DRAPER'S PAPER ROUTE

Snow Day

         

Do Do Do, Lookin' Out My Back Door

Is it really a secret that snow means it’s a holiday in the South?  For those of you who feel it is your duty to scoff at our ritual grocery hording at the hint of snow, or who feel put out that traffic is backed up at the ABC store, can you give it a rest?  We like doing doughnuts in the parking lot.  You will live.

Seeing the roads covered in snow has always meant that the busy world is being forced to a stop.  It does not snow enough here for us to invest in seven million snowplows.  We are not all that great at driving in the snow anyway.  Things like avoiding slamming on the brakes while driving down a steep, icy road are counter-intuitive.  Our response to all this is to shut down the schools and most of the businesses, and then pile ten or twelve kids into a van and head for the nearest steep hill, so we can slide down it with stuff like cafeteria trays or trash can lids. 

Snow is a party.  A big snow, like the one we just had (big for us), is a big party!  Anyone who tries to change that is… well, I’m sorry, but you’re just a yankee.  That’s all they are to it.  If you liked where you were so much, what brought you down here?  On second thought, never mind.  We don’t want to hear about that either.

Some years ago, I was in the lawyers’ lounge in the courthouse (which is where a lot of nothing happens while lawyers are waiting for cases to get called), and there was a particular snit going on about how the District Attorney at the time, Tom Keith, had been quoted in the paper as saying something disparaging about yankees.  Fred Hutchens, who has since gone home to be with the Lord, walked in on this sniping and said, “You know what yankees and hemorrhoids have in common?  The good ones go back up!”

I am just being funny.  I have friends who are yankees.  Really.  Not only that, my family moved here from New Jersey (when I was eight).  O my God!  What does that make me?  Well, since my parents are from Oklahoma, I can claim I am from the South by jus sanguinis (citizenship by blood).

          I like living in North Carolina.  I like the people.  It was a fun place to grow up (assuming that I did… grow up).  One of my fondest memories is of waking up to a snow like this one when I was in the fourth grade.  It was on a Monday, and I had no idea it was coming.  All of a sudden, I didn’t have school.  I got to chase all over with my dogs and go sledding with my friends.  When my fingers froze together, my mom gave me hot chocolate.  We were out of school for a whole week.  That stuck with me.  Now, all big snows are like that one, or I feel like I missed out on something - like Christmas or my birthday.

          So I realize that our snow holiday offends the finer sensibilities of those more accustomed to inclement winter weather, but can you please get over it?  I am not changing.  

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Merry Christmas

God rest ye merry, gentlemen
Let nothing you dismay
Remember, Christ, our Saviour
Was born on Christmas day
To save us all from Satan's power
When we were gone astray
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

 

            That puts it all in perspective, doesn’t it?   Don’t let anything overwhelm you.  Rest happily.  We have been rescued from the power of darkness.  The Messiah was born on this day.  Tidings of comfort and joy!

            Stef and I are visiting my parents in the Ozarks for Christmas.  That song has been coming to me over and over again.  “O tidings of comfort and joy!”  The world does not seem to be merrily at rest, but we are given that peace all the same.   

The day after we got here, Stef and I tromped into the woods, found a scraggly cedar tree, cut it down and dragged it back to my parent’s house.  Neither of us had ever done that before.  It was surprisingly fun.  I felt rested and merry.

            The experience of getting the Christmas tree and the comfort of looking at it every day, contrast the insult of shoppers shopping, drivers honking, and the incessant renditions of Jingle Bells blaring out upon a frenzied world.  The intrusions of the whole season’s assault on serenity can make me feel something like Charlie Brown, yelling “Can anyone tell me what Christmas is all about?”  

            But then there is always Linus’ response – always!

            “Sure, Charlie Brown.  I can tell you what Christmas is all about.  Lights please.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the fields, keeping watch over their flocks by night. And the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them, and they were sore afraid.  But the Angel said unto them, ‘Fear not!  For behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shallbe to all people.  For unto you is born this day in the City of David, as savior, which is Christ the Lord.  And this shall be a sign unto you. Ye shall find the bade wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with them a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will towards men!’

            That’s what Christmas is all about Charlie Brown.”

            I am feeling rested and merry today.  Somehow, the “let nothing you dismay” is sinking in, soaking down into my bones, and hopefully coming out to everyone around me.  It is a gift, after all. 

 

            Merry Christmas.  God bless us every one. 

 

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Digital Totalitarianism, Anyone?

 

 

We are at a crucial crossroads.  There is a populist revolt growing in intensity across the world.  It is in reaction to the push towards a global economic community that does the bidding of multi-national corporations and banking institutions.  Rather than recognizing the populist backlash to this globalization and backing off, the globalists are moving forward with the very things that caused the backlash.  It is as if they must  find a way to reshuffle the cards by monetizing  the ridiculous debt accumulated during  the formation of this global economic order or the house of cards that is our monetary system is going to collapse.  They need to go cashless.  We need to resist them.

Did you see that Italy voted down Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s constitutional “reforms”?  Are you wondering why I am asking?  Well, Italy’s banks are on the verge of collapse.  Renzi basically wanted to change Italy’s governmental structure, so that he could have the power to prevent this collapse.   My guess is that he would have made the Italians suffer a fate similar to the one the Greeks are enduring.  The Italians saw through it.  But now the Italian banks are not going to get the loans they need to continue limping along – and this is creating spasms of anxiety in the banking world, particularly in Europe.

Here is a link to an article in Fortune about that:

http://fortune.com/2016/12/05/italy-referendum-renzi/

 

If you want to get a little more in the weeds:

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-12-05/what-happens-next-italy-here-goldmans-take

 

The truth is that while Americans have been internally fixated on our presidential election, some profound things have been happening elsewhere, too.  The banks are in a frenzy and countries are flirting with going cashless.

On November 8, 2016 (election day here), Narenda Modi, India’s Prime Minister, announced that roughly 80% of all cash in India would be worthless as of January 1, 2017.  So Indians with 500 and 1000 rupee notes must deposit them, convert them into small denominations, or see their money vanish like Confederate War Bonds.

Here are a couple of links about this for your reading pleasure:

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/11/world/asia/india-rupee-ban-narendra-modi.html

 

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-11-24/india-panics-rupee-crashes-record-low-modi-cuts-banknote-exchange-6-weeks-early

 

Sweden is thinking of going completely digital with a banking system that would function between banks and individuals in a manner similar to that of central banks and their member banks.  The Swedes do not use cash much anyway, so they are not going to bother having a real currency – whatever that is.

This is a link to a Wall Street Journal article about a digital Sweden:

 

http://www.wsj.com/articles/swedens-central-bank-considers-digital-currency-1479296711

 

So why pay attention to what is going on in Italy, India and Sweden?  Our recent election shares a common thread with these events, populism and its aftermath.  Brexit and the election of Donald Trump are the outgrowth of a populist revolt against global economic servitude.  The Italians joined the revolt. The push for a cashless society in India and Sweden is part and parcel to what is being revolted against – global economic servitude.  Although the press tries to paint the populist revolt against globalism as racist and xenophobic, it is not; nor is it a revolt against global harmony or beatific visions.  The people are revolting against a particular brand of economic globalism being pushed upon us by multi-national corporations and banking institutions, a global economic community that would look a lot like the European Union, but would be inflicted upon the whole world.  TTP, TTiP, and the North American Union are all spokes in the creation of this global wheel.  We, the people, are but rats upon this wheel.  The fact that we do not like it does not mean we hate or even dislike other people.  We refuse to be treated like rats!

The globalists have a problem, their economic community isn’t working and the banks that are supposed to fund this shindig are going under.  They want to monetize the debt that underlies this scheme.  Monetizing the debt is a fancy term for sticking it to the rest of us by seizing bank accounts and eliminating cash so that they can turn the debt into a complete fiction and keep on functioning as if they had not just enslaved all of us to pay for this fiction.  How do they pull this off?  Digital currency – the iron fiction of totalitarianism.

We, the people, have seen what this portends, and we are telling the globalists something reminiscent of Fletcher’s reaction to betrayal in The Outlaw Josey Wales, “Don’t go pissin’ down my back and tell me it’s raining.”

 

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What Is It?

 Mom and Dad

Mom and Dad

 

Not too long ago, I had an odd dream in which my wife, Stefanie, and I were living in a bungalow, perhaps on a golf course.  This place was small.  As far as I could tell, it only had two rooms, a living room and a bedroom.  Since Stefanie (who is better than me in every conceivable way) was still living there, I assume there was a kitchen and a bathroom, but that was it.  In this dream, I was not feeling well and was in bed, but I was awake in the middle of the day with the bedroom door shut.  Stefanie was in the adjacent living room, when my father showed up.  I could hear him telling her that I needed to start a paper route.

Apparently, I had been sick for a while because I hadn’t been working – which had something to do with why we were living in a bungalow, I suppose.  In the dream, I was thinking that I appreciated Dad’s help (because we either had been relying on it or would soon be forced to do so), but I was also thinking that he had, sort of, uhmm… lost his mind! 

“A paper route, seriously?”

At that point, my dad opened the bedroom door, walked in wearing a blue, three-piece suit, stopped and said resolutely, “Thou shalt start a paper route.”

Several impressions came to me nearly simultaneously.  I was not going to argue with him because he was really serious and I was going to listen because he deserved it.  Also, he was young, perhaps 40 years old (in reality – whatever that is – my dad is 88).  As I was processing this, I became aware in the dream that I was dreaming (a big deal, which I will discuss another time, perhaps).  It struck me that God was appearing to me as my Father in the dream, and that I needed to pay earnest attention.  In the dream, I began to think about what the dream meant, and I woke up.

As I was waking, it occurred to me that God was telling me to write a blog, which I had been contemplating. 

For the next hour or so, I stayed in bed, wondering what to write in this blog:  short stories, spiritual things, poetry… political ravings?  I told my wife about it.  She was supportive, but she had that look she gets when she thinks I am getting ready to start something I won’t finish, while insisting that I will one day, but leaving it (somewhat permanently) strewn about our lives in all its disheveled glory.  Stef does not, even remotely, like that.  She tolerates it (sort of) because she loves me and she is stuck with me.

Dreams are important to me.  Growing up, my family discussed dreams over breakfast and my mother wrote them down in a journal.  I talked to her about this one.  She said that she did not know what the blog should be about, but insisted that she knew the name- The Paper Route.  I like that name, but it would feel like I was scamming on the band’s brand – and I love their song, “Calm My Soul.” 

So I chose the current name for my blog.  It is kind of dorky, but that fits me.  And that is that.

Now, what I am going to write?  I don’t know.  Stuff?  Whatever comes out.