The week before Thanksgiving until the first business day in January was my emotional demilitarized zone. Since 2008, first in Mainland China and the last four years in Antalya. Turkey, I had avoided crossing the Happy Holidays DMZ.
The Karmic gods finally caught up with me when Jane Marie and I were reunited with her ex and their oldest daughter, with the mission of driving the daughter-father gifted car from Santa Rosa California to Iowa City, Iowa.
To add spice to the journey there was to be a stopover in Salt Lake City to break bread with the ex’s son from an previous marriage.
The Siri GPS experience worked well all the way to Salt Lake and back on our I-80 East route to our next stop Sidney, Nebraska, except when Siri suggested an alternate route via Baggs, WY. A turn left at Howard Street led to a road closed November-May blockage and asking the Baggs-lady what do we do now?
Jane “The Caretaker” doged the deer to Craig, turned north to Steamboat in time to catch the night skiers and then passed the Siri baton to Willie “The Loner” for the Rabbit Ears Pass Challenge. As the recently gifted owner of the car – a 7th of August Leo SIX of Diamonds, the Card of “Financial Responsibility” and the only even numbered card of our auto bound therapy threesome, Willie “The Loner” got the call.
Even numbers do better in the mundane world, odd numbers weigh-in matters of the spiritual realm. Jane and I, both JACKS (the eleventh card), as well as definitely odd, prayed for Willie.
Willie proceeded with caution but ever upward – Steamboat Springs at 6,732′ already had enough snow to ski but neither Siri nor the locals knew what lie ahead. Not too worry, Willie took care of the ‘NOW’ and within an hour we were over the top and our way to Walden.
Willie, energized by passing the pass with flying colors, was eager to continue on to Ft. Collins for a hookup with I- 80 but for the grace of Walden, we were destined to spend the night..
There were four options on Main Street in downtown Walden. Jane Marie turned down the first three b/c of the $75 room charge. I, “The Avoider” got the 4th and last chance to get off the road. The clerk was not in a negation mood b/c the motels close down from Thanksgiving until May and he was leaving in the morning for Florida.
My Corps logo USAA credit card got me a 20% discount as the Millennial ‘Jarhead’ showed me this triple triangle tattoo representing the 37 brothers he lost in his tour of Afghanistan and participation in the documentary Combat Obscura.
The threat of permanent gold backwardation is one that, in my view, casts a dark shadow on the future of our civilization much the same way as the disappearance of gold from commerce cast one in 476 A.D., the year when the Western half of the Roman Empire collapsed, world trade succumbed to barter, law and order broke down, and centuries of Dark Age descended upon Western Europe.
The Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) (or “the Merc“)
The July farmer expects to harvest 100 bushels of wheat in October, the current or spot price is $5 but the future October price is $7 – that’s Contango. There is a drought, the expected supply shrinks, the spot price is now $8 while November December futures are back to $6 or $5 – that’s Backwardation, the demand for the existing supply let’s the farmer take the $8 and tear up his contract (hedge) for the $7.
All physical commodities work this way you either have the pigs or you don’t: OCT 19 Hogs are at $66.525, up $3.000, DEC 19 Hogs are at $66.225, up $2.850 FEB 19 Hogs are at $74.175, up $2.750 — provided by Brugler Marketing & Management
Gold futures trading has only a brief history of about forty years. It was totally unknown under the gold standard. It started in the early 1970’s at the Winnipeg Commodity Exchange in Canada, when the ban on Americans to own and trade monetary gold was still in force. In 1975 the ban was lifted and trading gold futures shifted to COMEX in New York.
One ounce of gold in 1920 cost $260. Running that through the CPI calculator says it should be $3,456 for that same ounce. I got married in 1973 and the gold bands cost $90/oz for a CPI adjusted value of $512 compared to today’s spot price of $1,544. The last time gold was in the 500’s was 2006, ipso facto the CPI only keeps score, on the low side at that, for the USD, not real money.
When De Gaulle called up Tricky Dick in 1971 and asked for his gold to pay for all that French wine that LBJ & Nixon had purchased to celebrate the ‘Great Society’ and evacuation of ‘Nam,’ Dick stiffed the frogs. Closing the gold window opened the door of the Winnipeg Commodity Exchange and the FOREX casino.
When we were on the gold standard there wasn’t a whole lot of trading going on but the COMEX and FOREX brought Las Vegas to Wall Street with a version of Keno called trading pairs : EUR/USD, USD/JPY, GBP/USD, AUD/USD, USD/CHF, NZD/USD and USD/CAD. The CNY renminbi is not there because it is a blocked currency or as Trump claims ‘manipulated.’
The big comeuppance in the threat of permanent gold backwardation is the money printing majors and the manipulators are never going to dance the Contango again. The USD and the Federal Reserve have lost their reason for being. Yes, the dollar is still the best of the fiat ‘monopoly‘ money but it takes more and more Federal Reserve notes to buy the same amount of real money, Gold.
The haves, have gold, real estate and no debt; the have-not’s, have no gold, no paid-off real estate, lots of debt and hardly even any ‘monopoly’ money.
“The only time the American farmer made money was from the end of the Civil War to WWI.”
The United States actually did not return to a gold standard until 1879. However, by 1870, most of the rubble of the Civil War, including the floating “greenback” dollar, had been cleared up. However, the American farmer no longer had to compete with slavery and started receiving ‘hard currency’ for his production.
Cash Crops Mean Farmer Sovereignty
100 square bales: Here was the thought, on 50 acres you would get 100 square bales per acre, which is a conservative number. If we do the math, that works out to be. 100 bales x 50 acres = 5000 bales of hay for 50 acres of land.
How many large bales of hay can you get per acre? In general, you can get as much as 5 large rounded hays that have weigh 1000 lbs. each, per acre on average. Some farmers also give a rough estimate of 100 small bales of hay per acre. We paid $5/bale x 100 = $500/acre gross.
How much is a ton of hay cost? Keep in mind that grass hay bales are usually lighter than alfalfa. The Internet Hay Exchange lists average prices of $121 a ton for grasshay and $165 for alfalfa. Save money by buying in bulk, as in a semi-truckload, or buying bales still in the field. Dec 11, 2016
How Does the Farmer Regain Sovereignty?
I asked Iowa bred and raised Jane, what was a cash crop? “Corn and Soy.” No Hay. “OK I get it Tobacco, Marijuana, Avocados and Pineapple.” That’s it why Colorado is going great with Cannabis and Kentucky thrived until the US stopped smoking. That’s why Imperial Valley California is still Imperial, they grow stuff that People Eat.
How do we turn the Prairie States into an Organic California?
Plant Prairie Grass $500/acre subsidy
Raise 100% Grass Fed Beef
Raw Dairy Make Legal in all 50 States
Circle Urban Areas with Organic Truck Farms
Give Inhabitants Passport Equivalent Identity Cards
Empires of the Silk Road, by Christopher I. Beckwith separates the history of civilization into trade by land over the Silk Road from the Bronze Age until Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean blue in 1492. After the Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch and English colonized the entire world. everything went by sea, and the Ottoman Empire ceased to be.
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 Turninga 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.
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
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.
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 PreparatoryHigh School (everybody’s going to college) open to all (swim with every fish in the sea) qualified elementary students city wide.
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 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.
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.
An Architect and his Money are soon Parted
On 8 January 2008 I closed on a home that cost three times my monthly income.
“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.