Friday, February 26, 2010

How Not to Have "The Look"

Jeff Cooper, in Firing Pin Journal, shares with us some writing-on-the-wall:

There are no victims, only volunteers. You volunteer by looking uncertain and afraid. You volunteer by being, as grass-eaters invariably are, unprepared to confront the hazards of life.


The Right Way to Clear Any Malfunction

Here Clint Smith, of Thunder Ranch, shows us the right way to clear any malfunction. I saw this YouTube on Firing Pin Journal.

I have got to scrape some money together to attend Thunder Ranch.

Victim Disarmament Temporarily Halted

Greg Campbell writes in the Huffington Post:

After the Colorado State University Board of Governors voted to ban guns and other weapons at the Pueblo and Fort Collins campuses, Alderden went on record with the Colorado Springs Gazette to say that he would do all he could to undermine what he considers a dangerous policy. That includes refusing to book otherwise compliant concealed-carry holders who are arrested by CSU-Fort Collins campus cops into his jail, and testifying on behalf of them in court. Link.

Jim Alderden, Larimer County's sheriff speaks thusly:

This ban, which is broad and encompassing, basically denies students at the Fort Collins campus any defensive capacity at all. It's a weapons-free zone for law-abiding people, and it won't do a single thing to keep armed criminals off of campus. It will only ensure them a lot of defenseless victims.


Thursday, February 25, 2010

Belaboring the Obvious

Hot off the press at the Chicago Tribune, here's some more breathless reporting:

New home sales plummet 11 percent in January, the 3rd monthly decline in a row

The Commerce Department reported Wednesday that new home sales dropped 11.2 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual sales pace of 309,000 units, the lowest level on records going back nearly a half century. The big drop was a surprise to economists who were expecting a 5 percent increase over December's pace.

Those economists, they're a caution, ain't they? They always seem to be "surprised". Well, I'm surprised to read that tax dollars have been wasted thusly for nearly a half century. What kind of man would degrade himself to a job where he watches and records useless details of other men's work. A tax parasite, that's what kind.

While winter storms were partly to blame, home sales have fallen for three straight months despite sweeping government support.

Have you ever noticed that our government always blames the weather? Here's something to think about. A new home takes longer to get a permit than to build it. When you take into account buying the land, the drawing of plans, bidding things out, and scraping the money together, a new home is conceived over a year in advance. And as for bad weather, the last stages of home construction are inside a weatherproof building. So weather is a horse-shit issue. However, the "sweeping government support" would definitely throw a big monkey wrench in home sales.

The drop in sales pushed the median sales price down to $203,500.

Each new home built, for example, creates about three jobs for a year and generates about $90,000 in taxes paid to local and federal authorities, according to the National Association of Home Builders.

OK, all you math wizards get out your calculators. It seems the government economists forgot to crunch a couple of numbers. A new home is 44% tax. It would be interesting to see the effect on new home construction if a "tax holiday" were benevolently bestowed upon U. S. citizens. But then the banks would be screwed out of 44% of their loan business, so that'll never happen. Do you still think government is a good thing?


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Consumer Confidence

Here's a story, hot off the Stenographer Associated Press.

NEW YORK – A monthly poll showed consumers' confidence took a surprisingly sharp fall in February amid rising job worries. The decline ends three straight months of improvement and raises concerns about the economic recovery.

Really? No Fuckin' shit, huh?

"The combination of earnings and job anxieties is likely to continue to curb spending," Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center, said in a statement.

Wow! Sounds like Lynn has his finger on the pulse. What I'd like to know is who pays this asshole's salary, and just why would anyone pay for such a belaboring of the obvious.

Those saying that jobs are "hard to get" rose to 47.7 percent from 46.5 percent, while those saying jobs are "plentiful" decreased to 3.6 percent from 4.4 percent.

Call it a hunch, but I think that those 47.7% are exactly the same guys that can't find a job. Think?

Economists watch the confidence numbers closely because consumer spending accounts for about 70 percent of U.S. economic activity.

No. These "economists" watch the "confidence numbers" closely because someone pays them to do it. And if they weren't "watching the numbers", they'd have to go out and find a real job.


Frivolous Arguments

The IRS has a Web site called, “Don’t Fall for These Frivolous Arguments.” Among them are:

—False claim: The filing and paying of tax is voluntary. IRS response: “The term voluntary compliance means that each of us is responsible for filing a tax return when required and for determining and paying the correct amount of tax.”

This IRS website is a real eye-opener. Use the link above to find out the real meaning of the word "voluntary" and the real meaning of the first and fifth amendment.

This is truly the free-est country on earth. All our laws are voluntary. We voluntarily refrain from robbery, rape, and murder or else the po-lice throw our asses in prison--but they do it voluntarily.


Sunday, February 21, 2010

Buh Bye, Al!

As of now, I am in control here in the White House

Alexander Haig

President Barack Obama praised Haig on Saturday as a public servant who "exemplified our finest warrior-diplomat tradition of those who dedicate their lives to public service."

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Haig "served his country in many capacities for many years, earning honor on the battlefield, the confidence of presidents and prime ministers, and the thanks of a grateful nation."

Al, how about a great big heartfelt GFY from a very ungrateful nation. And may the dogs gnaw your bones in Hell for all eternity.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Penguin Post 3

Here, yet again, is our favorite guest-poster, BadBux, the armchair economist. Let him shower you with nuggets of his erudition.

I agree with my good friend Dick Cheney--deficits don't matter. I mean, shoot the works, it's funny money! Government largess shouldn't have to depend on balancing the books. Just because deficit spending for our constant wars might just possibly have something to do with the current depression is no reason to stop the spending spree. Now I know that some of you libertards are saying, "Where are you going to get the money?” The printing press was invented in 1440, for cryin’ out loud! Print the shit! Inflation, you whine? Inflation forces people to spend their money before hyper-inflation destroys it. With everyone spending like crazy, we can all enjoy a good balloon before the next pop. At this point, morons who live in some alternate universe where unicorns are real are probably thinking, "What about savings, the fuel of Capitalism?" That, you idiots, is what fractional reserve banking is for. No need for savings when you can create money out of thin air! Now get out there and tell your representatives to spend, spend, spend. They're probably doing that already, just for you.


Mean Green

This is the artwork of David Dees.

Alan Greenspan used to be one of Ayn Rand's Inner Circle and even penned more than a few essays on why gold is the only honest money. Ayn Rand used to call Greenspan "The Undertaker" because of his quiet, glum personality.

Clicking on any of the pictures will make them bigger. This one brings to mind something about "draining the swamp".

David Dees thinks as much of Greenspan as I do. Bernanke too.

One thing that vexes me is why anyone would be against a gold standard money. And their opposition is never lukewarm or diffident, it's hostile. If you have no problem with Federal Reserve Notes, why would gold money bother you? 

Here's a post by Dependable Renegade. I like Dependable's blog. I read it daily and highly recommend it. But this particular post bothered me. Here's some snips from the comment section:

I never understood that whole "buy gold when the collapse comes" business. I mean, big deal, it's gold. Can't eat it. Can't burn it. What the hell use is it?

I don't understand. You can't eat a Federal Reserve Note either, even though I agree you could burn one. But I don't know why that would make an FRN superior to gold coins. One of the uses for gold is money. It makes the best kind, a solid store of compact wealth.

If you're that worried about collapse you should be stocking up on bullets, canned food, and porn - you know, actual commodities.

Gold is not only intrinsically valuable, it is finely divisible and universally accepted as a value. In a Shit-Hits-The-Fan situation, you might not find anyone to barter with if all you've got are cans of rhubarb and 44 magnum ammo. I'll concede the point about porn.

The value of the gold in a $5 gold piece today may be $5 today, but it will be $2.50 tomorrow, and $10 the day after that. We'd essentially have to go back to weights and measures. Otherwise, a metal coin is no different than paper currency, except that it costs a lot more to make, which is why there is talk periodically about dropping the penny. I have a vague recollection of hearing it costs three cents to make a penny.

The value of the $5 gold piece doesn't change, but the value of paper money sure does. A $20 gold coin now costs $1200 in FRN's. Paper is not money--it's a money substitute, and easily inflatable. You can't inflate gold unless you discover a cheaper way to dig it out of the ground. That's its beauty.


Previous Experience is Required

Here's an ad for employment in Craigslist for Las Vegas, Nevada.

Date: 2010-02-16, 1:50PM PST

Reply to:

Aerotek is seeking qualified candidates for General Labor positions in the Las Vegas Valley.

Previous experience is required.

Job Duties:
Digging, Clean up, Shoveling etc.

Pay is $10 an hour

Positions are going to start immediately after the screening process.

So, better polish up those resumes and line up your references. I'm sure there'll be a test in the "screening process", or maybe a certification would help.

Carpenter Training, Sir!

Low to the ground
Heavy with sound
Everything from Blues to Rock

Whose Cadillac is that? by War 

Your friendly neighborhood Underground Carpenter took a forklift class for certification in Vegas yesterday. It's a 2-1/2 hour drive, so you know I rock out the whole way. There's no better driving music than War's The World is a Ghetto. Add in Heart's Dreamboat Annie and Maynard Ferguson's This is Jazz, you've got some serious tuneage that eats up road miles.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Penguin Post 2

Due to wildly popular demand, our guest poster, BadConstrux, the statist penguin, returns to dazzle you with his brilliance.

Most people think that the Haitian tragedy was the result of the brutal, repressive, totalitarian regime not enforcing building codes. Uhm, err, no. Actually, freedom failed. Haiti is a libertarian paradise, and one of the wealthiest nations on the earth. The rich Haitians used their wealth to build what they thought were strong homes, but their totalitarian government was unable to save the people from themselves. The Haiti earthquake has proved, once and for all, that people are incapable of building their own houses, and that government should force people to use tents for homes. Even if your neighbor's tent falls over on yours, nobody dies. So uhm, err, even though Haiti's repressive, totalitarian regime was the reason that people didn't have enough money to build a good house, it's still the fault of freedom. Freedom sucks, and only a jack-booted thug government can give people the good houses they deserve.

The Death of Freedom

PROTEST: Mervin Fried, 45, of Kingman, left, holds a pitchfork during a protest organized by Mohave County Minutemen spokesman Luca Zanna in front of the county administration building in Kingman on Tuesday. Fried later was arrested for bringing the pitchfork inside the building.

What kind of a country are we living in, when a man can't even bring his pitchfork into a building?


Saturday, February 13, 2010

Negligient Discharge

Tam reviews the Four Rules of Gun Safety:
  1. All guns are always loaded.
  2. Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy.
  3. Keep your $%^&@#$ booger hook off the &*%$#@& bang switch.
  4. Be sure of your target and what's beyond it.
Tam's blog, View From the Porch, is always good reading.

Bad  things happen when you forget those 4 rules. Read about one such at Carteach0.


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Penguin Post

Our guest poster for today is BadBux, the armchair economist. Let him dazzle you with his brilliance.

Um, people are effing stupid. When I say people, I mean everyone but me. No one else has read as much history as me, so no one else's conclusions are as valid as mine. If you disagree with me, it means you are denying reality.
Fractional reserve banking is the greatest thing since sliced bread. Creating money out of thin air is an honest business pursuit, and it's what made this country great. Why, if we had to save money first before we loaned it, this country would still be in the stone age. Only the morally depraved at heart would call fractional reserve banking a ponzi scheme.
But the pinnacle of financial achievement in the U.S. is the Federal Reserve Bank. Until the Fed was created, this country was pushing donkey carts down rutted footpaths. We've had solid prosperity since the Fed, except for 1929-1946, 1950-1953, 1959-1961, 1968-1970, 1980-1982, 1984-1987, 1990-1992, 2001-2003, and of course, the current very mild depression. Since our government granted the privately-owned Fed a monopoly on counterfeiting expanding the money supply, everyone has become rich. Remember, even if a $20 gold coin now costs $1200, inflation is a good thing. By "priming the pump", we keep our thriving economy rockin' and rollin'.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Mo Money!

I lifted the above pics from a cool page that has lots of pictures and history of money. Go Here.
Here's a list of attributes that define money:

1. People, not governments, decide what money is. No legal-tender law can force citizens to accept a hyper-inflated currency. They switch to barter or foreign currencies.

2. Money has intrinsic value. That's why things like guns, gold, and cigarettes have all been used as money.

3. Money is limited in quantity. In order to coin gold, you first have to dig it out of the ground. I read something once that even the best gold mines have to dig a ton of dirt to find one ounce of gold.

4. A money that is finely divisible, like gold and silver coins in various denominations, makes transactions easier.

Did I miss anything?

Paper is not money. Paper currency is a money substitute, and it's only as valuable as what it represents. Even as recently as the 1960's, if you took a Silver Certificate(remember those?) to a bank, you could exchange it for the quantity of silver it represented. Remember the words, "Pay to the Bearer on Demand"? If the paper was a value in itself, why would those words be printed on the note? The U.S. has had two instances of fiat scrip rejected because the paper didn't represent anything of value; Greenbacks (Civil War funny-money) and Continentals (as in "not worth a Continental"). The third attempt to foist unbacked paper is disastrously unfolding right now with Federal Reserve Notes. I'm surprised that FRN's are still circulating. It just shows how bad other currencies are that we aren't using Zlotny's and Nuevo Pesos as alternative currency here.
Inflation is a slippery concept. You'd think that the "official" rate of inflation would be the amount of new bills printed expressed as a percentage of the previous total amount in circulation. But instead, inflation is given a number by opinion of government economists. If some commodity goes up in price too much, that commodity is ignored in favor of more "stable" prices. And price increases and decreases don't always follow the pattern of the printing press--two extreme examples are computers and health care. So I have to wonder who cares what the "inflation rate" is? Get your FRN wheelbarrows ready.

Richard Mitchell

Words never fail. We hear them, we read them; they enter into the mind and become part of us for as long as we shall live. Who speaks reason to his fellow men bestows it upon them. Who mouths inanity disorders thought for all who listen.

Language is the medium in which we are conscious. The speechless beasts are aware, but they are not conscious. To be conscious is to "know with" something, and a language of some sort is the device with which we know.

I have never yet written anything, long or short, that did not surprise me. That is, for me at least, the greatest worth of writing, which is only incidentally a way of telling others what you think. Its first use is for the making of what you think, for the discovery of understanding, an act that happens only in language.

Surely, if we could certainly pronounce certain persons wise, we would think it a good thing to fall under their influence, and it seems only natural and inescapably right to expect some badness from the influence of fools.

Richard Mitchell's books, his pamphlets, and his irregularly-published The Underground Grammarian still allow me to sit on his shoulders. You can read everything he wrote, online. Go here.


Monday, February 8, 2010

Some Very Large Shoulders

My learning didn't really start until I was in my mid-twenties. By random reading, I found some giants who let me sit on their shoulders. To them I am grateful.

Ayn Rand--She taught me that words have an exact meaning and that our lives are guided by philosophical principles whether we examine them or not.

Richard Mitchell--An English professor at a college in New Jersey introduced me to the rich world of metaphor. He also taught me how to think by clarifying concepts, so that I might be able to choose the better from the worse. That ability to choose is the only purpose of an education. Everything else is training.

Frederick Bastiat--A 19th century French writer showed me "what is seen, and what is not seen". The unintended consequences of laws, when those laws stray from their original purpose of protecting rights, usually do more harm than good.

Socrates--Showed me how a well-ordered mind comes to understanding, by quietly asking and answering in turn.

Malcolm Wells--My friend Mac, an architect in Cape Cod, showed me that every inch of this earth should be living, not asphalt, lawn, and tile-roof covered. I so agreed with him that I built, and am living in, an underground home.

My blog name, Underground Carpenter, only partly comes from the fact that I live in an underground home. Malcolm Wells, after 1964, only designed underground buildings, and Richard Mitchell published a newsletter called The Underground Grammarian.

Happy 200th post, Dave.



Friday, February 5, 2010

One Says A, One Says B. Big Deal.

Pretty much says it all.

French Roast Government

Have you ever tried French Roast coffee? It's so burned and bitter that it's undrinkable. You can add sugar, you can dump in half-and-half, you can pour in flavored sweeteners like hazelnut or vanilla, but the damn shit is still undrinkable. The problem is not the additives, it's the coffee. Our government is like French Roast coffee. Stimulus plans don't work, infrastructure spending won't work, bank bailouts sure didn't work. Our government has become burned and bitter, and there's only one thing left to do--quit trying to fix it and kick it to the curb.

Just Another Politician

Samuel Adams

It does not take a majority to prevail ... but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.

Among the natural rights of the colonists are these: First a right to life, secondly to liberty, and thirdly to property; together with the right to defend them in the best manner they can.

The Constitution shall never be construed... to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms.


If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace. We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.

Interesting thing about Samuel Adams. He was a career politician. Can you imagine today's politicians talking like this?
I would love to sit with Sam and discuss these ideas. "If ye love wealth greater than liberty..." implies that liberty doesn't guarantee wealth, and that you might have greater material prosperity under a form of government that certainly chafed Sam. Or maybe he was just talking about the I-got-mine kind of guy who might not be willing to risk his fortune and sacred honor in the fight for freedom. What kind of man prospers in freedom and what kind would prefer chains?  And how dense and heavy must chains become before a man decides that freedom is more valuable than his material goods?


Thursday, February 4, 2010

World Of Concrete 2010 in Las Vegas

I get serious wood at this yearly convention. After all, concrete is my life.

Dozers and loaders and bears, oh my!


Speaking of bears...

Lots of heavy equipment.

Boom pumps. I think Sany is a Chinese company.

This convention area is so huge that there's no problem bringing in anything, no matter how heavy or big.

Lots of these kinds of "guy toys" at this mostly-male convention. Also lots of eye candy, too. I didn't get any pictures, but there were scores of lovely females. Many of them were so well endowed that I sincerely hope they have filled out organ-donor cards.

Boom pumps and a fair amount of traffic.

Bulldozer theatre. This bulldozer is made of plywood. It's a demonstration for Topcon's automated GPS earth-mover technology.

Lots of brand new ready-mix trucks.

This is a belt-delivery machine for concrete, dirt or gravel.

Portable batch-plant, I think. They had no problem getting this and larger equipment into the building.

This is stained concrete. Can you imagine how cool it would be to have these as columns inside your underground home? Serious wood.

This is the same company that made the mold for the tree trunk above. They have rubber/fiberglass molds for just about anthing you'd like to see in concrete.

In the background of the World of Concrete is the shell of the 70% completed Fontainebleu Hotel, a $3 billion hotel project that went bankrupt and was just picked up by Carl Icahn for $156 million.

These are card-passers. Their job is to pass out cards and sheets to advertise things like strippers-to-your-room, escort services, and massage parlors--everything but prostitution, which everyone knows is illegal. If these fellows weren't employed here, they'd be standing in front of a Home Depot or a nursery, seeking employment as day-laborers.


Say Hi To Verlie

  Palin Kicking Off Tea Party Express 3 in Reid's Hometown

Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin will headline a "tea party" rally next month in Searchlight, Nev., the home town of embattled Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.), tea party movement organizers said.

Reid responded to Palin in a statement to The Post: "Make sure you stop by the Nugget for a ten-cent cup of coffee with free refills -- and make sure to say 'Hi' to Verlie." Link.

I love a good comeback! I took this picture of the Searchlight Nugget yesterday on my way to the World-of-Concrete convention in Las Vegas. They do indeed advertise 10-cent coffee, but I've never stopped in, so I don't know Verlie.