Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Hog Wild 

Our country is now taking so steady a course as to show by what road it will pass to destruction, to wit: by consolidation (of power) first, and then corruption, its necessary consequence.
--Thomas Jefferson

I heard a news piece on my regular morning show, and I have come to the following conclusion:

The chickens have come home to roost, so to speak.

While my initial reaction to this story was one of utter disgust, after I got over my anger, I've come to the realization that I am happy this story turned out as it did.

The story:

A guy was riding his motorcycle, at night, on a public highway. He was legally drunk. He hit some wild hogs and was so severely injured that he will be confined to a wheelchair, possibly for the rest of his life.

He sued the state, and a jury just awarded him $8.6 million.

A Monterey County jury has ordered the state to pay $8.6 million to a motorcyclist who was severely injured when he struck six wild boars on a state highway in 2003.

The jury ruled Friday that the state was responsible for Adam Rogers' injuries because officials knew that wild pigs regularly crossing a stretch of Highway 1 just south of the Carmel River were creating a dangerous situation, but they did nothing to address it.

When I first heard the story, my thought was, "Hey, these are wild animals, and you can't make the state responsible for their migratory patterns. I'm surrounded by idiots."

Then I read more. This is a perfect example of the Nanny State Gone Wild, and they're simply being held responsible for their actions

DOT attorneys argued that the state wasn't responsible for the actions of wild animals and said Rogers was under the influence when he struck them. A test found Rogers had a blood-alcohol level of more than .10 after the crash, but the jury concluded that wasn't a major factor in the crash.

Rogers' attorney, Larry Biegel, argued that the state knew the pigs were crossing the road to feed on vegetation in a nearby environmental restoration project. The state later put up a pig-crossing sign and used hunters to help control the pig population.

"This was a situation that they, the state, created, and then once they created it and saw what was happening they did nothing to stop it," Biegel said Saturday.

So, the state environmental weenies built the equivalent of a free-food kitchen across the street from a drug den, and are being held responsible when the potheads with the Munchies cross the road and get hit by a car.

The state, through its meddling in things it should not be dicking around in, created a situation they had proof was causing problems. Their actions created an unsafe environment, and they are being held responsible for their actions.

A lady who lives on this stretch of highway called into the station. She has lived there for 17 years, and her father (I think) has lived there for 70 years. There was never a single accident of people hitting hogs until the environmental area was established. Since then, there have been more than 20 hog-related accidents.

I said earlier that I am happy this story turned out as it did. Why would I say that, especially considering that I will now have to pay for a portion of the award?

It will either do one of two things: It could cause the state to reassess its past practices of doing all of this feel-good bullshit of trying to turn the state into a nature preserve.

I do not hold much expectation that this will happen.

The other result is that it will quicken our financial decline, and help force the state into bankruptcy so we can get the slate of legislators removed from power (or at least take away their power to spend).

This may be a, "cut off your nose in spite of your face" approach, but what other options are there? The body is dead, why worry about the nose?

Yeah, yeah, yeah, the guy was legally drunk. I, and the jury found that to be irrelevant, or at least not to be the main cause.

If the accident had happened exactly like it did, but he wasn't under the influence, who would be responsible? Why?

The state created a situation that caused 20 previous pig-related accidents. They did nothing to fix the problem. THEY are responsible.

If I were the jury, I'd find him guilty of DUI, but not responsible for the accident and resulting injuries.

Flame away.

Where's PETA? Why aren't they picketing the state over the needless slaughter and injury of poor, defenseless little piggies?

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Monday, March 30, 2009

Signs of Our American Civilization 

A nation or civilization that continues to produce soft-minded men purchases its own spiritual death on an installment plan.
--Martin Luther King

I mentioned that I picked up a new handgun this weekend. I forgot to mention that they were out of ammo. Not low on ammo, they were out. The only stuff they had was hand-loaded, or you could buy hand-loading supplies.

Along the same lines, I hit the shooting range with one of my brothers this weekend (on Saturday instead of the planned Friday). This is the 20-lane facility. We got there at probably their peak time - right round 1:30 in the afternoon.

We waited for more than a half-hour. While we were waiting, another dozen or so people came in, with probably half of them just turning around and leaving.

They were totally out of 9mm. 45 ACP was $24 a box (looking at CheaperThanDirt.com[CTD], that looks to be A DEAL, since the only available .45 ACP they have is Wolf steel at almost $30), 38 SPL was $19 a box (another deal, as there is ZERO available at CTD.com). CTD.com, ironically, has some 9mm - starting at almost $23 for the Wolf crap.

I popped over to MidwayUSA.com, and the story is basically the same.

Maybe we'll leave a day earlier to get in line at the Reno Gun Show......

Prediction: The new bootlegged item? Cigarettes. Prices will be going up again. On Wednesday, the federal tax will go from 39 cents a pack, to a $1.01.

Want to get around the tax by rolling your own? Good luck. The tax for loose tobacco will go from $1.10 a pound to $24.78 a pound. Holy fucking shit.

At the same time, the People's Republic of California - you remember us, the broke, socialist state way over to the left side of the map - will be raising the tax on smokes by $1.50 a pack. This will also kick in on Wednesday.

Looks like the weenies at ATF are going to have their hands full. Ammo is screwed. Smoking is screwed. When (not if) they raise the booze tax, they'll all be able to cry, "BINGO!" with much glee.

It makes me proud to be an American...

Oakland actually made me feel good this weekend. Over 20,000 people attended the funeral of the 4 slaughtered officers. It was pretty amazing. They had to hold it in the Coliseum.

I saw a news piece on this guy from the neighborhood - a black guy - who literally walked up on the scene of the two traffic cops that were first slaughtered. He tore his shirt off and jammed in into the hole in the neck of one of the cops that was still alive.

The reporter asked him why he did it when so many of his neighbors were jeering the cops. He said something to the effect of, "It was a human being that had been injured. What else would I do?"

This guy - someone who lived in the neighborhood - had the intelligence and the humanity to understand the difference between the acts of a murdering child rapist, and the acts of a few (perhaps more) officers in a troubled agency. He saw a wrong and did what he could to make it right.

He acted like a civilized human being, not a fucking animal. Perhaps you reap what you sow.

Another thing that honestly raised my heart was a story about the make-shift memorials that pop up.

They showed one of them for the cops that were shot. This was right in the middle of this neighborhood where the shootings occurred. It was chock-full of cards, flowers, teddy bears, etc., and words of sorrow for the officers. It was very nice.

Around the corner, one had been set up for the murdering child rapist. It had a couple of flowers, and a couple of notes of thanks for getting back at "the man".

The people of the neighborhood promptly trashed the thing.

God Bless the civilized residents of Oakland.

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Sunday, March 29, 2009

Barry and Bob 

Integrity is doing the right thing, even if nobody is watching.

It's Sunday, I'm trying to relax, and I mistakenly turn on Face The Nation. They're interviewing Barry, and he's answering questions with a bunch of worthless pablum.

Blah. Blah-blah-blah. Blah-blah.

I zone it out, until I hear Bob Schieffer ask something about American guns in Mexico and do we need assault weapon laws.

Oh Lord, I can feel my BP rising...

I went back to the transcripts (see page 2), and it resulted in this letter to Bob.
Mr. Schieffer,

Where is your journalistic integrity? Here's a quote from your recent interview with the President.

"But things down there are really serious, as you well know. It's my understanding that 90 percent of the guns that they're getting down in Mexico are coming from the United States. We don't seem to be doing a very good job of cutting off the gun flow. Do you need any kind of legislative help on that front? Have you, for example, thought about asking Congress to reinstate the ban on assault weapons?"

You've heard stories? What kind of a credible journalist would make such an unsubstantiated assertion? Don't you ever check the validity of the information your sources provide?

I'm sure you've heard stories that there are little green men in Area 51 as well. Perhaps you could ask the President if they are providing the Mexican drug lords with their get-away space ships. They MUST be using them, because we can't seem to catch any of them with the American arms. It's super-natural!

Here's a tip on how to become a better journalist:

1. Ask for a count of the number of guns seized from drug lords.

2. Ask your "source" for a list of the serial numbers of every single weapon that has been seized from the Mexican drug dealers.

3. Make sure the number of seized gun matches the number of serial numbers you're provided.

4. Check those serial numbers to see who is the legal owner.

That will now give you someone to speak with to determine how their gun ended up in the hands of Mexican drug dealers.

Do you know what MY sources tell me? They tell me that the guns were either originally sold to the Mexican military and "some how" made it into the hands of the bad guys, OR they were purchased on the open arms market.

In case you're unaware, those Mexican drug cartels have LOTS of money and can buy whatever they need.

So, before you next consider implying that laws should be enacted to restrict a Constitutional right of your fellow law-abiding citizens, perhaps you could first do a little leg work. You know, at least scratch the surface of unsubstantiated "stories" before you further spread the rumors.
I don't expect a response from the Communist Bloviating Society (CBS), let alone from Schieffer. If anyone, any where doubts that the major TV broadcast networks have a political agenda, WAKE THE HELL UP.

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Saturday, March 28, 2009

Promises, Promises 

No, I'm not talking about the lies we're hearing from DC. I've got a couple of (what I think will be) great posts upcoming.

The first is on survival prep foods that are fully self-contained, edible meals by only adding water and/or heat. From side dishes, to main meals, to sauces, to desserts. All strictly with prep ingredients. Pretty cool stuff.

The second post is about caching. I have purchased the parts to do my first live test. I will be burying the test cache this weekend, and will post about the process. There will then be a follow-up post in 3 or 4 months to see the results after the cache has been in the ground for that period of time.

I've been so focused on my class materials, that I'm getting burned out. I'm off to the range to blow off some steam.

Bought a new gun yesterday. An FNP-9.

My brother bought one a couple of months ago. Very nice handgun. I'll be getting acquainted with, and shooting his this weekend while I wait the 10 days for CA to determine if I'm still worthy of owning a handgun.

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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Hyperinflation Around The Corner? 

The Great Depression, like most other periods of severe unemployment, was produced by government mismanagement rather than by any inherent instability of the private economy.
--Milton Friedman

Hermit had this article ("Why the End of America is Closer than You Think") on his site. An interesting read, no doubt.

What caught my eye was a link to another article about the Federal Reserve's plan to increase the US money supply.

By 15-times by September of 2009.

Obviously, if that happened, the dollar would be catastrophically crushed. As they note in the article, that one-dollar loaf of bread will now cost you $15.

The author of the article provides a link to the FRB web site that shows the current money supply (now called Currency In Circulation). Since August of 2008, the average money supply has increased from $829,569,000,000 to $898,352,000,000 as of March 13.

That's an 8.3% increase in 7 months or so. Not good.

Still, it's nowhere approaching a 15-fold increase, and the author does not provide any documented substantiation for this claim.

I have written him asking for the supporting documentation (like an FRB projection). I am unable to find anything supporting this assertion on the FRB website, via a Google search or on the Wall Street Journal.

If anyone has any independent, verifiable information, I'd love to have a link.

If/when I hear back from the author, I'll post a follow up entry.

If it IS true, could it be one of the reasons the Chinese are pushing to have the dollar replaced as the global financial benchmark?

Since China holds so much US debt, you'd think they would do everything in their power to prop up the dollar, not rattle cages which may cause its collapse.

Perhaps it's politicking, perhaps it's insider information. Who knows?

Whatever it is, it sure fits nicely with the theories of the (formerly?) tin-hat-wearing New World Order folks.

Silver, gold, lead and whiskey - the new currency?

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Trash AIG - Check! Who's Next? 

Our society is run by insane people for insane objectives. I think we're being run by maniacs for maniacal ends and I think I'm liable to be put away as insane for expressing that. That's what's insane about it.
--John Lennon

I would expect to see much more fall-out like this as a result of Nanny trying to run (not regulate) private companies.
After 12 months of hard work dismantling the company — during which A.I.G. reassured us many times we would be rewarded in March 2009 — we in the financial products unit have been betrayed by A.I.G. and are being unfairly persecuted by elected officials. In response to this, I will now leave the company ...
That's an excerpt from the resignation letter of an AIG executive. These guys stuck around for a year - at a salary of $1 a year - because they were repeatedly promised that if they did so, they'd get a significant Retention Bonus.

Read the whole resignation letter. It is a portrait of broken promises, spineless capitulation and political whoring.

Now, Barry & Company want to impose limits on executive salaries. Not just in banks that have suckled at Nanny's teat, but at all financial institutions. Perhaps even other companies.
The Obama administration will call for increased oversight of executive pay at all banks, Wall Street firms and possibly other companies as part of a plan to overhaul financial regulation, the New York Times reported.
Yeah, that's a great idea. Let's have a bunch of idiots (Congress or regulators) determine the "worth" of a CEO to a company. This, from pinheads who have shown their only skill is fucking up our country.
The regulations would reportedly cover all financial establishments, not just those receiving federal bailout aid and would likely work to ensure executive pay was in line with the financial interest of the company.
Uhm, isn't that the job of the board of directors and the shareholders? So Nanny's plan is to have these companies run, not by the best person, but by the lowest bidder?

Why does Nanny think that anyone worth their salt would stay? You already have Nanny with her hand up your ass making sure all of the CRA, PATRIOT Act and other regulations are being met, and now they want to put their hand in your wallet?

Only a masochist would stay.

Good luck with that plan, Marquis de Barry.

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Oakland, Illegals and Illogic 

Insanity is the only sane reaction to an insane society.
--Thomas Szasz

Despite my close relationship with "the police" - my father was a life-long cop, I have a brother that is currently a senior officer, I've been in two cop weddings, and have current friends that are cops - I have been critical of many, many police actions.

I've shared some insights into some of the garbage going on with the Oakland Police Department, most recently in late January. They are far from a model agency.

Yesterday, a poster named Abraham replied to my post, basically with an attitude of, "They had it coming because of past sins." This morning, Pickdog said basically the same thing.

Their views are not isolated.

This morning, while listening to the radio, they had an audio clip of an on-the-street interview with a woman that lives in the neighborhood. The reporter was asking about the whole deal, and asked if she felt any pity or sadness about the cops that were slaughtered.

Her exact response was, "I feel sorry for Lovelle, he's the one that needed help." Lovelle, of course, being the name of the executioner.

You have an entire community coming to the defense of a convicted felon, who is also a suspect in an other murder. This morning it has come to light that a DNA test of the maggot shows that he is also the rapist of a 12 year old girl.
The day before Lovelle Mixon unleashed a barrage of gunfire that killed four Oakland police officers, the department's investigators learned that DNA evidence had linked the fugitive parolee to an unsolved rape this year, authorities said Monday.
Yet they still come to this bastard's defense. Poor, poor Lovelle.

He slaughtered these cops, not because of past police atrocities or economic conditions, but because he knew he was a felon in possession of a handgun, and THAT would land his ass back in prison.

They can't differentiate between legal and illegal acts. Why aren't they doing something about these supposed police abuses? Why aren't they going after the highly diverse city leadership - the bosses of the police? Where are the NAACP, Jesse and Al?

As we saw with the BART killing aftermath, they seem unable to hold a protest march without it turning into a "Trash the City" orgy. If they have evidence that these abuses are happening, bring in the feds, like was done in New Orleans.

Instead, they celebrate the murder of the police and the destruction of the rule of law.

Fucking worthless animals.

If you're in California, you had better toe the PC line.
SACRAMENTO—New applications for California's Adopt-A-Highway program have been placed on hold while the state sorts out a legal fight with an anti-illegal immigrant group.

Lawyers for the San Diego Minutemen said the Department of Transportation is drafting new rules for the litter cleanup program to prevent the group from getting a sign with its name on it along the freeway.

CalTrans initially granted a stretch of highway near a border checkpoint to the group. When the state took down the sign, a judge ordered it to be put back up. When the state offered the group a new location, the Minutemen refused.

CalTrans is now drafting new rules that would allow the state greater flexibility in refusing applicants. Department officials said more than 3,000 cleanup permits are still being used.
You have a legal group, one that says the government should simply follow and enforce the laws on the books. When they see that Nanny isn't doing a damned thing, they form a group to do it themselves.

When they want to do as thousands of other organizations have done before them - get their name on a highway clean-up sign to promote their cause - they are shut-down by the state.

Land Of The Free, my ass.

I should have known better to try and imply what would happen to the stock market after Geithner announced his latest version of the stimulus plan. I figured it would tank, and it soared.

Great. If this can bring the economy out of the shits, I'm all for it. I would love to take my retirement funds out of a crappy CD/IRA and get it back into the stock market, but I think this will be short-lived.

I read the White Paper put out by the Treasury Department. Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't see how it will draw investment dollars. Well, it will draw dollars, but I don't think the banks will be selling.

They give an example: A bank holds an asset with a face value of $100. The investors make an offer of $84. The FDIC will guarantee financing for $72, leaving $12 of "equity" to be split between the investor and the Treasury. The investor would then act as the loan servicing agent and accept and process payments from the homeowners.

As I said, maybe I'm missing something, but here are my thoughts:

All "toxic assets" have already been written down by the banks. They were compelled to do so by the SEC and federal banking regulators. They've taken their "hair cut" off the assets, and they are at current market values.

If the banks wanted to sell those assets, they could do it right now at the current market values. Why would they take a further hair-cut on these assets? I don't see anything in this package that would incent the banks to sell these assets.

If the $100 value is the original face value of the loan, again, the bank will not accept an offer lower than that amount to which they've written down the loan. Perhaps that is the $84 mentioned in the example. If this is the case, then we're giving free money to the investor group.

Perhaps more information will come out in the next few days to clarify this.

To me, it looks like a desperate government putting up pretty pictures to placate a weary public. Or even worse, it's a way to spend more of our tax dollars to benefit someone else.

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Monday, March 23, 2009

Oakland Aftermath 

Karma moves in two directions. If we act virtuously, the seed we plant
will result in happiness. If we act non-virtuously, suffering results.
--Sakyong Mipham

I'm sure most people have heard about the 4 Oakland PD officers that were shot and killed (3 are currently deceased, and the other is supposedly brain-dead) this past weekend. Obviously, it is a horrific event. It is one of the worst police shooting incidents in the city's history.

It is going to be red-meat to the gun grabbers.

The press has had a major focus: He had an assault weapon.
According to authorities, Lovelle Mixon used a semiautomatic pistol to shoot and kill Hege and Sgt. Mark Dunakin, 40, two motorcycle officers who pulled him over during a routine traffic stop. Two hours later, Mixon, who was holed up in his sister's nearby apartment, opened fire with an AK-47 assault rifle, killing SWAT team sergeants Ervin Romans, 43, and Daniel Sakai, 35.
The Brady Bunch will be all over this. They will focus on the fact that he had an evil assault rifle, not on the fact that it was illegal for this piece of shit to have as much as a .22 Derringer in his possession. The was a criminal who had a long history of breaking the law, and doing so in a violent manner.

Somehow, in their twisted little minds, removing guns from the hands of law abiding citizens will fix the problem.

I hope the CRPA and NRA will be ready to counter-attack the gun grabbers. But they won't.

I think the most disgusting thing about this whole thing has been the attitude of the community.
The parolee who shot five Oakland police officers Saturday, killing three and gravely wounding another, was hiding inside his sister's apartment just around the corner, where he ultimately was shot dead himself.

And neighbors knew it. But they didn't call the cops for nearly an hour.

If neighbors had spoken up sooner, said one woman who lives two doors down, some of those lives might have been saved. But in East Oakland, lamented the woman, Elaine, who refused to give her last name, that just doesn't happen.

"I've been crying all day. It makes you feel bad," she said, wiping her eyes just steps from the blood spatters that clung stubbornly to a broken sidewalk on 74th Avenue. "Because all the time, you knew he was in that apartment. But you just don't want to be a snitch. The word, 'snitch,' it's almost worse than murderer."

Well, isn't that special? I feel so bad for that woman who has been crying all day. Boo-fucking-hoo. Two cops are dead because these cowards didn't want to besmirch their social status.

I'm sure the LEO families are very understanding of the neighbor's reluctance to get involved. They'll think sympathetically of them as their sons and fathers are being buried.

These leaches expect the police to protect them, but will do nothing in return. Sounds like the attitude of a community that has been too used to always taking, and never having to do anything in exchange.

As if that isn't bad enough, these living, breathing, life-sucking maggots actually taunted the police.
By late afternoon Saturday, a group of about 50 people lined 73rd Avenue, a block from where Dunakin and Hege were shot. Some shouted obscenities aimed at police. Others said the officers' deaths were retribution for the fatal shooting of Oscar Grant, the unarmed Hayward man killed by a BART police officer on an Oakland train platform New Year's Day. Shouts of, "They had it comin!' " were heard in the crowd.
They had it comin'.

All I can hope for is that the OPD stops patrolling that neighborhood. Let the drug dealers, pimps, whores, murderers, thieves and crack-heads offer protection to the good, civic-minded citizens.

Fucking animals.

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Sunday, March 22, 2009

Legislating Mistrust - Payback Time? 

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

Tomorrow should be interesting.

Nanny, in the form of Treasury Secretary Geithner, will ask investors to get in bed with the government to buy up the "toxic assets" off of the books of the banks.

My gut tells me there is going to be a big "Thanks, but no thanks" from the investment community. And the reason is trust.

Nanny and investors have opposite goals. Nanny is trying to stabilize the economy by rewarding poor business practices (generally brought on by Nanny mandates). Investors just want to make money.

There will be contracts between Nanny and the investors. If the investors cut too good of a deal and start making "too much money," Nanny has shown her willingness to break contracts if it provides political cover.

Just ask the people from AIG who received Retention Bonus' (NOT performance bonus' as the maggots in Congress are saying). Congress has passed an unconstitutional law (bills of attainder and ex post facto clauses of Article One, Section 9) specifically targeting these recipients.

Who in their right mind wouldn't think Nanny would do the exact same thing once the investors start making money on their deal for the bad assets?

The last time Geithner opened his pie-hole, the Dow dropped by nearly 400 points while he was speaking. Like I said, tomorrow should be interesting.

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Friday, March 20, 2009

Survival Corn 

Preparation at the most individual and household basis is a key to our preparedness. It's important for people to have some water. It's important for people to have a storage of food. It's a good idea to have a first aid kid. What would happen in a pandemic if suddenly trucks couldn't drive and the 24 hour grocery story had no food.
-- Michael Leavitt, former HHS Secretary

I have had a very difficult time finding corn for our emergency preps. Even though I live in a fairly rural area (it is not uncommon to see horses being ridden on the streets in the area), I have not been able to find a local place that sells feed corn.

I have considered WaltonFeed.com, but the delivery charges are just too high. It costs more for the delivery than for the corn itself.

A buddy of mine located a place near his home, where I purchased a 50 pound bag of dent (or field) corn.

In reviewing the label, it is called "re-cleaned" corn. They go over it a couple of times to make sure there is no foreign matter in the bag. My guess is that it's a process similar to what they do with beans - they clean out the obvious stuff, but you still need to check it for stones, etc.

The bag had this tag on it:

There is no indication on the tag that there are any additives. I checked their site - www.nutrenaworld.com - and couldn't find anything about additives. I'm making the assumption that this is just corn.

If anyone knows anything different, please, LET ME KNOW! I don't want to suddenly have the urge to chew my cud, or roll around in mud!

I emptied some from the sack, and it looked just as I expected - it looked like dried dent corn.

I measured out two cups worth. It weighed 13.3 ounces.

I used my Family Grain Mill. I have used this in the past with Red Winter Wheat (click here to see the write-up), and it worked like a champ. The manual said that corn is much harder than wheat, so it is best to put the grain through at least twice - at successively finer settings.

I set it at "4" (the widest setting) and put the 2 cups through. After the first pass, I ended up with 3 cups of corn. This is about the same volume expansion as occurred with the wheat. After the final grind, this had compacted somewhat to around 2 3/4 cups.

One thing to note: The mill said to never put your face near the hole where you feed the corn into the mill's auger as stuff can come flying up. With the wheat, some stuff did fly out, but it wasn't too bad. With the corn, it was like shrapnel! It was damned near exploding and shooting up the hole. I just placed a paper towel over the top, and things were fine.

I ran the corn through two more times, once at a "2 1/2" setting and one at the "1 1/4" setting (these are eyeball estimations - the knob only has whole numbers listed).

I rubbed a pinch of the home-ground meal and compared it with some store-bought meal, and they were identical in feel. The home-ground was a bit more yellow in color, plus it had those black flecks like you see on tortilla chips - like little pieces of black pepper.

It may look and feel right, but how did it taste?

Well it baked up in my standard cornbread recipe like a champ. I don't know if this was just in my head or not, but it seems more moist when compared to my cornbread made from store-bought meal. I don't know if that makes any sense, as this is a totally dried out product. Perhaps because the germ was newly crushed, it helps retain moisture. I dunno.

It tasted great. I can't say it was better than cornbread made with store-bought, but it was at least as good. When cooked, it did have a better cornbread aroma than store-bought.

So, unless someone tells me that I will be sprouting udders in 20 years if I keep eating this stuff, I'm going to pack it whole into 1 lb vacuum sealed bags. If I did my math right, 1 lb of corn kernels will give me 3.6 cups of rough ground corn, and 3.3 cups of fine corn meal.

When I bought my Family Grain Mill, I got the standard manual grinder, plus an adapter so I could use it with my KitchenAid. I'm telling you, if you had to used the manual mill every day to grind up a couple of cups of corn, you'd have arms like a young Arnold Schwarzenegger in no time!

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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Flush When Complete 

Sorry for the light posting. I've got a shit load of seminar minutia that I have to take care of.

I have the photos and data ready for a post on grinding corn. I bought a 50 lb bag, and made some cornbread last night. Quite an interesting process. Should be posted tomorrow.

In the mean time, I'm probably going to go against the sympathies of most folks with what I'm going to say. I seems to not be a popular view as I look around the blogs and news sites.

Congress needs to stay the hell out of the pockets of the AIG folks that got bonuses.

If you've read even a small part of this blog, you know I'm vehemently against any sort of Nanny bailout. We should have let the companies fail and be recycled by the economy.

But that's not what we did. Congress got in bed with these companies, and gave them money. They spelled out the terms for accepting the money. The companies complied with those terms.

And now those cocksuckers in Congress want to not only go back on the deal, they want to go against the Constitution (like THAT'S a shock).

In AIG's case, Congress knew the bonus' were going to be paid before the money was given. In fact, Chris Dodd even had language added to the bill that explicitly set time tables (Feb 11, I believe) as the drop-dead date for agreeing to pay any OTHER bonus'.

Again, AIG complied with those terms.

If Congress didn't want the bonus' to be paid, they needed to tell AIG that they had two options: Void the bonus' and get the bailout money, or keep the bonus' and figure it out for yourself.

Now, those Congressional maggots are talking about shitting on the Constitution - again. They want to write a law specifically punishing the recipients of the bonus'.
A bill of attainder (also known as an act or writ of attainder) is an act of legislature declaring a person or group of persons guilty of some crime and punishing them without benefit of a trial. Bills of attainder are forbidden by Article I, section 9, clause 3 of the United States Constitution.
There is talk about taxing JUST THOSE AIG EMPLOYEES, in the neighborhood of 90-100% tax. Some shrew Congress-bitch made a comment along the lines of, "I'd like to tax them 1,000% on the bonus money."


I'm tellin' ya, people are going to start sending bullets down-range if crap like this keeps up much longer...

I need to look into something I saw on the Glenn Beck show a couple of days ago. He did this chart-thing that showed how, of the roughly $110 billion AIG has been given so far, something like $66 billion of it has been funneled to foreign banks.

Sixty-six billion US taxpayer dollars have been sent to foreign banks.

Sounds like a money laundering scheme to me. One thought is, this was about to hit the news, so they are having the very public shit-fit over the AIG bonus' as political cover.

We'll fall for it...

This will shock you (not!), but neither the NRA nor the CRPA have anything new on their site regarding turning the most populous state in the nation into a "shall issue" state.

Just as shocking (not!) is the fact that neither organization has had the decency to respond to the concerns of one of their members. I will need to remember this the next time someone asks me if they should join either organization...

UPDATE: Here's the video clip from Glenn Beck's show. It describes who got the US taxpayer money. Grab a beer - the clip is 11 mins long, but worth the time. Oh, and sorry for the exaggeration about how much money went outside of the country.

It wasn't $66 billion. It was only $62 billion.

My bad.

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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Where We Are... Where We're Headed... 

UPDATE: It seems that, for some reason, YouTube has removed the video of the Marine I mention in this post. Luckily, FrontSight.com must have cached the video. It can be seen here.

If Congress can employ money indefinitely to the general welfare,and are the sole and supreme judges of the general welfare, they may take the care of religion into their own hands; they may appoint teachers in every State, county and parish and pay them out of their public treasury; they may take into their own hands the education of children, establishing in like manner schools throughout the Union; they may assume the provision of the poor; they may undertake the regulation of all roads other than post-roads.

In short, every thing, from the highest object of state legislation down to the most minute object of police, would be thrown under the power of Congress.... Were the power of Congress to be established in the latitude contended for, it would subvert the very foundations, and transmute the very nature of the limited Government established by the people of America.

--James Madison, Father of the Constitution
Madison made this quote to the very first Congress, in response to a proposed federal subsidy for fishermen.

Did this guy have foresight, or what?

Last week, FrontSight.com had a sort of follow-up newsletter to an earlier one that which included a YouTube video of a Marine calling for revolt against our government. The follow-up newsletter was called, "Patriot or Traitor?".

The newsletter also included a video that gave an excellent overview of the types of governments throughout the world's history.

Before you go forward, take a look at that first. It's going to take 10 minutes out of your life, but it's worth the time.

One of the early points the video makes is something that I've long said: Fascism and Communism are not at opposite ends of the political spectrum. They are joined at the hip. They are both totalitarian forms of government - they just use different excuses for imposing their will on the people.

When our country was founded, it was designed to have a small federal government. The idea was that the states and local governments knew how to best meet the needs of their localities.

In theory, our tax structure would show a small amount going to the feds to pay for Constitutionally mandated and authorized duties - military, post offices, interstate commerce, currency, etc. Everything else was either a state government, local government or personal individual responsibility.

For instance, if your county wanted to pay for the schooling of its children, you'd vote for it, and pay the taxes. You had local control and could more easily change things if you didn't like the scope, the curriculum or how it was being taught.

Same goes for roads, health care, speed limits, pollution standards - you get the point. Anything not specifically empowered to the feds in the Constitution.

Clearly, that plan for our country has been turned upside-down.

One of the points of the video is that the world has basically got two types of government - oligarchies and republics. Oligarchies - where a select few rule the lives of the masses, and republics - where the masses elect officials at various levels of government to represent them in enforcing the laws of the land.

America has used its powers as a republic to turn itself into an oligarchy.

Far fetched? I don't think so.

We have 546 people ruling virtually every facet of the lives of 300 million people. We have 435 members of the House of Representatives, 100 Senators, 9 Supreme Court justices and 2 Executive officers.

Five hundred and forty six ruling three hundred million. If that's not an oligarchy, I don't know what is.

I don't have the time nor the inclination to go into how we got there in detail. It usually starts as an issue that scares a lot of people - drug abuse or terrorism, for instance.

The government proposes a law to attempt to control, manage or regulate the problem. People nod approvingly, even though the newly acquired federal power takes away a part of a personal right or freedom.

It's for our own good. Who could say that drug abuse is good, or that terrorism shouldn't result in some minor personal privacy "inconveniences"?

Well, pretty soon, there's nothing left to take. Your personal power and freedom are stripped away. You do as you're told, or you're ostracized or jailed.

Or you resist.

And that's where this Marine is coming from. I'm assuming he's a Marine, but whether he is nor not is irrelevant. It's his words and ideas that you need to think about.

Now, take another 7 minutes from your life and listen to what he as to say.


You make the call. Is he a patriot or a traitor?

Here are some thoughts by a proven patriot:
The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants.
--Thomas Jefferson

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Monday, March 16, 2009

Pistols and Pipes 

You must have long-range goals to keep you from being frustrated by short-range failures.
--Charles C. Noble

On Saturday, I wrote about the California "Shall Issue" bill, AB 357. I have looked at the CRPA and NRA/NRA ILA sites. Both organizations have virtually no information on their sites. The CRPA site has a link to a story on the subject - the same link I provided on Saturday.

I have received absolutely no email alerts or Calls To Action from either organization. The only thing I've received in this vein was an email from FrontSight.com. Somehow THEY were able to get something out the same day the bill made the news.

On Friday, they sent me an email with the names, addresses, phone numbers and fax numbers of the members of the Public Safety Committee who have this bill in their laps right now.

Why can't these organizations, whose primary purpose is to support pro-gun laws, do the same?

Here's the letter I wrote to the NRA (a similar one went to the CRPA):
RE: California AB357


I have scoured the NRA and NRAILA sites and see absolutely nothing on AB357 - the "Shall Issue" bill in California.

As a California gun owner and NRA Certified Pistol Instructor, this is obviously of great interest and importance.

Considering California is the nation's most populous state, bringing us into the "Shall Issue Club" would be a huge event.

What are you doing to promote this legislation? What can you suggest individuals in CA do to help this become law?

Most of us have no idea how the legislative process works. We don't know if this bill is simply window-dressing, or if it has a real chance of success. We look to YOU for that guidance.

I look forward to hearing from you on this very important legislation.
I'm a member of both organizations, but I'm not a happy member...

In other news.....

On Sunday, I pissed away half a day helping out my buddy that had the bad car accident. He had a water softener that had been badly leaking, and he wanted it removed. I had told him I was pretty proficient in soldering, and would be happy to help him out (I have made the majority of my own brewing equipment, and most involves soldering copper pipe).

We removed the softener with little problem. We ran down to the hardware store and picked up a couple of elbows to help us re-connect the water to flow into the house. I already had the torch, and all of the flux, solder (yes, lead-free) emery cloth, etc., to do the job.

I gave my brother (a home inspector) a quick call to make sure I didn't need to put any kind of P-trap on the fresh water pipes (just being careful...), and we were ready to go.

I dry fitted the parts, marked the joint angles, and was good to go.

I then couldn't run a bead of solder to save my life!

Over the next 2 hours, I tried to build a leak-less joint. No deal.

It finally dawned on me what I was doing wrong (basically, I was over-heating the joints). I took the whole mess apart, re-cleaned and fluxed the joints, and the whole thing went together - perfectly - in about a half hour!

All told, a job that should have taken about an hour and a half - disassembly, running to the hardware store, re-assembly - took 4 1/2 hours. Oy!

He's lucky I wasn't charging by the hour. He got off with a tank of propane, a Coke and a cupcake...

I'm guessing it was a year ago when I bought, In Search Of The Second Amendment. It's a DVD by David Hardy, the owner of the site, Of Arms and The Law. Even though I bought it a while back, I had never watched it - until this weekend.

The documentary (about 2 hours) goes into great detail about the genesis of the 2A - which actually pre-dates the Constitution. It also discusses how even liberals in the legal profession believe gun ownership is an individual right, not a state or collective right. It is a position based upon fact, not hype.

I finally got around to watching it because I wanted more "ammunition" for the expected debates on the aforementioned AB357. By providing the historical and legal context of the right to gun ownership, we can take away the arguments of the Brady Bastards, and leave them with nothing more than emotional appeals.

While emotional appeals will certainly play a large part in both the pro- and con-arguments, removing one source of "talking points" from the gun grabbers will certainly help our cause.

One nice thing is, you can show it on your local Public Access cable channel for free. You just need to own the DVD, which costs about $25.

Get educated. Buy the video. Read GunFacts.info.

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Saturday, March 14, 2009

Finally Pushed Too Far? 

Americans have the right and advantage of being armed - unlike the citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.
--James Madison, The Federalist Papers #46 at 243-244

I just got a piece of kick-ass news from one of my brothers. This being California, it will be an up-hill battle at the very least, but still, it's very heartening.

There is a bill, AB 357 (notice the bill number? I love it!), which would make CA a "Shall Issue" state.
AB 357 takes the ambiguity and wide latitude out of the hands of individual Sheriffs who may personally oppose concealed carry and compels the granting of the permit. In the language of the amended version contemplated, the words may issue are struck and replaced with shall issue.
Most folks are probably not aware, but the new Sheriff of Orange County (down in the LA area) has taken it upon herself to stop issuing new permits, or re-issuing existing permits. These are people that already had them, have done nothing illegal since the last issuance, but she has decided that a group of armed, law-abiding citizens is a bad thing. Only having the criminals armed is a much better idea.

She has been getting all kinds of grief over this. It appears that one of the results is this bill.

I've sent an email to the CRPA and the NRA to get more information about what they intend on doing, and what regular citizens can do. I intend on sending emails out to literally every Californian I know telling them to contact their CA government officials in support of this bill.

If anyone is interested, here is the text of the actual bill.

I'm feelin' a bit Moosey.

I am now a member of the Loyal Order Of the Moose (LOOM). I went down to the lodge last night with a buddy (a member), signed on the dotted line and forked over my bucks.

This place is huge. When you first walk in, there is a huge bar area (they have some sort of politically correct name I need to remember - something like 'member refreshment area'), a pool table room, a huge kitchen and hall.

The hall is what interests me the most. They rent it out for member dinners, wedding receptions and the like. I intend on holding some of my various classes there.

I met some great people last night. I need to get the skinny on who is who, and go over and talk with whomever is in charge of renting out the place and talking dollars and cents.

I'm getting pumped up....

The Moose have an organization for women called Women of The Moose. One of the guys last night was telling me that they had a new woman member convinced that, as part of the initiation process, she would have to kiss the balls of a moose.

To her credit, she was ready to do it! Now that's commitment...

Unsubstantiated reports were that a number of the LOOM members were volunteering for Moose Duty....

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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Freedom's Vanguard 

Hermit posted this video over at his place. Judging from this speech, I'm guessing that this was sometime after Heston had first made the "From My Cold Dead Hands" speech.

I was so moved by his words, I scoured the Internet to find a transcript. I couldn't find it any where. So, I made one myself.

Read the words.
Every time our country stands in the path of danger, an instinct seems to summon her finest first - those who truly understand her. When freedom shivers in the cold shadow of true peril, it's always the Patriots who first hear the call.

When loss of liberty, is looming - as it is now - the siren sounds first in the hearts of Freedom's Vanguard. The smoke in the air of our Concord Bridges and Pearl Harbors is always smelled first by the farmers, who come from their simple homes to find the fire and fight.

Because they know that sacred stuff resides in that wooden stock and blued steel. Something that gives the most common man the most uncommon of freedoms. When ordinary hands can possess such an extraordinary instrument that symbolizes the full measure of human dignity and liberty.

That's why those five words issue an irresistible call to us all, and we must.

So, as we set out this year to defeat the divisive forces that would take freedom away, I want to say those fighting words for everyone within the sound of my voice - to hear and to heed - and especially for you, Mr. Gore...

From My Cold Dead Hands!

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Powdered Butter 

As for butter versus margarine, I trust cows more than chemists.
--Joan Gussow

You, YES YOU! get to benefit from some research I'm doing for an Emergency Preparedness class I'm putting together (sorry for the YES YOU! stuff - I've been working on some marketing materials....).

I recently picked up some powdered butter for my preps storage.

I've purchased other stuff from Honeyville Farms and it has always been very high quality. Their powdered eggs come to mind.

My primary home preps butter is the Red Feather canned butter from Australia or New Zealand. This stuff is absolutely fantastic. It is real, solid butter. It doesn't taste like butter, it IS butter, and last for years. (FYI - home canned butter is one of my future projects)

The powdered butter was more for camping or for GHBs, and secondarily for a SHTF scenario.

Here's what I wanted to test:
I ran some spreadsheets to determine how much butter I could get out of a can. The can said that there are 153 tablespoons of powder in the can. It tells you how many calories, etc., are in each serving, but not how much a serving is in equivalent butter.

It is a 9 to 1 formula. 9 teaspoons added to 1 teaspoon of water, gives you butter. What it doesn't say is, how much butter that represents. Is it 9 teaspoons of butter? I needed to know this so I could determine how much "butter" was in the can.

I'm going to give you a screen shot of my conversion spreads, but warn you that they are totally wrong.

I wanted to make a half pound of butter. In equivalent terms, that would mean I need a TOTAL of 48 teaspoons of "stuff" - a combination of powder and water.

Since it takes 9 units of powder added to 1 unit of water, I just started plugging numbers into the "Powder 9" cell. The "Water 1" cell took the powder number and divided it by 9. The last cell added the Powder and Water cells together. When I got the "Total" cell around 48, I had my formula.

It was then a simple matter of extrapolating the other information on the spreadsheet regarding equivalent butter content, etc. I was feeling very smug with myself.

Except it was all wrong!

I was a business major in college, not a chemist. I guess stuff goes into solution or melts or just flies up fairy's butts. I'm sure there is some kind of formula out there to figure this stuff out, but I don't have it handy.

When I mixed my powder and water together, I was expecting 8 ounces (by weight) of "butter".

A close-up of the scale shows that I got about half of the weight I was expecting.

Obviously, that would totally throw off my "butter equivalency" calculations - basically cutting them in half. That's not really that big of a deal, because this is emergency supplies that would be at the bottom of the pecking order.

On to taste and cooking performance:

The powder smelled like butter. The taste.... not so much.

I took the butter and split it into two portions. I let half of it stay in the bowl, and I rolled half of it in cellophane wrap and put it in the fridge to see if it would harden.

After a half hour or so, it hardened up perfectly. Looked and felt like a roll of butter.

I tasted a bit of the bowl butter. It had the smoothness on the tongue of regular butter, but had an "off" taste. My best description would be that it was similar to the cheese powder that comes with store-bought Macaroni and Cheese. Kind of sweet and processed tasting.

I took both versions of the butter, and spread it on a toasted bagel. Both spread well, looking kind of like a thin cheese spread. The taste didn't improve when coupled with other foods.

I then took a blob of the bowl butter and put it into a hot pan. My intention was to melt some down and cook up some hash browns (made from rehydrated prepper potatoes no less!).

To say the butter failed miserably would be an understatement. When it hit the hot pan, it just kind of sat there. It "slumped" a bit, but did nothing that resembled "melting." Instead, the butter itself browned.

Not browned as in, "the butter got nutty brown", but as in "he browned some meat."

I did the same thing with some of the refrigerated butter. One of my sons came home, and thought I had made up some mini-pancakes. To me, they looked like perfectly browned scallops!

So, if you're looking for something that will be a down-the-line substitute for butter in your preps, this is not your solution. Either buy the Red Feather butter, or can your own.

I'm going to sniff around and see if this will work when incorporated directly into recipes. I may try my corn bread recipe as a test. If I find some other uses, I'll post an update.

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Here's Why Bank Nationalization Sucks 

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.

Many folks don't see anything wrong with Nanny getting into the banking business. They figure that the government couldn't do any worse than the bankers did (yeah, just look at how well Nanny manages retirement planning - Social Security, medical insurance - MediCare and the VA, and security - Border patrol, TSA, et al, to just name a few).

Well, along the lines of Dubya not letting the government negotiate the best prices for drugs with his MediCare plan, Freddie Mac won't let you shop around if you want to refinance your Freddie-guaranteed mortgage.

Nope, you've got to take what they give you.
A new mortgage-refinancing program offered by Freddie Mac as part of the Obama administration's foreclosure-prevention plan doesn't allow borrowers to shop around for the lowest fees.

Brad German, a spokesman for the government-backed provider of funding for mortgages, said any borrower with a Freddie-backed loan who wants to refinance under this new program needs to do so through the company that services his current loan. Loan servicers, typically owned by lenders, collect monthly payments.
Get in bed with the devil, and expect to get forked.

The absolutely most priceless quote from the article was this:
Freddie's Mr. German argued that it will be faster for borrowers to deal with their loan servicers, which already have the borrowers' financial information [thanks for thinking of me, you asshole]. He said Freddie doesn't restrict the fees lenders charge to consumers.

But, he added, "it would be a violation of common sense and national purpose if a servicer saw this as an opportunity to add excessive and unnecessary fees." Mr. German also said that Freddie isn't applying many of its own usual fees to these refinancings. That decision will lower costs for consumers, he said.
A "violation of common sense and national purpose.."??? Is he fucking kidding? Hasn't he been paying attention? Common sense was thrown out of the window back in 1998 when banks started having the CRA shoved up their ass in new and exciting ways.

Like it suddenly displayed common sense to force banks to give loans to people who could not afford them. And to then have Freddie and Fannie guarantee those very same loans so their poison could be spread throughout the world financial markets.

Common sense is not part of this equation, sport.

And why in the hell does he think servicers will have some sort of "national purpose"? Good Lord, they're in business to make money. They have a fiduciary duty TO THEIR SHAREHOLDERS to make as much money as is legally possible. If they don't do that THEY'RE BREAKING THE LAW (LOL, like the SEC would catch them)!!

Well, I guess once Nanny gets through nationalizing the rest of the banks, it won't much matter. Breaking even, let alone making a profit has never been anything Nanny has been much worried about.

This is playing out like a bad "B" movie. Thinking about the depth of idiocy in the ranks of our government hurts my head.

We're fucked, and there is little we can do about it.

The Investigation Discovery channel has a show called, Gang Nation. Last night, it was on gangs in Poland.

It focused on the "Soccer hooligans." If you listened between the lines, the cause of this was more economic than pure thuggery. They have upwards of 20% unemployment, and these mostly young males have nothing better to do.

Sound like any segment of society here in America?

And what happens when everyone is feeling 20%+ unemployment? The shit will truely hit the fan.

Did I mention we're fucked, and that there is little we can do about it?

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Transparent Like A Wall 

A man without ethics is a wild beast loosed upon this world.
-- Albert Camus

Apparently, in order to get a job in the Barry Administration, you must first break the law or have someone in your family that has done so. More importantly, the crimes involved must be tied to your new job.

It started with our new Treasury Secretary. It has been widely reported how Geithner was a tax dodger. It seems he "forgot" to pay a butt-load of taxes when he was working for the International Monetary Fund.

Now he's in charge of the IRS.

Nancy Killefer, nominated as the Deputy Director at the Office of Management and Budget and Chief Performance Officer, had to back out after it was revealed she couldn't manage her own budget. It seems she had a lien on her home for her failure to pay taxes for her "household help". No information on if they were legal "household help".

Hell, it seems like all kinds of Democrats nominated for top administration slots have difficulty in paying their taxes - 13 of them so far. Funny, isn't it, how all of these Democrats, who are so quick to raise our taxes, and call it "unpatriotic" to speak against taxes, have such problems paying their OWN taxes.

So now, we have the new Drug Czar nominee. It seems his son was busted on drug charges.
President Obama will name Seattle Police Chief R. Gil Kerlikowske as the nation's drug czar today, ending a long search that was slowed as details of drug arrests involving Kerlikowske's son came to light.
Wow, how embarrassing. The Barry Administration must be wetting their panties about the upcoming Senate confirmation process.

Or not.

Instead of the nation's top drug cop having to be confirmed, Barry is going to make the process a bit easier.
The administration will remove the job's Cabinet designation -- reversing an elevation of the office under President George W. Bush -- although one senior official said that Kerlikowske would have "full access and a direct line to the president and the vice president."
He's just going to anoint the guy. So, the job will walk like a duck, talk like a duck, have access to Barry like a duck... but won't be a duck.

I sure am impressed with Barry's "transparency" crusade so far.

They remove their Drug King from Senate scrutiny. The position which used to be cabinet level is reclassified because it will be "uncomfortable."

They promise the American people 5 days to review any spending bill. We have had exactly zero days on any spending bill so far. It seems that "emergency" bills are exempt from the promise.

The VP has a meeting with union officials and cameras are banned from the meeting. I wonder - did the unions give any money to the Barry/Biden ticket? Just asking...

Barry promises that there will be no lobbyists in his administration, and now the joint is lousy with them, but they won't give us all of the names of the appointees. The justification has been weak, at best.

Lies and excuses. Lies and excuses.

Get used to it, America.

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Monday, March 09, 2009

Chicken With Head Cut Off 

I've been in hyper-drive since Friday.

I've got my first potential training customer meeting today, and I've been going bat-shit crazy getting slick brochures made up and printed, updating my business website, setting up a newsletter program and tons of other stuff.

On top of that, I'm in the middle of 3 certification classes. Two NRA classes - Range Safety Officer and Refuse To Be a Victim, and one FEMA certification for Emergency Management.

On Tuesday, I'll be installing the shopping cart for students to be able to register for classes online, and hooking that up to a merchant account so the payments will be processed, authenticated and credited to my business account. This whole process will probably take two full days of coding and tweaking.

Unemployment payments don't seem so bad right about now..... ;-)

I'm going to be meeting up with a buddy later this week to consider becoming a Moose. More specifically, joining the Loyal Order of the Moose (LOOM). There are Moose Lodges all over the place, and my buddy believes that members have the ability to use or rent out the facilities to teach classes.

He also came across a grain store in the area. We're going to check out what they have with regards to bulk purchases. He talked with the owner, and they have 50 lb. sacks of wheat for $14 and dent corn for $10. That's a bit lower than the price at Walton Feed, plus there wouldn't be the delivery fee (which runs around $24 a sack for delivery to CA).

Best compliment EVER: I was inspired by a comment by TOR to cook up some biscuits and gravy last night.

My wife and I were watching the tube, and this Pillsbury commercial came on where this little girl was doing a dream sequence ala Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz. She's standing on the steps to her school, eyes closed, clicking her heels. The image in her head was of Pillsbury crescent rolls.

My wife said, "That's me when I think about your biscuits!"

I'm getting all dewy eyed.....

I saw an interview on TV on Sunday that nearly made my head explode. I need to do a bit more research before I share my wrath with the world.

In through the nose, out through the mouth.... in through the nose...

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Friday, March 06, 2009


The fascination of shooting as a sport depends almost wholly on whether you are at the right or wrong end of the gun.
-- P. G. Wodehouse

I joined a Rod and Gun club last night. This club has been getting between 30 and 50 new members each month for the last year or so. They noted that they (uhm, WE) now have 1,300 members.

It was funny: There were about 30 new members signed up yesterday. The total attendance at the meeting was perhaps 60! They really were harping on folks to attend the meetings and to get involved.

I'm guessing the main reason people join is for the range fee discount. It is regularly $12. Members pay $6. With an annual membership fee of $25, it's pretty easy to make up your membership fee in just a few visits.

I joined primarily because they are a CMP-affiliated club. I can now take advantage of their military surplus gun sales.

One "bonus" I was unaware of is the size of the clubhouse. Perfect for teaching firearms classes. They've got some guy that does classes for the club itself, so I need to tread lightly. But I'm guessing that if I pay some nominal rental fee - plus my students paying range fees - I should have no problems.

I know very little about rifles. I need to get educated about common calibers, rifle types and the lot. I figure this is as good a way as any to get up to speed.

I am sure I will be asking a lot of questions here. Help me out here, folks!

The range also has an Action Pistol arm that looks very interesting.

While I am looking forward to improving my rifle skills, I'm mostly a "handgun guy". This will be a great opportunity to sharpen my handgun skills, and have fun at the same time.

I need to attend a few orientation classes to show that I know my way around a handgun, but it doesn't sound overly onerous. One of the guys I was speaking with last night said that they have only had one accidental handgun discharge in their history.

It was a LEO.

He literally shot himself in the foot! The member had some choice words for his opinion of police officer shooting skills. I'll keep them to myself...

Something I was very pleasantly surprised with is their outreach to kids. They have a huge program for kids. They start them off with airguns, and work them up to pistols, shotguns and rifles.

Remember folks, this is California. The Bay Area, no less - the provincial capital of the People's Republic.

One of the new members was a kid in a hoodie that had the name of my wife's school on the front. When us new members were getting sworn in, I asked him if he went to that school. He said yes. I asked him if he knew Mrs. S. Yep, in fact, she was his teacher last year!

Now, she's a 5th grade teacher, so this kid is 11 or 12. Very cool.

When I got home, I told my wife about meeting this kid. She started laughing. She had "written him up" that morning at recess! Those parochial school teachers are tough...

I was going to share a story about my doctor's visit today. It is absolutely funny as hell, but a bit "rough". I know there are a number of ladies who stop by here on a regular basis, and they might not appreciate the humor.

And NO, it wasn't THAT test... ;-)

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Thursday, March 05, 2009

Inventory Control 

The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. Not wealth or luxury or long life or happiness: only power, pure power. What pure power means you will understand presently. We are different from all the oligarchies of the past, in that we know what we are doing. All the others, even those who resembled ourselves, were cowards and hypocrites. The German Nazis and the Russian Communists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives. They pretended, perhaps they even believed, that they had seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and that just round the corner there lay a paradise where human beings would be free and equal. We are not like that. We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power.
--George Orwell's, 1984

Global Cooling. It's a fact. It's not a guess - like global warming - based upon flawed computer models that are manipulated to provide the "correct" answer. The earth's temperature has been dropping since 2001. This, despite the measurable increase of CO2 in the atmosphere (whose source is NOT known).

The "climate change" hysteria is not about saving the planet, regardless of the impassioned protestations of the cult followers. It is first and foremost a way to separate you from your money, either directly or indirectly via taxes. Carbon "credits", "cap and trade" and the like.
The study, released on Jan. 28 by Kyle L. Swanson and Anastasios A. Tsonis, who are professors in the Department of Mathematical Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, found that the Earth has been cooling since 2001 and projected that due to “global variation” the climate would continue to cool for the next 20 to 30 years.

Democratic senators told CNSNews.com that despite new studies and reports of variations in global temperatures, the federal government should move quickly to implement policies because they believe the debate over global warming is over.

“I think there is a bipartisan consensus in the Senate that the science is in,” Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, told CSNews.com when asked if the government should implement new policies to apparently combat global warming despite the new study. “This is a very real problem. Now the debate is on the remedies -- but the science is in.”
Look what this drone is saying: Regardless of the actual science that shows the earth is cooling, we must take steps to cool it further. Fucking insanity.

These bastards have to maintain the party line and the fear mongering despite the evidence, in order to justify the tax increases to the teeming masses.

Your personal Cost Of Living absolutely, positively will go up. The businesses that are paying the taxes are not going to shoulder these additional costs because they're good folks. They are in business to make money, not to advance social change.

Aren't you glad Barry is looking out for your pocketbook during these tough economic times?

The second motive is to further control your life.

Certain groups of people have this innate need to control others. For some reason, they have this matronly instinct to run people's lives.

They are like your dottering old aunt that wipes dirt off your cheek with a spittle-soaked handkerchief.

The problem is, if these matrons get elected to office, they can impose their will upon you.

The Matrons didn't like smoking, so now it's all but outlawed in most public places.

The Matrons didn't like certain fats, so they banned them in certain cities.

The Matrons don't like guns, so they make it increasingly difficult to buy or operate them (although members of local .GOV groups - the police and such - can buy whatever they want. At least THEIR Second Amendment rights are still intact.)

The Matrons don't like drunk drivers, so they pass laws that allow Nanny to check the papers of EVERYONE that happens to be driving down a certain stretch of road - Probable Cause be damned.

The Matrons don't like drugs, so they start the very, very successful War On Drugs, telling us what we can and cannot put in our bodies - even though they have no Constitutional powers to do so.

That's worked out quite well, hasn't it? At least we don't have any illegal drugs in America...

Want some more crap to counter your blood pressure medication?

I wrote a rant back in 2005 (that links to rants as far back as 2004) about RFID chips. They are a great tool for tracking inventory. In fact, Arizona park rangers are now using these chips to keep track of cacti. I guess they have a problem with cacti being ripped off, and they want a way to track their whereabouts.
By injecting radio frequency identification tags (RFID) into saguaro cacti, park managers hope to stem a rash of cactus thefts from the park.

"Deterrence is the biggest objective for putting microchips into saguaros," said Bob Love, chief ranger for the Arizona park. "If people know that we are doing something electronically then they are less likely to steal them."
Let's jump from the government in Arizona, to the federal government in DC. They want to add RFID chips to our driver's licenses.

It's all for our own good.
The proposal, which has earned the support of Janet Napolitano, the newly chosen chief of the Department of Homeland Security, would embed radio chips in driver's licenses, or "enhanced driver's licenses."

"Enhanced driver's licenses give confidence that the person holding the card is the person who is supposed to be holding the card, and it's less elaborate than REAL ID," Napolitano said in a Washington Times report.
Ooooooo, they're "enhanced". Must be good, huh? Good for Nanny.

Napolitano promises they won't be used to track citizens. Funny how the exact same technology is used by another government agency to do tracking?
Napolitano, as Arizona's governor, was against the REAL ID, Albrecht said. Now, as chief of Homeland Security, she is suggesting the more aggressive electronic ID of Americans.

"She's coming out and saying, 'OK, OK, OK, you win. We won't do REAL ID. But what we probably ought to do is nationwide enhanced driver's licenses,'" Albrecht told WND.
Some folks are screaming about this, but I fear it's falling on deaf ears. Enough people just don't give a damn. Throw in some "benefits" about it helping to stop terrorism, and you'll get a bunch of "conservatives" jumping on the bandwagon as well.
Imagine, she said, going to a First Amendment-protected event, a church or a mosque, or even a gun show or a peace rally.

"What happens to all those people when a government operator carrying a reading device makes a circuit of the event?" she asked. "They could download all those unique ID numbers and link them."

Participants could find themselves on "watch" lists or their attendance at protests or rallies added to their government "dossier."
RFID chips are for inventory control. Plain and simple. If the ability to positively identify a person were the real reason for these cards, there are much more simple and secure ways of doing this.

But that's not the purpose. Congratulations! You're considered nothing more than an income producing product for the State.

Don't swallow the crap that "it will make you life so much easier". I don't want it to be easy for Nanny to keep track of my whereabouts. It's none of their fucking business.

It doesn't look like we'll have much say in the matter, though.

How's that for a little ray of sunshine into your day?
There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment. How often, or on what system, the Thought Police plugged in on any individual wire was guesswork. It was even conceivable that they watched everybody all the time. But at any rate they could plug in your wire whenever they wanted to. You had to live—did live, from habit that became instinct—in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized.
--George Orwell's 1984

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Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Survival Gardening 

Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil and you're a thousand miles from the corn field.
-- Dwight David Eisenhower

Over the past year, I've been picking up heirloom seeds for my preps. I bought the heirloom seeds instead of the hybrid seeds because the hybrids are genetically dead. Once you grow food with them, they're done. The seed producers genetically modify them so you can't save some of the seeds from the plants to grow new crops the next year. You have to go back to the companies and buy more seeds.

It's a brilliant business model.

Now, that might be fine if you want to dabble in growing some extra corn or tomatoes or squash each year, but for a prepper, it doesn't make sense. If it comes down to having to grow some of your own food each year to actually live on, you'd be screwed in your second year.

A buddy of mine turned me on to a site called SurvivalistSeeds.com. They sell nothing but heirloom seeds. And they sell them cheap.

I ordered their package, which includes 6,000+ seeds from 20 different varieties of plant. The site says that this is enough seed to feed a family for 3 1/2 years. I don't know if that's accurate or not, as I still haven't planted any of the other seeds I purchased to see what kinds of yields you get from a single seed.

What I can say is, his prices are right. The 6,000 seeds cost roughly $120, delivered, or under $0.02 per seed. Most of the seeds in my Burpee catalog run in the three to five cents a piece range.

Each variety comes in its own marked envelope or baggie. The package also comes with two DVD's. Let me just say that the value of these DVD's is in their content, not on their production value - Hollywood was not involved in their production!

The first is titled, From Seed To Produce To Profit. It discusses how you can make some money by growing and selling your crops. It is decent enough information, but I think you'd need a fairly large piece of land to be able to do this. A couple of acres at least.

The other DVD is titled, Secret Patriot Garden. This is a great DVD, and is right in line with the prepper mind-set. It shows you how to plant gardens out "in the wild". The premise is you don't want a big, well-tended garden if TSHTF. Neighbors and bad guys will rape and pillage it. You need to have multiple, widely disbursed, unobtrusive gardens.

He provides techniques for building the gardens so that they can mostly tend to themselves, with only infrequent visits from you.

His site has a good deal of information on how to start a garden and how to save seeds. He's got a link to a homesteading forum as well.

Right after I bought the seeds, I sent him an email on his site's advice for storing seeds. I got a reply the next day.

Also, he shipped the order almost immediately. I ordered the seeds on Feb 20, and they arrived on Feb 26.

For various reasons, I didn't pick them up from the post office until yesterday. When I verified the contents, it was almost as advertised. Three of seed varieties had been substituted. They were the same kind of food - a root crop for a root crop, a melon for a melon. Not that big of a deal, but I thought I'd pass that along.

Now, I just need to get off my ass and start planting some of these. I had visions of building portable raised beds to take advantage of my south-facing back yard. I think I'll just start out using some wine barrels I have on casters, and see where that takes me.

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