Johann Wagener 10-31-13


Since I was a teenager with an eye for girls I’ve always been cautious about going out with the “made up” ladies for fear of waking up the next morning in bed with someone you don’t recognize and wish you hadn’t met.






“Money has to serve, not to rule.”

Johann Wagener 10-29-13



Two leaders of approximately 3 billion people are troubled about the moral decline and obsession with money around the globe. 


Strange bedfellows Pope Francis and Xi Jinping champion religion over the love of money




The Roman Catholic Church hasn’t found usually much common ground in its icy relationship with China and its Communist Party rulers, but are the two secretive institutions moving, albeit unwittingly, closer together? Recent comments by Pope Francis and officials close to Chinese president Xi Jinping that decry the abandonment of moral traditions for the unbridled pursuit of wealth sound eerily similar.

Xi “is troubled by what he sees as the country’s moral decline and obsession with money,” three sources with ties to China’s leadership told Reuters on Sunday, and he hopes the “traditional cultures” of China’s three largest faiths—Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism—”will help fill a void that has allowed corruption to flourish.”

Similarly, Pope Francis made headlines last week by lashing out at “an economic system which has at its center an idol called money,” and called for “financial reform along ethical lines that would produce in its turn an economic reform to benefit everyone.” He concluded: “Money has to serve, not to rule.”



Affordable CARE!

Johann Wagener 10-29-13


This is absurd! Why should our younger generation be forced to contribute to their own care and, God forbid, the care of the previous generation? This is outright unconstitutional and against God’s laws!


That’s the position Republicans would like Americans to take when it comes to everyone chipping in to provide healthcare to everyone; especially the old (which would include their parents if they weren’t hatched) the ill, and the poor. Even the most primitive societies (including the Cavemen) cared for their own.


Yet, in the greatest society ever known to man, we find it difficult or unacceptable to simply be “caring” for those who are either unable to care for themselves  or are passing on the mantle of responsibility to this new generation; and which, by the way they are getting their health “care” from until age 26 under the Affordable Health “CARE” law.


Republicans react to “caring” like vampires to daylight. They literally implode when somebody suggests services like healthcare, social security, medicare, food stamps, as if they were spawned from the depths of Hell.


Let’s hope for our sake, and those of our grandparents, parents, and children, that we don’t get “bitten.”




So here’s the question: Are enough of those relatively affluent young invincibles going to pay $150 or more a month for insurance rather than pay their ordinary expenses out of pocket andhope they don’t have a medical bill that drives them into bankruptcy? They aren’t doing so now, and Obamacare is probably a slightly worse deal for them financially than the insurance they’re not buying. Young invincibles seem to think that insurance should cost less than their mobile-phone contract and substantially less than their car payment.



Johann Wagener 10-28-13


Definition of ‘Affluenza’ A social condition arising from the desire to be more wealthy, successful or to “keep up with the Joneses”. Affluenza is symptomatic of a culture that holds up financial success as one of the highest achievements. People said to be affected by affluenza typically find that the very economic success they have been so vigorously chasing ends up leaving them feeling unfulfilled, and wishing for yet more wealth.




The idea of the world’s wealthy 1% is still a powerful one – and graphics like the pyramid below demonstrate that stark contrast between the few and the many.

32m individuals (just 0.7% of the world’s population) together hold US$98.7tn (or £62,000,0000,000,000, which represents 41% of global wealth).

At the other extreme, there are 3.2bn individuals at the bottom of the pyramid. Together they have 3% of global riches, despite representing 68.7% of the world population.





Johann Wagener 10-27-13


Looks like the King James version of the Bible is beginning to create problems for Wall Street, so, guess what, they are releasing a new version that will better suit their purpose. Here’s what the Wall Street Prophet has to say;

Most people know Sean Hyman from his regular appearances on Fox Business, CNBC, and Bloomberg Television, but what they don’t know is that Sean is a former pastor, and that his secret to investing is woven within the Bible.

Sean was a Christian (anyone who spends more than 1 minute with him will pick that up!). However, people usually keep their faith separate from things like . . . investing.

But not Sean.

For Sean, the Bible is his FOUNDATION for investing.

He explains how there is actually a “Biblical Money Code” woven into Scripture.

Sean says it is this Biblical Money Code that took him from making a mere $15,000 a year to now giving away up to $50,000 a year. Sean also credits this code with helping him turn his father’s $40,000 retirement account into $396,000.

Certain investment titans, Sean says, such as Warren Buffett and John Templeton, have already used this code to amass billions.


 Here’s how Wall Streets Bible compares to the Catholic or King James versions;



 Pope Francis made headlines last week by lashing out at “an economic system which has at its center an idol called money,” and called for “financial reform along ethical lines that would produce in its turn an economic reform to benefit everyone.” He concluded: “Money has to serve, not to rule.”


These comments are not the Pope’s opinion. They echo in as blunt of terms as possible the teachings of those who call themselves Christians claim to follow so this is going to be an interesting dilemma for the 1% crowd; the teachings of Jesus or Sean?


Accounts of Jesus driving the money changers from the Temple are found in Matthew 21:12-13Mark 11:15-18Luke 19:45-46; and John 2:13-17.





Entering the Temple, Jesus saw the money changers, along with merchants who were selling animals for sacrifice. Pilgrims carried coins from their home towns, most bearing the images of Roman emperors or Greek gods, which Temple authorities considered idolatrous.

The high priest ordered that only Tyrian shekels would be accepted for the annual half-shekel Temple tax because they contained a higher percentage of silver, so the money changers exchanged unacceptable coins for these shekels. Of course, they extracted a profit, sometimes much more than the law allowed.

Jesus was so filled with anger at the desecration of the holy place that he took some cords and wove them into a small whip. He ran about, knocking over the tables of the money changers, spilling coins on the ground. He drove the exchangers out of the area, along with the men selling pigeons and cattle. He also prevented people from using the court as a shortcut.

As he cleansed the Temple of greed and profit, Jesus quoted from Isaiah 56:7: “My house shall be called a house of prayer, but you make it a den of robbers.” (Matthew 21:13, ESV)
Luke 16:13-15 “No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.” The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus. He said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men, but God knows your hearts. What is highly valued among men is detestable in God’s sight.





Johann Wagener 10-26-13


The Kochs’ Brazen Buyout of Our Democracy Is Right Up There with the Worst Oligarchs in American History


Charles and David Koch, worth a combined estimated $68 billion in net worth, are among the driving forces behind the corruption of our democracy.

Between 1998 and 2008, Koch brother-controlled foundations gave more than $196 million to organizations that favor polices that would further pad the wallets of the two brothers.

In that same time period, Koch Industries, owned by the two brothers, spent $50 million on lobbying and handed out $8 million in PAC contributions.

The Kochs are also behind groups like Americans for Prosperity and FreedomWorks, which both gave and continue to give major financial support for the Tea Party movement.

And FreedomPartners, a Koch-affiliated organization, has doled out grants worth over $230 million to a variety of conservative organizations, Tea Party groups, and front-groups that oppose Obamacare.



Johann Wagener 10-24-13


There are families in the US with incomes over $60,000 a year that are just above the poverty line because every dollar they have goes to meeting their “basic needs.”


The nay sayers will retort and rant about how the statistics lie and were mad up by a bunch of losers looking for a handout. To them I say; before jumping on the soap box and throwing out those “boot strap” and “freeloaders” one liners why don’t they hit the bricks and go out and talk to families (in this case) who live in the “big apple” (NYC) and can just get by on $66,000.00 a year.


The response I get is; why don’t they just move someplace else?  Well, that’s probably not a bad idea. But where? Maybe Mexico? Or China?


Across the country, families typically need an income of at least twice the official poverty level ($42,400 for a family of four) to meet basic needs. In high-cost cities such as New York, it may take an income of over three times the poverty level to make ends meet, whereas in some rural areas, the figure may be under double the poverty level.



Johann Wagener 10-26-13


Big Government takes on Big Pharma.


Popping a pain killer every time you feel some pain is self defeating. Your body, which sends signals to your brain when you slam your hand in a car door, or trip and fall “depends” on your brain sending the proper signals in order to respond, “ouch, that hurt” or something like that. At the same time your body and your brain begin the process of managing and repairing the damage which is usually extremely effective and efficient if not interfered with.


That’s when those wonderful “pain killers” come in  and mess the whole thing up. It’s like cutting the phone line while your in the middle of a conversation with the 911 operator. Pain pills disconnect your brain from your body (or garble up the signals between them) which only serves to hinder the healing process and leads to needing intervention from doctors, massage therapists, training coaches, homeopaths, and the list goes on.


Just like physical exercise. The less you do the more you can’t do. A couch potato would tell you that a walk around the block felt like running a marathon. The same with pain. The less you use your bodies own mechanisms to manage pain, the more intervention you’re going to need; including more pain killers which then makes you less able to tolerate pain and requires more pain killers to even deal with a pinched toe as if it were a broken leg.


Why? Because the more you disconnect your brain from your body the “flabbier” your brain gets and the less effective you become in dealing with and managing your pain. Pain killers literally shut down or greatly diminish your bodies ability to work in tandem with your brain to manage the healing process.


This is not meant to imply that there are not times when the marvels of science don’t serve their purpose. I can recall an incident when, after being in an accident, I was so very happy to get a super sized dose of Demerol! I felt wonderful even though I just had been run over by a bus that left me lying on the pavement with a fractured back. Unfortunately my brain decided to turn off the lights (passed out) rather that subject me to the pain. Still, after about 3 months I can say my body/mind picked up where they left off and 40 years later I still get a few messages (pain) that tell me to slow down, not push so hard if I want to stick around a little longer.


The message for me was simple. Life at times is painful and I am built to cope with it except in cases where I run into a bus. I also remind my self that without pain I would be much more vulnerable to whatever comes my way. I also know that pain is the flip-side of pleasure and, without it, it’s hard to experience the other; even though there are pills for that too. Pain and pleasure go hand-in-hand just like darkness and light. Without darkness there would be no light.


So, the next time your body sends a signal to your brain that there’s pain, take a deep breath rather than reach for the pills. Maintain a healthy pain “threshold” will work in your favor when the tough times come. And, for most of us, that’s a given, like it or not.







Johann Wagener 10-23-13


Pope Francis is quickly becoming the spokesperson for those who advocate getting back to the basics Jesus taught. He lived a simple life. He threw the money changers out of the Temple. He divided the fish and bread among the masses. One of his parting comments were; “Father, forgive them. They know not what they do.”

And, it’s obvious, they still don’t given the state of the world’s 1/99 % economies. 


How true that rings in today’s world where the “mega churches” fill up with not to bright followers who dump millions of cash into plates that “prosperity gospel hawkers” (I just can’t bring myself to calling them preachers) claim will bring them prosperity in the “next” life. In this life the only one’s prospering from the pain these lost souls are trying to free themselves of are the so-called preachers. 


Jesus would be ashamed as was Pope Francis when he learned of one of the Princes of the Church blatantly having a fling on the backs of the poor and needy of this world.  Sound familiar? Looks like some in the Church have also been infected with the 1% trickle down virus.





‘Bishop of Bling’ banished from German diocese

A German Roman Catholic prelate, known as the “luxury bishop”, has been told to leave his residence, theVatican has said.

Pope Francis made the order after it emerged Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst of Limburg spent €31 million on a luxurious home.

The move, just short of a resignation, was taken just days after the bishop had met the pope in Rome to discuss the scandal.

The expenditure sparked anger among German Catholics and protests outside his cathedral, at a time when the pontiff is stressing the importance of humility and serving the poor.

The media in Germany has dubbed Tebartz-van Elst “the luxury bishop” or “bishop bling” after an initial audit of his spending, ordered after a Vatican monitor visited Limburg last month, revealed the project cost at least six times more than planned.

Tebartz-van Elst has apologised for any “carelessness or misjudgement on my part” but denies wrongdoing.

The pope has tried to set an example of austerity by renouncing the spacious papal apartments for a small residence in a Vatican guest house. He has also told bishops not to live “like princes”.



Johann Wagener 10-22-13


Some call it Capitalism, others, The Free Market, and then there’s Trickle Down Economics. But, a closer look smells of Ponzi. It’s simple really. A few slick people con a few other people into buying into a “get rich quick” scheme. They then take their money and find more people to take more money from and in the process giving back a little of what they take to make it look like every one is getting rich, and that brings in more people and more money and, you know the rest. All along the way the few guys at the top are taking a little from everyone paying into the scheme which adds up to a lot of money but goes un-noticed because, hey! everyone’s getting rich!. This can go on ad infinitum as long as more people keep coming in with more money unless, one day, everyone decides to take their money out at one time. It’s commonly referred to as a “bubble” popping, which happened most recent in 2008. 


How this differs from an actual Ponzi scheme is that the guys at the top usually don’t get punished, or, as in 2008, actually get bailed out by the same people they ripped of. The government simply prints more money and gives it to them at zero interest for a promise that they won’t do it again, which is what they say each time the bubble pops. They then take that money, pay themselves a handsome salary and some hefty bonuses and use what’s left to start the process all over again. 


What we end up with is what has been coined as the 1% and then, there’s everybody else. Maybe it’s time for a change?




Average America vs the One Percent


Unequal wealth distribution is hardly a new or uniquely American problem. In fact, it’s been prevalent throughout society since humans first built civilizations: A small minority of aristocrats has always wielded the most power throughout history. In modern times, America lags behind nearly every other first-world nation in closing the gap between the classes. In fact, we’re making it worse.


Before you can talk about the 1 percent, it’s important to put the figures into perspective by understanding exactly what that figure means. The average annual income of the top 1 percent of the population is $717,000, compared to the average income of the rest of the population, which is around $51,000. The real disparity between the classes isn’t in income, however, but in net value: The 1 percent are worth about $8.4 million, or 70 times the worth of the lower classes.

The 1 percent are executives, doctors, lawyers and politicians, among other things. Within this group of people is an even smaller and wealthier subset of people, 1 percent of the top, or .01 percent of the entire nation. Those people have incomes of over $27 million, or roughly 540 times the national average income. Altogether, the top 1 percent control 43 percent of the wealth in the nation; the next 4 percent control an additional 29 percent.

It’s historically common for a powerful minority to control a majority of finances, but Americans haven’t seen a disparity this wide since before the Great Depression — and it keeps growing.