Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Sarah

February 9, 2010

You must have seen video of Sarah Palin giving the keynote at the Tea Party Convention.  It was a real Hell fire and brimstone sort of speech.  Well did you see Sarah Palin had notes written on her hand during an interview following the event? “In her appearance at the Tea Party Convention, Sarah Palin mocked President Obama for his reliance on a teleprompter — while relying herself on a more rudimentary memory aid: notes scribbled on her hand.

I don’t like Sarah Palin, I never have.   Seriously though why is she still around?  How can anyone consider her a serious candidate for any public office. Think she ever read the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution beginning to end?  I don’t.  Come to think of it I’m not sure if you have either.  Well have ya? Click links above.  Remember the Katie Couric (whom I also can’t stand) interview when Palin couldn’t even name a single newspaper? Couric – ‘what newspapers do you read?’ Palin – ‘all of them.’  Puhlease.  [Transcript Link here read 1/3 of way down.] If Palin was 65 and matronly she would be done, as in stick a fork in her.     Pretty girl and men fall over themselves.  Men are such pussies.

It means nothing to me that she had to use notes for an interview.  It’s how she went about it.  Sarah Palin is a sneak.  This was also after she criticized President Obama for using a teleprompter.

Did you see the way she glanced down at the notes sheepishly?  It just feels dishonest to me.  She acts like a middle-school student cheating on a vocabulary quiz.  What bothers me most is that she thinks she is pulling a fast one on us.  She is a cheater and a sneak.  Palin and Bill Clinton should marry.   How do you feel about Sarah Palin writing crib notes on the palm of her hand?

GET OUTSIDE EVERYDAY!!!

Some cool looking bark on a cool looking cedar or juniper I’d guess.  I didn’t check the tree out when I took the picture.  Do you know?

And here’s a trail from one of the abandoned ski areas that I frequent.  Unfortunately all of the snow has melted since I took this picture.  More is on the way Wednesday though I hope.  Skiing really doesn’t get any better than this.

Just get out of your office, house, condo, cabin, cottage, home, shed, apartment, pad, monkey cage or kennel every day.  Really walk around a bit get some fresh air.

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Nazi Checkpoints

October 4, 2009

Drip, drip drip.  Chip, chip, chip.  The frogs in the pot don’t realize that the water is beginning to boil.

Citizens of the United States are supposed to be able to travel freely and not be subjected to unreasonable searches or seizures.  Although the Constitution doesn’t specifically mention “travel,” the right to travel has been a firmly embedded right since the Articles of Confederation guaranteed that “the people of each State shall have free ingress and regress to and from any other State.” There is also a long line of case establishing that states can’t treat newcomers differently than long-time residents unless the state restriction is necessary to serve a compelling state interest.

And in the 1999 SCOTUS case of Saenz v. Roe, 526 US 489 (1999) Justice Stevens notes:

The word “travel” is not found in the text of the Constitution. Yet the “constitutional right to travel from one State to another” is firmly embedded in our jurisprudence. United States v. Guest , 383 U. S. 745, 757 (1966). Indeed, as Justice Stewart reminded us in Shapiro v. Thompson , 394 U. S. 618 (1969), the right is so important that it is “assertable against private interference as well as governmental action … a virtually unconditional personal right, guaranteed by the Constitution to us all.” Id., at 643 (concurring opinion).

Then we all know, or should know, of course that The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated…” The operative word being “unreasonable.”  Generally government can’t stop us or search our person without having some reason to do so.  Government can’t go on fishing expeditions.  Government is supposed to know what specific contraband it is looking to seize and particularly where that contraband is likely to be found prior to engaging in any search.  Government is not supposed to set up so called “dragnets” where it nets the innocent as well as the guilty.

If you are seized you are not free to go about your business.  What constitutes a seizure can vary from state to state, but generally if there is a show of authority (men in blue, orders to stop, guns, flashing lights, badges and other such acts/things) and you yield to that show of authority/force than you have been seized and prevented from going about your business.

This is a confusing area of the law.  On the one hand the cops can set up drunk driving checkpoints because of the immediate danger that freaking dumb drunks pose to the rest of us.   On the other hand Indianapolis v. Edmund, 531 US 32 (2000) made clear, at least for the time being, that cops can’t set up checkpoints with the purpose of interdicting illicit drugs.  Interestingly enough the so called “Conservative Justices” – Scalia, Thomas and Rehnquist were in favor of allowing random police stops of citizens going about their business. As Rehnquist noted in his dissent random law enforcement checkpoints are legitimate to “…checking for driver’s licenses and vehicle registrations, and because there is nothing in the record to indicate that the addition of the dog sniff lengthens these otherwise legitimate seizures, I dissent.”  Conservative my ass!!  He is a Republican.

My definition of a Republican: someone who thinks the government can do nothing right unless and until it comes to kicking in doors, searching, seizing citizens, legislating morality, law enforcement and the military and than the government can do no wrong. I’ve never been certain how some people can hold two mutually exclusive beliefs.  That’s me though.

Anyways, now that the foundation has been built: 1. we have the right to free intrastate and interstate travel and 2. we have the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures let’s look at some startling violations that are happening as we speak.  Tipping point?  You decide.

Tipping point?  You decide.  Chip, chip, chip, drip, drip, drip.  The water around the pot of frogs slowly comes to a boil.

GET OUTSIDE EVERY FREAKING DAY WHILE WE ARE STILL ALLOWED TO DO SO!!!!

How many campfires did you sit around this summer?  I know one thing, not enough!!

37Here I am catching a crappy wave.

17So GET OUTSIDE EVERYDAY © and rip it up!!


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.

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.

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.

234 years ago

April 21, 2009

April 19, 1775.  The Boston Massacre (where an escaped slave, Crispus Attucks, was shot and killed) and the Boston Tea Party both had already taken place.  British troops were marching from Boston to Concord, Mass in order to seize hidden stores of militia supplies. Once the colonists found out about the column of British regulars headed to Concord the alarm was sounded.  Bells from town to town rang out, warning guns were fired, bonfires were lit and war drums were beat.  Due to previous conflicts with Indians the colonists had a very effective early warning system developed.  Militia from all over Massachusetts mustered and started on their marches to Concord.  Early on the morning of April 19,  1775 as the British regulars came into the town of Lexington they were met by Lexington militia men.  Although commanders on both sides  ordered their troops not to fire, most likely a drunk in the tavern fired the first shot, and then all Hell broke loose.  The colonists vastly outnumbered were routed and the British started on to Concord.  In Concord there was resistance and a  small  skirmish took place at the North Bridge.  By now additional militia continued to arrive and the Redcoats beat a hasty retreat back to BostonDuring the entire 15 mile retreat back to Boston the Redcoats were picked apart by the colonists’ militia.  By the next morning militia from all over New England had arrived and now numbering 15,000+ laid siege to the city of Boston.

The Revolutionary War had begun.

Because I live in the cradle of liberty I like to celebrate the birth of our republic and the fallen.  Besides, I like the sound of fife and drum and the smell of gunpowder in the morning.  In 1775 the Lincoln Militia was the first to arrive in Concord and faced down the best trained and best supplied army at that time, the British war machine.

p1010003The day started at 06:30 at an old cemetery in Lincoln.  If you notice you can see militia men standing in front of gravestones.  It was a nice foggy morning.

p1010004As a name was called the former farmer and present soldier moved away from his grave and joined his comrades in formation.  Fife and drum played on.  It brought tears to my eyes.  This was the 42nd year marching for the  gentleman in the foreground with the reddish coat (and carrying his musket in an unsafe manner).

The captain called the troops to order and we began our march onto Concord.  Many towns around here have contingents of Minutemen that do different events throughout the year.

So on April 19, 1775 as the alarm was spread Minutemen from throughout New England started their march towards Concord.  You can pretty much march with any group.  This year we marched with the Lincoln contingent.  Some groups start their march at 03:30 in order to arrive in Concord on time.

p1010010The roster was read and thanks were given.

p1010009And off for our six mile walk to Concord for the big parade.  Along the way fife and drum were played and musket was firedIt is really quite moving to be walking the same roads that the Minutemen did so long ago, with folks wearing the period correct clothes, playing fife and drum and shooting musket.

It helps to remind me of the sacrifice that sometimes need be made in order to keep a peoples free from tyranny and oppression.  And give thanks to those who helped to secure ours so long ago. They died so that our children may be free.

p1010011Flags were laid upon memorials and graves.  This is where one group of Lincoln Minutemen met another group.  People came out of their houses to watch us march on the same road that our forefathers marched on 234 years ago.

p1010012And another musket salute for the fallen.

p10100131More fife and musket in the dawn.

Here was a fun and celebratory family that really gets into the spirit of the holiday with their own cannon fire.  BABOOM!!

p1010016It may be tough to see, but this joyous family had four different cannon set up from itty bitty to pretty big.  Boom echoed throughout the neighborhood.  A couple little fires started in the woods so the garden hose was dispatched.

p1010017Crossing a swamp on the way to Concord.

p1010018Arriving in Concord about two hours later.

p10100201A salute from the cavalry who fell in behind us.  Great old fashioned parade with corkguns, American flags and cotton candy for the kids.  There is no place I would rather be on Patriots’ Day then commemorating the dead and their deeds on the same lands where their feet tread.

So please honor these Minutemen.  These brave souls who left hearth and home to venture into the unknown and whose fortitude pointed the colonies down the road to self rule.  Just think when those church bells rang out on that April evening and the Minutemen came running from their homes they had no idea what to expect.  They probably worried that their farms may be burned to the ground by the British.  Although none expected a shooting war, they never knew when they may see their wife or children again….if ever.   And their families left at home did nor know when their husbands, fathers and brothers would return home….if ever.  And some never did.

By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood,
And fired the shot heard round the world.
The foe long since in silence slept;
Alike the conqueror silent sleeps;
And Time the ruined bridge has swept
Down the dark stream that seaward creeps.
On this green bank, by this soft stream,
We set today a votive stone;
That memory may their deed redeem,
When, like our sires, our sons are gone.
Spirit, that made those heroes dare
To die, and leave their children free,
Bid Time and Nature gently spare
The shaft we raise to them and thee.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Oath Keepers

April 9, 2009

There has been a lot of brouhahah about the  Oath Keepers.  For those of you not familiar with the Oath Keepers it is a group of:

“Military, Veterans, and peace officers who will honor their oaths to defend the Constitution, will NOT “just follow orders,” will stand for liberty, and will save the Republic, so help us God. Our motto is: “Not on Our Watch!”

So these brave folks have vowed to defend the Constitution even if it means disobeying orders from their superiors.

I don’t believe it.  Not that I don’t believe their good intentions, but no one knows how they will act when faced with the unknown.  Many a brave man turned tail and ran at the first shot fired.

Shall we look at some evidence and why I feel that the vow of the Oath Keepers can’t be relied upon?

So no, while I appreciate the Oath Keepers warm thoughts and well wishes I don’t believe that when push comes to shove they will disobey direct orders to do whatever is asked of them.  Talk is cheap.

I don’t mean to be disrespectful and I’m sure that the  Oath keepers are well intentioned, but based on the evidence – shooting unarmed people, shooting people in he back, wide spread beatings of citizens, seizure of legally owned firearms when people most need them taking pot away from dying people and on and on and on there is only one conclusion that any sane person can come to; that the authorities can’t be trusted.

And some news of the day – “The US government has admitted the nation’s power grid is vulnerable to cyber attack, following reports it has been infiltrated by foreign spies.” Are you prepping to live in the pre-industrial age?

And the Fed released the minutes from its last meeting, the economy is much worse than they let on and as you hopefully know the Fed downgraded its forecasts – “Sixty-three experts butted heads openly and were unable to decide whether the economy has just simply slowed more than expected, or is in the toilet — where it will remain for years to come.”

Don’t depend on anyone else to do what’s right.

Get outside everyday!!

An old stone dam built in the woods.

p1010063It’s difficult to get a sense of scale but I’d say it’s maybe 10-12 feet from the water to the top.

p1010065A nice piece of quartz sitting in the woods.

FASB 157

April 7, 2009

You may be wondering what this FASB thing is.  It’s a rule that accountants have to abide by.  Which because of a change by the folks who administer all of the rules means more dirt is swept under the rug.

You’ve probably heard the term, “mark to market.”  What it basically means is that the assets on the books of the banks have to be based upon what they are actually worth.   If you’ve bought or sold a house then you know the realtors look at comparable sales to figure out how much your house should be priced at.  Because the rule was changed banks don’t have to mark the assets on their balance sheets to what they are worth, but to some sort of mythological value what the asset may be worth in a perfect marketplace.

As an accountant and as an investor I don’t like it.  The banks are in the same shape now as before the rule change, yet the bank stocks go up.  It’s paper, not some positive increase based upon efficiency or operations.

Make no mistake, cash makes Washington, DC turn.

The FASB approval comes after an effective lobbying campaign on Capitol Hill by the American Bankers Association and other interest groups. Roughly 800 bankers gathered in Washington earlier this week, in part, to meet and press lawmakers to send a message to FASB that the accounting rules needed to change.

Jeesh man, first the congress people give the banks TARP then the bankers give money back to the congress people as campaign donations.   Then the banks are being weighed down by toxic debt and the bankers and their proxies basically go protest on the Hill and lo n’ behold the FASB rules get changed so the banks can mark the left side of their balance sheets to unrealistic values.This is getting truly bizarre.

Anyways, what’s left to do but,

GET OUTSIDE EVERYDAY!!

p1010060Nice day, huh?  A week of rain is in the forecast now.  I planted Sunday to be sure to get the benefit of the rain.  I had black plastic down for a couple of weeks to warm the soil.  I planted radishes, mesclun mix, spinach, arugula and peas.  I’m a little later then I wanted.  The way I grow lettuce is to heavily plant a 3*3 square.  I can reach into it from all sides.  Then I cut the lettuce with a pair of scissors when its 3-4 inches tall.  I basically give it a haircut and eat the baby lettuce.  It’ll regrow.  A couple of weeks later I’ll plant another box.    My lettuce will bolt later in the season.  I’ll also work a little all purpose organic fertilizer into the top couple of inches of soil.  Happy growing.

They just don’t get it!!

March 27, 2009

Remember all the bitching last week from the ponies on the Hill saying, “how dare, how dare the banks give out bonuses?’  Do you remember all of the showmanship?  It makes me want to puke.  Well all of the banks that gave out bonuses to their overpaid executives also gave out campaign donations to the same actors on the Hill.

Our congress people take our money from US.     Then they give it to the bankers.  Then the bankers give the congresspeople kickbacks in the form of campaign donations.  What a piece of crap this is.

The people are going to rise up.  There will be one catalyst event that just pushes it over the edge, the stick that breaks the camel’s back sort to speak.

“…the political action committees of five big TARP recipients doled out $85,300 to members in the first two months of this year—with most of the cash going to those who serves on committees who oversee the TARP program. Among them: Bank of America (which got $15 billion in bailout money) sent out $24,500 in the first two months of 2009, including $1,500 to House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and another $15,000 to members of the House and Senate banking panels. Citigroup ($25 billion) dished out $29,620, including $2,500 to House GOPWhip Eric Cantor, who also got $10,000 from UBS…”

They just don’t get it.

The right thing

March 14, 2009

I got to thinking as I was waiting in traffic.  I was in the long line on the right waiting to go straight.   There were no cars in the left lane to make a left turn.  So you know what happens next, some Ass cuts past everyone waiting and then cuts back in to the lane on the right.  Pissed me off!

So it got me to thinking about doing the right thing.  It’s tough because I see so many people that don’t choose to do the right thing seem to get ahead.  We see tax cheats appointed to presidential cabinets.  There are wheelers and dealers taking billions in bonuses after driving companies into the ground.  People who bought more house than they could afford get a bailout from those of us who didn’t.  We see scam artists cash out with billions in offshore accounts.

It’s hard to continue to try and do the right thing sometimes.  I try to treat every person I meet fairly and act decently in every transaction no matter how small.  Seeing how it seems like just about everyone else these days is looking to lie, cheat and steal their way to the mansion on the hill.  It seems like everyone is looking to exploit every angle all of the time.   One can start to wonder why bother playing by the rules.

Does it seem to anyone else that more people are behaving more badly more often?  There are a lot of rude people out there.

This doesn’t bode well for our society or us, the constant slide into disregard for rules, manners, chivalry, politeness and law.   Men feel no need to hold a door for a lady or an old person.   People disregard saying please or thank you.  As a country we arent’ even really suffering.  Our supermarkets are open.  You can go to Walmart to buy your Cheap Chinese Crap and then call in an order to Pizza Hut.  We still get our mail six days a week.   Banks and markets are open.

The reason I say this doesn’t bode well for us is because I still expect things to get much worse than they are currently.  (Don’t be fooled by the current suckers rally.) If people are behaving so poorly now just think what’s gonna happen when their ATM card doesn’t work, the supermarket shelves aren’t quite as full or they’re out of gas but it’s an odd day and their license plate is even.  (Who remembers that?) The people that are behaving poorly now are going to freak out if things get bad.   Hell, normal polite churchgoing folks will freak out.  And when things get bad enough for Sarah Palin to freak out I don’t want to be around her.

Be careful who you trust.  Keep your preps to yourself.  Keep your mouth shut.  Make sure your kids, wife or husband, roommates, boyfriend or baby’s daddy also know to keep their mouths shut.  Make sure everyone can keep a secret.  You have to be considering not who you can trust in times of plenty, but who you can trust in times of hunger and thirst.  Forget about casual acquaintances or people you only know at work.  I see a lot of bad stuff go down between families, so you even need to think twice about trusting your own family members.   You know those cousins that ain’t quite right, well they ain’t quite right.  When people are hungry they will remember what you gots and they don’t.

Remember, in the end no matter what happens to you, no one can take your honor or reputation from you.  You only lose these by your own acts and deeds.  Treat others fairly and deal fairly, but keep you mouth shut.  Mind you business and keep it to yourself.  Keep others secrets too.  Don’t be a bigmouth.

So looks like my state is going to get some bailout monies.  A lot of it went to law enforcement. WTF!  Almost a billion dollars from the stimulus package is devoted to law enforcement.  It looks like spending for the funds is pretty much unrestricted so the cops are going to be able to buy more cop toys. I appreciate the job that the cops do, but enough is enough.  And the pension package law enforcement gets is crazy.  I saw an article in Forbes a month or so ago that basically said public sector pensions are killing us.  A cop is on the force for 20 years retires at 42 with a guaranteed inflation adjusted pension of $65K a year, full bennies of course too.

Enough is enough.  No more money on law enforcement, drug sniffing dogs, cameras or tactical gear.  Fine, the stimulus passed and the president signed it.  Spend the borrowed money on the people.  People who have lost their jobs, their homes are hungry or cold.

Quite frankly I think that we already are spending more than enough $ on law enforcement.  I came to this conclusion when I realized that cameras were being put up in the intersections around my town. I feel like they’re spying on me.  Oh, I know they tell me that the cameras make me safer.

Anyone else agree with me that law enforcement and the military are already large enough and get more than enough tax money!?!  We need to shrink our military by 80%.

Get outside everyday.

I have a feeling this is our last snow of the season.  I’m looking forward to getting the garden in the ground, but I really do enjoy the snow.

sk14Just a nice snowy trail.

sk16Who couldn’t like the way this tree looks? Goodbye sweet snow.  Well the seasons change an so do I.

BHO

February 25, 2009

Short post today.  Saw the president last night.  I generally like the guy even though I didn’t vote for him.  I mean it’s nice to have someone young in the office.  It’s nice to have someone who has traveled internationally and lived overseas in the office.  It’s nice to have someone smart, who doesn’t weed the opposition out of his public appearances, can address doubters and can speak off the cuff on most issues.

That being said WTF was the point of the big speech last night.  It was a bunch of nothing.  More platitudes and more hollow slogans and empty words.

I don’t know what I’m talking about, but I’d expect the market to go down like 100 points today.  That’s just my feeling based upon the fact that I think the market movers and shakers were looking for a whole lot more and got nothing from BHO other than more grand and flowery oratory.

At some point you gotta stop talking about swimming and dive in the pool and get wet.

Bits n’ pieces

February 21, 2009

I’m sure everyone has already heard that Obama throws $75 billion lifeline to homeowners with our tax dollars. I don’t like the bailout of homeowners.  I feel bad for them.   I really do.   If your house went down in value and now you owe more than the house is worth, well that’s the market trying to reach its equilibrium.  You bought at the wrong time or borrowed too much.  If you took out a home equity loan to buy toys and electronics and now can’t meet your obligation that’s not my problem . People need to be held accountable for bad decisions that they made so economic evolution can be allowed to run its course.  There shouldn’t be any general bailout for homeowners who got in over their heads. Homeowners should declare bankruptcy and try to get a workout.  Bankruptcy judges should be allowed to reduce the debt as I believe they can generally with any debt during a bankruptcy.  If some lenders broke the law or acted unfairly then punish the lender.  I don’t like the idea that people who bought houses they couldn’t afford may be able to keep them even though they still can’t afford them while I’ve done the right thing and bought a smaller house that I can afford.

And since we’re talking about tax dollars being spent how about some more corporate welfare for KBR so the can deliver poisoned food and water to our guys and gals overseas? WTF is wrong with our government. Is slopping the war profiteers more important than the safety of our own family members?    “Saying they want more answers, U.S. Sens. Birch Bayh, D-Ind., and Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., on Wednesday said Houston-based contractor KBR Inc. allowed soldiers to be exposed to the chemical for more than two months even though KBR knew the site was contaminated, according to The Associate Press.” Bastards all of them.  Is this the best we can do for our military? Piss me off.

I saw a good article in Newsweek that reflected what I’ve always said, ‘That the myth of upward mobility is just that, a myth.’  Mr. Kotkin writes a good opinion piece.

But from the 1940s to the 1970s, the American middle class enjoyed steadily increasing incomes that stayed on a par with those in the upper classes. Since then, wages for most workers have lagged behind. This disparity is strikingly evident in income data compiled by Citigroup, which shows that the top 1 percent of U.S. households now account for as much of the nation’s total wealth—7 percent—as they did in 1913, when monopolistic business practices were the order of the day.  Their net worth is now greater than that of the bottom 90 percent of the nation’s households combined. The top 20 percent of taxpayers realized nearly three quarters of all income gains from 1979 to 2000.Even getting a college degree no longer guarantees upward mobility. The implicit American contract has always been that with education and hard work, anyone can get ahead. But since 2000, young people with college educations—except those who go to elite colleges and graduate schools—have seen their wages decline.

And why when I point out the fact that government policies have lead to these disparities am I accused of waging class warfare?  I’d say the 1% of the folks who have 90% of the income are the ones waging class warfare, not the folks losing their jobs, homes, cars and health insurance.   WAKE UP PEOPLE!

Smart little kid developed a survival shelter made from packing peanuts, plastic sheeting, tubes and special connectors.  It snaps togethere like an erector set.  This kid won $10,000 for his design.  He wants to grow up to be a biomechanical engineer or a geriatric psychiatrist.  Me too.

iglooObviously shaped like a geodesic dome.  Here’s the link to the newspaper article survival shelter.

Not sure if you heard, but there are some economic related riots in Russia.  It seems that used car salemen import used Japanese cars.  Well the Kremlin didn’t like this so they slapped down some steep tariffs on therussia3_190 imports.   The Russian used car salesmen, seeing how their livelihoods were threatened organized protests.  The Kremlin responded with force.  This picture is the shape of things to come in the US. Prepare yourself to lay low and become anonymous.  Don’t be a big mouth or the government will push you to the ground and drive your face into the pavement with its knee.

BTW the 7.62 * 39 ammo that I was paying $4.99 a box for has jumped up to $6.95.  That’s a 20% increase!!

What do you folks think of this cartoon?

deadmonkeyI don’t think it’s racist.  Just me though and I’m not black.  If anything I think that I’m more sensitive than most about diversity and what not.  When I saw this cartoon I thought the artist was saying that the stimulus bill is so bad it was written by a monkey(s).  I thought that the tshirt with a monkey on it that said Obama 08′ was in terrible taste and was racist.  This cartoon, nope.  What do you think?

And an interesting op-ed on unchecked military spending.  We are all now reaping the rewards of the confluence of the mlitary, private industry, government and Big M Media.  Big M Media gets you right where they want you with shows like: The Unit, 24 and now Homeland Security.  It’s all BS.  It all boils down to getting money out of our pockets and abrogate our constitutional rights.  We have too many foreign bases.  Our fingers are in too many cookie jars.  Our military is too large.  Being the biggest on the block makes us a target, makes us more likely to resort to military force and drains our coffers.

And  what’s up with Republicans who voted 100% against the stimulus bill now touting the $’s that will be delivered to their home districts.  This is just degenerate politics.

Went skiing.  It was a beautiful day.  It usually is when you get to ski.

w4Ski trail.  Nice huh?  It was a warm day so the snow was soft and squishy like mashed potatoes.  The trail in the top picture is actually really steep, could be a 30+ degree grade.  When the snow is soft though it’s real slow so you have to ski the steepest trails going.  I had so much fun going down this trail I think I skied back up another one or two times.

w5This is looking up another nice hill that’s great to ski down.  It was the same warm day so it’s possible to steer around the trees.  Both of these slopes face more or less north or northeast so they tend to have snow on them more consistently.

News and rants post

February 6, 2009

Just a general post of different news and thoughts.

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The Perp

Follow up to the no torture blog from a few days back.  Hey I’m in favor of the death penalty and vigilante justice if you can be 100% certain that you have the right guy.  Yesterday there was a story on the news about some jerk that started hassling and groping some young woman on a bus. Then when she got off the bus the jerk followed her.  Luckily the bus driver helped the woman and prevented anything worse from happening.  I am a strong supporter of the rule of law and due process, but here we know we got the right guy.  I say beat the hell out of him so he never will consider committing the same transgression again.  It saves time and money and will get the job done.  I know I would have liked to put my heels to his head.

Fortunately, if someone isn’t caught red-handed in the act we have to let the wheels of justice slowly spin and hope that the courts, judges, jury, lawyers and witnesses all coalesce correctly so that the guilty are punished and the innocent are freed.

Which gets me back to the torture policy of the last administration and some Americans too.  There’s the sorry story of Maher Arar, a Canadian citizen that was picked up in New York by the US government.  Because we can’t even manufacture paperclips any longer in the US, we also outsource torture, so We the People sent Mr. Arar to Syria where he was held incommunicado and was tortured for a year.  We The People illegally kidnapped some guy, sent him to a foreign land and had him tortured.

Or another legal resident of the US, Ali Saleh al-Marri who has been detained since 2001 AS A WITNESS.  Maybe he’s guilty of something and should be put to death, but we just don’t know because the government refuses to charge him or present any evidence.

Then there’s the case of another Muslim, Khalid El-Masri, a German citizen on vacation who was taken off of a tour bus, sent to Afghanistan and then beaten by CIA interrogators for a year.

That’s not the end of it, “In recent years, well over 100 people have disappeared or been “rendered” all around the world. Witnesses tell the same story: masked men in an unmarked jet seize their target, cut off his clothes, put him in a blindfold and jumpsuit, tranquilize him and fly him away.

And another, the CIA kidnapping a guy right off the streets in Italy.

No American should be pleased by these actions of our government.  How hard is it to imagine our government doing the same to any of us?  Believe me it’s a small step.  Today it’s Them.  Tomorrow it’s US. Trust me on this.

Don’t become desensitized to Our Government grabbing people, drugging them, sending them to some weird outpost and torturing them.  Today it’s Them.  Tomorrow it’s US.  Trust me on this.

Tomorrow it’s US.

Speaking of fascist Republicans, “Under a series of secret orders, Bush authorized the NSA for the first time to eavesdrop on phone calls and e-mails between the United States and a foreign country without any court review.  The law creating the court, called the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, made it a federal crime—punishable by up to five years in prison—for any official to engage in such surveillance without following strict rules, including court approval.”  Here is a good story how a fascist government reacts to whistle blowers, “18 FBI agents—some of them wearing black flak jackets and carrying guns—showed up unannounced at Tamm’s redbrick colonial home in Potomac, Md., with a search warrant.

And since I’m on our country’s rapid slide into fascism, let’s not forget the treatment of Jose Padilla.  Not doubt Mr. Padilla is a despicable character, but he was held without being charged and then administered mind altering drugs.  Free countries don’t hold suspects indefinitely without being charged or administer  psychotropic or hallucinogenic drugs to prisoners or accidentally (of course) destroy tapes of the interrogation.

Read this, “Fascist America, in 10 easy steps.”

Are you worried yet, or do you defend these intrusions in exchange for an ethereal breath of fleeting safety?

Then I’m liking this Obama thing restricting the pay of the executives whose organizations receive taxpayer bailout funds.  “President Barack Obama on Wednesday imposed a $500,000 cap on senior executive pay for the most distressed financial institutions receiving taxpayer bailout money…”  I like that.  I don’t expect it to make a difference, but it feels good.  Ska-rew the banks.  If people that get welfare or food stamps lose their rights, told how to spend their money or give up their privacy rights, then inanimate corporations should be held to the same freaking standard.

I screwed up.”President Obama speaking about his nomination of that feckless and feeble Tom Daschle.  It’s nice to hear someone admit to a mistake so frankly.   Remember when a reporter asked President Bush to cop to a mistake that he made and Bush replied, I wish you’d have given me this written question ahead of time so I could plan for it,” Bush chuckled. After assuring the reporter that “something will pop into my head,” he finally gave up, admitting, “I’m not as quick on my feet as I should be in coming up with one.”

My thought has always been that you need to be able to recognize mistakes in order to take corrective action.  If it makes sense, someone that is never wrong can never be right.  Anyways, I like having a president that can say, “I screwed up.”  Talk about the buck stopping there.  It’s about time.

And then on the other hand I can’t tolerate the revolving door between the government/military/industry and media.  Raytheon lobbyist picked for deputy Defense post. WTF!?!?!  The guy who was Raytheon’s top lobbyist is nominated by President Obama to decide what military contractors will win the bids.  Doesn’t that just reek of corruption?  It’s wrong.  It’s thievery.  It’s piracy.

Add why does it seem like everyone Obama appoints has tax problems? WTF.  First there was Daschle or Dickless as I like to call him.  Now it’s his labor secretary. Why isn’t anyone doing any kind of due diligence and vetting on Obama’s appointees?  It doesn’t give me much confidence in the runnings of the new administration.  It’s just two weeks yester.

A few reasons why I believe in a graduated tax are because those who make more can afford more, sorry folks that’s the way it is.  Trying to pay 10% of $1,000,000 and live on the $900,000 is a helluva lot different than making $10,000 and trying to live on $9,000.  Also, those who benefit the most from our system should pay the most.  You’re free to disagree,

Now why does it seem that those who make the most are able to pay the least and cheat on their taxes the most?

Have you heard Billionaire Buffet lament that he pays a lower effective rate than his secretary and his cleaner.  Is that fair? NO! NO! NO!  He benefited more.  He should pay more.

Why should unearned income be taxed at a lower rate than wages?  Why should FICA have a cap at $80,000?

I’ll tell you why………….because the millionaires and billionaires can afford lobbyists, lawyers and tax accountants.  Why do you think Billionaire Steve Forbes is pushing the flat tax?  Do you think it’s because he loves the welfare recipient or the factory line worker?

The next time you listen to Rush and he’s pushing some tax cut or change to the system please call him and ask him how much $ he stands to gain then ask how much $ your family stands to gain.   Rush received MILLIONS in tax cuts while getting his hourly wage slave listeners to support them.  You’re a bunch of rubes.  More below.

The collapse accelerates.  Weekly jobless claims were released, 626,000 Americans were laid off last week. That’s ain’t just a number.  That’s 626,000 families whose lives were overturned last week.  Think about that.  People worried about paying rent/mortgage, putting gas in their tank, food in their bellies or shoes on their kids feet.  This is serious, serious stuff. Economics is more often the cause of revolution than politics and liberty.

Wasn’t the American Revolution v.1 fomented more by taxation and unfair market protection for the East India Trading Company then any grand experiment in democracy?  Thoughts?

Concerning the acceleration, The US president Barack Obama says more American banks will collapse as a result of the global financial crisis.”

Inflation/Deflation blah, blah, blah.  At some point inflation is going to come back worse then ever.   You can’t run the printing presses and sell bonds like the US has without a future inflation.  I liked this video that explains a good metric to use to track trends.  It’s a short video and worth watching. Got silver?  Got gold? I’m not saying to buy PM’s because they do seem historically high to me right now.  I wish I bought 10 years ago, but I do think there is a lot of eventual upside to them.

The market is currently up over 100 points and why not weekly jobless claims jumped and retailers are biting the dust. (sarcasm) If you have any money in equities I hope it’s gambling money or you know something the rest of us don’t.  Oh sure, it’s bumping up due to the wish of more federal bailout monies for the banks that now need a bailout after Years and Years and Years of record profits.  I’d say it’s time for the shareholders to take it on the chin not the taxpayers.   The stock market is irrational.

We have not hit bottom yet.  The Elliot Wave gang is saying that we may fall to 5,000.  I’m not sure how much stock (pun intended) I put into Wave analysis, but I don’t think we’re near bottom.  Still an interesting tool to use for analysis.

Cheney is back doing what he does best, and enjoys most, building fear up in the American people.  Boo! the bad guys are trying to kill us.  Be very afraid.

Doesn’t Cheney have anyone else to shoot in the face?  BTW I do hold Cheney accountable for shooting his hunting companion.  I don’t care if his victim forgave him.  When you shoot you have to know what’s behind your target.

Why doesn’t Cheney go back to what he does best and lay some people off.  Although the Republicans have done a great marketing job of painting the Dems as being responsible for defense cutbacks, as SecDef, “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.

Slowly now – under Bush 41 and Cheney the Marines were cut 10%, the Navy 14%, the Air Force 22% and the Army 26%.  Got that!?!

And Clinton got blamed!! And you believed the Republican Media!! Hahaha!! Marketing con jobs don’t equate with the truth.  Does the truth hurt you? The other side is that Clinton got credit for the peace dividend and the budget surplus that came about partly due to Cheney’s cuts as Secdef.  BTW I was in favor of the cutbacks and base closings.  I still think our military is at least 50% larger then it should be.

Yup, the military is too big.  It’s corporate welfare with hardly any return or multiplier effect to the common cause. There was a reason that the framers were against standing armies because, “Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes. And armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few.

It’s my sincere belief that if the military is too large we will be too anxious to use it.

And of course the bailout of the banks got screwed up.  “The Bush administration received assets that were worth $78 billion less than the amount it invested as part of the massive infusion of capital into the country’s banks, congressional investigators have found.”

Let’s blame it on Obama and his Soo-shall-ism.

Let’s just give the richest 1% of Americans more of our hard earned money and call it a day.  We don’t need our government to do it.  “Not since the ’20s has income inequality been this great.”  It’s not a mistake.  This is what tax cuts do.  The richest 1% get filet mignon and you get tube steak.  And you bought it!

Glen Beck is a weird creature.  I don’t have an opinion on him.  I like some of the crap he spouts and dislike some of his spew.    I don’t think that Glen Beck is a great or deep thinker.  He’s more an opinion man and shoots from the hip.  I saw a transcript from his show the other night saying that Obama is fear mongering.  Maybe so, but I’ve yet to hear the vision of mushroom clouds or UAV’s spraying bugs over American cities used to lead us into the wrong war at the wrong time.  I’ll just rebut a few things that Mr. Beck spoke about.  To quote Dick Armey, ‘a jackass can bring down a barn, but it takes a carpenter to put one up.’  BTW I don’t like Armey.  He’s wrong about almost everything.  I wrote him a letter one time telling him that he was wrong about everything.  He actually responded with a thoughful, well-reasoned personal letter back to me.  For that I admire and respect the man, in spite of my disagreements with him.

1. The recession will last for years.  We may face a decade like the Japanese did or worse we may face an Argentinian or Icelandic style breakdown.  Fear mongering to point that out?  Would you rather have a president that tells you to go shopping and act as if nothing has changed?  Remember two weeks after 9/11 Bushie told us to go to Disney World and visit the malls?

Which do you want to be told to go shopping or that the country is facing big problems?

2. Beck complained about the cancellation of oil leases.   Good.  I would have canceled them years ago or charge the companies what they should be paying.    What lies on the people’s common land is for the common good.  It’s not to be sold or leased to private concerns at below market rates in order to enrich private ownership.  And don’t forget that the government overseers were doing coke and were actually in bed (having sex) with those they were supposed to oversee.  Cut the oil companies off from the leases is my opinion. Ska-rew them too!

3. I don’t begrudge the money for the WIC program.  This is money for hungry woman and little kids.  It’s better than bonuses for the guys that drove the banks into the ground.  More people need help now than a year ago.  These monies make a difference on the poorest streets of America.  Why do Republicans hate food, medicine and shelter for the hungry, sick and cold?

4. Money for jobs for people is okay with me.

5.  Money for university building projects is okay with me.  Educational facilities have a big payback to a society.

6. $500 Mill for the NIH is reasonable.  Think if some flu bug got going and the NIH wasn’t funded, do you think Beck would complain?

7. $1Bill for the Census seems good.  They Census hires lots of people and this money will be injected right back into the economy.  Seems like a better bet considering how we gave the banks much more than that and the banks aren’t making loans or even telling us what they did with the money.

8. $89 Bill for Medicaid.  I don’t begrudge money spent on healthcare.  Medicaid helps millions of people.  We need to remove healthcare from employment.  If you don’t agree with me now, you will when your wife or you loses your job.  And at least one of you will!

9. $36 Bill for COBRA coverage.  COBRA helps people who got laid off.  I know people that are making use of COBRA.  With unemployment spiking the way it it this seems like a good use of funds.  Any of you know someone making use of COBRA?  Money for kids’ healthcare is good too.  Look at number 8 again.

10.  $20 Bill for more food stamps seems good to me to when so many people are hurting.  Once again this is money that will be injected right into the corner store or bodega.  Twice again why do Republicans hate giving food to the hungry?

11.  Begrudge more money spent on Amtrak?  This is what I mean, is Beck just stupid?  Ahhh, due to Peak Oil we need to spend much, much more money on mass transit.   Why does Beck throw darts at more money being spent on mass transit?

12. Money spent on ice breakers.  Beck is like a six year old.  The ice doesn’t just disappear overnight.  Because the ice is melting many more ships are taking the short route through the poles.  There is a big race on to also claim resources under the ice. An icebreaker will help commerce to keep moving.  Just last week a ship was rescued by an icebreaker.

13.  $150 Mill for producers of livestock, fish and bees seems like a good investment to me.  What’s more important than securing our supply of food?  How fast do you think Beck would blame the government when the food supply dries up or the food chain breaks down?

14. Beck goes on to deride money spent on alternative energies, green technologies and conservation measures.  Sensible investments and the manufacture of high tech batteries  could employ thousands in the coming years.

He closes by asking if anyone else is insulted.  Yeah I’m insulted by Beck’s stupidity and shortsightedness.  It’s easy to throw stones and not so easy to come up with ideas to fix problems.  Beck is a moron.  Might be fun for entertainment, but it’s a good thing he’s not setting policy.  His thoughts are an inch deep and as wide as the Mississippi.

In the end we get the government that we deserve. Some good Mencken quotes on government.

Get outside everyday.  A healthy heart will do more for you than thirty 30 round mags.  You live how you want.  You polish your guns.  Hold them close like a 14 year old with his Playboys.  Meanwhile I’ll do my pullups, walk everyday or ski, eat well, sleep well because of exercise and not be a fat tub o lard sitting on the couch watching the tube.

i5Last Sunday we went back to that abandoned ski area again for a few runs.  Six times up and six times down.  Here is Running Bear skiing being chased by Green Eyed Dog through the beautiful birch forest.  Tough to see, but those gators that Running Bear is wearing were made at one of those stores that existed in the 70’s where you could sew your own outside and camping gear.  Anyone remember those stores?  You’d buy the kit and then use the stores sewing machines to make your own backpack, tent, sleeping bag or gators.  Running Bear still has his hand crafted gators that are 30 years old.  Notice those big office buildings in the background.  You can find nature anywhere if you open your eyes.

Another snowy day the other …

i9

Snowy woods on a snowy day.  Mmmm, mmmm, good.


I didn’t plan this….

January 16, 2009

but here I am.  I actually had another really great post, but watching the Market yesterday compelled me to write this. Market manipulation.

I don’t believe it.  I just don’t.   I believe that the markets in their current Bush/Bernanke/Paulson incarnation (incantation) are rigged beyond our wildest dreams (nightmares).was4

…..pour a shortie of Mr. Jameson’s.

So yesterday before the market open I’m paying attention to the Rah Rah Boys on CNBC and watching the Dow futures (down).  At 8:30 another horrible employment number came out and the market reacted.  It continued the same down trend that began around the New Year.  By high noon the market slides maybe 200 points and even goes below 8,000 for the first time since November.  Seems like strong downward pressure to my layman’s eye.

Then magically around 12:30 pm an uptick develops.  I know we’ve had a bunch of losing sessions so something had to turn at some point, but I don’t believe it.  Not this fast or this strong.

The story was that the senate was going to vote on an additional release of $350,000,000,000.  This is old news.  If the market is so forward looking it already should have adjusted for the rest of the TARP $.   That there is additional taxpayer money in the trough for the slopping isn’t a surprise to anybody.   Maybe my tinfoil hat is too tight, but it seems like the work of little green men or the President’s Working Group. Not sure which though.  I’m no expert, but this seems like manipulation to me.

What new information came out between the market open and 12:30 that caused a 250 point uptick?  I for the life of me can’t figure out what would cause a 250 point positive swing in the course of three hours.  Nothing.   If the church up the road ran a bingo like this they would be shut down.  Government manipulation of the markets.

What happened mid-session to cause this huge change in momentum?  Tell me if you know.

Don’t be fooled.  As near as I can tell the trend is down for the short and medium term.  Long term?  I don’t know where we end up.  I wouldn’t be surprised if eventually something has to give with our currency.  I don’t know what’s right for you, but I don’t have any money in stocks that I don’t consider gambling money.  The news is all bad: earnings, consumer confidence, housing values, foreclosures, loan defaults, unemployment, retail, the federal budget deficit, the economic health of the states, our manufacturing base, the quagmires overseas, the money supply, the jobs outlook, availability of credit, GDP.  Make no mistake we have a ways to go still before we turn the corner on this one.

And why is taxpayer money being used to pump up the stock price of banks?  Why are public funds being used to bail out stock holders?

I still haven’t received a satisfactory answer.

SCREW THE BANKS! Not a one ever cut me the least slack.

q3This is halfway down one trail looking up.  You can see my tracks.  Yum.  Conditions have been so perfect.  Four inches of ice covered by three inches of dry powder like they see in Steamboat.   In Steamboat they call it champagne powder.  Here we we just thank our lucky star and take advantage of it

q12This is the other half down.  Trust me it’s steeper than it looks.  Sometimes you have to put your hands and poles into the boxing guard position to protect your face and kinda crunch through the smaller branches.

Talking about a revolution

December 31, 2008

Talking about a revolution.

Don’t you know you’re talking about a revolution
It sounds like a whisper
Don’t you know they’re talking about a revolution
It sounds like a whisper

While they’re standing in the welfare lines
Crying at the doorsteps of those armies of salvation
Wasting time in unemployment lines
Sitting around waiting for a promotion

Don’t you know you’re talking about a revolution
It sounds like a whisper

Poor people are gonna rise up
And get their share
Poor people are gonna rise up
And take what’s theirs

Don’t you know you better run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run
Oh I said you better run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run

Finally the tables are starting to turn
Talking about a revolution
Finally the tables are starting to turn
Talking about a revolution oh no
Talking about a revolution oh no

While they’re standing in the welfare lines
Crying at the doorsteps of those armies of salvation
Wasting time in unemployment lines
Sitting around waiting for a promotion

Don’t you know you’re talking about a revolution
It sounds like a whisper

And finally the tables are starting to turn
Talking about a revolution
Finally the tables are starting to turn
Talking about a revolution oh no
Talking about a revolution oh no
Talking about a revolution oh no

T. Chapman (1988) [smart lady, graduated from Tufts University.]

Get outside every day.

Bushy tail track

Bushy tail track

Just some bushy tail tracks in the first snow.

p1010096

Water and ice.

Martial Law

December 3, 2008
Police state

Police state

Everyone is blogging about it.  It’s troubling that so many of us feel the same way in an ostensibly “free” country.  What do you think is going to happen when the banks and the stock market are locked down so you can’t trade or make withdrawals?

Our congresspeople were threatened with martial law if they didn’t pass the Troubled Assets Relief Program (“TARP”).

Sen. Inhofe (R-OK) discussing Bush Inc.’s threatened martial law

Rep. Sherman (D-CA) discussing Bush Inc.’s threatened martial law

And there are 20,000 more troops on the way to keep the lid on things come…

“Pentagon to deploy 20,000 troops for domestic emergencies”

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5gJd63da5mM0wM8hDw0VkfJjebZbg

Are you ready to be stay in your home for a few days or a few months?  Best way to survive is to employ the three L’s – lay low or leave.

How to Survive Martial Law-

http://www.geocities.com/northstarzone/LAW.html

Survive Martial Law-

http://www.scribd.com/doc/3545879/Survive-Martial-Law

Bunch of PDF’s to download-

http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2008/02/372126.shtml

First ice

First ice

The first ice of the season on a little pond.

First ice

First ice

Just some frost crystal poking up.  I like the geometric way these things look all angular.

Another reason….

November 20, 2008

… to hate the Democratic Party.

mccain_lieberman_hug41

The embrace thanks to Google Images

Another perfect reason is because of the way they handle Joe Lieberman.  Here you have a guy, Senator Lieberman, who loses the party primary in his home state switches parties and runs as an independent, beats up the fairly and justly nominated Democratic senatorial candidate from his home state and gets re-elected by the fine people of the Nutmeg State who would shoot themselves in the foot if they had a cap gun.

“Although enraged by his campaign attacks against Barack Obama, U.S. Senate Democrats will allow Sen. Joe Lieberman to remain chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.   Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid emerged from a closed-door caucus Tuesday morning and told a large crowd of Capitol reporters that Senate Democrats voted 42 to 13 against punishing Lieberman.”http://www.newstimes.com/ci_11015976

This has nothing to do with Senator McCain and everything to do with Senator Lieberman.

Then Honorable Senator Lieberman campaigns for the Republican presidential candidate and makes many nasty and ugly comments about the Democratic presidential candidate.  With friends like this who needs enemas?

So how do the feckless Democrats handle it?  Do they kick him out of their caucus?  Do they remove his committee chairmanship? Do they do anything at all?

Nope.  They do nothing.  They allow someone to spit in their face, try to burn their house down and they allow the lunatic Lieberman to dance away scott free.  What do you think the marching lock strap Republican Party would have done if a sitting Republican actively, openly and forcefully campaigned for PE Obama?  They would have been gutted, skinned and their body parts would have been scattered to the four winds.

The Democrats?  Nothing.  I won’t vote for candidates from a party that can’t even keep its own kids disciplined and under control.  It’s like an army that is allowed to rape, pillage and loot because the command won’t keep them under control, or a country that is so undisciplined that it allows secret prisons and the torture of suspects.

Once again disgusted with the Democrats.  Joe please just disappear.  Just ride off into the sunset and retire in Lake Bona Vista Acres.

144,000. BTW just to fire the other barrel what is up with 144,000 Alaskans voting for Senator Ted Stevens?

Stevens thanks to the AP

Stevens thanks to the AP

These people, ideologues to be sure, voted for this guy even after he was convicted of basically stealing money from the people of Alaska and the citizens of the United  States.  If you voted for Stevens you either didn’t know he was convicted and shouldn’t vote because you ain’t informed or you shouldn’t vote because you don’t have a shred of sense and are guided by party politics and not principle. 1/2 of the voters of Alaska voted for a convicted felon.

I mean come on.

“Stevens says he’s deeply grateful for his 40 years of service in the Senate.  The 85-year-old Stevens lost his bid for a seventh term after he was convicted on federal corruption charges.”

http://www.startribune.com/politics/national/president/34737699.html?elr=KArksLckD8EQDUoaEyqyP4O:DW3ckUiD3aPc:_Yyc:aULPQL7PQLanchO7DiUr

Politics

October 30, 2008

I promise this won’t be an ongoing political blog, but the big party is next week. This is a tough one to write because politics right now is like a throbbing abscess. No matter what you say ½ the people are going to be mad at you. Some pretty nasty things are being said by everyone.  I sincerely apologize in advance.

I won’t be voting for Obama. I won’t be voting for McCain.

I don’t like Obama because of his position on FISA. Obama is for granting immunity to the telecommunications companies that threw open their switches and servers for the government’s snoopers. Although anyone is free to hang out with whoever they want, I didn’t like Obama’s explanation that he wasn’t in church on those Sundays. Come on, be honest. I wish Clinton just said, ‘yeah, you know what I did it and boy did it feel good.’ I wouldn’t have held it against him. I think Obama is also light on experience. He says that he’ll surround himself with good people, but I’ve heard that before and look where we are now. He, also judging by my latest American Rifleman, is an enemy of the Second Amendment.

I won’t be voting for McCain either though. He’s an angry man that acts on emotion and makes brash decisions. He was calling off the campaign then he started it up again. He was going to the debate, then he wasn’t, then he was. McRage is more like it. McCain is squishy on protecting our borders too. I don’t think Palin is qualified either. McCain can’t control himself.  Would you do this on a nationally televised job interview? 

So who am I going to vote for? It doesn’t really matter. In the state that I live in it’s already a done deal. My vote is irrelevant. That doesn’t mean that I am not interested. I don’t think I could be more interested if I saw Washington, DC burning. We need a viable third party. The binary system is killing us. Two sides of the same lousy coin.

Voting is probably one of the most important things that we can do. If you don’t vote, don’t you dare complain. Vote or shut up.

Read this before you vote: http://www.usconstitution.net/const.html

USConst

USConst

A Mayberry (http://anonymouse.org/cgi-bin/anon-www.cgi/http://www.mayberry-keepitsimplestupid.blogspot.com/) style rant has been building in me, but I know 50% of you are going to be mad at me for one or more off the following.

The $700,000,000,000.00 bailout should have been used to hire 750,000 at $70,000 per year and the remaining $175,000,000,000.00 used for infrastructure.  Think that would help the economy?

We need to bring our troops home. Okay, maybe not from Iraq, Afghanistan or West Monomalexico, but do we really need troops in 135 out of 192 countries around the world? We can’t afford it. Every one of the service people on each one of the bases might as well be living on a Chinese Mastercard. We need to shrink the Empire. This is aggression and corporate welfare, not defense. If the US military is being used to protect markets then the corporations should be billed for the service.

We need to cut government back. It’s just getting too invasive. Why does every police department need a $200,000 black RV command center or a SWAT squad dressed like ninjas? Terrorists aren’t going to attack some sheep festival in Maine. Look around you. If there were gobs of angry people out there that wanted to harm you and yours, how many targets do you see every day? Look around, a few committed people that wanted to hurt us could. Worry more about driving or falling off a ladder at home or any sense of retirement after our economy gets done evolving.

I don’t like the government spying on us. We need to elect people that will hold the government, banks, corporations and the telecommunication companies accountable. They’re supposed to get a warrant. The Fourth Amendment tells them so and at least one company, Qwest, said no to the Bush Administration. It’s gotten so bad that I’ve started using proxy servers and think twice about posting on some blogs.

I don’t like the Department of Homeland Security. It has a creepy name. It’s also the largest expansion of government in decades.

I don’t like cameras springing up on every street corner.

I don’t like government poking its nose in every small bit of business. Legalize everything, license it, organize the distribution and tax it. Everything. Drugs, prostitution, gambling. Why should the gangs have a corner on drugs, the pimps on the ladies and the Indians on the dice? Tax it, tax it, tax it. Criminalization doesn’t stop anything as long as demand exists supply will be there to meet it. You can get drugs in prison. Free the cops to get the really bad people that may hurt others.

Stop messing with sane people that want to own guns. I don’t worry about Mrs. Jones having a gun on the train. I wish more people carried. Okay, I agree with SCOTUS on this one, that reasonable regulation is well….reasonable. I have no problem with pretty much anything any of us now own. Restrictions on magazines or folding stocks is bogus. Should we be able to buy RPGs, I’m not so sure. Convince me. More people should carry and practice.

People complain about socialism. Do you still think that we have free markets? Do you? The markets are rigged. Trickle down hasn’t worked for me. I don’t like government bailing out the banks. I don’t like government buying “toxic” paper from Wall Street players or commercial paper from the Fortune 500. It really pisses me off. I’ve been paying interest, late fees, overdraft fees and ATM fees to these SOBs for my whole life and now they come to MY government asking for some coke and sympathy. No effing way. Live by the sword die by the sword. What’s been going on since August has been a looting of the People’s Treasury. They’re taking Trillions from your kids’, kids’, kids and giving it to the same people that gave birth to these Frankenstein financial instruments in the first place. Just a year ago I remember reading about Millions and Millions and Millions being given out in bonuses to the guys that created this mess. This is worse than socialism. At least socialism lifts the weakest. This is Trickle Up Economics of the worst kind. The middleclass is being exterminated, and very effectively at that, with barely a peep so far. 90%+ of We The People were against the bailout and Congress passed it anyways. I couldn’t be more disgusted.

I don’t have a lot of hope that our futures will be like our pasts. I’m really thinking that the American way of life is going to change, contrary to Cheney saying that, “it is not up for negotiation.” Hey, sometimes stuff happens and you have no choice.

Remember freedom of speech can only exist if you have thick skin. Freedom of speech protects the worst, most abhorrent things that people speak, not the things we all agree on. If it makes you mad you ought to support it being said. Your freedom is dependent upon how much of your neighbor’s crap that you are willing to put up with. Don’t call the cops on your neighbor until you speak with them.

You measure a democracy by the freedom it gives its dissidents, not the freedom it gives its assimilated conformists.”

Stay informed. Don’t believe the Media. Look at papers and websites from overseas too. There are too many liars and charlatans in the Media marketplace. Don’t trust them. I mean the guys you listen to too, not just the folks the other guys listen to. Don’t trust them either. Learn to spot bias not by being told who is biased but by reading enough so that you can tell when one person is favoring another.

When you go into vote day on the first Tuesday of November, do the right thing. Think about the past few years. Is your family better off, or worse off? Do you like the direction of the country? Are you more free or less free? Are our futures brighter or dimmer?

Vote for freedom, liberty, limited government intrusion. Hold them accountable and make them pay. We need to take our government back. It may already be too late. I hope that the guy who gets the most votes wins. I hope the guy who wins get sworn in. Unfortunately, I still expect something to happen between now and inauguration day.

Tomorrow back to regular stuff.