Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Justified Shooting

April 7, 2010

This is Paul Langone an off duty private security guard.  Back in October of last year a psychiatric patient came to see his doctor at a medical building at Massachusetts General Hospital.   This man was obviously sick and suffering from a severe psychiatric illness which really makes this a tragic story all the way around.

For no apparent reason the patient began to stab his doctor with a knife that had a four inch blade.  The victim doctor started to scream and two other doctors came to her aid.

The perpetrator slashed one of the doctors so both doctors ran to seek cover.    Meanwhile our hero, Mr. Langone, who incidentally also was a Golden Gloves champ a decade ago, was summoned by the doctor’s screams.

As he arrived at the scene of the assault he saw the patient standing over the doctor actively stabbing her.  Mr. Langone unholstered his Glock 27, identified himself as a SPO and ordered the patient to stop the attack.  The patient being in the throes of some “event” charged Mr. Langone who shot one time hitting the patient.  The 40 at this close range didn’t drop the patient so Mr. Langone had to fire two more times hitting the patient in the stomach and head.  This ended the attack.  The patient died from his wounds.

It took six months, but finally the DA decided that the shooting was justified. So see, sometimes we in Massachusetts do get it right.  I feel bad for the patient who was killed too, and his wife and kids.  Mental illness is a real disease, but it’s a good thing that Mr. Langone came to intervene.

Another person saved by a licensed gun owner.  Had Mr. Langone been a resident of the City of Boston he very likely would not have been granted a LTC in which case the doctor would have most assuredly been killed.  Mr. Langone’s father relates speaking to the doctor’s husband who allegedly said “if my son got there any later, he feels his wife would not be alive.”  Not only was the presence of our hero necessary, but let us not forget that the ability of a willing hero to be confidently armed was also a necessary component.

You know not a day goes by that I don’t see a news report where I say to myself if only those victims were armed or trained.

GET OUTSIDE EVERYDAY!!!

Pretty huh?

Terrorism and privacy

January 26, 2010

Took me a while to get around to this, but it’s been percolating through the dark recesses of my troubled mind for some time now.  You have all heard of the Christmas Day Panty Bomber.

I don’t get it.  Since 9/11 there can be no doubt that the government is snoopy snooping to a greater degree in each of our lives.  If we fly we need to take off our shoes and belts.  I couldn’t even carry a little Swiss Army knife into my state capital.  You know the gubmint is capturing, tracking and analyzing all of our banking, phone, credit card and Internet activity.    Anyways, I feel as though the government is imposing itself into private aspects of my life since 9/11.

So the father of the Christmas Day Panty Bomber actually called up the authorities to alert them.  U.S. government officials tell The Associated Press that the Nigerian man charged with trying to destroy a jetliner came to the attention of U.S. intelligence in November when his father went to the U.S. embassy in Abuja, Nigeria, to express his concerns about his son.”

I just don’t get how if the government is collecting all of this information, our privacy is being diminished, we’re being watched and taped more often and more inconvenienced rather than less, how they let this guy get on board a plane.  I mean why the hell do we put up with Big Brother getting bigger every day, week and year if there if there is no benefit in it for us.   I want to know what the hell they are doing with all of this information that they are collecting if they can’t even use it for its intended purpose.   I know the government has infiltrated meetings of peace activists.  Maybe the information is being used to track political enemies or for commercial gain.  One thing for sure though, it doesn’t seem like it’s making us any safer.  When one is looking for a needle in a haystack I never got the point of making the haystack insurmountably large.  Privacy, with the ease and speed that information is transmitted,  is too easy to destroy.

Why do we stand for Government trespasses?

Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. B. Franklin, 1759

GET OUTSIDE EVERYDAY!!!

It’s that time of year.  It was a beautiful weekend.  Saturday was cold, dry and sunny so there was maybe an inch or two of fresh snow on hard pack.  Sunday was 40 or so so the snow was all soft like mashed potaters.    I like skiing abandoned ski areas.  I like skiing through trees.  I like to walk up and ski down.   This is a picture of the trail where the t-bar used to run.  You can see the big rusty old pole with the wheel at the top that the cable used to run along.   The trail is a bit overgrown.  This trail is maybe five feet wide and, trust me, it is much steeper than it looks.  In fact if you don’t ski you may not even be able to see a trail running straight down the hill.  This truly was first tracks, not even footprints.

And here is another nice trail.  I am always literally dumbfounded that I hardly ever run into anyone else when I am recreating in the out of doors.  If you ski you gotta appreciate how nice this trail is.    If you look at the horizon you can see massive office buildings and neighborhoods of houses.  Amazing to find hidden little jewels like this in the center of suburbia.  There were some footprints, but I was the first person to carve some turns.

And there is not a less crowded , better or cheaper ski trail in all of New England.  So for your own mental and physical health GET OUTSIDE EVERY DAY!!!


Guns at protests

August 18, 2009

Good.  In case you haven’t seen it, a man carried what looks to be an AR at a protest in Phoenix, AZ. art.obama.gun.pool That’s fine by me.  I think it’s good to exercise our rights.  I also think that it’s good for those in government to be aware that the forceful overthrow of government is always an option.

PHOENIX, Arizona (CNN) — A man toting an assault rifle was among a dozen protesters carrying weapons while demonstrating outside President Obama’s speech to veterans on Monday, but no laws were broken. It was the second instance in recent days in which weapons have been seen near presidential events.”

I understand that some folks are concerned.  I figure some people who are opposed are just anti-gun or gun control nuts.  I don’t care about them.

Then there is probably another group of folks who are concerned that carrying guns at political protests can lead to violence.  I understand their concerns.  I hope that those in power are concerned too.

gun-at-town-hall-chyron

And at an Obama town hall meeting in New Hampshire another protester had his sidearm openly displayed.

Once again I think it’s fine and appropriate for American citizens to be exercising their rights.  I also think it’s important for our elected representatives to understand that change can be forced too.  Most Americans were against the bailouts for Wall Street, yet our congresspeople ignored MILLIONS of phone calls and emails and letters and went ahead and bailed out big finance and big insurance.

It’s great for people to get out and protest things.  I wish more Americans took to the streets to petition the government for a redress of our grievances. Be careful though folks, cops being what they are, don’t allow yourself to be drawn into some unnecessary conflict with the blue enforcers of government policy.

Those we elect need to know and understand that they will be held accountable.  Law is in the books.  Order comes about through the ongoing threat of force.

GET OUTSIDE EVERYDAY!!!! ©

This is lamb’s quarters.  It is definitely one of the more tasty wild edibles.  Some stuff is good to eat and I’ll grab whenever I run into.  Stuff such as berries, the blueberries, the blackberries and mulberries.  Yum.  Then there is other stuff that is genuinely good to eat to, stuff like lambs quarters, dandelions and purslane fall into this category.  Then you got a whole lot of stuff that just ain’t that good and I’d only eat if I was hungry.  Anyways, back to the point at hand, lambs quarters.  This stuff is in the second category.  it is good to eat anytime.  Lambs quarters is the pale looking plant with the leaves shaped like goose feet.  that’s also another name for lamb’s quarters – white goosefoot.

q10Here is a better shot of a lamb’s quarter plant.  Some of the ways I spot this plant are the whitish leaves that seem kind of waxy and the hollow stem.  It can grow 4-5 feet tall and gets massive seed heads on it.  These plants develop so many seeds that Indians used to collect the seed and grind it to flour.  You can also boil the seed and make a sort of oatmeal from it.

q9Wildman Steve Brill writes, This European relative of spinach and beets, which grows throughout the North America, bears large quantities of edible, spinach-flavored leaves you can collect from mid-spring to late fall. It’s one of the best sources of beta-carotene, calcium, potassium, and iron in the world; also a great source of trace minerals, B-complex vitamins, vitamin C, and fiber.”

Lamb’s quarters grows everywhere.  I guarantee you that if you don’t know what it is there is some growing within a few hundred yards of where you live – city, country or suburbs and you consider it a weed.  You want to eat the youngest leaves or the smallest leaves from the top of the plant.  This is a great plant to start foraging with because it is easy to ID and really does taste great.  In addition it could keep you alive.  This is a real tasty wild edible.  Get yourself some field guides, positively ID the ones in your neighborhood and try it out.

Our future, the future

August 14, 2009

Those of us living in the reality based world expect the economy and the economic outlook of the average person to get worse over the coming years.  Sure there’ll be ups and downs for as one of my favorite writers writes, “the market doesn’t zig and zig; the market zigs and zags.”

A formerly homeless man was arrested and charged with injuring two homeless people when he threw a Molotov cocktail into the large concrete pipe where the victims were staying, Lynn police and fire investigators said.  Brian Bowman, 28, admitted throwing the lighted Molotov cocktail into an unused concrete sewer pipe in a vacant lot at 229R Lynnway around 1:30 a.m. June 26, while the victims were inside, according to a fire investigation report.

The catalyst of this firebombing, other than economic hopelessness, was an argument at some point over the victim allegedly stealing the perpetrator’s fishing gear.  If you are homeless and/or hungry I imagine that fishing gear is pretty important to you.

I generally have had no problems with homeless people.   I treat the homeless as I treat everyone else that I may meet.

So prepare yourself for increased violence and less compassion.  Hungry people will burn you alive for a few hooks, bobbers and lead sinkers.

GET OUTSIDE EVERYDAY!!! ©

This is purple coneflower, purple echinacea.   Purple coneflower is used to stimulate the immune system.     The best parts of the plant to use are the roots and the tops.  You probably know where some purple coneflower grows.  It was widely used by Native Americans.

y4It’s best taken at the first onset of symptoms of illness.  I’ve also read that it can be used for disorders of the skin because the plant contains some cortisone like properties, but I’ve never used it topically.

y3You can squeeze the plant and use the juice or make tinctures and teas from the roots and tops.  Either way it’s a nice addition to your garden.  I also love the geometry of the flower.

Health care tort reform and yarrow

July 29, 2009

Part of health insurance reform is tort reform.  We hear a lot of people talk about tort reform and how tort reform is necessary.  I worked for three years in a very prestigious plaintiff’s litigation firm.

Three big points to make.

1. Everyone is against lawsuits until a battery explodes in their face, a stairway collapses under their feet, a surgeon leaves forceps inside your belly or a radiologist misses a radiolucent lump in your brain.  Then as soon as someone perceives that they’ve been hurt they come running to a lawyer to fix their problem.  My point is that just like government provided economic benefits, you are against the other guy’s, not your own.  You want tort reform for them, not for you.  Look at the example of Tom Delay (Scumbag-TX), when his own father was hurt they wasted no time filing a lawsuit. Not to be out done you also have the example of Rick Santorum (Dirtbag-PA),

“Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., says that the No. 1 health care crisis in his state is medical lawsuit abuse and in the past he’s called for a $250,000 cap on non-economic damage awards or awards for pain and suffering. “We need to do something now to fix the medical liability problem in this country,” he declared at a rally in Washington D.C., this past spring.  But Santorum’s wife sued a doctor for $500,000 in 1999. She claimed that a botched spinal manipulation by her chiropractor led to back surgery, pain and suffering, and sued for twice the amount of a cap Santorum has supported.”

So just like I said everyone is for reform as long as it only restricts the other guy and not you personally.  You should see how people come running to lawyers as soon as they think they have “a case.”

2. The plaintiff’s bar accepts cases on contingency.  You know what this means?  Contingency means that a lawyer gets paid only if she wins.  The lawyer getting paid is contingent on them winning the case.   This is a big deal.  Expert witnesses in cases can cost $5,000 or even $10,000 for a single day!!  Plus they always want to be put up in the most expensive hotel rooms.  A big case can go on for two or three years.  There has to be depositions, which are expensive.  Maybe the lawyer wants some of his own testing done or he ma need to hire a PI to do some footwork.   Plus there can be tens, hundreds or even thousands of hours put into a big case.

The whole time that the case is pending the secretary needs to be paid, rent needs to be paid, insurance needs to be paid, utilities need to be paid.  You get the idea.  All of this money is out of the lawyer’s own pocket.  If he loses the case he not only is out all of his out of pocket expenses, but he never gets paid for his time.  ZERO.

So lawyers will only accept cases that have a very good chance of being successfully pleaded.  A lawyer will not accept a marginal case, because they can work for years and pay tens of thousands of dollars in out of pockets expenses and than never get paid because they lose the case.

Would you work on contingency?

3. It is very difficult to win a case.  The jury pool has been pretty well corrupted.  The insurance industry, big business and their paid servants in Congress have been sure to inform everyone of run away jury awards, the hot coffee case and every aberrant two standard deviations out of the norm award.  It is very tough to win a jury case.  Questions of doubt are answered in favor of the defendant.  The plaintiff needs to convince everyone.  The defense just needs to convince one.

Don’t easily give up your right to seek a redress for your injuries.  Those of you opposed to government involvement in the health care system, those who cry socialism, are you prepared tohave the same government set caps on lawsuit damages?  It’s a bad idea.

GET OUTSIDE EVERYDAY!! ©

This is yarrow.  It used to be called names like soldier herb or knight’s wort because yarrow can stop bleeding.  Yarrow is one of our most useful herbal remedies.  It is particularly good for women and the problems they may have related to menopause and menses.   It is worth reading up on.

02This is a nice shot to show you how you can identify yarrow.  Notice the leaves look fernlike.  Each leaf is almost feathery.  It’s latin name is something like millefoil.  The prefix mille means something like thousands, same prefix as millipede, because millipedes got 1,000 legs.  Well yarrow has 1,000 leaves, each leaf is like 1,000 sub-leaves.

Here is a pic of it blooming.

oDon’t confuse it with wild carrot.  The leaves and flowers are different.  A yarrow poultice is used to stop bleeding.  Yarrow tea is used for colds, fevers and internal bleeding.  It’s also known as an anti-inflammatory.  So get your own field guides and look up yarrow.  Yarrow is a must for your herbal remedy toolbox.

Legalize it!!

July 27, 2009

The time has come to legalize It.  It being marijuana.   “Calif. tax officials: Legal pot would bring $1.4B”  Think Cali can use that kind of money?  How about your own state?  Hell, even the Republican governor has admitted to smoking pot at one point in his life.    “The Equalization Board used law enforcement and academic studies to calculate that about 16 million ounces — or 500 tons — of marijuana are consumed in California each year.” WOW!!

So on the one hand states are missing out on billions in tax revenues, on the other hand enormous sums of money are being spent by the federal and state governments to further perpetuate the illegality of marijuana.  Billions are spent every year to keep a plant illegal.

“In 2007 the Department of Justice reported that there were 1,841,182 drug arrests in the United States; the report also stated that there were  more drug abuse arrests than any other category of offenses. Marijuana arrests accounted for 47.4% of the drug abuse arrests. This allows us to estimate that about 872,720 persons were arrested for marijuana offenses. Eighty-nine percent of these arrests were for possession.”

This is not only an economic issue for state governments, but it is also a liberty issue for private citizens.  Consenting adults should be able to do pretty much anything they want that doesn’t impact others.   The cops like it though.  The seizure of private property prior to conviction and roadblocks are further intrusions on citizens’ rights.  Why give the cops another reason to interact with citizens.

Pot also isn’t the gateway drug anymore than milk and cookies.  How many heroin junkies started with milk n’ cookies?

Since pot was first criminalized do you think a single person has been denied due to marijuana’s banned status.  Kids in elementary school and prisoners in jail all have access to the illegal weed.  Goes to show all the money spent on cops, prisons, judges, and brand spanking new cop toys is wasted money.  Prohibition does not work.  Prohibition puts a substance in the control of criminals and drives up the market price.

Making pot illegal only serves to benefit: cops, prisons, lawyers and politicians.  The fastest way to cure all of the violence in Columbia and Mexico and American cities is to take drugs out of the hands of criminals.  How do we accomplish that overnight? LEGALIZE IT.

So there you go six simple arguments to legalize It.

1. issue of personal liberty and self-determination, legalizing It would help to limit Big G Government intruding into our private affairs.  Why give them another excuse?

2. It isn’t nearly as dangerous as those with beholden interests make it out to be;

3. opportunity cost of lost tax revenues;

4. direct costs of keeping pot illegal;

5. indirect costs of giving kids a permanent record and the loss of student loans;

6. the ineffective War on Drugs has been an utter and total failure.

GET OUTSIDE EVERYDAY!! ©

d7

Pretty gold finch feather.  I saw blue jay feather yesterday that was as blue as the bluest sky.   Really pretty amazing.  We were sitting outside the other day and four yellow finches were flying around us putting on an acrobatic flying show.

This is the flowerhead of staghorn sumac.  I posted a winter picture of it back when snow was covering the ground.  You’ve seen these before haven’t you.  Usually you see them in areas that have been previously disturbed.  Like me.  The plants are kind of hairy.  Like me.

d9

You can make a sort of lemonade from the red berries by picking off the red flowerhead and soaking a bunch of them in cold water.  Use maybe 6-8 flowerheads per big pitcher of water.  Always use cold water and then strain it through  a coffee filter or something to strain out all of the little red hairs.  You can add sugar if you want to. “Of 100 medicinal plants screened for antibiotic activity, this species [staghorn sumac] was most active, attributed to conetent of gallic acid, 4-methoxygallic acid, and methyl gallate.” Foster & Duke, Peterson Field Guide.

Dick Cheney

July 18, 2009

Four more banks were taken over by the FDIC this afternoon. Two of them were rather large banks based in California.  I’m talking Billion $ banks. Now back to the evil topic at hand.

Dick Cheney the well known hawk never served in the military.  He was famously quoted as saying,”I had other priorities in the ’60s than military service.” Washington Post 1989.   He also received five draft deferments for a variety of reasons.

And although the Republicans were very successful at blaming President Clinton for DOD cutbacks the truth of the matter is that Dick Cheney under Bush 41 was responsible for major budget and troop cuts.   Did you know that Dick Cheney as Sec Def cut the Army troop levels by 26%?

“Over Cheney’s four years as secretary of defense, encompassing budgets for fiscal years 1990-93, DoD’s total obligational authority in current dollars declined from $291.3 billion to $269.9 billion. Except for FY 1991, when the TOA budget increased by 1.7 percent, the Cheney budgets showed negative real growth: -2.9 percent in 1990, -9.8 percent in 1992, and -8.1 percent in 1993. During this same period total military personnel declined by 19.4 percent, from 2.202 million in FY 1989 to 1.776 million in FY 1993. The Army took the largest cut, from 770,000 to 572,000-25.8 percent of its strength. The Air Force declined by 22.3 percent, the Navy by 14 percent, and the Marines by 9.7 percent.”

Dick Cheney was so good at being the hatchet man that he was hired by Halliburton after leaving the Bush 41 Whitehouse.  At Halliburton Cheney reigned over leadership of the company at a time when Halliburton was tendering bribes to secure business in Nigeria.   Under Cheney, even with economic sanctions in place, Halliburton did business in such places as Iran, Iraq and Libya.  ?  So the revolving door between industry and government continues to spin.

Now it comes out that Cheney gave the order for the CIA to mislead Congress concerning President Bush’s illegal and unconstitutional surveillance program.

“The Central Intelligence Agency withheld information about a secret counterterrorism program from Congress for eight years on direct orders from former Vice President Dick Cheney, the agency’s director, Leon E. Panetta, has told the Senate and House intelligence committees, two people with direct knowledge of the matter said Saturday.”

Although they claim that Cheney’s secrecy in this case didn’t involve Bush 43’s domestic surveillance program, who knows what to believe.   What beats the band though is that “Andrew Card (Bush’s Chief of Staff); David Addington (Cheney’s CoS and Counsel); John Ashcroft (AG); John Yoo (DoJ’s Office of Legal Counsel); and George Tenet (CIA)” all refused to cooperate with the investigation.   Think we could get away with that?

And the thing that gets me is that Cheney has been taking to the airwaves at every opportunity to proclaim that the Obama Administration is putting us at risk.  No, Cheney can say whatever he wants, that doesn’t bother me.  What bothers me is that There has been no comment from Mr Cheney.So the sycophant Big M Media will bend over backwards to give unlimited access to Cheney to use as a platform to spread his private message, but when it comes to holding the PTB accountable “no comment” suffices.

Whomever interviews Cheney next, the first question out of their mouth better be about illegally keeping secrets from Congress.  Wanna make a bet?  Cheney is part and parcel fo the elite global ruling class.  If it was found that eating baby brains would cure Cheney’s terminal disease, make no mistake about it, the baby brains would be flowing.  He is an international pirate.

GET OUTSIDE EVERYDAY!!©   This is the flower to the milkweed plant.  They smell like summer.   The milkweed is a very edible plant as long as you boil the white sap out of it.  You can take these flowers and batter em up in a tempura or beer batter and fry them.

P1010010


Goldman Sachs & magic mushrooms

July 16, 2009

WTF.  Goldman Sachs is the poster kid of what is wrong with our country.  The blogosphere is alive with folks ranking on Goldman Sachs and with good reason.  First, you have the revolving door between industry and government where folks like Summers, Rubin, Geithner, Paulson, Neel Cash n’ Carry, et al work in private commerce, then they get jobs in the public sector where they change private commercial interests into  public policy then it’s back through the revolving door into private industry to rake in the big bucks.  Or as the NYT wrote, Government Sachs:

“While many Wall Streeters have made the trek to Washington, there is no question that the axis of power at the Treasury Department tilts toward Goldman. That has led some to assume that the interests of the bank, and Wall Street more broadly, are the first priority. There is also the question of whether the department’s actions benefit the personal finances of the former Goldman executives and their friends.”

So this private firm, Goldman Sachs, owned by private investors gets an enormous public bailout totaling BILLIONS of dollars in public funds.   Predictably Goldman Sachs stock goes up,  enriching each private investor.  This was an enormous transfer of wealth from the pockets of hairdressers, grocery baggers, carpenters, teachers, cops, doctors, pet groomers and lawyers into the pockets of the owners of Goldman Sachs.

“Goldman Sachs Group Inc executives sold almost $700 million worth of stock since the collapse of rival Lehman Brothers last year, the Financial Times said on Monday. The newspaper said that most of the stock sales took place while the biggest U.S. investment bank was bailed out by the government with $10 billion of taxpayer money, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.”

You got that?  Goldman Sachs was sucking because it overextended itself.  The taxpayers bailed it out.  Stock prices went up and executives sold, profited on the backs of taxpayers.

When my business went belly up.  I got no bailout.  I sold everything I had, barely held onto my house and paid the debt off.  In 2007 three bigshots at Goldman each took home more than $70,000,000 in pay EACH.  Then a year later they come to American wage earners with cup in hand.  Ska-Rew!!

So last year right around Thanksgiving Goldman was trading at $52.  Since then on the backs of wage earners it has tripled in value.  Who is getting the benefit of that gain?  It sure as hell isn’t the American wage earner taxpayer who generously contributed to bailing out Goldman.

And of course Goldman is back to paying out million dollar bonuses to the select few while the vast majority of Americans are still suffering through a personal financial crisis.

I’m really not qualified to write on Goldman, for that I turn to someone much better educated than me, Mike Morgan.  I strongly suggest reading Mr. Morgan on a regular basis.

“Shame on Meredith – Today she prostituted herself in her nauseating glowing remarks about Goldman Sachs. What Meredith failed to point out, was exactly how and where Goldman Sachs is making their money . . . on the backs of pension funds, endowments and other fiduciary money that they are manipulating and front running. I should also mention, Meredith has failed to even hint at the problems facing Goldman Sachs as a going concern.”

Then I hear that some trading software was stolen from Government Sachs and that this software would allow the owners to manipulate the marketplace“The 34-year-old prosecutor also dropped this bombshell: “The bank has raised the possibility that there is a danger that somebody who knew how to use this program could use it to manipulate markets in unfair ways.” So Goldman admits to having software that can manipulate markets. Let’s see what happens to them.

Make no mistake about it, there are a very few individuals at the top of the food chain who are running things for their benefitEverything else – Republican, Democrat, Palestinian, Israeli, white, black, gay, straight, pro-life, pro-choice is nothing but frosting.  The real nuts of the matter to the powerful few is the accumulation of wealth and power.

GET OUTSIDE EVERYDAY!! ©

Okay folks, any mushroom experts out there? I saw this pretty little mushroom so I figured I’d share it.  I think that it is amanita muscaria aka magic mushroom.  I’m not certain because I don’t see the rings around the stem, but I do think that I see the universal veil near the base of the cap, but no rings on the stem.  Any of you know for sure, or have a better educated guess than me?

05This is some summer raspberry growing near my house.

q6

Dow Jones Industrial Average

June 3, 2009

If you’re curious enough to be reading my little blog, then you know that GM was dropped from the Dow Jones Industrial Average (“DJIA”) and replaced with Cisco Systems, Inc.  Well at least one company that made something is being replaced by another company that makes stuff.  Another component of the DJIA was dropped, Citigroup, Inc. and replaced by Travelers Insurance Co.  Replacing one money shuffling leech with another money shuffling leech.

So it got me to thinking how the makeup of the DJIA may have changed over the years so I did some light research.  October 1, 1928 is the first time that the DJIA was made up of thirty (30) companies.  Here they are:

October 1, 1928

Allied Chemical General Railway Signal * Sears Roebuck & Company
American Can Goodrich * Standard Oil (NJ) *
American Smelting International Harvester Texas Company
American Sugar International Nickel * Texas Gulf Sulphur *
American Tobacco B Mack Truck Union Carbide *
Atlantic Refining * Nash Motors * U.S. Steel
Bethlehem Steel * North American * Victor Talking Machine *
Chrysler * Paramount Publix (formerly Paramount Famous Lasky) Westinghouse Electric *
General Electric Company Postum Incorporated * Woolworth
General Motors Corporation Radio Corporation * Wright Aeronautical *

Look at what we got here – manufacturers, auto and truck manufacturers (3),  steel companies, GE, railways, rubber, commodities and an aircraft manufacturer.  Then you have three, what I would consider, consumer driven retail outlets – Sears, Woolworth and Victrola.  I don’t see one bank or insurance company.  All in all, the DJ Industrial Average, looks, well, Industrial95% of these companies seem like they made something.

Then as of the latest reshuffling:

June 1, 2009

3M Company Dupont Kraft Foods Inc.*
Alcoa Incorporated Exxon Mobil Corporation McDonald’s Corporation
American Express Company General Electric Company Merck & Company, Incorporated
AT&T Incorporated Cisco Systems, Inc.
Microsoft Corporation
Bank of America Corporation Hewlett-Packard Company Pfizer Incorporated
Boeing Corporation Home Depot Incorporated Procter & Gamble Company
Caterpillar Incorporated Intel Corporation United Technologies Corporation
Chevron Corporation International Business Machines Verizon Communications Inc.
Travelers Insurance Co.
Johnson & Johnson Wal-Mart Stores Incorporated
Coca-Cola Company J.P. Morgan Chase & Company Walt Disney Company

Now let’s look at what makes up the DJIA.  Well the first thing I notice is that auto/truck manufacturing is no longer represented.  The banks/insurers/money changers are well represented however with AmEx, BofA, J.P. Morgan and Travelers.  Then as far as consumer retail types I’d say we have Coke, Home Depot, McDonalds, Wal-Mart and Walt Disney and maybe even Johnson & Johnson, Kraft and Proctor & Gamble.  A couple of telecomms and electronic manufacturers.  It seems like a lot more useless junk in the latest DJIA then the original in 1928Now I only count seven companies that actually make something. And no, I don’t count Coca Cola as making anything other than cavities and obesity.

It’s no longer Industrial. So what’s it say about our country and what we’re making now.  We don’t seem to be making much now.  What’s that saying I heard about paying each other to do each other’s laundry.  To use the newest hyped vocabulary – It’s unsustainable.

I may be wrong, probably am, but I expect another leg down in the economy.  I don’t think nearly enough malls, stores, office parks, restaurants, mattress stores, cell phone stores and auto dealers need to close. I think we have many more great adjustments to suffer through.  Don’t let your guard down.

I live in the suburbs with the two lane divided roadway that is plastered with junky stores, big box stores, strip malls and restaurants.  It’s my belief, and I may be wrong, that one third of these will be closing over the coming years.  Next time you are driving around imagine one third of the crappy, little junk stores that get by on consumers spending their money closing.  Consumers are tightening their purses like a frog’s ass, and a frog’s ass is watertight.

GET OUTSIDE EVERYDAY!!

memorial day 092Pretty cool picture, huh.  Unless you have allergies.  The reason you can see the web so well, and the reason the web looks kind of fuzzy, is because it is totally covered by a thick layer of pollen.  You can see Spidey waiting in the center for her next visitor.  Yum!

Border fence

May 26, 2009

The “Virtual Border Fence” is another example of corporate, Military-Industrial Complex welfare.  I virtual-border-fence-5am all for protecting our borders.  I think that we need to shut our borders down.

In announcing the resumption of a “virtual fence” on the U.S.-Mexican border yesterday, the Obama administration sent a powerful message of continuity with President George W. Bush..described a five-year, multibillion-dollar plan…

Originally as envisioned by Bush 43 the project was to cost $7,600,000,000 (Billion), but its been (ahem) cut to $6,700,000,000.  That kind of money seems like it would help a lot of homeowners, pay for healthcare and hire a ton of border agents.  These are HUGE numbers so we need to lend a little perspective here – so let’s say we want to pay border agents $100,000 a year including benefits, that means that $6.7 Billion would hire 67,000 border agents.   We could hire 67,000 border agents at $100 grand each!! Got that?  67,000 agents!!  Think that would help the economy?

This is corporate welfare of the worst kind at a time when our country can’t afford it.  Of course Boeing has its hand out.

V.1 of the border fence was a complete failure; “Between 1998 and 2005, the government spent $429 million on two border surveillance efforts that were so unreliable that only 1 percent of alarms led to arrests.”    Uncle Sugar not being one to allow military contractors to go away empty handed though is willing to spend another $6,700,000,000 on V.2.

Why is there always enough money for high-tech gadgetry, but not enough money for the simple things?  We blow hundreds of millions on Halliburton contracts, but can’t buy enough armored humvees.    Blow billions on high-tech unproven, unnecessary jet fighters, but can’t give our troops clean water and safe showers.A third U.S. service member has been determined to have been electrocuted in a shower in Iraq…

Our guys and gals in overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan shouldn’t have to equip themselves from a Brigade Quartermaster catalog or rely on the kindness of friends and family. If you know someone that has served, than you know that they all have a wish list of what they need from ceramic plates for their vest to knives and shoes and food.  My cousin had his stuff stolen and the government freaking billed him!!

How about employing a low cost, low tech solution that works or onceAhh, but then there wouldn’t be so much money for the Boeings, Lorals and General Dynamics of the world now would there.

Have no doubt about it, this has more to do with corporate giveaways to the military-industrial complex than it does with border security.  The Naval War College performed a study, “Time to Put the Military on the Border.”  Some of the study’s conclusions are that “it is well documented that the U.S. Border Patrol is undermanned, under-equipped, and under-trained…”

So what do we do, do we hire more border agents, equip them better or train them more comprehensively?  Of course not, the leaders of both political parties, Democrats and Republicans, Corporatists both to be sure, figure out a way to pad military contractors like Boeing.

And since we’re on the subject of military contractors ripping off taxpayers with the assistance of government tools, that shower story above, the contractor was KBR.  How do you think KBR was punished?  They weren’t.  They were rewarded!!!  “Military contractor KBR Inc. was paid $83.4 million in bonuses for electrical work in Iraq — much of it after the military’s contract management agency recognized the contractor was doing shoddy electrical work…

Does that piss you off!?!?!? IT PISSES ME OFF TO NO END.

  • We have banks that screwed up, that rape borrowers with bogus fees and what should be illegal interest rates and the taxpayers have to bail them out.
  • We have car companies that screwed up, built cars no one wants to buy and the taxpayers end up giving them huge bailouts too.  I think the taxpayer spoke when we didn’t buy enough of their cars.
  • We have military contractors that can’t build a safe shower and they get bonuses.
  • We have more military contractors who coudn’t build an effective border fence so they get more taxpayer money.

It makes me feel like checking out of the system altogether.  We have to stop feeding that beast called government. I hate how my hard-earned money is being wasted by this beastly government.

Our goverment is out of control and unresponsive to the citizens that empower it to serve their interests!!

When in the course of human events….

Get outside everyday!!

12I hope that you have a garden.  You don’t need much space.  These are some of the radishes that I grew.  I also grew white radishes.   You can get twice this amount of radishes from a four foot square area (2 * 2).  You could even try to grow veggies in a container if you are so inclined.

Why our country is sucking…

May 15, 2009

That useless walking pile of skin, bones and hair Nancy Pelosi (Moron – CA) said “The CIA gave me inaccurate information” about waterboarding, and she added that the CIA “misled the Congress.

She went on to say that the CIA misleads Congress all of the time. Pelosi said, “They mislead us all the time…”  You get that, the esteemed speaker of the house said that the CIA misleads, err lies, to Congress all of the time?

What did Bush Chimp use to say, There’s an old saying in Tennessee — I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again.” —President George W. Bush, Nashville, Tenn., Sept. 17, 2002

So Pelosi is damn fool.  She claims that the CIA lies to her all of the time and yet she falls for it all of the time.  With folks like her in Congress is it any wonder that our futures are spinning down the drain like a teenage boy’s love?

It makes me want to puke.  Really, it makes me ill.  Shouldn’t she be exercising some oversight, rather than allowing herself to be lied to and used as a pawn.  It’s called the balance of power.  Maybe she should look it up. Hey, Madam Speaker pay a bit more attention to the people’s business and a little bit less attention to your hubbie’s land deals.  Useless.

Then John Boehner (Moron – OH), said that he can’t imagine that the CIA would ever mislead a member of Congress.  “It’s hard for me to imagine that anyone in our intelligence area would ever mislead a member of Congress. They come to the [Capitol] Hill to brief us because they’re required to, under the law,” Boehner said. “I don’t know what motivation they would have to mislead anyone. And I don’t believe — and don’t feel — that in the briefings that I’ve had that I’ve been misled at any one point in time.

Boehner is also a moron.  He is either lying or dull as a teaspoon.  Who in their right mind can’t imagine the CIA lying to Congress? Of course the CIA lies.  If they didn’t they wouldn’t be doing their job.  They lie, cheat, overthrow elected heads of state, make exploding cigars, foment unrest, specialize in false flag attacks and so on.

So not only did Boehner receive $3 Million in campaign contributions from the Robber Barons and Banks that he voted to bail out, he is also a dullard to boot.

We need to wrestle our country back from these people that we elected.  They are looting our Treasury, encumbering our futures and wagering our lives at the track.

With leadership like this is it any wonder why our country is sucking?

240px-TREEBEARD

Short post today.  I’m not home so no Getting Outside Pics for this post, but still GET OUTSIDE EVERYDAY, commune with the ENTS.

Back to survival stuff tomorrow.  In the coming days I’m going to do posts on: a water filter I bought, bore snakes and field guides.

Meet the new boss Same as the old boss

May 14, 2009

Well, well, well.  Lookie, lookie, lookie Obama hasn’t brought a whole lot of change so far.  Most of the purported change has been smoke n’ mirrors.

He serves the same master – Moneyed Interests.  He promised middle-class tax cuts and we got $10 a week while the banks got hundreds of billions.

He promised transparency, but is now fighting the release of information related to the US torturing prisoners.

He promised to get us out of Iraq, but will still leave 50,000 troops there while also increasing our presence in Afghanistan by tens of thousands.

May 15th edit WASHINGTON (CNN) — President Obama is planning on Friday to resume the Bush administration’s controversial military commission system for some Guantanamo detainees — which he suspended in his first week in office — according to three administration officials.

If you voted for Obama do you feel taken?

The budget is broke.  The country is bankrupt.  The collapse will continue.  Continue preparing by learning new skills, getting informed, buying extra food, storing extra clothing and non-perishables, buy imported goods now while the US$ still has some value and GET OUTSIDE EVERYDAY!!

p1010098A little waterfall near my house.  Wehn we walk here we say that we are visiting the Waterfall Goddess.  The picture doesn’t do it justice.  It’s probably 15+ feet tall.

p1010021You can see that my strawberries are looking good.  I only have a 1/4 acre lot, living in suburbia.  Less than 1/2 is arable because of the house, the patio, the driveway and steep hill.  Still I have a small garden, a ton of herbs, bunches of wild things like lambs quarters, jerusalem artichokes and purslane.  Strawberries don’t take up much space.  If you live in the suburbs you have foundation plants.  Plant strawberries as a living mulch around your foundation plants or in that little patch where grass can’t grow.  You can grow a lot of food on a little scratch patch of land.

In A Texas Town

April 30, 2009

This is the story of race, law, constitutional rights and incompetence.  Have any of you heard of Regina Kelly?  The crimes against Ms. Kelly took place in Hearne, TX, but they could have occurred in any city in any state against any of us.  If what you have seen out of your own government over the poast 10, or 20 years isn’t enough to convince you that it could happen to you, then you haven’t been paying attention.

In 2000 Ms. Kelly was a young mother of four, who was swept up in an illegal police raid.  She was told to either plead guilty and get ten years probation or face possibly being found guilty and face 99 years in prison.

But as can be heard in any of our Halls of Justice across this fine land every single day, “But I didn’t do it.”  And the defense counsel can be heard everyday saying, “It doesn’t matter.  You choice is to plead guilty to a lesser charge or risk trial and get who knows how much time.”

Like most city, county and state governments in Hearne, TX there was a drug enforcement task force.   Although drugs were available in all the neighborhoods of Hearne, TX the authorities made a conscious decision to only concentrate their efforts on the housing projects and poor, black people.

The ACLU complaint alleged that the the City of Hearne and Limestone and Robertson Counties engaged in racially motivated and targeted drug sweeps.   “Each sweep results in the detention of virtually every member of an entire, neighborhood, as well as the warrantless searches of many residents’ property and person.”  Also, “the African American community is held in a state of lockdown, with officers of the Task Force, City and Counties as well as officers employed by neighboring counties and cities, searching and detaining innocent residents, often in handcuffs, for lengthy periods of time without warrant or cause.”

So because it’s such a compelling story a movie was made about the events, American Violet.

Who among us can’t relate to the fear of getting railroaded by The Man?

The other interesting thing is that when the movie studio was trying to promote the movie and placed posters in stores around Hearne what do you suppose happened…

The premiere was well attended, though getting the word out was not easy. Father Robert Herald, who hosted the event, said someone dressed in a SWAT uniform advised local merchants to take down the movie’s advertisements.  “They were told it might go better if their poster was removed,” Herald said.

I am SHOCKED, shocked that The Authorities would use our tax dollars and send around guys in uniform to suppress free speech. NOT!!

Is the scourge of drugs so bad as to warrant the destruction of civil rights?  Are you willing to trade your civil rights in return for the false promise of the elimination of illegal drugs?

The War on Drugs and the War on Terrorism are nothing but great schemes put in place by the PTB to desensitize Americans to government abuse.  Now we are accepting of road blocks, having to take our shoes off to fly and warrantless wiretaps.

GET OUTSIDE EVERYDAY!

p1010105This shot is taken from the top of one of the little humps that I sometimes walk.  It may be tough to see, but that mountain in the distance is Mount Wachusett.  You can ski there in teh winter if you don’t mind ponying up 50 bucks.  It’s a ways away.

Went to a friend’s friend’s farm to get a load of manure.  I love manure.

p1010110Some horses that they own.  Are you friends with any farmers so you can get manure from them?  If not make friends.

Don’t get the flu.

p1010112

Big News and torture

April 24, 2009

First, the Big News, remember when Bank of America took over Merrill Lynch at the behest of the US government?  “Mr Lewis Bank of America’s chairman and chief executive, also knowingly hid the state of Merrill Lynch’s “staggering” losses from shareholders at the behest of former Treasury Secretary Paulson and Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke.” Mr. lewis didn’t want to takeover Merrill because of Merrill’s “staggering losses” but he was forced to after being “threatened” by Fed Chairman Bernanke.

“…Paulson and other policymakers may have resorted to breaking securities laws in order to protect a fragile financial system, according to Peter Sorrentino, “Everyone involved knew that was a clear violation, that’s material non-public information, so basically we just closed the rule book during the crisis and said we don’t care, we need to keep the lights on, and we’ll deal with that manana,” Sorrentino said. “Logic went out the window and they were just acting out of fear,” he said. It was “completely panic mode.”

THE WOLVES ARE IN CHARGE OF THE HEN HOUSE.  THEY DON’T GIVE A CRAP ABOUT US.  ALL THEY CARE ABOUT IS THE PERPETUATION OF THE  SYSTEM. PRESERVE THE STATUS QUO AT ALL COSTS.

Next:

Do you support Iran waterboarding the American reporter/agent being held by Iran?  Why not, Iran accuses her of being a spy.  If the US can waterboard suspects Iran should also be able to. Iran should drug her, put creepy, crawly bugs on her, keep her awake for a week straight, put lightsticks up her butt, electrodes on her nipples, dry fire a pistol at her head, slam her up against a wall, water board her 180 times in a month, let vicous attack dogs bark within inces of her face, strip her naked and let her freeze than pile her up with other naked detainees and not feed her for a week. I support Iran doing this to the captive reporter, poor Ms. Roxana Saberi.

If you support the US using torture, or if it helps you to justify and rationalize your own barbarism or bloodlust, “extraordinary interrogation methods”, and you don’t support them doing it to us, then in my opinion you are a hypocrite or lack reasoning skills.  I’m always open to argument so convince me why it’s ok for US, but not for them.

Which gets me to the issue once again of torture.  The US should not torture suspects.  It puts US citizens at risk of also being tortured by others.   US CITIZEN Jose Padilla was tortured and drugged.  I also believe that we need to get to the bottom of who authorized it, hold those folks accountable and put an end to the practice so others are not put at risk.

Torture – coming soon to a FEMA camp near you. Then I will be laughing at you as you meekly cry, “…but…but…but…..I meant you can only torture them and not US.”  Hahaha!!  Give them the power and they will use it.

GM is shutting down over the summer. Was this part of the plan that GM management had to present to the government in order to get taxpayer funds?  If not, just think how poorly GM must be run if they weren’t able to predict less than six months beforehand that they would have to close plants down for the entire summer.  Wild.  They should declare bankruptcy.  You couldn’t run a convenient store like that and stay open.

Just think how this summer may look with tens of thousands more facing temporary layoffs and putting more economic demands on the already bankrupt states.  Will the last one out of Michigan please turn off the lights?

Finally, the government is going to force some consumer friendly credit card regulations to reign in the worst abuses by credit card bastards.  Charging someone an interest rate of 25 or 30% is usurious and should still be illegal.  From Marketwatch: The House bill would take actions such as:

Marquette National Bank v. First Omaha did away with the ability of states to regulate out of state credit card companies.   That was the beginning of the end for the American consumer.  I don’t think that the proposed bill goes far enough.  I want blood from the bloodsuckers.

One last thing, The number of first-time jobless claims rose by to 640,000 last week and continuing claims are again at the highest level on record, the U.S. Labor Department said in its weekly report on Thursday” and continuing claims also set another new record at over 6,000,000, more than double last year’s rate at this time.  That’d be a 100% increase.

So don’t get too down on yourself if you get laid off as you got lots of company.

GET OUTSIDE EVERYDAY!!

I was out walking and I saw some deer out feeding in last year’s corn field.  I wanted to walk closer to them to see if I could get a better picture.  I had the dog with me and he isn’t as patient as I am.  I was able to walk maybe within 100 feet of them.

p1010078Can you see her?  You may have to click on the pic to expand it.  So I’m trying to walk slowly, take a few steps and stop, take a few more steps and stop.  There’s no cover for me so I’m not too hidden, just moving slowly and trying to appear uninterested in them.  How would that be for a shot!!?!  Oooo, I love venison.  I know she’s probably too small.

p1010079You see these two puppies staring back at me  and the dog very interested in us?  So my dog can’t contain himself anymore and there you go….

p1010080…the little whitetails running for cover.