Saturday, December 26, 2009

Some climate change info

http://icecap.us/index.php/go/new-and-cool/fact_based_climate_debate/

It is crucial that scientists are factually accurate when they do speak out, that they ignore media hype and maintain a clinical detachment from social or other agendas. There are facts and data that are ignored in the maelstrom of social and economic agendas swirling about Copenhagen.

--Unfortunately, real help in preserving our earth and responsible use of its resources will not occur with all the political crap going on. Scientists that fake data to make a political point should be stripped of their college degrees, tenure and other ranks of distinction. But like bankers that steal and gamble knowingly on bad investments, no one is going to prosecute them either.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

James Quinn on the Brave New World

Click here

“Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted. That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history.”

Aldous Huxley

So are we there yet? Has the "American dream" turned into a dream with no reality?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Swamping The Productive

According to the US Debt Clock (http://www.usdebtclock.org), the current US population is 308 million. Of that total population, just over 35 percent (108.7 million) are taxpayers. The rest are those who pay no net tax, government employees, dependents and those who are unemployed and/or on welfare. These percentages would be similar in any nation with a mature welfare state.

If you subtract Americans under 18 from the almost 200 million Americans who do not pay tax, the US is in a situation where many more people vote for a living than work for one. This too is an inevitable end result of any mature welfare state. The fact remains that in the US, 108 million productive people are supporting almost 200 million drones. Those same 108 million people are paying the ever increasing
interest bill on the so-called “public debt”. And finally, those same 108 million people are the only REAL source of the wherewithal to eventually repay the debt. At current levels of US federal government spending, it would take a cut of more than 50 percent just to balance it - especially after the servicing costs on the existing debt are taken into account. To actually BEGIN to pay the debt would take budget cuts even bigger than that. As long as more people vote for a living than work for one in the US, that simply is NOT going to happen. A productive minority CANNOT support a non productive majority.


http://www.investmentrarities.com/best_of_bill_buckler12-03-09.shtml

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Problem solving maestro

The problem begins with the loss of AOL id's on Itunes.....


So being a "good guy" I try to register a new ID



The result, stupid account info will not link to purchased music from AOL account info...

I then try to work inside the system....


Customer First Name : Barry
Customer Last Name : Buchholz
email : bearbuc@vvvvvvvvvv
Web Order # :
Support Subject : iTunes Store Account and Billing
Sub Issue :
See additional info below
OS version: Windows 7
Country: US
iTunes version: iTunes 9.0
iTunes account name: bearbuc@yahoo.com
Specific request: I can't sign in with my AOL account
AOL account billing address: address
AOL account billing city: St. Johns
AOL account billing state: MI
AOL account billing zip: 48879
AOL account billing phone number:
AOL account name: bxxxxxxxx
Details:
Please sync aol account to this apple account. The wizard DOES NOT WORK.

Thank you





----- Original Message ----
From: iTunes Store
To: bearbuc@vvvvvvvvvv
Sent: Mon, November 2, 2009 2:53:58 PM
Subject: Re: iTunes Store Account and Billing; Follow-up: 86909648

Dear Barry,

Hi i am Danielle. I'm sorry but I was unable to determine the nature of your inquiry based on the information you have provided. I am not sure if you are wanting to convert your aol account to an apple, or merge accounts. Please reply to this email with more information about the issue you are experiencing, as well as the text of any error messages you may be receiving. I look forward to your reply.

I thank you for your patience and if you have any other questions please feel free to reply to this e-mail and i will be more than happy to assist you.

Sincerely,


Danielle
iTunes Store Customer Support

Please Note: I work Monday-Friday 11:00 am-8:00 pm CT

Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to assist you. You may receive an AppleCare survey email; any feedback you provide would be greatly appreciated.


TrackID: 8693371

Full ViewRe: iTunes Store Account and Billing; Follow-up: 86909648
From: iTunes Store Add to Contacts
To: bearbuc@vvvvvvvvvvv


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My Reply:

Itunes will NOT allow me to use the older aol account info to authorize my pc. It always goes to the wizard to create an apple account but then nothing else.
All my music under the older AOL account will not play.
____________________________________________________________________________________

Hi Barry,

Shaunna here from the iTunes Store and I will be happy to assist you today on behalf of my colleague, Danielle, who is currently out of the office.

I'm sorry to hear that you have been experiencing some difficulty converting your AOL ID to an Apple ID. I can convert your account for you. Before I can do this, however, Apple requires that you provide the following for security reasons:

- The billing address listed on the account
- Your permission to reset the password

...as well as one of the following:

- the last four digits of the credit card used for your iTunes Store account
- or the order number of your most recent purchase
- or the name of any item you've purchased using this account

Upon receiving your response, Apple will verify your information, reset your password, and send you an email with your new password.

Barry, ensuring this matter is resolved for you is important to me, so I'll make sure to contact you again shortly if I do not hear back from you. To reach me again, simply reply to this email. Thank you for your understanding and have a wonderful day!

With Warm Regards,

Shaunna
iTunes Store Customer Support

Please note: Please note: My hours are Sunday - Thursday 1:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. EST

Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to assist you. You may receive an AppleCare survey email; any feedback you provide would be greatly appreciated.




My Solution......




After three emails and the stupid wizard this should have been an easy fix for them.
Now I will rip all my music....

And the wizard in Itunes is still broke.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!!!


http://www.hulu.com/watch/322/wkrp-in-cincinnati-turkeys-away

"As god is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly...."


Cracks me up every time I hear it.

Monday, November 23, 2009

What kind of conservative are you?

How to Win a Fight With a Liberal is the ultimate survival guide for political arguments

My Conservative Identity:

You are a Flag-Waving Everyman, also known as a patriot. You believe in freedom, apple pie, rooting for America at all times, and that God gave us a two-day weekend so we could enjoy football and NASCAR.

Take the quiz at www.FightLiberals.com

Friday, November 20, 2009

Tune for the day

Two posts on the dollar

Here are two posts to read/study, one is fiction


http://johngaltfla.com/blog3/2009/11/18/the-day-the-dollar-died


The other one reality

http://www.kitco.com/ind/willie/nov182009.html


Stock up food , water, and tools while you can...

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Which one is different?

Click and go see, try and figure out which picture is different......

Kinda got the Sesame street song in my head now.... one of these things is not like the other...

Friday, November 13, 2009

Video simulation of Flight 1549

Don’t-Miss Video: Incredible Look at U.S. Airways Flight 1549



10 States In Deep Fiscal Trouble


Dropping tax revenue, rising unemployment and yawning budget gaps are wreaking havoc in states from Arizona to Wisconsin, a new report shows.


Click here to read more....

Friday, November 6, 2009

Quote of the day

What a man knows at fifty that he did not know at twenty is, for the most part, incommunicable. The laws, the aphorisms, the generalizations, the universal truths, the parables and the old saws — all of the observations about life which can be communicated handily in ready, verbal packages — are as well known to a man at twenty who has been attentive as to a man at fifty. He has been told them all, he has read them all, and he has probably repeated them all before he graduates from college; but he has not lived them all.
What he knows at fifty that he did not know at twenty boils down to something like this: The knowledge he has acquired with age is not the knowledge of formulas, or forms of words, but of people, places, actions — a knowledge not gained by words but by touch, sight, sound, victories, failures, sleeplessness, devotion, love — the human experiences and emotions of this earth and of oneself and other men; and perhaps, too, a little faith, and a little reverence for things you cannot see.-- Adlai E. Stevenson, Jr.

Monday, November 2, 2009

History lessons never taught in American schools

http://directorblue.blogspot.com/2009/10/from-one-that-lived-under-communism.html

If you never knew a person who lived in Europe during world war II, then you missed on out on learning how bad people can be towrds others. I've known several people who lived during those black years and it definitely was a reason they came to live in America.

James Quinn on GDP

http://theburningplatform.com/groups/quinns-daily-dose-of-reality/discussions/gdp-comes-in-at-35

Subtract out government and we have no gross domestic production increases for the month.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Friday, October 23, 2009

changes in society

http://thenononsenseman.mensnewsdaily.com/2009/10/17/maria-shriver-alimony-terminator-marc-h-rudov/

Maria Shriver: Alimony Terminator
by Marc H. Rudov

We love you, Maria Shriver. For the past half-year, with unchecked politically correct sexism, you’ve preached that America is a woman’s nation. Not only haven’t you faced any resistance, legal or social, NBC is rewarding you with a weeklong series called — what else? — A Woman’s Nation™.

IMHO- there are those who speak of "ugly sticks" but I'm thinking she got the whole ugly truck....

20 reasons America has lost its soul and collapse is inevitable

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/story/print?guid=47729BA0-933E-4299-92CC-EB41EEE671D2

Death of 'Soul of Capitalism': Bogle, Faber, Moore
20 reasons America has lost its soul and collapse is inevitable

By Paul B. Farrell, MarketWatch

Monday, October 5, 2009

History Lesson- good long read

http://theburningplatform.com/economy/founding-fathers-of-our-new-country-1

FOUNDING FATHERS OF OUR NEW COUNTRY by James Quinn




“Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.” – George Washington


“I hope I shall possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man.” – George Washington

“Truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains to bring it to light.” – George Washington

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Bank and Credit Union ratings website

http://banktracker.investigativereportingworkshop.org/banks/

Good site to see how bad your bank or credit union is handling the recess....er.... depresi...er...green shoots economy.

I thought the credit union I use would be a safe bet, but they are ranked higher risk then the bank I use.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Labor Day



Feeding the campers.....



1967 Starcraft- we will work on rebuilding it this winter, right now we just cruise around.





Took some time off to work on our cabin and to enjoy with the kids. Maria hit her head and no one realized she was bleeding on the life jacket.






Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Travails of Small Business Doom the U.S. Economy

http://www.oftwominds.com/blogaug09/small-biz08-09.html

By Charles Hugh smith

excerpt...

Would you borrow $250,000 to start a business which might, if you're lucky, net 10%? That's your wage, pal, not the net-net--you have to pay taxes on that $25K, too--starting with 15% self-employment. But then the business might fail, and you lose the $250K and have to declare bankruptcy.

A business isn't a license to print money--it's a license for cities, counties and states to print tax revenues. The entrepreneur may or may not print money, but since 75% of all new businesses fail within a few years (and that's in good times; now the failure rate will probably run to 95%), the odds are they will lose all their invested capital and be broke, not wealthy.

>>>>>

So many small city/village downtowns are filled with empty store fronts for this very reason.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Death of the dollar....

Items
1971 2007 % Increase

Average Cost of new house
$28,000 $314,000 1121%

Median HH Income
$10,300 $58,700 570%

Average Monthly Rent
$150 $730 487%

Cost of a gallon of Gas
$0.40 $2.80 700%

Average New Car Price
$3,430 $28,000 816%

United States postage Stamp
$0.08 $0.41 512%

Movie Ticket
$1.50 $7.00 467%

This shows the loss of 90-95% of the dollars value. TPTB are planning on an additional 50% of loss to the dollar to cover up the debt obligations already owed by the federales.

h/t James Quinn
http://www.financialsense.com/editorials/quinn/2009/0825.html

Thursday, August 27, 2009

ED Day- novel on pandemic "flu"

http://ed-day.blogspot.com/


Everybody died so fast.

They never said everybody would die so f...ing fast.

Maybe 100,000 people turned up for work in Sydney’s CBD on the morning of ED Day, March 21.

A whole lot less people than were coming to work before the second wave of the pandemic hit in February, but there was still enough to form thin crowds and and for it to look pretty much like an average weekday, workday, morning in the city.

When I was walking down Clarence Street to my building site, I had to step around a tight pack of office workers waiting for fresh coffee from a window cafe. There was nothing going on to tell me this would be the last morning like this I'd ever see in Sydney.

Everybody should have been at home.

We all knew how bad the first and second waves of the pandemic had been. Everybody knew someone who died in the January or February waves.

Even when they stopped reporting the scale of the death toll on the news, everybody you talked to said "Yeah, so-and-so died last week" or "He wasn't even sick when he went to bed..."

Saturday, August 15, 2009

James Quinn on education

AMERICAN IDIOTS
by James Quinn
August 14, 2009

According to the CDC, 66% of adults over the age of 20 are overweight or obese. That is approximately 140 million adults. Somewhere between 15 and 20 million Americans can be classified as alcoholics. As many as 50% of those on welfare are alcoholics. There are 225 million people over 18 years old and 32 million of them do not have a high school degree. There are 32 million adults or 14% who are illiterate (23% in California, 22% in New York, 20% in Florida, 17% in New Jersey).

http://www.financialsense.com/editorials/quinn/2009/0814.html

Saturday, August 8, 2009

I've lost a great friend today.....




And it hurts a lot.


She is now chasing squirrels in Prudenville under the big oak tree.

Friday, August 7, 2009

The Royal Scam

From the piece......


In a single stroke you:


a) lose the burden of external debt

b) by devaluation lose your internal debt

c) make the nation competitive as a manufacturing power.

d) scare the people back into compliance, even exultation with their low wages.

e) with the renewal of manufacturing, re-cast the power that your military rests on

f) during a time of Peak Oil, radically reduce unnecessary consumption while insuring strategic (military) supply.

g) by doing that, suck in the oil powers of Russia, Iran, and Venezuela enough to knock them off-base, first with high prices, then low prices.

h) club China into submission to the G-8 money powers again

and best of all:

i) enrich insiders beyond their wildest dreams, insuring their dominance for a generation to come.

All the right people win, all the wrong people lose.

http://www.oftwominds.com/blogaug09/KaPoom2CHS.htm

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Thought for the day

I should like to find the existence of what my father called "Plain living and high thinking."

I want some fields and hills, woodlands and streams I can call my own. I want to spend my strength in making fields green, and the cattle fat, so that I may give sustenance to my loved ones, and aid to those neighbors who suffer misfortune; I do not want a life of monotonous paper-shuffling or of trafficking with money-mad traders.

I only want enough of science to enable fruitful husbandry of the land with simple tools, a time for leisure, and the guarding of my family's health. I do not care to be absorbed in the endless examining of force and space and matter, which I believe can only slowly lead to God.

I do not want a hectic hurrying from place to place on whizzing machines or busy streets. I do not want an elbowing through crowds of impatient strangers who have time neither to think their own thoughts nor to know real friendship. I want to live slowly, to relax with my family before a glowing fireplace, to welcome the visits of my neighbors, to worship God, to enjoy a book, to lie on a shaded grassy bank and watch the clouds sail across the blue.

I want to love a wife who prefers rural peace to urban excitement, one who would rather climb a hilltop to watch a sunset with me than to take a taxi to any Broadway play. I want a woman who is not afraid of bearing children, and who is able to rear them with a love for home and the soil, and the fear of God.

I want of government only protection against the violence and injustices of evil or selfish men.

I want to reach the sunset of life sound in body and mind, flanked by strong sons and grandsons, enjoying the friendship and respect of neighbors, surrounded by fertile fields and sleek cattle, and retaining my boyhood faith in Him who promised a life to come.

Where can I find this world? Would its anachronism doom it to ridicule or loneliness? Is there yet a place for such simple ways in my own America or must I seek a vale in [Chinese] Turkestan where peaceful flocks still graze the quiet hills?


John Birch
http://www.jbs.org/john-birch

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

John Galt- Shenendoah

The Second Half of 2009 Kickoff: No recovery, No way, No how




"I fear that there is our autumn event which once again brings a shudder and hopefully final decline to our equity and credit markets."


The charts don't lie like the bubblevision talking heads.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Remember this...

Remember these words: "Pursuant to Article I, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution, we are hereby informing you there are [fill in number] people in our household, [fill in number] of whom are voting age."


No more info than that.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Song of the day- Waylon again.....

Mammas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys
Waylon Jennings- Willie Nelson


Cowboys ain't easy to love and they're harder to hold.
They'd rather give you a song than diamonds or gold.
Lonestar belt buckles and old faded levis,
And each night begins a new day.
If you don't understand him, an' he don't die young,
He'll prob'ly just ride away.

Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be cowboys.
Don't let 'em pick guitars or drive them old trucks.
Let 'em be doctors and lawyers and such.
Mamas don't let your babies grow up to be cowboys.
'Cos they'll never stay home and they're always alone.
Even with someone they love.

Cowboys like smokey old pool rooms and clear mountain mornings,
Little warm puppies and children and girls of the night.
Them that don't know him won't like him and them that do,
Sometimes won't know how to take him.
He ain't wrong, he's just different but his pride won't let him,
Do things to make you think he's right.

Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be cowboys.
Don't let 'em pick guitars or drive them old trucks.
Let 'em be doctors and lawyers and such.
Mamas don't let your babies grow up to be cowboys.
'Cos they'll never stay home and they're always alone.
Even with someone they love.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Martin Weiss on California mess


http://www.moneyandmarkets.com/california-collapsing-34271

Good article about the mess California is in and how that will trigger even more problems nationwide this summer.

Unfortunately, Michigan is as bad ( 24 billion in unfunded retirement state pensions).

Interesting factoid:

California is America’s most populous state with 38 million people. Its GDP of $1.8 trillion is the largest in the U.S. Its economy is bigger than those of Russia, Brazil, Canada, or India.

And it's burning down...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

How fast?

Monday, June 22, 2009
Aspen 20 - Ground Speed Check

*** I did not write this. To my knowledge the author is anonymous. ***

There were a lot of things we couldn't do in an SR-71 Blackbird (The Air Force/NASA super fast, highest flying reconnaissance jet, nicknamed, "The Sled"), but we were the fastest guys on the block and loved reminding our fellow aviators of this fact. People often asked us if, because of this fact, it was fun to fly the jet. Fun would not be the first word I would use to describe flying this plane - intense, maybe, even cerebral. But there was one day in our Sled experience when we would have to say that it was pure fun to be the fastest guys out there, at least for a moment.

It occurred when Walt and I were flying our final training sortie. We needed 100 hours in the jet to complete our training and attain Mission Ready status. Somewhere over Colorado we had passed the century mark. We had made the turn in Arizona and the jet was performing flawlessly. My gauges were wired in the front seat and we were starting to feel pretty good about ourselves, not only because we would soon be flying real missions but because we had gained a great deal of confidence in the plane in the past ten months. Ripping across the barren deserts 80,000 feet below us, I could already see the coast of California from the Arizona border.

I was, finally, after many humbling months of simulators and study, ahead of the jet. I was beginning to feel a bit sorry for Walter in the back seat. There he was, with no really good view of the incredible sights before us, tasked with monitoring four different radios. This was good practice for him for when we began flying real missions, when a priority transmission from headquarters could be vital. It had been difficult, too, for me to relinquish control of the radios, as during my entire flying career I had controlled my own transmissions. But it was part of the division of duties in this plane and I had adjusted to it. I still insisted on talking on the radio while we were on the ground, however. Walt was so good at many things, but he couldn't match my expertise at sounding smooth on the radios, a skill that had been honed sharply with years in fighter squadrons where the slightest radio miscue was grounds for beheading. He understood that and allowed me that luxury.

Just to get a sense of what Walt had to contend with, I pulled the radio toggle switches and monitored the frequencies along with him. The predominant radio chatter was from Los Angeles Center, far below us, controlling daily traffic in their sector. While they had us on their scope (albeit briefly), we were in uncontrolled airspace and normally would not talk to them unless we needed to descend into their airspace. We listened as the shaky voice of a lone Cessna pilot who asked Center for a read-out of his ground speed. Center replied: “November Charlie 175, I'm showing you at ninety knots on the ground.” Now the thing to understand about Center controllers was that whether they were talking to a rookie pilot in a Cessna or to Air Force One, they always spoke in the exact same, calm, deep, professional tone that made one feel important. I referred to it as the "Houston Center voice." I have always felt that after years of seeing documentaries on this country's space program and listening to the calm and distinct voice of the Houston controllers, that all other controllers since then wanted to sound like that and that they basically did. And it didn't matter what sector of the country we would be flying in, it always seemed like the same guy was talking. Over the years that tone of voice had become somewhat of a comforting sound to pilots everywhere. Conversely, over the years, pilots always wanted to ensure that, when transmitting, they sounded like Chuck Yeager, or at least like John Wayne. Better to die than sound bad on the radios.

Just moments after the Cessna's inquiry, a Twin Beech piped up on frequency, in a rather superior tone, asking for his ground speed in Beech. “I have you at one hundred and twenty-five knots of ground speed.” Boy, I thought, the Beechcraft really must think he is dazzling his Cessna brethren. Then out of the blue, a navy F-18 pilot out of NAS Lemoore came up on frequency. You knew right away it was a Navy jock because he sounded very cool on the radios. “Center, Dusty 52 ground speed check.” Before Center could reply, I'm thinking to myself, hey, Dusty 52 has a ground speed indicator in that million-dollar cockpit, so why is he asking Center for a read-out? Then I got it, ol' Dusty here is making sure that every bug smasher from Mount Whitney to the Mojave knows what true speed is. He's the fastest dude in the valley today, and he just wants everyone to know how much fun he is having in his new Hornet.

And the reply, always with that same, calm, voice, with more distinct alliteration than emotion: “Dusty 52, Center, we have you at 620 on the ground.” And I thought to myself, is this a ripe situation, or what? As my hand instinctively reached for the mic button, I had to remind myself that Walt was in control of the radios. Still, I thought, it must be done - in mere seconds we'll be out of the sector and the opportunity will be lost. That Hornet must die, and die now. I thought about all of our Sim training and how important it was that we developed well as a crew and knew that to jump in on the radios now would destroy the integrity of all that we had worked toward becoming. I was torn. Somewhere, 13 miles above Arizona, there was a pilot screaming inside his space helmet. Then, I heard it - the click of the mic button from the back seat. That was the very moment that I knew Walter and I had become a crew. Very professionally, and with no emotion, Walter spoke: “Los Angeles Center, Aspen 20, can you give us a ground speed check?”

There was no hesitation, and the replay came as if was an everyday request. “Aspen 20, I show you at one thousand eight hundred and forty-two knots, across the ground.” I think it was the forty-two knots that I liked the best, so accurate and proud was Center to deliver that information without hesitation, and you just knew he was smiling. But the precise point at which I knew that Walt and I were going to be really good friends for a long time was when he keyed the mic once again to say, in his most fighter-pilot-like voice: “Ah, Center, much thanks, we're showing closer to nineteen hundred on the money.” For a moment Walter was a god. And we finally heard a little crack in the armor of the Houston Center voice, when L.A. came back with, “Roger that Aspen. Your equipment is probably more accurate than ours. You boys have a good one.”

It all had lasted for just moments, but in that short, memorable sprint across the southwest, the Navy had been flamed, all mortal airplanes on freq were forced to bow before the King of Speed, and more importantly, Walter and I had crossed the threshold of being a crew. A fine day's work. We never heard another transmission on that frequency all the way to the coast. For just one day, it truly was fun being the fastest guys out there.

h/t- http://bloggerblaster.blogspot.com/


EDIT-- We know who wrote it now...

Sled Driver : Flying the World's Fastest Jet.


Brian Schul, is a retired U. S. Air Force fighter pilot who was
severely burned in the crash of an AT-28 working on a clandestine
mission in Laos. He not only survived, but came back on flight status
to fly again and serve as an A-10 and SR-71 pilot.

Monday, June 8, 2009

health care?




This will cause huge problems in our economy......

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Blame Bush , right????

Things that make you go hmmmmmm...

http://wcwb.wordpress.com/2009/06/03/when-your-state-fails-just-blame-bush/

Michigan is the lone state depression now, working on dragging the state lower.

Friday, May 29, 2009

James Quinn- AIN’T NO REST FOR THE WICKED

http://www.financialsense.com/editorials/quinn/2009/0526.html


"While America was “inventing” Twitter so Americans could waste more time on useless bullshit, China built three nuclear power plants and two refineries."

Good article discussing the end of the American experiment as we continue the path we are on and have not changed course to save our nation.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

It's sewage, not manure....

http://www.detnews.com/article/20090528/METRO/905280389/1409/METRO

CAFO's stink plain and simple. These operations must begin to process their waste as sewage ( which it is ) and not call it manure ( which it is not once it sits in the lagoons).

Operations in this area of the state that process the manure ( remove methane for power operations) are much easier to breathe then the open lagoon operations.


If cities can process sewage then CAFO's can too.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Ten threats for 2009


http://www.marketskeptics.com/2009/01/ten-major-threats-facing-dollar.html

Older article ( January 2009) but still good for tracking the upcoming sh*tstorm heading our way.

Forget "green shoots", "recovery mania, " the bottom is in " crapola....

Saturday, May 23, 2009

survival mindset

http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig10/spirko3.html

The survivalist community is often perceived as a bunch of gloom and doom types sitting on a pile of MREs, ammunition and guns in some far out corner of the North West. Of course the survivalist is also typecast as expecting TEOTWAWKI (the end of the world as we know it) to occur any day now, in fact he is actually hoping for it. Honestly it is time for this stereotype to die a deserving death.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

my cold dead fingers......

http://www.newswithviews.com/baldwin/baldwin511.htm

As readers may recall, the MIAC report profiled certain people as being potential violence-prone "militia members": including people who supported Presidential candidates Ron Paul, Bob Barr, and myself. In addition, anyone who opposed one or more of the following were also included in the list: the New World Order, the U.N., gun control, the violation of Posse Comitatus, the Federal Reserve, the Income Tax, the Ammunition Accountability Act, a possible Constitutional Convention, the North American Union, the Universal Service Program, Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), abortion on demand, or illegal immigration.

Ron Paul supporter check
Opposed to New world order check
Opposed to U.N. check
Opposed to gun control check
Opposed to loss of Posse Comitatus check
Opposed to "federal" reserve check
Opposed to Income "tax" check
Opposed to Ammo. Acct. Act check
Opposed to Constitutional Convention check
Opposed to North American Union check
Opposed to Universal Service Program check
Opposed to RFID check
Opposed to abortion on demand check
Opposed to illegal immigration check

I also add the following:

Pro-life check
Pro-gun check
Pro- states rights check
Repeal 14th amendment check
End speed traps on highways check
legalize hemp check
Repeal eminent domain check
Repeal "hate crime" laws check
Seat belt laws as secondary offense check
repeal confiscation laws check

Sunday, May 10, 2009

get healthy get smarter???

Interesting post in the blogosphere on getting healthy to boost mental performance...

http://theblogprof.blogspot.com/2009/05/want-better-grades-exercise-more.html

My best research was after vigorous exercise, but also had a huge carb meal/junk-out to get the writing portions done.

And loud music to drown out the noise around me...

Saturday, May 9, 2009

More on flu

Flying Pigs, Tamiflu and Factory Farms
by F. William Engdahl
April 29, 2009

http://www.financialsense.com/editorials/engdahl/2009/0429.html

The only thing wrong with this story is that it is largely based on lies, hype and coverup of possible real causes of Mexican deaths.

Part Two

Flying Pigs, Tamiflu and Factory Farms, Part 2
WHO takes a page from a Michael Crichton Novel
by F. William Engdahl
May 5, 2009

http://www.financialsense.com/editorials/engdahl/2009/0505.html

Flu pandemic is increasingly revealed as a likely operation in mass psychological terror whose only beneficiaries are the few global pharmaceutical giants that are in the business of peddling so-called ‘antiviral’ drugs—Roche, SmithKlineGlaxo and Novavax most prominently.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

And so it begins

I've mentioned this to many that there "WILL" be a pandemic "flu" to reduce the world populations. It will be respiratory in nature and will be used to eliminate up to 25% of the population.

Map tracking the swine flu outbreak....
Captain Trips anyone? Intersting that the flu is affecting healthy young people first.


:-(

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Quote of the day......

You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong. You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift. You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down. You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred. You cannot build character and courage by taking away people's initiative and independence. You cannot help people permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.

- Abraham Lincoln

Explain this graph if you think all is well.....


Excellent editorial by Ty Andros, good to read and digest. The reality of the "other side" of the debt graph is it will take decades to fix...as long as we stop its growth now and not push it to the higher levels.

http://www.financialsense.com/fsu/editorials/andros/2009/0424.html

Friday, April 24, 2009

Saturday, April 11, 2009

James Quinn on oil and future energy


We have no policy to control, manage and meet our future energy needs. Obama and his ilk will not move us to the "promised green land".
From the article:
Instead of addressing the crucial issues that have led to the U.S. being dependent on foreign oil to the tune of $500 billion per year, Congress decided to spend your tax dollars on the following vital items (compliments of Casey Research):
$200,000 for tattoo removal for gang members in California.
$98 million for a Coast Guard ice breaker closing an ice-breaking gap. (what about global warming)
$950,000 for a bikeway in Kentucky.
$2 million for astronomy awareness in Hawaii.
$190,000 for a Buffalo Bill Historical Center.
$650 million for the digital to analog converter box program.
$1.8 million to study the effect of swine odor on the environment. (rumor has it the study will be conducted in the halls of Congress)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Bill Whittle article on class warfare

Go read....

http://pajamasmedia.com/ejectejecteject/2009/04/06/a-message-to-the-rich/

Destruction of the "productive" class may be the better description of the writers "rich".

Saturday, April 4, 2009

James Quinn on military and war... good read


Any doubt that the Military Industrial Complex is as strong as ever should be removed after examining Obama’s 2010 budget just put forth. It calls for 26% more in spending on Defense than President Bush spent in 2006.

http://www.financialsense.com/editorials/quinn/2009/0331.html

Saturday, March 28, 2009

joke of the day



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3hSnEMV58F8&e

A classic from the 2008 campaign.....

Deep thoughts

The crisis of our time is a crisis of intellectual integrity. We are suffering a deluge, in which common sense is drowned by the career logic of millions of nonentities. They are nonentities because they are careerists, because they have put something trivial above what is non-trivial. Their indifference to truth is seen in their daily compromises, their evasions, their manipulations of each other. They have become accustomed to subtle distortions, euphemisms and rationalizations. “I have to make a living,” says the salesman. “I have to win votes,” says the politician. “I have to raise my ratings,” says the television personality. “I have to keep my job,” says the employee.

Speaking Truth to Power
by J. R. Nyquist
Weekly Column Published: 03.27.2009
http://www.financialsense.com/stormwatch/geo/pastanalysis/2009/0327.html

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

stimulus plan will cost how much?


This is not GWB's fault , he is no longer in office. I was never a fan of GWB but saying this is his doing will no longer hold water. From the article, the federal government will devalue the dollar by 15 times.
Gold will go to the moon!!!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Does it still matter anymore?

It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace-- but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!

Patrick Henry

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Men need their T...

T as in testosterone..... good post from Alpha dominance tying together some info that men are becoming more female.
http://alphadominance.com/?p=848&cpage=1#comment-336

BTW it appears to me that women are becoming more male too. Not good!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Bloated software sucks


Damn it pisses me off how 2 flippin programs can hog up a system to the point it is unworkable.



And don' t suggest Itunes for a mp3 player; it sucks too.

GRRRRRRRR.........

Galt's Gulch?

A letter from the BOSS
This e-mail was posted in the Tax Day Tea Party Facebook Group. I haven’t been able to verify its authenticity, but at this point I don’t think that point is anywhere near as relevant as the message contained within the letter itself.
The letter was allegedly written by someone, If anyone can verify this and get back to me I would greatly appreciate it.
But like I said, the letter in and of itself is says exactly what we’ve all been saying. And the message is a perfect description of WHY the Tea Party Movement is gaining significant traction across the country.
————————–
From: leventhal4Subject: Letter posted on internet
To All My Valued Employees,
There have been some rumblings around the office about the future ofthis company, and more specifically, your job. As you know, the economyhas changed for the worse and presents many challenges. However, thegood news is this: The economy doesn’t pose a threat to your job. Whatdoes threaten your job however, is the changing political landscape inthis country. However, let me tell you some little tidbits of fact whichmight help you decide what is in your best interests.
First, while it is easy to spew rhetoric that casts employers againstemployees, you have to understand that for every business owner there isa Back Story. This back story is often neglected and overshadowed bywhat you see and hear. Sure, you see me park my Mercedes outside. You’veseen my big home at last years Christmas party. I’m sure; all theseflashy icons of luxury conjure up some idealized thoughts about my life.However, what you don’t see is the BACK STORY: I started this company 28years ago. At that time, I lived in a 300 square foot studio apartmentfor 3 years. My entire living apartment was converted into an office soI could put forth 100% effort into building a company, which by the way,would eventually employ you. My diet consisted of Ramen Pride noodlesbecause every dollar I spent went back into this company. I drove arusty Toyota Corolla with a defective transmission. I didn’t have timeto date. Often times, I stayed home on weekends, while my friends wentout drinking and partying. In fact, I was married to my business — hardwork, discipline, and sacrifice.
Meanwhile, my friends got jobs. They worked 40 hours a week and made amodest $50K a year and spent every dime they earned. They drove flashycars and lived in expensive homes and wore fancy designer clothes.Instead of hitting the Nordstrom’s for the latest hot fashion item, Iwas trolling through the discount store extracting any clothing itemthat didn’t look like it was birthed in the 70’s. My friends refinancedtheir mortgages and lived a life of luxury. I, however, did not. I putmy time, my money, and my life into a business with a vision thateventually, some day, I too, will be able to afford these luxuries myfriends supposedly had. So, while you physically arrive at the office at9 A.M., mentally check in at about noon, and then leave at 5 P.M., Idon’t. There is no “off” button for me. When you leave the office, youare done and you have a weekend all to yourself. I unfortunately do nothave the freedom. I eat, and breathe this company every minute of theday. There is no rest. There is no weekend. There is no happy hour.Every day this business is attached to my hip like a 1 year oldspecial-needs child. You, of course, only see the fruits of that garden– the nice house, the Mercedes, the vacations… you never realize theBack Story and the sacrifices I’ve made.
Now, the economy is falling apart and I, the guy that made all the rightdecisions and saved his money, have to bail-out all the people whodidn’t. The people that overspent their paychecks suddenly feel entitledto the same luxuries that I earned and sacrificed a decade of my lifefor. Yes, business ownership has is benefits but the price I’ve paid issteep and not without wounds. Unfortunately, the cost of running thisbusiness, and employing you, is starting to eclipse the threshold ofmarginal benefit and let me tell you why: I am being taxed to death andthe government thinks I don’t pay enough. I have state taxes. Federaltaxes. Property taxes. Sales and use taxes. Payroll taxes. Workerscompensation taxes. Unemployment taxes. Taxes on taxes. I have to hire atax man to manage all these taxes and then guess what? I have to paytaxes for employing him. Government mandates and regulations and all theaccounting that goes with it, now occupy most of my time.
On Oct 15th, I wrote a check to the US Treasury for $288,000 forquarterly taxes. You know what my “stimulus” check was? Zero.. Nada.Zilch. The question I have is this: Who is stimulating the economy? Me,the guy who has provided 14 people good paying jobs and serves over2,200,000 people per year with a flourishing business? Or, the singlemother sitting at home pregnant with her fourth child waiting for hernext welfare check? Obviously, government feels the latter is theeconomic stimulus of this country. The fact is, if I deducted (Read:Stole) 50% of your paycheck you’d quit and you wouldn’t work here. Imean, why should you? That’s nuts. Who wants to get rewarded only 50% oftheir hard work? Well, I agree which is why your job is in jeopardy.
Here is what many of you don’t understand … to stimulate the economyyou need to stimulate what runs the economy. Had suddenly governmentmandated to me that I didn’t need to pay taxes, guess what? Instead ofdepositing that $288,000 into the Washington black-hole, I would havespent it, hired more employees, and generated substantial economicgrowth. My employees would have enjoyed the wealth of that tax cut inthe form of promotions and better salaries. But you can forget it now.When you have a comatose man on the verge of death, you don’tdefibrillate and shock his thumb thinking that will bring him back tolife, do you? Or, do you defibrillate his heart?
Business is at the heart of America and always has been. To restart it,you must stimulate it, not kill it. Suddenly, the power brokers inWashington believe the poor of America are the essential drivers of theAmerican economic engine. Nothing could be further from the truth andthis is the type of change you can keep.
So where am I going with all this? It’s quite simple. If any new taxesare levied on me, or my company, my reaction will be swift and simple.I’ll fire you. I’ll fire your co-workers. You can then plead with thegovernment to pay for your mortgage, your SUV, and your child’s future.Frankly, it isn’t my problem any more.
Then, I will close this company down, move to another country, andretire. You see, I’m done. I’m done with a country that penalizes theproductive and gives to the unproductive. My motivation to work and toprovide jobs will be destroyed, and with it, will be my citizenship. So,if you lose your job, it won’t be at the hands of the economy; it willbe at the hands of a political hurricane that swept through thiscountry, steamrolled the constitution, and will have changed itslandscape forever. If that happens, you can find me sitting on a beach,retired, and with no employees to worry about….
Signed, THE BOSS

Monday, March 9, 2009

The "Bezzle" defined

http://market-ticker.denninger.net/archives/857-The-Bezzle-Defined.html

Karl kicks butt, and to end this recession we need to look into his suggestions for fixing the financial mess.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Freedom?


Interesting study on which states have more freedom then others. Michigan is number one for regulatory heavyhandedness. Woot! We're number one ......oh wait we also have number one in unemployment and no hope of recovering any time soon.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Movie Lines

“Now remember, when things look bad and it looks like you're not gonna make it, then you got to get mean. I mean plumb, mad-dog mean! Cause if you lose your head and you give up, then you neither live nor win. That's just the way it is.”

Clint Eastwood in Outlaw Josey Wales

Quote of the day

“The things that will destroy America are prosperity-at-any-price, peace-at-any-price, safety-first instead of duty-first, the love of soft living, and the get rich quick theory of life.”

Theodore Roosevelt

Friday, March 6, 2009

Quote of the day

"We can't expect the American People to jump from Capitalism to Communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving them small doses of Socialism, until they awaken one day to find that they have Communism."
- Nikita Khrushchev, Former Premier of USSR

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Poem of the day

The Road Less Traveled

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveller, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference...

Robert Frost

Monday, February 23, 2009

Words escape me



The median value of a U.S. home in 2000 was $119,600. It peaked at $221,900 in 2006. Historically, home prices have risen annually in line with CPI. If they had followed the long-term trend, they would have increased by 17% to $140,000. Instead, they skyrocketed by 86% due to Alan Greenspan’s irrational lowering of interest rates to 1%, the criminal pushing of loans by lowlife mortgage brokers, the greed and hubris of investment bankers and the foolishness and stupidity of home buyers. It is now 2009 and the median value should be $150,000 based on historical precedent. The median value at the end of 2008 was $180,100. Therefore, home prices are still 20% overvalued.

http://www.financialsense.com/editorials/quinn/2009/0218.html

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Quote of the day

"We have tried spending money. We are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work. And I have just one interest, and if I am wrong ... somebody else can have my job. I want to see this country prosperous. I want to see people get a job. I want to see people get enough to eat. We have never made good on our promises ... I say after eight years of this Administration we have just as much unemployment as when we started ... And an enormous debt to boot!" Franklin Roosevelt's Treasury Secretary, Henry Morgenthau, May 1939

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

New blog for the cabin project

http://bearbuck-lodge.blogspot.com/

Lodge, cabin, resort home, den, not sure what we end up calling it. "The Cabin" is the current favorite.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Deal is done!!!!!

Well we got it wrapped up on Friday. Now the "fun" starts re-modeling to our hearts content.

We will move the "cabin" to its own blog so we can update with photos etc etc once we get started on it.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Star Trek Opera

One of my favorite movies.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Walkin pnuemonia....

GACK!!!! New one on me, doc says I got walking pnuemonia. Stay home and don't do much, oh and take this killer anti-biotic.

I've found I work a lot cause right now I'm going out of my mind staying home.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Day four flu?????

Ugh, chills, sweats, aches, repeat....

I liveblogged over at http://www.rightmichigan.com/ Right Michigan as we watched the state of the state address from her highness....


7:46
[Comment From Bear] This is not the speech this state needs to hear.
7:46
[Comment From JGillman] Rose.. The best way for him to keep it down is with earplugs and dark glasses
7:46
Bear... best comment of the night.
7:46
[Comment From VICTORY 2010] Dead on Bear!
7:46
[Comment From JGillman] truth


It was a good discussion.....

Bear

Saturday, January 31, 2009


OIL RISES, OIL FALLS
The History of Oil Meets the Perfect Energy Trifecta

by Jim Puplava


January 28, 2009
Note- A long read on future energy ( oil) problems.


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

History lesson of the day

Origin of The Finger
(This may or may not be true but it is told repeatedly....so here you go)
In 1415, Henry the V took his army of around 6,000 men across the English Channel and into southern France. After cutting trees and preparing large pointed sticks, Henry marched his army northwest for 17 days and over 270 miles. With only one day's rest, the mighty force was haggard and exhausted by the time they reached the flat land between the forest of Agincourt.
The French army, consisting of 25,000 troops, 15,000 of which were mounted knights in armor, arrived on the evening of October 24. Their army was a mishmash of Frenchmen from all over the feudal country. It rained hard that night, and both armies were soaked to the bone my morning. Most French knights slept in the saddle so as not to sully their expensive and ornate armor.
On the morning of October 25, the French and British armies were salty and ready to fight. Henry moved his troops slowly up the 1/2 mile wide passage between the two forests of Agincourt. By 11 Am, the French commanders were still bickering over tactics and whether or not to charge all the while the British were within 400 yards of the French.
Now what made the battle of Agincourt so interesting was the introduction of the Welsh long bow. This weapon could dismount a rider at 300 yards and with top notch arrows, could pierce armor at close range.
The French King had heard of the longbow and smugly claimed that when the fight was over, he would cut the bow finger from every Englishman in France. As the long bow was made from the yew tree, it took great strength to draw the bow back and without the middle finger, this would be impossible.
When Henry had his troops within bowshot of the French, he loosed the first of many volleys of arrows. The French, caught off guard, charged with half their forces. The Duke of Orleans barely made it 200 yards before his knights broke and ran under a hail of deadly wood and steel. Many of the knights sank into the mud and were trampled as the horses and frightened soldiers pummeled them into a fine paste.
Those knights that did make it to the British front lines were let upon by unarmored soldiers carrying short swords, who plunged their blades into the joints of the French armor. All this came after a great number of horses were impaled upon the huge pointed sticks the British had placed in the ground in front of them.
At the end of the day, the French had lost some 10,000 men, and the British mourned only 500 dead. In one day, the Hundred Years War had turned and the long bow had successfully defeated the myth of the invincible knight in armor.
The French nobility stood horrified on a hill over looking the battle when the Englishmen in mass turned to face them, middle finger held high for the French to see.
Shakespeare went on to glorify this battle, and the French, to vilify it. For the next 100 years, every lad over the age of 6 in Britain was required to be instructed in the firing and maintaining of the long bow.
In response to this, the French began cutting off the index and middle fingers of all British men caught in battle or on French land, thus removing the digits that allowed the firing of a bow. This is where the British tradition of waving two fingers at someone as an insult arose. And, the very American middle fingered salute or "the bird," is a descendant of this. As the feathers on the arrow were made of pheasant feathers, the saying “Giving the bird” soon arose.

http://history-world.org/Agincourt%20and%20the%20finger.htm

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Warning: More Doom Ahead

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/story/cms.php?story_id=4591

“Because the United States is such a huge part of the global economy, there’s real reason to worry that an American financial virus could mark the beginning of a global economic contagion.” – Nouriel Roubini, March 2008

Personally, I'm waiting to clean up and buy some new toys....

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Quote of the day

President Woodrow Wilson

A great Industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is concentrated in the hands of a few men. We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated governments in the world no longer a government of free opinion, no longer a government by conviction and vote of majority, but a government by the opinion and duress of small groups of dominant men.

I am a most unhappy man. I have unwittingly ruined my country.

(President regretted signing into law the Federal Reserve Act)

Monday, January 12, 2009

Song of the day

Cats in the Cradle

A child arrived just the other day,
He came to the world in the usual way.
But there were planes to catch, and bills to pay.
He learned to walk while I was away.
And he was talking 'fore I knew it, and as he grew,
He'd say, "I'm gonna be like you, dad. You know I'm gonna be like you."

And the cat's in the cradle and the silver spoon,
Little boy blue and the man in the moon.
"When you coming home, dad?"
"I don't know when, But we'll get together then.
You know we'll have a good time then."

My son turned ten just the other day.
He said, "Thanks for the ball, dad, come on let's play.
Can you teach me to throw?"
I said, "Not today, I got a lot to do."
He said, "That's ok."
And he walked away, but his smile never dimmed,
Said, "I'm gonna be like him, yeah.
You know I'm gonna be like him."

And the cat's in the cradle and the silver spoon,
Little boy blue and the man in the moon.
"When you coming home, dad?"
"I don't know when, But we'll get together then.
You know we'll have a good time then."

Well, he came from college just the other day,
So much like a man I just had to say,
"Son, I'm proud of you. Can you sit for a while?"
He shook his head, and he said with a smile,
"What I'd really like, dad, is to borrow the car keys.
See you later. Can I have them please?"

I've long since retired and my son's moved away.
I called him up just the other day.
I said, "I'd like to see you if you don't mind."
He said, "I'd love to, dad, if I could find the time.
You see, my new job's a hassle, and the kid's got the flu,
But it's sure nice talking to you, dad.
It's been sure nice talking to you."
And as I hung up the phone, it occurred to me,
He'd grown up just like me. My boy was just like me.

And the cat's in the cradle and the silver spoon,
Little boy blue and the man in the moon.
"When you coming home, son?"
"I don't know when, But we'll get together then, dad.
You know we'll have a good time then."

Harry Chapin

Saturday, January 10, 2009

UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES

UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES 20th CENTURY & BEYOND
by James Quinn
January 5, 2009

http://www.financialsense.com/editorials/quinn/2009/0105.html

This is a long editorial piece but his writing really helps to pull together some of the "events" that swirl around us every day.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

I, Pencil

I, Pencil
By Leonard Read
web posted October 1997

I am a lead pencil — the ordinary wooden pencil familiar to all boys and girls and adults who can read and write.

Writing is both my vocation and my avocation; that’s all I do.

You may wonder why I should write a genealogy. Well, to begin with, my story is interesting. And, next, I am a mystery-more so than a tree or a sunset or even a flash of lightning. But, sadly, I am taken for granted by those who use me, as if I were a mere incident and without background. This supercilious attitude relegates me to the level of the commonplace. This is a species of the grievous error in which mankind cannot too long persist without peril. For, as a wise man observed, “We are perishing for want of wonder, not for want of wonders.”

I, Pencil, simple though I appear to be, merit your wonder and awe; a claim I shall attempt to prove. In fact, if you can understand me — no, that’s too much to ask of anyone — if you can become aware of the miraculousness which I symbolize, you can help save the freedom mankind is so unhappily losing. I have a profound lesson to teach. And I can teach this lesson better than can an automobile or an aeroplane or a mechanical dishwasher because-well, because I am seemingly so simple.

Simple? Yet, not a single person on the face of this earth knows how to make me. This sounds fantastic, doesn’t it? Especially when it is realised that there are about one and one-half billion of my kind produced in the USA. each year.

Pick me up and look me over. What do you see? Not much meets the eye — there’s some wood, lacquer, the printed labelling, graphite lead, a bit of metal, and an eraser. Just as you cannot trace your family tree back very far, so is it impossible for me to name and explain all my antecedents. But I would like to suggest enough of them to impress upon you the richness and complexity of my background.

My family tree begins with what in fact is a tree, a cedar of straight grain that grows in Northern California and Oregon. Now contemplate all the saws and trucks and rope and the countless other gear used in harvesting and carting the cedar logs to the railroad siding. Think of all the persons and the numberless skills that went into their fabrication: the mining of ore, the making of steel and its refinement into saws, axes motors; the growing of hemp and bringing it through all the states to heavy and strong rope; the logging camps with their beds and mess halls the cookery and the raising of all the foods. Why, untold thousands of persons had a hand in every cup of coffee the loggers drink!

The logs are shipped to a mill in San Leandro, California. Can you imagine the individuals who make flat cars and rails and railroad engines and who construct and install the communication systems incidental thereto? These legions among my antecedents.

Consider the millwork in San Leandro. The cedar logs are cut into small, pencil-length slats less than one-fourth of an inch in thickness. These are kiln dried and then tinted for the same reason women put rouge on their faces. People prefer that I look pretty, not a pallid white. The slats are waxed and kiln dried again. How many skills went into the making of the tint and the kilns, into supplying the heat, the light and power, the belts, motors, and all the other things a mill requires? Sweepers in the mill among my ancestors? Yes, and included are the men who poured the concrete for the dam of a Pacific Gas & Electric Company hydroplant which supplies the mill’s power!

Don’t overlook the ancestors present and distant who have a hand in transporting sixty carloads of slats across the nation from California to Wilkes-Barre!

Complicated Machinery

Once in the pencil factory — $4,000,000 in machinery and building, all capital accumulated by thrifty and saving parents of mine — each slat is given eight grooves by a complex machine, after which another machine lays leads in every other slat, applies glue, and places another slat atop — a lead sandwich, so to speak. Seven brothers and I are mechanically carved from this “wood-clinched” sandwich.

My “lead” itself — it contains no lead at all — is complex. The graphite is mined in Ceylon. Consider these miners and those who make their many tools and the makers of the paper sacks in which the graphite is shipped and those who make the string that ties the sacks and those who put them aboard ships and those who make the ships. Even the lighthouse keepers along the way assisted in my birth — and the harbour pilots.

The graphite is mixed with clay from Mississippi in which ammonium hydroxide is used in the refining process. Then wetting agents are added such as sulfonated tallow — animal fats chemically reacted with sulphuric acid. After passing through numerous machines, the mixture finally appears as endless extrusions — as from a sausage grinder — cut to size, dried, and baked for several hours at 1,850 degrees Fahrenheit. To increase their strength and smoothness the leads are then treated with a hot mixture which includes candelilla wax from Mexico, paraffin wax, and hydrogenated natural fats.

My cedar receives six coats of lacquer. Do you know all of the ingredients of lacquer? Who would think that the growers of castor beans and the refiners of castor oil are a part of it? They are. Why, even the processes by which the lacquer is made, a beautiful yellow, involves the skills of more persons than one can enumerate!

Observe the labelling. That’s a film formed by applying heat to carbon black mixed with resins. How do you make resins and what, pray, is carbon black? My bit of metal — the ferrule — is brass. Think of all the persons who mine zinc and copper and those who have the skills to make shiny sheet brass from these products of nature. Those black rings on my ferrule are black nickel. What is black nickel and how is it applied? The complete story of why the centre of my ferrule has no black nickel on it would take pages to explain.

Then there is my crowning glory, inelegantly referred to in the trade as “the plug,” the part man uses to erase the errors he makes with me. An ingredient called “factice” is what does the erasing. It is a rubber-like product made by reacting rape seed oil from the Dutch East Indies with sulphur chloride. Rubber, contrary to the common notion, is only for binding purposes. Then, too, there are numerous vulcanizing and accelerating agents. The pumice comes from Italy, and the pigment which gives “the plug” its colour is cadmium sulphide.

No One Knows

Does anyone wish to challenge my earlier assertion that no single person on the face of this earth knows how to make me?

Actually, millions of human beings have had a hand in my creation, no one of whom even knows more than a very few of the others. Now, you may say that I go too far in relating the picker of a coffee berry in far off Brazil and food growers elsewhere to my creation; that this is an extreme position. I shall stand by my claim. There isn’t a single person in all these millions, including the president of the pencil company, who contributes more than a tiny, infinitesimal bit of know-how. From the standpoint of know-how the only difference between the miner of graphite in Ceylon and the logger in Oregon is in the type of know-how. Neither the miner nor the logger can be dispensed with any more than can the chemist at the factory or the worker in the oil field-paraffin being a by-product of petroleum.

Here is an astounding fact: Neither the worker in the oil field nor the chemist nor the digger of graphite or clay nor any who mans or makes the ships or trains or trucks nor the one who runs the machine that does the knurling on my bit of metal nor the president of the company performs his singular task because he wants me. Each one wants me less, perhaps, than does a child in the in first grade. Indeed, there are some among this vast multitude who never saw a pencil nor would they know how to use one. Their motivation is other than me. Perhaps it is something like this: Each of these millions sees that he can thus exchange his tiny know-how for the goods and services he needs or wants. I may or may not be among these items.

No Master Mind

There is a fact still more astounding: The absence of a master mind, of anyone dictating or forcibly directing these countless actions which bring me into being. No trace of such a person can be found. Instead, we find the Invisible Hand at work. This is the mystery to which I earlier referred.

It has been said that “only God can make a tree.” Why do we agree with this? Isn’t it because we realise that we ourselves could not make one? Indeed, can we even describe a tree? We cannot, except in superficial terms. We can say, for instance, that a certain molecular configuration manifests itself as a tree. But what mind is there among men that could even record, let alone direct, the constant changes in molecules that transpire in the life span of a tree? Such a feat is utterly unthinkable!

I, Pencil, am a complex combination of miracles: a tree, zinc, copper, graphite, and so on. But to these miracles which manifest themselves in Nature an even more extraordinary miracle has been added: the configuration of creative human energies-millions of tiny know-hows configurating naturally and spontaneously in response to human necessity and desire and in the absence of any human masterminding! Since only God can make a tree, I insist that only God could make me. Man can no more direct these millions of know-hows to bring me into being than he can put molecules together to create a tree.

The above is what I meant when writing, “If you can become aware of the miraculousness which I symbolise, you can help save the freedom mankind is unhappily losing.” For, if one is aware that these know-hows will naturally, yes, automatically, arrange themselves into creative and productive patterns in response to human necessity and demand — that is, in the absence of governmental or any other coercive masterminding — then one will possess an absolutely essential ingredient for freedom: a faith in free men. Freedom is impossible without this faith.

Once a government has had a monopoly of a creative activity such, for instance, as the delivery of the mails, most individuals will believe that the mails could not be efficiently delivered by men acting freely. And here is the reason: Each one acknowledges that he himself doesn’t know how to do all the things incident to mail delivery. He also recognises that no other individual could do it. These assumptions are correct. No individual possesses enough know-how to perform a nation’s mail delivery any more than any individual possesses enough know-how to make a pencil. Now, in the absence of a faith in free men — in the unawareness that millions of tiny know-hows would naturally and miraculously form and cooperate to satisfy this necessity — the individual cannot help but reach the erroneous conclusion that mail can be delivered only by governmental “masterminding.”

If I, Pencil, were the only item that could offer testimony on what men can accomplish when free to try, then those with little faith would have a fair case. However, there is testimony, galore; it’s all about us and on every hand. Mail delivery is exceedingly simple when compared, for instance, to the making of an automobile or a calculating machine or a grain combine or a milling machine or to tens of thousands of other things. Delivery? Why, in this area where men have been left free to try, they deliver the human voice around the world in less than one second; they deliver an event visually and in motion to any person’s home when it is happening; they deliver 150 passengers from Seattle to Baltimore in less than four hours; they deliver gas from Texas to one’s range or furnace in New York at unbelievably low rates and without subsidy; they deliver each four pounds of oil from the Persian Gulf to our Eastern Seaboard — halfway, around the world — for less money than the governments charges for delivering a one-ounce letter across the street!

The lesson I have to teach is this: Leave all creative energies uninhibited. Merely organise society to act in harmony with this lesson. Let society’s legal apparatus remove all obstacles the best it can. Permit these creative know-hows freely to flow. Have faith that free men will respond to the Invisible Hand. This faith will be confirmed. I, Pencil, seemingly simple though I am, offer the miracle of my creation as testimony that this is a practical faith, as practical as the sun, the rain, a cedar tree, the good earth.

Friday, January 2, 2009

How many countries can you name in 5 minutes?

Use the common, English name. Spelling counts. Has to be a sovereign nation, so Scotland and England don't count, etc...

The timer begina as soon as you land on the page so get ready before clicking. I got 38 but had blown 35 seconds before I started.

http://www.jetpunk.com/quizzes/how-many-countries-can-you-name.php