Unknowncountry.com is designed as a safe space where close encounter witnesses and people interested in the UFO/close encounter experience can explore these great mysteries together. Our visitors are a subtle presence here, but are here, too. It is not a political website. The only political positions it takes are the 4 that are known to be of concern to the visitors: 1. It is against the use of nuclear weapons; 2. It considers climate change a threat to humanity and favors a rich human future; 3. It favors technological advance, most especially when it comes to areas of research that will expand the human presence in this and other universes; 4. It favors strong souls. This means that it favors the preservation of freedom because the freer a soul, the more choices it has, and more choices result in more strong souls.
The reason it takes positions in these areas are that it follows the lead of the visitors. They are not interested in the details of our political lives—left vs. right, etc.—but in issues that concern our survival and the latitude our societies afford us to grow and change. If I have learned one thing about their relationship with us over my lifetime, it is this: they want us to survive and continue to be part of physical reality.
By interrupting activities at many nuclear weapons facilities in Russia and the US, they have made it clear that they consider nuclear weapons a danger to our survival. By leaving a message about the peril of climate change in the minds of so many close encounter witnesses, including this one, they have also made it clear that they consider climate change an existential peril. As Diana Pasulka points out in her book American Cosmic, they have made an effort to increase the speed of our technological development, and their expanding contact with scientists is increasing this effort. By the way they relate to us, they have also made an effort to preserve our freedom. They do this by maintaining secrecy about their presence and presenting us with questions. They do this so that we will not become supplicants but will continue to make our own way in the universe, and, by living with questions that we can neither solve nor ignore, will become intellectually, emotionally and spiritually stronger.
I go into all of this in depth A New World. We always push at the secrecy, though, because I have found that doing this causes it to gradually lessen as we show that we are ready for them to expose more of themselves.
We do not cover things like electoral politics. I have never gotten a word about it from them, but if I ever do, I will change our policy. I do not intend to expose my own political ideals here. I will say, though, that I have never seen such division in the country. This probably does concern the visitors, because people living at political extremes are more doctrinaire and thus less free. I suppose the ancient Greek saying “nothing overmuch” applies here, as well as Anne’s assertion that “the human species is to young to have beliefs. What we need are good questions.”
Because I see this polarization as closing minds, and that does concern the visitors, I will say a little about the upcoming election. Also, the election relates to the climate change issue. No president in recent times has shown the leadership that is needed for us to address this problem effectively.
I think that Bernie Sanders is most likely to win the Democratic nomination, and also that there is a high likelihood that he will suffer the same fate as George McGovern did in 1972 when he was defeated by Richard Nixon.
During a period of prosperity like this one, the country is unlikely to go along with the idea of making the massive changes in tax patterns and social structures that would be needed to enact Mr. Sanders’ programs. Although quite a few polls have him winning, I doubt their accuracy. I think that many people who support Donald Trump hope that Sanders will be his opponent because they perceive his program as being unpalatable to most Americans, and I have a feeling that they are trying and succeeding to give the polls a false bias in Sanders’ favor. Russia apparently sees it the same way, which is why they are supposedly helping both candidates. They believe that a Trump-Sanders race will result in a Trump win.
More telling than any recent electoral poll is a Gallup poll published last November. It shows just 39% approval for socialism and 60% approval for capitalism. Combine that with a strong economy and the president going in to the campaign with a 49% approval rating, and he seems to me to be the likely victor in a race with any candidate perceived to be a socialist, and it is going to be very easy for Mr. Trump to make a case that Mr. Sanders is exactly that.
However, there is a new electoral factor, which is the millennial vote. The Republican Party is overwhelmingly comprised of white people over 50 with a definite skew toward males. The Democratic Party is younger and more mixed at every level. In terms of registered members, the Democrats are also the larger party. If younger voters are inspired by Mr. Sanders, they could upset the expected dynamic and give him a win.
Regarding the economy, I see the expansion as being vulnerable, and debt as both the immediate and a long term problem. Recent budgets, including the one just presented last week, do not significantly reduce debt and only slightly retard its expansion. Despite our present state of denial, in fact the federal government is going to be required to provide massive funding for climate change remediation, and this is going to grow every year from now on. Inevitably, it will have to reduce social programs with consequent public upset. This is in part probably why Trump’s recent budget guts Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid. Of course, an ideological dislike for these programs also plays a part.
Obviously, the destruction of these programs is going to cause enormous social disruption and human suffering. But unless an aggressive effort to reduce debt is undertaken, the government is not going to be ready to meet the inevitable need for funds that will emerge as populations suffer more and more serious and extensive disruptions at every level. We really are between a rock and a hard place here. Personally, I think that it is going to take an unusually creative and dynamic leader to solve this problem, if indeed it can be solved. Recent tax reforms and drastic budget cuts at the Internal Revenue Service virtually guarantee that federal revenue, without the destruction of the social safety net, will not be sufficient in the foreseeable future
I also think that there is an immediate probability that an economic slowdown is developing now, and that it could be a serious one. The tipping point will prove to have been something like the Fair Isaac Company’s recent decision to restate the creditworthiness of millions of Americans on the theory that there is too much consumer debt in the market. This will have a similar effect on consumer economic activity that the Federal Reserve’s decision to increase interest rates did on Wall Street in the summer of 1929. It is going to put the brakes on consumer use of credit and thus also on the economy.
Combined with disruptions in trade caused by coronavirus, tariffs and the increasing weakness of brick-and-mortar retail, there are likely to be a series of retail and commercial real estate failures that will derail growth. Unlike 2008, if it gets serious enough the Fed, already dealing with gigantic levels of debt, will have only a limited ability to pump-prime a recovery.
I think that there is a reasonable chance that this will emerge as a problem during the summer and fall of 2020 and become more serious over the course 2021. Whichever political party is in power at that time will, as always, be blamed, but the blame, if there is any, is deeper than politics. It emerges out of the fact that, as the planet’s various environmental systems such as weather and the biome become more stressed, it is becoming more and more difficult to extract from them the resources we need to maintain the growth upon which prosperity depends.
Unfortunately, we have never been able to develop a steady-state economic system that also gives the average person hope for a better future.
As one example of what I mean, the decline of the insect population is likely to lead to a decline in crop yields, as they are so essential to pollination. This is due to stress on the biome caused by pollution and climate change.
Another illustration of what is happening on a large scale is the small-scale case of palladium, which is a key component in pollution control devices. Over the past year, its price has risen from $1281.00 an ounce to $2615.00 an ounce. This is not because of increased demand, but because of increasing scarcity, and that situation is being repeated in commodities across the board, with the exception of oil and coal, whose use is contracting.
Similarly, the world’s food supply literally hangs by a thread. Demand is now routinely so high that surpluses are a thing of the past. An example of how dangerous this situation can be is illustrated by the absurdly named “Arab Spring” of 2010. It was not sparked by a thirst for freedom, but rather by food shortages that struck the Middle East starting in 2009, which were caused by crop failures in the wheat growing belt of Southern Russia and the Ukraine. Both those countries cut off wheat exports, causing immediate bread scarcities across the Middle East. When a Tunisian street vendor, Tarek el-Tayeb Bouazizi, set himself on fire after being prevented from selling on the street in Tunisa on December 17, 2010, an eruption of anger against autocratic regimes swept the region. We are still struggling with the consequences and will be for the foreseeable future.
Historically, when prosperous people are denied food, they rebel. Before the Middle East upheaval, food shortages played a critical role in sparking the French, Russian and Iranian revolutions, and they will continue to do so.
Right now, the most vulnerable large country is China, which has lost close to 3 million pigs to African swine fever in the past year, at a time when coronavirus issues have disrupted trade. If generalized food shortages emerge, the population, already angry over the regime’s failure to contain the virus, may well react explosively.
But it is, despite all its problems and all the failings and faults with which we are surrounded, a beautiful world in which lovely moments and joyous experiences unfold perpetually, all around us all the time. When we look at our own lives, no matter how hard they are, we can always discover moments of joy and memories of joy. Perhaps they are small and at times of great stress seem almost irrelevant, but they are there.
I am reminded of a line in John Cheever’s story A Country Husband, contemplating the life of the little town of Shady Hill in which the story is set: “The village hangs, morally and economically by a thread, but it hangs by its thread in the evening light.”
Our beautiful country is hanging right now in the light of Shady Hill, by a thread, yes, but in golden light.
It is evening now at my house, the shadows are long and the air is sweet. I know all too much about the dangers that surround us, but some children are singing on the sidewalk just below my window, their voices as soft as the down of angels, singing what I hope will prove to be the song of the future.