Coping: Happy Trailers & National Parks 2.0

imageIn Monday’s column I was bemoaning the fact that most RVs out there seem to be long on glam and granite, but aren’t really set up for well as long-term survival platforms.  I was wrong.

As happens, there’s an outfit in Utah called Timberline Range Camps that makes the real-deal survival platform suitable for bumper towing…  (I hope they don’t mind I borrowed a picture off there website – this is a free plug for them…)  They’re not cheap, but they’re also solid, come with a good wood stove and are designed ground up to be a real platform.  This is really cool stuff and you need to visit their site over here…  As you’ll figure, Timberline’s roots are in the sheep camp and commissary business and so they are used to the real outdoors environment.  Not some drive-in posh glam-on-wheels.  Real deal “out there” vehicles. Just the ticket.

No carpet to get dirty…I think the only change I could find would be a two-basin sink in the kitchen.  I’d sacrifice a drawer for that… Put a portable rack of panels for power, a covered 4X4 half-ton shell to load up with supplies and gear…yep, gone for 3-to- 6 months and no problems…Fishing gear, hatchet, chainsaw for the lazy, and yee-haw, pahdnah…

But Where?

Insert my bad John Malkovitch impression of “…there is that…”

I was whining that it would be dandy if America would just re-invent itself into a new kind of place and put a certain portion of the population on wheels with truly innovative mobile homes (I’ll take the Timberline with my one mod)  so that those who want to could enjoy the country a bit more.  Bumper pull is just dang practical.  5th wheels lose gear space…

Think of it as “The Digital Tribe” to borrow a concept from America’s first occupants.

It not the Timberline right, then what I’m thinking of would be something like a 30’ RV that has been made from 50% (or more) recycled parts.  A cut-down old Greyhound or school bus chassis would be another way to skin the cat, or maybe retooling a bumper-pull.  Ought to be a special part of vehicle laws to exempt such homemade efforts from the miles of government red tape that seem go with selling a vehicle, these days.

National Parks 2.0 then?   The government would go into some of the under-priced counties of the South, say in a few miles from the Gulf Coast and from about Houston all the way over to the east coast of Florida.  But up; under utilized land.

In the zone, government would buy up as much land as they would, paying top dollar if necessary – after all, they’ll just print up whatever money they need anyway.

Let’s say we have a strike 3 miles wide and 30 miles long to begin with as a “proof of concept.”

And then do the same thing up in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Of course, some of this land will already have buildings and roads and such on it, but that would provide thousands of jobs for planners, architects, not to mention zoning attorneys, and that alone would be a huge economic stimulus.  Give it a deadline of 18-months for plan completion for the southern parks and 6-months after that for the northern parks.

Each of these parks would be divided up into, oh, let’s say 3-acre parcels.  There would be a community water system, but the waste would all be composted in those composting toilets.  And there would be a requirement that half the food consumed would need to be produced on the property.

At three acres each, and 640-acres per square mile, our 3 by 30 miles park would measure in at 57,600 acres, which plots down to about 19,000 “units.”  Plus or minus a grocery store and firehouse or two with emergency medical personnel.

A lottery would be held annually to see who “wins” a chance to go homesteading for a year – or as long as they want.  Give ‘em a homesteader medical card, too.

The government would have a tough time with the concept, obviously. Since it’s government land, and comes off the tax rolls, a person who steps up to this lifestyle could get by with little in the way of outside expense:  $100 a month for the ground (and water for domestic use) and farming using natural methods (dry farming in a pinch) would be attempted.

In a sense, it would be like setting up a Neverland for people who don’t like the way the country is currently heading.

The fun part of this experiment is what people would all have access to a free website where all the functions of government would be parsed down to scheduled participation by everyone in this nomadic community.  The folks with doctoring and medical skills would work 8-hours a week at this or that, a dentist would be provided an office and 8-hours per week there, and so forth. 

There’d be volunteer (but scheduled) cops and other services.

It’s an appealing experiment in economics – which would not be currency-dependent.

By that, I mean when you step back far enough to view Sim-’Merica, you see that we use money as a convenient substitute for real labor.  This just cuts the middle men (the bankster class) out of the middle where they have weaseled into total domination from.

The lucky (or crooked) few who figure this out have no end of fun living the High Life.  The others, like us, who are not so good at the game, live the Low Life on whatever is leftover in the way of table scraps.

As a result, over time we have seen the government slowly taking over everything.  Government is basically now a money game. 

History says there is another way.  We know from the data that civil servant jobs used to be among the lower paid jobs, but the compensation for that was very good job security.

Today, since government has elevated its position (which is being kinder that saying megalomaniacal control freaks stealing everything that isn’t nailed down, through mechanisms like the crooked and process-free civil asset forfeiture game) government is now the place to be if you really want to make a killing (so to speak).

I tell my kids all the time:  Work for government – it’s where the money is.  You want to be on the tax-getting end of things.

The purpose of National Parks 2.0 would be to enshrine in public policy the notion that People are Free in America.   We’re not, presently.  Takes money.  Boatloads of cash.

For example, people get kicked off “public lands” all the time.  I would offer that if you’re a member of “the public” then if it is  really “public land” then you have rights to it,.  You don’t.  Getting kicked off public lands proves the point they’re not public.

Oh, this gets all wound up in environmentalism and legalisms and there’s much harrumphing about the public trust and benefit…but show me the books.

It doesn’t take a steel trap mind to see the game:  What was once PUBLIC land is now GOVERNMENT land.  And the key difference is that in the past government ruled by permission of the People.  Today, we are peopling with permission of the Government.  Stinks to high heaven.  Jefferson would be spinning in Monticello today, but he’d be on a no-fly list and a Fusion Center would have his number.  Domestic T-word, know what I mean?

Setting aside some portion of America as a frontier, where experimental democracy could use the basis of this great nation and update it to current software (so we could allocate community resources by other than gunpoint tax collection) seems like it would be a worthwhile thing to consider.

Wrapped up as a mobile living experiment, perhaps for seniors, these could be national retirement centers, or simply a place where people who are sick of the heavily dollarized way of running the remnants of America into the ground could go, begin to form a breakaway civilization, and live by a code of living freedoms respected among likeminded people.

Sure, it would be hard to start, harder to do, and impossible to estimate in terms of results.

But at least the exercise of wondering “What an attempt at government-sponsored communal living be like” opens us up to examining the missed opportunities that bind us to an unpleasant future by opening our eyes and realizing we can each make a conscious choice to do better and different.

Or, maybe we can’t?

Sitting out in the sun room Monday, kicking this around, Elaine made a sound observation.

The problem is the Dreamer’s aren’t in charge in American anymore.  The Moneymen are…

Good point:  Why would they give up title to anything when they have the upper hand?  That chilled my optimism…but only briefly.  There may not be a choice other than think in new ways.  Which gets me to a second point.

One of the reasons Islam is growing faster than any other religion lately (sort by growth rate, right column – 2000-2010 – over here) is because they are marketing a different system of land ownership.  We catch this stuff on the FTA channels now and then.  Thank-you Galaxy 19 Ku.

At the core of it, their (Islamic) view is that all land belongs to God and people are only stewards of the land.  From there, according to this essay

Generally, under Islamic tenure systems, land is classified into four main categories: mulk (individual ownership with full rights); miri (state owned land to which individuals may gain use rights); waqf (religious foundation owned land “stopped for God”); and musha (collective or tribal owned land) (Payne n.p.).

The US/Western view has a different heritage that harks back to Kings being divinely anointed by God to rule… and so, here lately, government has become somewhat enamored with it’s local representatives of God role…  See the Wiki on Divine Right of Kings:

The divine right of kings or divine right is a political and religious doctrine of royal and political legitimacy. It asserts that a monarch is subject to no earthly authority, deriving the right to rule directly from the will of God. The king is thus not subject to the will of his people, the aristocracy, or any other estate of the realm, including (in the view of some, especially in Protestant countries or during the reign of Henry VIII of England) the Catholic Church. According to this doctrine, only God can judge an unjust king. The doctrine implies that any attempt to depose the king or to restrict his powers runs contrary to the will of God and may constitute a sacrilegious act. It is often expressed in the phrase “by the Grace of God,” attached to the titles of a reigning monarch.

Kings may have lost some of their pizzazz (and some heads along the way) but “government” stepped in and stole the King’s shoes when came to declaring primacy over property.  It wouldn’t be so bad, but you can NEVER really OWN property, even when (like our place) it’s completely paid for.  It NEVER IS.  Property taxes are the scam to steal it all back and allodial  title is mostly a wet dream, thank you.

The SWOT Analysis is simple:  The smaller an individual’s “skin in the game” the more appealing the anti-Western (Divine Right-based taxation by government né kings of property) mantra sounds.

It’s an article of faith to us that government isn’t intentionally bad in the USA, but sometimes it works out that way.  Hard to prove in Ferguson, Baltimore and a bunch of Middle East countries, though…

Which gets me to the point of the thought experiment (Hallelujah!  A point finally!) on a new kind of National Parks:

If the US/West is to enter its Second Renaissance period, and make the kind of progress represented by the Industrial Revolution, to triumph at a moral level in the Age of Reusable Software and Disposable People, we need to be looking at viable alternative organization charts and seeking best of breed ideas and trying them out to see what kind of things we can learn in order to better fulfill the American Dream.

To do so with conscious de-emphasis of dollarization?  We’ll that’d be a hoot, too.  (We might have done better to study and lean from Native Americans, but that’s the old Divine Right of Government problem…and it worked for the railroad barons.)  Faster Progress doesn’t always mean Better Progress.  Slow can be good.

It wouldn’t be the first time the West has had an opportunity to study a challenging set of ideas and rip off….er….optimize some of the best practices found by others.

We’ve done it before (Think Algebra – Etymology.) and with a strongly branded challenger in mathematics.  So maybe it’s time to review our product line in keeping with presenmt market conditions and if necessary, t–o tune up the brand a bit.  If we don’t, the anti-interest and anti-ownership positioning of the challenger will appeal to more people and that will lead to increased systemic instability in the world.

Could government do something if so inclined?  Oh, sure.  But dollars, not common sense rules the day.  As an example of Elaine’s Moneymen in Charge theory…..

Off in the background, government is quietly re-slicing the pie in 11 states out west under something called the “Final PEIS of proposed Section 368 energy corridors.”  Not that we can do anything about the process now, because as the project website notes:

“Following completion of the consistency reviews by the governors of the 11 western states, any approval of the selected land use plan amendments will be documented in agency-specific Records of Decisions after a 30-day waiting period which begins on Nov. 28, with the publication of official notice of the availability of this PEIS in the Federal Register. These subsequent decisions will also be published in the Federal Register and provided on request to interested parties. “

It just seems to me a shame that while we’re cutting up land for commercial energy interests and setting aside corridors for commercial exploitation, we didn’t have the foresight to start working on some experimental social developments or communities at a time when impacts could have been assessed in an entirely holistic manner.

If we survive as a nation another hundred years, it will likely be seen in the rearview mirror as another opportunity lost.  Public land for corporate development, but little people like us?  Naw…ain’t happening.  And while we sit on our thumbs while the Moneymen hand out dough,  here’s comes that challenging brand selling hard with a different concept…

Whew.  Serious, huh?

That’s nothing…wait for tomorrow’s Peoplenomics:  Gaming a Flash Revolution.

Still More Water

imageThe sun finally came out for a while Monday after a weekend of yucky weather.  But still, we weren’t done with the excess liquidity, so to speak.

Panama’s lady-friend came up around noon and reported a gusher on the road.

Sure enough, out in the trees to the side of the county road was this little geezer.  So the old geyser snapped some pictures… Wait…or was it t’other way around?

Matters not, I suppose:  Boeing Field in Seattle is at 12.53 inches of rain for the year while Tyler, Texas, our nearly offishul (sic) droplet sampler reported 23.05 inches as of midnight and we had it coming down in buckets around here at 2 AM so likely Tyler will continue to edge up.

Who in their right mind would imagine Texas having 10-more inches of rain than Seattle, especially this early in the year?

Write when you break-even…


19 thoughts on “Coping: Happy Trailers & National Parks 2.0”

  1. Just to clarify, the gov’t does not “print up” all the money it needs, say, in order to buy real estate. Unless by “govt” you mean the Fed, but then you know the diff between fiscal and monetary policy, natch. The “govt” appropriates the money from thin air, the Fed buys the T-bond created to fund the appropriation by printing the money, and voila, Mr Taxpayer, you just bought some great swamp acreage in Florida! Now, how about this very slightly used bridge in Alaska to go with your new purchase?

  2. With warm weather, will all the rain lead to a severe mosquito problem shortly? Also, what is the cause of the geyser? Thanks, Mike

  3. Who is John Gault?

    Your nomadic public community where professionals volunteer their time in exchange for a place to grow their own food and live sounds like a real life Gault’s Gulch!

    Maybe it is already out there, you just aren’t aware of it, YET!

  4. Here is an idea (sent to me by a friend)that just may portend a solution if one can figure how to pull it off.

    Of course, following that our ‘public land’ is an endangered factoid these days particularly as water becomes scarce and as/more valuable as precious metals market and futures:

    IF there was any land left to camp on-
    only IF there was some place to camp this is an idea that is interesting:

    create our own country!
    We don’t need to do business with the FED, or……

    BTW I love the Timerline website. Bookmarked it for future reference-

  5. As much as I find the idea of a ‘smaller footprint’ in living arrangements appealing (though I would have to get rid of my library and that will never happen), the idea of ‘sub-dividing’ national parks is spectacularly bad. One of the reasons that the park system was set up was so that people would have not just now, but in the future, the ability to experience the outdoors in a natural state. This requires land to be ‘managed’ in a way that acknowledges that land is a finite resource; once it is chopped up into your proposed three-acre parcels it is just a thing to be bartered and used.

    We, as humans, are very ‘good’ at fouling our nest. If someone is keen to live in a trailer, they will have to adapt to the available resources, and not the resources to the trailer living arrangements.

    • Missed Point: I’m not saying cut up exiswting “public lands” – I am saying do new land into the mix. Sorry if that wasn’t clear G

  6. If you built a Bio sand water filter out of food grade 5 gallon buckets, you could filter lake and stream water while you were out in the wild living in the Timberline RC’s.

    Mark “Red Dog”

  7. The reason that the concept of American RV Kibbitzim is not even on a list for consideration is that the “The Breakaway Civilization”,AKA Civilization 2.0, decades in planning and execution, is steadily bulldozing Civilization 1.0 under. When one controls exotic covert technologies, there’s not a lot of things one CAN’T do…

  8. In reading Mary Chesnut’s Civil War, edited by C. Vann Woodward, I found an interesting comment her husband, James Chesnut made, which I consider bolsters your idea re the three acres, etc. On page 208, October 4, 1861, she notes, “Mr. Chesnut was saying his father’s 16 thousand acres cut up into 8 hundred farms would made such a prosperous country–and now, it is one profitless plantation, where the black man must be kept as dark and unenlightened as his skin.”

  9. The American Indians who came before Mohammad and Islam were the first in this country to believe and act and say that: “all land belongs to God and people are only stewards of the land.”

    They laughed at the White Man putting fences around land.

    Your idea sounds very similar to the Anastasia books which can be found on this website:

    The reason I mention them is these books speak about 2.5 acre plots where that is enough land to support a family if one has water, grow your own food, some animals and these lots are carved out of an area where hundreds of people can live and raise their families. It is quite a great series of books to read as it also reveals the purpose of the Dolmens found all over the world but especially in Russia.

    I think anyone with some capital could buy the 100 acres and get 40 families on board to live as these books suggest AND as you also talk about. People would buy the land not the government.

    It would be GREAT to see this vision become a reality!

    People making their own bread, cheese, milking their cow, raising their own farm animals, horses for riding, gardens, canning, boating, fishing, etc. Can you see it?

    I can!

    There really is another way to live.

    Look at it this way…you have planted a seed.

    Also, one way or the other, this current system will not last because there is no one at the helm, and money cannot be the master…the elites will kill each other off over it.

    It won’t take much to light the spark to burn it all down (aka Baltimore and Furgeson)….that was racial and non justice stimulation, wait until the currency fails and stomachs and children start screaming…

    I think that both of yours’ ideas, which are so close in concept, will see the light of day in our country.

    Any preppers are already preparing but they may not realize that yet.

    • I recall that at the time of FDR, the TVA authority, Hoover and Grand Coulee constructions were planned as anchors to establishing entire regions for family homesteads, the idea being that people could eke out the basics from farming and survive on their own and not require government support, and live without the problems of manufacturing and labor union unrest. It was deemed too much of ‘socialist’ dream, akin to redistributing land to peasants and they backed off on that, rerouted the electric energy to cities, and the corporate farmers bought up all the land/water rights from the homesteaders and booted them out.
      In southern California, the agricultural companies have really weird legal constructions to bundle up all the hereditary water rights of certain families that were limited to individual owners at the time, opposite to the original intent to develop the west for ‘the people.

  10. Those campers look great; rugged, solid, and well made with quality components.

    More and more people, I believe, are going to choose the Nomad lifestyle roaming from place to place.

    That means the government is going to step up the kicking them out….tagging them for income, etc.

    In England and other parts of Europe they have the Roma’s or Gypsies….and they still trailer from place to place. And they get kicked along.

    There are an estimated 1 million Roma in the United States per Wikipedia.

  11. Americans, so cut off from their roots they keep trying to reinvent the wheel. This is exactly what we find in Ecuador where careful planning can allow one to live on $600 a month, a couple $800. Minimum wage is now $420 a month, and will support a a family of 4.

    But if you come here, (or expatriate anywhere), leave behind your “American Dream,” because in the words of George Carlin, it’s called that “because you have to be asleep to believe it.” And, I might add, exploit the hell out of a lot of people and cheap resources to create it.

  12. George – I have a thought – maybe you can help me – in 2005 March, the WB project predicted a big outbreak of sorts – eventually it was credited to protests by Mexicans (I think.) Today mass immigration continues to be a hot concern. Somewhere along the way was the idea migration ‘North of 40’ was bandied about. But why?

    We now have the phantom rage with Ferguson, Baltimore and every town in between and beyond. If you look at these scenarios long enough you’ll notice a pattern. The White guy is skewered and the African guy is shown as a leader. Yeah, something evil is afoot.

    Anywhoo- I woke up the other morning -out of the blue thinking of ‘North of 40’ and it popped into my head that this is where we are standing right now. The Africans want the Deep South, they say it belongs to them (thank you Mr President.) The Mexicans want the Southwest (Jeb Bush’s first assignment as Prez.)

    So where will the Europeans go? Go ‘North of 40!’

    Weird huh? Something to contemplate…….

    Have a lovely day! Bren

  13. A good idea, but this idea is neither new nor original. Go to your favourite search engine and search “Gorbachev dachas”. It worked to help feed and house the Russian people in one of Russia’s worst collapses ever! Basically it stopped their country from imploding, so yes, your idea would absolutely work! Regarding the RV idea, here in the Land of OZ welfare advocacy groups have, for many years been giving homeless people (including single mothers) tents and pointing them towards the local state forest/national park. Speaking from personal experience, you re-wild really quickly living that lifestyle and after the first month or so (if you live), you and your kids are hardier, healthier, smarter and more cunning than you would ever be if you stayed in the Burbs. You learn to be independent and a survivor, and you learn to hide like a wild creature. Did you know there are pumas and panthers in the Aussie (Victorian) bush? We know because we have seen them. Special, huh? There are thylacines, too, apparently, but we haven’t seen them. But if they can survive out there and not get caught,so can we. Just take a 2-3 man dome tent with fly, sleeping bags,camping mats, an axe, fishing line and hooks, bow and arrows (preferably recurve cos you can learn to make the arrows yourself), a lighter, old 2 liter soft drink bottles for water, A kilo of salt, a cooking pot, a frypan, a staysharp carving knife (the sort that sharpens itself when you put it in its scabbard thingy, a few paring/throwing knives and a few really warm woolen jumpers and cotton or hemp tees. Take about 5 kg of oatmeal or brown rice per person to feed you until you figure out how to hunt and gather. This kit should weigh in at under 10 kg (including the 5 kgs of food) and so will be practical to carry. Most fit regular people struggle to carry more than 10 kgs in a pack for any distance. But start to hunt and gather from day one. By the time the grain runs out, you should be able to feed yourselves from the bush. Sleep at night in a huddle like a litter of puppies,big people on the outside, kids in the middle. Move every week or two but leave your site spotlessly clean. Turn an old, largish can into a small stove and keep your fires tiny and as smokeless as possible. Rubbish? What’s that? Old plastic bags get reused for everything, including protecting your precious books and IDs. Keep your IDs because if you decide to (or need to) return to civilization, you’ll need them. Also if you meet some rabid ranger who demands that you identify yourselves. If you can’t, you might end up in a FEMA camp or something. You might emd up there anyway, but it is easier to say you are camping for fun and have to go back to work next week if you have your drivers licences. I’d take three books-the Holy Bible, the I Ching and the SAS survival handbook. All three of these books come in mini editions, which helps. Your biggest assets will be your relationship with God and your brain, so start cultivating them. NOW! I hope this helps someone out there. You do a great job, George, keep up the good work!

  14. Re: coping-happy trailers etc.30 April
    I read Glen Becks book Agenda21. Old Uncle Sam would hardly go for the idea of INDEPENDENT communities cropping up in the National Forests. Don’t know if you noticed how the membership-only big box stores’ food sections stock mostly ready made, heat and eat entres with more varieties added constantly. This is right out of the book. A panel decides for you, how many calories you may ingest daily and food is delivered with just in time logistics. The mini-villages are Hillary’s wet dream of ‘It Takes a Village’ wherin a panel decides for you how large the village is and whom may reside there.
    Taking this sort of power away from those that claim to own it all, will be a short, bloody struggle, the outcome of which is not clear at all.
    Good Luck to you.

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