Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Emma Maersk Sails!

 

This is the Emma Maersk. It's how Wal-Mart gets its stuff from China to the U.S. This ship is 207' wide and carries 15,000 containers at 31 knots. Because it's so wide, it doesn't fit in the Panama Canal, so it's strictly a trans-Pacific ship.



These 15,000 containers get shipped back to China EMPTY! Ponder that.
Here's something else to consider. The dollar is ultimately redeemable only in the U.S.A., so the Chinese can only redeem their dollars by buying something in America. If you were Chinese and holding a big bunch of Federal Reserve Notes, what would you buy?

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Made In China



Components of wind turbines at a factory in Tianjin, China. Link.

 TIANJIN, China — China vaulted past competitors in Denmark, Germany, Spain and the United States last year to become the world’s largest maker of wind turbines, and is poised to expand even further this year.
China has also leapfrogged the West in the last two years to emerge as the world’s largest manufacturer of solar panels. And the country is pushing equally hard to build nuclear reactors and the most efficient types of coal power plants.
These efforts to dominate the global manufacture of renewable energy technologies raise the prospect that the West may someday trade its dependence on oil from the Mideast for a reliance on solar panels, wind turbines and other gear manufactured in China.

Isn't that a nice howdy-doo. I weep for this country. We've got bigger problems than the current depression. When what used to be the largest penal colony on earth kicks our butt up one street and down the other, something is really wrong. I could list half a dozen things wrong here in the U.S., but China has them all, and more. I'm perplexed. One possibility is the savings rate per person. In China it's 40%. Here it's almost zero. When you have serious savings you can go out on a limb and try something new. It seems like Americans need to borrow money for their next meal. Sad.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Listen To Yourself



Send the children out of the room. Things are liable to get a might heated around here. Below are some talking points from the Speechmeister himself, pearls from Obama's State of the Union Address.

ON THE BANK BAILOUT:
"It was not easy to do. And if there's one thing that has unified Democrats and Republicans, it's that we all hated the bank bailout. I hated it. You hated it. It was about as popular as a root canal."

Well, if y'all hated it so much, why did y'all pass it? A bankrupt country "borrowing" money to bail out bankrupt banks. How smart is that?

ON A GOVERNMENT SPENDING FREEZE:
"Like any cash-strapped family, we will work within a budget to invest in what we need and sacrifice what we don't. And if I have to enforce this discipline by veto, I will."

Ha ha. Stop it. My sides are aching from laughter. Working "within a budget" and "discipline"?

ON ECONOMIC GROWTH:
"I do not accept second-place for the United States of America. As hard as it may be, as uncomfortable and contentious as the debates may be, it's time to get serious about fixing the problems that are hampering our growth."

It's never too late to "get serious about fixing the problems that are hampering our growth". Now is a great time. Start by ending the wars that drained this country. Then abolish the Federal Reserve. Only a gold-backed currency has any hope of restraining an out-of-control government. Then open up our borders and have the BLM sell off all government land to any and all. That would start a real housing boom.

ON IRAQ:
"As a candidate, I promised that I would end this war, and that is what I am doing as President. We will have all of our combat troops out of Iraq by the end of this August. We will support the Iraqi government as they hold elections, and continue to partner with the Iraqi people to promote regional peace and prosperity. But make no mistake: this war is ending, and all of our troops are coming home."

Horseshit! At the end of August, nothing will have changed. The troops will just be called something else, like "trainers" or "support personnel". Notice the weasel words, "support the Iraqi government" and "continue to partner with the Iraqi people". That means not one damn thing is going to change. And until the wars stop, expect a depression-economy. You can't spend a trillion bucks a year on a standing army without consequences. Jesus H. Christ on a burrito!

Please note: Even a best possible government is antithetical to our freedom and prosperity.  If you think we just need to throw out a few rascals or pass a few more laws, then I suggest you think harder about that one in the still watches of the night, as you ponder your diminishing wealth.

                   

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Barbaric Metal



Money is anything used as a medium of exchange, and if it can be finely divided suits the purpose of money even better. Real money is regarded as a value in itself, like gold that can be used for jewelry or on circuit boards. Paper is not money. Paper money is a money substitute. Paper money will always be inflated because it's easy to print. It doesn't matter whether it's backed by gold or government fiat. One advantage to gold-backed currency is that you can protect yourself from paper inflation by using the gold coinage and eschewing the paper. Another advantage is that a government can't "borrow" endlessly. The jig is up a lot quicker when too many gold "notes" are printed. A government that is constrained in its spending can't keep waging wall-to-wall wars or finance a welfare state. That's the problem with America right now. "Bubbles" are a consequence, a symptom of the paper inflation, not the cause. People are quick to blame the banks or Wall Street for this depression, but there are only two real culprits in this mess--government and the private Federal Reserve Bank. Giving a private bank a monopoly on counterfeiting was a really bad idea, and I'm amazed it took a century for the chickens to start roosting. We'll never know how prosperous America might have become if we still had a gold standard. What we have now is a broke country where people are so overextended that their net worth is on the minus side.
Not many people read this blog. I like it that way. I write very slowly and I'm not at all witty or eloquent. The purpose of my writing is to clarify my own understanding of how the world works. If you care to comment, please keep in mind that I'm a carpenter and not a particularly great thinker. If you push me up against a wall with bullyragging or arguments like, "You're a moron for saying that", you'll just get the same back. And neither of us will learn anything.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The World--One Big Blue Screen Of Death

Bill Gates Warns Of Dystopian Future

Bill Gates said he fears Earth might become a post-industrial wasteland plagued by heat, chronic food and energy shortages, and rampant disease unless governments and private organizations invest more time and money solving what the Microsoft chairman believes are the world's most pressing problems. Link.

Here's a comment from Smithwill, an astute reader:

I'm a Microsoft user since the about 1990. The idea of Dystopian future, according to Billy Gates, is laughable considering that I've been experiencing this reality since 1990. Dehumanized? You betcha! The lack of choice is definitely dehumanizing. Blue Screen of Death? #%$)!@ is all I can say after having lost countless documents and work-in-progress due to one of Microsoft's random failures. Fearful? Let's not forget the millions of vulnerabilities and weekly Windows updates that slam onto my hard drive because Billy Gates and Stevie Balmer care about me and my life. Dystopian reality as defined by a Gatesian Utopian who believes all lives are made better as long as they buy Microsoft.

    

Best Government Money Can Buy




AP Source: Federal deficit projected at $1.35T

The White House says Obama will propose a three-year freeze on domestic agency budgets, though the savings would barely make a dent.

The 2010 deficit ...[snippage]... would be a slight decline from last year's $1.4 trillion shortfall. But plans afoot on Capitol Hill for a new jobs bill and a coming Obama request for war funds would add to the total.

The steps needed to really tackle the deficit include tax increases and curbs on benefit programs like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.


This news article deserves the slow and careful reading that can only come from moving your lips. Sadly, the first thing that comes to mind is Mencken's quote about the common man getting what he wants.


                

So Much To Learn

I have learned silence from the talkative, toleration from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind; yet, strange, I am ungrateful to those teachers.
Kahlil Gibran

Talk about learning potential. Y'ain't seen nuthin' yet. Right now we're learning fiscal sanity from a profligate government, the comfort of peace from a warmongering government, the soundness of gold-backed money from the scrip-printing Federal Reserve, and the joy of freedom from the government chains around our ankles. And yes, it's OK not to be grateful.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Same Shit, Different Century




They[do-gooders] assume that if the legislators left persons free to follow their own inclinations, they would arrive at atheism instead of religion, ignorance instead of knowledge, poverty instead of production and exchange.

According to these writers, it is indeed fortunate that Heaven has bestowed upon certain men—governors and legislators—the exact opposite inclinations, not only for their own sake but also for the sake of the rest of the world! While mankind tends toward evil, the legislators yearn for good; while mankind advances toward darkness, the legislators aspire for enlightenment; while mankind is drawn toward vice, the legislators are attracted toward virtue. Since they have decided that this is the true state of affairs, they then demand the use of force in order to substitute their own inclinations for those of the human race.

Frederick Bastiat

I've long admired the works of Frederick Bastiat. I was hunting for nourishment on the Innertubes and came across a gentle soul who also gets sustenance from the words of Bastiat. Please read Eidelblog.
                     

Saturday, January 23, 2010

What Everybody Knows

Every American, except me, knows the following to be true:

  1. Only a gigantic Stimulus Program can save this country from the depths of Depression.
  2. All Americans have a right to health care.
  3. The Federal Reserve is empowered by Congress to regulate our money supply.
  4. The U.S. Military defends us against foreign invasions.
  5. Without our intelligence network, there would be a terrorist on every airplane and suicide attacks without number.
Here's how your humble Underground Carpenter begs to differ:

  1. Since the U. S. Government is beyond broke, where is all this money supposed to come from? Borrow it? From whom? Everybody I know is broke. Print it? Isn't that called counterfeiting? And doesn't a counterfeiter steal value from everyone who holds dollars?
  2. Americans have no more right to health care than they have a right to food at Walmart. Need and right are two completely different concepts. Right to health care is not what Americans are hearing anyway. What they hear is a right to free health care. Who could possible be against that? But who is going to pay for it?
  3. The Federal Reserve Bank is a private bank with unknown owners. Congress has zero control over it, in spite of the pony-show appointed board of governors. The Fed is the hugest counterfeiting operation ever foisted upon a country, and their century-long theft is staggering. The Fed has an FAQ page on their website with the question, "Who owns the Fed?" Go read it.
  4. A standing army is a really bad thing, because standing armies always get used to provoke attacks, currently by swatting Muslim hornet's nests. I don't much care for hornets, but if they leave me alone, I leave them alone. On the bright side, the U.S. Military is a huge jobs program--If you don't mind chancing death or dismemberment or permanent psychosis(PTSD), there's a paycheck in it.
  5. No country should have spies and secret agencies. These people are scary as hell. Get on their wrong side, and no matter who you are, they can shut you dow




                    
 
                             

Friday, January 22, 2010

Bartcop Hits a Home Run!

 Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Bartcop:


Subject: Subject: that DanD anti-Israeli e-mailer

Hey Bart old buddy,
They wanted you to rebuke DanD.
Give anyone with the time and inclination to do so, a slot for an opposing viewpoint.
Right there - on a linked page - in good old Bartcop.
Go Ahead I dare you,,,,,,lol
 Hoosier Tim
P.S. It could get interesting
 
Since the Middle Eastern quicksand is something into which I refuse to step,
I can't imagine why I would submit to your suggestion.
....but check this out:
 
Subject: just one more thing
We have to stop meeting this way.
Whaaaa...?
No disrespect, but I wonder if you’ve visited Israel or spoken to many Israelis?
Negative.
My expertise in this field is a lack of religious insanity.
I hold a Doctorate in the field of lack of religious insanity.
Stating that Israelis don’t want peace is like saying all Americans supported the
horrible, horrible war in Iraq.  As you can testify, we didn’t.
I disagree.
If, say, 60% of Israel was tired of suicide bombs, why don't they vote to move to America?
We have room, and it would be way cheaper in treasure and blood
to move them here than to try to protect them way the fuck over there.
We give Israel what?  Wild guess $20B a year.  (How'd I do?)
Why not instead spend $100B on a five year project to move them to OK and AZ and NM?
They still got their precious desert but they're no longer surrounded by 20M Arabs who want them dead.
But for the religiously insane, that's a lose-lose.
Dying is what both sides live for.
Sand is fucking sand.
Graduate beyond the non-existent Invisible Cloud Being bullshit and the logic is clear.
You either want to watch your kids grow up and have their own kids,
or you want the non-existent Invisible Cloud Being to be happy.
Christ, what year us this, 600 AD?
You can not serve two masters.
Between your kid's lives and illogical religious supersition, it would be way cool
if I could depend on my fellow science-based non-Neo-Cons to chose f-ing life.
And if you can't find a way to chose your kids over crazy-ass superstituion,
then I'll just say, as I have for many years, I'm glad you're not my parents.
You'd have to be religiously insane to INSIST on living in a desert
surrounded by 20M suicide bombers who want you f-ing dead at any cost.
Sidebar:
I guess "suicide bomber" and "at any cost" are redundant.
Israel is a melting pot for Jewish people from all over the world, and most Israeli citizens are actually
secular and do not practice Judaism.  Most of them simply want refuge; to live someplace where they
sincerely hope they won’t be made into lampshades.  Their country is teeny, tiny, and surrounded by
hostile neighbors and the sea.  It’s hot as hell, and talk about cabin fever.  Not much room to go anywhere,
and people in the region like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad tend to cause them alarm.  Go figure..
My point exactly.
Why should we spend billions of dollars in taxes and thousands of military lives to prevent your
religiously-insane neighbors from invading your religiously-insane country?  What's the point?
If it wasn't for that darned religious insanity, Israelis would agree to re-locate, right?
You think a Haitian would have any problem re-locating right now?
If you don't like where you are, but you INSIST on staying there,
don't come to me when your stupidity endangers your people.
A death-free option in moving to the US in clearly presented to the Israeli government,
but they said, "No, we PREFER God's Holy Sand to watching our children outlive us."
I don't get it.
Personally, the whole mystical sacred geographical thingie is beyond me, and it’s ironic that
“the holy land” for three different religions is a place that may never see peace.
You suggest that a desert someplace else might work out better for everybody, but after the
Holocaust things were hectic, and at this particular point in time I am really thinking that a new
desert is not exactly a viable option.  I could be wrong.  Perhaps the Outback is available.
ha ha
Dude - it sounds like we might agree!
Wait...
Chris, we could give the Israelis f-ing Detroit!
ha ha
Seriously, we have two major cities who could use an serious influx of Jewish money!
If you have a nice fur coat, the land values in Detroit are unbeatable!
If you miss that whole "by the sea" thing, New Orleans needs Jewish doctors and lawyers!
Hell, if they had any experience in border control, we could give Israel southern Arizona and....

Damn, when I hit the home run, can they even find the ball in the bay?
Let's move Israel to the AZ-CA border.
Ladies and gentleman, I give you New Israel!!!

But no, that would make sense so we can't do that.
We'd have better security, we'd save money, we'd save lives,
but you know what the very best part of this plan would be?
And I don't mean to paint with too big a brush, 
but if they lose Israel as an excuse - could things change?
If the Infidel pig-footers are "chased away" doesn't that mean the Arabs won?
Beside, they have nukes.
They can guard my border anyday.
Plus, if they expand in to New Mexico they could defend us from a Texas pre-emptive strike!
Obviously, it’s a heated, historically and politically complicated issue with many facets.
If you want to steer clear of it; fine.  If you want to raise a storm, print emails like Dan D’’s.
Just sayin…..
 BamLit
 
I printed DanD's e-mail so people could argue directly with him :)
Since nobody in history has ever changed their minds about the subject,
why do people even want to discuss it?
 
  Send e-mail to Bart  |  Discuss it on The BartCop ForumComment on it at the BartBlog!

Keep Moving. Nothing Here to See.



This picture comes from a vast and deep humor mine called That Will Buff Out.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

One Grateful Butt



This is it. No need to look any further for a comfy bike seat. I present to you the Selle Royal Respiro Men's Relaxed Bike Saddle. Designed by an actual human being who understood the concept of testicles. Now if it would just stop raining, I could ride my bike.

Next



I just finished reading Michael Crichton's last book, Next. One of the best books I've ever read. There's an afterward at the end of the book where he gives his thoughts on current laws in the U.S. concerning gene patents and tissue-sample property rights. Crichton had a genius for explaining complicated things, using finer and finer distinctions to get to the root principles and concepts.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Get the hell out of my house!

Wait just a sec. I'm gonna call 911. Not!
Ironically, I'll bet the first thing the po-lice did was to take this man's gun(as "evidence"), leaving him defenseless. Link.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Craigslist

 Here's the ad offering employment:

Spraygun Painter (Henderson)
Date: 2010-01-18, 4:36PM PST
Reply to: job-7mdn8-XXXXXXXXXX@craigslist.org [Errors when replying to ads?]

Local company in need of an experienced person with the following requirements: Will fix broken/damage wooden furniture such as; chairs, tables, etc. Will mix and match the required paint to match current wooden furniture colors. A spray gun will be utilized to paint. This position is to work inside a warehouse.

    * Location: Henderson
    * Compensation: $ 9.00 hr.
    * Principals only. Recruiters, please don't contact this job poster.
    * Please, no phone calls about this job!
    * Please do not contact job poster about other services, products or commercial interests.

   
Here's one responder:

re:spraygun painter (valley)


You sir are the reason this economy is the way it is.I am a seasoned professional finisher/refinisher. What the fuck? I was laid from a local cabinet shop a couple of months ago. $9 an hour is barely a green helper wage. I make more than that on unemployment. YOU STUPID FUCK!!!!! You are a pathetic excuse for an American. I would like to get to know you up close and personal and refinish your fucking ass bitch. I hope you speak espaneeesh. Maybe you can get the illegal mexican you are looking to hire under the table to call the rest of his family in from mexico to take care of your boyfriend for you. Who can live on that? E-mail me back with a time and place FUCK. Signed an AMERICAN BORN AND BRED CRAFTSMAN. I bet you drive a foreign vehicle YOU FUCK! 

Dear Mr. American-born-and-bred-craftsman:
I can tell that you're a real American, because you can't think. Not at all.
First, let's correct the most glaring of your grammatical mistakes. You said you were "laid from a local cabinet shop". That's incorrect. You should have written that you were laid "at" a local cabinet shop. Typical American male, bragging about having sex at work.
We'll overlook your complete lack of understanding of how commas work and the 5 unnecessary exclamation points. (I would have used only two.) As for content, you are a major potty-mouth and a bigot. Remarking on that poor employer's sexual orientation makes me wonder if he is the one you had sex with at the local cabinet shop. Perhaps he let you go because he realized the work you were doing was only worth $9/hour.
Let it go, son. Blaming that boss for the bad economy is not helpful. Let that employer seek his sub-wage employee. Go back to school and get the education you missed the first time around.

Sunday, January 17, 2010




"I saw to what extent the people among whom I lived could be trusted as good neighbors and friends; that their friendship was for summer weather only; that they did not greatly propose to do right; that they were a distinct race from me by their prejudices and superstitions."


Henry David Thoreau

The vexatious quote above caught my eye while perusing The Adventures of Roberta X.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Forge of the Elders




Your life has only one purpose, my dear, to be lived as you wish. Beware anyone who claims otherwise; the mystic, the altruist, the collectivist. One life isn't enough for him; he wants to live his own, and yours as well.

Welfare payments drain your moral and economic vitality, so you approve more welfare. Criminal laws create crime where none existed previously, so you pass more laws. You defend yourselves from a tyranny you fear some foreign power may impose upon you, by imposing worse upon yourselves, then wonder why your freedom has evaporated.

L. Neil Smith, Forge of the Elders

I just finished reading L. Neil Smith's Forge of the Elders. Good read about sapient squids and mollusks on an asteroid. (You had to be there.)

zOMG! It's Anarchy!

I don't believe in, nor am I against, government. I know what you're thinking--UC is one of them there Anarchists. I don't like the word Anarchy(I prefer NonArchist). Anarchy conjures a picture of bomb-throwing lunatics; hate-filled, irrational, and wild-eyed. It implies that I'm against any form of government, and, as I said, I'm not. People should be free to believe in whatever they want. Just don't force your beliefs on others. That's the big problem with government. The one defining characteristic of all governments is the use of force. I like voluntary association. If you think force is necessary to "keep people in line", then you and I must part ways. If you think a police state is necessary to eliminate criminals, then I have to ask, how is that working out for you lately? How about the failed schools, crumbling infrastructure, lying-sack-of-shit politicians, constant wars, check points, oppressive taxation, etc...?

Grandpa's House

One of the strongest, best-built houses I've ever seen is the house my Grandfather built. He was an airplane pilot who did aerial mapping. Upon retiring in his 50's, he started building his house. He and my Grandmother camped in the shell of the house while he worked on it. It took him 20 years to finish. He never hired anyone to help him. He did everything--plans, plumbing, heating, electrical, septic system, masonry, carpentry. He built his home to his standards, not the state of Ohio's(no contractor's license), not the building department's(no permit), not the bank's(no mortgage), not the Feds'(no 1.6-gallon, two-flush toilets in his home).
My Grandfather lived in the tail-end of an era where personal responsibility was not only respected, it was expected. Everyone was assumed to be competent to arrange his own affairs until proven otherwise. Nowadays, people are assumed to be incompetent and we have to beg permission from hordes of bureaucrats to do anything. And one of the results is houses that are homogenous and built with minimum quality.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Friday, January 8, 2010

The Recession is Over!



See all the cheerful, smiling faces of happily employed men enjoying the surging, booming, thriving economy--NOT!



The Recession may be over, but the Depression is still very much with us. Get used to seeing soup lines.

You Go, Tom and Mike!



 

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A New Dollar (Nuevo Peso?)



This is my first attempt to put a YouTube video on this blog, and it was easy, just copy and paste. I found this disturbing-if-true item on Ron Paul's blog. Yes, I know he's not for everyone, but there's lots of interesting stuff on his site.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Worthiness and Guilt in Practical Application

Get down on your knees and confess your unworthiness before GAWD. He sent his only son to die for your sins.

If you don't vote and pay taxes and cower before bureaucrats, then you are unworthy of the sacrifices of veterans who fought so you could be free.

Firemen and policemen are heroes. If you belong to any other occupation, say carpenter, you are unworthy of the sacrifices these great Americans make every day.

Being cavity-searched and having your belongings rifled through and having to remove your shoes at the airport is such a small price to pay for your safety. Anyone who would complain is unworthy of the sacrifices TSA employees make for you.

Having to submit plans to your building department(and use a licensed contractor) is the only way to make sure you live in a safe home that won't collapse on you or spontaneously combust. If you think you can decide for yourself if your home is safe, then you are arrogant and unworthy of the sacrifices your building department officials make on your behalf.

So on and so on, ad infinitum. I think I'll hang my head over the fence and moo at my neighbor.