Thank God My Father Moved Us to Cincinnati

When I was at least 12, Marion and Esther, my G.I. generation parents took me to Coney Island. I was still too scared to ride the roller-coasters but the ‘Dogems’ appealed to my passive-aggressive nature. Once back home Marion asked me if I noticed the black kid I had banged into several times? “No, why?”

Well, for more than 65 years, Coney Island and its Sunlite Pool had been a riverside playground for most of the people of Cincinnati; it boasted cleanliness, thrilling rides, a place to swim and dance, a whisper of bygone days.  But it was closed to blacks. The pool, even longer.  That a place of public accommodation would remain a pocket of segregation as long as it did — especially in a Northern, industrial city — surprises many, astounds others.  After all, the Supreme Court had ordered schools desegregated in 1954.  The park finally opened its gates to blacks in 1955, and by the time the pool was integrated — May 29, 1961 — the civil-rights struggle was well under way, punctuated by sit-ins and demonstrations around the country.

I was a Baby Boomer enjoying my childhood midway through Act I (1943-1964) of Neil Howe’s 4th Turning a four-generation live action, socio-political-psycho-economic histo-drama, I call, “Apocalypse Soon, Armageddon Later.” Starring fellow Boomers; George ‘W’ 1946, Hillary 1947, Bill Clinton 1946, Trump 1946, Xi Jinping 1953 and Putin 1952.

On my street, Mooney Avenue, we had 70 kids in an approximate 60-40 split between Protestants and Catholics. As children of a fervent Christian Scientist mother, my sister and I tried to hide under the Protestant umbrella. The Catholic kids went to Saint Mary’s and the rest of us attended Hyde Park elementary. So, in my 1955 life experience, no black kids here, no black kids there and no black kids anywhere except for that kid on the ‘Dogems.’

Marion always bought ugly used cars like this ’53 Nash Ambassador – ‘Greg’ as Esther called him, drove us to Sunday school at the 1st Church of Christ Scientist Norwood then came back an hour later to pick us up. Norwood was a future Trump country neighborhood where everybody was white and wore blue collars to work at the GM Fischer Body plant.

Two Sundays a month, after Marion got paid, we went to Frisch’s Big Boy on Duck Creek and ate in the car. Whether it was a payday Sunday or a fried chicken at home Sunday, I’d come back with a headache from my hour-long lesson in Mind Over Matter and the evils of materia-medica. My physical remedy for this meta-physical problem, was holding a cold wash cloth to my left temporal.

Headaches: Invalidating the self. Self-criticism. Fear.

   “I love and approve of myself. I see myself and what I do with eyes of love. I am safe.”

My second wife gifted me with Louise Hay’s book Heal Your Body A-Z to teach me what I failed to learn in Sunday School.

RELIGION was my number one childhood complaint – “can’t we all just be normal kids like everybody else on the block” – number two was Marion shaming us with the only non-GM or Ford vehicle in Hyde Park, and used at that.

RACE RELIGION POLITICS SEX & MONEY

However, after Labor Day 1955, Marion drove me half way across town – to the east/west dividing line – to my first day at Walnut Hills High School. The school was smack dab in the middle of EVANSTON and from outward appearances an all-black community. I read recently that Cincinnati was the 8th most segregated city in the USA. Just looking out the window I couldn’t tell if they were Protestant or Catholic but they were the same color as that kid I bumped into at Coney Island.

But, oh Lordy, Lordy the halls of the 2,000+ 7-12th grade students at Walnut Hills High School were populated with black kids and white kids, but half of the white kids were Jews. Marion had warned me that, “if I didn’t learn anything from the Jews, I would never learn anything.” The first thing I noticed was that all the Jewish girls had breasts.

Secondly, while the Coney Island pool wouldn’t be integrated until the year I graduated, at WHHS all the boys swam naked. In my swim class everyone had more pubic hair, than I had hair on my head. Walnut Hills was an academic melting pot, my class of 305, had kids from every neighborhood in the city – places I had never heard of, let alone visited. What WHHS didn’t have was greasers or hoods.Well, we did have Marty until he dropped out in the tenth grade. Marty wore ducktails and tried to act tough-cool but the only status symbol at WHHS was your grade point average.

My favorite WHHS grad was Miller Huggins, Class of 1897 pictured with Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth. Miller’s father was a Methodist and prohibited his son from playing semi-pro ball on Sundays. Huggins graduated from law school and his professor, none other than William Howard Taft advised him that he’d make more money playing baseball.

Huggins set an MLB record on June 1, 1910 with six plate appearances but no at bats, with four walks and two sacrifice flies. Huggins, was short but WHHS smart and managed the Yankees from 1921-29. The Yankees swept the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 1927 World Series. This team became known as Murderers’ Row, and is considered the one of the greatest teams in baseball history.

My favorite famous WHHS grad was Jerry Rubin who went off to Berkley to found the ‘Yippies’ and protest the Vietnam War.

I passed the reading/math test to gain admittance to WHHS but Latin, Trig, Physics and Chemistry left me intellectually challenged in a very competitive environment. That, plus suffering from a severe case of homework avoidance syndrome, left me at the back of the pack on graduation day in 1961.

Of the 305 graduates, the top 100 went off to Harvard, Princeton, Yale and beyond. The middle third headed for Prairie League universities especially the hometown favorite the University of Cincinnati. My application to UC’s school of Architecture was rejected because I had not graduated in the top 10% of my high school class.

Tom Thacker along with Tony Yates were our most famous classmates in the ’61-’62 year.

I was happy to just be a poly-sci guy at Miami or Antioch but Marion, the hard knocks engineer, wasn’t about to pay for any of that monkey business. So, Howard, Eddie and I entered UC’s Ding-Dong, two-year, associate’s degree program. I did so well relearning 7th grade Algebra, English and History that I was granted admission to the 1962 class of Architecture.

Cincinnati was 85% German Catholic, home to Hebrew Union College and Rabbi Silver founder of Reformed Judaism. Thus, Cincinnati was blessed with a pragmatic German education culture. This meant that even though I missed out on Harvard I was going to be a University of Cincinnati Co-Op student and go to work for a living from my Freshman year on.

The University of Cincinnati was the first university in the world to offer cooperative education. A bust of UC co-op founder Herman Schneider stands outside Baldwin Hall.

Herman Schneider (1872–1939), engineer, architect, and educator, concluded that the traditional learning space or classroom was insufficient for technical students. Schneider observed that several of the more successful Lehigh graduates had worked to earn money before graduation. Gathering data through interviews of employers and graduates, he devised the framework for cooperative education (1901). However, in 1903 the University of Cincinnati appointed Schneider to their faculty. In 1905 the UC Board of Trustees allowed Schneider to “try this cooperative idea of education for one year only, for the failure of which they would not be held responsible.” The cooperative education program was launched in 1906, and became an immediate success.

RACE RELIGION POLITICS MONEY & SEX

My Coop Job ’61 to ’67 was as an architectural “Apprentice” above the Colony theater on Shaker Square

I spent Spring and Fall quarters 1961-1967 working as an architectural co-op student in the offices of Outcalt, Guenther, Rode, Toguchi and Bonebrake, the biggest architectural firm in Cleveland. Thanks to Marion’s big sister, who got me the job after high school and Herman Schneider, I was able to pay my way through seven years of university and learn firsthand that architects don’t make any money.

Walnut Hills, the Harvard of Cincinnati’s Public Education System

Withrow High School named Ohio’s most beautiful by Architectural Digest. Designed along with Walnut Hills High School by the grandfather of one of my alphabetically speaking best friends, Sted Garber.

Marion, was hell bent on sending me to the best high school in Cincinnati, but he wanted me to make the decision. My options were Withrow, three blocks away, Indian Hills or Country Day, private schools in an aristoi neighborhood a few miles further east. The fourth consideration was Walnut Hills, where I had received an invitation because I had passed the entrance test. At Hyde Park elementary I sat behind Steve Hussey and in front of Bob Yeager, my future classmates. I didn’t copy Hussey’s answers and I’m sure Yeager, our de facto class leader, would never look my way.

What to do? When Esther asked me, now that I was twelve, did I want to join the church? I gave a near instant response, NO, I want to be a Presbyterian! But, three doors down Bob Shirley, older brother of Kathy Shirley, my Drexall drug store cherry coke first date, gave me his Walnut Hills sales pitch.

Tom, the homework’s not that bad. It’s easy to get there, you catch the 69 Madisonville at the end of the street, transfer at Peebles Corner to the 31 Vine Woodburn, walk 3 blocks in the rain, sleet or snow and you’re there.

Jimmy Fallon jokes about how 17 students from the same high school got perfect ACT scores. Our class of ’61 had 31 SAT scholarship recipients.

In 1935 the Board of Education confirmed the status of the school as “an institution specialized for college preparation.” Again in 1972, the Board of Education reaffirmed the position of Walnut Hills High School as a six-year, college preparatory school. As early as 1926 a systematic method of pupil selection was adopted. Today all students enter the school after passing a special college preparatory examination.

The Recipe for Saving Public Education

Municipal (free) Six Year (get ’em when they’re young) College Preparatory High School (everybody’s going to college) open to all (swim with every fish in the sea) qualified elementary students city wide.

ALL I KNEW WAS WHAT I READ IN MY ‘WEEKLY READER’

The Bad Guys in 1950’s according to my Weekly Reader in Hyde Park Elementary school, Cincinnati, Ohio.
My 1955 6th Grade map in the Weekly Reader had the world from east of Italy to Hong Kong colored in Red, ‘Big Bad Red.’

On Mooney Avenue, Andre my fellow classmate and across the street neighbor, along with 3rd grader Greg didn’t know squat or could care less about Russia or the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics but China that was different. I mean everybody knew that China had a Great Wall and if you dug a hole deep enough you would come out on the other side somewhere in China. We managed a whopping three feet, when Mrs LeClair, doctor LeClaire’s wife, Andre’s mother or “Dorthy” to politically incorrect – at an early age – me, came out to save us. Not for digging our way to China, just messing up the yard.

Andre and I along with 303 others graduated from Walnut Hills, Cincinnati’s municipal college preparatory high school, in May 1961

Andre went to a good school Earlham, while Howie, Eddie and I shuffled off to the University of Cincinnati’s ‘Ding-Dong” two- year associate program for scholastic remediation because we were in the lower third of our class in high school. We all mastered 7th grade algebra, 8th grade English, and a subject I had never heard of PSYCH 101. History, my favorite subject at Walnut Hills, was dispensed in a 500 seat lecture hall where the professor was worried about the ‘Commies’ dropping the ‘Big One.’

“When it comes, I’m going sit on the lawn in Mt. Adams with a case of Schoeling Little Kings and watch the show.”

Little Kings and its distinctive 7-ounce green bottle were invented in the ’50s when patrons of Montgomery Inn didn’t want to purchase full-sized beers to pair with shots of whiskey. Rumor is that the draft system at the restaurant was broken and no one wanted to buy a big 12-ounce bottle of beer when they just wanted a chaser, so the Schoenling’s started packaging their cream ale in smaller bottles.  

Drafted twice, I watched Alan Shepard land on the Moon on my BOQ TV at Ft. Sill. A year later I was on board the USS Okinawa as it pulled into Hong Kong harbor for a ten-day ‘liberty-call.’

Be Careful What You Dig For

‘My Weekly Reader‘ map was still colored red but now the ‘Bad Boys’ were trying, according to the CIA Military-Industrial complex, to paint Vietnam red from top to bottom. I spent my entire October ’69 to October ’70 tour observing the shoreline of both Mainland China and Vietnam.

My first marital partner and I visited Hong Kong in 1981 on our way to Singapore. The Star Ferry was still chugging away, Victoria Peak had a ‘Wendy’s’ at the top but the US Navy was no longer welcome.

An Architect and his Money are soon Parted

On 8 January 2008 I closed on a home that cost three times my monthly income.

867 Tyler, Eugene, OR

“Well Mr. Gregory how did you expect to pay for it?”

I didn’t have a clue, Physics, Chemistry and for sure Trigonometry were not my best subjects at Walnut Hills High School. The only way I made it through Calculus in DAAP (Design, Art, Architecture & Planning) was copying Tom Sezniak’s paper.

Then I had what they call in Eugene, an epiphany. I was thinking back on the cosmic reason Andre and I were digging that hole in his back yard.

Teach ESL in China

Teaching ESL freshman English majors using the Toastmasters format at Henan Agricultural University in Zhengzhou, Mainland China 2009.

THE 4TH WORM HAS TURNED

My status, as a resident American economic refugee in Turkey, keeps me in a daily quandary over the coming apocalypse as predicted in Neil Howe’s Fourth Turning.

Where are we in the 4th Turning?

First we have to understand how the Crisis is broken down into sections. The Crisis starts with a Catalyst, which Strauss and Howe describe as “a startling event (or sequence of events) that produces a sudden shift in mood”.Following the Catalyst, society should move quickly, typically from 1-5 years after the catalyst, into the regeneracy, which is “a new counter entropy that re-unifies and re-energizes civic life”. The Regeneracy should last from 10-15 years. And then finally we have the Climax which is a relatively short period of extreme conflict that leads to a Resolution.

The 4th Turning starts with the 2008 Financial Crisis as the CATALYST then through the stages of REGENERACY , CLIMAX & RESOLUTION by 2026.

Neil Howe originally considered 9/11 as the Catalyst, it was a startling event that produced a sudden shift in mood. But when 1-5 years later expected ‘country really started to pull together’ didn’t happen,  Howe re-calibrated the 4th Turning start-finish dates from the 2008 Financial Crisis to 2026.

My ‘putative’ spouse, Jane Marie, 2nd from the left, and I packed our 40  boxes of Chinese collectibles and emigrated to Antalya to catch the last act of the 4th Turning 2014-2026 on Turkey’s Mediterranean Riviera.

On November 9th at 4:00 AM our time we watched with absolute certainty – the shock and awe – of the 4th Turning. It wasn’t the ‘black swan’ that everyone expected it was an ‘orange swan.’ Jane Marie and all of her friends, her friends’ friends and 95% of FACEBOOK posts went into apoplexy – this was not how the 80 year, four generation ‘Boomer’ movie was supposed to end.

Following the Catalyst, society should move quickly, typically from 1-5 years after the catalyst, into the regeneracy; Lehman 2008 – Trump 2016, looks to me Neil Howe missed it by three but then there’s the FED move in 2013.
 

The 4th Worm Has Turned

The current 4th Turning is all about Money, not Race, Religion, Sex or Politics. Lehman Brothers was the Catalyst in 2008 but as Alan and I argue, in our forth-coming book, Be Your Own Central Bank,” the Fed kicked off Step 2: Regeneracy with their May 22, 2013 Taper Tantrum. Almost five years after the crash, 12 trillion of funny money has been issued and 95% of the world’s peeps are not a cent richer.

Step 2 is Regeneracy “a new counter entropy that re-unifies and re-energizes civic life.” The Regeneracy should last from 10-15 years. September 15, 2018 will be the tenth anniversary of the “Big Short.” Responding to a question on the next U.S. recession, the median answer was the first half of 2019.”

Thanks to ‘Tricky Dick’ every nation on earth is kiting checks out of the same USD reserve currency checkbook but only the US has overdraft privileges. As Trump likes to boast, “America holds all the cards.” The Emerging Market countries are contemplating tossing in their cards. Venezuela has folded, and Argentina has borrowed 50 billion from the IMF house. China is the Big Dawg at the table, who is using blocked currency chips called Yuan or Renminbi.

China accuses the US of writing them a bum check, which they cashed into Yuan that even the Chinese people don’t want. It’s karma, China has been playing poker with the US using fake money, at least it is more fake than the US dollar because the Yuan is not freely traded.

“And then finally we have the Climax which is a relatively short period of extreme conflict that leads to a Resolution.” Neil Howe, The Fourth Turning: An American Prophecy – What the Cycles of History Tell Us About America’s Next Rendezvous with Destiny,”

In Chapter 9 of “The Fourth Turning” Strauss and Howe outline how the prior Climax have occurred. In their analysis there is one striking similarity to each Crisis cycle: practically no one sees the climax coming, even less than a year in advance.

Rickards is my favorite ‘worm turner’ gave this Perfect Storm forecast 1) Impeachment 2) 2020 Election and 3) Spygate.

The worm has turned suggests a reversal of fortune, particularly the kind of situation in which the Peasants Revolt!

Be Your Own Central Banker Come to Turkey

For centuries, Turks have flocked to the jewelry shops of Istanbul’s labyrinthine Grand Bazaar to trade their gold – ornaments handed down through their families over generations, or bars stashed under mattresses as savings. photo Michelle Ross/Jane Kennedy

Gold is big business in Turkey, for cultural reasons and also because of the country’s experience with bouts of high inflation over the past century. The metal is traditionally given as a gift at weddings and circumcision ceremonies. Turkey’s gold demand, ranks as fifth in the world for jewelry and eighth for retail investment, mostly behind countries with much bigger populations such as India, China and the United States.


Turkey’s favorite Ottoman Empire Gold coin 1255 model Content: 0.2127 troy oz gold     1 Gram Gold Price = $42.50 USD  1 Ounce Gold Price = $1,321.88 USD

Turkey Gold 100 Kurush Coins are throwbacks to the glory days of the mighty Ottoman Empire. There was a several centuries long day an age where this ultimate Muslim superpower represented the single greatest empire in either Europe or the Middle East. At one point, it effectively stretched from North Central Africa through Libya and Egypt, most of the Middle East and Arabian Peninsula, Turkey, Jordan, Iraq, Greece, Cyprus, and the Balkans all the way up to the very gates of Vienna in Austria. Until the empire’s forced breakup for being on the wrong side of the fight in World War I, it still covered Turkey and much of the Middle East even in its terminal days as the so-called “sick old man of Europe.”

Reuters JULY 4, 2012: But in recent months the jewelry shops have a new and unexpected competitor: banks. The country’s commercial banks are pouring their technical expertise and marketing resources into offering their customers gold deposit accounts.

In Turkey you can have a bank account in Turkish lira, Euro‘s, USD dollars and Gold. On April 1st this year the Basel III established Gold as a risk free banking asset, even so, the only option for the Deplorables is stuffing their air-mattress with Gold coins.

Turkish Bank Account Options

LiraEuroUSDGold
20152788986118928.35gm 1 OZ
20163103971106228.35gm 1 OZ
201740631095115228.35gm 1 OZ
201849331092130328.35gm 1 OZ
2019LiraEuroUSDGold
Jan67871118128028.35gm 1 OZ
Feb68461151132128.35gm 1 OZ
Mar69621135128728.35gm 1 OZ
Apr72411131129228.35gm 1 OZ
May76581144128028.35gm 1 OZ
Jun76191167130528.35gm 1 OZ

When we moved here March 2015, we were required to open a bank account showing $6,000 on deposit, in order to receive our one year resident permit. We operated for 2015 with both dollar and Lira accounts. In 2016 I learned you could also open a Euro account, so why not! Then this year I heard from the Jim Rickards YouTube grapevine, that Turkey was the only country in the world with gold denominated bank accounts. We were living in Switzerland and didn’t know it.

Money is gold, and nothing else.” JP Morgan

So gold deposit accounts are measured in grams and how many grams you have is determined by what currency you exchange for the gold. The Turks pay in Lira while expats use their home country source of funds, Euro for the Europeans, British Pound for the Royals and Buck$ for us.

Don’t got no real estate, diamonds, Stocks & Bonds or T-Bills but we’ve got an ounce of gold in a Turkish bank account.

In our example every month our 28.35 gram = 1 ounce deposit, goes up or down based on the spot gold price $1280 January 2019 at are open. When February jumped to $1321, I patted myself on my wallet for having $41 more than when I started. However, March roared in at $1287/oz putting me up just $7 and by May, I was back to scratch at $1280.

I forgot the purpose, the reason for opening the gold account in the first place: “Money is gold, and nothing else,” euros, dollars, lira, pounds, yen, yuan etc. are not real money. Every country’s Central Bank is losing money, some more than others. In 2015 the Turks could buy an ounce of gold for only 2,788 lira, Euro countries 980 euros and Americans 1,189 dollars. So when I got my June 2019 statement $1,305 – $1,189 (2015) = $116 less purchasing power since 2015 or a negative 2.4 interest rate.

Got married in 1973, designed two gold, $90.oz, wedding bands. Those ninety buck rings in June 2019 are worth $1,305. Damn, where are those 46 year-old heirlooms now?

How Do You Get to Sarajevo City Hall? Practice!

The United Nations sponsors musical education in Bosnia. Students, professors and administrators from participating universities, gathered at Sarajevo’s famed City Hall for the weekly Monday Concert. The UN rep gave the opening talk in American English with Bosnian translation. Even the mayor was there.

Sarajevo City Hall the ‘Temple Mount’ of the “European Jerusalem”

Situated at the intersection of three major streets in Sarajevo, the City Hall is a monument to the multiculturalism of Bosnia. Built between 1892 and 1894, the pseudo-Moorish building honored the Muslim background of this Austro-Hungarian territory. The façade is based on Mamluk-period buildings in Cairo. The building has been used for various municipal purposes since its construction, including as a city court and parliament house, which it was until 1948, when it became the National and University Library of Bosnia and Herzegovina. 



Sarajevo was the city of four religions: Catholics, Orthodox, Muslim, and Jews. The Jewish population made note of this, naming the city “The European Jerusalem.”  Settled in prehistoric times, followed by Ottoman rule in the 15th century, Austro-Hungarian rule in the 19th century, Yugoslavia’s communist rule in the 20th century, and finally today’s democracy.

August 25-26, 1992, the City Hall was hit by heavy artillery and incendiary bombs. The hall was set ablaze and the entire library holdings were lost. The fire caused severe damage to the structural and decorative elements of the building. In 1996, the government of Austria funded an initial restoration effort that focused on load-bearing walls and masonry. The European Commission followed in 1999 with funds to continue restoration of structural elements


The edifice was designed by Karel Pařík in a stylistic blend of historical eclecticism, predominantly in the pseudo-Moorish expression, for which the stylistic sources were found in the Islamic art of Spain and North Africa. His epitaph reads: “Here rests the builder of Sarajevo. Czech by birth, Sarajevan by choice. – A thankful Bosnia and Herzegovina.”

In May 2014 the building reopened with a public ceremony. The restoration was completed in time to mark the centenary of World War I, triggered by the assassination of the Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand as he left a reception at the building in June 1914. The building now houses the national and university libraries, the city council, and a museum. November 2014

The lower level museum presents the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria.
Jane Marie and I would not do well on a ‘Jeopardy’ former Yugoslavia geography quiz.
Slovenia (Melania Trump) and Croatia got all the goodies on the coast, Bosnia got Sarajevo (the Muslim Jerusalem & tourist Mecca) and Serbia got all the Serbs in all the wrong places.

Way to Go Sarajevo


The oldest pyramid in the world is in… Bosnia

Who said there was nothing to do in Bosnia? An amateur archaeologist claims to have discovered pyramids in Bosnia, but scientists say that he is lying. Inhabitants of the small town at the foot of the pyramid believe him, but not necessarily for scientific reasons.

Amira Kilalić places pita bread on the table, wraps her headscarf tighter around her bright, dyed red hair, and steps outside. Her shop is a small wooden house that stands on the mountainside. If she looks down, the 83-year-old with a wrinkled face can see Visoko, the town at the foot of the Visočica mountain.

Buy now in Visoko, if they offered Amira 250,000 Euros for her cottage, location, location, location. We’ve all heard of Sarajevo but Visoko? Com’on.

There, women wear high heels to fetch cigarettes, and in the mornings, the men are already sitting in the cafés and betting shops on the main street. If she looks up, Amira can see the castle ruins on the mountaintop.

That’s where the director of the town’s local history museum took a Bosnian entrepreneur, who visited Visoko in 2005. Back then, the ruins were the town’s only sightseeing destination. But when the director mentioned the symmetry of the mountain, his visitor stopped short, got out his compass, measured the angle of the mountain’s slopes and suddenly became certain that he was standing atop a pyramid.

After our hour tour inside the tunnels under the pyramid we drove through the village up to the exterior North Face entry. I took the picnic table opt-out option while Jane Marie started hiking up the side.
Even Jane Marie called it a day at this point. The group ahead is looking at some extraterrestrial depression, not berries or onions.
If you’ve seen one pyramid, you’ve seen them all.

Not just a mountain in Bosnia

For centuries, the mountain was just a mountain. It wasn’t until 2005, when the amateur researcher came to visit, that the mountain became “the highest and oldest pyramid in the world”. He called it the ‘Pyramid of the Sun’ (Piramida Sunca). At the time, the people of Visoko laughed and called him crazy. Today, they are proud of the find, which has brought them fame and money. “It’s so nice that the pyramid is right here,” Amira says, with a satisfied smile.

The discoverer is called Semir Osmanagić. He makes his living from a metal business in Texas, where he goes by the name Sam Osmanagich. For years, he used to visit the pyramids of the world in his spare time, wearing a wide-brimmed white hat and a cotton shirt. The 57-year-old says that since his discovery, he’s the happiest person in the world. His business has since become a side project; he visits the company four times a year, dealing with any problems over Skype. He can call himself Dr. Osmanagić because, in 2009, he wrote a PhD thesis about the Mayan civilisation at the faculty of political science in Sarajevo.

“I was here in July and took some tunnel water with me. I drank it regularly, and in October, it turned out that I’m free of tumours.”

To Amira, he is simply “Semir”. He began excavations in spring 2006. Every day while doing so, he came by her wooden house – which has neither heating nor a water supply – with his helpers. She gave them apples from her garden and observed how more and more Bosnians and foreigners with hiking boots and cameras were pouring in. When she counted over a thousand people one sunny weekend, her husband decided to open a café. They built a long timber house with a clay floor and large windows, from which Amira now sells coffee and homemade pita, woollen socks and smoked cheese.

Visiting Gobekli Tepe in 2016, led us to read “Magicians of the Gods” by Graham Hancock but the ‘Pyramid of the Sun’ in Sarajevo has put us on the occultist bus.


A place of pilgrimage for occultists

The pyramids create jobs, urgently needed in a country with an unemployment rate of almost 30%. Those who can tend to rent out rooms, sell souvenirs or earn money as taxi drivers for the tourists. Since 2005, around 100 new accommodation spaces have sprung up, and pyramid-shaped pizza is easy to find. Osmanagić even formed a Pyramid Foundation, financed by tourism revenue. The foundation employs 38 people: guides, craftspeople and guards. Osmanagić isn’t there very often though, he now gives talks around the world about his discovery. He manages the Visoko team via email.

The amateur archaeologist invites international excavation teams and journalists with him. On the pyramid’s slope, he has exposed stone slabs, and says they are man-made.

Even the head of the European Institute for Archaeology paid the site a visit. He said the find was “a pseudoscientific lie”, and that Osmanagić should stop digging. But the amateur researcher didn’t back down. Instead, he went on to discover three additional, smaller pyramids and a tunnel that – he believes – leads you to the Pyramid of the Sun. But the alleged passageways are still barricaded by stone.

Jane Marie “laying on of hands,” occultist style.

The accessible part of the tunnel is visited by around 45,000 tourists each year. “We witness miracles here: the highly ionised air in the tunnel, the extraordinary quality of the water, and the vibrations all have positive effects on people,” Osmanagić says over Skype. The entrance fee for foreigners is 10 Euros. There is tunnel water for sale in tiny 100ml glass bottles for the same price.


Six Handed Bridge


In the Shadows of a Presidency he offers a behind-the-scenes chronicle of the actors, governments, companies, and institutions involved in Trump’s election and the payout it will yield for insiders.

“Rank order your fellow platoon members by whom you would want on your left and right in a foxhole.” At the end of the 8th week in my stay at the US Marine Corps Officer Candidate School in scenic Quantico, Virginia, I searched the posted Peer Evaluation list for my name. There I was, #49 out of 50.

I had managed to avoid the wrath of the assistant platoon sergeant, the platoon sergeant and the platoon commander for seven weeks and four days but no longer. First the Captain, “Wadid’ya do, go to sum f****ng charm school? I’m going to send you to Paris Island!” Then the Major, ” I know your type, soon as 5 o’clock comes, you’re gone. I’m going to send you to Paris Island! Lastly the Colonel, “Obviously leadership is not in your DNA but with a degree in architecture you should be able to read maps, so we’re going to make you a Forward Observer in the artillery.”

War is hell but my two months above the tree line and below the snow was my introduction to communing with nature USMC style.

No Paris Island, no Vietnam, unless you count observing Danang while aboard the USS Point Defiance on our way to Hong Kong, Taiwan, Mt. Fuji, and Subic Bay. I observed that the “join the Navy and see the world” might be applicable to the civilian career overseas. Four years later I was making pretty sketches of factories in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Then God said, “Teg I found a copy of your OCS Peer Evaluation and because you have made a mockery of our Military-Industrial Complex, I’m going to send you to the civilian Paris Island – Cleveland, Ohio.”


The Battle of Ismailia took place between the Egyptian Army and the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) during the last stages of the Yom Kippur War during October 18–22, 1973, south of the city of Ismailia, on the west bank of the Suez Canal in Egypt

After six miserable winters and 500 resumes I got a job in May 1985, with USAID in Ismalia, Egypt. I was paid $600/day in 2019$$ to observe all 45 research stations of the Egyptian Ministry of Agriculture to determine what the US government could do for them. Since, the chief of each location had a PhD and pulled down $50-100/month, their answer was, “go home and just give us the money.”

When I qualified for a CitiMortgage ‘liar’ loan that was three times my Social Security check, I soon found myself employed as an ESL teacher in Mainland China.
In 2011 Jane Marie came along and suggested we give up our subsistence level ESL gigs for life on the Turkish riviera.
Expat Heaven Antalya, Turkey

What’s Going On In America?

After 12 years of living/work experience under two military dictatorships, a Communist kleptocracy and an Islamic theocracy, I became a believer in Daniel Estulin’s analogy of the elites of six economic regions of at least 600 million inhabitants playing geo-politics like a game of six player Bridge .

Group 1: USA, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and possibly Mexico which would allow it to reach 600 million inhabitants. Currency – US Dollar.

Group 2: Russia divided by Urals into a Western Russia (Russia – Iran – Turkey – former Soviet Turkic speaking republics and regions – Azerbaijian, Turkmenistan, Karchay-Balkar, Kazakh, Karakalpak, Kyrgyz, Uzbek, Altay, Kumyk, Chuvash, Nogay, Khakas, Tyvan, Tofa, Sakha also Syria and the Balkans) and Eastern Russia (Russia-South Korea-Japan-Central Asia), Iran would join the group with Russia and Turkey and with Yemen, Bahrain and the Shia part of Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia disappears as a country. Ruined economically, Saudi society would break into sectors separated by ethnicity. Currency – Ruble

Group 3: Latin America with South Africa. Currency – Peso.

Group 4: China. Or Japan with China if Japan cannot close the economic agreement with the Russia-South Korea cluster. China would simply absorb Japan because Japan is too small and too dependent on the natural resources of others. Currency – Yuan.

Group 5: India. Or Iran with India if Iran can not close its deal with the Russia-Turkey economic cluster. Currency – Rupee.

Group 6: Western Europe (axis Paris-Berlin) with France’s African colonies (resources + population). Currency – Euro?

Group 7: UK with Arab countries (from Morocco to Saudi Arabia). Before Trump’s election, this option means that Israel was in serious danger. No wonder, Arnold Toynbee, one of the most influential British historians, in the 60s said that Israel has a life span of no more than 75 years. Henry Kissinger and Rothschild warned 4 years ago that Israel is going to disappear by 2022. It has already served its usefulness. The Jews were going back to Crimea. Trump’s election changed the dynamic and the elite circles had to come up with plan B – Macron, as the President of France, as I explained earlier.

After reading Estulin’s “In the Shadow of a Presidency” I have to find the Mezuzah of the elites – its Harpocrates the Greek God of silencio, secrets & confidentiality.

After the elites had assassinated RFK Senator Edward Kennedy quoted Bobby’s favorite line from George Bernard Shaw’s ‘Back to Methuselah’You see things; and you say, “Why?” But I dream things that never were; and I say “Why not?”
`Curiouser and curiouser!’  In the play those words, are the words of the Devil.

Armenia – You Can’t Get There from Here


Gata is an Armenian sweet bread, often about 12-14″ in diameter and about 1.5″ thick. The inside is soft, chewy and very sweet. Gata is sold at most bakeries in Armenia, and can be purchased at small road-side stores and tourist attractions outside the cities. At Geghard Monastery the name “Geghard” is written in Armenian on the Gata.
Armenia has more cathedrals than McDonald’s – matter of fact. we didn’t see any big or little Mac’s
Monastery with a view at Lake Sevan
Walking tour of the Armenian Capital – wait, wait don’t tell me – Yerevan.
Yerevan is pre-gentrified interior upgrades only requirement for occupancy
Hostel rooms start at $3/day
Mountain & very tall hill retreats are everywhere. Thanks to Jane Marie’s research we were lucky guests at the Palma B&B high above Alaverdi
The four hour drive to Yerevan makes stops at three famous cathedrals, Sanahin was our favorite

Garni-Geghard-Pokr Vedi

Garni has a five time restored Greek temple, next to last time Emperor Nero wrote a check
in 66 AD
What I liked best about Garni was the Lavash bread hot out of a real tandoor oven.
I wanted to know if any of the Apostles had been to Geghard. No but Kim Kardashian and Kanye were here in 2015
Notice when they get back in their van the Gata bread take-out
Yes that’s Mt. Ararat, Kohr-Vepi in the foreground and the Russians guarding the valley border between Turkey and Armenia
Jane Marie befriending the path builder on her way to the Kohr-Vepi cathedral, where St,Gregory was imprisoned for twelve years.

Vagharshapat – Etchmiadzin

Etchmiadzin Cathedral the Vatican of the Armenian Apostolic Church
Offering unsolicited advise on oil painting landscapes, while Jane Marie checks out the
Etchmiadzin Cathedral in Vagharshapat, Armenia

Georgia On My Mind


Georgia, Georgia
The whole day through
Just an old sweet song
Keeps Georgia on my mind (Georgia on my mind)
I said Georgia

Hard to live in Turkey very long without visiting Tbilisi, Georgia
Jane Marie & I had a two-week educational, insightful, geo-social-political, and skilled Georgian home cooking stay with our new Family

Georgia Invented Wine


Georgia
A song of you
Comes as sweet and clear
As moonlight through the pines
Other arms reach out to me
Other eyes smile tenderly
Still in peaceful dreams I see
The road leads back to you


Chateau Mukhrani, most entertaining winery in Georgia, with US & European wine aficionados serenaded by Georgian folk music.
Clay pots with removable tops, so the wine guy/girl can push the grape stuff to the bottom every so often to let it ferment back up, so he/she can push it down again.
Georgio, our fast-talking guide, showing off Chateau’s stainless steel lined concrete shell experimental clay pot.

Jane Marie’s Tbilisi Pics


I said Georgia
Ooh Georgia, no peace I find
Just an old sweet song
Keeps Georgia on my mind (Georgia on my mind)
Other arms reach out to me
Other eyes smile tenderly
Still in peaceful dreams I see
The road leads back to you
Whoa, Georgia


According to legend, the city of Tbilisi was first founded in the mid-5th century by King Vakhtang Gorgasali, who encountered numerous hot springs while hunting in the area and was so impressed by them he decreed that a new city be built on the site. The water still runs clear, so much so that you can drink out of the tap.
Tbilisi is another great place to invest your Gentrification dollar
Tbilisi Tartar Vegan antidote
Freedom Bridge good, Fallopian tubes interesting as a curiosity
Nexus carpet shop – Persian, Armenian & Georgian and bring cash
Intelligentsia Graffiti
Foot-long cheese or bean burrito blast furnace bakery on every corner
Re-purposed Lada
Georgian equivalent of eggs Benedict
Best street art exhibit
Got to be one of the only places on earth where George ‘W’ and Dick Cheney are heroes.

Did you say Monastery?


Georgia
No peace, no peace I find
Just this old, sweet song
Keeps Georgia on my mind
I said just an old sweet song
Keeps Georgia on my mind
Songwriters: Hoagy Carmichael / Stuart Gorell
Georgia on My Mind lyrics © Peermusic Publishing

Jane Madonna Marie Kennedy and her Acolyte
Two hats are better than one at the Mtskheta Holy Cross Church
Svetitskhoveli Cathedral Spy
Jvari Monastery

Healing from the Ground Up