All in the Family featured the curmudgeonly Archie Bunker. Archie was television’s most famous grouch, blunt, blustering, straightforward and untouched by the PC crowd. He was the archetype of the conservative male. Michael desprately tried to reeducate him, but he persisted in his breviloquence.

Looking back at the last 40 years, we realize: ARCHIE WAS RIGHT!


Wealth Building for Idiots

Inspired by JRL

The best way to get rich is to have someone leave you a big wad of cash, stashed away in some nice warm tax haven someplace far far away from the IRS. The second best way is to have someone leave it to you here in the US.

For the rest of us the only realistic way is to obtain it on our own. This is done by saving and investing. That’s it, the whole secret of dieing rich, save and invest. The only way you’re going to do this, is to accomplish the first part, first. That is to save, and the only way you’re going to save is to spend less than you make. That’s why you hear so much about getting out of debt.

Debt is negative savings. With debt you’re paying someone for the benefit of using their savings to buy stuff you want. If step one to building wealth is to save then step 1a is to get out of debt so you can save. I would advise getting out of all debt, by paying it off, as fast as you can. It doesn’t matter if that debt is tax deductible, take a look at how much of a deduction you get verses what credit costs you, verses what you could have received by giving the money to a cause you care about. You might be surprised how that looks once you do the math.

Savings means cash. Write that down, or repeat it to yourself till it sinks in. You need cash and you need more cash than you think. Do you have an emergency fund? How much is it? Could you live off it for a year or more? Could you get by without needing to raid your investments if you had to?

How much cash am I talking about? That depends on how much you need to live. Do you live comfortably on $1,500 a month? If you do then $18,000 is a good start with enough extra to cover contingencies, add an extra $5,000 to $10,000 to that figure for a rainy day fund. If you can’t live on $1,500 then adjust that number higher, for most middle class Americans I suspect the number is closer to $3,000 a month. So that’s $36,000 plus $10,000 or $46,000 or more.

Quit stammering the word “but”. I have a reason for this. Simply put: Life Happens. There is no worse time to get hammered by life than when you’re not prepared financially. If you’re setting on what amounts to about a years gross pay, you’re going to be able to stick it out through some tough times, without having to sell off assets at a potential loss.

There are different ways to handle your cash reserves. One thought is to stick it into a money market fund. Another is to stick it into a bank account. My personal thought on this is never stick it in a bank account unless the account is of the online variety that is paying a very competitive interest rate, preferably above inflation.

My advice is a two fold approach. First you have the $3,000 a month you need to live off for a year. Take that money $3,000 at a time and buy a 1 year CD from a good online bank that is offering a decent rate on the first day of every month. January 1st you have a CD that becomes payable. The same thing happens in Feb, March, April, etc for an entire year. If you need to live off your savings each month you have an income stream to use.

The second step is take your $10,000 or rainy day fund and stick it into an account you can get at relatively quickly, that is paying a high interest rate. Most likely this will be someone like ING or Emigrant Direct or one of the many on line banks. The benefit to this is if you need a chunk of cash you can get at it to pay for an emergency that is too big to handle out of your normal budget.

This looks like its going to be a two part post so that’s all for this weeks installment. Next time I’ll take on investing. I will say if you work for a company that has a 401K plan that they contribute to, you need to maximize their match so you can get all the free money from them that you can. If they do dollar for dollar match to 3% then you need to do the same 3%.


Bleg, Well Sort Of

I decided to add a section of “Resources for Free Thinkers” on the side bar. If you have additions that you believe should be there, please either email them or post them in the comments.

Please be sure to provide me with:

  1. The name of the resource
  2. html link for the resource

I can’t link it if I can’t find it.

As a side note; anyone wishing to publish a post here is welcome to do so. All I ask is that you email it to me and that it be mostly “clean” and somewhat interesting. What I mean by clean is not laced with profanities, vulgarities etc. Agreeing with me is not a requirement, so Bill, for example, could send “Top 10 Reasons GWB is the Closest Thing to Jesus” and it would get published. It would get mocked to be sure, but I would do that in the comments, like everyone else. If you decide that you like being a regular blogger, I’ll set you up with access and you can post on your own.

If you’d like a link for your blog please link me on your homepage and let me know you’d like the same.


Look into the Mind of a Trader

If you’ve ever wondered how a technical stock trader looks at the markets you really should check out Jamie’s Eye of the Trader. He does a good job tracking his trades and posting on both the wins and losses. His blog is worth checking out if you're at all interested in learning about trading the markets form from a technical analysis stand point.

Even if you’re not into the market right now, following the method he is using is a good way to learn. So check him out and if you have questions be sure to ask. Those of us who trade, are willing to share hints on how to do it, and we’re always interested in learning more ourselves.

Pre-Garden Time

The Gurneys seed order showed up yesterday. So its time to get the plants started inside. This year we’re going to grow our own tomatoes from seed again. They did better than the ones we bought from the local greenhouse. We’ll be growing the broccoli from seed again too.

Mrs Ipsa loves beets. This year she wants to try a new kind. This seems like foolishness to me. Every year that we’ve been married that she tries any variety other than Detroit Reds, she is invariably disappointed. This year we’re experimenting with Forono beets. We’ll see how she likes them.

The arrival of the Gurneys order brought to light an unfortunate over sight of someone in the Ipsa household. Apparently someone forgot to place the Johnny’s order, after it had been carefully prepared. You will be glad to know that starting tonight, I am being allowed to sleep inside again.

How are your garden plans and seedlings coming?

Discrimination Lawsuit

An atheist was quite incensed over the preparation for Easter and Passover holidays and decided to contact the local ACLU about the discrimination inflicted on atheists by the constant celebrations afforded to Christians and Jews with all their holidays while the atheists had no holidays for them to celebrate.

The ACLU jumped on the opportunity to once again pick up the cause of the downtrodden and assigned their sharpest attorney to the case.

The case was brought up before a learned judge who, after listening to the passionate presentation by the ACLU representative, promptly banged his gavel and said, "Case dismissed!"

The ACLU lawyer stood up and objected to the ruling and said, "Your honor, how can you dismiss this case? Surely the Christians have Christmas, Easter, and many other observances. And the Jews--why, in addition to Passover, they have Yom Kippur and Hanukkah ... and yet my client and all other atheists have no such holiday!"

The judge leaned back in his chair and simply said, "Obviously your client is too confused to know about or for that matter even celebrate the atheists' holiday!"

The ACLU lawyer pompously said, "We are aware of no such holiday for atheists--just when might that be?"

The judge said "Well, it comes every year at the same time--April 1st!"


The Death of a Tennessee Preacher Man

There has been a lot of speculation over the women that shot her preacher husband. Police say it wasn’t over infidelity. You can read the news story here.

I have it from a good source that what really happened was this:

About this time last year a couple in Selmer Tennessee had a lot of potted plants, and during a recent cold spell, the wife was bringing a lot of them indoors to protect them from a possible freeze. It turned out that a little green garden grass snake was hidden in one of the plants and when it had warmed up, it slithered out and the wife saw it go under the sofa. She let out a very loud scream.

The husband who was taking a shower ran out into the living room naked to see what the problem was. She told him there was a snake under the sofa. He got down on the floor on his hands and knees to look for it.

About that time the family dog came and cold-nosed him on the leg. He thought the snake had bitten him and he fainted. His wife thought he had a heart attack, so she called an ambulance. The attendants rushed in and loaded him on the stretcher and started carrying him out.

About that time the snake came out from under the sofa and the Emergency Medical Technician saw it and dropped his end of the stretcher. That's when the man broke his leg and why he is in the hospital.

The wife still had the problem of the snake in the house, so she called on a neighbor man. He volunteered to capture the snake. He armed himself with a rolled-up newspaper and began poking under the couch.

Soon he decided it was gone and told the woman, who sat down on the sofa in relief. But in relaxing, her hand dangled in between the cushions, where she felt the snake wriggling around. She screamed and fainted, the snake rushed back under the sofa, and the neighbor man, seeing her laying there passed out tried to use CPR to revive her.

The neighbor's wife, who had just returned from shopping at the grocery store, saw her husband's mouth on the woman's mouth and slammed her husband in the back of the head with a bag of canned goods, knocking him out and cutting his scalp to a point where it needed stitches. An ambulance was again called and it was determined that the injury required hospitalization.

The noise woke the woman from her dead faint and she saw her neighbor lying on the floor with his wife bending over him, so she assumed he had been bitten by the snake. She went to the kitchen, brought back a small bottle of whiskey, and began pouring it down the man's throat.

By now the police had arrived. They saw the unconscious man, smelled the whiskey, and assumed that a drunken fight had occurred. They were about to arrest them all, when the two women tried to explain how it all happened over a little green snake. They called an ambulance, which took away the neighbor and his sobbing wife.

Just then the little snake crawled out from under the couch. One of the policemen drew his gun and fired at it. He missed the snake and hit the leg of the end table that was on one side of the sofa. The table fell over and the lamp on it shattered and as the bulb broke, it started a fire in the drapes.

The other policeman tried to beat out the flames and fell through the window into the yard on top of the family dog, who startled, jumped up and raced out into the street, where an oncoming car swerved to avoid it and smashed into the parked police car and set it on fire. Meanwhile the burning drapes had spread to the walls and the entire house was blazing.

Neighbors had called the fire department and the arriving fire-truck had started raising his ladder as they were halfway down the street. The rising ladder tore out the overhead wires and put out the electricity and disconnected the telephones in a ten-square city block area.

Time passed. Both men were discharged from the hospital, the house was re-built, the police acquired a new car, and all was right with their world.

About a week ago they were watching TV and the weatherman announced a cold snap. The husband asked his wife if she thought they should bring in their plants for the night.

She shot him. End of story.


Kid Comments

Trying to come to the aid of his father, who was stopped
by an officer for speeding, the little tyke piped up, "Yeah? Well, if we were speeding, so were you!"

Two kids were trying to figure out what game to play. One said, "Let's play doctor." "Good idea," said the other. "You operate, and I'll sue."

I was just getting ready to get into the shower. She said, "Mommy, you are getting fat!" I replied, "Yes honey, remember Mommy has a baby growing in her tummy." "I know," she replied, "but what is growing in your butt?"

A boy had reached four without giving up the habit of sucking his thumb, though his mother had tried everything from bribery, to reasoning to painting it with lemon juice to discourage the habit. Finally she tried threats, warning her son that, "If you don't stop sucking your thumb, your stomach is going to blow up like a balloon. " Later that day, walking in the park, mother and son saw a pregnant woman sitting on a bench. The four year old considered her gravely for a minute, then spoke to her saying, "Oooooh .. I know what you've been doing."

Any child can tell you that the sole purpose of a middle name is so he can tell when he's really in trouble.

Mom, I'll always love you,
but I'll never forgive you for cleaning my face with spit on a hanky.

• I know it hurts, but I will not kiss your butt.
• Even if someone hugs it out of you, you should say, "Excuse me" after passing gas.
• Sometimes your breath stinks, too.
• No, he doesn't have a baby in his tummy.
• You can't marry Daddy; I got him first.
• Put Grandpa's teeth back where you found them.
• The underwear is not a hat.
• You make a beautiful ballerina, but boys don't wear tutus to church.
• People don't eat cat food.
• No, sweetie, pee does not come from peanuts.
• Well, it does still look like corn, but you can't eat it again.
• Don't put the chips back in the bowl after you've licked them.
• Please don't chew on the dirty underwear.
• People don't lick themselves clean.
• Yes, that is Ivy's penis and it is just for him.
• Yes, the mommy turtle is giving the daddy turtle a piggyback ride.
• The dog's nose does not need picking.
• The cat doesn't like the sprinkler.
• You can't pee in just anybody's yard.
• Yes, it makes me very happy when you make poop.
• Only boys stand up when they potty
• If you wipe, your bottom won't be itchy.

Post em if ya got em. True stories about your kids preferred.

Have a good weekend.


Reagan Quote

"'One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter.' That's a catchy phrase but also misleading. Freedom fighters do not need to terrorize a population into submission. Freedom fighters target the military forces and the organized instruments of repression keeping dictatorial regimes in power. Freedom fighters struggle to liberate their citizens from oppression and to establish a form of government that reflects the will of the people... [O]ne has to be blind, ignorant, or simply unwilling to see the truth if he or she is unable to distinguish between those I just described and terrorists."

-Ronald Reagan


Nuff Said

This pic just about sums up my feelings about the Republican Party.

The Democrats abandoned all thoughts of being America’s leaders sometime around 1967.

The Libertarians can’t get away from being the party of pot, porn and prostitution.

The Constitution Party is slowly but surely morphing into the fascist evangelical theocracy party.

What we need is a party that believes in individual freedom, states rights, limited federal government, no corporate welfare, no social welfare, sound money and deconstructing the empire. The closest we’ve come in the last 100 years is Teddy Roosevelt.


Mortal Peep Fight!

Its Easter time and what better way to celebrate the season than to watch video of what happens to two Peeps that wandered into Nate’s kitchen.


Diversity and Tolerance for All, Unless They Disagree With Us

Public schools, aka social reengineering centers, have long sought to mold young minds. Extra curricular clubs, activities, events and speakers are brought into the school to enhance the overall educational experience. Why the schools can’t enhance the educational experience by teaching the kids to read, write and do math is a topic for a different post.

Some brilliant educrat came up with the wonderful idea that a Diversity Day would make the kids all warm and fuzzy and like each other better. As an added benefit the educrat would feel all warm and fuzzy and have implemented a project to justify its tax dollar funded job.

"Gregg Attleson, a teacher on the Diversity Day planning committee, told the LaCrosse paper the intent is to introduce students to minorities and people with alternative lifestyles."

"Our students are not going to be living their lives out in Viroqua," said Attleson. "They'll be out and about in the world – in jobs, in the military, in the university – and they're going to come into contact with people of different backgrounds. And we feel it would be real helpful for them in a nice safe place, like a high school, to have contact and be able to dispel some of the stereotypes."

So what is the Diversity Day story about anyway? On one hand it looks like a way to introduce kids to topics and issues common in current events. Sort of an open forum to facilitate discussion on issues in modern society. Who could be against that? Apparently the homosexual activists.

"Attleson said the homosexual couple scheduled to speak refused to be on the program alongside an "ex-gay" viewpoint, saying they would be uncomfortable."

"The committee then decided it would be best to cancel the whole program."

Did you catch that? The gays cancelled and then the school decided to call the whole thing off. What about all the other groups that were coming? Don’t the religions of the world deserve a chance to be heard? What about the racial minorities, the poor, the handicapped and, god forbid, the ex-gays and Christians?

No, those groups aren’t important to a diverse and tolerant world, at least not as important as the homosexuals. If the queers can’t come because they “feel uncomfortable” we’ll just call the whole thing off.

"Non-positive groups were not what we were going for," said committee member Ellen Byers in response to the decision to cancel.

Um, I thought it was about diversity Ellen. Not hand picking the ideas and insulating them from rational critique. “Non-positive groups” is code for anyone with traditional moral values that don’t agree with us. Perhaps the folks running the schools in Viroqua, Wisconsin could quit playing semantics games and drop “Diversity Day” from the title.

Call it by a name that describes what you believe in: “Butt Sex and Muffin Munching for Minors Day, “Kinky Krap for Kids”, or “Stuff We Want to Teach Instead of Reading”.


He Needed Killing

The Governor of New Mexico clearly is an ass. Gov. Bill Richardson has no intention to issue executive clemency to veteran police officer Sgt. Billy Anders. Why not is anybodies guess. A more complete account of this Horrendous Injustice” is recounted by Les Kinsolving. The short version:

The New York Times March 17:

"Sgt. Anders, a beloved local officer nearing retirement, is charged with killing a handcuffed prisoner."

Shortly before the two lawmen pulled up to this cabin, Flippen shot to death his 30 year-old girlfriend, Debra Rhondes, whose body he rolled into a rug for loading into his truck.

Anders heard a shot fired from inside. But as he approached the cabin, Flippen fired his .357 Magnum at Anders – the bullet tore through his jacket, wounding him in the arm.

Sgt. Anders fired back, wounding Flippen three times, after which the sergeant handcuffed him.

Anders then went to the back of the cabin. Here he found the body of his fellow officer and best friend, Deputy Hedman – draped over a railing with a bullet in his head.

Then he returned to the handcuffed Flippen and fired a single round into this double murder's chest, killing him.

Lets review. Man murders girlfriend, kills cop, shoots and wounds another cop. Wounded cop shoots back, wounds bad guy and cuffs him; the wounded cop finds his partner dead. Anders shoots the bad guy one more time, killing him.

Anders may very well have lost the public's confidence in his ability to be a police officer. Then again he may not have, that should be the local communities decision not ours. He may have forfeited his good name and his families financial security. He certainly has done something that will forever affect his life.

What he has not done is commit an offense that should cause him to spend even one day in jail. The one absolute unchallengeable and irrevocable right of the chief executive of every state is the right to pardon and grant clemency to those convicted of violating state laws. Gov. Bill Richardson the time has come for you to exercise this right and at least release Sgt. Anders from prison, if not completely pardon him.

Anders killed a man that needed kill’n. Had he fired that shot 10 seconds earlier, he would've recieved a medal, not jail.


In Favor of Smoking

I don’t smoke. I don’t like breathing other people’s smoke. I think it’s a dirty habit that will in all likelihood kill the person enjoying it. I also don’t think its anybodies business if you light up. A post over at True Anomaly got me thinking about this again. It’s becoming more popular to pass no smoking laws barring smoking in almost every public and many private places.

I had the misfortune of making the acquaintance of a young woman who worked as a Nicotine Nazi. That was her job. She was paid by a federal grant to stomp out tobacco use. It was all she could talk about. She was going to save the world from a weed, because at 23 she knew more about what was good for you and the rest of society. No one else could be trusted to make that choice for themselves.

Therein lays one of the many problems with the anti-smoking crowd. They know what’s best for you and you can’t be trusted to make your own choices so they will make them for you.

What about other so called “bad choices”?

How much TV should you be allowed to watch, what shows?
How much red meat, or McDonalds?
How much time bloging or surfing the net?
How much booze?
How much caffeine?
How much sex is optimal?
How much Church, which one?

The state that has the authority to regulate your smoking will use the same authority to regulate these other areas. More importantly they will use the same reasons.

If its ok to regulate smoking due to health concerns than its ok to outlaw McDonalds, drinking coffee or coke and alcohol. People live longer and recover from illness faster if they practice a religion, so obviously for maximum health benefit you should be forced to go to church. Men need sexual activity to maintain a state of positive mental health; so as a society we should make sure everyone gets his daily allotment of whoopee. There is probably a correlation between the quality of sex and over all satisfaction so maybe we need a law forcing the hot looking chicks to enthusiastically bang ugly guys with bad breath.

Smoking legislation isn’t really about the health of the smoker, second hand smoke, or increased economic costs of health care. Smoking legislation is about controlling other people’s behavior that we don’t like. Non smokers don’t like smelling tobacco smoke. There are other ways to handle the situation. You can go someplace else. You could ask the person smoking if they would mind not lighting up while you’re around.

It might be uncomfortable to ask someone not to smoke. They might say no. They might be put out. You might feel bad. It might be confrontational. It’s much easier to talk a bunch of politicians into passing a law outlawing a behavior anyplace you might happen to go.

Let’s have the cops enforce our preferences at gun point instead. Those deeply held preferences that we can’t be bothered to ask for individually because it might make us uncomfortable.


Shocking Sex Story

The husband leans over and asks his wife, "Do you remember the first time we had sex together over fifty years ago? We went behind this very tavern where you leaned against the back fence and I made love to you."

Yes, she says, "I remember it well."

Okay, he says, "How about taking a stroll around there again and we can do it for old times sake?"

Oh Charlie, you old devil, that sounds like a crazy, but very good idea!

There's a police officer sitting in the next booth listening to all this, and having a chuckle to himself. He thinks, "I've got to see these two old-timers having sex against a fence. I'll just keep an eye on them so there's no trouble." So he follows them.

They walk haltingly along, leaning on each other for support, aided by walking sticks. Finally they get to the back of the tavern and make their way to the fence.

The old lady lifts her skirt and the old man drops his trousers. As she leans against the fence, the old man moves in.

Suddenly they erupt into the most furious sex that the watching policeman has ever seen. This goes on for about 10 minutes. Finally, they both collapse panting on the ground. The policeman is amazed. He has learned something about life that he didn't know.

After about half an hour of lying on the ground recovering, the old couple struggle to their feet and put their clothes back on.

The policeman, still watching thinks, this was truly amazing.
I've got to ask them what their secret is.

As the couple passes, he says to them, "Excuse me, but that was something else. You must have had a fantastic sex life together. Is there some sort of secret to this?"

The old man says, "Fifty years ago that wasn't an electric fence."

You were warned. Have a good weekend ya'll, C'ya Monday.

Wish List

Your wife emailed me today. One lucky man in the extended Vox Popoli and Blogger Blaster family of friends is getting a really cool gift. I’m not at liberty to say who you are or what the occasion is. This could be for your birthday, anniversary, fathers day or just because she thought her Victoria’s Secret collection wasn’t everything you need in terms of manly satisfaction.

You’re getting a brand new handgun son!

NO I’m not kidding. Your wife has been saving up some cash that you don’t know about and wants to surprise you.

Here’s your chance boy, tell her what you want. The price range is at least $400 but no more than $1000. I’m not sure she really wants to spend a grand because she knows you’ll need little extras to go with it.

Don’t ask me to tell who you are. There are no clues on my blog. Just let the little lady know what you want and give her some reasons why. You might want to give her a link or two to look up.

Oh, you owe me one.


Cut Up the Freaking Credit Card!

WASHINGTON, March 14 (Reuters) - U.S. Treasury Secretary John Snow said on Tuesday Congress must act this week to raise the $8.18 trillion U.S. debt ceiling or risk losing the confidence of markets and investors.

"Timely action on the debt ceiling this week, before Congress leaves for recess, is critical to assure financial markets and investors that the integrity of the obligations of the United States will not be compromised, nor will even a risk of such compromise be countenanced," Snow said in remarks prepared for delivery to a conference organized by America's Community Bankers.

According to the Debt Clock the estimated population of the United States is 298,776,052 each citizen's share of the national debt is $27,712.97.

Ron Paul has something to say about this, as usual it’s a good read.

Here’s an idea, cut up the national credit card! We don't need a higher credit limit we need to spend less. It's possible to quit spending money that we don’t have. How about passing a law that says congress and everyone working with or for them doesn’t get paid unless the national spending is less than 75% of the previous years tax revenue?

A Working Mother

My apologies if you’ve seen this before. I had not and thought it excellent.

The USS Astoria (C-34) was the first U.S. cruiser to engage the Japanese during the Battle of Savo Island, a night action fought 8-9 August 1942. Although she scored two hits on the Imperial flagship Chokai, the Astoria was badly damaged and sank shortly after noon, 9 August.

About 0200 hours a young midwesterner, Signalman 3rd Class Elgin Staples, was swept overboard by the blast when the Astoria's number one eight-inch gun turret exploded. Wounded in both legs by shrapnel and in semi-shock, he was kept afloat by a narrow life belt that he managed to activate with a simple trigger mechanism.

At around 0600 hours, Staples was rescued by a passing destroyer and returned to the Astoria, whose captain was attempting to save the cruiser by beaching her. The effort failed, and Staples, still wearing the same life belt, found himself back in the water. It was lunchtime. Picked up again, this time by the USS President Jackson (AP-37), he was one of 500 survivors of the battle who were evacuated to Noumea.

On board the transport Staples, for the first time, closely examined the life belt that had served him so well. It had been manufactured by Firestone Tire and Rubber Company of Akron, Ohio, and bore a registration number.

Given home leave Staples told his story and asked his mother, who worked for Firestone, about the purpose of the number on the belt. She replied that the company insisted on personal responsibility for the war effort, and that the number was unique and assigned to only one inspector. Staples remembered everything about the lifebelt, and quoted the number. It was his mother's personal code and affixed to every item she was responsible for approving.

SOURCE: Commander Eric J. Berryman, U.S. Naval Reserve, Proceedings, U.S. Naval Institute, vol. 15/6/1036 (June 1989), P. 48.


Calling All Gun Nuts

I’m going to be making a cross country trip this next weekend. As it just so happens I’ll be able to arrange things so I can drive by at least 2 Cabela’s and 5 other decent sporting goods stores.

I’m wanting to take my reloading to the next level and buy a chronograph so I can improve my handloads. I’d appreciate some advice on which brand or models to buy. I’ve been checking out models and it looks like several are in the $100 to $150 range but I’m not tied to that.

So would the brothers Cherolis, Gregg, Bill and anyone else who has some experience please pipe in with your recommendations? If you have thoughts on ballistics software I’d be interested in that too.


What’s With the English?

I’ll gladly give the British their due. During the height of the Empire, Britain ruled the sea and the sun never set on her flag. The British represented the finest of western civilization, industry, etiquette and propriety. All of this happened prior to the advent of cinematography as an art form.

For kicks Google “great English movies”. I did, and found a gem on the first page; “Sound Punishment: English spanking movies”. You perv's can look it up for yourself, no porn here, Edith wouldn’t like it.

This got me thinking about all the great award wining movies England has shared over the years.

  • Chariots of Fire: Thankfully the hero could run faster than the plot. Otherwise we’d still be waiting for Eric to finish the 1924 Olympics.
  • A Fish Called Wanda: Finest example of a British police action-adventure drama, to bad they were going for a comedy.
  • 2001 A Space Odyssey: “I cannot allow you to do that Dave”. If Hal was a pal he'd depressurized the air lock on the theater and killed us all after the coming attractions.

The newest addition to the long line of distinguished English non-accomplishments is: The Constant Gardner.

The movie synopsis:

Africa is the most wonderful place on earth. The west should drop everything and empower the indigenous peoples to solve their problems by spending billions of our money.

Drug companies are evil.

Only liberal do-gooders have the answers.

Drug companies are evil, AND should work for free.

Husbands are clueless to the unique insightfulness of their wife, unless she is violently killed, then they will embark on a journey of personal discovery and conclude she was right all along.

Drug companies are really, really evil.

Englishmen, after getting the dirt on the bad guys that killed their wife, will travel to a remote area, set by the side of the road wait for their wife’s murders to come by, remove the magazine from their pistol and let the bad men shoot them without a fight.

That last part might be art reflecting life. I don’t know. I was longing for death just watching it, so I can relate. Mrs Ipsa claims the movie was nominated for all kinds of awards. It should’ve won for “biggest load of crap, sans subtitles and French actors”.

Avoid this movie like the British and oral hygiene.


Property Rights as the Foundation

I have made the statement that property rights are the basis for all other rights and are necessary for human society. I don’t have the eloquence of John Locke or his essays, Frederic Bastiat, Francis Bacon, Ayn Rand or any of the more accomplished philosophers whom I’ve borrowed this idea from. I’m going to try to “put it in my own words” and explain the concept.

The first line of The Declaration of Independence contains an appeal to the “Laws of Nature and of Nature's God”. For those who accept a religious philosophy the assumption that “god* made it this way” is perfectly normal and acceptable. The utilitarian nature of the appeal is not dependent on the belief in a particular god. The phrase “self evident” indicates that the truth of the matter is available for all to see, regardless of religious belief, because the very nature of the material universe requires that it be so.

I have often heard it repeated that that the first draft of the Declaration of Independence was worded “life, liberty and property”. I can find no original source data to confirm this. I believe the idea originates with Locke; the phrase itself is notable in the Fifth Amendment to the constitution.

It does not matter if you believe man is a free moral agent capable of choice because a god created him so. Man posses certain characteristics and qualities by virtue of his existence, regardless of how he came into existence. As a prerequisite for man to exist his access to those naturally occurring qualities is absolute. The name for these qualities is “rights”.

Life, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place.
--Frederic Bastiat

Why the insistence that property rights are the primary right upon which the others are dependent? If we state that, “life is a right unto it’s self”, or “liberty is a right” or “the pursuit of happiness is a right”, what do we mean? To whom does the “right” belong? Presumably to it’s owner, but ownership requires the preexistence of an asset as well as the one to whom it belongs.

If you are willing to accept that life is an asset then, you must determine to whom that asset belongs. Mankind has historically answered this question in many different ways. The doctrine of divine rights of kings held that the king possessed the ability to dispose of everything within his realm, including the lives of his subjects. The institution of slavery upheld the belief that the master controlled the life of the slave and could end it at his pleasure. Communism holds that the collectivist state owns the lives of the people and manages them for the benefit of all. Some religions believe that a god owns man’s life and requires his service.

The Humanist/Objectivist/Libertarian/Constitutionalist, and some Christian philosophies hold that the individual man owns his own life. Human life, in this view, is an asset or property that belongs to the one to that possesses it. Likewise, the other basic rights belong to the individual, by virtue of being, not as a quality or asset granted by men or an institution, but as a prerequisite of human existence.

The reason I object to infringement on basic rights is because the infringement is a form of stealing something that belongs to another. If we kill another person we have stolen their life. If we lock someone up we have stolen their liberty and wasted their life. If we take the product of a man’s hands, we have stolen his material wealth. If we take his ideas we have stolen the product of his mind. If we take is money we have stolen his median of exchange. In each case the offense is against the man’s assets or property.

Property rights are the foundation of all other rights because the concept of ownership is key in determining the morality of human interaction. For the Humanist the reason is that man cannot exist any other way. For the Deist the reason is that god made it so as a law of creation.

*the use of a small “g” indicates the concept of god, not God as a Being in the Bible


An Excellent Read

I found this article on the housing market that is an excellent example of economic trend analysis. I’m not trying to re-hatch the mortgage and housing debate here but I think that you’ll agree it’s worth the read if you’re interested in understanding another aspect of the housing markets. The advice is sound too.

Let me know if you found it beneficial or at least interesting.

On a Lighter Note

This was submitted by a guy who purchased his lovely wife a "pocket Taser" for their anniversary.

Last weekend I saw something at Larry's Pistol & Pawn Shop that sparked my interest. The occasion was our 22nd anniversary, and I was looking for a little something extra for my wife Toni. What I came across was a 100,000-volt, pocket/purse-sized Taser. The consequences of the Taser were supposed to be short lived, with no long-term adverse effects on her assailant, allowing her adequate time to retreat to safety.... WAY TOO COOL!

Long story short, I bought the device and brought it home. I loaded two triple-A batteries in the darn thing and pushed the button. Nothing! I was disappointed. I learned, however, that if I pushed the button AND pressed it against a metal surface at the same time, I'd get the blue arch of electricity darting back and forth between the prongs. Awesome!!!

Unfortunately, I have yet to explain to Toni what that burn spot is on the face of her microwave.

Okay, so I was home alone with this new toy, thinking to myself that it couldn't be all that bad with only two triple-A batteries, right?!!!

There I sat in my recliner, my cat Gracie looking on intently (trusting little soul) while I was reading the directions and thinking that I really needed to try this thing out on a flesh & blood moving target. I must admit I thought about zapping Gracie (for a fraction of a second) and thought better of it. She is such a sweet cat. But, if I was going to give this thing to my wife to protect herself against a mugger, I did want some assurance that it would work as advertised. Am I wrong?

So, there I sat in a pair of shorts and a tank top with my reading glasses perched delicately on the bridge of my nose, directions in one hand, Taser in another. The directions said that a one-second burst would shock and disorient your assailant; a two-second burst was supposed to cause muscle spasms and a major loss of bodily control; a three-second burst would purportedly make your assailant flop on the ground like a fish out of water.

Any burst longer than three seconds would be wasting the batteries.

All the while I'm looking at this little device measuring about 5 inches long, less than 3/4 inch in circumference -- pretty cute, really -- and loaded with two itsy, bitsy triple-A batteries, thinking to myself, "No possible way!"

What happened next is almost beyond description, but I'll do my best.....

I'm sitting there alone, Gracie looking on with her head cocked to one side as if to say, "Don't do it, master," reasoning that a one-second burst from such a tiny little ole thing couldn't hurt all that bad.... I decided to give myself a one-second burst just for the heck of it. I touched the prongs to my naked thigh, pushed the button, and HOLY WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION!!!

I'm pretty sure Jessie Ventura ran in through the side door, picked me up in the recliner, and then body slammed us both on the carpet, over and over and over again. I vaguely recall waking up on my side in the fetal position, with tears in my eyes, body soaking wet, both nipples on fire, my left arm tucked under my body in the oddest position, and tingling in my legs. The cat was standing over me making meowing sounds I had never heard before, licking my face, undoubtedly thinking to herself, "Do it again, do it again!"

Note: If you ever feel compelled to "mug" yourself with a Taser, one note of caution: there is no such thing as a one-second burst when you zap yourself. You will not let go of that thing until it is dislodged from your hand by a violent thrashing about on the floor. A three-second burst would be considered conservative.

A minute or so later (I can't be sure, as time was a relative thing at that point), I collected my wits (what little I had left), sat up, and surveyed the landscape. My bent reading glasses were on the mantel of the fireplace. How did they get up there???

My triceps, right thigh, and both nipples were still twitching. My face felt as if it had been shot up with Novocain and my bottom lip weighed 88 lbs.

Still in shock,

How about funny stories or jokes?


Is it OK to Kill?

Is it ever morally permissible to take life? Those of you who know me might think this a strange question. I’m quite serious about it.

Over the years I have had occasion to kill. When I was a boy I learned about butchering hogs, killing chickens and processing meat for the freezer. I was expected to help out.

I still hunt and fish and although I don’t keep farm animals I have been known to help friends butcher. As a hunter I have never felt easy about the killing portion of the sport. I have never rejoiced in the death of my quarry. If anything I feel grateful for the life that has been given to provide me with meat. I understand why ancient peoples gave thanks to the sprits of the animals they hunted. I too offer a prayer of thanksgiving at the end of the hunt.

It is morally acceptable, in my view, to take animal life. Sometimes it is not ethical to do so. A man must have a defined reason for why he is killing. If it is to provide for his sustenance, protection or other noble purpose then he is behaving ethically. Likewise if a man accidentally takes an animals life he is innocent of any moral violation.

What about human life? I have never killed a human. God willing, that situation will never be forced upon me. This is a far tougher question. People have always killed each other. We are inconsistent in our thinking when it comes to which killing we find horrifying and that which we hold as honorable.

The only way to tell is to look at the circumstances around the death of the person. Why did they die? If a person dies as the result of their own actions then the person who took their life is morally innocent. Call it an aggressor test.

If a one kills a criminal to protect his person or possessions, he is innocent.

If a one kills in battle, he is innocent.

If a one kills to satisfy his own desires against a non-aggressor, he is guilty.

I would allow for the practice of dueling since it is battle between two consenting parties. I would not allow for abortion since the person being killed is being destroyed for no reason other than their inconvenient existence.

In case you’re wondering about why I’m writing this heavy stuff about life and death, I’m laying some ground work for a philosophical disagreement with an article written by HE THAT MUST NOT BE NAMED. I should get around to writing it in a week or two, depending on how work is going.

Christian Rock?

A perfectly good thread on feminism and the Church got hijacked at Vox's by some blathering about Christian Rock. Thus this rant.

Back in the day, I went to a Baptist High School. The “no rock and roll” message was crammed down my throat so often that I decided to give the “Godly Alternative” a try. Actually, I did it to keep from getting a three day suspension from school.

We were coming back from a JV and Varsity game. The coach, who was also the algebra teacher, was the biggest self-righteous dork the Southern Baptist Convention has ever produced. We'll call the teacher Red, not Mr. Red, you gotta be a man to be a Mister. Underclassmen feared him, they needed to pass his class. He liked it that way.

Some poser of a pastor’s kid decided to narc me out, that I was listening to something bad on my headphones. Maybe even something really bad like Huey Lewis, or satanic like Banana Rama. I had Unleashed in the East going, when Red stormed to the back of the bus and demanded my tape. During the lecture, my walkman was threatened with being tossed out the bus window. With an expression so pious that Clinton would be envious, I said, “but sir, Judas Priest is a Christian band.”

Red being ignorant of all things musical, fun, or hygienic, only knew what he had been told about what the kids were listening to. I’m sure if I had the Beatles, Stones, or the infamous Strawberry Alarm Clock, I would have been dead meat. So bold was my lie that not only was he on the verge of buying it; the other coach said, “I think I’ve heard of them”. And that was that.

To my surprise, Red gave me back my walkman and went to the front of the bus, smacking a freshman on the back of the head as he sulked off.

It would've been brilliant and the story might have turned out different, but the next week I had another tape and Red had looked up who Judas Priest was. He was Screaming for Vengeance and wasn’t buying that Led Zeppelin’s Houses of the Holy was the latest in praise and worship.

My tape got grabbed and I was called to the senior pastor’s office. Fortuity, he was inclined to be cool. I was given a choice, three days off school, or I could try to like and listen to some Christian Rock. I'd have to write one paper a week for the rest of the term about each group I was listening to.

I could buy some tapes, go to some concerts and type up a dozen or so papers. Or I could tell my folks why I was suspended from school, which would cost me my drivers license and use of the car. I gave Christian Rock a chance.

Some of the music was cool and I liked a few songs. What turned me off was talking to the guys in the bands. I got sick of hearing about how the Holy Spirit taught them this cord or that riff. According to these hacks God was directing their very fingers in service to Him. I might have bought it, except half of this Divinely Inspired rock was lick for lick rip offs of Ozzy and Pink Floyd. The other half sucked.

Feel free to fire off about how your favorite group is different. It’s entertainment, and if you like it that’s ok with me. I don’t see it as anything special or spiritual. I doubt the Alpha and Omega needs to “rock out”. Listen to it as you like, but if God inspired it, than God inspired War Pigs too.


Thou Shall Not Kill

The media had a fantastic opportunity this last week to launch in hysterics concerning South Dakota’s abortion ban. Not surprisingly some of them did. From a big picture perspective the ban is a moral victory, but in the greater scheme of things it will likely have little effect.

South Dakota is a typical western state, large on open land and small on population. The state barely has 750,000 people living in it; and is divided into two sections, West River and East River. West River folks are typically conservative rancher types that don’t embrace a lot of liberal bunk. East River folk are more likely to be Tom Daschle Democrats. Not saying they all are but the description tends to fit.

As you may have guessed, the one and only abortion clinic in South Dakota is in the Eastern part of the state. It operates part time and is staffed in part by volunteers that come in from Minnesota a couple of days a week.

So what impact does this ban really have? Other than the moral victory, the number of babies saved will be almost none. The moral victory is worth the battle for several reasons.

  1. Innocent human life should be protected
  2. Abortion is not a Federal issue
  3. South Dakota laws reflect their ethics

I don’t expect to see a large out cry from the Pro Abortion crowd on this. Sure they’ll use it for fund raising and political activism. I think we'll see political posturing and liberal fit throwing. I also think they’ll not put up too big a fight.

The last thing the Pro Abortion crowd wants is to have a States Rights challenge to Roe go before SCOTUS. If that case made its way in the next few years, the outcome isn’t certain, they might lose. Abortionists have a billion dollar industry to protect; they aren’t going to risk that for one part-time clinic in a low population state where they have to bus in volunteers to kill babies.


Cabin Fever

With trout fishing two months away, turkey hunting three months away, and the weather fickle at best, the Wyoming sportsman is limited in his activities. We have reloading and fly-tying, and Gun and Knife Shows.

A Wyoming Gun Show will draw guys from up to 6 hours away. If it’s Saturday and the wife is home, we can be counted on being gone all day. This is true if the show is in South Dakota or Montana, if we can drive it, we’ll see it. This weekend was no exception.

There was a lot to check out. From classic western collectables to hunting and military items, the tables were packed. Best of all this show was more than 50% private owners, fantastic.

The reloading suppliers were out in force. Primers were going for $15 per thousand, saving me $4 bucks a box, not to mention the deals on powder and bullets. Battle packs of sealed Lake City 308 mid 90’s manufacture were $30. When it comes to 8 round mags for my 45, I’m a Wilson Combat man, but I was able to pick up 5 new Chip McCormick mags with slam pads for $75, normally those go for $25 to $30 retail so I saved $50. I’ll give those a workout this summer.

I better not post how much I spent, the Mrs. might pay closer attention to this than I think. That and there are two more gun shows this next weekend. I might want to go again.

In hunting news, yesterday was the last day to apply for a in state moose and bighorn sheep license. As is tradition, I drove my application and check to Cheyenne and personally handed it to Game and Fish.

I put in for area 10 for sheep, like I’m going to get that tag. Unless I get the random draw, I’ve got another 10 years worth of preference points to save first. My first choice tag for moose was area 37 which is right south of Yellowstone along the Idaho border. My second choice was for an area 32 tag, also south of the park but right next to the road. I’ve got enough points this year to draw a cow tag, but I’m going to hold out for a bull. At best it’s a 50/50 chance of me hitting the draw.

I can’t put in for elk till May, but when I do, I’ll try for the Black Hills again. If I draw it maybe Giraffe and I can walk the state line together, him shooting east and me shooting west.

Ports, Boarders and National Security

I haven’t made up my mind on the issue of a company from the U.A.E. running our seaports. The first news report said it would be 6 ports, but it could be as many as 22. Apparently the whole contract process has been a financial boon to those with close connections to the Bush family. Politicians helping friends and family get their snouts in the public slop bucket, who’d a thunk it?

On a gut level it bothers me that an American port would need to be run by a foreign company. Weren’t there any American logistics companies interested in the work? Maybe there aren’t, or maybe they didn’t offer a competitive bid for the contract, or maybe the Arabs have a better lobbyist. I just don’t know.

The security issue is a big question for most folks. Theoretically, as long as stringent security processes are followed, it shouldn’t matter which company is collecting the profits.

On the other hand, letting foreigners handle American security is consistent with Presidential policy. The Mexican military freely patrols on the north side of our boarder. There isn’t much reason to suspect that GWB is terribly concerned about that.

The President's greatest achievement in security programs is the TSA. Their greatest achievement is keeping Grandma’s knitting needles and toenail clippers off the plane. They’ve also managed to raise costs, waste money, steal luggage, make flying miserable and sexually assault anyone they please, so it’s not like they’ve done nothing.

Bush has a vision for Iraq and the Middle East. Here’s an idea, let him run for President over there. Clearly he is more concerned with protecting the democratic process in Iraq than he is in protecting our boarders at home.