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2 Cents Worth On Life Its Ownself

Life never stops so the opinions on the foibles and heroics of mankind continue on…..

How many times in the last week have you seen the Paul Ryan proposed budget described in the media as “controversial” or “radical”?   One wonders just when it became radical or controversial to try and balance the budget and get the fiscal house in order?   Do you consider yourself a radical when you try to balance out the monthly checkbook and list of bills that are due?   Maybe there is a new definition of radical in the dictionary that slipped past me or maybe it is simply another example of “newspeak” at work by the left media.

Shame that recent scramjet craft failed in its attempt to hit over 3500 miles per hour.   Frankly, that will be a tough nut to crack and hard to envision ever having that system work on a commercial basis.  They can talk all they want about how quickly you could go from LA to New York but the drag of the atmosphere is so great that without going above the stratosphere it will be nigh impossible to have a craft that can survive the heat and jolts.  In effect those things will be a bullet going up and down; problem is, it is pretty difficult to land a bullet.  But maybe someday they will have it all figured out.

Will the Chinese go through with their proposal to make that big investment in A123?  US taxpayers have already given it about a half billion in loans and grants for their electric car battery production.  Those batteries still have a long way to go to be practical.  They are heavy, so the rest of the car has to be made out of chewing gum and string so the car can move.  That is a real health hazard to drivers.  They are expensive and will remain so for a very long time at best.  You notice how expensive those batteries are for your flashlight at the store?  Well, these are a lot more expensive and just like your flashlight they wear out, run down and have to be replaced.  Those replacement costs are thousands of dollars just for the batteries not counting the labor.   Those electric cars take almost a day to fully recharge and there aren’t power stations conveniently located everywhere.  If we weren’t spending tax dollars on this stuff I wouldn’t care a whit and would wish those trying the best of luck.  But I don’t like the Feds dictating transportation choices.  Maybe they will want to invest in buggy whips next after all that would be environmentally friendly, oops forgot about that methane gas those animals expel.

In case you haven’t notice the national debt will hit 16 trillion before the month is out.   That is more than our annual GDP.   Of course it wouldn’t likely be that large if the Federal Reserve hadn’t been buying such a large percentage of our Treasury bills and notes which merely enables the current Administration to keep running huge deficits.  Alternatively, others may have loaned us the money but the interest rates would far higher than they are at present which would only make the deficits and thus the debt even larger than they are.  By the way, the interest rate on the 10 year note has jumped 40 basis points in less than a month; that is a remarkable jump for them.

You think politics produces a lot of tension?  Shoot, just try living with a mom and daughter the last 60 days before the wedding.  Believe me the correct answer to any request is “yes, dear”.   Anything else gets snappy retorts or tears.   Just write the check for all those (and there are many) “little” expenses that weren’t in the official budget your worked out months before.

If you needed a reminder of why we need a navy larger than the current 286 ship force then check out that report of the Russian sub in the Gulf of Mexico for weeks undetected.   That is a huge concern for any thinking person.  It wasn’t there on a goodwill tour.  It was a test and we failed and worse, they know we did.   If we get into a real conflict like with Iran or China we could lose several major ships in a matter of days even against a clearly inferior opponent.  You don’t replace those losses with something off the shelf overnight.  At least we should do a better job of mothballing fighting ships like we did after WWII which we were thankful for during the Korean War which was not on the radar in 1945.   Yes, you can fly in men and supplies but that is a dangerous proposition and you need an airfield that remains operational.  It is also very expensive.   Airfields can be attacked by an opponent easier than a port which can be protected by the Navy.   Lastly, there aren’t that many airfields in the likely areas we would need them.

You often hear the phrase about the “sensitive balance” in the ecosystem of the earth.  It implies that there is some “correct” relationship between earth, sky, oceans and all the life upon earth that Mother Nature put in place for us and we change it at our peril.  I got news for you–there is nothing more insensitive than Mother Nature;  She cares less what our balance is one way or the other.   That supposed sensitive balance has changed literally countless times over the eons and will do so again and again regardless of what we little peons do or want.   I still want indoor toilets and fresh water but recognize that old Gaia will have her way with us and it is for us to adapt to the earth she gives us and not for us to mold an earth everlasting.

“Every man, either to his terror or consolation, has some sense of religion.”  James Harrington, 17th century English writer.  http://www.olcranky.wordpress.com

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2 Cents Worth On Life Its Ownself

We take a back seat to no one including the New York Times or Wal-Mart for our cut-rate prices for opinions gleaned from the tomes of the ancients to the garbage heap of the daily news.

The recent news of the gas line explosion was tragic to be sure but it calls to mind the gas explosion of the New London School in East Texas in the depths of the Depression.  In the mid ’30’s the local school exploded one day with the deaths of over 200 kids.  The entire community was devastated as one can imagine.  This was in the days before they added methane to the gas lines so you could smell the odor and have some warning of a leak.  You can look up the old photos of the event. 

Military power and political goals have worked hand in glove since the dawn of recorded history.  The annals are replete with a big army showing up on someone’s doorstep and then the negotiations begin.  Without a battle the larger force more often than not got its desired object.  Military power doesn’t always have to be used, just visible and credible to serve the political purposes.  Read your Bible for many of these lessons.  With this in mind it is concerning to see the steady buildup of the Chinese military power both its land forces and especially its Naval power and the new missile systems it is deploying.  We are only a couple of decades away from the Chinese exerting influence over the entire Pacific area by the sheer force of its military power and the projection of that power.  Remember we never know for sure what they are spending on their military we only know what the Communist Party wishes to have published.  A real concern for our children.

The recent Turkish vote on their Constitutional amendments put the nail in the coffin for the foreseeable future for entry into the Common Market.  The vote was a victory for the Islamists pure and simple.  The Germans are already very worried about the number of Turks in their land and the influence of Islamists views spreading.  The Germans will not agree to their entry with this tilt to a more radical Islamist governing body.  France is nearly as repelled at the moment so the Turks will turn more to their Muslim neighbors for future development.  Good luck with that.  They missed a historical moment to truly join the modern world with that step back into the dark.

Many on the left in this country wish for more government involvement in our economy and a far larger role for government employment policies.  They want even more people working directly or indirectly for the government.  Big government, big control.  They like it that the slice of the GDP controlled by the Federal government is growing.  Curious that Cuba which has complete control of the economy by central planning is laying off 500,000 workers with the comment that the government payrolls are “bloated”.  And we are following their example?   Guess some believe we are nothing but lemmings who will follow any Pied Piper promising easy money, to mix some metaphors.

Is it just me but is professional football becoming more and more like the WWE?  These celebrations for the most routine of plays is very annoying and completely unsportsmanlike.  Play the game, do your assigned job and then get back to the huddle.  Those tattoos look like a Las Vegas strip gone wild.  Explain those to your grandchildren some day.

From Proverbs to Jefferson it has been noted that debt is slavery.  Is the US on the path to enslaving all its people?  Do the math and you will see the tens of thousands you owe for your share of the public debt, not counting of course the “trust” funds in the Social Security agency.  You didn’t put this on your credit card the politicians did it for you and in your name.  But we elected them.   Lots of us don’t like being enslaved by politicians from all over the country who don’t represent our views.  Why can Sanders and Schumer cause me to go into debt?  I didn’t even vote for or against them and can’t vote them out no matter how much I disagree with their views.   Pelosi and the others keep using my identity to charge on my credit card for things I don’t want.

One of the most peaceful places to spend a summer afternoon is high in the Jemez mountains just west of Los Alamos, New Mexico.  Going north from Santa Fe you take the turn off to Los Alamos.  A visit to the museum is well worth the stop.  Then proceed north and west on the state highway toward Farmington over the Jemez peaks.  A few miles down the road you will come to a very large valley high in the mountains.  Believe me you can’t miss it.  It is about a mile wide and probably three miles long.  It is ringed with the aspen and pine trees and the  mountain tops.  The valley is lush with high grass in the summer months.  The cattle will be chomping it.  You will see the ranch house off on the far side of the valley.  It is peaceful and very beautiful.  It is also very unknown.  It is off the beaten trail of tourists.  It is a wonderful place to spend a few hours and contemplate your life and journey.  You can also fly fish in the stream running down from the mountains into the valley.  If God didn’t make this place then I want to know who is Mother’s Nature’s decorator.

Just like FDR made farmers plow up their crops to increase demand and prices, the cash for clunkers program required that all the autos traded in had to be destroyed.  Of course that made the prices for the reduced number of used cars go up. You and or a friend tried buying one lately?   You tell me if that program on our credit card really helped the economy?  http://www.olcranky.wordpress.com

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