The following opinions are those of the escapee and not those of the sponsor……
Everyone wants to be treated with dignity however so many folks forget that you must act dignified if you want to be treated that way. How many buffoons are treated with dignity?…..well, except for some unnamed politicians.
Before sugar became a highly sought after staple there wasn’t much “manufacturing in the world. The old spice and commodities trades were merely shipping agricultural products around the world. It was complex and dangerous but didn’t involve much processing. Sugar on the other hand was quite complex. You couldn’t just cut a cane and throw it on a pile and magically have sugar a couple of days later. The cane had to be crushed with heavy rollers and then the sap had to be heated or cooked if you will right away or its composition changed. The products of the cooking process gave not only sugar but molasses which was the heaviest and last of the residue from the process. Once sugar became known it Europe it was highly sought after. It was certainly not a necessity but a luxury if you will but all levels of society wanted it; hence the huge industry built up around its production in Brazil and the Lesser Antilles. It was a true industrial process that was very labor intensive. That is why the overwhelming majority of all slaves imported by the Portuguese, British and Dutch primarily went to those locales and not the US. Oh, as a curious follow -up, most people forget that the importation of slaves was banned by the US in 1808, long before the War Between the States and was not opposed by the Southern States.
Silicon Vally companies are rightly associated with the green movement and renewable energy programs. Yet the few they have are merely for show. Those large companies, like Facebook, AOL, Google, etc, have numerous huge warehouses each filled with those servers. Those facilities absolutely eat electricity. There is simply no way they can use solar or wind power for their work. In theory they could of course but it would take several square miles for each facility in windmills or solar panels. And as we are learning quickly even if those panels or windmills are located in “remote” areas there is always someone who thinks they destroy the environment or a snail darter and sues to block them, e.g. the fight off the coast of Massachusetts over sea-based windmills. Panels on the roof tops would only provide a tiny fraction of the needed power. They need huge amounts of space. Some have estimated that to power them all we would need an area the size of Arizona in solar panels. Don’t take my word for it check it out for yourself.
Remember those 3 or 5 page essays you had to write for English or literature classes and how you agonized over them? Well, go get a volume of the complete works of Shakespeare and leaf through it. Even though it took him years to do them all you certainly will have a great appreciation for the sheer amount of labor he had to put into those epics. He wasn’t writing on an eight grade level either. How did he make those stories and poems so pithy, cogent and yet so beautifully written.
Have you seen those pictures of the Greenland ice caps and glaciers from the 1930’s? Such an interesting story and filled with lessons for us today. They sat forgotten after a scientific mission in 1932 for decades. They reveal the ice and glaciers were severely depleted, worse than anything today. Then they came back in a short period of time. Old Mother Nature has her own way of doing things and we should be a bit more humble about thinking we have everything figured out.
Some of the pundits on CNBC have promoted the idea that the Treasury should issue at least 500 billion of Treasury notes because the interest rates are so low. It would be “cheap” money available to the government for whatever purpose. As a theoretical proposition it makes sense if you need to borrow to do so at the lowest possible rate and the rates right now are on the floor. But there is one little fly in the ointment–last I checked we were already around 15.7 trillion in debt. To borrow that much more would require another immediate increase in the debt ceiling. Politically it wouldn’t happen and in any event what is going to be our ultimate limit? I mean we can’t just keep borrowing forever? Even governments sooner or later have to pay their debts, ask the Greeks.
Do you think Frau Merkel can keep all the unruly children in check? Maybe she should be more sympathetic with them after all they might really mean their promises this time. What is it the 5th, 6th, 10th time? How many times do the miscreants get to erase the blackboard and have a fresh start? Trouble is that Dad has to buy a new car every time they wreck the old one.
The Good Book endorses the notion of the rule of law, contract rights and property rights contrary to revisionist theologians. Just re-read the parable of the Lord with the vineyard who hired workers for his vineyard after different times of the day–some early, some mid-day, and some late in the afternoon. But for each of them he paid the agreed price regardless of the hours worked. Those who started early in the morning raised cain, alleging unfairness since they worked longer. But the Lord replied with two questions–did you not agree to the wage and did I not pay it? and Can I not do what I will with my own property? Yes, there are other lessons there also but it does affirm the sanctity of the rule of law and importance of contract rights and their enforcement and lastly that private property was to be respected.
“A reformer should be exempt from the suspension of interest, and he must possess the confidence and esteem of those whom he proposes to reclaim.” E. Gibbon, historian. www.olcranky.wordpress.com