Our trip down Turd River

“Tell me one thing you have ever learned from a true intellectual,”  I said to my friend, a well-read, bright man. He confessed at the close of the evening that he couldn’t think of a single thing he had ever learned from those who are deeply lost in the far soggy reaches of the brain. For me, I have been taught more by my kids and my dogs than I have ever been taught by an intellectual.

I think of those from whom we have learned the most. They are the simple story tellers of history. They are Buddha and Christ and Martin Luther King and Gandhi. And how about Mark Twain? It takes a special kind intelligence to tell a story, and from our tribal days to this moment we learn most from stories.

At this same said gathering the people wanted to talk about Madoff and his now infamous Ponzi scheme that skinned some of the brightest minds of the financial world. How could this happen? Yet what we discover is that the world was earlier taken in by a world-wide Ponzi scheme that has brought down the entire world’s economy. The result is referred to by the timid as “a deep recession.” In truth we are sunk in a world-wide depression that most of my readers have never personally experienced.

How did this happen to these mighty money-intellectuals? Like all such massive frauds built on greed it caught up with itself when the banks could no longer sell any more worthless credit instruments along with their clever derivatives. The whole ugly mess imploded and brought down with it the innocent, the naïve, and the poor.

The culture of the money world teaches that the principal value above all is profit. Give me profit. If I have to cheat, steal, lie, bribe — it is all right if the one, principal value remains in tact — namely profit. Money! And why should the people complain? They got their promised trickle down although their wages buy less than in the seventies. Houses were built.  People had jobs.  They could buy cars and TVs and furniture and ocean cruises and, and, and …all on credit, no money down. Mother worked along with dad. The kids went to good schools where they prepared themselves for life in Ponzi Puddle. Life was good for everyone. Why cry now?

The guy who lately got caught in his fifty billion Ponzi enterprise — why get upset with him?  He paid his clients 10 or 12 per cent over many years. Doubled their money. Tripled it. Everyone was happy until the collapse came. They got big returns while the widow got her Social Security payment and the retirement fund of the Joneses was losing its value to inflation and millions were without health care.

I say we are living in the aftermath of another major ubiquitous Ponzi economy. But we can survive the wreckage.

Those of my generation were but children when the crash of ‘29 came. Still I remember how our family lived off our garden and the resourcefulness of my parents. Mother canned for the winter. We put the squash and the turnips and carrots in moist sand in the cellar for winter eating. My father worked six days a week and rode his bicycle to work.

We had a nanny goat and chickens in the back yard. The nanny provided us with milk. Humans have been living for thousands of years off of goats. They are warm and wonderful and gentle and have a pretty little bleat. You can stake them out in the alley. We had chickens and preserved the eggs for winter in a crock of water glass. My father was a hunter. We lived off wild game. You know the story. We might have even been happy.

Many people can no longer find a place to grow a garden and our wild game would soon be wiped out if the nation hunted for food. But remember, we have plenty of golf courses with lots of water that would feed thousands of people. We can buy pinto beans by the hundred pounds and rice the same and live for a year on nearly nothing.

We can help each other. We can still barter. We don’t need two or three cars and all the TVs and four wheelers and snow machines and appliances. Mother washed once a week and we hung out our clothes, summer and winter, to dry on the line. We can darn our socks and press our own shirts. We don’t need twenty pairs of shoes. We had a pair to work in and a pair for Sunday. We can bake our own bread. Our kids can work and earn money for college.

We can stop killing our brothers and sisters across the world because we want their oil or because they worship a different God. That will bring real prosperity — if only we can no longer afford war. Perhaps that should become a universal prayer that takes the place of a prayer for prosperity.

The new life coming may turn out to better. More money has not made us a better nation. Our penitentiaries are full. We are building more. Our justice system is broken. Our democracy is being challenged by politicians who want to sell to the highest bidder the people’s right to representation. Our poor are being wasted and abandoned. Our middle class is disappearing and many are now unemployed.

Our children are not prepared to work with their hands. Learning to perform an honest day’s labor has been lost to soccer and hockey and a host of school activities “to keep kids occupied.”

We have given up our independence to the poor of foreign countries who make our steel, make our automobiles, make our clothing, grow much of our food — make our everything while we trade money back and forth and barrow from the producing nations and find ways to engage in yet another world-wide Ponzi. The result of all of this could be a change of values where money is no longer king and where honesty and caring become more satisfying.

Yes, as they say, “We are up Shit Creek without a paddle.” Perhaps you didn’t know the following. No intellectual has revealed this truth — but Shit Creek is a tributary of Turd River. No matter how hard we fight against it, we cannot get off that river until we reach Turd Falls at its end.

Well, my friends, the challenge is to have a good trip. What we face today is just another part of the passing landscape though which the river flows. One does not need to be an intellectual to come to that conclusion. Hopefully we will find a way to survive these dangerous rapids and learn something of worth about ourselves and each other in the experience. Yes. Have a good trip.


39 responses to “Our trip down Turd River

  1. Gerry-

    I find myself caught in an eddy early in your post. How are you defining “intellectual”? It seems like you think of “intellectuals” in a very contemptuous way, much like the way people talk about “trial lawyers”. I grew up as a child of a university professor who had fought his way out of the depression, served in the Navy in WWII, and made his way through higher education on the GI Bill. He truly loved learning and was the most intellectually open person I have ever known. He had many personal biases and handicaps, but he was the first to acknowledge them.

    I grew up believing that Buddha, Christ, Martin Luther King, Gandhi, and Mark Twain WERE intellectuals, in the best sense. As I believe you are. My father, the professor who truly revered nothing above intellect in the purest sense, taught me that.

    Much love as always,


  2. Consistent with your reasoning in the Turd River Post: The second great depression will not be televised.

  3. Great Post Mr. Spence. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with us. This post, much like your “pig” post, is a very accurate description of what is taking place here in the United States.

  4. How did this happen to these mighty money-intellectuals?

    Oh dear! Your assumption that these people were ‘intellectuals’ is sadly wrong. They were not much smarter than the people who assemble cars on a production line – in fact the guys on the line know when they are producing crap and will stop the line if that is allowed. The ‘money’ wranglers didn’t really know what they were doing – their paychecks and bonuses convinced them that they did but they did not. One or two of the smarter ones who did know — and were foolish enough to raise problems — were fired for their caution. America truly is the land of delusions.

  5. Your description of what the depression could be does not depress me. I don’t think though that this rafting adventure will change what has been brain washed into us. They aren’t going to turn off the tv stations. Why they will need to fuel even more advertising to keep whatever businesses that sell us the the things we “need” afloat.
    I believe that there will be even more con men and crimes out there because they will be unable to make an honest living and I am not sure I would allow my family to suffer no matter what I had to do short of maim and murder.
    I also strongly believe many of us will not really suffer. Are you afraid of what you will have to do without? (I do not mean this in a disrespectful way Mr Spence you have donated and given more than any man I know) We will be ok but what about the lower middle class, the poor?
    I hope you are wrong about Turd River, and Turd Falls because if they exist I want a few extra life jackets to pass around.

  6. These are the things that I have noticed on Turd River as I paddle feverishly to avoid being sucked into the whirlpool of Great Depression II:

    1. Success in recent America was not achieved by perfection but through mediocrity. Yes, you might be able produce the best hamburger in town. But your profits, if any, will pale compared to those of the chains with their processed product, minimum wage employees and ninety-nine cent menus.

    2. We have always known that little fish get eaten by bigger fish. But in recent America, the bigger fish have also gotten eaten. Indeed, it would seem that some new breed of Giant Carnivore has roamed the American landscape. Not only is George Bailey gone; it has eaten Mr. Potter too.

    3. A wall prevents the citizenry from being able to contact The Giant Carnivore. If we attempt to go to the corporate office complex where The Giant Carnivore’s menu is planned, we will be stopped at the front gate and turned around, with video cameras recording both our arrival and departure. If we try the telephone instead, we will receive a recorded message informing us that “menu options have changed.” We will then attempt to navigate a push button maze that will eventually (a) return us to the beginning, or (b) drop us into that black hole that has universally come to be known as “voice mail.”

    4. Some people, being good citizens, might attempt to take their problems to court. But once they arrive at the courthouse they will simply encounter a different version of the same bureaucracy that drove them there in the first place. Expecting justice, they will instead find a courtroom that is bursting at the seams with litigants and a judge who is incapable of delivering justice simply because of the volume. Of course most people will give up, return home, watch television and count their diminished blessings. But a few naïve people, like me, will become lawyers and spend the rest of their lives hitting their heads against the courthouse wall. But this is not necessarily a bad thing. More than once I created a hole in the wall, after which a few clients rushed in to obtain what I would characterize as true justice. (Thanks to the Trial Lawyers College for that.)

    5. If we do find ourselves sucked into Great Depression II, I hope the first thing to go will be cell phones and their damned text messaging capabilities. These once potentially useful inventions have turned into addictive toys from hell, particularly with children and teenagers. When I was a teenager, I actually had to ask permission to use the telephone in my house. My parents always knew who I was talking to and why. But now it seems that every man, woman and child in America has a cell phone. (The new film Gran Torino, begins with a funeral mass. In a church pew, the decedent’s granddaughter is using her cell phone to send text messages to her friends – a cinematic picture speaking with the force of a thousand words.) Sadly, I predict that much will be sacrificed ahead of the cell phones.

  7. Well, there are the intellectuals who can observe and learn and pass on wisdom, including practical information, and who understand the human spirit. Then there are the “intellectuals” who can memorize, and criticize others and write long papers or books about nothing, and pass on no useful information. I hope to stick with the former kind – like my wise brothers and sisters in TLC. I hope some of the second kind will help us all to get our country out of this river.

  8. Your post is timely and moving. When I was a young boy, I ordered, some “get rich quick” cassette audio tapes from a TV commercial that explained how to make lots of money leveraging real estate, only to realize that the “get rich quick,” part belonged to the seller of the tapes. Perhaps this seller of tapes gave me my moneys worth and tough me a valuable lesson.

    But here is one of many reasons why so many Americans are up-side-down in debt.

    The divas and divos of the world (celebrity limelight) are pulsing in our faces like bright disco lights on the dance floor. When watching “the dumb-down tube” you would think that it is utterly important to know where and what has happened to Britney Spears each day. To know who has been murdered five states away. To know whose car crashed or the building that caught fire in some other time zone. There to distract us, we focus on all the flashing lights until we can no longer see. Unfortunately, I believe that most Americans have become blinded by meaningless tidbits of knowledge, set like the trapper’s snare to capture our attention and lose credit.

    We want to be like the divas and divos so we borrow money and live hand to mouth to pleasure from this fantasy. Why save when we can enjoy life right now, today. In the end we really are not happy, fooled into thinking that happiness is just around the next corner with our next big purchase. Our credit is maxed and the trapper’s snare is set around our ankles.

    Is it time to cancel our cable and our credit cards?

    With Love, Hans Peterson

    • Hans:

      Well said. But once we understand the game we can turn the tables on our Ponzi system. We can take their bait like a smart old trout and leave them with the bare hook.

      Have a wondrous New Year, Hans.


  9. Speaking of Ponzi schemes, the biggest one is the way the federal deficit is run, with vast vast more trillions than MADE-OFF. Granted, Madoff was the king of crooks in the scale of his duping private investors( $ 50 Bil), but his games were kids play compared to the con game run out of D. C , all under color of law.(Barnie Frank et al, bail out galore, and shell games de jure).
    $12 trillion was sucked out of the economy, a magic trick, an evaporation of value–Poof.
    I hope some one is smart enough to explain it all in more detail, I have learned a lot from my two dogs, but
    they never bought stocks, or bonds, or a car. I really don’t care to have an economic system based on barter and trading, or a dollar less than a Peso, but it don’t take a genius to figure out this Nation is in one heap of trouble—something has gone terribly wrong.
    We better try and figure out what that is, or the Nation will sink down more in a swamp of toxic paper.
    You mention Jesus, when he kicked the money changers out of the temple, it seems that is when the high Priests went on a plot to nail him.
    When Germany’s currency became worthless paper, Adolph rose up in power.
    Lets forget history, and throw the frisbe to the dogs, and pretend, we are not on turd river, but on the North Fork of the Snake, casting flies with Dick, and Camelot is the thing, we need better illusions, and delusions, maybe Argus can take us to Stawberry fields, all this reality you plant at our feet
    is too nasty, yes, escape route 101, we are on the same pages. Or, it is now a dog eat dog world, at Michael Vick’s mad dog kennel, with the wild hogs on the loose, and the domesticated hedge fund managers, still betting on 7 come 11.

  10. Those who never learned history are doomed to repeat it—-didn’t some smart as intellectual propound that; ERGO. Most never learned about the depression 80 years, ago. The Gen x Generation, the Boomer Generation, the Y generation, the depression is at best some abstract chapter about bread-lines, in Econ-U, but never experienced. So, you, say, Gerry, people don’t really learn from books, or intellectuals—deep down at some core level. Only experience teaches at that depth of grabbing a person, well we are at that crossroads and we never invited it, it just showed up in our midst. And, we are clueless why it happened, how it came. And, our dogs, they don’t know why, they may not care, but 2009 is the year, it may be as horrific as 1929. Some intellectuals, note things, but most are now Digital Dudes, they will have to learn—the hard way. Gerry, must have experienced the big D…. born on a bone cold chilling windy Laramie eve—1929, as his paraents were trying to navigate in those hard times.
    Big D—i feel it in my bones, like it is near the door steps,
    it has the color of fear, but I never lived through the BIG D… we never wished for it, asked for it— it just came. It is near, —here.

  11. $12 trillion was sucked out of the economy, a magic trick, an evaporation of value–Poof.

    It never existed. It was created out of nothing, and a mere pinprick made it vanish again. The value never was there in the real estate — it was all as phony as lakefront property in the desert.

  12. Gerry, I have to say that most everything that I know about the rough and tumble world of trying cases I learned from a very cerebral man; a philosopher, a thinker, a true intellectual — you. Maybe it’s all in the definition.

  13. Thanks for writing this blog, Mr. spence. I agree with you and Jo-Hanna regarding your statements concerning intellectualism. I thought of something we say in Alabama when I read the civil debate. “Smart and educated are two different things.” Better stated, the world has many intelligent, savvy people who do not have the benfit of higher education. We must never forget it.

  14. Intellectual vs. A Simple Mind

    Like the insides of a courtroom which are cold, dark and most lack natural light or growth – we as a people of this great nation came to realize that a major Turd River originated in Washington so let us look forward to the future and continue to give the system a royal enema. 8 years of leadership from a “Simple Mind” has brought us to our knees.

    In this era of house cleaning George W. Bush should not be allowed to slip quietly like Hoover out of Turd Town and into obscurity. The puppet on a Cheney chain should be the recipient of a loud, collective angry howl and demonstrations over the damage he has done to our country.

    A few of us also know that it is not beyond the knowledge of a wise old orator from the heartland that a good spring fertilizing brings with it a rich and prosperous garden of growth.

    Thank you for pulling back the curtain and pointing the light, “Not a pelican in the room!”

    (Herbert Hoover died at the age of 90 in New York City at 11:35 a.m. on October 20, 1964, 31 years and seven months after leaving office. He lived longer than any other president after leaving the presidency.)

  15. I thought the up the creek warnings, only mentioned
    the no paddle problems,
    not the load of shit, in the river.
    If one is floating in shit streams,
    the fishing is not going to be
    any good, those who got stung by
    Madoff thought they were in pristine
    waters, but they did not know shit from
    shinola, as another old maxim goes

  16. Cheney will be on the Snake River laughing
    at you in August. He will be on the Bay
    in Maryland Shores at his other mansion,
    of course, laughing at you.
    and, he will be at his new beltway mansion
    most of the time in D C, laughing his ass off
    at you. Dicky old boy is not floating down
    turd river with no paddles, he will still influence
    matters to make sure all the turds will be where
    your trips are. I take it you are now sickened
    by all the turds Cheney has spilled into
    your river trips. Cheney will not set foot in
    Wyoming unless it is for the renowned there
    to give him some medal of freedom,
    and Al Simpson nauesating & blathering

  17. Gerry: I grew up helping my mom and my grandmother with their gardens- “putiin’ up” vegetables is what we called canning, preserving, freezing. Anything we did with food to make sure it was still fit to eat in the fall, winter and early spring we called “puttin’ up” food. The wonderful thing about those times was the time we spent together tending the garden, picking the food, shelling peas and beans, tomatoes, cutting okra and squash, husking, silking, creaming corn. Those were great times and awful times too. VietNam films on the news every night, Kennedy killed, then Bobby, then Martin. Black Americans and college students being beaten. 3 civil rights workers buried in a dam.

    But my sweet grandmother and mother kept “puttin’ up” food for us all never ceasing.

    My grandmother is 85 to this day she has never bought vegetables at the grocery store. She no longer has a garden but she knows people who do and in the summer she gets up before daylight, drives out to their places and picks her own vegetables. She leaves money to pay for them under a bucket. Then she goes home prepares some for eating that week then “puts up” the rest for the rest of the year.

    Just this year I put up about 18 jars of pear preserves and these are just things we were taught to do as a matter of course growing up.

    I regret that my children don’t have that

  18. I regret that The only garden I had was a flower
    Bed full of fresh veggies for cooking at dinnertume but not enough for puttin’ up.

    I wish my kids had the opportunity to learn these things and to know the esteem that came from helping the adults “put up” to make sure we all had something to eat later in the year.

    Thanks for the trip down memory lane. If we all had to take it up again it wouldn’t be the worse thing.

  19. Gerry, you’re the man. I hope you don’t like Wayne Pacelle. He stole our paddles.

  20. Happy Birthday, Mr. Spence.
    This past year was quite a revelation to me. First , I sat throught almost all the Fieger trial then read two of your books and then discovered this wonderfull site on the web. ( Is it my imagination or are you a lot more salty on the web ?)
    Please accept this poor birthday present. It is the lyrics to a kris kristofferson song. It’s much better when sung by him but this will have to do.
    If you like it the sung video can be found by going to google,video, kris kristofferson. Its from an Austin City Limits Concert.

    The scene was a small roadside cafe
    the waitress was sweepin the floor
    two truck drivers drinkin their coffee
    two Oakie kids by the door
    “how much is them candies?” they asked her
    “How much have ya got ?” she replied
    “We’ve only a penny between us.”
    “Them’s two for a penny.” she lied.

    and the daylight grew heavy with thunder
    the smell of the rain on the wind
    Ain’t just like a human
    Here comes that rainbow again

    one truck driver called to the waitress
    after the kids went outside
    “them candies ain’t two for a penny.”
    “What’s it to you ?” she replied

    In silence they finished their coffee
    got up and nodded goodbye
    “Hey you left too much money”
    “What’s it to you ?” they replied

    and the daylight grew heavy with thunder
    the smell of the rain on the wind
    ain’t it just like a human
    here comes that rainbow again.

    Happy Birthday, keep it up.

  21. Were the people on the turd River trip paying for
    it with credit cards, in the money culture ?
    Part of the meltdown was due to the situation of there being no
    profits, when lawyers get money do they
    use the term profit, or fees..?
    Surely, all the elite assembled in Teton at the
    banks of the River, had their credit cards to
    take the trip, and traffic in money in
    the economy. Madoff must have taken
    that trip, he had a Jackson Hole Hat he
    was wearing around NYC, on his way to court.

  22. Gerry-

    Happy birthday, big guy.

    All my love,


    Greed Money is the root of all evil as they should say

    Trump to CNN:
    The word is very simple. It’s a word called “greed.” Greed. That’s all it is. People were greedy.
    They thought he was going to get them a little bit more return, or a lot more return.

    I mean, he was a Svengali for rich people.
    There are Svengalis for women; this guy was a Svengali for rich people — very rich people.
    But when you think of a person putting up 100 percent of their net worth and even mortgaging their house, even though they had a lot of cash — mortgaging their house to get more cash to this guy — and now they’re going to have to go out, literally, and maybe work in a drugstore. I don’t know what they’re going to do.


    It’s a tragedy Mr Spence that the SEC and others let this happen for decades

    Happy New Year and keep up the great work

    Volunteer specialist
    http://onlinevoices.org fighting domestic abuse
    http://www.defensefoundationforchildren.com helping kids with love
    http://www.cchr.org/video/current_campaigns/museum_video_tour.html for issues relating to you

    Help the homeless by logging onto http://riverorganization.blogspot.com
    http://forgottenvoice.org for news on Vegas homeless


  24. I would like to know why noone blames the business license dept’s across this great land

    Doesnt everyone have to go through them first when they want to open a business?

    Where’s the investigators?
    Where’s the protection of the taxpayers as we are called so often?

    We just got a report from the news where a scam operation was working IN THE VEGAS CONSUMER AFFAIRS BUILDING

    And they put a mob lawyer in as our mayor who dispises the poor and wants to spend $50 million on a mob museum

    It’s ludicrous that this gov’t allows such foolishness to thrive until it collapses everyone in its paths

    Happy birthday too

  25. Pingback: Our trip down Turd River « Gerry Spence’s Blog

  26. Doesn’t it strike you very strange that the majority of the citizens this country can
    SEE WHAT REALLY SHOULD BE DONE WITH THE MONEY, but the ‘elite’ continue to waste it on ‘lures’ and ‘monuments’. When I say, ‘lures’, they think the mob museum will draw visitors who’ll stay in their hotels; gamble – shop until they drop their last nickel into their ‘pot of lures, but no cures’.

    I was angered when everyone got upset about Obama mentioning the ‘redistribution of wealth’ – they tried to distort his intent, think.

    And, as to ‘redistribution of wealth’, that’s what’s been going on in this country since the ‘pale-face’ stole the land from the Native-American; ran the ‘new dividing line’ that put Mexico a whole of a hell ‘further south’, than it originally was!

    Now that we’ve got a big can of worms to deal with at both state and federal level, they want to ‘make buddies’ with Canada and Mexico.

    I call it the BIG MAC ATTACK (Mac representing Mexico, America, Canada).

    As to the tent city, I just ‘pitched a big bitch’ to the Seattle Times because there were homeless who’d pitched tents that looked like big yellow bubbles, and the city wanted them removed.


    I won’t go through all of it; suffice to say I ripped a big one, and got a few replies (via USPO) praising me for my remarks.

    What I’ve felt was certainly viable, was using those storage facilities they build (the one we keep extra items in is 12 x 20); they could be insulted; outfitted with a basic inflatable bed (we paid $69 for a queen-sized one so our kids could stay over with us when they come to visit) that is easily washed. They could make individual ‘units’, and then make a large area for community showering; toilets, and then a communit food kitchen where volunteers could help with the preparation and all those rich-assed casinos with all the food they toss from those expensive buffets, could donate those foods in covered containers.

    The casinos could post their appropriate ‘disclaimers’ against being ‘sued’ (since that’s what I hear is the reason they don’t do it now). I’m sure a hungry person isn’t about to sue someone for getting an upset stomach, and it would be a rare occasion for it to be much more than an upset or acid-reflux reaction to food that was promptly removed to chilled trucks; taken to the food site for those who were being sheltered in those units, and the over-all cost would be minimal in climates where there aren’t bitter winters.

    In 1993, I helped a group of homeless people (think I told you this) by getting used clothing for them; keeping their clothes washed – transported them to food kitchens in my motor-home, and took my type-writer and paper so I could write up resumes for each of them.

    By the time early 1994 came, every single one was employed full or part-time, and I have the love of those people to this day. I have mementoes they gave me; cards they made for me, and so many wonderful instances of success and seeing charity ‘in action’, that I’ll never tire of reflecting on just that one instance.

    Today I got a call from a young man who lives in the Philippines. I sent him a small amount of cash; did his resume to help him find work, and today he called to remind me it had been ONE YEAR TO THE DAY, that I’d helped him, and now he was the manager of his department at one of the Dell customer service centers!

    He’s so excited that he now thinks he can save enough money to go to law school in November of 2009. He said it will take him 5 years; he’ll be 29 years old, and he says when this happens he’s going to come to America to visit me and thank me in person.

    Just think – one year ago he was ‘lost’; his mom had died, and his father is now disabled. He has a brother and a young sister; he is now sole support for the entire family.

    He told me, “Lady Di, I couldn’t have done it without you and your love!” He dubbed me Lady Di early on after I met him via the I-net. I’d read his comments; saw he had troubles, and since I also support a small church in the Philippines throughout the year (have since 2001), I decided to add Carlos to the list of those who (in WWII) fought beside my dad; all our soldiers, and even the women and children aided our military with the defense of their country.

    In the Philippines, the average income is $60/month; there is currently much turmoil in Mindanao and Luzon – they are a highly populated country; have great pride, and are humble and sincere.

    So, I support these people as best I can; I do what I can locally in Laughlin, and I’ve recently sent money to a person in Missouri who is dying of cancer, and has little resource.

    It is amazing how I find ways to cut my budget so I never deprive my husband and me of our needs, and still have enough to help quite a few people.

    We’re on limited retirement income; just think what the wealthy could do if they really cared….it makes my stomach pain and the tears come to my eyes when I let myself start to ‘count the ways’.

    The Travel Channel featured the ‘adult night life’ of Las Vegas; it was sickening – the costs of just those expensive costumes could BUILD 10 HOMELESS SHELTERS AROUND THIS COUNTRY….

    Guess I’d better quit now; it could turn into a real ‘book’ if I don’t.

    Take care….


  27. Well, I assume people learned things from your books.
    I love my dogs—English bull dogs– and of course my kids, and I learn from them. All of life is learning, from people, hard knocks, successes, failures, ups, downs, joys, sorrows, up the creek, and down the creek, etc.
    I have learned that no person knows everything,
    and as some noted they are known unknowns, and I dare say unknown unknowns…
    Haven’t we all learned that corrupt power distorts the truth ?
    Aging, is a learning experience all its own.
    All knowledge does not reside in some Ivory Tower, in some Ivy clad campus.
    The name itself suggests utter arrogance: The Central Intelligence Agency, like it has a monopoly on knowledge and intel, and slam “dunks”, as if all intel and knoweldge, as if that all, resides in some spot in Va, when Cheney comes a calling on WMD’s, and presto instant answers.
    The airplane was invented by two bike cycle repair shop guys–the Wrights..The personal computer was discovered by some drop outs, and Bill Gates could not be bothered with Harvard.
    But, those are gadets, but on people, and learning,
    won’t some learn from the Bernie Madoff stuff,
    supposedly all those wise, smart, really savvy money managers ?
    One can only wonder what some of those will learn from that tragic incident.
    Yes, some guy out of law school, armed with a J D, but no experience in the trenches, or aspects of life, he is still wet behind the ears.
    There must be some really interesting stories there, like the guy, who was a Director at a Bank in Wyoming, who had his classmates( J’ D’s even) defend him, when the FEDS came after him to nail him to some cross. If only, we could hear his story.

  28. I knew a few intellectuals. I met them in coffee shops and cafes growing up in rural Nebraska. One in particular, is the smartest person I know. He had a teaching degree, worked as a rubber puller for goodyear at night and farmed in the day. He read at least 1o books a week, usually from other great intellectuals like L’Amour, Grey, Cather, Michner, McCarthy, McMurty, Schaefer, Portis and the like. He could skin a rabbit, smoke a carp, replace an alternator, re-wire the kitchen, repair broken plumbing, weld some scrap iron to fixed the disc, discuss politics, rate the state’s football team, re-roof the old house, shoe a horse, raise the baddest tomatoes in the county, shoot a pheasant with a .22 handgun while driving a combine and harvesting beans, and tell a rookie cop to shove a parking ticket up his ass. Yes, he was a true intellectual, a shade-tree mechanic, jack-of-all trades, and he would kick your ass if he had to, even now at 90. He could tell you how the Federal Reserve is corrupt and how they instigated the crash of ’29 and how they have been working to destroy the economy and are 100% responsible for the mess we are in now(despite the fact our politicians just turned the treasury over to the Feds last fall). He could quote Franklin on the imprudence of a federal bank. After his recent triple bypass a few weeks ago a nurse came in and asked him how he felt. A common question for those of us TLC grads. His anwwer to the nice nurse: “This coffee tastes like shit”

    At the end of the day he was an intellectual because he was himself and honest. There are plenty of other people out there like Grandpa Hughes, intellectuals who can teach us much, we just have to be willing to listen to them and absorb their wisdom.

    Shit Creek and Turd River are rising faster then most will be able to handle. The toughest days are ahead of us and these times will require true grit and real intellectualism to get through. Unfortunately the power brokers and corrupt two-party system in DC are completly bankrupt of these virtues. We can not count on our leaders anymore, as they have shown themselves to be corrupt sell-outs. This is a problem that the The People will have to ultimately fix on their own and I am confident that at the end of the day the intellectuals of this country will rise up and do what needs to be done. I’v got some land to grow food on and with a rifle on my shoulder and six shooter in my hand, I’ll be ready for whatever the future brings, and I know I will not be alone. Fear not people, this country is filled with intellectuals ready to stand up and fight for freedom and justice when the call comes.

    To conclude I’ll leave you with a satellite view of Shit Creek from some old hippies:

    “Throwing Stones”
    Words by John Perry Barlow; music by Bob Weir

    Picture a bright blue ball, just spinning, spinnin free,
    Dizzy with eternity.
    Paint it with a skin of sky,
    Brush in some clouds and sea,
    Call it home for you and me.
    A peaceful place or so it looks from space,
    A closer look reveals the human race.
    Full of hope, full of grace
    Is the human face,
    But afraid we may lay our home to waste.

    There’s a fear down here we can’t forget.
    Hasn’t got a name just yet.
    Always awake, always around,
    Singing ashes, ashes, all fall down.
    Ashes, ashes, all fall down.

    Now watch as the ball revolves
    And the nighttime falls.
    Again the hunt begins,
    Again the bloodwind calls.
    By and by, the morning sun will rise,
    But the darkness never goes
    From some men’s eyes.
    It strolls the sidewalks and it rolls the streets,
    Staking turf, dividing up meat.
    Nightmare spook, piece of heat,
    It’s you and me.
    You and me.

    Click flash blade in ghetto night,
    Rudies looking for a fight.
    Rat cat alley, roll them bones.
    Need that cash to feed that jones.
    And the politicians throwin’ stones,
    Singing ashes, ashes, all fall down.
    Ashes, ashes, all fall down.

    Commissars and pin-stripe bosses
    Roll the dice.
    Any way they fall,
    Guess who gets to pay the price.
    Money green or proletarian gray,
    Selling guns ‘stead of food today.

    So the kids they dance
    And shake their bones,
    And the politicians throwin’ stones,
    Singing ashes, ashes, all fall down.
    Ashes, ashes, all fall down.

    Heartless powers try to tell us
    What to think.
    If the spirit’s sleeping,
    Then the flesh is ink
    History’s page will thus be carved in stone.
    And we are here, and we are on our own
    On our own.
    On our own.
    On our own.

    If the game is lost,
    Then we’re all the same.
    No one left to place or take the blame.
    We can leave this place and empty stone
    Or that shinin’ ball we used to call our home.

    So the kids they dance
    And shake their bones,
    And the politicians throwin’ stones,
    Singing ashes, ashes, all fall down.
    Ashes, ashes, all fall down.

    [Bridge two:] Shipping powders back and forth
    Singing black goes south and white comes north.
    In a whole world full of petty wars
    Singing I got mine and you got yours.
    And the current fashion sets the pace,
    Lose your step, fall out of grace.
    And the radical, he rant and rage,
    Singing someone’s got to turn the page.
    And the rich man in his summer home,
    Singing just leave well enough alone.
    But his pants are down, his cover’s blown…

    And the politicians throwin’ stones,
    So the kids they dance
    And shake their bones,
    And it’s all too clear we’re on our own.
    Singing ashes, ashes, all fall down.
    Ashes, ashes, all fall down.

    Picture a bright blue ball,
    Just spinnin’, spinnin, free.
    Dizzy with the possibilities.
    Ashes, ashes, all fall down.
    Ashes, ashes, all fall down.
    Ashes, ashes, all fall down.
    Ashes, ashes, all fall down.
    Ashes, ashes, all fall down.

    Great Blog Gerry!!!!

    Love and Peace Y’all!!!!!

  29. Gerry, Congratulations on believing in human culture. I have clearly developed a distaste for Corporate American Culture and always advocated for the little guy. Though people will do anything for money, it nice to know that some people are actually motivated for the good of man and women kind. I have wondered why I was such a failure in making money and not wanting to buy on credit or purchase fancy material objects according to our current “must have culture”. Look what has happened to those who believed in false values. Some people especially at my jobs thought I was strange eating organic (since the 1970’s) and having a vegetable garden as well as making my own bread. Delivering bread to my neighbors no matter how different from me they were, seemed to bridge a gap. We never bought fake pre-packaged food until my daughter was old enough to ask what Kraft cheese was and white bread. I never bought a car for more than $150.00 and ran it for 300,000 miles in some cases. I rode my bike to college and did not own a car until I turned 30. I bought a new car when I turned 50 at Price Crushers. We have no cable TV and I owned one donated TV from my friend who has everything including a rebellious teenager who has everything but hates her parents. I finally bought a clothes dryer because my kids jeans would not dry fast enough outside. I do not own a dishwasher and never have. I have conserved water for years and recycled since the 1970’s. How have strayed so far ? I work for a company that was bought by a corporation and they are so awful that I can hardly work anymore. We are one of the last union jobs and everyday we are intimidated by union busters. I just want to work in a country where you can be honest, not a selfish person, be responsible, make enough money, and not be harassed by Corporate America. Do you think it will happen ? I wonder if the people who have been responsible and not lived beyond their means will ever feel hope ?

  30. Pingback: Fun in the Universal House of Death « Gerry Spence’s Blog

  31. Common people with common sense knew we were in a recession one full year BEFORE our government concluded we were.

    Those of us same common people know we may soon be in a full-blown depression.

    Like reading the signs of nature, you know when a storm is moving in.

    Some people don’t like us speaking about a depression because they think it will CAUSE one, by scaring people into one. Well, that is like not screaming FIRE when your back pew is burning up in flames. If it’s on fire, it’s on fire! So, you might as well scream fire and let everyone know they are going to get burnt if they don’t move their back pews to safer ground.

    The so-called “experts” who advise us wouldn’t know a rattlesnake if one bit them on the nose, yet these are the kind of guys who will stomp on a bees nest and not expect to get stung.

    It might be a good thing if the entire economy does collapse. It would even the playing field. Those of us who know how to survive know the difference from oak or maple leaves and poison ivy.

    It’s unlikely the silver spooners will know which one to use to wipe with.

    They might all be big leaves, but one will sure feel like an application of Corncob and Turpentine treatment.

    With the love of the common people those of us with human hearts will get by. We know how to survive, share and to look after one another.

    Although, I recon I’ll need to move to Wyoming so I can sit on a tree stump and read your blogs as you write them.

    They can take away anything they want to. But they can’t take away Gerry Spence’s blogs. That would be THE great depression.

    Keeping blogging, Gerry. I think that spot behind your heart is a burning hole to tell the world to get ready for the mother tsunami of all tsunamis.


  32. Looks like the river is gonna get clogged up where there will be massive floods throughout communities.

    Sir Robert Allen Stanford KCN (born March 24, 1950) is a prominent financier, philanthropist , and well known as a sponsor of professional sports. A fifth-generation Texan who resides in St. Croix, US Virgin Islands, he holds dual citizenship, having become a citizen of Antigua and Barbuda ten years ago. Stanford was the first American to be knighted by that Commonwealth nation[2] and was presented with the honour by the then Governor-General of Antigua and Barbuda, Sir James Carlisle.

    In early 2009, Stanford became the subject of several fraud investigations, and on February 17, 2009, was charged by the SEC with fraud and multiple violations of U.S. securities laws for alleged “massive ongoing fraud” involving $8 billion in certificates of deposits

    So what are we to do?

  33. Serving as a Governor, or as a politcal public servant is a “privelege”, not a right.
    Thus, that privelege was revoked(i. e impeachment) as to the ex ILL Governor, Blogo.
    If only that same standard could be used as to U S Senators. So, now we are near the ides of March, and the time is nearing for the 2nd shoe to drop: the criminal indictment.
    If no money changed hands, can the FEDS make stick some conspiracy to sell, or gain from a public position, even if the gain part was never fulfilled ?
    Every day some U S Senator(or his assistant) is blabbering, whispering to some on PAC $$$, and PAC $$$ changes hand.
    That is a major part of how a U S Senator’s time is spent.
    A book was written on this “Senator for Sale” on Bob Dole, google it, & it shows how the system is already corrupt, and even some Senators say so.
    Is it any wonder over $ 150 billion has been dumped in AIG’s secret coffers, some giant shell game, that is the MOTHER OF ALL PONZI Schemes, funded by tax payer money, and where in the Constitution is there a mandate to fund Ponzi schemes with tax payer money ?
    Saving AIG may be at the cost of AMERICA, but at the ultimate price to lose the Nation founded by those who had a Tea party.

  34. Since we obtained/stole this country by massacre of its rightful owners for greed and profit, wasn’t everything that followed predictable?

  35. You could accurately say we are on Turd River for the exact same reasons that we butchered human beings to get it.

  36. I agree ! From my five year old grandson have come many words of wisdom and food for thought. From “Hey Papa you got a hole in your hair!” to “Papa how come the sun always goes down in our neighbors yard and never in ours?” He has certainly caused me to ponder the true source of “wisdom”. I believe it is the honesty of the innocent. When I spoke about how proud I was of his behavior, he responded ” I’m proud of you too Papa!” A five year old teaching a 60 year old the meaning of life!

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