Wednesday, October 30, 2013
As a teenager, I used to day dream about escaping the oppressive communist society where we lived. I did not have a passport and a snowball chance in hell of getting one, I did not have any money, and our travel was restricted to a 20 mile radius, as far as our feet could carry us, as far as the rickety government-run buses would transport us, and as far as our pocketbooks allowed. We were so poor though, the wind whistled through our pockets most of the time.
I hid in Grandpa’s tall corn fields or in the woods by my favorite creek to do my deep thinking and planning. I could not afford to day dream in school. I was afraid the security agents, teachers, and the community organizers in the neighborhood that kept us in check around the clock would be able to read my thoughts or I would blurt something out that would give my thoughts away and get me and my family in trouble. Under communism, parents were responsible and guilty for their children’s deeds and anti-communist thoughts, statements, or unapproved behavior. Many careless comments by children with loose tongues sent their parents to Jilava or Siberia.
My dream to come to the United States, the land of freedom, seemed so impossible at the time. I could not swim, therefore I could not attempt to take the plunge across the Danube like some of my compatriots did; they were shot or drowned trying to flee. The currents were pretty strong and swift. I knew I would be shot at the border – many Romanians tried that as well and were executed on the spot. Those who succeeded ran the chance of being discovered and returned to the motherland, followed by torture and worse.
I made it even though I looked over my shoulder in fear and trepidation up to the moment the airplane took off. I just knew an agent would open the door and yank me off the plane, sending me back to the hell hole of communism. I could see and smell freedom once the plane took off. I could breathe and be free to speak my mind! I thank God for allowing me to enjoy relative freedom for 35 years. Will it be a long time before I complete the full circle, living again under communism, this time in “the land of the free and the home of the brave?”
People from around the world still dream to come to the United States. For most, it remains just a pipe dream. But even those who hate Americans wish they could be on American soil, somehow magically transported across the oceans, to have the opportunity to succeed and attain the American dream. And then there are those who come here with the dream and intent to change America into a caliphate.
The lucky Latin Americans can trek to our southern border and cross it freely now – few agents are allowed to apprehend them anymore and liberals make sure that they are never deported to their own countries. Crossing the border illegally into the U.S. is a lucrative business for Latinos, their progressive lobby in Washington, and the small and large businesses that wish to hire cheap labor. The proximity to our borders gives illegals carte blanche to break the law, take advantage of our lawless government, and become permanent wards of the American taxpayers. We should at least get a picture of the illegal aliens whose financial welfare and wellbeing we are sponsoring with our taxes. Their illegal children have become the “Dreamers” who demand everything American children get; it is their “right” and “entitlement.”
American teenagers here still dream to go to college, to have a career, to have a family, a solid job, and to grow old in freedom and prosperity. Unfortunately their dreams are fast turning into illusions, a frightening reality of joblessness, financial and health insecurity, welfare dependency, drug culture, immigration nightmare, socialist government control, and the diminishing chance of ever owning a home while holding a worthless college degree without the prospect of employment.
I fulfilled my dream of becoming an American citizen by choice. I cherished my freedom and never took for granted the chance at a better life, the education and prosperity it offered me if I was willing to work hard. Americans should thank God every day for being born in this exceptional country.
Overseas dreamers have been waiting patiently for years the resolution of their cases. Four millions of them are still hoping to come to the United States. They are not so lucky – oceans separate them from the “shining city on the hill,” the land of opportunity that lately looks more and more like the land of OZ.
Sebelius testifying on 10-30-13 on exchanges website, food rationing. I come on at the 43 minute mark.
Monday, October 28, 2013
I remember our daily food always coming from a long, long line at the end of which was a loaf of bread, a liter of milk, a stick of butter, a bottle of murky cooking oil, or a kilo of bones with traces of meat and fat on them.
The interminable lines looked like this bread line pictured here. We never knew what was sold at the end of a line we happened to come upon, but we knew we needed whatever people lined up to buy, so we joined the line.
If we wanted to eat, we learned at a very young age that we had to stand in long lines every day, often in bitter cold at 4 a.m. in hopes that the store would not run out of bread or milk by the time we made it to the front counter.
People carried cash and a shopping bag just in case they discovered hard to find items: toilet paper, aspirin, cotton balls, soap, potatoes, oranges, apples, flour, sugar, or cooking oil. From time to time, the shortage was so bad, we were issued rationing coupons. Once you ran out of rationing coupons for the month, you could not buy anything unless you were lucky enough to have extra cash to shop from the burgeoning black market of hoarders with communist party connections.
The ruling elite, of course, was fat and happy, shopping at their own grocery stores, usually located underground the local Communist Party headquarters.
It wasn’t that the country did not produce enough food in spite of its disastrous centralized communist party planning. The mad dictator Ceausescu was determined to industrialize the country at the expense of people’s food – he exported so much to the West in exchange for technology and hard currency that the Romanians had to make do with the leftover food not fit for export.
The agricultural five year plan was developed by communist bureaucrats who were community organizers with very little experience at producing anything and very little formal education. They were schooled in the fine art of radical agitation.
Around Christmas time and Easter, there would be more food sent to stores, the lines were shorter for a few days and the stores better stocked. But that did not last very long. People would wipe out the supply in no time and the store shelves would be empty again, with one very expensive salami hanging behind the counter or in the window, buzzed by flies.
But that was nothing compared to the Soviet plan to starve the Romanian population of Bessarabia in 1946-1947 in order to achieve collectivization. According to the 1897 census, almost 48% of the population was Moldovan and thus spoke Romanian. Bessarabia and Northern Bucovina were Romanian-held prior to the military occupation by the Soviet Red Army during June 28-July 4, 1940. To avoid a military conflict, Romania withdrew from the area following a Soviet ultimatum delivered on June 26. The Romanian province was recaptured by Ion Antonescu from 1941-1944 and then reoccupied by the Soviets in 1944. The regions were subsequently incorporated into the USSR.
I recently came across an eye-witness 25 minute documentary by Bogdan Parlea, “Marturii Despre Suferintele Romanilor din Basarabia” (“Witness to the Suffering of the Romanians in Bessarabia”), produced by the Fundatia Sfintii Inchisorilor and Fundatia Parintele Arsenie Boca. Hundreds of thousands of Moldovans died at the hands of their Soviet Socialist tormentors who confiscated their crops by force and shipped the food to USSR. Wheat and corn was left to rot and mold in uncovered wagons at train stations; it was done to leave farmers as poor and desperate as possible in order to better manipulate and control them. http://www.identitatea.it/foametea-din-basarabia-1946-1947/
According to Alexandru Moraru, the gazette “Moldova Socialista” (“Socialist Moldova”) reported on January 28, 1947 that the food industry in the region had exceeded butter production by 33.2 percent, meat production by 32.5 percent, and canned food by 101.9 percent. This was the food confiscated from the starving Moldovans who were too weak to bury their own dead. http://www.historia.ro/exclusiv_web/general/articol/canibalismul-provocat-sovietici-basarabia
It was a Soviet state secret - nobody was allowed to write or speak about the horrors that took place in Chisinau, Orhei, Balti, Cahul, and other villages, how collectivization agents took the last drop of food and grain from the farmer’s barns, and how the children of Moldova were kidnapped, brought into homes, murdered, cooked, and eaten.
Survivors were interviewed as eye witnesses to the communist power which forced peasants to pay confiscatory taxes as well as huge quantities of their crops to the Soviet state, leaving them with little to eat. The small crop yields resulting from a very dry growing season coupled with the forced confiscation in the name of collectivization caused mass famine. Ten percent of the 1.5 million population died of starvation and a large percentage that survived were severely malnourished, looking like Holocaust victims.
Anatolie Iov Spinei described how the crop yield in 1946-1947 was only 500-600 kg per hectare due to the draught that year and the forced quota to the Soviet state was also 500-600 kg.
Eugenia Ciuntu described how her family dug a large barrel in the ground and hid grain inside but the Soviet community organizers came with sticks and tapped the ground, finding the barrel in the soft dirt. They were tapping everywhere, even hay stacks, in an attempt to find every last drop of grain.
Petre Buburuz, Orthodox Priest, explained that the end game was to starve and kill as many peasants as possible, take their land, and establish the Soviet collectives, the “colhoz.” He described how people kidnapped other people and sold them for meat.
Margareta Spanu Cemartan talked about the “communist ideology to scare people, to bring them to desperation,” to make them acquiesce to become part of the collectivization when faced with the prospect of dying. Farmers will turn in their pre-determined quota of grain to the waiting trains, receive a receipt, and then the communist agents would come back for a second round of quotas, forcing them to sweep the last kernels of wheat and corn from their barns and give up their last chicken, cow, or pig. They were left with 8 children and nothing to feed them.
What did they eat? How did they survive? Parents fed their children first and chose to die the swelling and painful death of starvation. Nadejda Botea told how some men ground tree bark to feed their families. Valentina Sturza said that those found hiding food, were sent to Siberia 10-15 years in labor camps. Some survived by boiling non-poisonous weeds.
Ion Moraru said that every family had to turn in a certain quantity of everything that was produced on a farm, eggs, meat, grain, milk, cheese, wool, but not all peasants had all of these, so they had to pay extra taxes to make up for the shortage of food quota. Many were taken to the police precinct and beaten.
Those in charge of the collective farms were afraid to tell Stalin and his henchmen that the crop had been poor because of the draught. Consequently, the quotas were not adjusted to reflect the low crop yield.
People were so desperate to eat, they sold everything of value, icons, gold items, carpets, windows, doors, silverware, candlesticks, rosaries, including the clothes off their backs. According to Anatolie Iov Spinei, “Bread had become the currency. A carpet was worth a loaf of bread.”
Teodosia Cosmin talked about eating weeds. Her mom sold every piece of clothing in her daughters’ dowry trunks in order to survive.
Anastasia Ursachi talked about farmers keeping cows and goats in the house with them otherwise they were stolen and eaten. “Women carried babies to term, killed them, and fed them to the other children,” she said.
They ate all dogs and cats. Nadejda Botea described how a woman’s husband passed away; she put the body in the attic and fed him daily to her children. The weak were robbed of their food and possessions, so deep was the desperation.
Those who did not engage in cannibalism, were so weak, they were unable to bury their dead. They dragged them into mass graves and abandoned them. Some died when the new crop came in and families ate too much.
After watching this shocking eyewitness documentary with film footage of that time period, I will never again look at food in the same way. The inhumanity of a desperate human being in the quest for survival at all costs is glaring and devastating evidence why communists should never be allowed to take power again.
Sunday, October 27, 2013
A lot of Americans take water for granted because it is relatively cheap and readily available in most areas. They count on turning on the water spigot and the water flows. They also take for granted their water heaters – few people had to do without hot water in recent memory. Perhaps those who were the victims of tornadoes and hurricanes can better understand having to do without water, hot water, heat, and electricity for days and weeks at a time.
If you ask any Americans like me who grew up under communism and deprivation, we know what it’s like to go the entire summer, every summer, without any hot water and scheduled cold water because that is when the communist leadership decided that it was the best time to clean the cisterns of mineral deposits. At least that is what they told us. We had a few hours of hot water during winter time, 5-7 a.m. and 5-7 p.m. Cold water was also regulated in summer time. During the day, when everyone was assumed to be at work or school, there was no cold water for eight hours. I am not sure they did it out of incompetence, spite, or to make us as miserable as possible.
Anemic heat was delivered by steam heaters. The fact that we lived on the fifth floor of a decrepit high-density concrete apartment did not help with the heat. By the time the steam got to our level, it was approaching lukewarm. As a child, I would put my hands on the coils to warm my frozen hands. Once in a while, it was hot enough and we would hang clothes to dry over the radiator coils.
The gas oven would help warm the kitchen and we utilized the top stove to boil water to do dishes or bathe in the tub. At least we had a tub. The country folks had it much worse; they got their water from a well, using a chain and bucket to hoist water out. Villages in flat areas could afford iron hand-cranked water pumps; they did not have to dig through rock, making wells more affordable and water easier to find.
I have walked as far as two miles one way to bring back two buckets of water at a time for drinking, cooking, and to flush the commode. Do Americans believe that these are scenarios out of a Depression area movie? Of course, they’ve lived in abundance and luxury their entire lives. Is that likely to change? I am most certainly sure that it is and it will.
Bring in the liberals with their control agenda; water is already tightly controlled in some areas and it will continue to be more restrictive to use, and more expensive. The EPA controlling rain water, Executive Order 13603 of March 16, 2012 giving the Department of Defense control over all of our water resources in both peace and war time, Agenda 21’s public-private partnerships to control rivers and water supplies, watersheds, blowing up dams, denying irrigation water to vegetable and fruit producing farmers in San Joaquin Valley in California represent major efforts to alter Americans’ “wasteful and evil capitalist” lifestyle, de-developing U.S. to the level of third world nations.
“A massive campaign must be launched to de-develop the United States. De-development means bringing our economic system into line with the realities of ecology and the world resource situation.” (Paul Ehrlich, Professor of Population Studies)
Was water really in short supply or undeliverable in the communist “paradise” I had to endure for 20 years? No, it was not about water shortage, it was about power and control over our ability to drink, to cook, to bathe, to wash our clothes, to flush our commodes, it was an attempt to make us so miserable and submissive to their will that when we did get water, we were grateful to our benevolent masters and controllers.
Thursday, October 24, 2013
I mailed a package of clothes overseas today. It cost $120. The same package cost $30-$40 to ship not long ago. So much for this administration’s highly advertised “non-existent” inflation. The service has not improved, nor did the sour demeanor and the speed of the government employees, but the cost went up at least three times. The pay is good and the benefits are stellar, but then, who wants to sort mail all day and deal with the stressed public?
We’ve heard every year that the U.S. Post Office is insolvent and must raise the price of stamps, a nice way of saying, they are broke and have been broke for a long time. Taxpayer bailouts and subsidies have been their business model. Rep. Darrell Issa said, without “the freedom to realign its infrastructure and operations in line with the changing way Americans use mail, the agency will remain insolvent.” (Jennifer G. Hickey, Newsmax, October 22, 2013)
Few noticed, in the flurry of crises created by this administration, that the U.S. Post Office defaulted a third time this year on a binding $5.6 billion payment for the future healthcare of retirees. Who funds the future healthcare of retirees not the current healthcare?
The price of stamps will go up again in 2014 to cover the 2013 loss of $6 billion. A government bailout of $50 billion would be needed in 2017. How do they know exactly how much would be needed by 2017?
The USPS discarded recently millions of already printed stamps in the “Just Move” series because three of the 15 sports activities shown were found objectionable (children performing a cannonball dive, skateboarding without kneepads, and doing a headstand without a helmet) by liberal sports figures who feared that they may hurt our sissified and fragile children. https://postalnews.com/postalnewsblog/2013/10/07/usps-to-destroy-just-move-stamps-over-safety-concerns/
How did previous generations survive without all these helmets, seat belts, knee pads, elbow pads, butt pads while riding in cars, riding bikes, playing dodge ball, tag, football, basketball, and other activities deemed “dangerous” by the liberal left who like to control everything?
Many Americans are paying bills online and traditional mail has dropped by 30 percent. I wished the level of junk and unsolicited mail would drop to zero. If the post office cannot adjust its business model, detractors say, closing locales that are losing money and forging cheaper public-private partnerships are the only options.
If a simple agency of the U.S. government cannot operate successfully delivering letters and packages, should the government be running our healthcare system when it is already experiencing major enrollment and operational “glitches” that are everybody’s fault except the fault of those who wrote, pushed, and passed Obama Care? What would the delivery of actual health care be like?
On the other hand, according to Yves Smith, the USPS’ financial status is a fabrication. What gives it the appearance of insolvency is a 2006 Congressional measure that forces the USPS to “prepay retiree benefits 75 years in advance. It has to fund benefits now for workers who haven’t even been hired.” He believes that a “looting opportunity” is in place to turn the post office into a public-private partnership. http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/19042-senator-diane-feinsteins-husband-selling-post-offices-to-cronies-on-the-cheap
Peter Byrne, in his yearlong investigation has uncovered dealings involving closures and sales of post offices around the country. He describes one such closure in downtown Berkley. http://www.eastbayexpress.com/oakland/going-postal/Content?oid=3713528&showFullText=true
Peter Byrne’s e-book, “Going Postal: U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein's husband sells post offices to his friends, cheap,” is on the best seller list at Amazon under journalism. One interesting chapter is titled, “Turning public assets into private gold.” The research for his 2013 book was funded by the William James Association in Santa Cruz, California.http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00F3JTO9G?tag=vglnkc8012-20
Byrne describes the July 27, 2013 demonstration outside the historic post office in downtown Berkley. A city council member angrily protested the sale along with 200 other people. It was not just about the inconvenience of not being able to buy stamps, mail packages, send registered letters, or buy a money order, it was the fact that the Berkley City Council had unanimously voted against the sale. Would the American taxpayers gain from the postal service’s $85 billion real estate portfolio?
My radio segment with Alan Butler on Water use control vis-à-vis Agenda 21, October 23, 2013. I come on at the 43 minute mark.
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
“Absolute power is when a man is starving and you are the only one able to give him food.”
- Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwean dictator
(The Times, UK, July 9, 2004)
Ron Paul – Sec. of Treasury
Sarah Palin - Secretary of Energy (“Drill, baby, drill!”)
John Bolton – Secretary of State
Mark Levin – Attorney General
Ben Carson – Secretary of Health and Human Services
David Barton – Secretary of Education
- Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwean dictator
(The Times, UK, July 9, 2004)
Trevor Loudon is a ball of energy. A New Zealander, Trevor is more passionate about saving America from the scourge of communism than most Americans are. Why would he care about what happens to America? He worries because without America, there is nobody to save the rest of the world in times of trouble and to carry the torch of personal freedom. Trevor should know because his country is run by socialists and progressives. Trevor wrote a very telling 688-page book about “The Enemies Within, Communists, Socialists and Progressives in the U.S. Congress.”
On a rainy evening in October, Loudon spoke to a packed room in Alexandria about the state of socialism and communism in America. He is believable and real because he has no political aspirations, no grandiose plan of power and control over the American people.
Most Americans are bored by the peace and prosperity afforded to them by the capitalist economy, they want the illusory and utopian promise of communism, equality for the proletariat, equal misery and equal poverty.
He talked about a friend who spent 30 days in jail after he was caught at the Canadian border – he overstayed his visa by one day. Had he been an illegal alien, Trevor said, he would have been invited in, given a free cell phone, free housing, food stamps, free education for his children, free health care, and all welfare benefits afforded American citizens. The room erupted in nervous laughter.
Security is all around, he said, NSA is spying on you, TSA is checking your “crotches and underwear,” and clearance is difficult to obtain for low level employees. Yet, if you put on a suit and tie and run for office in Congress, you can “serve” on the Intelligence Committee, the Armed Services Committee, the Science and Technology Committee, or the Judiciary Committee with zero security clearance.
“There are over 100 members of Congress who could not pass a security clearance to clean the toilets at a military base in the United States. If you were a foreign agent and had friends in the Communist Party USA, Democrat Socialists of America, and the labor movement, would you not try to take advantage of such a relationship? Many members of Congress are linked to hostile foreign powers.”
I quoted in my book and named the names of those in Congress who influence your public policy every day yet their allegiance rests with foreign hostile powers, Loudon said; I wrote about the regular trips that the Congressional Black Caucus makes to Cuba, so much so that even the Castro brothers have boasted about these excursions. “What would you call people who frequently appease and work with foreign powers that are enemies of the United States, who want to bring your country down? Would Cuba, Russia, China, and North Korea tolerate such individuals in public office?”
The communists have terrorized journalists with the word “McCarthyism” so much that they are afraid to say anything in defense of your country, thus allowing communists to continue their destructive and relentless work undisturbed. The public intimidation is so strong, so bold, and in plain view now.
“Your country has been targeted for destruction long time ago. In order to take over the world, they (communists) had to take you out.” Communists are very angry; they blame their failure and collapse on your sabotage work. It is not that communism failed on its own merit or lack thereof; it is the United States’ fault. ”America is the only thing stopping the workers’ paradise.” But now, they say, with new leaders in place and the overt support of over 100 members of the U.S. Congress, world socialism/communism will succeed.
Loudon described how six thousand communist agents from around the world trained at the Lenin Institute for Higher Learning in the early 1980s and were taught that the capitalist system does not work, it’s inefficient, it must be abolished, and only then communism would work.
Leaders in the East were chosen by the oligarchy in power. Andropov, Chernenko, and others were just figureheads. Perestroika was not Gorbachev’s idea. Gorbachev was told in 1983 that “we are going to have a major retreat from power, we are going to give up” temporarily in order to regroup. Gorbachev was not in charge, he was just the man chosen to implement the already decided policy – “a staged strategic defeat.”
Glasnost was not Gorbachev’s invented concept of democracy, freedom, openness from a communist totalitarian state. According to the highest ranking defectors, Gen. Pacepa, glasnost was an Old Russian term that described the improvement, “self-promotion and polishing” of someone’s image outside of the country, which is exactly what the Russians did. Even President Bush fell for this scam, finding Putin “straightforward and trustworthy,” although Putin turned his country into an “intelligence dictatorship, not a democracy.” (Disinformation, Ion Mihai Pacepa, p. 14)
Gen. Pacepa believes that with the help of “Kremlin framing,” the Marxist ideology and the admiration for murderous communist leaders gained a strong foothold in the West and became the “greatest political hoax perpetrated in history.” (Disinformation, Ion Mihai Pacepa, p. 44)
Loudon described how the Soviet economy was crumbling and, if they “staged a strategic defeat, give up nominal control of Eastern Europe, give up the word communism, open up the country to trade with the west, rebuild the economy, then communists could flood western countries with spies, infiltrate NATO and still have structures (their communist machine in place) in Poland, Czechoslovakia, Romania, Hungary, for when we want to come back.” Communism thus went underground.
Loudon continued, “Communism controls most of Latin America, Russia effectively dominates most of Eastern Europe, Iran effectively dominates much of the Arab world, China dominates the Eastern Pacific, Africa is controlled by China and in some degree Russia; and all your allies are being taken away from you, everywhere you look.”
Russia withdrew from Afghanistan, endured defeat and the appearance of incompetence in order to paint to the world that they were a weakened nation that nobody should fear. This resulted in a weakened NATO and a quickly disarming and weakened United States while China and Russia are currently busy arming themselves.
Louden described how “Russia used the World Peace Council in order to destroy the United States, weaken its military power, and destroy its alliances.” “Your military has been gutted so much that you are no longer a threat to the evil military axes of this world.” The federal government, he said, is no longer protecting you; it is protecting the interests of your enemies.
Loudon talked about all the socialists and communists in Congress, their life-long associations with nefarious, anti-American groups operating in the United States, associations with labor unions, their methods of infiltration, and their plans to destroy our Constitutional Republic.
“You can drive a bus through your political security in this country. You are the prize, you live in the freest country in the world, and you love your fellow man!” Because Americans are so generous, benevolent, altruistic, and live free, they cannot understand evil, why people outside of this country wish to “take them out, much less members of their own Congress.”
When Loudon suggested his idea of a coalition of patriotic Americans to restore America’s greatness and exceptionalism in the world, including expunging the Common Core Standards and the Race to Top Education Standards which are nationalized socialist indoctrination, the room erupted in thunderous applause.
Ted Cruz – presidential candidateAllen West – VP
Ron Paul – Sec. of Treasury
Sarah Palin - Secretary of Energy (“Drill, baby, drill!”)
John Bolton – Secretary of State
Mark Levin – Attorney General
Ben Carson – Secretary of Health and Human Services
David Barton – Secretary of Education
Sunday, October 20, 2013
It’s five a.m. and the bright full moon is casting dancing shadows in the hawkish wind. The dense, tall trees are creaking in the back yard forest with giant limbs swaying. The air is cold and dry; it has not rained in several days.
It’s a far cry from the balmy Florida yesterday. We got up at 6:30 a.m. to watch the sunrise over the ocean. Joan’s cottage is five minutes from the beach. In the salty damp warm air, the street greeted us with pitch blackness. The island has no street lights. The only ambient light comes from the moon and the stars and they were not providing much brightness. Our eyes adjusted to the dark and we walked in silence. I could hear the small geckos scatter in front of our feet. They were everywhere, like tiny beige Velociraptors. The lush tropical vegetation, especially the clustered and dense palm trees secluded any possible light coming from homes nearby. Many were shuttered for the winter season.
I did not see any Palmetto Bugs, the lovely euphemism given by Floridians to huge cockroaches but I cleaned their unpleasant presence in the shower and in the kitchen. I was busy vacuuming for a little while when we first arrived. The cottage had been closed for five months. While in the back yard, I saw a beautiful green snake slither between the tall grasses and the crushed sea shells. I could not search anything to see if it was poisonous or not. We had no Internet, no radio, no television, and very poor phone reception. We were not cut off from the world but it felt this way, not being tethered to some instantaneous form of communication. After a while, we got used to it and enjoyed life more and each other’s company.
It is October but the temperature was 88 degrees every day in Siesta Key. The ocean water was a balmy 82 degrees. We made our way to the beach groping in the dark. The damp sand felt soft and velvety under our feet. There was not a soul anywhere, just the thunder of the waves crashing into the rocky pier nearby. Erosion is a problem – large boulders and a rocky pier control some of it. A curious and unmoving crane perched on a rock is peering at us in the darkness.
We started walking in silence along the shoreline; the sun will rise on the left at 7:24. It was pointless to shoot pictures – it was too dark. Here and there flocks of sea gulls were still nesting noisily for the night. They did not scatter when they saw our shadows approaching. Waves lapped at our bare feet – I was surprised by the warmth of the ocean so early in the morning.
The tides left pools of water on the beach during the night. They will evaporate when the sun comes up. Small globs of jelly fish pick up the light. A ring of newly abandoned shells follow the shore line. Sea weeds and curiously long cucumber-like plants are scattered along the way. We walked for a good half hour before a tiny sliver of light emerged. Slowly, the sky changed color, becoming a milky dark grey, then hues of dark blue, light blue, and finally rays of pink fanning across the sky, breaking through the dark blue like projector lights on nature’s stage. The ocean appeared bluer from its ominous navy darkness.
I imagined the ocean depths teaming with creatures large and small and felt a twinge of tightness in my chest visualizing how quickly a human would succumb to such a hostile environment. Yet it was so beautiful! The sand took on the color of pink. Behind the condos dotting the beach, a dark orange light emerged, mixed with darkness. At exactly 7:24 a.m. an intense orange orb appeared. I looked around and saw several people walking the beach, searching for sea shells and a lone fisherman, knee-deep in water. The waves were not too fierce. The sea gulls flocks took off now when more humans approached. The crane was gone. I took pictures of the beach saturated with color. The fascinating palette flooded my eyes with shades of gold, yellow, pink, orange, and blue.
On our way back, we stopped at the Broken Egg, our favorite outdoor breakfast café, where they make the best omelets and a famous buttermilk pancake the size of a huge plate. If it is a place where locals line up to eat and have their favorite table, I know the food is delicious and cheap.
I must not forget Captain Curt’s crab and oyster bar, the first place winner for the best New England clam chowder competition that took place in Newport, Rhode Island. It was delicious! The place was hopping with locals and tourists every night.
The day before, while frolicking in the emerald green crystalline waters, I stopped in awe and fear when three small sting rays gently glided past me in the ocean. All I could think of was, please don’t flip your tails. I encountered fish of all sizes, glittering silver in the waves. One blue mid-size fish, resembling a marlin, swam slowly close to the surface; he appeared to let himself be carried by the warm surface currents.
I could not tell that thousands of miles away tropical storm Karen was brewing. Once in a while I felt a cold current bathing my feet. On our last day, the ocean became furious and agitated, the perfect time to surf on the tall waves. We were alone on the beach, a bit cloudy at first, a lone surfer watched like a hawk by the lifeguard on duty. A five minute quick rain drenched us while we sat in our chairs watching the surfer battle the waves. The sun came out, everything dried and the rest of the day was lovely, snoozing by the sound of crashing water with this paradise all to ourselves.
Siesta Key was voted number one beach in the country in 2011. Why travel to faraway lands when we have such a fantastic jewel in Florida?
Florida was the best acquisition to the United States string of pearls. According to the 1819 Adams-Onis Treaty, Spain ceded Florida to the United States for $5 million and the promise that America would renounce any claims to Texas that they might have had from the Louisiana purchase. Alternately, the Spanish, the French, and the British ruled over this strip of heaven.
But Sarasota and its keys, with the most beautiful beaches in the country are its Tahitian pearls. The dunes, the tall grasses, the sugar white sand, the emerald green waters, the balmy climate, and the lush vegetation blooming year round make it one of the best in the world.
According to some historians, conquistador Ponce de Leon named the peninsula in April 1513, La Florida (flowery land) because of the Spanish Easter Season named Pascua Florida (Flowery Easter). The lush vegetation was in bloom at the time when he landed. From 1630 through the 18th century, La Florida was also known as Tegesta, after the Tegesta tribe, as it appeared on a Dutch map of cartographer Hessel Gerritsz.
Sarasota is a retirement heaven judging by the numerous hospitals and clinics everywhere. It was not the height of tourist season, some stores were closed for fall, but many were empty, victims of the terrible mismanaged economy of the last four years.
The Lido Beach area in St. Armands Key was hopping with rich tourists, some speaking Arabic, and a wedding party; a lovely couple had just tied the knot on the beach at sunset. Year-round rich locals come out in the evening in the Harding Historic Circle for a promenade with their leashed dogs or in infant strollers and to have dinner at their favorite European style cafes. Our eating experience at the four-star restaurant Crab and Fin was a disaster.
St. Armands Key was an oval shaped, 150-acre uninhabited island when John N. Ringling (1866-1936) purchased it in 1923. Ringling planned a community of expensive homes with a central park. The Harding Park was named after his friend, President Warren Harding (1865-1923).
St. Armands was opened in 1923 when the bridge to the mainland was completed. Mediterranean and Spanish style homes were built after 1945 and more residential and shopping areas were developed later.
I learned that on January 16, 2001, Harding Circle with its associated medians and boulevards was placed on the Register of Historic Places for “its unique early planning and development.” The residents view this designation with pride and accomplishment.
The area is now dotted with lovely white marble statues, a stark white contrast to the green palm trees and flowering bushes. The Allegory of Sarasota, one cluster of statues representing the seven virtues “conceived and designed by Edward Pinto,” is looked upon with approval by the statue of a benevolent Michelangelo:
- - Music (representing the performing arts)
- - Flora (representing natural beauty)
- Aristotle (representing the local area research and facilities)
- Sculpture (representing painting and sculpture)
- Asclepius (god of medicine, representing the many local specialists and clinics)
- Bounty (representing the richness of land and sea)
- Amphitrite (wife of Neptune, representing the gulf and bays).
Downtown Sarasota proudly displays a huge statue called “Unconditional Surrender,” created by sculptor J. Seward Johnson, the anonymous kiss between a soldier and a nurse, a symbol of freedom, a celebrated moment in the history of our nation marking the end of WWII. Jack Curran bought the sculpture and, with the help of various Sarasota county veterans organizations, donated the sculpture to the city of Sarasota.
Sarasota was once the winter home of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus. The cultural attractions include the John and Mabel Ringling Museum of Art (1927), a 66-acre estate on Sarasota Bay, the Mote Marine Laboratory (1955), Selby Gardens (1975), Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall (1968), Florida West Coast Symphony (1949), College of Art and Design (co-founded by Ringling in 1931) and many others.
But for me, the salty ocean water, the spray, the breeze, the spectacular sunsets and sunrises, the pelicans diving for food, the majestic cranes, sand dunes with native grasses tall and willowy in the wind, the turtle nests, and the snow white sand are the main attraction. I cannot have enough napping by the sea, watching nature unfold before my inquisitive eyes, and playing like a kid in the ocean surf.
Friday, October 18, 2013
“Your failure to be informed does not make me a wacko.” – John Loeffler
Water is a precious and scarce commodity for some nations who are geographically located in areas prone to draught or with a predominant desert landscape. It is priceless in certain locales and so abundant in others that the marginal utility of an additional gallon of water is very low. When something is overabundant people tend to abuse it.
Water pollution affects industrialized, developing, and under-developed nations. We should not worry though, the United Nations has a plan for that; we are living in the “water for life decade 2005-2015.” Its website, “UN Water,” proclaimed at the January 8-10, 2013 conference, “Preparing for the 2013 International Year. Water Cooperation: Making it Happen!”http://www.un.org/waterforlifedecade/water_cooperation_2013/
How is this going to happen? It is called “water diplomacy,” forming private-public partnerships, “supporting all stakeholders, including those in governments, international organizations, private sector, civil society, and academia at an appropriate level while considering cultural aspects in different cooperation initiatives.” It sounds purposefully complex and confusing but it is just another arm of the United Nations’ ever encroaching agenda.
This conference proclaimed the World Water Week which was held September 1-6, 2013, during the “International Year of Water Cooperation” under the theme “Water Cooperation – Building Partnerships”. The event was an addition to the World Water Day, held on March 22, “to generate general attention on the importance of water and to advocate for the sustainable management of freshwater resources.”
The United Nations has been seriously involved in controlling water use policy in the 178 countries that have signed the 40 chapters of the UN Sustainable Development, June 3-14, 1992 Rio Conference on Environment and Development, better known as UN Agenda 21.
Section II, chapter 17 (17.1-17.136) is dedicated to specific “protection of the oceans, all kinds of seas, including enclosed and semi-enclosed seas, and coastal areas and the protection, rational use and development of their living resources.”
Section II, chapter 18 (18.1-18.90) is dedicated to the sustainable development of water, “protection of the quality and supply of freshwater sources; application of integrated approaches to the development and use of water sources.”
The estimated cost of running just these two “programmes” annually runs into billions of dollars in taxpayer and non-governmental (NGOs) contributions.
Section 18.11 established that by the year 2000, all 178 signatory states of UN Agenda 21 should have efficient water-use programs in place to attain sustainable resource utilization patterns.
Section 18.12 (c) makes it clear how to do that – “develop interactive databases, forecasting models, economic planning models and methods for water management and planning, including environmental impact assessment methods.” The problem is that forecasting and modeling have been proven wrong in the case of manufactured “man-made global warming” that UN and all its affiliates have been peddling.
UN further suggests in 18.12 (g) the promotion of “schemes for rational water use through public awareness-raising, educational programmes and levying of water tariffs and other economic instruments.”
The UN report also recommended that water should be rationed for sustainable food production in agriculture. We know what happened in San Joaquin Valley, California, a few years ago when the fate of a tiny fish (the smelt) overrode the survival of thousands of acres of farms and orchards. Hundreds of farmers who had raised fruits and vegetables for generations were bankrupted when water for irrigation was withheld in spite of national protests.
Nicknamed “The Food Basket of the World” for its 12.8% contribution to the U.S. food production that comes from California, the eight county San Joaquin Valley has another unique problem. Because of environmental opposition to urban sprawl, the eight counties adopted another UN Agenda 21 pet project, the “regional blueprint planning process” that will result in denser high-rise developments and more public transportation. Would the land thus saved be designated for agriculture? Not necessarily because UN Agenda 21 proponents are fond of re-wilding.
Section 18.12 (n) endorses “the enhancement of the role of women in water resources planning and management.”
Section 18.39 (d) recommends that urban residents should have access to 40 liters of water per capita, per day, the equivalent of less than 10 gallons.
On September 13, 2013, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack and Coca-Cola Americas President Steve Cahillane announced a “public-private partnership to restore and protect damaged watersheds on national lands.” This partnership between USDA, Coca-Cola Americas, the National Forest Foundation (NFF), and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), business, and community organizations (NGOs) is presented as a better way to “protect our nation’s watersheds and further enhance restoration efforts, even during challenging budget times.” Federal dollars were matched two-to-one by Coca-Cola, NFF, and NFWF.
The claim is made that more than a billion liters of water will be returned to the National Forest System which provides drinking water to more than 60 million Americans. Coca-Cola claims that it supports more than 100 water projects in the U.S. in order to balance the water they use and to “ensure clean water supplies for communities.”
The private-public partnership claimed in 2012 to have restored natural resources and wildfire-damaged watersheds. Two examples were given:
- “Stream channels impacted by severe wildfires are now rehabilitated and help provide clean water for the greater Denver area.” No description how that was accomplished.
- “In California Sierra Nevada Mountains, water is returned to its natural flow through a meadow improving the watershed that supplies the East Bay area.” How was that accomplished?
Four more plans are in the works for the private-public partnership between USDA and Coca-Cola with all its interested stakeholders:
- “Near Chicago, water will be restored to a wetland that had once been drained, replenishing the aquifer.” Will it involve confiscation of someone’s land, currently used for agricultural purposes?
- “Invasive weeds on California’s Angeles National Forest will be removed, improving water supplies for residents of Los Angeles and forest wildfire.” I visited this particular National Forest and I saw nothing but brush and rocks. I actually photographed two trees on a stretch of miles. How will the weeds be removed?
- “A New Mexico stream, altered by historic mining activity, will be redirected to its natural flow, improving water quality and groundwater storage.” Will this natural flow flood other people’s properties and/or arable land?
- In the Lake Michigan watershed, a stream will be restored to its natural flow, reducing flooding, enhancing aquatic habitat, and improving water quality.”
I am a bit skeptical. The projects seem more habitat-related, protecting and improving the wildlife and its habitat. Furthermore, corporations are not known for environmental friendliness. They obey the EPA rules, pay fines when they don’t, and care for the bottom line of their shareholders.
Cahillane said, "Our experience combined with the knowledge and resources of USDA and other partners will exponentially increase efforts to create healthier, more sustainable communities for all Americans."
It sounded lofty, conscientious, and responsible, and I am certainly applauding any effort to clean our water supply. But then I became suspicious when I saw the words, sustainable communities for all Americans, right in line with UN Agenda 21 stated goals of controlling all forms of water supply, fishing, recreational activities on water, transportation and passage on water under the guise of sustainable everything.http://usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?contentidonly=true&contentid=2013/09/0180.xml
By 2020, Coca-Cola wants to replenish 100 percent of the water used in soft-drinks. It partnered with WaterAid, an international non-profit, to supply drinking water to Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso’s capital, in West Africa and in two rural communities in southern Ethiopia.http://www.environmentalleader.com/2013/09/16/coke-usda-partner-to-restore-watersheds/
Liberals drank the UN Agenda 21 Kool-Aid and are now in full mode forcing it down our throats in the name of saving us from ourselves.
Part III of my discussion with Alan Butler (Butler on Business) on Common Core and other comments. I come on at the 32 minute mark.
“The water you drink today has likely been around in one form or another since dinosaurs roamed the Earth, hundreds of millions of years ago.” – National Geographic
Water is life and it is recyclable, covering 70 percent of our planet; 2.5 percent is fresh water and “only 1 percent is easily accessible, the rest is trapped in glaciers and snowfields.” National Geographic tries to make the case that freshwater is in a crisis since its levels have remained the same over millennia but the human population has exploded to seven billion. No mention is made of animals that also need drinking water.http://environment.nationalgeographic.com/environment/freshwater/freshwater-crisis/
Environmentalists have been telling us for quite some time that man-made global warming would result in the melting of polar ice caps and glaciers, causing 25 feet rise in the ocean levels, destroying all the islands and coastal areas around the globe. But the moneyed liberals who spell this gloom and doom scenario have built elaborate mansions in coastal areas around the globe. And the polar ice caps have experienced this year a 60 percent increase in ice. http://www.ecnmag.com/blogs/2013/09/has-global-cooling-begun-arctic-ice-caps-grow-60-year
Humans seem to be “inefficient water users,” says National Geographic. One hamburger takes 630 gallons to produce while “water-intensive crops such as cotton are grown in arid regions.” In the U.S., cotton is grown in the south where water is plentiful.
The ever-wise United Nations guestimates that by 2025, “1.8 billion people will live in areas plagued by water scarcity, with two-thirds of the world’s population living in water-stressed regions as a result of use, growth, and climate change.” Non-existent global warming/climate change is the culprit even though the earth has been cooling for the last 15 years. http://www.forbes.com/fdc/welcome_mjx.shtml
Rainwater has thus become a contentious issue which must be regulated by EPA say environmentalists and their progressive supporters around the country who make their life mission to control the rest of us because we are so ignorant, we must be told what to do in painful detail. http://www.waterworld.com/articles/print/volume-29/issue-8/urban-water-management/regulating-rainfall.html A wise judge in Virginia struck down the attempted rainwater regulation by the EPA. http://conservative-outlooks.com/2013/01/15/epas-attempt-to-regulate-rainwater-dries-up/ However, it did not stop other states and local boards to proceed with implementation of its regulation.
Before 2009 “it was illegal in Colorado to gather rainwater and snowmelt that fell from a rooftop, patio, or driveway into barrels.” It was considered theft. In most of the western United States, it is still illegal to capture rainwater due to “the prior appropriation doctrine that governs water.” Colorado allowed capture after a study revealed that 97 percent of rainfall in the Denver area never reached the rivers, it evaporated.
The Colorado Senate Bill 09-080 was so strict that urbanites could never capture rainwater. The rules were as follows:
- Collecting rainwater had to be done only on residential property
- The homeowner had to have a legal entitlement to a well
- No water was provided by a city to the homeowner
- Water could only be collected from the roof
- The rainwater collected could only be used in the manner described in the well permit
I wonder how many people are in violation of the law when they leave an empty container outside and it fills up with rainwater?
Progressives and the U.N. are obsessed with water, among many other things, as a way to control what people do in their daily lives. Take for instance a golfing community in Texas that pumps water from the Brazos river running next to the golf course. After estimating the number of gallons of water needed to water their lawn, they paid the county for the water plus an additional amount in case they have underestimated their needs. After years of this business arrangement, the county wants to “renegotiate” the agreement because they feel that the course is not entitled to so much of “God’s water.”
Additionally, the residents cannot build cisterns to catch rainfall because “God’s water” would run on the property, seep into the ground, and run off into the river, thus polluting it.
As I described in my previous article, http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/58534United Nations has a strong vested interest to control our water supply and our passage through the seas, oceans, our shipping, fishing, and mineral and oil exploration on the bottom of the ocean. They are controlling it through Agenda 21, chapters 17 and 18 signed by 178 countries, including the United States, and through the Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST) which has not yet been ratified by the Senate for lack of sufficient votes. They will keep trying until they have the votes.
Executive Order 13603 from March 16, 2012 gives the Department of Defense authority over all water resources. The order also covers all food, transportation, energy, construction materials, “health resources,” farm equipment, fertilizers, and all fuels that can be commandeered and controlled by our government both in peacetime and during national emergencies. http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/03/16/executive-order-national-defense-resources-preparedness
Tombstone, Arizona, “the town too tough to die,” has been embroiled in expensive litigation with the USDA and the Forest Service over its ability to use water from the mountain springs that has provided the desert town with water since the 1880s, predating the Wilderness Act by 80 years.
A Monument Fire in 2011 destroyed the pipes in Huachuca Mountains that carried the water down from its source in the Miller Canyon Wilderness Area. Boulders the size of cars buried the pipes. The Forest Service denied residents the use of heavy machinery to unearth the pipes that were covered in some places by 12 feet of mud. Instead, they could only use wheelbarrows and hand tools. As they were protecting an endangered species, a pair of nesting Mexican spotted owls, the Forest Service declined to give further information unless the Goldwater Institute paid nearly $80,000 in fees. http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2012/06/12/is-this-owl-forcing-historic-tombstone-az-to-fix-water-lines-with-horses-and-handtools/
Liberals do not have a problem with wind turbines chopping up millions of birds in flight around the world, including the golden eagle in California, as long as it is done in the name of renewable energy. But disturbing a pair of nesting Mexican spotted owls, so that 1,600 humans can get water, is not acceptable. http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2013/09/27/California-wind-farm-seeks-permit-to-kill-eagles/UPI-90981380303425/
The 10th Amendment protects states and their subdivisions from federal regulations that impede their ability to fulfill essential health and safety functions. “Though the water may originate on National Forest lands, Bureau of Land Management lands, and other federally managed lands, the rights to that water belong to the farms and ranches and cities.” The lawyers for the federal government disagree.
In mid-June 2012, a group of citizens armed with shovels trekked 2 miles up the mountain in 100 degree heat to restore water by hand from the Gardner Spring to the historical Tombstone, Arizona. http://netrightdaily.com/2012/06/tombstone-az-residents-forced-to-use-shovels-and-hand-tools-to-fix-water-supply/
Mr. Gosar made a one minute speech to the House of Representatives on December 12, 2012, “Our communities shouldn’t need their Congressman or a lawsuit to make basic repairs to infrastructure. The Federal Government should work with us, not against us, to preserve western water supplies.” http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?r112:H12DE2-0026:/
We now have to suffer the ill-effects of low flush “enviro-friendly” toilets that don’t really save any water since people have to flush them 4-5 times in order to get rid of human waste. To make matters worse, city sewers get stopped up because of low-flush toilets, costing them millions and millions of dollars a year to fix problems. The much touted flushable wipes also clog the small residential pipes and cost homeowners millions of dollars a year to dig out them out and replace. Yet there is plenty of water, save for cyclical periods of draught.
According to discovery.com, there are over 15,000 desalination plants around the world that convert ocean water into drinking water either by distillation or reverse osmosis. Environmentalists complain that both processes use too much electricity. Distillation involves boiling the sea water, capturing the steam, separating it into cooling tanks, which then condense the steam into fresh water. Reverse osmosis is filtration that removes the salt and minerals from the water. The brine left behind is usually piped back into the ocean.
Mike Mickley wrote in “US Municipal Desalination Plants: Number, Types, Location, Sizes, and Concentrate Management Practices” that 324 plants were built since 1971 in the United States, capable of producing 25,000 gallons of fresh water per day. The Carlsbad desalination plant in San Diego, California is slated for completion in 2016 and will be capable of producing 50 million gallons of fresh water per day, providing 7 percent of the San Diego region’s supply needs.
Progressive don’t like desalination because it uses too much electricity provided by coal and other fossil fuels, the culprits of CO2 and global warming. They would prefer that we live in a feudal type society centered on a self-sufficient village.
But the global warming did not pan out because it is a hoax. South Dakota got a record 23 inches of snow in early October this year that killed 100,000 cows - they either suffocated or froze to death. The MSM, with the exception of Fox News and the foreign press, did not report the disaster caused by the massive blizzard preceded by heavy rain. Our government did not send any help because South Dakota is flush with revenue from tar sands. Besides, the evil conservatives caused the government to shut down, FEMA’s hands were tied. http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/10/13/south-dakota-ranchers-reel-after-catastrophic-storm-leaves-up-to-100000-cattle/
Progressives don’t like hydroelectric power generation because it is interfering with nature, aquatic habitats, and the natural flow of rivers. Many dams have been blown up during this administration, citing this reason. The fact that nature itself causes rivers to flood, creating and destroying habitats at the same time, has escaped the progressive agenda.