I read the following quote yesterday that had me wonder if it was true as had an image of the comedian Richard Pryor seeming to say it. it struck me as odd, in that I never remember him using this in any comedy bit.
“125 years ago you didn’t have to ask permission from Government to: go fishing, collect rainwater, start a business, renovate your home, build a home, use a transportation vehicle, get married, hunt, own a weapon, cut hair, sell a product, protest, grow food on your property, set up a lemonade stand, sell food. You can do virtually nothing without being extorted by the government and obtaining their permission first. if you still think you’re free you are deluding yourself. you live in a tax farm as free-range humans.”
I thought this was odd, but I have run into some of the issues inside the USA with agrowbox and the agrowspace, particularly out west, “it is illegal to collect and use rainwater!”
“what exactly is the problem with collecting rainwater like the natives and using it as our basis to grow hydroponic and aeroponic food? we are actually saving water instead of lumping it into the unnatural artificial desert lawns and the golf courses you built.”
“but that is different and legal”
“what, to waste water because it provides entertainment and sports value for humans?”
“what do you do Mr. you trying to be fancy pants educated Yankee?”
“no, I am trying to get all the prototypes worked out for allowing healthy and nutritious food to be grown anyplace and anywhere on the planet and allow food security that is more akin to teaching someone to fish instead of just giving them fish and proclaiming, “fish come from the grocery store.”
such it and will be the issues when new ideas and thoughts of how to improve something come into play with existing rules, regulations, traditions, and power and control systems – many of which have nothing to do with improving life of many, but allowing the commodification and enrichment of life for a few that want to say, “look at all the freedoms you have!”
then I thought about the quote and found it is being used as a political flag of sorts, ironically with the Republican party. thus I had to ask, “was Richard Pryor republican? did he ever say this?” some quick digging had me come up with a myriad of variants of the aforementioned quote, all based to fit someone various political slant.
do we need some rules and regulations? yes, unless you think living in a world of anarchy is ok – you do need some regulations. but what about when legalism superseded common sense? it is like going to a church that is legalistic and asking, “I thought god is about love, mercy, and grace?”
someone so stuck into the rules of religion can easily lose sight of this and start reciting the various commandments and bible quotes, without once seeming to remember the two new ones Jesus talked about. when I talk with my Jewish friends, I have to ask, “how on earth can you remember 600 plus commandments and rules? (I think there is like 500 for a normal believer and the rabbi’s get another 150ish?) there was a book out a few years ago that the average person commits three felonies a day – if one is following the letter of the law. in some respects it makes it easy to understand God better as at least he knows we are far from perfect and it is a work in progress and a choice. do you want to love something other than yourself? do you want to realize it is complicated when humans are in the equation and try to love selflessly?
as for the last one, it might be the hardest thing for someone brought up in the capitalistic, competitive, and consumerist society to grasp, understand, and then actually do. why do I say this? because I wonder how many Americans realize how much debt our government has gotten us into, and what will have to give when you consume 25% of the world's resources for our lifestyle – yet we are but 5% of the globe's population.
I digress. I was intrigued by the quote, but something didn’t resonate all that well once I started to see so many variants of it online. I can hear Richard Pryor using the info for a bit, but I can’t imagine him being the poster boy of the Republican party with his likeness and the quote. so a red flag came up and I googled, “what was life like in America 100 years ago?” that would be 1915, right before the flu of all things ww1, and if you travel across the remote areas of the USA, you will come to cemeteries that have a lot of tombstones dated 1917. so the article was written when mass immigration was happening in the still young country.
this article paints a more realistic picture of what life was like and how the nation was before it became truly industrialized. it is not a great picture for the average person to live and exist.
today, it seems the country has lost its foothold on ethics and simple common sense. it is frustrating to see a lack of any desire to change with people in planning and development groups when you take in an idea that looks different than what is known and/or doesn't’ neatly fit into the existing rules and regulations of life in the country. I had no idea, like a law, there is a rule for pretty much anything. in Switzerland we pay a tax on rainwater, you can’t collect it, and the tax is paid as part of the overall sewage system. I get the logic and rationale, yet, what I don’t understand is if you are using the rainwater to water plants versus using the city water…what is the big problem? in Arizona where sun is abundant, they wanted to tax people putting solar arrays on their homes and not using so much energy from the grid. wouldn’t it make more sense for people to be more efficient and save?
I do get having power grids all with the same parts. on the old land idea in Colorado I had the power company come up and explain the options and the costs they could do to get the grid up to the site on top of a mountain. in some respects this was how agrowspace really came to life with coming up with our off the grid/grid-tied power plants. it was me sitting on a tree stump and wondering, “why can’t I simply build my own power plant considering the improvement of technologies and batteries?” since that time, I think the cost has dropped about 75% for the technology and it has shrunk in size and grown in performance since those days just a few years ago.
the truth is, the issue isn’t rules or regulations. it is something bigger when absolute power corrupts. organizations and people like having power and control. it is more a weakness in humans that don't take the time, much less see when they are ate the feed trough of the perks of power to remember where they came from, or what the average human really doesn’t anymore. yesterday I alluded to the disconnect of the political power from the average person with the sheer amount of stuff and disconnect from our leaders with the average person. (they only go out on carefully scripted campaign rides and say the same speech to several towns in a day and consider that getting up close with the people. or perhaps need a photo op for the news to make a point?)
the king of Norway didn’t need an entourage. why does the united states? the last known data I read was it cost 1,400,000,000.00 a year to fund the white house. I wager it simply has gone upward from there. if the white house was its own country, it would rank 178th for GDP of a country in the world, based on world bank estimates. maybe I am naïve and stupid, I have no problem with talking softly and carrying a big stick. what I have a problem with is where society and media has gone to talking a whole lot and when push comes to shove, instead of resolving the issue and talking to each other, the world of lawyering and regulating up comes in. I am not sure if this was needed to have 70% of the worlds lawyers in the united states? or it was simply a way to game and monetize the system which in the altruistic state would be fine, but lawyers are humans, just like politicians and you and I.
yesterday I got smacked in the head reading the “social injustice” book that for whatever reason was put in my path. 25 years ago I would have read it as if it was some comedy of sorts. hungry people, uneducated people, weaker people…I never had any political belief in my life. I wonder if I really do. what I am trying to do is walk out a path where I had to go deep inside myself and realize if you go there, you are almost the opposite of what the secular world wants in a developed nation where consumerism/competition is more a driving force than “what does one want for a great quality of life?”
I blame it all on the old monks in the desert and being shown that what is written in the holy books can actually exist on earth. the odd part is you probably have to give up all of yourself to attain what that is. even this morning, I was reading an interesting piece on Seneca and the Roman stoics. this quote came out
“…if a man can reduce his needs to zero, he is truly free: there is nothing that can be taken from him and nothing anyone can do to hurt him.” - john Boyd
I had to google John Boyd as I wondered if he was some ancient or patristic philosopher. it turns out he was actually a fighter pilot, historian and consultant to the Pentagon. while I am sure the Pentagon has learned a great deal about tactics and fighting with his thoughts. do they apply any of the deeper ideas about life to their thinking? or just get larger budgets to get bigger and better programs for the folks in charge. I am told they like bright new shiny things to blow thine enemies to smithereens.
the last sentence has rather large Hollywood creative liberty to it, but if you haven’t been in a room full of military folks and had a conversation with one, it is amazing how they will talk all about themselves if you just ask a few questions. I often wonder what and how it changed from the time a cadet goes into west point, naval academy, or air force academy and year later the perks of power consume and come in conflict with the larger issues of life. I saw it a lot in business…at least the reasonings was wide open and in plain view with the reality of working hard and living fast.
so yes, today, I am working on the 3rd world nation version of agrowspace. it comes from reading a piece about what I tested myself on for 7 weeks with massive reduced caloric intake and working up a vegan diet with high nutrition for what one could grow on the planet. but the words written 1700 years ago paint a far more and heart wrenching reality to malnutrition and hunger. it is just that today we have the developed world killing itself with too many bad calories and gluttony. the 3rd world is still hungry, although the world bank and other institutions want to commodify hunger by saying a dollar a day to 1.90 a day is a lot of money per person. what does someone like bill gates make in interest for an hour? (go ahead and run calculations based on a moderate 8% a year gain on his net worth and break it down to an hourly rate with a 40 hour workweek – it is amazing)
what I have seen in the past few months inside my home country is a lot of hungry people and I see quantitative statistics about “jobs” being created that have me ask, “where? and what?” and when I apply the coming robotic age and AI to the country, I can see a giant fight about new or innovative technologies being crushed by the smaller inventors and innovators until the large giant corporate players who have their tentacles in the elected leaders campaign umbilical support chord…not really doing what might be best for the country, the ideology and the path for “all men are created equal” as it would require a shift in thought and action to really make the country great again – yet it would not have to be at the cost of isolation on the globe.
that is simply one man’s ramble off the top of his head, post brainstorm…here is the quote about hunger – of which I pray no one has to experience it, yet 40-50 million Americans and hundreds of millions around the globe are experiencing it today.
“the disease of those who are starving, mainly hunger, I s a terrible form of suffering. Hunger is the most severe of human maladies, the very worst kind of death. The other hazards to human life do not involve extended torment; whether in the case of death by the sword, which brings about a swift end, or roaring flames, which swiftly extinguished life, or wild beasts, that tear one limb from limb with their teeth, the internal of suffering is relatively brief. but starvation prolongs the pain and draws out the agony, so that sickness in ensconced and lurks within the body, while death is ever present yet delayed. The body becomes dehydrated , its temperature drops, its build dwindles , its strength wastes away. Skin clings to bone like a spiders web. The flesh loses its natural coloration: its ruddiness fades as the flow of blood decreases, while the alabaster of the skin turns discolored and dark. The body takes on a mottled hue, with the yellow and black patches mingling in a manner terrible to see. the knees can no longer support the weight of the body, but are forced to drag along behind. the voice grows weak and feeble. the eyes become diseased and are rendered useless, sunken in their socket like fruits that shrivel up in their skins. the belly is empty, shrunken to nothing, possessing neither girth nor the natural tone of the bowels, so that bones of the spine are visible in the front.”
that is what starvation does. you can also hold a child in your hands that no amount of modern medical tools can bring back from its impending death.
perhaps all this writing this morning, if I take and write the starvation paragraph, to be one of what happens when we overeat ourselves like is happening with the abundance of calories and choices in the country like the states – it would read oddly somewhat very similar in a slow and painful death by too much.
common sense says there can and should be balance to all of life – yet – perhaps it only comes with age and experience that there is enough for all on this planet, it is just man had created a skewed distribution system – mainly through his own vices.
maybe tomorrow I will try to write the counter point of starvation with what I am seeing inside the land that doesn’t seem to realize the only think keeping the country from becoming great, is everyone pointing fingers at each other – and few seeming to look inside and ask, “hey, how can I balance and improve myself?”