To Have or not Have

By Montecito Journal   |   November 15, 2018

As Bob Hazard gazes into his crystal ball (“A Fascinating Future,” Guest Editorial, MJ #24/45), the picture emerges in print. It is a complex vision of the future. It, unfortunately, and realistically harbors a great deal of human wastage. People raised here and with no experience in the Third World may fail to see the darker side of this: a darkness that will take a few generations to work through.

In my early youth, I got a job as a research diver to do population surveys of the shrimp beds in the Persian Gulf for the Iranian government. We were on a research vessel and passed through Indian ports for bunker fuel. I spent a day ashore, walking around bodies on the street wrapped up in filthy blankets. Some were dead and waiting to be picked up, others with nothing going for them were just asleep. These were not just an occasional body you walked around; the sidewalk was littered with prone bodies.

Later, as part of Foreign Service stationed in Nairobi, I walked through massive teeming slums of the displaced in East and Southern Africa. It will happen here as more are displaced by technology. We already have developing slums of the displaced in Los Angeles, the Ventura River, and in the riverbed in Lompoc. Unless this is addressed, there is a growing risk and security issue. It will also see the development of an expanding public health problem, and the germs are equal opportunity merchants.

During my graduate days in Ag Engineering at UC Davis, I was involved with development of mechanical harvesters. Bob is very correct in his prediction: humans are no longer needed to grow and harvest many crops. The machine does not go on strike; it needs no health insurance and if it misbehaves, turn off the key. 

In Ag Engineering, we were developing shakers to harvest apricots. The first experimental machines were very awkward and difficult to handle. As we drove these ungainly machines into our borrowed orchard, the pickers on their ladders laughed so hard that some almost fell from their ladders. I selected a tree and clamped onto it, hit the vibration button and the whole of the tree’s fruit fell – with one quick thud, it all fell into the surrounding skirt. The laughter stopped and we decided to put the machines into a locked barn for the night.

As the haves and have-nots become more widely separated, like we had in Nairobi, house guards will become a new employment base and the number of police needed will increase. Homes will be built with interior safe areas, as we had in Nairobi. It will be an interesting transition. The golden era of post World War II is past. Bob and I were lucky that we were raised and lived in this bubble.

It is gone.

Edo McGowan

(Editor’s note: Funny that you mention Nairobi, as I spent a couple of days there in the mid-1970s before going on safari. We met friends of friends who lived there. After a dinner of the spiciest Indian food ever cooked, we went back to their home for a nightcap before heading back to our hotel. A Masai guard holding a spear was stationed outside the locked gates to the compound, which was in “Embassy Row,” and not far from a number of Western embassies. The guard greeted us with a big smile. The gates opened to an inner courtyard paroled by two rather unfriendly German Shepherds. Inside the luxurious house, another guard – armed with a shotgun – nonchalantly stood watch.

So, despite the unfortunate necessity of a nearly Medieval security perimeter, our friends’ friends seemed content enough to live like that. The system certainly put a number of people to work. And, one must remember, Nairobi was considered a safe city at the time. Kenyatta was president and peace prevailed. My wife and I even drove the seven hours or so it took – by ourselves – from Nairobi to Mombasa in a rented car and arrived at night. We never felt at risk either in Mombasa or Nairobi, except for the occasional elephant crossing the road during our nighttime drive. We really did live in a bubble in those days, and happily so. – J.B.)

Made in the Shade

In Ray Winn’s recent article about gun control (Ray’s Ramblings, MJ #24/45) he states in the second paragraph, “A surprising number of the armed ‘protectors’ have fairly shady backgrounds of their own. Defrocked policemen, ex-military, and a long list of actual felons…”

Mr. Winn owes an apology to the veterans of this country, those he calls “ex-military.” Grouping us in with your list of felons, et al, is insulting, denigrating, deprecating, disparaging, reprehensible, vilipending, and totally incorrect. There are any number of ex-military in your own, as Mr. [Richard] Mineards would put it, Eden by the Sea, who are very accomplished and contributing citizens to our community.

They belong to The Valley Club, Birnam Wood, Montecito, and La Cumbre Country Club, run successful Montecito and Santa Barbara businesses, and have distinguished themselves in numerous ways. You should be thankful for the less than one percent of our country’s population that is willing to sacrifice all there is to sacrifice by serving in the military so that our country’s population, even including you, can enjoy the freedoms we all have. Shame on you for putting us in your group of felons, [et al]!

P.R. Schenck
USMC 1952-1955
Santa Barbara

(Editor’s note: In light of the recent evil events perpetrated by an ex-Marine just south of Santa Barbara, we’ll avoid commenting any further on the subject. But, we do acknowledge that nearly all our veterans are exactly as you describe: accomplished and contributing citizens to our community. – J.B.)

Resistance is Futile

Re: Steve King‘s letter (“Aging and Life,” MJ, #24/44). Forget the entropic AARP (American Association of Retired People). Join the negentropic AARP: the Atomic Association of Regenerative People. It’s the AARP for Spacefaring Immortals.

Ageism and Deathism have evolved into a profitable racket for both the greeting card industry and the medical caregivers and caretakers of the Golden Stethoscope Cartel. The ageist-deathist paradigm is domain assumption for enormous profit. Programmed obsolescence is a money-spinning fiction of the Frankenscience thanatophiles and bureau-technocrats responsible for medical-pharmaceutical gigantification and its attendant proliferation of toxic materia medica.

Biological gerontology has been blitzkrieged by sociological gerontology, a mealy-mouthed moniker for the pro-death type of gerontology that asks the question, “Where the heck do we stash all these millions of worn-out, wrinkled-up, shriveled-up, decrepit old fogies, and who in blue blazes is going to foot the bill for these senile and debilitated old farts anyway?”

Author Ivan Illich noted, “Death is the ultimate form of consumer resistance.”

“Concerned caregivers” are the picadors and micromanagers of the Nanny State’s euthanistic age-stratification system. They effervesce with euphemisms for age-set euthanasia – e.g., “assisted suicide,” “death selection,” and “death with dignity.” (During World War II, the Nazi euphemism for euthanasia was “disinfection.”) To a deathist-contaminated New Age airhead with a serious case of ascended-masters-floating-on- ethereal-moonbeams syndrome, “death with dignity” is known as “assisting one’s transformation into spirit.” For less gregarious do-it-yourselfers who prefer a more individualistic suicide, the euphemism is “self-deliverance.” An AIDS activist can even participate in a “die-in.” To a caregiving service professional, a “neomort” is the politically correct buzzword for a terminally ill patient. “Saving lives” is morbidized to “mediating mortality” by physicians.

School programs such as “Death and Dying” (nicknamed “Death Education”) require children to write their own obituaries and describe their preferred method of dying. Ageism and deathism are cultural assumptions and linear concepts of scarcity. Biological gerontologist Aubrey de Grey calls it the “pro-death trance.”

The mentor I studied with (Swami Nitty-Gritty) called it “the Living to Die attitude.”

“Let death be your advisor” is deceptive New Age advice to self-satisfied robo-sapien livestock. Let life be your advisor is a notably higher choice.

Atom Bergstrom

A Liberal in Disguise

Diana Thorn’s strongly expressed beliefs in her letter to the Journal (“Stop The Invasion,” MJ #24/44) are a rarely heard voice, re those invading our shores. Just think if any of those huddled masses were to make it into this country and end up employed at Casa Dorinda, Birnam Wood, Cottage Hospital, our restaurants, houses, and gardens. We would never feel safe thinking they might be murderers, rapists, terrorists, and people hoping to find work and steal jobs from honest Americans (so far, no aliens from outer space, but I am keeping careful watch).

Think of those “invasions” years ago of Irish and Italians. That resulted in crooked politics and Mafia crime. If only we had kept them out. But now at least our country is being governed by good moral Christians without corruption or self-interest. They use our tax money wisely and see that the military, foreign dictators, big business, banks, and hard-working lobbyists receive their share. We must encourage their efforts and thank people like you who see things so clearly and express them so well.

The editor did not add his usual supporting comments to your letter. Could he possibly be a liberal in disguise?

Alan Everwhite
Santa Barbara

(Editor’s note: You make a good point about the Mafia, but this is such a big subject and its solutions are anything but easy, so we’ll just let people such as yourself offer their observations. We thank you for your input. – J.B.)

Larry not Monica

In last week’s MJ, you wrongly attributed the letter “I Was Just Thinking” to Monica Bond, when it was me that submitted it; I simply forwarded to you on her computer as an FYI item. She asked me to request you to make a correction, as she is not a political animal, so if you could simply correct it as submitted by me, it would help restore our domestic harmony.

Sorry for the mix-up.

Larry Bond
Santa Barbara

Animal House

Suppose some people decided to take power and land and realized the best way would be to convince their underlings there was a thing called democracy (or a constitutional republic; it doesn’t matter what it’s called, the result is the same) and they could actually choose between rulers and think it was a good deal. Much better than being ruled by royalty, they were told. 

Oh, they had a Constitution and Bill of Rights they were told would protect them from tyranny, but gradually, over time, the elites found ways to compromise those guarantees. Rule of law eventually became rule by the elites as they made and interpreted the laws to their advantage and the judges were in their back pocket. 

Moreover, to enhance their appeal, they gave the flock two (seemingly) distinct choices: elephants or donkeys. There were sometimes other choices, but they were usually irrelevant. The differences between E’s and D’s were slight in that both collected taxes, printed money, created debt, made war, and ran a school system that trained their flock to think they had a really good deal. Main thing was they were kept busy working, paying taxes, and trained to be obedient and patriotic because they otherwise would be dangerous to those in power. 

In return, the neediest underlings were given a meager level of support confiscated from other underlings, or even from themselves. Also, for a hefty price from the flock, they promised protection from threats at home and abroad, which the elites often provoked in the first place. In fact, everything the elites did or provided was confiscated from the flock, including debt for future generations. Even those underlings who were horrified by the elite’s reprehensible deeds and profligate expenditures were robbed under threat of prison. The elites always provided well for themselves and their wasteful programs.

To increase their hold, the elites continually stoked fear by creating unsustainable programs and making unrealistic promises, then threatening to compromise or eliminate them. They also frequently made specious claims of environmental doom, from which only the elites could save them. Meanwhile, they ignored the very real threat of unsustainable government spending: the debt was immense and growing inexorably towards catastrophe. 

Everything was always an election away from changing, thus creating an atmosphere of uncertainty and conflict between those providing the largesse and those consuming it. But the fix was in, and elections merely resulted in superficial and/or temporary changes for short-term effects to please one underling or the other. Any contentment was very short-lived. 

Thus, the underlings were kept busy, going to school and work and fighting among themselves to get (or keep) their donkey or elephant in charge, thinking when that happened everything would be (or was) great. And, unbelievably, no matter how little things changed when their animal was in charge, those underlings were happy and the others weren’t. No, those losing underlings complained bitterly, and worked hard to get their donkey or elephant back in charge, thinking everything would be great once their animal was in command again. And, so it goes to this day. 

What’s your delusion, MAGA or ANTIFA, my fellow underling?

No president or elected official will ever represent me, personally. Outwardly, I will conform, but my conscience will never concede to unlawful or immoral state authority or majority rule.

Steve King


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