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Happy Economy: Consumers & Local Banks vs. The World

The US economy is strong, and it has been strong since a flood of consumer confidence swept in behind a new president who ushered in to a miserable bipartisan vacuum a refreshing cleansing confidence.

Added to that confidence was –and very much is– a renewed pride in America, in being American, and in American-made products. By mid-2017 a sense of 1950s community once lost and now found again birthed a strong antidote to Obama’s “new normal” of slow American decline.

And we can’t just blame Obama. Yes, Obama hates America and did everything he could to destroy our nation from inside and outside. But he was helped significantly by ye olde typical career Republicans who saw money to be made in America’s decline, just as there was money to be made in its growth. But growth is harder, and why work hard if you don’t really have to, they reasoned. Either way, growth or defeat, the big money Republicans bought their many pet congressmen to safeguard their investments and stood by watching as they hit big on a global economy shifting from their American home turf to China, India, the EU, and other undeserving recipients of America’s health.

In fact, America’s veins were opened up and flowing out. Our life force was draining away, and a host of hungry nations were perched around us, like vultures, picking away at the juicy scraps that fell from our Rust Belt homes and boarded up churches. Both Democrats and Republicans were pumping away, pushing our citizens’ energy force, our very national being, into the waiting mouths of so many other nations. And so our American economy had sputtered, dying

That is, until Trump inspired US consumers, and the local banks they work with and rely upon to take what are big steps in their quality of life.

And so like a thing alive, the American economy has powered forward like it has not moved in decades. And why would the economy not be alive? Our collective economy is us, of us, an organic part of us and an extension of us. America has a sense of good health again, and so it follows that our economy is healthy again, too. And it is getting stronger, despite transparent and treasonous attempts to destroy our economy by the Democrat Party and everyone else allied with them, including the governments and industries of China and Russia.

It is sickening that an entire American political party will do everything it can to badmouth, damage or destroy America’s economy simply in order to artificially malign a president they oppose. The cost to America is enormous! Then again, this is the same political party that advocates for illegal invaders over American citizens, for law-breakers and against law-followers, that claims Social Security will be tossed overboard by the other political party and then does everything in its power to give all of our Social Security money to their new chums, the illegal invaders.

So yes, I guess destroying America’s economy and hurting the American citizens standing in the way is to be expected from the Democrat Party and their communications arm, the Mainstream Media.

One discrete sector of the national economy that is changing is the timber industry. When four hundred million (400,000,000 !) middle-income Chinese aspire to own the nice kitchens and hardwood floors that define comfortable life in America, a huge sucking sound can be heard ’round the world as unquantifiable amounts of natural resources are pulled in to that huge nation. And when the Chinese economy began to falter in early 2018, even before the tariff battle, the Chinese domestic demand for American timber dried up. We then learned in late 2018 that the red oak, residual ash, and black walnut that had been bringing us huge export revenue but which were then beginning to stack up in East Coast log yards were not once destined for Chinese factories re-exporting their finished goods back to America. No, those logs and lumber were being used up domestically in China, as China grew its own middle-income population. A population that is now up against the ropes and cannot buy American hardwoods that make pretty kitchens and flooring.

Accordingly the American timber industry is going through a shake-up due to the way timber buyers invested and spent. The fact is that even as they close in China, new cabinet and flooring factories are opening up in several other Asian countries.

And so now on the battlefield it is the confident American consumer and her local bank officers standing strong against the evil political tide that seeks to reverse what has been accomplished, just begun really, since November 2016.  It is happy healthy family and local community versus a global colossus hungry for endless cash, endless money, endless wealth, at any cost, and a domestic political party hungry for power at any cost, even the cost of individual liberties and American success.

In this fight I put my money on the American consumer, not just because I think she is a tough and hard working bunch, but because I am an American. I want her– you, me, us — to win this fight.

A rock from the basement of time

Norman McClean wrote his book “A River Runs Through It,” about his childhood in southwest Montana. Growing up hunting and fishing brought him into close contact with unusual examples of natural history in the field, including really neat geological samples.

Those rocks that he found were what his Presbyterian minister father called “rocks from the basement of time.” Meaning that they were very old, from the beginning of the world. McClean effectively connects his reader with the sense that while standing in a trout river in Montana, holding one of these ancient rocks, he was transported, and the reader along with him, into a kind of time machine and also a giant web of life and history.

This phrase “rocks from the basement of time” always stuck with me, as it is so illustrative of how such basic, simple, everyday things in our lives can yet be so important or significant. And inspiring.

Here below is one such rock from the basement of time, but from this northcentral Pennsylvania corner of the world’s basement.

This large, rounded river cobble was unearthed today in the dirt bank behind the cabin in Pine Creek Valley, about four hundred feet above the Pine Creek riverbed. This rounded river stone started out as a squared chunk of slate hundreds of millions of years ago, and was then gently rounded and sculpted by flowing water, and sediment and rocks being pushed downstream over who knows how long. Its most recent path in its long life had it deposited in the great flood that created Pine Creek as we know it today, 10,000 years ago, after the most recent ice age.

At the end of that last ice age, a huge ice dam in the Finger Lakes region melted and burst, pouring an entire inland sea down through the little creek bed that was then north-flowing Pine Creek. All that water flooding the river channel caused Pine Creek to reverse its flow, and in that process enormous amounts of both shattered rock and rounded riverbottom cobble churned its way south, settling out along the walls of the canyon, eventually far far above, almost impossibly above,  the new river channel and bed.

When I think about that raging torrent of mud and rock from a hundred miles upstream, filling up the valley’s river hundreds of feet higher than its usual height, and depositing ancient large river stones far above their natural resting place, I think “Wow.”

And here at my feet is all of that incredible story, told in one pretty much otherwise unremarkable rock from the dirt bank behind the cabin. Which I now look at and think of as being part of the basement of time. And suddenly I feel totally differently about my life and everything in it.

Out of all proportion

If there is one core element to the “new thinking” taking America down, it is victimology.

You know, the idea that everyone is a victim, and some people are special victims and some are especially victimized.

For someone to be a victim, there must be a perpetrator, and political correctness has created all sorts of creative solutions to real and perceived wounds which perpetrators can, or must!, endlessly do to atone.  America has been afflicted with this, to the absurd point where illegal aliens crossing our borders in search of better work are “victims” and deserve our taxpayer money and the right to vote themselves a lot more of it.

It is a fair idea that people should be treated fairly.  No arguing with that.  But what happens when whatever apology, compensation, or other action worth remedying the problem has been completed, and the victim identity remains?  This phenomenon is nowhere more clearly evident than in the Middle East, or technically the Near East, where “Palestinian” Arabs have wallowed in artificial and purposefully perpetuated victim status for five decades.

Even their refugee status is inherited, contrary to every other refugee situation around the world.  The UN helps maintain this arrangement.

Although there were nearly twice as many refugee Jews ejected from Arab and Muslim nations at the same time, no one talks about them.  Islamic imperialism and Arab colonialism are responsible for one of the largest and longest-standing occupations ever on planet Earth, where the farms, homes, and businesses that once belonged to Jews are now the property of supposedly well-intentioned Muslim Arabs.  Billions of dollars worth of property and banks were stolen overnight, from one group of people and given to another group that had no claim on it other than they held the knife and gun, and the victim did not.

If someone were looking for victims to feel bad for, the Jews have had that victim experience in spades, not to mention the Armenians (Christians who suffered a none-too-gentle genocide and land-theft at the hands of the Muslim Turks from 1910-1915), Kurds, Tibetans, and, well, never mind that the iconic and fiercely warlike Oglala Sioux ejected the Mandan, Cheyenne, and Pawnee from millions of acres of their historic Happy Hunting Grounds and militarily occupied them for hundreds of years…after all, the American Indians who massacred, tortured, and occupied one another are considered to have engaged in acceptable behavior.  Anyhow, I digress…..

The Jews now find themselves fighting for their lives with their backs to the wall, yet once again against Islamic supremacists, Islamic imperialists, and Arab colonists; and those same Jews are now presented with yet another double-standard: Proportionality.

This is the idea that, if someone hits you in the face with the intention of killing you, but fails to do so that first time and is winding up to hit you again and harder this next time, why, you are only supposed to hit them back once and only just as hard as you were first hit.  You are not allowed to land a knockout punch, despite having survived an attempted knockout punch.

The EU demands that endless Arab rockets from Gaza onto indigenous Jews, living an unbroken 3,000-year presence in their homeland, be met with…thousands of random rockets from Israel?  My God no! Unacceptable!

Obviously, the idea of proportionality is alien to every people that has fought a war, especially a defensive war.  War is fought to be won, and dumbing-down and reducing the effectiveness of your response is a foolish and possibly suicidal thing to do.

But Europe and America cater first and foremost to artificial victims, and no matter what, those victims are due every gift, every extra opportunity, every kind gesture in the face of bloody hands, truckloads of taxpayer money despite tremendous waste by the recipients, and so on and so forth.  Although this behavior seems suicidal, suicide seems to be the new definition of democracy, in the interest of appeasing the ‘victims’ among us, out of all proportion to whatever happened in the first place.

But to give the supposed victims their due, proportionality must be maintained, and in the Middle East today, Western civilization is expected to fight Islamic aggression, theft, murder, and occupation with both hands tied behind its back.  It is apparently the new thing to do.