Tuesday, February 23, 2016

On Trump

I am still not convinced that Trump should be president.  What I am convinced of is that the most common arguments that I hear against Trump make no sense.

First: Other countries won’t respect us if we elect Trump.  I don’t think other countries respect us now.  I know most of them don’t like us, and, furthermore, most never will like us, especially if we continue to act as World Police.  Who we choose as president will have no impact on most of our relations with other countries.  Some world leaders may “like” Obama because he has consistently sold out American interests, but I doubt anyone respects him.  Countries deal with America in terms of their own best interests.  We have allies and trading partners.  They have things they want from that relationship.  None of that will change with the election of Trump or anyone else. 

Second, Trump is not a conservative.  What is there to conserve?  I don’t think Trump is a socialist/fascist ideologue like Obama, Clinton or Sanders.  He might be liberal in some areas.  He is clearly a supporter of the First and Second Amendments.  He says he wants to “conserve” the culture by limiting immigration.  That is better than most of the Republican field.

Third, Trump is a Nazi, racist, sexist, homophobic, puppy-kicker.  Part of the problem here is that calling for limits on immigration and a moratorium on Muslims entering America from some terrorist-supporting states is fairly inconsistent with calling Trump sexist.  Women are much more oppressed in countries like Saudi Arabia or Afghanistan than in America.  Putting a halt to the fundamentalist Islamic invasion in the guise of refugees helps preserve the safety, freedom and equal rights of American women.  Rhetoric is not logical. 

If Trump were suggesting that illegal invaders be rounded up and kept in concentration camps until they were gassed like rats, he still would not be a Nazi but perhaps a genocidal maniac with a touch of white supremacy.  National Socialism was a political and economic system, much like communism, and, again like communism, required that millions be killed to make things work.  

The truth about Trump is that he is simply saying those who come here illegally should be deported and a means put in place to cut off the mass movement of people across our southern border.  One label that might stick to Trump is "nationalist".  It’s our country.  We make the rules. 

Yet another claim, mostly from the right, is that Trump is not serious about what he is promising.  He can’t be trusted.   He can’t deliver on his outrageous plans or promises.  

Well, imagine a politician promising more than he or she can deliver or simply telling the voters what they want to hear!  That has never happened before in the history of the world, has it?

I am still out of politics this election cycle.  I do not think any politician  at the federal level can make much difference in this country.  The one thing I do like about Trump is that he is addressing the absolutely vital issue of immigration.  At the very least we have to give the man credit for picking up on the primary concerns of the populace.  Unlike most of the rest of the candidates, Trump does not have a tin ear.  He is winning by recognizing and voicing what a sizable chunk of the country is thinking and feeling.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Survival Slack

Sloth is one of the seven deadly sins, yet God had to call His people to keep the Sabbath over and over again.  One of the reasons that Judah was exiled to Babylonian captivity was they had failed to keep the Sabbath (Jeremiah 17).  The land itself was supposed to be left fallow every seventh year. 

Like most everyone these days, it seems, preppers and survivalist types are very busy.  They are constantly searching for new gadgets and equipment, new techniques and skills.  Nothing wrong with that.  If, however, we are ever thrown into a true survival situation, the first rule should be to expend as little energy of any kind as possible. 

I like to go walking around and exploring in the woods and hills, but I am well-fed and have the shelves stacked with food.  I make unnecessary trips with motor vehicles for fun.  I cut my grass more often than needed.  I think nothing of wasting excess energy in any task.  Heat, in the form of calories consumed in food, is life. 

We normally do not give this much thought because we have cheap, high-calorie food constantly and conveniently accessible to us at all times.  Imagine, however, that you were forced to forage as a hunter-gatherer or that you had to subsist on what you could grow in your garden?  The harder a person works the more calories he burns.  The colder we are the more calories we burn just sitting, trying to keep alive.  In a survival situation, for a person to continue living and functioning, that expended energy must be replaced.   

The less one expends, the less needs to be replaced.  Snaring, trapping, and fishing use less energy than active hunting and agricultural work.  Maintaining permaculture plants such as fruit trees, vines, and brambles is less energy intensive – most of the time – than growing wheat or oats by hand.  Always consider the caloric return-on-investment. 

Sometimes the investment of a lot of energy in the near term produces a lot of consumable calories in the future.   Potatoes are more calorically dense than tomatoes, but tomatoes offer some nutrients at higher levels than potatoes. Plus tomatoes produce, often more heavily, over a longer period of time.  The excess is easily preserved by canning even without a pressure cooker. 

When I was growing up, we grew most of our own food.  We grew lots of potatoes, quite a bit of corn, tomatoes, beets, turnips, onions, beans, and cucumbers.  Sweet corn, tomatoes, beans, beet pickles and cucumber pickles were all canned and preserved.  Almost all the hillbillies I knew preferred pork to beef, in part, I think, because hogs are more efficient feeders and converters and produce so much essential, highly prized fat.  A hog or two, along with a milk cow or two, a few chickens, and a well-maintained orchard made a well-to-do hillbilly. 

The point is, especially in times and places where food may be more difficult to obtain, take it easy. 
Don’t work harder than necessary. 
Don’t expend more energy than your efforts can produce. 
Focus on obtaining food that is calorie and nutrient dense. 
Fire saves calories.  Fire is your friend. 
Flailing away with an axe will make you warm but burns a lot of taters.
You’ll get plenty of exercise just getting by.
Go to bed when it is dark. 
Learn to float. 
Learn to run limb and jug lines, set snares, and rig traps and gums. 
Squirrel and rabbit hunting are fun.  If that’s your plan, though, you will likely starve long-term.


Wednesday, February 3, 2016

I Am So Glad Romney Lost ...

... otherwise, this doofus would be V-P

Paul Ryan tells the Tea Party that we are the problem:  So [Obama's] going to try to get us talking about guns or some other hot-button issue and not about his failures on ISIS or the economy or national security. He’s going to try to knock us off our game.

 Exactly, Ryan, what is your game?  Guns are an important issue.  So is immigration.  In fact, immigration is a bigger issue than ISIS to the American people. 

This is the kind of stupid that has infected the entire political class of both parties.  We do not need government involvement in the economy.  It's growth in the government sector along with the $19 trillion debt that the GOP Congress and Ryan in particular enabled that is killing the private sector. 

"National security" is newspeak for the GOP-enacted Department of Homeland Security, the bloated, ineffective tyranny of the TSA, the Patriot Act and NSA violations of the Fourth Amendment rights of all citizens.  I despise Obama, but Bush and the rest of the GOP are just as much to blame as the current Idiot and Chief.

Meanwhile, we are being invaded by hordes of third-worlders to fill unskilled positions and/or receive welfare and healthcare benefits, and the feds want to give out H1B visas by the truckload for more technical jobs.  Can't imagine how that effects the economy, not to mention the culture. 

I am not going to support another big-government candidate of the mono-party system just because he or she has (R) after the name.