Monday, April 30, 2012

Have a Wonderful Revolution

There are some who think the film It’s a Wonderful Life has a socialist theme to it.  I suppose I can understand that, but I don’t believe it.  The film is about one man who lives a life of sacrifice for the good of his neighbors.  Government is involved only peripherally and hardly mentioned at all.  No one forces George Bailey to make the choices that shape Bedford Falls into a good community and that keep it good.    

In fact, if anything in It’s a Wonderful Life speaks of or stands for government, it would be Potter.  Apart from force and intimidation, Potter is impotent.  He has his sycophants, certainly, but he is more feared than respected.  He believes that he knows what is best for people.  His motivation seems to be to make himself the focus of life.  We see this carried out in George’s vision of the alternate universe where it is no longer Bedford Falls but Pottersville.  While Potter is the stereotypical “tycoon” and thus could be said to represent the heartless for-profit motive, his “business model” is somewhat questionable.  I am pretty sure he could make more money if he partnered with George and helped him improve the community further – drawing in new businesses and factories. 

But, like government, Potter can tolerate no rivalries.  He must be in control even to his own detriment.  Potter also reflects government in his goal to be master rather than servant.  George Bailey serves his community.  Potter demands service from the community.  Government – under control – should be a servant.  Out-of-control government, such as we have now, has subjects rather than citizens. 

It’s a Wonderful Life transcends politics or social commentary.  It addresses the fundamental issues of liberty and goodness.  People should be as free of restraint and compulsion as possible.  The importance of private property, of homeowners, investors, and small business people is emphasized.  It is perhaps the source of some of the criticism of the film that a certain segment of the population will find George Bailey’s stellar character unbelievable.  Yet there are many who might be George, millions of simple, honest, self-sacrificing people going about their lives every day.  They do not make the news.  No journalist is interested in their life story because it is so commonplace. 

This brings me to George Zimmerman.  Here was a man, not unlike George Bailey, going about his life, doing what he could for his community.  He helped the less fortunate.  He looked out for his neighbors.  For his efforts, he was labeled by the media as a racist vigilante.  But George Zimmerman, like the other George, had friends – people in the community who knew him, who trusted and believed in him.  They refused to stand silently by as Zimmerman was electronically lynched.  Even when the President sided against him, his friends stuck with him. 

This, gentle reader, is the real template for the new revolution.  Government intervention continues to make matter worse.  Governments are going rogue from Argentina to Athens.  They are ignoring the restraints of constitutions.  They are failing to honor their debts.  They are debasing their currencies.  Like any addict, the fiat-currency-addicted governments will deny the truth and seek just one more hit.  The abyss awaits.  The abyss is very patient. 

When the financial and governmental system finally collapses, the model we want is not post-Katrina New Orleans.  It is not Mad Max, The Road, The Postman, or Zombieland.  We want Bedford Falls.  We will need to know who to trust.

There may be some good people in Washington, D.C., but I do not know them.  I know my local banker.  I know the county deputy.  I know the dairy farmer up the road.  I know the contractor on the other side of me, the nurseryman on the next place, and the mechanic up on the hill.  I am not as involved with my local church as I used to be, but I know my pastor and some of the leaders.  I know members who are reliable and like-minded.  If any of my friends or relatives are targeted or attacked by central government minions – whether bureaucrats or journalists – I must be willing to defend them.  And I can hope they will come to my aid if I am in need. 

You see, Potter could not attack his enemy directly, but circumstances gave him a means and a plan to turn the town against George Bailey.  So, too, the government always seeks to enhance its own power by dividing us as citizens one against the other.  This is why the purveyors of “news” are so quick to speak of black against white, young against old, male against female, rich against poor.  Without divisions and labels, the collectivist agenda is dead.  When it ceases to be “the rich”, and it becomes your own hard-working, family-oriented, church-going employer, their battle is lost.  When the story ceased to be a gun-crazed vigilante chasing down an innocent, immature teenager and became George Zimmerman, a man of mixed blood, a mentor to black youth, a veritable pillar of his community, the hounds where thrown off the trail. 

It does not take too much digging around the internet to find people talking about guerrilla warfare tactics, violent resistance, weapons, and defense.  I sincerely hope there is no need for it ever to come to that point.  And I believe we can avoid it.  Study the language, the metaphors, and the analogies of freedom.  Know the people around you and make yourself known.  The backbone of Alinsky's tactics is to identify an individual, attempt to isolate (freeze) that targeted person, and polarize him or her.  Do not let that happen.  We are in a war, but it is a war we can win without ever firing a shot if we will stick together.  You don’t have to agree with everything someone thinks, says, or believes in order to come alongside and give them support.   Turn the tables on the collectivists.  Refuse to accept the artificial divisions.  Focus on individuals. 

Friday, April 27, 2012

Markets and Reality

Today the first quarter GDP comes in at an annualized 2.2% when 2.5% was expected.  Given the adjustments that we've been seeing lately, expect it to be revised down later, but regardless, it is anemic.  The "official" inflation rate is 2.4% which we are all pretty sure is bogus.  Against population, a 2.2% increase is really negative. 

The dollar tanked modestly against the euro (mainly because the euro sucks).  Crude tailed off from the weak growth prospects.  Metals rose, as did the equity market, both, along with the FOREX, begging for the Fed printing presses to be fired up.  The Fed, though, knows that inflation is worse than depicted and even 2.4% is outside their "stability" range.  All the government "pump priming" crap has made and continues to make bad matters worse. 

Fiat currency and equity markets may make a few people feel wealthy for a while.  The prudent person should look at the situation and make every reasonable effort to extricate himself or herself from the mirage.  To be able to feed and otherwise provision oneself is the true measure of wealth.  As this mess plays out, you may be better off with a 50'x50' piece of ground, a bag of Kentucky Wonder beans, a Bible, and a shotgun than a trunk full of stocks, bonds, and Federal Reserve notes.  Your capital might be a forge and an anvil or the ability to weld or carpentry skills and tools or a tractor and a plow or a bulldozer or a pressure cooker and mason jars -- whatever.  Invest in reality.  It is the only sure thing.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Handy Things Part N+1

My little diesel tractor has been giving me trouble so I thought I would drain the fuel tank.  Surprise!  The fuel line goes in the top.  I grabbed a piece of hose, looked at it a minute while thinking about the taste of diesel, and drove over to the not-too-distant O'Reilly Auto Parts where I found a neat little siphon pump.  It even has a hose and nozzle you can hook up for use as a tire pump.  At my age, it is so much better than a mouthful of #2.  Being able to easily transfer liquids from one container to another is very handy.

On a side note, I'm not sure if it helped the tractor yet.  It is running better but will lose RPMs under a load.  It could be the little pre-injector pump that is giving trouble.  I'll probably pull some more lines loose tonight and see if I can figure out what's going on.  My nephew suggests running a quart of Dextron 3 transmission fluid through to lubricate the pump.  I actually don't use that much diesel and, since the gas station at the end of the road burned down a couple of years ago, I normally don't have the high-sulphur, tax-free, farm-only fuel (aka, red diesel) on hand.  I think that is what dries out the pump.  I may try it, though.  I have some stuff that needs to be knocked down, and I would like to get it running right. 

Everybody talks about duct tape and paracord, and those are good things to have on hand.  Next trip to Sam's, I'm replenishing my stock of duct tape.  One of the other things I keep on hand is black electrical tape.  It comes in handy for electrical stuff, naturally, but I will also use a little piece on a bolt, kind of like a lock washer.  I could use Loctite, but I don't always have that with me. 

For cordage, heavy fishing line is handy.  You can carry a lot in not much space.  Line in lighter weights can be used as thread.  Fishing line, especially monofilament, is one of those things you have to pay attention to when you tie it.  A single square knot stands a good chance of slipping. 

The other cordage I use a lot is trimmer line.  My dog has a little plastic house.  It would blow away in the winds we get here, possibly with the dog in it.  I tie it down with a couple of short pieces of rebar.  The first time I did it, I grabbed a piece of .105 trimmer line to go over the top of the hut to attach to each of the anchors I'd driven in.  I am sure that was more than five years ago.  The house was not blown over or away during the so-called Super Derecho we had in May, 2009.  This is when it was right over our place.  I haven't even had to put on a new piece of line.  I move the house around depending on the time of year so she can take advantage of shade, windbreaks, or southern exposure, and also to encourage her to poop in different places.  So this line is pretty durable stuff. 

No one can ever take away your knowledge and skill.  I have added a link for Lindsay's Technical Books to the sidebar.  Lindsay's has all kinds of books of various interests.  I have books from there on electronics, blacksmithing, small acreage management, backyard homesteading, mechanics, chemistry, distilling, and cheese-making.  Anyone interested in self-sufficiency or preparedness should take a look.  A lot of the books are old and otherwise out of print.  Much of the technology is antiquated and mostly forgotten.  Some of it is good to know.  Almost all of it is fascinating.  We like to think of ourselves as advanced, but I would guess that most of the "techie" people running around with smart phones have no idea how men back in the dark ages of the 18th Century built flintlock rifles or how the great engines of the Titanic were constructed.  They don't even know how to make the plastic for their cell phones.  I don't think it will happen, but we are one massive solar storm or one EMP attack from our own dark ages if it is up to the majority of people.

Friday, April 20, 2012

The Bloody Head of Zimmerman

You can clearly see the damage, including blood under the scalp, in the video.

I don't think that's Photoshopped.  The picture was taken on an iPhone and supposedly GPS information confirms the location and time -- about three minutes after the shooting.  The person who took the photograph claims to have seen powder burns on the front of Trayvon Martin's hoodie. 

I don't know if all this is accurate.  If it is, the prosecutor, Corey, is the one who should be in jail -- especially if she had this evidence available. 

Should we perhaps assume the community would be happier if Zimmerman were dead or in a coma and Trayvon Martin had accumulated his street creds?

The mainstream media is a propaganda machine to sell advertising.  It is all about eyeballs on the screen -- that's cable as well as broadcast.  The media is not about truth.  Never has been. It is a business, and in this business model, sensationalism sells.  It is only made worse by involving government funding -- PBS -- since that turns it into a pure propaganda machine beholden to the funding source. 

The reason ABC is going with this story now is simply to get more eyeballs on their screen.  The story was dying down.  The bond hearing today is mostly procedural -- not sensational -- but this is photograph and the accompanying information is going to get people watching.  New buzz equals happy sponsors.

I have no problem with news as a commercial enterprise.  I understand it. That is the way it should be.  Just don't expect me to accept journalism as objective and noble.  It is what it is.  Watch it.  Watch it with full knowledge of what is behind it, which will give you discernment.  You know:   Know the truth, and the truth will set you free. 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Not Many Positive Indicators

In order to report a decrease in initial jobless claims, last week’s claims had to be revised upward.  My guess is that this week’s claims will be revised upward next week.  It would break a pattern if that were not the case.  The unemployment rate, even the official one, is likely going to rise a little, probably back to 8.5%.  What does not seem to be in the news is an “unexpected” fall in existing home sales and a less than stellar Spanish bond auction.

We have a soft employment picture.  We have warnings in the telecommunications area and the sectors that support telecomm production, indicating that growth in smart phones might be leveling off.  There is still no help from housing.  If you can’t sell existing homes, you can’t build or buy new ones.  The euro is teetering.  Soros is pushing a collapse in Europe, claiming he would be shorting the euro if he were still trading currencies [insert eye-roll here].    Copper is down quite a bit -- $3.63 from $3.92 or more just a couple of weeks back it seems.  The linked article suggests that China’s copper stockpiles are up.  I wonder if that is in anticipation of something or if it is due to a decrease in demand?

Bernanke is looking for an excuse to roll the presses.  The slippage in growth plus the rise in unemployment may be just what he needs to cover a big buy of Treasuries.  I think the banks have been picking up about 61% of the recent U.S. bond sales.  China is less interested.  In addition to suffering from the overall global recession, they have internal problems.  

Deutsche Bank thinks all may not be well.  The problem is that all the rescue money has been spent, yet the end is not in sight.  Defaults are looming, and no more bailouts are expected.

I have no idea what is going to happen or what the time frame of a serious downturn might be.  I do not see how it is possible to push this too much further.  

One of the foundations of conspiracy theorizing is that out there somewhere is a small group of really powerful people who not only can do whatever they want, but that know the consequences of what they are doing.  

Think about that for a minute or two, and you may see why I have so much trouble believing in conspiracies.  Most people, even very influential, very wealthy, very powerful people are, by any measure, not much more intelligent than I am.  This is to say, not that I am a genius but, that I am above average in intelligence, not a lot, but enough that most people are not any smarter than I am.  They may have connections that I don't have.  They may have resources I don't have.  They may have knowledge, skills, talents, and techniques that I don't have.  Anybody who has ever heard Warren Buffet speak knows he is a fairly bright man but hardly a genius.  He knows a lot about making money, but he's certainly no polymath.  

Remarkably average is a valid description of most politicians -- though there does exist a significant minority of the incredibly stupid.  None of these people, singly or in aggregate, are capable of running the world or a free market.  That includes the Chinese, the Japanese, and the Europeans.  Planned and centrally controlled economies never work.  They have never worked in history, and they are not going to work in the future, and they are not working now.  The proof is the current global financial situation.  

 Free markets go awry now and then and cause hardships, but they correct themselves before causing catastrophic collapses.  That is not what is happening now.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


I hate to give Politico a hit, but I don't want anyone to think I'm making anything up.

The White House calls the Afghan corpse photos "Reprehensible".

You know what's reprehensible?  Undercutting your own people, your troops, the ones who put their lives on the line day in and day out so you can play golf and dress-up. 

These men and women are in situations in which the faggoty little piss-ant currently inhabiting the White House would most likely crap in his pants and try to find a real man or woman to hide behind.  Obama apologized for the Koran burning without knowing what the situation was, and he was wrong.  He spouts off about this situation when it is, at worst, a matter of bad taste.

I am willing to give the Administration credit for one thing in that they expressed "disappointment" in the LA Times for publishing the pictures. 

What the troops did was "reprehensible" but what the press did was just "disappointing".  Does that seem backwards to you?

Here's my favorite part from the Pentagon spokes-wienie:

The danger is that this material could be used by the enemy to incite violence against U.S. and Afghan service members in Afghanistan.
These are the same Taliban who have been planting roadside bombs and attacking U.S. and NATO forces for the last ten years.  These are the same Afghans who murdered Americans back in February because some of their defaced holy books were burned.  I would really be worried about inciting violence among these goat-loving bastards.  

I just can't figure out if the leaders in this country are complete idiots or if they think that I am.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Eight Minutes via Joan of Argghh! -- Zimmerman's Former Lawyers speak

Go to Primordial Slack and watch this.  Go right now. 

You can push the video forward to the 28:00 mark if you are in a hurry. 

Do not be in such a hurry that you do not watch it.

Zimmerman has a self-defense case.  Not a "stand your ground" case.  If you are on the ground with your head being pounded against the pavement, and you shoot the "unarmed teen" who is beating you, it is self-defense.

I hate the media.  There is no excuse for the way the mainstream journalists have edited, skewed, manipulated, and twisted the FACTS in this case to create racial strife and chum the waters for Obama and the leftists in this country.  There are plenty of people who need to be in jail.  It is highly unlikely that George Zimmerman is one of those people.  Al Sharpton should be in jail.  Whoever the scum was at MSNBC that edited the 911 tape should be in jail.  Jesse Jackson should probably be in jail.

These professional leftist agitators are going to have innocent blood on their hands if they get their way.    

Friday, April 13, 2012

Prudence, Politics, and Principles

If you haven't read Van's piece from Blogodidact, I recommend it.

He also refers to the lovely Dana Loesch's "It's Time to Galvanize" on Breitbart.  I recommend it, too.

If you were to go over to one of the premier conservative sites on the web,, you can read that many of the folks there are going to go third party or not fill in the box for president on their ballots because Mitt Romney is a RINO.  Mitt Romney is not a conservative in the same sense that I am.

I go over to Free Republic most every day.  I've been registered there for about twelve years.  It is a good place to see the latest news headlines and articles.  It used to be that they had some good discussions and often very humorous comments, and it still does from time to time.

Early in the primary process, the man who owns the site, Jim Robinson, came out saying that he was absolutely not going to support Mitt Romney under any circumstances.  I think he did throw his support behind Newt Gingrich at one point when it looked like the Speaker might take off and take the lead.  Free Republic is Jim Robinson's property.  He is entitled to do as he pleases with it.  He is certainly entitled to vote or not vote as he sees fit.  Like many of us, Robinson was enamored of Sarah Palin.  Governor Palin is not running.  I liked Herman Cain -- and I still do, but Herman apparently likes the ladies too much.  I like Newt Gingrich's ideas, but I frankly find the man personally repulsive -- as I have stated here before.  I think Rick Santorum is probably a decent family man, but he doesn't strike me as a leader.  I like Rick Perry even though he is not particularly a good candidate -- I think he would have been a fairly decent president.  I like Ron Paul -- in fact, I agree with Ron Paul with regard to libertarian domestic policy.  I really don't think Paul is all that far off on foreign policy, either.  Regardless, Ron Paul is not going to be the nominee.

I am reduced to a very simple choice come November.  I can vote against Barack Obama, or I can vote for a principle.

In my personal life, I must adhere to and follow my guiding principles.  I should know what those are -- obedience to Christ, faithfulness to my marriage and family, loyalty, honesty, self-control, self-reliance, patience, generosity, and courage.  If I live by Christian principles and live in obedience to the Christ and the the Spirit, I do not need laws to keep me from hurting or cheating other people.

Conversely, I am not particularly interested in what other people do with their own time, their own money and resources, and their own bodies.  Provided, of course, I don't have to pay for anything stupid they might do, and so long as they do nothing to harm anyone else.  While I am a "social conservative" in terms of how I live and how I would like to see things operate in my community, I think that instilling values and upholding standards is the job of the family, the church, and the local community.  In other words, social conservativism as a top-down approach is misguided.  "Social progressivism", meanwhile, is just horribly wrong at all levels.   You guys at the top, just stay out of social issues. 

This country has taken nearly a hundred years to get into this mess.   It will take, probably, at least that long to straighten out -- barring catastrophic events and/or divine intervention.  Meanwhile, the principle in politics is to make the best of your choices.  Government is evil.  The best you can do is choose the lesser of evils.