Bartlett Publishing is proud to announce the release of our newest book, <i>MicroSecession: Simple Ways to Liberate Yourself, Your Family, and Your Community from Government Idiocy</i>. This book is currently available from the MicroSecession website.
From the Back Cover:
Are you always trying to get ahead but feel like you aren’t gaining any ground? Tired of working more and somehow making less? Does it seem like you’re trapped in a game of economic roulette—always betting your time and energy but ultimately paying the price from your own pocket?
From the devalued dollar to the health care hassle, MicroSecession gives you new ways to think about money and value in a system overrun with ridiculous policies and unaccountable, out-of-touch politicians.
MicroSecession isn’t about getting rich, overthrowing the government, or abandoning civilization, but it will give you practical ideas for increasing your personal value and insulating yourself, your family, and your community from the negative fallout of government debt debacles and failing economic policies that hit too close to home. It may begin with your bank account, but it doesn’t end there—from finance to food, health care, education, and more—see how everyday people can make a real difference in their own lives and benefit from a better understanding of the value we all bring to the table.
We are proud to announce our forthcoming book, MicroSecession. This book looks at how to (legally) do an end-run around governmental idiocy, and separate yourself from the upcoming financial and personal impacts of bad governmental policy.
The book's primary focus is on your finances. The coming collapse of the dollar will require you to think differently about money and value in your household. However, it will also discuss other issues, such as the food supply, healthcare, education, and other places where bad government policy means that you need to find a different way to take care of yourself.
This is a book for average people who don't have a lot of money to spare to start insulating themselves from what is coming. For more information, and to sign up for notifications, see the MicroSecession website.
Bartlett Publishing just released our first iOS app, called The Herbalist. This app provides information about herbs and how they are used by modern herbalists. It allows searching the herbal database by malady and herbal action. Check it out today!
For those that are wondering where the comments went on the website, they were handled by the external "Haloscan" system. That system went defunct last month, and so our comments don't work. If you want to comment on something (positive or negative), email me, and I'll just write it into the post as your comment (please indicate in the email that you want it on the website, so I won't inadvertantly publish private comments). I actually have a download of all of the comments in an XML format, so if there was a comment thread you were interested in, let me know, and I'll send it to you. Hopefully I'll have a new comment system up soon, but presently I don't have time to mess with it.
My wife shared this quote with me. I don't entirely agree with it, but it is at least mostly true:
You learn to speak by speaking,
to study by studying,
to run by running,
to work by working;
and just so, you learn to love by loving.
All those who think to learn in any other way deceive themselves.
- Saint Francis de Sales
The Little Light House is one of the best ministries I've ever been involved with. They are a Christian, private, tuition-free school for special-needs kids. That's right, the kids who go there don't have to pay anything at all.
This isn't day-care - it's an intensive, customized program for each child. The school day lets out at 1PM, and the staff spends the rest of the day planning each child's next day. When a child gets to school, they have a card of things that they are going to work on that day. It's both extremely fun and extremely helpful for the children -- and the parents.
While our oldest son, Danny, was alive, he attended the Little Light House. His world expanded so much while he was there. His ability to play with others and interact and do new things hinged upon the teachers at the Little Light House and their love and their help. Danny had to be fed through a tube, received many, many, many medications at specially-timed intervals, and, if everyone was lucky, he only threw up three times a day. Yet the Little Light House had no problems seeing to his every need while he was there, and providing every manner of therapy. At the Little Light House, they have physical therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, and probably a lot of other therapies I'm not so familiar with. And everything is done in a specifically Christian way.
Isaac had the same genetic defect that Danny had, and, had he lived long enough, would have enjoyed the services of the Little Light House as well. As soon as we discovered his condition, we reserved him a spot there, because we knew that their help was the difference between night and day for us.
Below are pictures of Danny learning at the Little Light House. Also, for those of you who didn't get to know Danny or Isaac, I pasted their memorial videos below. In any case, please consider helping out the Little Light House - they have been a huge blessing to us, and to many, many, many other children.
You can donate now by going here.
Here is Danny's Memorial Video:
Isaac's Memorial Video:
A few pictures of Danny at the Little Light House if you don't have time for the video:
The picture below might look like playtime to you, but this was actually crucial for Danny. He had problems touching a variety of surfaces - many different textures made him cry and gag and puke (yes, really). The Little Light House worked with him to help him adjust his senses to be able to touch and play with a huge variety of textures.
My wife called my attention to some very amusing videos on YouTube about homeschooling. I clicked through several and saw a lot of great stuff. Check this out:
Our pastor shared a story from the Bible at Isaac's graveside ceremony today. I'll just paste it in for you:
And the LORD struck the child that Uriah's wife bare unto David, and it was very sick. David therefore besought God for the child; and David fasted, and went in, and lay all night upon the earth. And the elders of his house arose, and went to him, to raise him up from the earth: but he would not, neither did he eat bread with them. And it came to pass on the seventh day, that the child died. And the servants of David feared to tell him that the child was dead: for they said, Behold, while the child was yet alive, we spake unto him, and he would not hearken unto our voice: how will he then vex himself, if we tell him that the child is dead? But when David saw that his servants whispered, David perceived that the child was dead: therefore David said unto his servants, Is the child dead? And they said, He is dead. Then David arose from the earth, and washed, and anointed himself, and changed his apparel, and came into the house of the LORD, and worshipped: then he came to his own house; and when he required, they set bread before him, and he did eat. Then said his servants unto him, What thing is this that thou hast done? thou didst fast and weep for the child, while it was alive; but when the child was dead, thou didst rise and eat bread. And he said, While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, Who can tell whether GOD will be gracious to me, that the child may live? But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me. (2 Samuel 12:15-23)
Even though they didn't stop the bill, the house republicans stood as a united front against the waste of the "stimulus package". Although I've already left Republican party in favor of the Constitution party because the Republicans have been swinging liberal, this is a moment where I'm proud of my old gang again.
One thing that I learned from Thomas Sowell's book, Basic Economics, is that when you establish price contols, it invariably leads to shortages and rationing. Rent control always led to a shortage of affordable housing, especially for the poor. The reason is that price affects our usage of products. If the cost of something goes down, we consume more of it, even if we didn't need to. Thus, as the supply of something goes down, the price goes up, which discourages consumption of that product. Thus, the process is self-limiting. If the price of housing is very high, societies will tend to have more people in one house. If the price of housing is very low, the same society will more likely have small families or even single individuals in a house. Thus, if the price is kept artificially low, then the demand can easily exceed the supply. If housing was free, every college student would want their own house. If housing costs $1000/month, they will likely live with their parents. Thus, price controls create shortages and rationing.
The current bailout is very much along these same lines. Money is a product just like everything else. Money also has a cost - normally called interest. What the government is doing to "bail out" the economy is providing money below its normal cost. The auto industry loans, the money to the banks, etc. They are providing money below its normal cost. I have a feeling that, rather than making the credit crunch smaller, this is going to make the credit crunch worse. The reason is that the access to money is being given at a lower-than-normal rate. Therefore, lots of people are going to be asking for the money even if they don't need it. Instead of forcing companies to limit their consumption, they are keeping the price of money artificially low, which will prevent companies from engaging in good fiscal policy. This is going to lead to an even greater money shortage, which will lead to either (1) unmanaged shortages, (2) rationing, or (3) printing more money. All three of these are problematic.
#1 is obviously bad.
#2 is totalitarianism. When the government controls the money, they control everything.
#3 will lead to massive inflation. This is what many people don't understand - if you increase the money supply enough to fulfill the promises being made, that will make the money in your bank account and your salary worth about half what it is.
This will hurt not only those businesses which had problems, but all of the ones which did not. It's bad enough that the financial industry is having problems, if we print the money we need to fulfill our promises of low-cost credit, it will cause all of the industries that aren't having problems to suddenly start having problems. And, because we are providing them money at below-market prices, the failing companies will have no incentive to reform their ways.
If there is anything which will cause the economy to plunge into a deep depression, it is the bailout.