Why are ilanamercer.com and the companion site Barely A Blog such good causes? If you don’t already know, do read “Why Support ilanamercer.com” for but a few of the reasons. Or spend some time burrowing in the archives of BAB and ilanamercer.com. You will come away convinced that IlanaMercer.com, a one-woman outfit, is generally ahead of the game and the pack—sometimes years in-the-lead.
Times are hard, but if you value the commentary and the community on this space; if you appreciate the time I spend in crafting daily, original, topical commentary, keeping the Comments Forum open for your venting; responding to Comments, and ensuring exchanges remain civil and grammatical—please consider showing your appreciation.
And all the more so given the new commitment I have undertaken.
As readers of this space know, I keep three lead blog posts open at any given time for comment. Of the three that propagate to IlanaMercer.com’s front page, I will try and make one about South Africa, my homeland and my homies. Together we will lift the curtain on a topic Mandela’s media prefer to ignore.
To all the contributors on the blog: thank you for sharing your keen insights. Did you know that Barely A Blog and Ilanamercer.com are uniquely sticky websites? The average time spent on the latter is 30.6 minutes a day. On the former it is 52.6 min/day. Well done!
Although my column is on a short hiatus, the blog is humming. Enjoy!
Updated I (July 24): The Love is lacking. Again: If you appreciate the time I spend in crafting daily, original, topical commentary, keeping the Comments Forum open for your venting, responding to the Comments, interacting with my pepes, and ensuring it all remains civil and grammatical—show it.
Update II (July 25): Young Alex is brash and indecorous, as well as not terribly perceptive about character. Youth today have few role models. Perhaps some wiser, older men on this forum can impart a lesson or two.
At this time on our road to serfdom, reader Michel Cloutier requests a little less platonic theorizing. He writes:
I’d like to read discussions about what we can do on the individual, or maybe local, level to help weather the storm. And please, let’s stay off the usual ’stockpiling of ammo and canned food’ thread.
Well, I’m glad “stockpiling of ammo and canned food” is what Michel has come to expect from BAB contributors. That’s a good start. A Mormon worth his salt will second that.
Seriously, we’re all doing the best we can to try and protect what is becoming harder by the day to protect: our livelihoods and property. So I’m game. Let’s discuss this. (And consider helping your host defray the costs associated with providing what she hopes is a helpful; supportive, instructive; educational, and prescient forum, for like-minded freedom lovers–a community.)
Update I: I’d like to thank you all for your very generous support in these hard times. Centuries ago, artists—among other creative folks—relied on discerning patrons to keep their work alive. Nothing has changed.
Mainstream intelligentsia is dishing out dirt, as usual. It is not only festooned with arrogant liars, but, worse: intellectual sloths; idiots bereft of the slightest affinity for reality, much less the natural laws of justice. Our side can begin to gain a rightful market share in the miasma that is the market place of ideas. But we need to work overtime at supporting and disseminating the truth and dissociating from the dreck. Out of chaos, some new, not-necessarily bad order may just emerge.
I know I nag, but if you have not yet signed up for the Mercer weekly e-newsletter, you can do so HERE.
Back to Surviving On The Road To Serfdom: I personally have quite a bit of faith in Peter Schiff, an investment adviser who follows the Austrian school of economics. What you have to understand is that, while Austrians are the only analysts to have both predicted and explained the meltdown, they cannot provide a timeline. For example, before house prices began to fall, my husband wanted to know when they would plummet. All could say was that prices would go down, although I could not say when, given that the crooks who’ve usurped the power of the purse would keep trying to re-inflate the bubble and keep prices high.
If you can, plan on surviving for two years without employment.
Update II (March 30): We spoke of understanding how easy Federal-Reserve credit leads to violent cycles of malinvestiment. Or as the inimical Peter Schiff puts it “The Government Liquored Them Up”:
Update II (March 31): TO SUM, here are some of your and my thoughts. (This is not investment advice; I do not, and am not qualified to dispense it):
• Debt free
• Refinancing mortgage at lower interest rates now on offer to those with good credit.
• Self-defense: if you dislike fire arms, consider an alarm system. It’s a deterrent. Mr. Van Wijk’s comment about not relying on The Powers is demonstrated daily. Residents of an old-age home in North Carolina are slaughtered by a gunman. The cop who did his professional duty and barged in, instead of waiting for backup, is hailed a hero. Yes, the default position is not to defend the folks. Also, remember that you don’t have the right de jure to self-defense in most states; if you defend yourself in your home you’re the one needing to justify your actions.
• Self-employment: our heroic South African readers have shown the way on this front. Also: chaos often leads to a reordering and to new opportunities. For example: my column is drawing more people now than during the halcyon years of free credit.
• Emergency supplies
• Tax revolt; I especially would like to see the property tax shakedown exposed in an organized, methodical way, resulting in repeal, preferably— but if not, a reduction of such taxes commensurate with the steep drop in the value of property. Property prices are going down; property taxes up.
• Educate others about liberty: ilanamercer.com is a great resource to turn people onto freedom. I’m doing the work; all you need to do is spread it.
• Keep fit; it helps with stress.
On a personal note: when we first arrived on this continent, and especially when we migrated from Canada to the US, we were convinced we were vastly poorer than the locals. We lived so much more modestly. In Canada, we were able to afford an apartment only. We clipped coupons and ate out for the first time two years after arriving in our new home. Until 2007, we had never owned a new car.
Things improved in the US. We purchased a home.
I had read a Fraser Institute paper that said immigrants took ten years to catch up to the locals. I put down our modest circumstances to that fact: we were still playing “catch up.” Now I know that this research, at least in our case, was bogus. The locals were living in Hog Central. We had practiced the frugality my in-laws (depression babies) had taught my husband.
Cars were bought cash (and hence; second hand, or used). The locals’ penchant for entering exorbitant leasing arrangements was a mystery to us. The credit card was treated as nothing more than a convenience, to be paid off in full every month (interest is horrendous if this is not done).
We’ve discovered that the locals are not that much wealthier, but, rather, more wasteful and credit happy.
On the front page of ilanamercer.com, under the heading “Contribute,” linked to the words, “here’s why,” is an essay detailing the reasons to support the site and its proprietor. The essay, “WHY SUPPORT ILANAMERCER.COM,” has been updated with the following compelling inducements:
THE WINTER OF OUR DISCONTENT (January 31, 2009): The economy is not the only object of cooling; the weather appears to be freezing over too. This is why the gabbling, hot-and-bothered Al Gore has substituted “global warming” with the more versatile “climate change.”
“Evidence that contradicts the global warming theory, climate Chicken Littles enlist as evidence for the correctness of their theory; every permutation in weather patterns—warm or cold—is said to be a consequence of that warming or proof of it.”
As Karl Popper reminded us, “A theory which is not refutable by any conceivable event is,” of course, “non-scientific.” What eco-idiots have done is to immunize the theory of global warming against the dangers of scientific refutation.
LET THE SUNSHINE IN. Readers of Barely A Blog were, moreover, introduced, before most in the mainstream, to the concept of “sunspot activity.” In March of 2007, I published an article written exclusively for BAB by N. Baldwin, Jr. It was based on our friend’s book, “Global Warming: CO2, SunSpots, or Politics?”
The decrease in sunspot activity—the sun having entered what appears to be a period of solar inactivity, resulting in all likelihood in global cooling—was reported a year and a half later by “Space Daily.” Fully two years after our report, sunspots, solar flares and solar eruptions have entered the overheated debate about the climate.
Having failed their readers time-and-again, the establishment media is struggling to survive. Good. Why support a source of propaganda that blows hot air about global warming and is cool to the market economy, the source of our splendid standard of living? Why contribute to the success of major media that have failed miserably and consistently to predict the outcomes of unjust wars, or warn ahead-of-time of the economic havoc wreaked by profligate administrations and their printing press?
The role of the contrarian who cleaves to the natural laws of economics and justice is even more crucial in times of crisis. To get by, such commentators rely on discerning patrons.
You, the reader, are my mainstay. I know you value the ability to come to a place in cyberspace where you’re heard, challenged, entertained—even regaled—and (gently) guided. But understand: This is hard work. It cannot be done without your assistance.