Tuesday, April 25, 2017
" Here is a good article I just read. Its getting to get real...."
In February 1937, an idealistic and ungainly Englishman in his thirties traveled to Spain to take his place in the trenches at the Aragón front to defend the Republic. His name was Eric Arthur Blair, remembered by history as George Orwell. This month, 80 years after the start of that adventure, Richard Blair, the writer’s only son, now a 72-year-old retired agricultural engineer, visited Huesca to take part in the opening of a major exhibition about his father.
Talking to EL PAÍS during his brief stopover in Madrid on his way back to London, Blair evoked the figure of Orwell and commented on the relevance of his legacy and the enormous interest in his final novel, 1984, which has become an international best-seller since Donald Trump became US president.
“It’s true that in recent weeks, with the references in the United States to ‘alternative facts’ [cited by Kellyanne Conway, one of the president’s top advisors], there has been increased interest in his book. But my father has never gone out of fashion.” The book was not so much a prophecy as a fable about Nazi and Stalinist totalitarianism, says Blair, although as he points out, some details from the novel that once seemed like science fiction have been part of our everyday life for some time, such as security cameras that watch our movements, or what some companies know about us from our internet activity, or how we use our credit cards. “Society has evolved toward what he saw. The world is becoming Orwellian,” he says.
Blair is patron of the Orwell society, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to spreading knowledge about the life and work of the writer, as well as debate about ideas, and that remains scrupulously neutral about politics. Which might explain why he is so careful in choosing his words when talking about Trump.
“I think that there is a lot of tension and compression in the White House right now. It is true that Trump is attacking the press, but he is a complete enigma, they are all maneuvering and learning to live with each other,” he says.
Nevertheless, he says he cannot help but be happy at the hike in sales of his father’s books, particularly as he inherited the publishing rights (“which expire in 2020,” he points out). But he recognizes concerns that this has been due to the public finding parallels between the current situation and the dystopia Orwell described.
Orwell and his wife Eileen adopted Richard in 1944. Ten months later, Eileen died on the operating table. Some of the friends of the tuberculous-stricken writer suggested that he give up custody of the child but he ruled out the possibility. The relationship between Orwell and his adopted son became closer when the two of them moved to the Scottish island of Jura, chosen because it was a healthier location for Orwell to overcome his illness and where it was so cold that “if you move six feet away from the fireplace, you freeze.”
Blair’s memories from those days are of a loving father who made wooden toys, who had a strange sense of humor, and whose parenting style had none of the political correctness of modern upbringings. On one occasion he allowed the three-year-old Richard to smoke from a pipe filled with tobacco collected from his cigarette butts. The result, aside from a vomiting fit, was that the child saw himself temporarily vaccinated against the vice of smoking.
It was on Jura that Orwell finished 1984, writing in his room during the day and spending the evenings with the child. One of their favorite activities was fishing, especially for the lobsters that filled out a diet otherwise made frugal by post-war rationing. One weekend in August 1947, however, on a journey back from a weekend of relaxation on the west side of Jura, their boat sank and they almost drowned. Blair says Orwell’s health suffered as a result. David Astor, owner of The Observer newspaper, which published the writer’s work, asked to be allowed import the newly discovered antibiotic streptomycin from the United States, with which he was treated between December 1947 and July 1948 in a hospital near Glasgow. But his efforts were in vain: Orwell developed an allergy to the medication. “His nails fell out and blisters appeared on his lips,” Richard recalls. The writer died in January 1950 at age of 46, when his son was about to celebrate his sixth birthday.
What is the most important lesson that Orwell taught us? For journalists, says Blair, there are many. “To be honest. The most important things are facts which can be corroborated, not reality as you want it to be. Journalists today do not have time to check facts, and errors are perpetuated and multiplied on the internet until they become true.” The writer’s son also recalls Orwell’s six rules for clear writing from his 1946 essay Politics and the English Language. “Never use a metaphor, simile or other figure of speech that you are used to seeing in print; Never use a long word where a short one will do; If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out; Never use the passive where you can use the active; Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent; Break any of these rules sooner than say anything barbarous.”
Blair finished up with his father’s definition of liberty: “If liberty means anything at all it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”
Blair is particularly concerned about the lack of dialogue in contemporary society. “All people do is shout at one another, without actually listening.” And he is surprised to see young people who, instead of speaking face to face, spend all day staring into their smartphones. “Even couples in restaurants! Are they communicating with each other via text messages?!” he jokes. And what would Orwell make of the 21st century, the era of the internet, great scientific advances and post-truth?
“Ah, now that’s the million-dollar question. But it’s impossible to get into anyone’s head. Nor to come up with the answer by reading his books. If he were still alive he would be 113, and would have had a lot of new influences… There’s no point in speculating.” As such, we don’t know, and we can’t know. But he does go as far as to assume one thing: whatever his thoughts, they would be characterized by common sense.
This article was first posted on El Pais
Tuesday, December 20, 2016
I was talking to a friend of mine this past weekend. He knows generally that I am a prepper but he does not know to what extent. He (we'll call him Bill) said that prior to the Presidential election he was concerned about the country falling in anarchy. So much in fact that he bought a gun. Bill told me he had inherited a 12 gauge "bird hunting' shotgun from his father, but never had plans to buy another gun until he got 'scared' - for his family and himself. So he went out and bought as Glock 9mm handgun. He didn't even know what model number.
Bill is some sort of a financial planner, trust funds or something, I really don't remember and could not give a shit less, but I could not pass up the opportunity to educate him and used that angle to get him thinking:
UrbanMan: Well Bill, having a gun, several guns in fact, are a good idea for protection especially when the security situation becomes worse, but you need training and well as have some ammunition stocked up for the time when it gets scarce. Ammunition, as well as food, batteries, water, etc., will be the first to fly off the shelves - and before it flies off the shelves the price will raise dramatically.
Bill: I guess you are right. I have a box of 50 bullets for the Glock.
UrbanMan: Bill, if I were you I would buy another 150 or 200 rounds of ammunition and continue to buy at least a box a month until he have 1,000 rounds minimum. Plus you need to have some 12 gauge bird shot and buck shot, as well as some slug shotgun shells also.
Bill: That's a lot of ammo! Do you really think I need that much? Although you are right about the shotgun. I don't have any ammunition for that.
UrbanMan: Yes, you need plenty of ammunition. You don't want to wait until you need it. At that point it will be expensive, maybe very hard to find and you will expose your safety going to gun shops trying to find it. Go buy two boxes of bird shot, which would be 50 shot shells, five boxes of 00 buckshot (total of 25 rounds) and two boxes of one ounce slugs (10 rounds). Buy a couple boxes of each, every month until you have two to three hundred of each load. Get an old Army metal ammunition can and keep it in your closet. It won't take up much room and it'll give you peace of mind.
Bill: I don;t know. That's a lot of money.
UrbanMan: Jesus Bill, you make a lot of money, so stop buying beer or ice cream or movie tickets of whatever else you don't need every week and invest in your survival insurance. Also what are you going to do if the banks close or the dollar tanks or the ATM stops working or the government says you can only withdraw $100 a day and food prices go up 1000%.
Bill: Well, I think we'll have more problems than money if that happens.
UrbanMan: That's right, hence the guns. And the food you have stocked up in your pantry and garage. And the safe place you have a plan to get to rather than staying in the suburbs.
Bill: I am really uncomfortable planning on the world to collapse.
UrbanMan: Uncomfortable? How about not being able to protect or feed your family? That in my book would be a lot more uncomfortable. All I am suggesting is a modicum of planning and preparation. You deal in the financial world. Is diversification of investments generally a good thing?
Bill: Generally, it is. You don't want to have all your assets in one area, say stock funds.
UrbanMan: Well, consider a little prepping as diversification of your survival portfolio. Do you track the precious metals exchange?
Bill: Yes, I have clients who own gold and silver stocks. And come to think of it, I do field questions from existing clients on adding that to their portfolios. I really don;t recommend too much resources devoted to that investment.
UrbanMan: You are talking about 'paper' gold and silver, which will do you no good if everything collapses. You should think about buying at least some silver each month and put it away as a hedge if the dollar collapse or hyper inflation hits. Silver is about $16.75 an ounce right now, but if you research it, you'll see that U.S. silver production is declining significantly over the past couple of months and expected to decline further. So solely as an investment I'll think you see silver increasingly around $3 to $5 an ounce within the next three months. Just a few months ago it was around $21 an ounce and remember it wasn't too long ago when silver hit $48 an ounce.
Bill: You may be right, but the precious metals market changes from time to time under forces we never fully understand,...everything from price manipulation to large purchases by various countries.
UrbanMan: Exactly. That's why you need to protect yourself. I am not advocating an 180 degree change in your financial planning or monthly spending. I am just talking about small changes, re-directional really, that plug holes in your ability to survive.
Bill: Okay. Well I'll think about it.
UrbanMan: Ok, you think about it. In the meantime, I'm going to send you some website and recommended reading. Don't be the dumb ass left out.
Thursday, December 15, 2016
So I was interested when I saw this article from HealthMixer on the "35 Amazing Benefits of All-Natural Honey". I hope you will too. Oh, by the way, my Dog's wound healed quickly and nicely!
Honey offers a wide range of trace minerals that are necessary for the body’s proper functioning. It is an anti-bacterial that can help with constipation and calcium absorption. When one endeavors to study the benefits of honey, it is completely believable that a list surpassing 75 elements can be achieved. We chose to narrow that list down to include the 35 benefits we found most amazing. And, we can’t wait for you to read # 25!
Honey is nature’s best kept medicine. Your ancestors probably found more value in it than you have ever even considered. But that’s ok, because we’re here to bring all that back! Check out these amazing benefits:
#1 Cough & Sore Throat. Honey is a phenomenal cough suppressant. In fact, according to Penn State College of Medicine (2012), it was deemed a better option for children’s coughs than any available over-the-counter option! Honey soothes on contact and stimulates saliva, which may be the reason it is so effective in coughs and sore throats.
#2 Wounds & Burns. In a 2015 issue of Contemporary Nurse, honey was labeled a better burn treatment than the ordinarily prescribed silver. This is because honey has more antibacterial properties. And, it has no toxic effects on skin.
#3 Arthritis. Manuka honey appears to be useful due to its anti-inflammatory properties. The inflammation experienced in bouts of arthritis is relieved, as is the pain. To experience this benefit, try mixing 2 tablespoons of Manuka honey with 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon in a cup of warm green tea.
#4 Insomnia & Fatigue. Honey has been labeled a super-food. Sleep induction occurs with increased levels of tryptophan and serotonin. Honey includes tryptophan. Honey raises the blood sugar, slightly. That rise in insulin, causes tryptophan to enter the brain where it is converted into serotonin. When dark, serotonin converts to melatonin which aids in sleep. Take two tablespoons of honey each night to aid in alleviating your symptoms of insomnia and fatigue.
#5 Acid Reflux & Heartburn. A mix of apple cider vinegar and honey can help reduce your acid reflux and heartburn troubles. We know it seems counterintuitive, but it is theorized that the cider vinegar and honey mix helps to balance out the pH in the gut. Plus, they are both anti-bacterial agents that can help fight off any bacterial issues that are causing the problems. Try 2 teaspoons each of honey and apple cider vinegar in water or warm tea.
#6 Seasonal Allergies & Asthma. Eating local honey can act like a localized vaccination against those things in the environment that are triggering your allergies. Try to get honey that has been collected near your home so that the same flowers and weeds will have been utilized in its production.
#7 Warts & Acne. Apply honey to warts and cover with a Band-Aid. Repeat the process until the warts disappear. The same is true about acne, although Band-Aids are not necessary. Allow the honey to remain on the problem areas for fifteen minutes and then rinse off. Please make sure that you are using all-natural, raw, unprocessed, preferably organic honey.
#8 Yeast Infections. A piece in Future Microbiology (2014) declared that honey was an effective treatment for yeast infections. If you want to try this out, mix one tablespoon of plain, unsweetened yogurt, with two tablespoons of raw honey. Apply this mixture to the infected area externally and internally. Allow it to remain in place for ten minutes. Wash after application. Consider it a honey douche and look for improvement within a few days, if you use it twice a day as recommended.
#9 Weight Loss & Poor Metabolism. Honey contains 22 amino acids that can aid in boosting metabolism. And, increased metabolism means decreased fat! Consider drinking lemon juice with a little honey each morning to get your metabolism started on the right foot. Honey can potentially fuel the liver and ease stress hormones to aid in weight loss as well.
#10 Helps Prevent Cancer and Heart Disease. Honey includes anti-tumor and carcinogen preventing properties. Honey’s natural anti-oxidant capabilities can help eliminate cancer causing free-radicals and improve the functioning of the immune system.
#11 Energy Booster. Honey naturally provides carbohydrates that provide energy. As such, honey is considered an effective way to improve energy and prevent fatigue. Don’t forget that the glucose in honey is a rapid energy creator and the fructose allows that energy to last. Before you workout, consider taking a spoonful of honey, and if you are feeling drained, spread some on toast or use it in your tea instead of sugar.
#12 Immune System Builder. Recall that honey has anti-bacterial and anti-oxidant properties. These help improve your digestive tract and can aid in the prevention of diseases. If you really want to help your body ward off infectious issues, try drinking a glass of water with lemon and honey each morning. Warm water is recommended here.
#13 Memory Booster. Restful sleep and the reduction of metabolic stress contribute to cognitive and memory functions. Honey offers both. At the University Of Babylon’s College of Medicine, a five year study was conducted that concluded honey had the ability to prevent dementia and cognitive decline.
#14 Face Mask. Honey is terrific for the skin. And, lots of people have been experimenting with its ability to provide a great rejuvenating face mask. Based on your skin type, you’ll have to add either: apple, avocado & egg, or egg, almond oil, and yogurt.
#15 Reduces Ulcers and Other Gastrointestinal Disorders. An ulcer is a lesion in the lining of the stomach. Imbalances in the digestive fluids are generally to blame. Although many are actually caused by h. pylori, a bacteria found in the gut. One tablespoon of raw honey (preferably Manuka) combined with a ¼ teaspoon of ground cinnamon, has been shown to offer considerable relief when taken daily.
#16 Lowers Cholesterol. Cholesterol comes in both good and bad forms. Honey is cholesterol free and is believed to be able to help keep cholesterol levels under control. Taking a honey and cinnamon mix regularly could lower the cholesterol in your blood thanks to its anti-oxidant properties.
#17 Low-libido. Honey is an aphrodisiac. It promotes testosterone in men and aids in estrogen usage in women. In fact, a study showed that three ounces of honey could increase levels of the arousal chemical, nitric oxide. Hippocrates prescribed honey for the purposes of sexual vigor and the induction of ecstasy, all the way back in 500 BC! He recommended that it be used as a sexual stimulant by combining it with pepper and ginger. Definitely something to think about before agreeing to take the little blue pill.
#18 Anxiety. A 2011 study, published in the Journal of Neurophysiology showed that animals that took larger doses of honey demonstrated significant reduction in anxious behaviors and were in better control of their own bodies. The consumption was a one-time deal. This showed that honey can relieve anxiety as quickly as one dose! That’s great news.
#19 Athlete’s Foot. Tinea pedis, or athlete’s foot, is a skin disorder and is caused by a parasitic fungus. You can use propolis (a natural bee product) or honey for treatment of this irritating issue. Rub the foot with honey at night and then cover with an old sock. Wash the dried honey off in the morning. Repeat until the problem has been resolved.
#20 Detoxifying Needs. Lemon and honey water are great detoxification providers. Try drinking a glass of honey and lemon in the morning on an empty stomach. You could also go on a honey water fast if you are really devoted to completing a truly detoxifying procedure
#21 Eczema & Rosacea. A persistent inflammation of the top layer of skin contributes to the symptomology known as eczema. Basically, the immune system is overreacting. There are three potential methods to deal with the issue:
•Apple honey and ground cinnamon applied to effected area
•Warm water mixed with half a lime and a teaspoon of honey ingested every morning for several weeks
•A glass of water combined with a teaspoon of honey and two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar taken three times a day, with meals
#22 Gum Disease. Honey is a great anti-microbial that can effectively treat gum disease even if it sounds counter intuitive to apply sweet stuff to your teeth. Honey can deter the growth of the bacteria that causes dental plague and can ultimately reduce its presence, according to a 2015 study. Manuka honey is the best resource as it has the highest levels of anti-microbials.
#23 Treats Dandruff & Other Scalp Problems. Crude honey is very powerful. The honey needs to be diluted in water and then rubbed into the scalp, specifically focusing on problem areas. Leave it in for three hours and then rinse it out with warm water. Do this every other day for 2 weeks. A study performing the same procedures revealed complete healing and even a decrease in hair loss.
#24 Hangovers. The fructose in honey has been shown to speed up the livers ability to oxidize alcohol. This makes honey a confirmed sobering agent with better results than coffee! Mix 15ml of honey with 70ml of all-natural yogurt and 80ml of orange juice for the best hangover relief you’ve ever tasted.
#25 Stress. Prescription medications are not your only answer for relieving stress. Honey’s nutrients can elicit a calming effect. If you add a decent amount of honey to your breakfast regimen, you might discover that the day’s stress has less of an impact on your emotional well-being.
#26 Workout Fuel. Honey is believed to have the ability to increase athletic performance. In fact, some people use it as an all-natural energy drink. Because there are only 17 grams of carbs in a tablespoon of honey, its fructose and glucose can act as a short-term source of energy.
#27 Regulates Blood Sugar. Although it seems highly unlikely that honey, a sugar, can regulate sugar, it is the balance of fructose and glucose that enables this anomaly to occur. The fructose in the honey sends the glucose straight to the liver where it becomes glycogen. This allows the major organs to function at optimal capacity and keeps the glucose out of the blood, which ultimately lowers blood sugar. Honey produces more liver glycogene than any other food based on per gram studies.
#28 Probiotic. Honey’s therapeutic properties are sometimes viewed as “mysterious.” But, it is the 4 species of Bifidobacterium and 6 species of lactobacilli found in different varieties of honey that contributes to its probiotic capabilities.
#29 Provides Nutrients. Honey includes an array of vitamins and nutrients in small doses. These vitamins and nutrients include: zinc, phosphorous, potassium, manganese, iron, copper, magnesium, riboflavin, calcium, niacin, and pantothenic acid. If you switch your sugars to honey, you will be getting nutrients with your calories!
#30 Potentially Prevents Low White Blood Cell Count. During chemotherapy sessions, 40 percent of patients who took therapeutic honey, at two teaspoons daily, relieved their bouts with low blood cell counts (neutropenia). This study was performed by the Mayo Clinic.
#31 Kills Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria. Some research performed in doctors’ offices and hospitals has revealed that Honey can kill antibiotic resistant bacteria. Specifically, they found it worked on: Salmonella, E. coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Staphylococcus aureus.
#32 Honey for Herpes. Because Honey has been proven to provide great remedies for wounds, it is no wonder that it can assist in healing the sores associated with Herpes. It takes fluid from the wound and the sugar suppresses the growth of microorganisms. And, low levels of hydrogen peroxide are included in honey. Studies have shown that the topical use of honey is actually more effective than the prescription cream.
#33 Increases Calcium Absorption. When using a calcium supplement, research has shown that ingesting honey can aid in the absorption of the supplemental calcium. In fact, there is a 25% improvement rate when these are taken together. The raffinose, fructose, and glucose found in honey are given the credit for increasing the ability to absorb calcium.
#34 Increase Hemoglobin Count & Treat Anemia. Thanks to the iron, copper, and manganese found in raw dark honey, hemoglobin synthesis can be aided. Keep in mind that the darker the honey is, the better it is for you. Honey will also add that boost you need when dealing with anemia.
#35 Hair Conditioner. If you’ll create a mix of honey and olive oil, you will discover honey’s amazing ability to smooth and condition your hair. Plus, this is an all-natural method!