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Showing posts from April, 2022

Maybe We Don't Understand Free Speech

  I watched an interview of Glenn Greenwald on Tucker Carlson the other night. Greenwald made a powerful point about Elon Musk's takeover of Twitter as a real threat to the Deep State. Their ability to censor the internet is an awesome weapon. Why would the Deep State allow anybody to tinker with it? Greenwald went on to say that they will try to "destroy" Musk because of this. He said no more on the interview, and he didn't imply that "destroy" meant physical destruction. But why shouldn't it include physical destruction? Presumably Musk flies on private jets -- they can be made to fall out of the sky. Then the FAA comes to look for the 'black box' for some clue as to what caused the crash. And when they do, what if an official from the CIA or FBI has already been there first? Don't such organizations have the capability to fake a black box? If somebody raises questions about irregularities in the crash-investigation, the awesome power of in

A Good Caption is Worth a Thousand Pixels

It's easy to stay glued to war videos from the Ukraine, these days. For me, many of them are found on the Telegram platform. Sometimes BitChute. What has amazed me is how little information and understanding are actually conveyed in a video, at least when it is unprofessional or made under duress. I wonder: which side (Russian or Ukrainian) am I even looking at? What is the message or point that is being made by this video? So an unidentifiable jet plane just whizzed across the sky -- it barely shows on the screen. Can't they keep the camera from jerking around so much? Sometimes a caption does more good than a jumble of dancing pixels. Would it be too utopian to dream of a caption without military acronyms? Some of these videos lend themselves to radio more than television-style video. They are just talking heads in a studio -- there is nothing to look at, so why does it need to be a video? What a waste of bandwidth! For this type of video it would be an improvement to put a s

Help For Adjusting to the Economy

I ran into a relevant quote while reading Antony Beevor's "Stalingrad."  The context was new soldiers coming into the battle when things look bleakest. Once the new soldier had accepted that survival was relative rather than absolute, and he learned to live minute by minute, the strain eased.  This is something everybody has experienced, I suppose, during a car breakdown, automobile accident, health problem, or divorce. Take it one step at a time until you ratchet your way out of the disaster. It should help to keep this in mind during the economic destruction of the next few years.

Facing Up to the Financial Big Picture

  This is just a short post allowing me to practice using the Brave browser rather than the Firefox browser. Once again I am preaching to myself -- out loud and in public -- about becoming a more active investor. It is hard to be an active investor if you are uncertain about the Big Picture. Am I just in denial about the Big Picture? Why not be brave enough to face the grim reality that high inflation will dominate the financial world for years? The Federal Reserve doesn't have the balls to do anything about inflation. Oh sure, it might take weak stabs at raising interest rates to slightly less negative rates. But the first complaint from Wall Street will cause the Federal Reserve to warm up the "helicopter engines" for dropping free money on Wall Street. from

Building a Canine Cycling Companion

  It used to be impossible to add a rack to a fully-suspended mountain bike. So if you wanted to bring your canine companion along, you needed to get a bike-trailer. Today there is at least one rack for a fully-suspended mountain bike from Old Man Mountain. I got their (American made) Divide Rack. Even a dog who is a bit of a cry-baby can easily take to a rack, since they are with their man. Almost touching him, actually. I won't go through the obvious details, but there is one thing that goes against common sense. It helps to move the rack/box as far to the rear (aft) as possible. For instance, the photo shows about 5 inches between the rear of the saddle and the front of the box. Sounds like plenty. But it would be nice to increase this distance so the bicyclist can scoot rearwards when descending hills. The magic in this rack is the fact that it doesn't need eyelets (that is, screw holes) built into the frame of the bike. Most of the weight of the rack rests on a customized

A Tale of Two Economies

The world seems surprised by the effect that fanatical sanctions (against Russia) are having. What a shock this is for the West. People in the West have become almost completely detached from physical reality. They have forgotten that food is grown in the ground, after fertilizer and agri-chemicals have been dumped on the ground. And then the food is put in trucks that burn fuel. Where does the lumber come from?, that is needed to build their 4000 square foot house. Surely it doesn't come from cutting a tree? That would be so awful. They have forgotten what steel and stainless steel are. Does that require mining? Wouldn't that be bad for the environment? They heat and air condition their oversized homes at 72F all year long. Most of the crap in their house is made from petroleum. All of these comforts just magically appear to them. They don't know from where. Nor do they care. To the West, reality is just an assembly of pixels on an electronic screen. 'Work' consis

The Future of Early Retirement

It is important to choose the right year to be born in. In Europe and North America, you have to give credit to so-called Baby Boomers for choosing to be born between the end of World War II and 1960. Today Baby Boomers might be fairly close to death but at least we really lived when the gettin' was good. In fact I think we experienced peak freedom, peak education, peak female attractiveness, peak mobility, and peak prosperity. There were some setbacks along the way. Case in point is the decade of the 1970s. Still, we caught the last decade or two of Good Times in America: lucrative corporate employment -- stability, pay, pensions, and benefits. We were even able to retire early. But with raging inflation, how will young people be able to retire early from now on? Look at the risks they will be running! My (Baby Boomer) age group could invest during a long bull market on Wall Street. Do you really expect a replay of 1980 -2020 on Wall Street?  We still could look forward to Social

Flunking Cattle-Guards 101

If a dog is serious about her outdoor-lifestyle, she has to learn how to cross cattle-gates. My first dog, Pancho the miniature poodle, acted wary when he encountered his first cattle-guard. Then he walked right across on his first attempt. My second dog, Coffee Girl, is a Nervous Nellie, but she was fairly confidant in crossing cattle-guards.   I had an easy time with a friend's dog. I don't know if it was his first attempt:   So how was Q.t.𝞹 going to do on her first attempt, this morning. My goodness. She locked up and her feet were unwilling to touch the steel bars. I levitated/dragged her across the cattle guard. At least she didn't do that squeal thing of hers! It was oddly funny. Still, she does get credit for acting a little curious about the steel bars on her second effort. There is hope. Of course a dog can usually run around the cattle guardby crawling under a barbed wire fence. She is small enough to do that easily. But that requires training me to let go of th

Liberating a City Dog

When I thought about getting a new dog I completely overlooked how fun it would be to liberate a city-dog by turning her into Ms. Nature-dog. She is 4.5 years old but she reacts to rocky arroyos, open space, cows, horses, and wildlife like she is a puppy, seeing them for the first time. Of course there is some risk in that. There are rattlesnakes, raccoons, coatimundies, and skunks to be careful about. And city-dog or not, she wants to rub into cow poop! She can get me into such a mood watching her frolic. What a marvelous thing it is see the frantic intensity of the young at play! Think of all the hackneyed things that a nature-lover is supposed to moon and swoon over: sunsets, mountains, Lake Louise. What about Youth itself? It is redolent of the Gilbert & Sullivan song in The Mikado, "Three little maids from school are we."  Notice that I linked to a video that is just sound. When 30 year old singer/actresses try to act like little girls, it just doesn't work -- t

Progress With Peasants

So what do you think? Is Europe serious about damaging their standard of living or are they just bluffing and virtue signaling? Maybe we shouldn't be so shocked about millions of people unnecessarily hurting their own standard of living. Look at all the centuries they turned over land and wealth to established churches. And the 20 years of slaughter during the Napoleonic era. And the world wars in the 20th century.  Of course the current mutual suicide pact seems to be based on such a lame excuse. Really now, 'democracy', the sovereignty of Ukraine, etc.?! Is there something about the European peasant that makes them naive about -- and blindly obedient toward --  their own elites? At any rate the people who should be happiest about the current suicide are the Environmental Elites. It won't be long before the European peasants start losing interest in Ukraine. But by then, a good test run has been done on them. The precedent has been set. They will be ready for a lower s

Deadend Roads

It is so nice to be easy to please! Give me excellent scenery in uncrowded places, rather than freakishly spectacular scenery in crowded places, and I will be happy.  I am at one of those favorite places now. It goes a long way to camping-satisfaction to be camped on a deadend road, free from motorheads. Just as last year, I got to visit with some locals who ride their pretty horses in my neighborhood. About 5 of them. near Willcox, AZ.  


I keep thinking of that Canadian RVer that I knew a decade ago and who I wrote about a couple days ago. He was the guy who held the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corp.) in such high esteem that waiting for the nightly news was the highlight of his day. At the time I was skeptical of CBC, figuring that it was susceptible to the same diseases as NPR in the USA. But today, the trust in the media that that man had seems naive to the point of being ridiculous.  Recall Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence: "that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed." This was no new insight of Jefferson. He wrote some essay explaining that he avoided original ideas in composing the Declaration -- and that he tried to gather up and condense the ideas that were believed by most people in his era.  So 'consent of the governed' was an idea that floated around in the European Enlightenment. I'll bet Rou

Two Dog Breeds Proved Me Wrong!

  Much to my surprise, yesterday's mountain bike ride (on a forest road) was turning into a loop. That is always nice, although it is helpful to overcome the exaggerated desire for 'loops' instead of 'out and backs'. I just had to walk the bike down a steep connector trail. Its head was mistakable. A large pit bull was just ahead of me. The hiker reassured me that everything was under control. So I proceeded. It turned out that the big monster was quite a sweetheart. They had a second dog who was disporting down the trail a ways. She was a 7 pound Chihuahua, who turned out to be completely yap-free. The owner said that the Chihuahua pushed the pit bull away from the food bowl. What a combination. I had to laugh. I gave up on animal shelters a few weeks ago because they had nothing but pit bull mixes and Chihuahua mixes. (Then I went to the Phoenix Craigslist>Community>Pets to find my new miniature poodle.) And I told the owner of these dogs on the trail about

Looking for the Perfect Wildlife Video

I have a vague memory of watching some wildlife/nature show years ago that showed the bull of a herd getting older and weaker. The young bucks notice it. Eventually something happens to the bull or one of the young bucks sees an opportunity. And he seizes that opportunity. It starts to work a little. Then another young buck jumps in...and another.  That seems to be the perfect metaphor for what is happening on the geopolitical scheme. It wasn't Russia's self-assertiveness that brought this idea home. Nor was it China's, as important as these two are. It was India's and the Gulf States' and Syria's and Brazil's and Africa's... Anyway, if anybody knows the perfect video that expresses this metaphor, let me know.