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Kelly
13th April 2008, 11:32
(NOTE: These are just ideas right now. There is no PALS system in place yet, and this is just my attempt to come up with ideas that help solve some of the basic issues we are facing today as a nation. I wrote this especially for the good people on this forum, but if you like these ideas, feel free to pass them on to other forums. There will be three posts in a row to explain the basic concept, and after that, feel free to chime in and share your own ideas. Thanks.)


PALS stands for the "People's Alternative Life Support"

What we've discussed so far

The concept of a sound alternative currency system is important for a lot of reasons and the primary reason is that IF the dollar collapses, we are all going to need an alternative, because the dollar, as we know it, will no longer be a reliable currency for trade. Secondly, there are also some sound reasons to suspect that if the dollar collapses it will be a manipulated event instigated by those who wish to replace the present official currency system with another, and if the rumors are correct, we might all suspect that new official currency will ultimately represent the end of our national sovereignty. Defined by it's planners as a "Security and Prosperity Partnership" (SPP) between Canada, Mexico and the United States, the goal seems to be to form a "North American Community" or the "North American Union" (NAU). It's not a popular idea, by any stretch of the imagination, and a good many people across this nation and Canada are very, very upset about it.

Anyone who has been perusing the internet has probably already heard about it, and the general consensus seems to be that said goal does not qualify as an acceptable idea, anymore than it qualifies as something that represents the will of the people. For many, the proposed Amero (or whatever it will ultimately be called) represents a globalist move towards a one-world government run by a handful of wealthy individuals who seek nothing less than world-wide control. Many Christians see the proposed new currency as "the mark of the beast," and many people who aren't Christian aren't happy about it either for any number of sound reasons. Politically, spiritually and economically, this proposal does not fly with a whole lot of people. And from the looks of various internet sites and forums, many of those people intend to fight it tooth and nail.

Well there is more than one way to fight a battle, and in this case attempting to do so with guns and pipe bombs is probably one of the stupidest moves anybody can contemplate. Whatever grim plan the globalists have made for our future, they have already "tested" their ideas on the public during the years of 2006-2007 and found out that the people are not very happy about those plans and there is going to be a whole lot of resistance. While the powers that be haven't come right out and openly declared that armed resistance will be met with brutal force, the government has made it very apparent that they have outfitted "detention camps" all around this nation, each enclosed by tall chain link fences and barbed wire. Videos of those different camps are readily available for viewing at YouTube or GoogleVideo, so it seems to me that the government has therefore made their intentions quite clear without even saying a bloody word. Their message seems evident; "Armed resistance will be futile."

Alternative Currency is not futile resistance

Therefore, a non-violent resistance to the globalist agenda seems to be an infinitely more logical response. And, one of the best ways to resist non-violently is through the proper implementation and use of an alternative currency. Primarily, an alternative currency is one that does not support the "official" currency; in the United States that means money printed by the Federal Reserve. Furthermore, if implemented correctly, the alternative currency does not give your power away to those who are behind political (and military) policies you do not personally choose to support. An alternative currency system can, in fact, be a very effective means for peaceful but purposeful resistance whenever a government no longer serves the will and needs of the people.

Currency can be defined as "a unit of exchange, facilitating the transfer of goods and/or services." It's not really all that complicated. That unit of exchange can be gold, silver, wampum, script, electronic credits, feathers, paper money, clay, beads or kidney beans. In terms of currency, it is not the "unit of exchange" that is the important factor, it is the fact that whatever unit of exchange is chosen, it must be agreed upon and accepted by those who wish to use that particular form of currency. The Greenback dollars that served this country well for years were non-interest bearing paper dollars that were not backed by any kind of asset, including debt, developed no national debt for our country, and they worked because everybody who used them agreed and accepted them as a reliable "unit of exchange."

There are some ideas about currency that need to be thought about. For instance, in any alternative currency system, how does one insure that the currency does not become inflated? Surely one can produce mountains of alternative currency just like the Fed does, but that would only serve to devalue the alternative currency system.


The PALS concept

I like the idea that an alternative currency cannot be created unless it represents the fact than an exchange of labor or goods has taken place. How does that happen? Let's say that your local community decides to be a part of the PALS (Peoples Alternative Life Support) system, and along with an alternative currency, their goal is to create a sustainable food program for your community, and perhaps even some affordable straw bale apartment units that will serve as emergency housing to help people who've lost their homes get through the rough transition period. The community goal therefore is to first concentrate on making sure that at least two of the primary needs that all people have; food and shelter, can be met at the community level.

These are good goals and most communities have people who would gladly volunteer to see that those goals are met. However, volunteerism is not always the best solution. For instance, would the community find that more people were willing to work on those projects if people got paid in PALS currency for their labor? One might say that the labor of all people working on a PALS project was worth 12 PALS currency units an hour. So if you worked eight hours, you'd get paid 96 PALS units for your effort. How does the person redeem their PALS? Let's say your community has a very active sustainable food program meant to make sure that anytime folks found that grocery store prices left the kids with little more than boxed macaroni for dinner, they could redeem their PALS dollars for food produced in the sustainable community food program. That's incentive then for people who may have jobs now, but worry about that pink slip, to make sure they work towards their community's sustainable projects, because people realize that the pay in PALS units may come in real handy should that pink slip ever actually come. This is one way for people to save for that rainy day fund, and at the same time gives people a real incentive for working towards community project goals aimed at sustainability and meeting people's basic needs. All people have four primary needs to sustain life; food, shelter, energy and water, and these would be the most logical primary goals for any PALS community project to aim for. We also have four basic secondary needs; medical-dental, education, child care and recreation, and these are areas that can also provide communities with many worthy projects to aim for.

The sustainable community food project is the most logical place to start and communities may decide that instead of the typical canned food drive (not sustainable), they are going to grow the food instead. Rather than donations of canned food, they ask for the equivalent in "official currency" (FRN dollars) and they will use that money to buy plants and seeds knowing that one packet of seeds can produce the equivalent of many, many cans of food. The community leaders realize that canned food isn't really a favorite nor nearly as nutritious, so they decide that the simplest way to insure that they have a year round supply of food is to freeze all the extra produce from the big community gardens. To do that, they know they will need a large walk-in freezer unit, so again, they figure out how to build one and pay the people in the community who help build it in PALS units. Then they realize that in the event of a power failure, that community freezer could go down, so they also work to implement a renewable energy program that will keep that freezer running no matter what. Eventually, that community also sees that in case of an evacuation due to flooding, hurricanes or tornados, the people in the community also needs a supply of freeze-dried food, so they invest in a commercial freeze dryer and begin making up three day emergency food kits for the people in the community.

Kelly
13th April 2008, 11:33
PALS are for people

There is a widow in the community living on 30 acres of land. She no longer has the health to work that land, but she doesn't want to sell it either as she'd like to leave it to her grandkids. She decides that leasing her land to PALS would be a good idea, and she agrees to get paid in PALS units because she lives on a fixed income and doesn't think she can go on paying grocery store prices much longer. She agrees to lease her land for PALS units that are redeemable for part of the food grown on her land.

You will in fact find that adjacent to most cities and towns there are many small parcels of agricultural land that are not being farmed. They are generally too small for a farmer to grow a product commercially for market; a farmer needs to farm a reasonably large piece of land in order to compete in the marketplace. Furthermore the people who own that land often have full time jobs and no longer have the time to put their land to efficient use.

There is a farmer down the road who grows wheat. That's all he grows, and after he harvests the wheat, he's got 3 tons of baled straw left over for every acre of wheat he grew. He knows he could sell that straw for $130 a ton down at the farm supply store, but he like the PALS idea, and he's been listening to his wife gripe about the cost of food at the grocery store, so he agrees to deliver 10 tons of straw valued at $1,300 to the PALS emergency housing project for straw bale constructed housing. In return he gets paid in PALS units which he knows his wife can redeem for food grown in the PALS sustainable food project. His wife is gung ho about the idea because the community has adopted an organic growing program, and she knows the food will be healthier. That ten tons of straw (about 400 bales) will go to create emergency housing for people in the community who have lost their jobs or homes. And many people in the community pitch in and help build the housing, again getting paid in PALS units, because every person in that community realizes that should the economy tank, they too could be out of a home or in need of food. Does that mean the emergency housing is free? No; even the rent on that housing is to be paid in PALS units and to get the PALS units to pay the rent, even the folks without a job or home have to work at these community projects.

There is a single Mom in the community with two young children who are not old enough to be in school. She only qualifies for low paid jobs, and finds it's simply not worth it if she must pay for childcare out of her wages. She gets a child support check that covers the rent, and also gets food stamps, but finds that the food stamps are no longer capable of paying for the groceries she needs to feed her family. She decides to do babysitting for other working Moms. She accepts both dollars and PALS currency for her labor, but actually prefers the PALS because those units are not caught up in the inflationary spiral that the dollar system is, and she likes the fact that she is making her children meals from locally grown organic food.

PALS currency theory

As you can see, in this type of alternative currency system, new PALS units do not go into circulation within the community until an exchange of labor or goods takes place. A currency system that agrees to circulate no new currency until these requirements are met insures that the real basis of any currency system, i.e. as a system that facilitates the exchange of labor and goods, remains the primary rule. The more labor that is put into the effort, the more currency there is in circulation. The more goods that are bought directly by the PALS program for the purpose of creating more sustainable food and housing, the more PALS currency there is in circulation. When PALS currency is redeemed at a PALS outlet for food or housing by the consumer, those PALS must be used as payment for goods and labor on community projects before any more new PALS can be created and circulated.

While these ideals are similar to the LETS program, (http://www.gdrc.org/icm/lets-faq.html) the LETS Credit system does not involve coins, paper money or tokens of any kind but rather acts as a scoring system, keeping track of the value of individual members' transactions within the system. I would definitely suggest that rather than credits, which looks like bookkeeping nightmare to keep track of, the PALS system goes with some sort of physical and tangible currency.

Paper is one option, but it is also very easy to counterfeit these days so I would suggest tokens similar in shape and size to a silver eagle. The tokens don't need to be made out of metal. One option for a PALS currency might be tokens made out of polymer clay which is waterproof, lends itself well to molding, is easy to work with, and specific colors can be created using each communities own secret formula that would be very difficult to exactly duplicate unless one knew the precise colors and amounts that went into that formula. That's just one idea, and I'm sure people have others, all I am saying is that I think PALS units need to be represented by some kind of physical token, and I think that way for several reasons. I also firmly believe that each PALS community needs to create their currency tokens with the name of the county and state where it originated from clearly imprinted on the face of each token.

For an alternative currency system to take off and be accepted in more places than just your local community, you really must have some sort of physical token. There is no need in a PALS system for a central bank or treasury; each PALS community can produce its own tokens based upon the amount of labor and goods exchanged in that community system. As long as the token was of uniform size and was produced in units of 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 & 100, each community could come up with its own colors and decorative designs. In this way, there is no illusion of a centralized authority or bank and I think that is a really good thing because it decentralizes power. Historically, wherever we've seen Central Banks arising, we've also seen serious abuse of power and more and more control centralized in the hands of the powerful few. A decentralized alternative currency system that appeals to all parts of the country where non-violent resistance is a concept embraced by the people, seems like the only fair way to go about things.

We live in a mobile society and goods need to be exchanged all across the country. To be an effective alternative currency, the PALS units created in Jackson County, North Carolina should be just as good in Marion County, Oregon. They might be a different color, and they might have a different decorative design, but as long as they were easily recognized as PALS currency, those tokens should be accepted any place where a PALS system is set up.

This difference in colors and surface designs allows each community to express its individualism, while the basic structure of the tokens remains the same and recognizable everywhere. Such a system is meant to facilitate trade with other communities as well as in your local neighborhood. This way the system can be used for any number of goods and services and is not necessarily confined to just the sustainable projects your own community might wish to develop. For instance, somebody who regularly trades in PALS units in Jackson County, NC might find a beautiful hand knit sweater made by another PALS trader in another state. She should be able to trade the PALS currency created in her own community for that sweater, and the person who received the PALS as payment, should be able to redeem them locally or spend them elsewhere as well.

Kelly
13th April 2008, 11:37
The PALS resistance movement

Hopefully, people will want to collect PALS currency units from all parts of the nation, because doing so will allow the PALS resistance movement to spread across the country. I personally think having some PALS in your pocket from Texas or North Dakota if you happen to live in Florida will be a very welcome reminder to everyone taking part in the PALS movement that you are not alone. The important thing to remember here is that every piece of PALS currency represents an alternative life support system for each of us when people are in real trouble, but it is also a quiet, well intentioned, non-violent resistance movement to the Federal Reserves' strangle hold on our economy, as well as any government agenda that does not comply with the will of the people or meet with our approval. The forefathers of this nation wrote us one of the most immaculate and perfect constitutions ever known in the history of mankind. This country began with the intent that our government should be of the people, for the people and by the people. When government ceases to function as a body of elected officials representing the will of the people, it is our duty as citizens of a country built upon the concepts of freedom to bend the will of the government back to the people again.

"This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or exercise their revolutionary right to overthrow it." Do you think these words are the words an anarchist or some radical political left wing group? No, these are the words of one of America's finest leaders, Abraham Lincoln. This great statesman also said, "We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution." Within these words is the power our forefathers wrote into our constitution. They intended each and every one of us, regardless of the era we live in, to understand that we must accept the power granted us by the Constitution as our rightful duty as citizens to bend government to the will of the people, or we lose our inheritance as free Americans. Our constitution was written so that our government should serve the will of the people, it was not written so that people would be forced to serve the will of the government instead.

We all know by now that our forefathers understood what threatens the freedom of all nations and by that understanding they fought mightily to keep the central bankers out of America. But for all their valiant achievement and by the less than honest efforts of a handful of powerful men that battle was lost on Dec. 23, 1913 when the Federal Reserve Act was spuriously passed at a time when many senators had already left congress for the Christmas holidays. Today we can all see how a country can be totally controlled, if not brought in fact to ruin by a few dominant men whose intent has always been to make slaves of all free men and free women through nothing more than the power to create a nation's currency.

This is what makes PALS the most powerful form of non-violent revolution and resistance the people of this nation can ever join forces in, for through this system, each and every one of us can take part in the purposeful intent to break the stranglehold the Federal Reserve has over our country. By being a PALS person, we can bend the will of those working in government back to being the servants of the people, as our constitution not only calls for, but in fact demands.

Do you realize what would happen if just one million people decided that once a month, they were going to go down to their local community PALS center and exchange just $12 in Federal Reserve Currency for the same value in PALS tokens? Well, the first thing that would happen is that the local PALS action groups across this nation would have twelve million dollars between them to buy the starter seeds and things we need to start putting the Peoples Alternative Life Support system in place. Then, if each of those people go out and convince just one more person during the next month to do the same thing, the next month there would be 24 million dollars placed in the hands of local communities to develop a sound alternative food and housing system that meets the needs of people when they need the help the most. Again, if all those people each went out and found just one more person willing to exchange just $12 lousy bucks that month for PALS currency, 48 million dollars would be there that month to help communities across this nation help themselves. Within just three months time a total of 84 million dollars would have been transferred to PALS for the purpose of putting in place the kind of alternative life support system that, had our government actually been on the ball and spent our tax money wisely, should already be in place to serve this nation's citizens. Within one years time with each person just agreeing to exchange $12 lousy dollars for PALS each month, and finding one other person to join them, at the end of one year, can you even guess how much money would have been dedicated to serve the needs of this country's people? The exponential growth leads to the staggering sum of $24,576,000,000. Yes. You read that right. Twenty four billion, five hundred seventy six million dollars dedicated to providing the people of this nation with an alternative life support system! And it's possible in one single year.

Nobody has to be faced with more taxes to do it. Not a dime of that money needs to go for paying off that mountain of national debt the Federal Reserve Bank has so maliciously created to enslave us all with, and not a single bullet will have been fired to accomplish this goal.

All everybody needs to do is simply decide to be each others PALS for the good of our nation.

Will the Federal Reserve Bank like it? No, probably not, but there won't be a hell of a lot they can do about it, and I'd simply love to watch them squirm, wouldn't you? Will Monsanto Inc., who has decided to use their genetically manipulated seeds and animals to control the world's food supplies, be happy about it? No, probably not, but I won't shed a single tear for them, will you? Will the government be happy about it? Well, my guess is that there will be quite a few senators and representative that will be absolutely delighted to see such a resistance movement take place in America. And those that aren't happy about it should be identified and immediately booted out of office. Go ahead, let anybody in congress say just one single word publicly denouncing the PALS plan, and we'll know exactly who they are, now won't we? Stop electing them.

Thank you all for giving me the opportunity to write this. I am really looking forward to hearing your comments and ideas. In closing I'd like to leave you with the words of one of my favorite American heroes, Thomas Jefferson, who was possibly one of the wisest men this nation has ever known…

"If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.... The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs."

It's time to start taking back what belonged to us all in the first place.

FedFixNix
13th April 2008, 17:12
I haven't had time to look at it all in detail, but I hope to do so soon. PALS may or may not be a working framework for alternative monetary systems, but at least it is a starting place for good dialogue.

I do want to continue to address these issues of money, gold, fiat, currency, wealth, value, and the basic ways our concepts on these issues have become almost hopelessly confused. But I have to do some work on my computer (I build my own from scratch). So I will not be able to post for a while. I am also posting to several other forums, trying to work on my book and websites, and find time to eat. In short, I can't keep posting as much as I would like to, or surf the various threads here.

It is my hope to suggest ways that this confusion can get untangled in time to save much of the unimaginable grief that is coming to this world in the form of economic totalitarianism.

My only purpose here, outside of my original one of investing in PMs, is to pass on a little of the understanding that 70 years of questioning everything has taught me. And when I say question everything, I mean all of the underlying axioms, assumptions, principles, laws, and definitions for everything, everywhere. Question even life itself, and particularly your life, and its purpose and destiny.

Not everything is as it would appear to be. Deception and deceit abound. Forms of mind control and techniques for creating mass illusions and therefore control, have been developed in the last 200 years that are beyond the grasp of most normal human minds.

It is my hope to address here only a small part of these webs of deceit and illusion that have to do with money: what it is in function and purpose, what differentiates money from other forms of wealth, products, and goods. And then I hope to prove how these ideas have been deliberately obscured, hidden, confused and perverted by a campaign of massive proportions in order to bring about a New World Order, based on economic control, especially monetary control. Of course those two basic methods of control bring with them military, police, media, educational, industrial, and governmental controls, just to name a few.

Power and control is the name of the game we are playing, and it is a very serious game indeed. It is a game of life and death and the future of our nations, our civilizations, and our planet itself.

Until later, be kind to one another.

FedFixNix

"In economics, the majority are always wrong. The study of money, above all other fields, is one in which complexity is used to disguise truth or to evade truth, not to reveal it." -- Economist JK Galbraith

Kelly
13th April 2008, 19:43
"PALS may or may not be a working framework for alternative monetary systems, but at least it is a starting place for good dialogue."

Well, do give us you ideas then, FedFixNix, but, please remember, this is more than just an attempt to create an alternative monetary system. PALS is an attempt to help effectively organize people into groups so that when the SHTF, people have something to fall back on. We don't have a system in place that can effectively do that now, and I've just got a bad feeling we are going to need one sooner than we might think.

I want to make something perfectly clear to you folks; the United States is facing a very severe storm and I fear no amount of silver or gold will get you through it. That storm is going to be food shortages, and I suspect most of you don't have any idea what is coming down the road.

For years in America, fully 50% of the corn crop has gone to feeding the animals that ultimately produce the meat, eggs, chicken, milk and all the other dairy products we consume. Today, 25% of the corn grown in America is being used to make ethanol, and the rest of it enters the global commodities market where future's traders play precisely the same game with food commodities that we've all seen being played in the precious metals market. Furthermore, China and India are now competing to buy the grains grown in America, and this is a relatively new phenomenon. In a global marketplace, we Americans aren't going to get to eat the grain we grow if the Chinese outbid us for it. When the farmer takes his corn or wheat to market, he has no say so over where it will be shipped to.

The price of corn on the commodities market has doubled, from $2.28 a bushel in 2006 to $5.48 in 2008. The price of wheat has gone from 3.48 a bushel in 2006 to $11.21 in 2008 which is why the box of cereal your kids demand for breakfast has gone sky high along with a price of a loaf of bread, not to mention the hamburger buns used by McDonalds. In fact, right now there is no more than 10 weeks supply of wheat stored for the entire world and that's a pretty grim statistic. We haven't been this low on wheat since the 1930s.

Let me put this into a PM perspective for you. In April 2006 the price of silver was $12 an ounce and it closed last Friday at $17.74 an ounce. Corn (which affects the price of beef, pork, chicken, eggs, milk and all dairy products) has doubled in that same amount of time and wheat has actually more than tripled.

So in the commodities futures market, silver is not keeping pace with the price of grain.

And this is but the beginning of woes…

Have you been watching the news? Has anybody noticed the crackdown on illegal immigrants? They're busting employers for hiring them in many parts of the country. Those illegal immigrants have been picking 90% of the fresh fruits and vegetables that are so nicely stacked in your grocery store's fresh produce section, not to mention supplying the canned and frozen food aisles. But for the harvest season of 2008 agricultural experts are predicting at least a 60% drop in the availability of seasonal farm workers. In other words, there isn't going to be very many people picking those crops anymore unless you want to go do it at the wages the farmers are willing to pay you. Right now every single produce grower in America already knows there isn't going to be enough people to harvest their crops.

Consequently, a whole lot of the largest corporate produce growers are now deciding to pull up stakes and move their operations to Mexico where the rent on land is reasonable and there is lots of available Mexican labor to do the work. That means that many of the crops that used to be grown right here in the USA are now going to be grown and shipped from Mexico. Not only that, Mexico doesn't have the laws we do against a wide array of very harmful pesticides considered unsafe for food in this country. There is also the fact that in Mexico it is common to use human waste as manure on food crops. Would any of you care to speculate what that is going to do to the safety and the price of fruits and vegetables in the grocery store? And with no "country of origin" labeling in place, how are any of us going to know? Furthermore, every dollar that a barrel of oil goes up is going to be reflected in the prices of our food because the average food product sitting on the shelves already gets shipped 1,500-1,700 miles just to reach you. Now, with the exodus of large growers to the central part of Mexico, many our fruits and vegetables are going to be shipped even further. Curiously enough, the area the produce farmers seem to be targeting is central Mexico, right along the same area that the proposed NAFTA superhighway is supposed to go in.

All the above is just a part of the reasons why I'm telling you I think it's time we all seriously start thinking about making a few good PALS.

buggles
13th April 2008, 20:23
Your ideas intrigue me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

Gino
13th April 2008, 22:12
. . . And when I say question everything, I mean all of the underlying axioms, assumptions, principles, laws, and definitions for everything, everywhere. Question even life itself, and particularly your life, and its purpose and destiny.

Not everything is as it would appear to be. Deception and deceit abound. Forms of mind control and techniques for creating mass illusions and therefore control, have been developed in the last 200 years that are beyond the grasp of most normal human minds. . .

. . . Power and control is the name of the game we are playing, and it is a very serious game indeed. It is a game of life and death and the future of our nations, our civilizations, and our planet itself.

Until later, be kind to one another.

FedFixNix


The antithesis of Freedom is Control.

This has never been more apparent to me than in understanding the role that personal debt plays in the fractional banking system. Which I hadn't understood until reading up on the issues discussed in these forums. So, my thanks to those who have made the effort to educate the masses.

Woe to the Pharisees
A concept that is universally held to be repulsive and abhorrent is that of the creation of wealth from the misery of another and debt creates misery for individuals, families, communities and nations. A currency that has no independent source of value aside from debt is, by extension, no more than a proxy for the financial servitude and misery of another. How tragically sad that, of the infinite potentials of humanity, this is the heights to which those in power may aspire.

I didn’t necessarily want to quote the bible, but it does bring to mind the plight of the Pharisees, who neither enter the kingdom of heaven, nor let others enter. Matthew 23 (http://etext.virginia.edu/etcbin/toccer-new2?id=KjvMatt.sgm&images=images/modeng&data=/texts/english/modeng/parsed&tag=public&part=23&division=div1).

Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesars.
Ultimately, if you believe our existence is greater than this world, then those who seek control are fixating on an illusion built on the falsehood of individual competition over material possessions that is ultimately empty and only a chimera of a greater reality.

There is no greater counter to this illusion than kindness and charity. We are all well advised to “be kind to one another” and observe the golden rule (http://waltm.net/goldrule.txt).

TomAlciere
14th April 2008, 12:32
Silver and gold are available in abundance and it is important to have spendable forms of these such as silver coins and silver rounds, and a working knowledge of the amounts of silver in the coins. Beware if somebody tries to pay you for goods with 1964 Kennedy half dollars, for example. Is there a 1966 Kennedy half dollar in the stack? These can be whitish like the 1964 Kennedy's but are only 40 percent silver instead of 90 percent. Likewise some Eisenhower dollars are 40 percent silver but appear to be much higher because the copper is inside the coin, the outside is 80 percent silver. The Depression left people broke even when they had money in the bank because the bank could not pay out silver and gold coins, and failed. Cash, count and carry is the rule. Check the date on every coin, even though it's a hassle. Listen to the sound the coins make. Taking in imaginary money is easier and more convenient but real money tends to be more valuable when the bank fails.

The real money in industry now should be in melting 1000-ounce bars into spendable forms such as one-ounce rounds; smelting silver foreign coins and making the silver into spendable coins because the cashiers can only know so much about silver content.

Kelly
14th April 2008, 14:02
Gino – I don't have a newsletter; I just contribute to forums. I like the interaction and feedback of forums and I think putting out a newsletter would make me feel sort of lonely. However, if this PALS idea gets off the ground, I think putting out a national newsletter would be an absolutely great idea. Anything that allows people to share their successes and failures helps us all learn. But we're just in the planning stage here, so please, please give us your ideas. I'd like to hear everybody on this forum start chiming in; even the lurkers!

Tom, everybody here already has a stash of silver and realizes its importance for the security of your own idividual family. Silver however, is not a very realistic medium for an alternative currency used to get community wide sustainable projects going. And if the SHTF, we are going to need projects like PALS. Silver is a great way to protect yourself against economic collapse, but silver won't buy food when there is no food to buy.

While we are waiting to hear some sage advice from FedFixNix, who knows a whole lot about currency, this would be a good time to talk about putting PALS together right in your own hometown and neighborhood. Sustainability goals like this one is the perfect way to get an alternative currency up and running throughout the country.

First off, you don't need access to 10 acres of farmland to get started. You can start a community sustainable food system anywhere; you can start in a vacant rocky, weedy lot, a side yard, a patch of grass or even, believe it or not, right over the top of a cement parking lot. You don't need a rototiller or any expensive equipment either. And you don't need to dig, rake, weed and hoe. What you do need is people. A lot of places already have a community garden program, but those programs generally don't work like a PALS would. In most community garden programs individuals or families generally get assigned a specific patch of land and they plant it, weed it and take care of it, and the family or person that patch was assigned to also takes home all the produce they grew in their own individual plot. This works well for some people but for others who have busy lives and may only want to put in a few hours of work a month, these kinds of community programs demand way too much time and way too much individual responsibility.

To get people involved and to keep them involved, PALS needs to be easy, it needs to be fun, and most of all it needs to be social. The more social it is, the more people want to become actively involved in an active community effort towards sustainability.

It is not my intent here to turn this into a gardening forum, but briefly the very best way to begin a community PALS effort is to begin with something we call "Lasagna Gardening." There are now 102,000 internet sites explaining it, so needless to say this style of gardening has caught on, big time. And the reason it did is because it requires no plowing, rototilling, digging, shoveling or hoeing, produces next to no weeds and it is ten times easier on your back. It's also cleaner as there is no mud. Here are some great links, check them out and you'll quickly get the idea.

http://www.motherearthnews.com/Organic-Gardening/1999-04-01/Lasagna-Gardening.aspx?page=11

http://ourgardengang.tripod.com/lasagna_gardening.htm

http://www.bconnex.net/~carolw/lasagna1.html

http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2007/Sep/07/a7lasagna/

http://www.no-dig-vegetablegarden.com/lasagna-gardening.html

http://www.no-dig-vegetablegarden.com/straw-bale-gardening.html

http://www.wormdigest.org/content/view/380/2/

This type of gardening effort is the best way to get a PALS project started in your community, no matter where you happen to live. This works in big urban cities, small towns and suburbia just fine. The single most important goal to get a Community wide Lasagna Gardening PALS project going is to have a massive community drive to collect all the bagged leaves in town in the fall; they are the mainstay of any Lasagna Gardening effort.

There is a place in the bible that says, "And the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations," (Rev 22:2) and there is a tremendous amount of truth to that statement. Right now 90% of the produce in your grocery store aisles have been grown on topsoil that has been mechanically farmed and mono-cropped for decades and decades. There are virtually no minerals left in the topsoil now, and modern agricultural practices do absolutely nothing to replace them. Your body may need vitamins for energy, but for your body to heal well you need minerals and the best way to put minerals back in your diet is to garden in leaves. The leaves that fall from deciduous trees in the autumn are filled with minerals. Trees have deep roots that penetrate into the sub-soil layer where there are still abundant minerals. As the trees take up water and produce leaves, the minerals in the subsoil are taken up by the tree, its limbs and its leaves. Those leaves are truly a health tonic for everybody who eats food that is grown in them. Our food is nearly completely mineral deficient today, and when we get minerals back into our diet, our immune systems and ability to heal is greatly increased. The leaves will need to be chopped or shredded before they go into the lasagna gardens. You can either run over them with a lawnmower several times, or purchase a leaf shredder at the garden supply shop; they don't cost much and they work very well.

Also, please, please, please remember that many people in your community have bad backs, arthritis or are getting on in years. Gardening at ground level is not easy for those folks but there is a very easy solution so they don't have to feel left out of from becoming a good PAL too. Start a few raised bed Lasagna Gardens using straw bales. To do that you want to lay straw bales (Not hay! Hay has seeds!) in a rectangle so that the inner dimensions are 4 feet wide by 50 feet long; just long enough for a 50' long soaker hose. Lay your wet newspaper down over the grass or the ground for the bottom layer, and then start laying your lasagna garden layers of leaves, straw, animal bedding (whatever) inside of it. Straw bales are typically 14" x 18" x 36", and if you lay them out so the bales are 18" high, this is the perfect seating height for most people. Folks can sit on the bales and still easily reach to the center of a 4' wide raised bed. This way, even people who have bad backs or are older can get involved in the PALS effort at sustainable community projects. And you'll find that many older folks need the food the most; it's very tough these days for folks over the age of 50 to find a job. Yes, the straw will break down in a season or two, but nothing goes to waste. When the straw breaks down, you just use it to help build another Lasagna Garden bed. You can always lay down new straw bales again so that you can offer "sit down gardening" for all your bad back PALS.

Aside from the community effort to start Lasagna Gardens for PALS, the other thing that needs to be done early on is a community effort to plant all the fruit and nut trees you can. Fruit prices are just going through the roof at the grocery store and it's only going to get worse. It takes about three years for a dwarf or semi-dwarf fruit tree to start producing well, so the quicker you can get them planted, the quicker you have fruit. Most nut trees are standard sized trees and can take from 4-7 years before they start producing a good harvest, but nuts are not only high in protein, they contain many of the amino acids we need for good health. Plant every kind and variety of fruits and nuts that will grow in your growing zone. Always plant dwarf or semi-dwarf fruit trees; they are great producers and are much easier to prune, spray and harvest than standard sized trees are. Most online nursery sites offer fruit trees for $13-$15 a piece. You can generally bargain them down to a better price if you buy a whole lot of trees at once. A good rule of thumb is one dwarf or semi-dwarf fruit tree for every man, woman and child that takes part in the PALS community effort. Every fruit and nut tree you plant produces leaves that drop in the fall, and those leaves get shredded and go into the lasagna gardens for PALS. One word to the wise though, plant your fruit trees in a place where there is not a ton of daily foot traffic. Yellow jackets love fruit that drops to the ground and getting stung is nobody's idea of a good time.

These are just quick start goals for getting a sustainable PALS project started in your own neighborhood. If you start pulling the people together in your neighborhood now, spend this summer trying to locate places to start your PALS gardens and orchards and by fall you'll have a crew put together to work on collecting leaves and building Lasagna Garden beds. Once you get the beds layered this fall, cover them up for six weeks or so with a layer of black plastic, and "cook" your lasagna garden which will quickly compost the layers down. Once they've cooked for six weeks, pull the plastic aside, add more layers of mulch to the bed and cook your garden beds again. Leave the plastic in place until the last frost date next spring, and you'll have already warmed up garden soil, ready to plant in that will not need any tilling at all. It's quick, it's easy, and this method produces healthy, organic soil that is a dream to plant and work in.

Make it easy, make it fun, and make it social and you'll find you can make good PALS anywhere.

We'll talk about how to find people next.

Gotta' go for now. Take care…

FedFixNix
14th April 2008, 19:13
Another wonderful post.

I haven't had time to write up a good post that would fit Kelly's excellent introductory posts, so I'll submit this article by Catherine Austin Fitts, a former US Secretary of Housing, and an expert on socially responsible investing:

How does your money work?

Catherine Austin Fitts

In 1998, I took a first-year Bible class. My teacher was a woman of fearless intelligence who, after spending her workday in a high-powered law firm, had no problem inspiring an evening class of several hundred inquisitive adults. After she learned that my background involved investments, she asked me for help.

My teacher had an employer retirement plan. The plan savings represented precious family resources. She had to choose between investment options she could not understand. She had tried speaking with the plan customer representative, but had found it an intimidating process. Would I help educate her?

A few days later, I found myself on the phone with the firm representative listening to a description of a fund that invested in US-government-guaranteed mortgage securities. After a series of brusque answers, I said in frustration, “I am a former partner and member of the board of a major securities firm and the former US Assistant Secretary of Housing. If I cannot understand how this fund works, it is because things are not clear, rather than because I am stupid.” The representative then confessed that she did not understand the fund either so she could not help us through the legal hieroglyphics that filled the fund prospectus.
What can hopelessly complexifying a financing system, burying it in legal gobbledygook and wrapping it all up with government guarantees achieve? As a result, financial institutions can engage in predatory lending in residential communities, then pool the mortgages into securities and sell those securities into the retirement plans of the very people whose neighbourhoods are being destroyed. Fool the people closest to home and you can then fool investors around the globe. This is how frauds like the sub-prime mortgage mess happen.

This is not a pretty picture, but it is a common one for many of us. Increasingly, we find ourselves financing activities that are harming our air, water, food and communities.

Last year, my aunt, a Quaker concerned with peace and environmental sustainability listened to my audio seminar, Beyond Socially Responsible Investing. Agitated, she called me saying, “You said that this SRI fund is investing in Halliburton. I am an investor in that fund. How can this be possible?” On my next trip to her home, I went through her brokerage accounts. It turned out she was financing Halliburton through not just one, but three funds.

These situations happen constantly. For example, I visit with university students organizing a political effort. When I point out that the university endowment that supports their scholarships is investing in the activities they oppose, I get blank stares.

I learn that 9/11 truth activists are raising money to place an ad in the papers that have censored the truth of 9/11. The media reward the censors with profitable ads while investing not a penny in media that has provided a successful platform for the unanswered questions of 9/11.

I ask a group of people heading off to a march where they bank. While they are marching up and down, their bank deposits will be safely tucked away in the lead banks financing the activities they are protesting. They may not realize where their true “vote” lies but the politicians watching the march do.

The absence of financial intimacy is most heartbreaking in communities. As I walk by small retail businesses, I watch a day-to-day flow of choices regarding media attention, bank deposits, purchases, donations and investments – choices which finance the very corporations and organizations that are draining jobs and income from the community. What do you say to a small business owner who is investing her savings in the stocks, bonds and CDs of the banks and corporations financing the franchises which are putting her out of business?

Seeing the events emerging in our world as part of a tapestry interwoven with our personal finances and the money in institutions that we support and influence can seem overwhelming. Who wants to bring a sense of intimacy to our money when it is deeply involved in activities not in alignment with our mission and values? It is much easier to grumble about our national and international leaders.

However, taking the time to understand where our money is coming from and where it is going is a critical step to gathering our power to create the world we wish for our children and future generations. As we align our money with our mission and our values, we also create the foundation to take the most powerful next step: holding the institutions and enterprises around us responsible to align their financial affairs and investments with their stated missions and values.

The opportunity for mission investing

How do we achieve a sound investment performance by aligning our money with our mission and values? When we answer this question, we find the financially sustainable pathway between our current state and a world where financial intimacy is both possible and practicable.

Combining investment performance with financial intimacy has been challenging as a global bubble of fiat currencies, government debt and subsidies and manipulated markets have inspired unproductive personal and enterprise behaviour. Now that the instability of the global financial system is widely understood, the benefits of our returning to a back to the basics way of doing things, essential services and infrastructure and activities that improve fundamental productivity are apparent. The opportunities are significant for those of us who are prepared to collaborate in investing for a new and different world.

Sound currency

My vote for the most significant cause of environmental damage on planet Earth is centralized currency systems that allow a few people to invisibly control and tax the many. The benefits of successfully prototyping and implementing local and regional currencies, decentralizing the ownership and control of precious metals inventories (thus thwarting a move to one world digital currency) and finding transaction alternatives that reduce the skim of credit cards on communities are extraordinary. The financial benefits are most profound when combined with capital gains on place-based equity (see below).

A new compact between generations: We are moving into a wholly new environment, driven by globalization – an explosion in new technology and shrinking natural resources, or what some have referred to as “peak everything.” In this environment, one of the keys to successful investment will be investing in a new generation of leaders whose skills and ambitions are appropriate to this environment. In part, this means shifting investment to emerging markets. It also means finding ways to help the young rise successfully to leadership positions within aging populations, supported by (as opposed to squelched by) the networking and risk management skills of the middle-aged generation and the capital and long view of the eldest generation.

Free farmers, fresh food: Why go to a horror movie when we can read about the corporate manipulation and control of the seed and food supply? The time has come to organize consumers to ensure a healthy food system by supporting private brands in financing networks of indigenous and independent farming communities that have the traditions and knowledge to protect their land and seed supplies. The diverse constituencies gathering to protect a vital, fresh food and water supply, backed by mission-driven investment and political action to prevent legislative and regulatory sabotage, present one of the most attractive opportunities for successful investment in decentralizing change.

Global media

Markets can work when products, services and assets are understood quickly and allowed to be priced accurately. That means truth matters; hence the opportunity for internet-savvy media that have the capital to attract the best and the brightest and which are not financially dependent on central powers or overly dependent on military and corporate satellites.


[To read the remmainder of this article, follow the link:

Transforming Our Money, Transforming Our Community,

http://commonground.ca/iss/195/cg195_money.shtml

(I highly recommend common ground as a source of truth about the economy and our world.)

Kelly
14th April 2008, 20:57
Thank you Nix, that was an absolutely great article. The author wrote…

"As more people and institutions discover the opportunity to improve our situation by withdrawing our money from harmful organizations and activities, and aligning investment with our mission and values, we will begin to experience a new kind of spiritual and financial liquidity that creates cultural hopefulness. Missioning our money opens a life-giving pathway to shift our current situation and preserve our commitment to our children and future generations."

I simply couldn't agree more.

She also said…

"Recent reports on mission investing by foundations indicate that a significant amount of such investing is being made in the form of loans to charitable organizations. I recently met with a social venture capitalist who explained that their best proposals were coming from not-for-profits. This trend is disturbing. The central banking-warfare model generates significant profits for bad behavior and then glorifies those who lead it with the photo opportunities of philanthropic “good works.” If those who don’t want to rise in large corporations and banks, opting instead for activities that do not allow for the attraction and accumulation of financial equity, the system will continue to consolidate financial capital and power in those who promote bad behavior. A generation of the best and the brightest will work diligently at good works and ultimately find themselves without personal resources, financially dependent on centralized powers. Meanwhile, the private family wealth of those who are opposed to centralization will not have the talent and leadership behind it to create opportunities to build their wealth so their capital can be expected to erode over time. This is a formula for adapting to feudalism, rather than for preserving freedom for future generations. "

From my point of view, one of the biggest mistakes any grassroots sustainable movement can make is to borrow money to get a project done. No strings attached grants and outright donations are one thing, but borrowing money from banks or philanthropic organizations which are often secretly run by very predatory groups is a very good way to completely loose local control of your intended goals. Once the money is borrowed, payments have to be made which forces the group dynamic to change from sustainability concepts to marketing solely for profit in order to keep up with the payments. When that happens, people begin making compromises that inevitably begin chipping away at the group's goals and original intent. Grassroots sustainability movements like PALS are in part a resistance movement against big money controlling our lives. Borrowing money from the devil only makes you his serf, and that’s what a movement like this is attempting to get away from.

It might be more of a hassel and take a little longer to meet your goals, but fundraisers are entirely more in keeping with a sustainable movement than borrowing money is.

Robin
14th April 2008, 21:27
Its a pretty good idea! But very ambitious.

FedFixNix
14th April 2008, 21:45
Its a pretty good idea! But very ambitious.

Good observation Robin. The American Revolution was a bit Ambitious as wll, and it is still going on, in spite of what you have been told. We are still in a war for responsible liberty and representative government instead of some variety or another of centralized totalitarian tyranny.

We are looking at the inevitable collapse of the dollar, simply because those in charge of our monetary system built collapse into the system. Unsustainable debt and interest bearing currency simply cannot sustain itself. That which is unsustainable, by definition, must collapse.

The rebuilding of what is now collapsing will be the NWO Empire's Plan, or it will be one of networking socially responsible communities that also produce socially responsible and informed leadership and representation at every level of civilization.

Nice of you to have joined in.

Fedfixnix

Kelly
15th April 2008, 07:47
Its a pretty good idea! But very ambitious.

That's a fair statement but let's break the PALS concept down to "baby steps" to find out if it's even possible.

I spent some time last night looking at all the various organizational structures that might work for PALS, and found that there were three possible ways to do this thing;

• An unincorporated association or club
• An incorporated cooperative
• A non-profit corporation

After looking at the requirements for each, it quickly became clear that though incorporating may indeed be an eventual goal, it's a whole lot of hassle to set one up and really not a good place to start. However, forming PALS as a club made a whole lot of sense. About the only thing that would be required is filing an assumed business name with your state; something like "PALS, Chapter One, Wilmington, Ohio," and then you need to open up a bank account in that name.

The neat thing about forming PALS as a club or association is that you can have an annual budget of $25,000 and nobody really hassles with that as long as that money goes into the club's projects. Clubs can also charge dues, so if PALS decided that $12 a month was a fair amount, (that's 40 cents a day, folks), your club can shoot for a membership of 174 people, collect $12 a month dues from each one, and come up more or less right on target.

One might even think of this as the big 40 cents a day experiment. You can't buy a cup of coffee for 40 cents any more; you can't even buy a candy bar for that matter, so finding out what people can actually do in the way of creating a sustainable food network with 40 cents a day per person sounded like a reasonably cheap and interesting experiment. That's just $3 a week and you sure couldn't buy much with $3 down at the grocery store, now could you?

With a target number of 174 people, your PALS club would have $2088 coming in from dues each month. Though you won't spend hardly any money during the winter months, come spring, summer and fall, your club could go through that money rather quickly.

Well, how would you wisely spend that money? The first thing I'd purchase is fruit and nut trees; one tree for each member in the club. At $15 a tree, that would come to $2492. You'd need something to plant those trees with and you do need tools; shovels and wheelbarrows, pruning shears and stuff, not to mention a couple of good leaf shredders, so lets budget in $1,500 for tools. That's two months worth of dues right there. You'd also need soil amendments and a big pile of peat moss, so you'd have to call around and find out what the best price is in bulk, but let's budget in $2,500 for all that good stuff. You'd also need straw bales to build raised beds with and also as part of the mulch for making your lasagna garden beds. That'd be about ten tons of straw for ten 4 x 50 raised beds, and another two tons for building mulch layers. That comes to $1,560. And of course you are going to need vegetable seeds, so I guessed it at $1500, but that might actually be on the high side. And you are going to need hoses, lots of them, and you decide to buy the best "lifetime guaranteed" hoses you can find, because if you don't, you know the bloody things will kink up on you. You need regular hoses, soaker hoses and sprinkler heads and hose timers so you can program your watering schedule with no hassle. There's another $1000. Yes, yes, I know all about drip irrigation systems, but that’s a second year goal, and you'll need the hoses anyway. You'll also need to budget in the cost of water, you can't grow anything without it, so lets say $1500 for water. And where are you going to grow this incredible food machine dream? You search around high and low and find a guy with two acres of land zoned commercial in the middle of suburbia, and it's even on a city bus route, cool huh? The owner has had the "For sale or lease, will build to suit" sign up for five years now and hasn't had a nibble. You find out that right in the middle of the lot it's solid granite about a foot beneath the top soil, which is why nobody wants to build there. It not only would cost a fortune to dig through it, it's in a residential-commercial zone with nearby businesses, and to run the pile drivers to break through the granite would break the city's noise code ordinances. The lot is right next to a senior care center and the city flat out refuses to issue anybody a building permit. So you smile ever so nicely at the owner, explain what you want to do and ask him if he'd rent you two acres at $300 an acre per year. The guy thinks about it, looks at the field he's sick and tired of mowing all the time and says, "Yes". So you found two acres and have to pay $600 a year. No biggie. So where are we at in our budget?

$2492 fruit and nut trees
$1500 tools
$2500 soil amendments
$1560 straw bales
$1500 vegetable seeds
$1000 hoses
$1500 water
$600 land rental
---------------------
$12,652 Sub-Total so far

Yowza! We are looking good! There is still $12,348 left in our annual budget!

But we're not done yet. Your PALS club pretty much insists that every thing you grow should be organic. So the question of what to do for pest control is important. The group decides that they will look into some of the homemade formulas for natural pest control using capsicum and other tasty things that bugs don't like to eat and they also decide that purchasing predatory insects is a good idea. The club decides to set aside $400 for predatory insects.

Then we enter the discussion of what to do for fertilizer. Fish fertilizer is discussed as an option as is cow manure. One member however has already looked into cow manure and says "If it's not manure coming from grass raised cows we shouldn't even think about using it." People looked at her funny and she says, "Hey listen! Cattle raised on corn and grain are 300 times more likely to carry e.coli O157:H7, and that's the one that can kill you! If you don't believe me, look it up on Wikipedia! It's cause cattle's guts aren't made to digest corn; they should be eating grass. Corn causes their digestive tracts to ulcerate and get infected. That's why they are always shoving factory farm cows full of antibiotics. No manure from a factory farm is safe unless it is first heat composted. And unless we have a big tractor with a front end scoop, it's almost impossible to compost cow manure and be sure it reaches the right temperature to kill ecoli. If we spread CAFO cow manure all over our garden, the chances are we'll infect our garden. Does anybody want to do that?" Nobody did. And nobody wanted to deal with the smell of composting cow manure either.

Finally somebody says, "Well, what about raising rabbits? Rabbit poop is about the least offensive manure there is. It only has to aged about 3 weeks before you can put it on the garden. And you can raise worms in rabbit poop too and turn the poop into worm castings, and you just can't find a better organic fertilizer than that!" A guy popped up and said "Hey, I could go for that, at least we'd have some meat on the table too." And somebody else chimed in and said "Rabbit meat is very healthy, you know. It actually has more protein than beef steak and less fat than fish or chicken." They checked the county ordinances and found that their garden was in a part of suburbia where it was quite legal to raise rabbits, ducks and chickens. Five of the men who had joined the PALS group were hunters and said they wouldn't mind butchering the rabbits when they were the right size, and so it was decided. The PALS club would invest in rabbits and worms too, and end up with lots of good stuff for the garden and a healthy meat source as well.

They decided to leave $3000 in the fund for emergency and miscellaneous supplies, and invest the rest of it in rabbits, cages, rabbit food, worm bins and worms.

$12,652 previous sub-total
$400 predatory insects
$3000 emergency fund and miscellaneous
---------
$16,052 sub-total
$8,948 Left to invest in rabbits, rabbit housing, rabbit food, cages, worms, and worm bins
----------
$25,000 total

Their first year goal is to find out how much food they can really grow with a $3 a week investment from all the club members.

And the truth is, none of us really know the answer to that one yet until we get off our butts and try it. :)

Later, my friends…