Saturday, November 8, 2014

Common Genius-a book report

Guts, Grit & Common Sense How ordinary people create prosperous societies and how intellectuals make them collapse By Bill Greene This is another powerful book that rips apart history and re-writes from the basis of ordinary people. I came to possess it as a gift from some unknown person. It arrived in the mail from Amazon one day. I never received a bill nor was I able to learn who sent it to me. I would like to think it was from a friend who knew of my writings and wanted to share. The author explores history from long ago and points out how real progress was realized in isolated places where the people were not constrained by harsh government. The real meat is about the rise of America and the stagnant growth in Europe during the same time period. The people leaving Europe found a new land without rules or regulations restricting them from making lives for themselves. After the Revolution freeing America from England and the establishment of the Constitution and in particular the Bill of Rights for the next two hundred plus years America left the old world far behind. All sorts of new ideas generated new opportunities .There were of course difficulties to overcome such as the robber barons in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. Teddy did his best to curb them. They exploited labor as much as they could while reaping great fortunes for themselves, not unlike what we are experiencing today. His main theme is that ordinary people left to their own devices can work miracles but when suppressed and controlled they atrophy. He points out how easy it is for people to come under the spell of leaders like Hitler, Stalin, Mao and others who collectively murdered over 100,000,000 people on their way to creating their empires. Eliminating peaceful religion is a necessity. A people without a moral compass are easily swayed. I am, of course, not including Islam as a peaceful religion. He stresses that the growing moral uncertainty, the blurring of right and wrong, and a loss of confidence in the principles that made America the most free and prosperous nation in the world is why we are floundering today with many factions warring with each other and no common ground. There is a vast amount of insight and information to be gained by reading. It will not be easy so be prepared. Jack B. Walters November 8, 2014

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Pump- a documentary film

This is another eye opening documentary. It should be seen by all Americans or at the very least all politicians. It was shown in the main theatre of the Loft. There were five people in total who attended. I actually made a new friend with a man from Iowa. We had much in common. The following will be my recollection of what I saw. Whether the facts presented are totally true I have not attempted to verify so if you disagree then we can discuss. It begins with the dismantling of the streetcar system which was in every major city. The cars were systematically purchased and destroyed being replaced with buses. Vehicles were originally powered by alcohol. The assertion is made that prohibition legislation was not only to curb drinking but also prohibited its use in vehicles as well. All motorized vehicles changed to gasoline. I want to add here that General Motors in the 60’s produced hundreds of electric cars which were leased in California. The leases were cancelled and all the cars were crushed. The general theory is that industry has conspired against any idea that would decrease dependency on gasoline made from oil. California was making strides introducing vehicles running on methane. They were forced to modify with a mixture that was proven to include chemicals which could cause cancer and the program was stopped. They mention that Brazil years ago converted to a blend of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline. The country is completely solvent; the middle class has increased in numbers and other good things. They interviewed Mr. Tesla who was optimistic about the future of electric cars and the increasing mileage that research will provide over the next decade or so. They showed the multiple sources that could be converted to ethanol including waste, wood, and vegetation of every kind and that cars from 1993 on could be converted to 85 with a simple software change which the auto manufacturers have not seen fit to do. Should you adjust your car and use 85 they will void your warranty. Further leased stations are not allowed to add 85 by the owners. Legislation has been proposed repeatedly for over a decade and has never gotten out of committee, they claim as a direct result of enormous campaign contributions. It is not hard for me to accept that idea. There was more but I will end now. Jack B. Walters November 6, 2014