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…