Friday, April 30, 2010

A Tale of Two Homeowners

Let's say you just finished building a patio cover on your home. You took out a permit for it and hired a licensed contractor to build it. With two good coats of paint, it looks real nice. You get compliments on it all the time.

Your neighbor also built a patio cover, but he did it over a weekend with no permit and he hired some dubious-looking fellow with a broken-down truck to throw it up. It looks dreadful. Your asshole neighbor didn't even paint it, so now the weather is going to age it and make it look even worse. And that's not all. The damn thing shakes in the slightest breeze. Why, if the thing fell down on your neighbor and his kids, the lot of them would end up in the county hospital on the taxpayer's nickel, because you know your neighbor doesn't have any insurance. Christ, you wouldn't be surprised if he was collecting welfare and food stamps.

Question: Do you turn in your neighbor to the building department? Nah, too risky. He might figure out who turned him in. So the best thing to do is agitate for a new law to require yearly home inspections by the building department. But it backfires, and after the law is passed and your home gets its first inspection, the inspector finds a long list of things that don't comply with the building codes. You'll be paying for "repairs" for months. Damn! And even worse, your neighbor's house still hasn't been inspected. The son-of-a-bitch seems to be getting away with it!

You're still mad at your neighbor. You notice that his old car has expired plates and the asshole probably doesn't even have insurance for it, which of course makes your rates go up. You still don't want to drop a dime for fear of retribution, so you agitate for a law that says the po-lice can confiscate any vehicle on your property that isn't fully registered and insured. After this law gets passed, you come home one afternoon and see a tow truck hauling off the '47 Buick you've been restoring in your garage. You find out that the building inspector that flunked you on your home inspection made a note of the "unlicensed" vehicle in your garage. Your neighbor's car remains in his yard, uninsured and with the same expired plates. You grind your teeth in rage.

Do I need to continue, or do you get the analogy?


Good and Hard!


Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.

H. L. Mencken 

Get ready for your skin-embedded chip and your new Real ID Card. The Real ID Card will also have a chip that allows the "authorities" to view your work history and any scrapes with the law, like speeding tickets, outstanding warrants, unpaid taxes, etc...
All this was a perfectly predictable government final solution to the "Brown Menace". We have to protect our borders, don't we? I know I'm horrified at the thought of brown-skinned people entering America--they have a different word for everything and they eat strange foods with names like "tacos" and "burritos". And even worse, they're taking jobs away from Americans--high paying, highly desired jobs in the landscaping and housekeeping industries. I wish all those damn Mexicans would just leave so I could get back to hating Negroes.


Wednesday, April 28, 2010


This post is a 100% blatant rip-off from Bartcop, one of the best damn sites on the Innertubes.


Subject: Arizona's Birther Law
Bart, I think it's clear why they passed that law.
The next time Obama shows up in Phoenix, Sheriff  Joe can demand to see his papers. 
Since the birthers don't think he has any, that'll prove he's not the legal president 
and they can install Sarah Palin and El Chupacabra in a bloodless coup.
Harassing Mexicans is just a bonus.

Subject: AZ Law glitch
I haven't seen you mention yet the huge glitch in the AZ Immigration Law.  
The part that says if a citizen thinks that the cops are moving too slow, or that there are still 
brown folks who don't have their birth certificates and passports stapled to their head, 
that the citizen can then file a complaint against the cops and state.
The state has to pay for the lawyer and associated fees, AND, AND has to pay a fine of $1,000.00 per day
until the case comes to trial.  According the reports I've read, most cases take about a year to get to trial.  
So, I think that you and Mrs. Bart should move to AZ, file a complaint that Sheriff Joe 
ain't arrestin' em fast enough and puttin' em in pink jail clothes.  
And then there you are, you're pulling down a fast $365,000 per annum.
Yer welcome, keep the change.
 Eric X
Eric, thanks.
I've already called the movers.

Home Sweet Arizona!



Henry Louis Mencken

Off goes the head of the king, and tyranny gives way to freedom. The change seems abysmal. Then, bit by bit, the face of freedom hardens, and by and by it is the old face of tyranny. Then another cycle, and another. But under the play of all these opposites there is something fundamental and permanent — the basic delusion that men may be governed and yet be free.

 “I believe that liberty is the only genuinely valuable thing that men have invented, at least in the field of government, in a thousand years. I believe that it is better to be free than to be not free, even when the former is dangerous and the latter safe.

I believe that the finest qualities of man can flourish only in free air – that progress made under the shadow of the policeman’s club is false progress, and of no permanent value. I believe that any man who takes the liberty of another into his keeping is bound to become a tyrant, and that any man who yields up his liberty, in however slight the measure, is bound to become a slave.

H. L. Mencken


Le Mot Juste


To the man with an ear for verbal delicacies — the man who searches painfully for the perfect word, and puts the way of saying a thing above the thing said — there is in writing the constant joy of sudden discovery, of happy accident.

H. L. Mencken

For me, writing is torture. I agonize over every word. I fret over spelling, punctuation, i before e, lay and lie, word rhythm, clarity of thought. You name it, I worry about it. And for all that, my writing seldom sparkles. So why do I write this blog?

I write to find out what I think. No matter where I start, my writing always takes me down a side road I never knew existed. And that "constant joy of sudden discovery" is what urges me on.


Return To The People's Po-lice State


OK, fuck it! Let's just leave aside any weak-kneed, limp-wristed, pansy-ass notions of decency and kindness and respect for sentient creatures. I get it. Times are tough and nobody's feeling charitable right now. But damn it, wake up and smell the FEMA camps! We've been through this before in a dozen different ways, so your I-didn't-see-it-coming excuse doesn't hold water. And your dog don't hunt either.

The end result of the immigration issue will be chips or (more) papers. Take your pick or choose both. You think that by excluding competition for jobs your life will be better, but every act of intolerance gives our government another plausible excuse to tighten the noose and add heavier links to our chains. Mexicans are not your enemy; your government is.

Do you think you'll never be rounded up and put in camps? That you'll never be the target of scorn and hatred? Have you read any history? At one time, Irish and Chinese used to do the work that no one else wanted to do, and they were hated for it. Japanese were rounded up "for their own safety", robbed of possessions and imprisoned. Blacks used to bow and scrape and lower their eyes around white women so they wouldn't appear "uppity". Fear of militia groups might just be the angle our government needs to justify gun-confiscation. Preppers might be accused of hoarding, which of course will be punishable by death.

This is one of those times that I'm not proud to be a human.


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

High-Water Marks

When the water reaches the upper deck, follow the rats.

H. L. Mencken

Has the economy stabilized yet, or are we still sinking? Has our SHTF moment arrived? Do you really think that the politician you voted for gives the slightest fuck about your well-being? Do you still think that government does more good than harm?


The People's Po-lice State of Arizony Revisited


Laws are no longer made by a rational process of public discussion; they are made by a process of blackmail and intimidation, and they are executed in the same manner. The typical lawmaker of today is a man wholly devoid of principle — a mere counter in a grotesque and knavish game. If the right pressure could be applied to him, he would be cheerfully in favor of polygamy, astrology or cannibalism.

H. L. Mencken

Your opinion of the immigration issue is probably already set in stone, and I'm sure there's nothing I can say to change your mind. I won't even try. I just find it baffling how people ostensibly in favor of freedom would want to post armed guards at our borders. People who grouse about the difficulty of obtaining a passport but don't mind in the least making immigrants jump through hoops. Citizens begging their legislators to implement a North-Korean-style border control.



Monday, April 26, 2010

New Element Discovered by Government Scientists

I Shamelessly lifted this from WikiAnswers. I do not know the author's name or I would credit him. Link.



Research has led to the discovery of the heaviest element yet known to science. The new element, Governmentium (Gv), has one neuron, 25 assistant neurons, 88 deputy neurons, and 198 assistant deputy neurons, giving it an atomic mass of 312.

These 312 particles are held together by forces called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called peons. Since Governmentium has no electrons, it is inert; however, it can be detected, because it impedes every reaction with which it comes into contact. A minute amount of Governmentium can cause a reaction that would normally take less than a second to take from four days to four years to complete.

Governmentium has a normal half-life of 2-6 years; it does not decay, but instead undergoes a reorganization in which a portion of the assistant neurons and deputy neurons exchange places. In fact, Governmentium's mass will actually increase over time, since each reorganization will cause more morons to become neurons, forming isodopes. This characteristic of moron promotion leads some scientists to believe that Governmentium is formed whenever morons reach a critical concentration. This hypothetical quantity is referred to as critical morass. When catalyzed with money, Governmentium becomes Administratium, an element that radiates just as much energy as Governmentium since it has half as many peons but twice as many morons. 


The People's Po-lice State of Arizony


I shamelessly lifted these cartoons from Bartcop. Good Stuff!


Sunday, April 25, 2010

No Irish Need Apply

Our failure to act responsibly at the federal level will only open the door to irresponsibility by others, that includes, for example, recent efforts in Arizona which threaten to undermine basic notions of fairness which we cherish as Americans, as well as the trust between police and their community that is so crucial to keeping us safe. Link

Barry Obama

Jesus, where do I start? How about the big picture first?
Notice that in this whole sentence not a single person does anything. "Irresponsibility by others". This style of writing is called "The Divine Passive". It's the preferred way of hooking together words in what Richard Mitchell used to call "The Land of We All"*. I don't know about you, but when I hear someone complaining I like to hear a villain named and his evil acts clearly identified. But in the above sentence, a failure will open and efforts threaten. Did the Prez write this himself? Bad. Did someone write this for him? Even worse. What grade did Barry get in English 101? And why aren't "we all" laughing at this poorly constructed sentence?
I don't know which Americans Big O is referring to, but I certainly don't cherish basic notions of fairness. I wouldn't even know how to cherish a notion. Would American notions be cherished differently than, say, Canadian notions? And I seriously doubt there is any such thing as "trust between police and their community". Notice the possessive adjective "their". There's no trust either way between jackboots and slaves. I acknowledge my only-slight exaggeration.
The "efforts in [the desert prison state of] Arizona" refers to a new law in Arizona that removes any obligation by the police to say "please" when they ask for your papers. The police here have been arresting people for "suspicion of illegal existence" for a long time. I have personally witnessed multiple arrests by the po-lice at a routine revenue-enhancement stop.
And what is this "keeping us safe" shit? I bristle at the thought of being "kept". My keeping, safe or unsafe, is my responsibility. I'll keep myself, thank you.
Illegal immigration really means "permission-to-exist denied". What gives any asshat on this planet the right to decide whether permission is granted or denied? And how long will it be before permission will be required for migration to another state or even another city? Wake up and smell the FEMA camps. "When they came for me, nobody was left."

* If you've never read Richard Mitchell, use this link and dive in. All his words are golden.


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Escape From New York

Congress needs to hear directly from the American people that they support closing the Gun Show Loophole. We know that even 83% of gun owners support the measure, but Congress still hasn't listened to the people. Link.

Michael Bloomberg

The things we know. Hey Mikey, if Congress won't listen to my hare-brained schemes, why should they listen to your totally sensible and responsible ideas? My fantasy involves freedom, with its attendant personal responsibility. I like to think about freedom in the evening, while I bark at the moon.


Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Call Goes Out, Far and Near

This is Charlie, the new director of security here at the Underground Carpenter Mega-Complex. He's also know around here as UnderDog, Gnarly Charlie, and Chuck-o-rama.


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Know Government, Know Terror

Mayberry's latest post, click HERE, got me to thinking about two things.

The probability of a "terrorist" (at the mere mention of this word, your knees are supposed to start shaking, and it's OK to wet your pants) walking into this country with a suitcase nuclear bomb is zero. Now, I'm not an expert on nukes or even a physicist. I'm a carpenter. But I know a couple of things about radiation and bombs. 

Thing One:

If something is intensely radioactive, it means that the isotope is extremely unstable and decaying (splitting) rapidly. Once an isotope splits it becomes another isotope, perhaps radioactive, perhaps not. It depends on how the atom breaks apart. If an isotope is not very radioactive, its decaying incidents are rare. The term used to describe the frequency of decaying incidents is half-life. That means if the half-life is 100,000 years, half of that quantity of isotopes will have decayed at 100,000 years. So if enriched, weapons-grade plutonium is extremely radioactive, it has a short half-life and also a short shelf-life. How short, I don't know. One week, one year? Anyway, once a bomb is made, the clock's ticking.

Thing Two:

In order for a small bomb to be effective, it has to be focused. If a bomb explodes in every direction at once, it had better be a powerful one to be effective. Another thing about a bomb is that it needs mass to be effective. That's why the 911 assholes chose huge airliners instead of Piper Cubs. Greater Mass = Greater Damage. So a suitcase bomb is not going to be very massive and hence not as dangerous as a bomb carried in say, the Enola Gay. Also, weapons-grade plutonium would need to be shielded so that the bomber could make it to his destination without dying of radiation exposure. Shielding would have to be lead, which is very heavy.

Thing Three:(Yes, I'm being long-winded)

What would make a person desperate enough to suicide-attack innocent people? Carpenters don't generally inspire that kind of hatred, even though many times in my life I've richly deserved an ass-whupping. But governments ALWAYS inspire that kind of hatred. Think about that next time some police-state apologist claims that our government is "protecting" us by launching wars and meddling in other countries and passing "Patriot Act" laws and levying taxes for Homeland Security.

I'm done. Thank you very much. You can go back to eBay now.


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Owl and Flowers


This is Mr. Owl, or Mrs, we're not sure which. All day long he stands, one-legged, on top of the metal storage building in our yard. He has a spouse, but the spouse is quicker to fly off and won't tolerate photography. We also have a family of bunny rabbits living under the storage building. I guess you'd call it a Rabbitat.

Here are a couple of macro shots of a creosote bush in bloom. You can see all the stages of a blossum--bud, pretty flower, shriveled flower, then fluffy seed. The only thing missing in these shots is a bee.


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

An Imaginary Love

The fact is that the average man's love of liberty is nine-tenths imaginary, exactly like his love of sense, justice and truth. He is not actually happy when free; he is uncomfortable, a bit alarmed, and intolerably lonely. Liberty is not a thing for the great masses of men. It is the exclusive possession of a small and disreputable minority, like knowledge, courage and honor. It takes a special sort of man to understand and enjoy liberty — and he is usually an outlaw in democratic societies.
H. L. Mencken, Baltimore Evening Sun (12 February 1923)


Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Delusions We Keep

    •    All government, in its essence, is a conspiracy against the superior man: its one permanent object is to oppress him and cripple him. If it be aristocratic in organization, then it seeks to protect the man who is superior only in law against the man who is superior in fact; if it be democratic, then it seeks to protect the man who is inferior in every way against both. One of its primary functions is to regiment men by force, to make them as much alike as possible and as dependent upon one another as possible, to search out and combat originality among them. All it can see in an original idea is potential change, and hence an invasion of its prerogatives. The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself, without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane and intolerable, and so, if he is romantic, he tries to change it. And even if he is not romantic personally he is very apt to spread discontent among those who are.
    ◦    Smart Set (December 1919)
    •    Off goes the head of the king, and tyranny gives way to freedom. The change seems abysmal. Then, bit by bit, the face of freedom hardens, and by and by it is the old face of tyranny. Then another cycle, and another. But under the play of all these opposites there is something fundamental and permanent — the basic delusion that men may be governed and yet be free.
    ◦    Preface to the first edition of The American Credo : A Contribution Toward the Interpretation of the National Mind (1920)

H. L. Mencken

I first read Mencken about 25 years ago. Perhaps it's time to have another chat with him. I lifted these quotes from Here.


Carpenter's Freehold

“I believe that liberty is the only genuinely valuable thing that men have invented, at least in the field of government, in a thousand years. I believe that it is better to be free than to be not free, even when the former is dangerous and the latter safe.
 I believe that the finest qualities of man can flourish only in free air – that progress made under the shadow of the policeman’s club is false progress, and of no permanent value. I believe that any man who takes the liberty of another into his keeping is bound to become a tyrant, and that any man who yields up his liberty, in however slight the measure, is bound to become a slave.”

H.L. Mencken

Anything that limits your freedom also limits your opportunities. Any new government program limits freedom, adds to the docile herd of dependent classes, and reduces your opportunities to live without "government assistance".
I recently read Heinlein's Farnham's Freehold, a story about a man who would rather eke out a threadbare existence in freedom than live in posh comfort as a slave. That's me as well, but there's a problem. Freedom requires frontier. You can't fight 300 million people who want to live the slave life. If you don't think freedom, with all its risks and dangers, is preferable to slavery, then there's nothing I can say to convince you otherwise. And I'm certainly not The Chosen One, a charismatic leader who can lead his children to the promised land of freedom. You'll have to find your own freedom.
So where lies frontier? If I knew, I'd beat feet to get there. Space perhaps, or floating ocean colonies, or rebuilding the world after an apocalyptic meteor collision.


Thursday, April 8, 2010

Hard Tack -- Yummy!

Clicking is the path to Embigmentization.

Carpenter knows hard tack. I baked these puppies up yesterday and they're almost gone today. The recipe comes from an article in the March/April 1980 Mother Earth News. Click Here. I vary from the recipe by using Crisco instead of bacon drippings and I add sunflower seeds. Other than those two things, I follow the recipe exactly. They're best hot out of the oven with a little butter on top.


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Obama, Constitutional Scholar and Professor?

While every teabagger has howled to see Obama's birth certificate, this is the first time I've heard of anyone questioning his academic creds. Like Bush, Obama seems ashamed of his past and has locked up his records, but a reporter has dug up a few real professors who were willing to talk about "Professor" Obama. Link.


Bustin' Out The Camera

The desert wildflowers weren't spectacular this year, in spite of what I thought was optimal rainfall. These pictures were taken within a few hundred feet of our house. If the desert had flowered harder, I would have tried to talk Mrs. UC into a day trip to shoot up the desert, Nikon-style. There are some real pretty places in Arizona.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Good News, Except If You're Unemployed

Steps taken by the government "have broken this slide and are helping us to climb out of this recession," Obama said several hours after the Labor Department reported that businesses added 162,000 jobs to their payrolls in March. Link.

I hope that these "steps taken by the government" are a hell of a lot different than the ones that caused this effing mess in the first place, but I'm damned if I can see any difference. Not only is the war machine going stronger than ever, Obama has now added a huge bureaucracy that will breed a whole new dependent class. With more slaves dependent on government "programs" and fewer and fewer evil rich people to tax, how does Obama expect to pay for it all? Just asking.



WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama says he did a full court press for a health care system remake because "this country was going to go bankrupt."  Link.

 Art work by David Dees.

Obama is not the worst president ever. Bush claims that title, and I hope, always will. That said, Obama doesn't seem to notice or care about the causes of this country's collapse.  Endless war and entitlements are high up on the list, but the biggie is the Federal Reserve Bank. The Fed, a "bank" that turns debt into dollars, allowed Washington politicians to spend this country into bankruptcy.
In the old days, back when money was sound, gold had to be coined before a note could be printed that said "XX dollars in gold, payable to the bearer on demand". Now, a "debt instrument" (IOU) is printed to "back" the printing of new dollars Federal Reserve Notes.
A lot of people rant about wanting to see Obama's birth certificate. I'd rather see his college transcripts. Since he's supposedly a Constitutional scholar, I'd like to see if he passed any of his classes.