for sending me such

A practical container for liquids

What a surprise, it opened my eyes

To what a thoughtful sister you are

The country is the same, but it is a terrible shame

That the distance between us is far

It sure would be nice, to meet once or twice

Without having years in between

We think of you well, and often we tell

Stories of Barbara that please us

Sometimes we worry, and sometimes are sorry

That you work so hard all the time

So stop the dead run, and try to have fun

Especially if we are included

Plan for some day, to travel our way

And leave all your troubles behind

Or just smell the flowers, or stand in the showers

If ever there are any near

And see that stress, just causes a mess

For anyone as pleasant as you

But now I must go, but want you to know

I like you and the present too.

 

I LOVE DANCING

It has been opined that there would be fewer overweight young people if the Jitter Bug dance were still popular. It was very popular in my teen years. An added incentive for me to take it up was an older sister, but not that much older that she found her younger brother completely intolerable. So it was that, during the summers of my fifteenth and sixteenth years, overweight was not a problem. It was quite the opposite.

Before the summer season, school dances were frequent and, without today’s greater concern over alcohol and drugs, and with teachers willing and able to supervise, they were never missed. We even, in our high school of about two hundred and fifty students, had a student band. It was not a school band, organized and ritualized, but four or five young people making OUR music. When Ben Prince leaned way back with his trumpet pointed to the heavens, we were all sure he would be another Harry James and certainly not a dentist.

That was a time when there was a summer dance circuit was within a radius of 30 miles. Thirty miles then was quite a journey, the roads were not all paved and those that were paved were narrow and crooked with low rates of speed, but they did not discourage us. The closest dance, within a mile of home, was the fancy “Turners” dance palace in New Minas. The most popular were the two beach dance halls, at Kingsport and Evangeline Beaches, plain warehouse like structures, cooled by the ocean breezes, were within 10 miles. Some nights there was no breeze since both of them were on the Minas Basin, whose forty-five foot tides left hundreds of yards of mud between the dance pavilion and water. Thankfully for those of us without a driver’s license, there was usually someone who had a car or had trusting parents. It was also fortunate that those who made up the dance fraternity did not consider age to be a factor to consider. So, not yet being sixteen did not restrict my dancing opportunities. Dancing was available every night but Sunday and Tuesday. I took full advantage of them.

At the summer dances, they being a less costly local group, Ross MacKenzie’s band was not without unscripted sour notes. It was a family affair, made up of Ross, his mother, an Uncle and two or three others, who might or might not have been family members. They were no match for Benny Goodman, Harry James, Tommy Dorsey or Guy Lombardo, but they could play our style of dance music, in their own crude sort of way. The jitter bug numbers were great exercise, the tap dancing feet, the twirls, the over and under, the hip roll, they all required skill and stamina. In later years when jitterbug’s days had waned, my sister and I might end up at a function as the only dancers on the floor, while others watched. And then there was the best jitterbug dancer in the area. She was the most, or most after my sister, popular girl at any dance, a knockout, drop dead, gorgeous blond. When we were at the same dance, she would say yes, once, maybe twice, when I built up the nerve to ask “w-w-o-o-l-d y-y-o-o-u-u l-l-l-I-k-e-e to d-d-d-a-n-c-e-“. I never could build up the courage to ask her to go anywhere but onto the dance floor.

The jitterbug was the main course. The fox trot and waltz was the dessert. Those slow dreamy numbers, with the lights turned down, the smell of freshly shampooed hair, two bodies nestled close, the feet moving together as one, was as close to heaven as one could get. And Oh, the music, Moon River, Deep Purple and so many other soft and soothing numbers still bring pleasure. There was no amplification of the instruments at the dances then. During the slow numbers one could hear the whispering in their ear and whisper sweet nothings, or other things, back. How I sympathize with today’s young people with their loud music, without coherent lyrics, just pounding and screaming that must restrict social intercourse. And the dancing, not with someone, but apart, seeing but not feeling, moving separately. “Doing their own thing”.

When the drivers license finally was in my pocket, privileges and responsibilities also came. The driver expected to have the privilege of first choice of girls. He also had the responsibility of getting to the dance. One very rainy night three local boys and three visiting girls banned together for the dance at Evangeline Beach. I had the 10 year old Chrysler with its proclivity to break down. This time, on the thick clay mud road to the beach, it was the battery case that broke. The battery was going bump, bump, bump on the road. I in my new tan slacks, shirt and sport coat was expected to get my passengers to the dance. Ingenuity was called for. The blanket, meant for stargazing on beach at the dancing break, would instead reduce the mud bath as I crawled under the car. My new belt was not essential to hold up my new slacks, and would instead be used as a strap to hold the battery in place. Before showing off my dancing prowess for the visiting girl, it took an hour to remove enough mud to join the dancers. By that time someone else was monopolizing the visiting girl and the mud boy had lost any chance for another girl.

Then in later teens, now working away from home, there was still dancing, weekends only now. The coal-mining town, Springhill Nova Scotia, was not far from the new home, Amherst NS, and they had good Saturday night dances. We three young men agreed, probably falsely, that the Springhill girls would like we sophisticated Amherst boys, so we went. After a short survey of the scene, it appeared that we might go without scoring. But there was one girl that did not seem to be attached but had not been dancing. She seemed reluctant, but did, finally, agree to dance. But oh so stiff, it seemed that the joints of her body were fused. Since it was customary to dance with a partner for the three dances of a set, the second and third numbers kept me dancing with the standoffish partner. With the set being a foxtrot we were close enough to exchange small talk, but not sweet talk. And the frost started to melt. The next set was a jitterbug and she was quite good. By the end of the dance we were well enough acquainted for me to hazard an offer to walk her home. The driver, and other musketeer, both without having found a partner, agreed to wait until 1 o’clock, but not a minute longer, or I would be walking the 10 miles back to Amherst.

Being a mining town, everything was built near the mine, so both the dance hall and the miners row housing were close by. It was a short but pleasant walk. The young lady’s home was one of the standard miners homes of the day. A big kitchen with a coal-burning kitchen stove kept burning to keep the room warm. In addition to the table and chairs, there was, as was the norm, also a cot where the miner could grab a nap after a hard shift underground. It also provided a comfortable place for smooching. We were good friends by the time father rolled in from the Miners Hall, at least two, maybe three, sheets to the wind. Sensing that he might want the cot for himself, or in case he did not want us there, we vacated it as he entered. He was very friendly, if also a bit loud, and to make conversation asked if I had seen his hamsters. Admitting that I had not yet been introduced, led him to offer an immediate introduction. We retired to the parlor, next to the kitchen but cooler, as he extolled the friendliness, cuteness and good temper of his hamsters. He opened their cage, explaining how they would be happy to see him, and would show it by running up and down his arms. They did indeed run up his arms and stopped at his shoulders. One of them, presumably annoyed for having been awakened from a nights sleep and taken from his cage, bit the lobe off the miner’s ear. For the next few minutes there was one of the finest displays of profanity I had ever heard, as well as blood dripping on his shirt and hamsters flying across the room. I could not contain my laughter, and feeling that it might not endear me to the miner, rushed to the back door, kissed the new friend goodnight, and rode home with a lifelong favorite story.

THE DUBAI HOTEL

Like a sleeping puppy, Dubai was just shaking itself awake from a long sleep before becoming the giant mastiff it is today. The small hotel, in whose lobby I sat so dejectedly, would soon be dwarfed or replaced by the modern skyscrapers that would create the skyline of today. A man I had seen, indeed gone out of my way to follow, as we walked along the waterfront, exemplified the old Dubai for me. He was wearing the typical long robe and headdress but, in addition, he carried a riffle, wore crossed cartridge belts, a gun belt with holster, revolver and the curved dagger of Arabian folklore. The contrast with the modern enterprise surrounding us was difficult for the mind to accept.

My mood, as I contemplated sleeping in that chair in the hotel lobby, was not good. Confirmed reservations in that part of the world were not as sacred as we westerners held them to be. But my mood had already been bruised by a number of things. I had already been beating around the Mid East for 6 weeks. I had suffered 20 take off and landings, local foods, some good, some bad, boring time waiting to meet officials, and the heat. This leg of the trip had been added after a meeting with the Canadian Commercial attaché in Tehran, who had identified a possible contract in Oman. He had learned that a certain Mr. Black was already seeking it, so the contact could not be left until another time. As an aside, Mr. Black was the husband of the famous child star, Shirley Temple.

Thinking back to the 2 hours sitting in that hotel lobby illustrates the wonder of the human mind. After reviewing and stressing out over being unable to find a hotel room anywhere in Dubai and after overcoming the “to hell with Oman” thoughts, there was a shift to a calm “Oh well” mode. Now the mind was free to do its own thing. One thing was to stare at the hotel desk clerk. He was a nice looking young man, an expatriate of some country, working to help out those back home. He looked familiar, but that was not possible, this was my first time in this hotel. The eyes keep swinging back to him. After the mind churns through its back pages, a light in the head switches on. Only then do I go back to his desk and try a long shot. I chance the observation “ I think that your brother works at the hotel I stayed at in Kuwait”. BINGO! A couple of telephone calls later he finds me a room at a small hotel not far away. Ah, to sleep, to dream, to live to fight another day.

The very next night sleep in a hotel lobby would have been a better thing to do. The next morning a small silver bird took us to Muscat in the Sultanate of Oman. The city of Muscat is an old city nestled in an old volcanic crater at the entrance to the Persian Gulf. It too was awakening to the modern era. But the accommodations for foreign travelers were not yet to our standards. With the usual pleadings for honor of a reservation, a compromise was reached. I was able to share a room with another business bush beater. To find the room equipped with 2 old army type cots still seemed better than a chair in the lobby. The lobby chair might have been a better choice.

At about 4 AM the next morning, not yet light, I awoke with considerable pain in the chest. Oh No!!! Not that. Not in Muscat. What to do? Trying not to awaken my roommate, I dressed quietly and crept to the lobby, to again sit in a chair and reflect with a new mood. One of FEAR. I had the name of a contact, a Canadian engineer managing a contract in Oman. He would have knowledge of medical services in the area. With an agonizing 3 hours until a decent hour to call him, 7 o’clock finally arrived. He said the British construction firm “Wimpy” had recently moved a clinic, with equipment and a doctor, in to serve their personnel. The engineer soon picked me up and drove to the clinic where the doctor hooked me up to an EKG and did an exam. The examination revealed nothing identifiably serious. Therefore, it might as well be back to work. By late in the afternoon the pain in the arm had stopped and the chest pain had receded. All day I had been reviewing and self-diagnosing. If not heart, what? Pain can come from nerves and muscles. From what? Why from that damned army cot. And so, to live, to fly another day.

GRANDFATHER'S MILL

As the other workers at the lumber mill might say of the grandson working with them “He is small, but he is wiry”. That was during the summers when I was fifteen and sixteen years of age. The mill was less than a mile from home and a fast bike ride would get me there by 7 AM. One is not late when the mill does not run without all stations being manned.

Grandfather said that he was a lazy man, but that lazy men thought up most improvements in the way things were done. He spent a good part of his day in the machine shop, and his mill was the test site. There was not a lumber mill in all of eastern Canada, and beyond that did not have at lease one of his machines installed.

In his mill, the logs were dumped from trucks into the millpond. A worker directed the floating logs to a conveyor and onto a platform feeding the carriage of rotary saw. The cantor rolled the logs onto the carriage that rolled forward and back to remove slabs, boards and planks. The boards and planks moved on rollers to the edger, as was called both a machine and man, where the bark edges were sawed off. The boards and planks rolled on to be sorted into slings where a truck with hydraulic lift could lift a full sling to be transported to the lumberyard. The automatic slab saw was probably his best design. It replaced a 3 man operation that was both hard work and dangerous.

Grandfather must have thought that if I was his Grandson I could do almost anything. So I did everything. Shovel down the sawdust pile when it got too high under the conveyor. Stick pile lumber in the lumberyard, which entailed putting sticks between each layer of the pile. Drive the trucks, but not on the highway without a license. I did every job but sawyer or edger. These were highly skilled occupations and way above my pay scale.

Another job above my pay scale was that of cantor. It required quick response as the carriage whipped back and forth. Any missed or slow movement would put the sawyer off his rhythm and slow the rate of production of the whole mill. The cantor would step over the next log and roll it forward with his peavey, ready for the empty carriage to roll back. The second the carriage stopped its reverse roll, the log must be on the carriage and the first lug driven down with its point firmly embedded in the log. As the carriage gained speed toward the 4-foot rotary saw, the second lug must be set. The saw would then chew off the first slab, and maybe a board as well. Then the log had to be turned over 180 degrees to saw from the other side. This meant a quick grab and roll with the peavey, slam the first lug and then grab and slam the second lug. The learning curve was very sharp. One thing commonly learned and experienced was a “cantors finger”. Of course heavy leather gloves protect the hands. But nothing can protect from a 4 or 5 pound lug being driven, with force, missing the log, and instead impacting upon a finger underneath. I dared not remove the glove until the shut down for noon break. Then a little first aid and back for the afternoon.

Mill men are hard workers and some are hard drinkers. That was the usual reason I moved from job to job. The sling filler and the fireman were particularly good friends of John Barleycorn. They also had particularly difficult jobs. How (Howard) Stuart seemed to move like a tortoise, but he worked steady and anyone taking over his end of the mill had difficulty keeping up with production. Unluckily for me he was particularly inclined to extend his weekend.

But the worst job for me was replacing the fireman. The mill was powered by a big old steam boiler, about ten feet high, burning slab wood and sawdust that was usually not very dry. The steam engine ran a series of belts sized and sped to run the many different machines. The engine required a steady steam quantity with a pressure of one hundred pounds per square inch. This was at a time before all but the most basic safety regulations. It had only a low water warning and a high-pressure blow off.

The learning curve for me was not steep enough to satisfy the sawyer. In making the steam, the slab wood fuel would be fed through the left door on the front of the boiler and sawdust added from a conveyor above. When this side was burning brightly the fuel would be added through the right door. If this procedure was not balanced, or the sawdust was green or wet, the fire would dampen and steam pressure would drop. One time the pressure had dropped and one could hear the machines slowing down and the main rotary saw was kind of moaning. I can hear to this day the sawyer, on whom the production volume depended, coming to the door at the top of the steps above the boiler. I remember his exact words. “Jesus Christ young feller, what do you think I am sawing here, butter.

The last job that I had for Grandfather was as chief tally for a boat load of lumber going to England. The ocean freighter made its way up the Cornwallis river to Port Williams. It was quite a sight in those days seeing the superstructure of a boat in the middle of a hay field as it wound its way up the crooked river from the Minas Basin. When the tide was out it rested on a platform, high and dry at the Port Williams wharf.

My duties were to go with the truck, driver and helper to various lumber mills in the valley. As the lumber was loaded I tallied the dimensions of each piece on a specially designed sheet. The truck was a new larger one which was loaded so high that, on the first trip, pulled down the electric wires to the wharf. At the end of the day, I spent a long evening, calculating the number of board feet that my truck, and 3 others, delivered to the vessel each day. Then, when the boat was loaded, I worked with the captain of the vessel, to reconcile the total shipment.

CONGRATULATIONS KATE

Congratulations to you Kate

From High School you did graduate

You have done so well at all you’ve tried

Your family’s hearts are filled with pride

Your marks have always been so high

To match them very few would try

And your music skill is so cool

It is even better than your school

We have watched you as you grew

So smart and tall and pretty too

We are so lucky to have one so smart

Who has such a large and loving heart

Now you move to greater things

To see what U of Toronto brings

Your life will embrace much so new

Remember always to yourself be true

Try always to include lots of fun

As the road of life you run

We know your studies will be fine

But other things deserve some time

For you our love and pride is great

Again we say, Congratulations Kate

JAW BONE CORNER

Where the east/west and north/south roads crossed was known, from long before my birth, as Jaw Bone Corner. Why, or by whom, it was graced with such a colorful name, I know not. As the traffic increased from Canning to Kentville the stop and turn there seemed needless. Since there was very little traffic from the north or west a logical decision was made to bypass this intersection and make a wide arc for the traffic from east to south and south to east. One might speculate that the engineers designed that wide corner after a racetrack. The camber of the road was extreme, banked very high on the west side, sloping to a deep ditch on the east.

This was where we experienced the thrill of a roll over. I was about eleven years old and liked to drive in the trucks with father. The trucks and their loads were much smaller in those days. Whereas forty tons roll along the highways at seventy miles per hour today, five or six tons were average then and at much lower speeds. That afternoon after school father announced that there was a load of carrots in Hillaton for delivery to the city next morning. Winter was on the wane so no hard freeze was expected that night and the load would be safe from freezing if left on the truck.

Off we went to the farmers warehouse. It took a while to load, forklifts were scarce then, each bag of carrots had to be carried and stacked one by one. It was dusk when we started back and a light rain was falling as sleet. The ground was still cold from winter and ice began to form. Salt for the highways was something in the future. Father was always a careful driver, but especially that night. He drove very slowly with one set of dual rear and single front wheels off the pavement, taking advantage of the rough gravel to provide more traction. This worked until Jaw Bone Corner. We approached at about 5 miles per hour, clinging to the upper side of the road. The gravel did not hold us. In slow motion we began our slide across the road. The wheels on the driver’s side led the slide down across the pavement to the gravel. Then eerily, my seat rose and I slid over next to father, and the world slowly turned upside down. It seemed surreal, no loud noises, no broken glass, and not even noticeable damage, just a gentle roll. Then, we were on the roof of the cab looking up at the floorboards, all wheels above us looking at the sky.

It seemed strange to twist the door handle up instead of down, but it opened easily and we crawled out and shut the doors after us. There would not be any others travelers coming by to pick us up. There was not one other vehicle on the roads that night. We faced a three-mile hike home. It was almost impossible to walk on the asphalt because there was no traction at all. Not only was the road a sheet of ice, it was wet too. So it was slow going on the gravel at the side of the road, with an occasional slide to firm up this unbelievable phenomenon in our mind. The great memory of this event is from watching the groups of kids skating on the icy road. This had to be the biggest ice rink they had ever seen.

There were no cellular telephones then and the landlines were mostly down so we could not let mother know our situation. She was very glad, and relieved, when we finally arrived home, late and tired. We had a late and welcome supper and I was rushed off to the bathtub first. She had faced another concern when she looked at my clothes. They were full of holes. The battery of the truck had been under the seat on my side of the cab. As we rolled over the battery acid had leaked out and spent the two-hour walk home eating its fill of my clothing. Luckily I had worn a good cap or my head might now resemble Swiss cheese. Other than the cost of transferring the carrots to another truck and some truck body repairs, the event was just the making of another memory.

VIKING TRAIL TO THE AMERICAS

On the Polar Star Cruise ship

We left Iceland on a northern trip

As we entered the Denmark Strait

We felt that everything was great

It was very rough on the open sea

But only a hint of what was to be

We were glad to reach Prins Christan Sund

But the cold rain and drizzle reduced the fun

We visited Greenland sites so old

And many history stories were told

We had our first trip on the Zodiac

To the face of the glacier and back

We landed at a native town

And heard their choir sing “the sound”

The many sites of historic Vikings

Might not have been to everyone’s liking

In spite of the landings being announced

The names of most could not be pronounced

Then we crossed the Davis Strait

And the sea hit us with all its might

We pitched and rolled and corkscrewed too

Most of us were white or green or blue

The stomachs upset and up they thru

The wish for death was all too true

There is no arriving refugee

As happy to reach Canada as we

To plant our feet on Iqualuit shore

There was nothing we could wish for more

We saw the town and park and all

And had our lunch at the Parish Hall

With the Customs happy and the end of day

We doubled back down Frobisher Bay

Though our sightings of wildlife had been poor

We proceeded south to the Labrador

To the Akpatok Island in Ungava Bay

An exciting Zodiac cruise made our day

Then past the Northern tip of Labrador

Abandoned sites and then some more

The people of Hopedale and kids at school

Did native games that were quite cool

Then steaming further down the coast

The animal sightings pleased us most

The white dots, we asked where, where

Were two little cubs and a polar bear

How we all rushed to the rails

To see the spouts and flukes of whales

On shore we showed each other where at

Was a quite fresh pile of black bear scat

We became sure we were moving south

As we entered Battle Harbour mouth

After all the rain and weather bad

The sun and warmth made us glad

Now we are on the Island Rock

So of our trip we now take stock

We met all you wonderful folks

Thanks for laughing at the Newfie jokes

Thanks to the Captain for sharing his ship

And the crew for our adventurous trip

Thanks to our friendly expedition staff

You kept us safe and were able to laugh

Tomorrow we pass under Signal Hill

With experiences a book to fill

Then as we travel to our homes afar

We will always remember the Polar Star

THE HIKE TO SCHOOL

The hike to school was nearly a mile and it saved a mile from walking the roads. There was variety and excitement all the way. First, we went past the orchard where the Kings and Gravensteins grew. In the fall we would pick up a ripe “Drop” for recess, and one for the teacher. Gravensteins were most welcome after eating apples from the barrels in the cellar for months. Then our hike was past the east potato field and along the power line right of way. And finally we went through the pines and down the hill to the one room school.

What things to see and things to do on our walks to and from. We would try to find the birds nests with eggs of many colors in the spring. Then we would watch young birds at flight training school as they left the nest. The excitement of the aerial battle as the crows chased the lone sparrow and then the flight of that crow as other birds reversed the tide of battle. We would find, pick and take home to mother, the first Mayflowers of the spring. How the wild flowers changed from season to season. We would see and try to identify the tracks of the rabbits, deer and other wild animals as they crossed our path. There was much to be learned to and from school as well as at our seats.

And there was danger and excitement. We had to run fast after a stick had been poked or rock thrown into a hornet’s nest. They chase the first one they see, and one hopes that they are not the one. There were screams and a speedy run home to mother the time that the hornets got under sisters collar. But the best was our trampoline. We did not know at that time what a trampoline was, or had even heard the name. But we found a place just off our path that was quite springy when you stepped on it. If you jumped you could really spring high. And the competition to see who flew further after a running jump on that spot was thrilling.

On the third night after our find of that special spot, father got home from work early enough to have supper with us and listen to our accounts of school and our new found thrills. We finished our tale and father uttered one of his most exclamatory phrases. He had learned many words that were not in the dictionary from working with lumberjacks, farm help, mill workers and laborers of many kinds. I dare not quote him for fear of offending our more genteel readers or of angering parents of our younger readers. Suffice it to say, he was not pleased. That night, or the next morning, he visited the farmer next door. And, the next day, the farmer dug a new grave, we lost our trampoline, and father avoided having his children plunge into the putrid interior of a dead horse.

THE ONE ROOM SCHOOL

To have been educated in a one room school may seem to be a disadvantage by those of today’s society. I am not sure that the great education factories of today are doing a better job, or maybe as good, of preparing young people for life. At times, I feel very sorry for the youth of this era.

Let me describe that one room school. Approximately 50 feet by 25 feet, a wood stove near the center, the blackboard and teachers desk on a low platform at the front, at the back an entrance porch/wood shed outside, and inside, a 5 gallon water bucket with a drain spout at the bottom and a tin cup hanging beside it. The desks were in three rows of two each with isles on both sides. And, should the reader have noticed something missing, there were two, one boy’s and one girl’s, two hole outhouses nearly 100 feet behind the school. These were well equipped with sanded smooth seating, a bucket full of lime, with scoop, and paper, but nothing to relieve the winter temperatures.

With one teacher, sometimes smaller than an older student, for nine grades, there was little spoon-feeding of learning. She laid out long blocks of required studies for each grade, would answer questions or provide clarification as needed and would occasionally require feedback from students in all grades. Attention to the studies and the work of higher grades prompted my skipping of a grade year and completing the 12th school grade at age 16. The need to learn on one’s own at an early age helped me endure the night study by correspondence course required for entry into the Chartered Accountant profession.

There were sports too. Morning and afternoon recess was time for strenuous games. Since most of us walked too far to go home for lunch, we brought one to school, and had time for more exercise. And after school we were not expected home until suppertime, leaving more time for fun and games. Injuries were not unknown. A fairly deep knee cut at recess left me hobbling home with bloody pant leg after school. Since our doctor lived 10 miles away it was decided to leave the cut unstitched and thereby visible for many years.

My best friend at that school was Laurie Pinch, who lived out at the end of the road. When we were in grade 3 or 4 the WCTU (Women’s Christian Temperance Union) being without bars available in which to imitate Carrie Nation, paid their call at the school. They recounted all of the evils of demon alcohol, demonstrated how the squirming worms stopped squirming when immersed in that medium and presented pledge forms to all students. Laurie and I read the forms and, the only ones in the school to do so, declined to sign them, explaining that we were too young to take lifelong pledges. The ladies were disappointed but respected our positions. It was the proper thing to do since I, but not Laurie, would have broken the pledge many times in later years. Laurie would not have broken the pledges since he died at age 14 years, from a ruptured appendix. I have been sad every time I think of it.

35 MONEY AND BANKING

In many of my articles there have been pleas for citizens, and elected representatives, to “THINK”, to use their minds. I have found myself as guilty as anyone for having a lazy mind. Maybe I am only now realizing that we may not be as guilty as we seem. Maybe we have all been suffering from “brainwashing”. I have been concerned about Government, and personal, debt for some time. But until I delved into political research it did not occur to me that we are victims of the Banking and financial manipulators. By not thinking about the influence of the Neo-Conservative economists I felt secure that our Government was doing what was best for our economy. I actually believed the propaganda from the economists who were spreading fear of inflation. I believed that our Government was not printing money because of that fear. But now I realize that the banks, without control by our legislators, are creating money, without consideration of its harm to individuals and country. Instead of money being created for all of us, it is being created by the banks, for the banks, out of nothing. Instead of the increase in the money supply being based on created wealth, it is being created by strokes of computer keys. It is being based on pieces of paper or digital pulses with nothing to back it. The money created results from devaluation of the savings of the rest of us, and transfer of wealth to the financial community. No wonder the wealth is being accumulated by the financial elite and the middle class is disappearing. Whoever you are out there, do as I have done, go to the internet, including You Tube and listen to what people, much smarter than me, are saying about our economies. I was impressed by the simplification of the analysis, by a retired school teacher named Bill Abram, on You Tube. Many Economists present much of the same analysis, but he says it so that it can be understood. The documentary “”The 5 Horsemen” by a British group calling itself “Renegade Economists” is worth a watch. There are plenty of scary commentaries about the precipice on which the USA and British economies find themselves. This damned foolishness of using Gross Domestic Product, based on what we consume or destroy, to indicate the health of our economy, is the type of lie that has enslaved societies. The concept that increasing consumption is good for our economy is so bizarre that it supports the concept that the bigger the lie, the harder to disprove it. It is not consumption but increased production that is good for our economy. During WWII, the Government created money for production, for jobs, our economy was healthy. There was not much consumption, but people were happy with their economy. Our Government is encouraging depletion of our natural resources, discouraging production, allowing consumption with money we do not have, and allowing the banks to print the money. I have always had an aversion of conspiracy theories. But, considering the fragility of human morality, that of a world order, controlled by an elite, is giving me an uneasy feeling. I believe in independence, both of the individual and country. Being a small country, rich in human and natural resources, we might be able insulate ourselves from the economic deterioration to our south, and elsewhere in the world. But we can not do it with Political parties, controlled by an elite, with short term vision, committed to themselves, instead of the welfare of our country.

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