Monthly Archives: January 2021

James Corbett addresses the topic of alternative currencies

In his presentation that was part of The Greater Reset, James Corbett (of the Corbett Report) provided an overview of alternative means of exchange. In it he mentioned community currencies, LETS, trade exchanges, and my book, Money: Understanding and Creating Alternatives to Legal Tender, as well as this website.

You can view his excellent presentation here. Scroll down to find James Corbett: Why We Need a Survival Currency

The New Reformation?

Luther-Nailing-ninety-five-theses
The election of Donald Trump was just a symptom of a major shift of civilization. In this essay, Mike Krauss (http://thekrausscommentary.com/) compares it to the Reformation of the sixteenth century.  It seems an apt analogy.

From Martin Luther to Donald Trump: Reading the Signs of the Times


Martin Luther published his Ninety-Five Thesis in 1517. Some histories record that he nailed them to the door of the chapel of the Wittenberg Castle. His challenge to the monolithic authority of the Catholic Church in Western Europe  set off an upheaval among the governing class and peoples of the European continent that was not only religious, but was also political, cultural and intellectual.
 
That upheaval did not follow immediately on Luther’s bold action, but erupted about four years later as the Church banned citizens of all the nations from espousing, defending or disseminating Luther’s ideas, and hardened the division into what would become the Reformation and Counter Reformation, decades of strife and bloody conflict within and between the peoples and nations of the continent. Lives were unspeakably brutalized. Property was confiscated and families destroyed. Mobs desecrated or destroyed churches and pulled down or defaced their statues and relics. Justice was whatever princes and popes said it was.
 
In the end, Europe was changed and the course of western civilization altered, as more democratic norms of government gradually displaced centralized royal and ecclesiastical power and the rule of law grew stronger.
 
It is tempting at this remove to compare Donald Trump’s 2015 ride down the escalator in his cathedral to capitalism, Trump Tower, to Luther’s arrival on the scene. But with Trump, the reaction of the monolithic governing class was immediate, as they recognized the power of Trump’s challenge to their authority and mounted a fierce counter attack. It has become as brutal as that of the 16th century, as the Counter Reformers now seek to politically, socially and economically excommunicate, exorcise, punish and destroy utterly Trump and any vestige of his American Reformation.
 
Now as then, the opposing sides in the contest use the same language of centuries of a shared “faith” to claim the moral high ground, with this difference: Trump’s reformers just want to be left alone by controlling, centralized authority to live their lives as they think best, while the statist counter reformers demand conformity to their “civic virtues,” and take no prisoners in an all out war to regain and retain power.
 
Where is this leading? In the short term, to fascism and repression. The counter reformers have seized both the government and the means of communication of an entire nation. This contrasts with the Protestant Reformation; in that, as the printing press came into wider use at that time, the ideas of Luther and other reformers were more widely circulated than had ever before been possible. New technology aided the Reformation. Now in the United States, new means of communication serve the Counter Reformation and the governing class. For the foreseeable future there will be only the “party line” heard in the United States. 
 
But even the dullest of ears will by now have picked up the incessant, preening moralizing of the counter reformers. Completely self sanctified and utterly un-self aware, these elites are likely to drive the Biden administration. Biden is not strong enough to resist.  He may not want to.
 
 “Joe Biden, Savior of the Republic” may be the story Biden has going in his head. Legislation has been introduced in Congress to establish a domestic surveillance agency with authority to define any reforming thought, speech or action which challenges the governing class as “domestic terror,” the modern equivalent of heresy.
 
There is one element to this conflict today that was not present in that of 16th century Europe and is entirely modern and American: race. The resentments of some whites on the right and some blacks on the left are equally poisonous and capable of overcoming any hope of reason and accommodation among the warring parties.
 
American liberalism, the former church of the secular left is dead, having collapsed under its own failures. The two greatest failures have been the decades long reduction of the mostly white middle class, its wealth redistributed to a permanent governing class of corporate overlords and their political retainers; and the simultaneous creation of a mostly black, permanent underclass, consigned to the apartheid landscape of American cities which liberal policy created, islands of white prosperity in a sea of mostly black poverty.
 
Until these twin failures of the governing class are remedied a time of conflict and turmoil in America is inevitable,.
 
Trump simply called out the reality of the decadence of the American governing class, as Luther called out that of the Medieval Church.  Leading up to Luther’s challenge, Pope Sixtus IV began the practice of selling Indulgences to wealthy sinners  –  ecclesiastical get-out-of-purgatory- free cards  – the way Congress sells legislation to lobbyists. Pope Alexander VI enforced celibacy on the priesthood but was the father of seven  (!) children, operating with the same hubris on display daily in the American governing class today: “rules for thee, but not for me.”
 
Hubris invites nemesis: then Luther, now Trump.
 
In the weeks ahead there may be a period of relative calm, as the people wait and watch. But it won’t last long. As the government of the American Counter Reformation becomes steadily more repressive, authoritarian and fascist, it will run up against something Luther did not have to help fuel his Reformation: a people with the experience of centuries of democratic government, the protection of individual liberties and the rule of law.
 
This conflict will not be resolved any time soon.

And this assessment, That’s All Folks, from former Congressman Ron Paul, provides another take on the matter. And his latest essay, When Fascism Comes, It Will Be Wearing a Mask, spotlights actions by the Biden administration that look a lot like a counter-reformation.

Let’s see if we can find ways to enjoy the ride and take advantage of the opportunities to build a better world.

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Who’s Reset will it be?

The oligarchs, plutocrats, and technocrats have a plan for you. It’s been called the “New World Order,” and now, “The Great Reset” which is being promoted by the World Economic Forum. Despite their high sounding rhetoric, you and I will have no role in formulating this plan, rather it is self-elected “global leaders” who will “come together to design a common recovery path and shape the Great Reset.”

It is imperative the people around the world come together now to plan our own future, one that is based on our own common values, needs, and a shared vision of how humans can live in harmony with nature and with each other. One current initiative that intends to facilitate that effort is “The Greater Reset” which is upcoming starting Monday, January 25th and continuing through Friday, January 29th.

Our World. Our Way.

The Greater Reset Activation: January 25th – 29th, 2021

“The Greater Reset is the world’s collective response to the World Economic Forum’s Initiative: The Great Reset.

“We offer an alternative to the WEF’s top-down, centralized, authoritarian vision. Our desire is to help all people find community and liberty by providing practical steps and knowledge for co-creating a world that respects individual liberty, bodily autonomy, and choice. We invite you to join us for 5 days of discussion about the diverse opportunities available for those who seek to live in harmony with humanity and the planet, while respecting our innate freedom.”

You can get program details, and sign up for “The Greater Reset” at https://thegreaterreset.org/

R.I.P. Spencer Heath MacCallum

Spencer MacCallum and Emalie

Spencer MacCallum and Emalie Caley

Spencer Heath MacCallum (b: December 21, 1931; d: December 17, 2020) was truly an amazing and wonderful person–multi-talented, intelligent, kind, and compassionate. Spencer was an anthropologist, archeologist, editor, publisher, entrepreneur, and philosopher. The world is much poorer without him. I was privileged to count Spencer as a friend for more than 25 years. Among his significant achievements were his preservation and promulgation of the works of E. C. Riegel (b. 1878; d. 1954), a man whom I’ve described as a “master of monetary truth” whose insights have greatly inspired my own work on the “money problem” and the development of innovative and equitable means of exchanging value.

In his Editorial Preface to Flight From Inflation, Spencer tells the fascinating story of how he happened to meetSMECTG_Cr Riegel, how he subsequently rescued Riegel’s literary legacy from oblivion, and then went on to preserve, reprint and republish much of his work. Among the treasures discovered in Riegel’s papers was an unpublished manuscript titled Flight From Inflation that Spencer went on to edit and publish in 1978.

Spencer was also the person who discovered the work of potter Juan Quezada, helped him to develop his craft, and made the pottery of Mata Ortiz, Mexico famous throughout the Americas. That story and more about Spencer’s remarkable life is told by Walter Parks and Richard O’Connor in this remembrance.

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Painting a (false?) picture by the numbers

During my academic career my primary teaching duty was to provide my students with an understanding of Liesthe use of statistics to draw conclusions about the real world, and how to avoid the common pitfalls that lead to error. In connection with that I would remind them of an old saying of uncertain origin but often attributed to Mark Twain: “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” Here’s a case in point.

A report in the January 1 edition of the Arizona Daily Star (page B1) is headlined, “Longtime Nogales migrant shelter director Juan Francisco Louriero dies from COVID.” But, it is not until paragraph 6 that the reader learns the true story. It reads, “At 76, Louriero was already in fragile health. He lived with diabetes and kidney failure,” then goes on to say, “The COVID-19 pandemic hit the city of Nogales particularly hard, so his family took precautions, limiting his exposure and using face masks and sanitizer whenever they left their home.” The article reports that Louriero started feeling ill on December 12, went to the hospital the next day, was intubated two days after that, and died on December 18.

There are a number of troubling things about this report, besides some important unanswered questions. First is the headline. Is it fair to say that Mr. Louriero died from COVID rather than from diabetes and/or kidney failure? Was he actually tested for covid or was he one of the “presumed” cases? Even if he did test positive for covid, might that have been one of the many false positives associated with the test, and can covid honestly be considered to be the cause of death? In his reported condition it is likely that any additional stressor, even the common cold, could have pushed Mr. Louriero over the edge. Would the headline then have read, “Louriero dies from common cold?”

Furthermore, is it possible that intubation might have been the proximate cause of his demise? Serious questions have been raised about the possible harm resulting from the use of ventilators (intubation) on critically ill patients, especially those with covid. An article in the April 16, 2020 issue of Time Magazine explains Why Ventilators May Not Be Working as Well for COVID-19 Patients as Doctors Hoped.  An article in the journal STAT, says, “New Analysis recommends less reliance on ventilators to treat coronavirus patients,” and cites a report by the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene which concludes that “by using ventilators more sparingly on Covid-19 patients, physicians could reduce the more than 50% death rate for those put on the machines.” (The Time article puts the death rate of covid patients on ventilators even higher, up to 80%, “based in numbers out of China and New York City”).

It appears that the Star article is one more instance of the mainstream media using misleading headlines and hyping the threat which Covid-19 allegedly poses. There is plenty of evidence to show that this “pandemic” has been seized upon as an opportunity to advance a deeper agenda that has more to do with politics and social control than with public health. And any article or video, even those posted by highly qualified people, that questions the official covid narrative is quickly suppressed or taken down. Science and democracy both depend upon transparency and open debate but the concentration of power over information channels has given the few great power to censor the many.

This is a critical time in the evolution of civilization. There is as much disinformation emanating from the mainstream as there is from the fringes. It is up to people themselves to re-calibrate their BS detectors and make up their own minds.

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