Monday, March 29, 2010

Not Noted in Any Press I've Seen

They say this is typically really bad news...

And so the noose on capital mobility tightens, as very soon the only option US citizens have when it comes to investing their money, will be in government mandated retirement annuities, which will likely be the next step in the capital control escalation, which will culminate with every single free dollar required to be reinvested into the US, likely in the form of purchasing US Treasury emissions such as Treasuries, TIPS and other worthless pieces of paper.

Congratulations bankrupt America - you are now one step closer to a thoroughly non-free market.

As John Galt says,
Without going off into woo-woo land on you, all I can say is that this is a warning shot that something major is about to occur which further restricts the freedoms of the citizens of this once great nation. When I did my radio show, I warned that this one event, a key moment or marker in any nation’s history was something to be taken deadly seriously. In my opinion it means that a currency realignment or change or outright revocation of rights taken for granted was certain with a 90 day, maybe if we’re lucky, 180 day window.

You thought Obamacare was the intolerable act? What about "every single free dollar required to be reinvested into the US, likely in the form of purchasing US Treasury emissions such as Treasuries, TIPS and other worthless pieces of paper."??

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Unions to Steal Your 401k For Themselves?

Taking over your 401k??

Bear in mind the union pushing this is the SEIU. Their president, Andy Stern, is among the most frequent visitors to the White House, if he isn't the most frequent himself.

I'm fond of the saying "what can't go on, won't go on". I know this blog hasn't been around long enough for more than a few people to have looked at it, but I use it a lot in my first long post, "The Economic Mess That Changes Everything".

As you know, has (i.e., "we have") serious monetary problems. For the social programs they intend to put in place, they will need to borrow more money than actually exists in the rest of the world. China doesn't believe we're trustworthy for our debt, so they're reluctant to buy. Once you get down below around #10 in the world list of GDPs, we need to sell more bonds in a month than their entire annual GDP, so our need to sell bonds pretty much excludes every GDP below around #5. So they see they can force those bonds down our throats by selling them into the 401k savings.

It's pretty much the only thing they can do, other than monetize our own debt (like the German Veimar Republic or Zimbabwe) and buy them ourselves (total collapse). If "things that can't go on, won't go on"; the corollary must be "things that have to happen will happen", and I think that applies to nationalizing our 401k accounts. "For our own good". It has happened elsewhere in the world; it can happen here.

If you try to leave the country, you pay a big tax penalty. If you empty out your 401k to get it out of's reach, you pay a big tax penalty. So benefits if you try to protect yourself, and they benefit if you leave the money there and let them seize it. Moral of the story: if you write the rules, you always win.

It might buy us a couple more years before total collapse. The only wild card is that the EU is in the same boat (#2 GDP), and pretty much all of the world. China is not safe. No one is. If every house of cards is collapsing, do they somehow hold each other up?

There is a way out of this. Massive spending cuts and massive tax cuts. Slash the Nanny state to 1960 levels. Cut Federal spending by 50% and cut taxes radically. There will be pain, but there will be pain on the path we're on. Gerald Celente of Trends Research Institute, one of the most successful trend predictors working today predicts tax riots and US cities burning by next winter. We are on that course already.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

QoTD - I Am Inspired

Random Nuclear Strikes has a great one today:

However, if this is the new rule, than I am correct to understand that more legislation is in order.

We have a right to keep and bear arms. Bill of Rights, Amendment #2.

According to the new rules on “Rights”, this means that each and every citizen now has a “Responsibility” to purchase a firearm so that they may “Keep and Bear” it, lest their fellow citizens be burdened with having to put themselves in danger by defending those who are not responsible enough to purchase their own.

To not file new legislation as an Amendment to the new law and vote FOR it under the now ongoing “fixing” of the new law, is to either be the ultimate hypocrite or admit that fines cannot be levied upon those who do not wish to pay for use of their “Rights”.

This gives me an idea for a letter to my Senator, the Wretched, Useless, Bill Nelson, who voted for this abortion (seems like the right word).

Mr. Nelson,

You voted, against the will of the majority of your constituents, for this health care monstrosity. I know I personally contacted you a half dozen times to urge you not to vote for it, but let's let bygones be bygones. This law certainly is a "game changer", that's for sure!

So let me get this straight: you've established that health care is a right and passed a law that mandates people are responsible to buy a product (insurance) to fill that right so that they don't have to depend on the good, productive people who already buy that product. For people who can't afford it, subsidies up to the full amount are available - paid for by those same people who buy the product. Since a requirement wouldn't mean much without the threat of punishment, the IRS will hire a few thousand agents to enforce citizens buying that product. I read they ordered a boatload of Remington 870 shotguns to help in this.

This idea seems to have wider applications than just health care.

You need to sponsor and pass a law regarding the right to freedom of speech. I suggest you mandate every citizen be required to buy a computer and desktop publishing software so that they may exercise their freedom of speech and create newsletters. How about blogs? That way, they won't have to depend on the productive people who already own computers. Similarly, you could mandate we buy Bibles, or the religious document of our choice, so that we can practice our right to freedom of religion.

You need to sponsor and pass a law regarding the right to keep and bear arms. I suggest you mandate every citizen purchase a firearm so that they may “Keep and Bear” it, (we can make an exception for felons) so that their responsible fellow citizens won't be burdened with having to put themselves in danger to defend those who are not responsible enough to purchase their own.

I guess I should interject here that for all of the above purchases, there should be subsidies for those unable to afford their computer, or Bibles, or firearms, up the full amount of purchase, just like for health insurance.

It's difficult to come up with a product to mandate that would keep soldiers from being quartered in our houses, or a product that would prevent search and seizures, but you guys are clever. You found a right to health care that never existed in 235 years of the Republic, so you'll find something to mandate.

Come to think of it, you'll have your work cut out for you coming up with products to mandate we buy to protect us from testifying against ourselves, our right to due process and protection from double jeopardy. Perhaps we should be required to keep a lawyer on retainer! That's not a product, per se, but it would be swell, too.

Gosh. Trial by jury? Right to a speedy trial? Right to reasonable bail? Now these are really going to tax (hah!) your ability to define products we need to buy. But as I said before, I have confidence in you and your fellow senators ability to find ways to meddle.

Oh - one more thing. I pledge my life, my "fortune" and my sacred honor to make sure you're unemployed after this term.


blah blah blah

Sunday, March 21, 2010

A Change in Wardrobe - So To Speak

Things to think about while we wait and watch to see if our Republic collapses...

As mentioned previously, I have a concealed carry license and carry a handgun regularly. The perpetual problem in carrying a gun is the tradeoff between capacity and the ability to conceal it. Typically, a larger gun carries more rounds but is harder to dress around. If you're even the least bit familiar with the firearms world, you'll know that probably the biggest trend is smaller, lighter firearms intended for everyday carry.

My first handgun was a Springfield Armory XDm, in the original 4.5" long barrel (they just introduced a 3.8" barrel). Although it has been the better part of half a century since someone considered me small, if ever, the XDm is a big, heavy, "duty-sized" pistol and I find it hard to conceal. It always seems to stick out too far. On the positive side, it holds 16 rounds of 40S&W or 19 rounds of 9mm if you have the 9mm XDm - ignoring the one in the chamber.

This time of year, it's easy to carry. When it's under 60 all day, an extra layer of jacket or "shoot me first vest" is easy to get away with. In the summer, when Florida outside wardrobe tends to cargo shorts and Tee shirts, I'll never conceal something that big.

That's me, and I'm 6' tall and weigh 2-much. Any problems I have are multiplied several times for the lovely Mrs. Silicon Graybeard who almost stands 4'11" and wears petite everything.

So last summer, Mrs. Silicon Graybeard bought a Taurus PT709 Slim. This is a much smaller pistol than the XDm. After shooting hers several times, I bought one, too, and it became my carry weapon. There's only one drawback - you guessed it - capacity. While my XDm carries 16 rounds of .40, the PT709 carries 7 rounds of 9mm. The two of us took an NRA Tactical Handgun class, and with the 709 having less than half capacity of my gun, she was re-loading literally all the time.

The classic argument for needing to carry more rounds (police, after all, used to carry snub-nosed revolvers with fewer rounds than that) is that you never know what is going to take place. Like carrying in general, if you knew you were going to need the gun for some place you were going, you wouldn't go there. If I knew I was going to need 13 or even 7 rounds, I'd rather not play, thank you very much. But as Rob Leatham, Springfield Amory spokesman and many time champion, says, "there is never a situation where having more ammo is a bad thing". The only exceptions might be if you're on fire, or if you're carrying it while swimming.

Step forward to today, and I have the latest version of what will be my EDC (that's gun nut talk for everyday carry). The Springfield Armory XD Subcompact (XDsc). First off, it is almost exactly the same size as the 709, just about 1/4" thicker. Here's my SA XDsc (left) and Taurus PT709.

The two side by side.

Stacked on top of each other, it's easy to see how similar they are in size. Held side by side, you can see the main difference: the XDsc is about 1/4" thicker. The 709 is a little nicer from the industrial design standpoint. A little less block-y, and the tapered cuts on the slide probably shave a few grams as well as giving it a nicer look. The XDsc stays square in front of the trigger, too, allowing a short picatinny rail for a laser or light.

But that quarter inch buys something important. By going to a double stack magazine, the XDsc holds 13 rounds of 9mm, compared to 7 in the PT709.

I can't answer the obvious questions about how it shoots compared to the Taurus and my XDm. Just got it yesterday, and it wasn't feasible to get to the range today. The XD line is very reliable, in general, and very tolerant of ammo choices. I will post some info on that when available.

UPDATE, Saturday 3/27/10:

I got to take the XDsc to the range today for the first time and it's a natural shooter. At the length of my house's hallway, I was punching out the 10 ring. Mrs. Graybeard picked it up after her Taurus and promptly shot out the eyeballs of a paper photo target (that one literally made me shudder). Maybe because we're used to our XDms, but it's a natural. No problems, no FTF, no FTE, just the solid reliability I expect out of Springfield Armory.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

This site is certified 39% EVIL by the Gematriculator

There you go, objective proof. We are only 39% evil ATTOTW.

Of course, if you prefer, you can think of it this way:

This site is certified 61% GOOD by the Gematriculator

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Laws and Consequences

I note in my list of blogs that I read Tam's View From the Porch because she has a way with words. She knocks it out of the park with this one.

It's government by sedimentation, each new election cycle depositing a fresh layer of laws to be upheld and bureaucratic fiefdoms to be protected atop the structure already existing. Unless someone brings a dredge through, this river's going to silt up completely.
One of the problems my wife and I talk about is that the ever-increasing number of laws makes it increasingly difficult to do anything in society: from starting a business to simply running your home.

30 to 35 years ago, when I was much stupider, and much, much less libertarian than I am now, I realized a fundamental problem we have is that every session of legislation adds new laws, and that even if it was just one law per session, any math geek will tell you, the number of laws, N, tends to infinity.

It doesn't matter that they may have good intentions, they always bring consequences and when you look up "Law of Unintended Consequences" on Wikipedia, you should get a picture of the US Code of Federal Regulations.

In 2008, the last year of W, they passed a Consumer Product Safety Improvement act, in the wake of the toys from China contaminated with lead. This sort of bill is guaranteed to pass - no one would oppose a bill to make kids' toys safer- except anyone with enough sense to read what was proposed. To sell toys, the seller must get expensive chemical tests done on them. There is a cottage industry of crafters who sell their products at flea markets and small shops, and there is a pretty large group of (typically older) guys who make some toys with their woodworking tools and sell them to help offset the cost of wood and help buy more tools. Then there's the small consignment shops who sell the baby hand-me-downs and old toys that people who don't plan on having more children need to get rid of. All of these activities would shut down because small business people can't afford these tests. Besides, the problem was toys from the major manufacturers in China - not one single hazard was traced to these small businesses. Our "Protectors" in said they would never go after second hand stores, consignment stores and church sales. In fact, they have. Anyone with any sense told them the problem wasn't grandpa selling a wooden truck he built, or grandma selling some dolls made of yarn, or you selling your kids' old toys; the problem was China, Inc's mass-manufactured toys. They won't listen. They know better than us.

So in the wake of this useless POS law, second hand stores and small businesses are shutting down while China.Com is shipping toys filled with cadmium instead of lead. As a "bonus" they've made it much more expensive for you to start a business if you want to sell toys or any product for kids.

What the doesn't seem to grasp is there are always unintended consequences to the laws they pass. They've just guaranteed the export of many more jobs overseas since they've just dramatically increased the difficulty of starting a small business in the US. As it is, vast numbers of jobs have left the country because of other laws passed over the years: environmental laws, tax laws, labor laws, you name it. If you're trying to be "pro-worker" or "pro-jobs" you have to at least give a little consideration to not being so anti-business.

Lastly, laws like this just stay on the books. The next time there's a toy safety issue from, say, China making toys out of depleted uranium, instead of looking at this law to see if it should be scrapped for being useless, they'll just add another law. The river will continue to silt. One of these days, the river is going to spill over its banks and run all around the silt dam.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Economic Mess That Changes Everything - Part II

It is apparent to "anyone with eyes to see" that we are heading for severe economic crisis. Since no one who could change our economic direction is doing so, the only question is when.

The bright guys at Zero Hedge explain the numbers behind the just-announced record budget deficit for February. Our taxes are not even paying for the non-entitlement parts of spending.

If you don't have some food stored away, it's not too late to start.

Man the life boats: things that can't go on, won't go on.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Moron of The Century!

Our Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi (D - Uranus) says we need to pass the abortion of a health care bill they're working on, so we can see what's in it!

Madame Speaker, out here in the swamplands we have this little thing called "reading". We can "read" the bill without it being law. I know this is kind of an advanced concept for you, but many of the people you "represent" can read these things and understand them better than you. Well, at least those of us not from your home planet.

Yeah, I know everyone is linking to this. Sometimes the jokes just write themselves.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Is There a Reality Out There?

"Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?" - Freddie Mercury, Bohemian Rhapsody.

This week, my (grown/moved out/married) son and I have been discussing a posting I ran across last week on Dr. Sanity's blog . It concerns a reporter who was fired for believing there is such a thing as reality. The paper who fired him, the Atlanta Progressive News, said,

"At a very fundamental, core level, Springston did not share our vision for a news publication with a progressive perspective. He held on to the notion that there was an objective reality that could be reported objectively, despite the fact that that was not our editorial policy at Atlanta Progressive News. It just wasn't the right fit."

Yo! Atlanta Progressive News! Here's a newsflash: there is a reality out there and you don't get to define it. If you don't believe there's actual reality, I invite you to muster up all the belief you'd like to summon that gravity doesn't exist and take a short walk off the top of a tall building. If we are to learn any lesson from Looney Tunes, just don't look down or stop believing and you'll be fine. Don't mind me if I let someone else clean up the mess.

The simple fact that objective reality exists is becoming politically incorrect to teach, and people are being condemned to misery because of it. Too many young people are growing up with the view that their beliefs define reality. Dr. Sanity says, "I see many patients every day who have this completely backwards because they believe that their wishes and whims are primary, and reality must conform to them. The consequences of this fundamental metaphysical error is that their lives are a living hell."

Maybe I'm simple-minded old engineer, but the belief that there is no such thing as objective reality is one of the horses the coming apocalypse is riding on. We don't need to balance a budget, we need to spend our way out of our trouble, despite reality screaming it doesn't work. We need to get guns off the street, despite reality screaming every time you take guns from law-abiding people, crimes and deaths go up. We need to raise the prices on fossil fuels to stop climate change, although reality screams we will be sentencing millions to death in the cold or of starvation. We need to remove the free market system from American life, despite reality screaming it has given us more prosperity, more freedom and made us the largest force for "good" in world history.

It doesn't matter how we feel or what we feel about reality, we don't get to define it, reality simply is what it is. Recognizing that can help our country - and each of us - be strong and great.