Friday, June 17, 2011

I'm not ignoring you all...

... for some reason, I can no longer comment on my own blog. I do read and appreciate what few comments you folks make; I just can't respond to them in the comments section.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Lisberger... a prophet?

I watch the 1982 movie Tron with my kids last night. They'd never seen it, and I hadn't seen it for probably 20+ years. It wasn't nearly as good as I remembered thinking it was when I was a kid, but it also wasn't nearly as bad as I expected it to be. There was, in fact, one exchange of dialogue that was rather prophetic:
Dr. Walter Gibbs: ...computers are just machines; they can't think.
Alan Bradley: Some programs will be thinking soon.
Dr. Walter Gibbs: Won't that be grand? Computers and the programs will start thinking and the people will stop.
(from IMDB)

Monday, June 6, 2011

AP Lets Loose With Both Barrels

Arctic Patriot has a pair of posts from yesterday and today that I must pass along.

Yesterday, he posted and commented upon a link to an exposé of the murder by the police of Jose Guerena. AP's comments echo my own convictions regarding the liberty that our Founding Fathers clearly claimed were granted by the Creator:
I do not intend to dishonor and insult The Giver by throwing away His gifts.
Then, yesterday, he posted an excellent piece on the wholesale slaughter of innocents perpetrated by this nation over the past 40 years or so. Excerpt:
If America was utterly destroyed and erased as a nation solely for this genocide / holocaust / extermination, I would consider it nothing more than pure justice.
I'm beginning to think AP and I were separated at birth.

My Thoughts Exactly

I've long held that the love affair that conservatives have with Sarah Palin is based on two things: she's cute, and she says what they want to hear. In some ways, she's the conservative version of Obama; he made all sorts of vague promises on the campaign trail that fell by the wayside once he was elected. I have no reason to believe that she'd be any different once in office. After all, she acted all starry-eyed for Juan McAmnesty in 2008.

When it comes to substance, I'm not sure anyone can make the case that she's a good candidate, which presents a challenge to those that argue we can't let the perfect be the enemy of the good. I'll admit, she's more attractive (as a person, not necessarily a candidate) than Herman Cain; and it would be sort of cool to say I've bought guns at the same store as the President of the USA. But please don't tell me she's for a return to Constitutional government. She is demonstrably not.

Karl Denninger has a post on the subject that hits the nail on the head.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Alaska DNR Land Sale

Undeveloped parcels are available all over Alaska. DNR just released the Spring 2011 Alaska State Land Offering. Here's your chance to snag some real estate, and some of it (like the parcels over by Glenallen) aren't taxed. I am of the opinion that real estate, particularly that which is not subject to property tax, is a good way to store your wealth. In any case, it's a far better vehicle than any bank account.

The view from Parcel #1208, and 8.5 acre lot with lake frontage.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Herman Cain: more of the same

I've been keeping this to myself until now, but given all the hoopla about Cain, I think it's important for some uncomfortable reality to be injected into the discussion. There's a good reason I refuse to jump on the bandwagon for Herman Cain. A lot of drones have already done so, without giving any consideration to the evidence that he's a Company Man. Even though Cain talks a good game, some of his stated positions are far removed from what conservatives and libertarians claim to support, and his past actions and statements are diametrically opposed to the Tea Party folks' demands. My prediction? They'll still vote for him because he's a decent orator. Sound familiar?

Here are some uncomfortable facts that must be faced when supporting Cain:

Following in Rome's Footsteps

I've mentioned before the similarities between our political situation and that of the Roman Republic just prior to its conversion to an Empire under Julius and Octavian. I ran across a very interesting piece today on the economic similarities; it's a fascinating read and underscores Solomon's assertion that "there is no new thing under the sun." We're following the same patterns as those who have gone before us, and the result will inevitably be the same, assuming we continue down this road.

What Destroyed Rome was its Unfunded Government Employee Pensions

H/T Patriot Trading Group

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Regarding my manliness and virility

I mentioned in my last post that I have six children. Please mentally add one to that number. Thank you. That is all.

Friday, May 13, 2011

The foundational priniciple of self-reliance

A lot of talk floats around the blogosphere about preparation for the looming economic and (God forbid) political collapse. Most of that talk focuses on trading your worthless paper dollars for something of value, particularly gold and/or silver. A lot of it is geared toward resistance to tyranny in various forms. A lot of people are talking about going "off-grid." My wife and I started working ten years ago on the path to self-reliance.

I should be clear in my definition of self-reliance: nobody can be completely self-reliant, unless they're willing to live an extremely bare-bones existence. As much as I hate to sound like the Abominable Pantsuit, it does "take a village" to live any kind of life higher in quality than that of a caveman's existence. Some specialization is a good thing: I'm good at making wine, and my neighbor is a gifted mechanic... that's just begging for future barter.

With that realization in mind, we still sought to minimize our reliance on other people as much as possible; furthermore, we are determined to limit our reliance on the System in favor of relying on trusted friends and neighbors. This requires the long-term development of a trusted network of like-minded people, folks you are reasonably certain will be there for you when it hits the fan. This is not something you can come up with overnight; trust must be earned. This, however, is another topic, perhaps for another time.

The subject of this post is self-reliance. I don't have a lot of deep thoughts on the subject, but I've spent ten years working on it, and I want to share what we believe is the foundational principle of self-reliance: you cannot be self-reliant if you are a slave. This has many practical corollaries, and here are a few:

Monday, May 9, 2011

And you thought it was just hyperbole

I've written on these pages before about the American dictatorship, twice: here and here.

Now our traitorous Senate is attempting to give even more power to the office of Caesar the President with S. 679. These are signs of the times, folks. I doubt this particular one will pass, but people need to understand that this threat is very real, and it just a question of statistics: sooner or later, legislation like this will pass, when the circumstances are right for it.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Ripe for the Moon god's harvest (redux)


<swear word/>

A friend posted this photo on Buttface Facebook today:

And one of her friends had this to say:
There are extremists in every group.
To which I responded:
I can't count the number of times I've seen Christian and Jewish and Hindu extremists marching in the streets threatening to behead people. At least once a month, I hear about yet another Mormon extremist who "honor killed" his daughter or wife or sister. Those violent Bhuddist extremists frequently stone women for the crime of being raped. And don't get me started on those extremist Taoists who take seriously the command in the Tao Te Ching to slaughter of those who don't follow the Tao.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Fix Bayonets

This, in all likelihood, is just more braggadocio on the part of some spineless adherents of the religion of the pedophile "prophet" Mohammed, but I figured I would pass it along in any case, just so you're aware of what's been threatened by the Thousand Sleeping Martyrs upon the killing of Osama bin Laden.

Bare Naked Islam reposted a letter from the Thousand Sleeping Martyrs. It's worth reading, if only to Know Thine Enemy. I guess when June 8 comes, we'll either know what they're bleating about or they'll be shown as the lying scum they probably are.

I guess whatever worthless dollars you haven't put into gold could be "invested" in brass and lead instead of silver.

Oh, and Thousand Sleeping Martyrs, here's my personal response:

My Deepest Apologies

I've been remiss in my precious metals musings of late. Last week, when the silver/gold ratio was bouncing between 31-33, I should have said to swap a portion of your silver for gold. Alas, it's now too late, as the ratio is back up in the mid-40s.

I have not yet missed the opportunity, however, to encourage you all to take every piece of worthless paper you can spare and buy gold or silver all the way down until it bottoms out. This is not a bursting bubble, folks. This is a short-term correction. How short, I can't predict, but I can say with as much certainty as possible that these prices cannot persist as long as the Fed continues to dilute the value of their Monopoly money.

Christmas in May

A couple years ago, I picked up an M1 Garand in fair condition for a decent price. I actually bought it from an Athabascan fellow at a gun show. He said, "She looks kinda beat up, but she's a shooter." He wasn't wrong; . I took it to the range and ran three clips of crappy Russian ammo through it. Learned my lesson the hard way: don't use crappy Russian ammo in this workhorse. I ended up with a case separation on shot number 24.

My brother-in-law's dad (whose sole purpose in life seems to be to collect two or more of every single World War II battle rifle) took a look at it and got me the name of a gunsmith who could take care of it for me. Then he took the stock back home with him and refinished it. He loves WWII guns that much.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

If True, Then I Stand Corrected

Several reports are surfacing to the effect that Obama blinked. If that's true, and Panetta disregarded Obama's order to stand down, then perhaps the R-drones may have a leg to stand on, refusing to give the pResident credit for OBL's demise. Ultimately, it probably doesn't matter.

BHO certainly looks ticked off; maybe his golf game was interrupted.

Arctic Patriot Nails It

Catching up on blog reading today while waiting for some long queries to finish running. Found this post by Arctic Patriot that puts into words about as close as possible to how I felt when I heard OBL was dead. My earlier post was a rant about the stupid but utterly predictable reactions by Republicrats and Demicans to the news. My own personal reaction was in lock-step with what AP feels. Go read it here: A Bit of DILLIGAF

Now that he's dead, do we get OUR CONSTITUTION BACK?
Now that he's dead, will our GOVERNMENT STOP MOLESTING OUR CHILDREN, GROPING OUR WIVES, HUMILIATING OUR PEOPLE, and trampling on the Bill of Rights?
bin Laden was a far lesser threat to the American way of life and liberty than is our own government.

Update: AP has another post that nails it again: Domestic Enemies.
Bin Laden was true to his cause to the end.  He died facing his enemy.  Our oathbreaking, anti-liberty extremist terrorists in DC are traitors.
Preach it brother!

And By The Way...

Hypocrites Left And Right

It never ceases to amaze me how hypocritical most of the mindless drones in this country are. When a Democrat is president, he can do no right, according to the Republicans. When a Republican is president, he can do no right, according to the Democrats. What's worse is that most R-drones and D-drones are completely blind to this reality.

Hey, bed-wetting Democrats, don't you remember how much crap you gave Bush for the whole "Mission Accomplished" thing? So why are you now insisting that Obama be given lauds for the killing of OBL? Oh, and by the way, what ever happened to your anti-war protests? Your president is involved in even more illegal wars than your favorite punching bag, Bushitler. Oh yeah, and why aren't you blaming Obama and his buddies in Big Oil for high gas prices--higher than they ever were under Bush?

Hey, empty-headed Republicans, you don't get a free pass either. If Bush got so many kudos for "successfully prosecuting the War on Terror" without ever setting foot on the battlefield, how come you won't give Obama the same credit for OBL being killed on his watch? And why are you bitching about Libya when you were 100% behind Iraq and Afghanistan? And where were your economic complaints when Bush shoved TARP down our throats?

You're all a bunch of hypocritical buffoons, and that is why I refuse to associate myself with either of your stupid political parties. It's hard enough voting for one of your idiots; don't expect me to give my time and treasure to support your party.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Paschal Reflections

No posts lately because it's the insane time of year.

Holy Week and Pascha (what's sometimes called Orthodox Easter) are a whirlwind of activity, with 23-26 (depending on how you count) church services, each 1-3 hours long, crammed into ten days.

Since I'm the protopsaltis in our parish, I take the week off from gainful employment and work instead for the benefit of my church family and my own soul. This year, Lent, Holy Week, and Pascha were a study in stark contrast.

We've been without a permanent priest for several years, but our bishop has always provided extra services during Great Lent. Until this year. We started Lent with no priest and we struggled through Lent with no priest. We had exactly one Liturgy during all of Lent. My family and I intended to go to services during the week at the local Russian church ("local" meaning it's only a half hour drive away), but we got terribly sick for three weeks... half of Lent. This, by far, was the hardest Lent I've ever been through. At first, we had a light at the end of the tunnel, because a priest from California that we know and love was planning to come up and be with us for Holy Week and Pascha. Then, half-way through Lent, his mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer and was given six weeks to live. Even still, he told the bishop that he would still come to Alaska to serve us, but the bishop told him to take care of his mother. As much as I completely agreed with the bishop's decision, I have not felt so stunned and dismayed except twice in my life: one was the first time a close friend was killed in a car accident, and the other was when a family member revealed they were fighting a terminal disease.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Rope, Tree, Politician...

Over at the Economic Collapse blog, an article about just how corrupt US politics has become. Americans need to wake up and stop voting for a candidate because of the letter after their name. It's already too late to avoid massive heartburn over the remedies, but the effects of the collapse could be mitigated if we had leaders with intelligence, fortitude, and a willingness to be a one-term candidate.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

I Hate To Say I Told You So, But...

It's now so obvious that even the mainstream media is reporting it: CNBC reports Inflation Actually Near 10%.

Apparently somebody in the newsroom was surfing the IntarWebz for porn and ineptly stumbled across John Williams' Shadow Governement Statistics. Such quality and timely reporting.
"...going by recent strong comments from Federal Reserve officials, even members of the central bank must believe inflation is being underreported..."
Duh. Winning.

CPI as measured before the numbers were monkeyed with by the
Reagan and Bush administrations... courtesy of Shadow Stats

Monday, April 11, 2011

Never Get Between a Frenchman and his Chocolate

If you owned any cocoa, hopefully you sold already, you evil war profiteer: Ivory Coast dictator captured; cocoa plunges.
Now maybe these fellows can get back to earning a living,
and I can afford a cup of hot chocolate again. Vive le France!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Alaska Mining Stocks

My kids recently expressed their frustration that we don't own any shares of mines in Alaska. My single gold mining stock hasn't performed nearly as well as my silver mining stocks, so I've been looking to diversify. Here's a list of some publicly-traded Alaska miners:

Teck (TCK - Red Dog)
Barrick Gold Corporation (ABX - Donlin Creek)
Novagold Resources (NG - Donlin Creek, Rock Creek)
Anglo American (AAUKY - Pebble)
Northern Dynasty Minerals (NAK - Pebble)
Hecla Mining Company (HL - Greens Creek)
Kinross (KGC - Fort Knox)
Sumitomo Metal Mining Co (STMNF - Pogo)
Fire River Gold (FVGCF - Nixon Fork)
Niblack Mineral Development (NIBMF - Niblack)
Heatherdale Resources (HTRRF - Niblack)
Coeur d’Alene Mines Corporation (CDE - Kensington)
Freegold Ventures (FGOVF - three projects in Alaska)
BHP Billiton (BHP - Western Arctic coal)
Rubicon Minerals (RBY - exploration in Alaska)
Kiska Metals (KSKTF - three projects in Alaska)
International Tower Hill Mines (THM - Livengood project)
Tri-Valley Corporation (TIV - two projects in Alaska)
Full Metal Minerals (FLMTF- seven or more projects in Alaska)

I'll try to post a brief profile of each of these as I decide which one(s) to invest in.

Disclosure: I do not directly own shares of any of the stocks mentioned, but plan to purchase one or more of them within the next two months. I do own Rubicon and International Tower Hill indirectly through the Market Vectors Junior Miners ETF (GDXJ), but have no plans to sell in the foreseeable future.

Update (4/11/11): Added Full Metal Minerals, who were doing all the work at Lucky Shot in Hatcher Pass, a few miles from my house.
Update (5/16/11): The ticker symbol for Full Metal Minerals was incorrect.

Silver not done yet

Today, the price of silver in worthless paper dollars is sitting at $40.91, about a 4% gain over yesterday's London PM fix. Silver is now up 44% since February 1. Here's today's chart, courtesy of Kitco:

Silver mining stocks are running up as well, particularly the junior stocks. Since February 1, Revett Minerals is up 40%, US Silver is up 53%, Canadian Zinc is now up 73%, and a new one I've recently added to my portfolio, Tinka Resources, is up 129%. If one had invested $5000 on February 1 in a balanced portfolio of silver and these four stocks, it would now be worth $8390, a 68% growth. Try getting a return like that in any instrument your bank offers. As I've said before, if you're not getting a 10% return, you're losing to inflation.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Gold As The Economic Reference Point

Friend of Friend of Another posted an excellent article the other day about gold as an economic reference point. It's a long read, but by the time you're finished, you'll hopefully understand why I encourage everyone to trade their worthless paper dollars for physical gold bullion as soon as possible, and at any cost. This is the only way to permanently capture the economic value, or purchasing power, of those worthless paper dollars. As I have stated before, gold (and silver, to a lesser degree) should never be considered an investment. It's true savings.

Seriously: long-term savings absolutely should not be in the form of a bank account, stocks, bonds, money markets, mutual funds, or anything that can go to zero overnight (and the US Dollar can go to zero overnight). Long-term savings should be in the form of the precious metals I've mentioned before: gold, silver, iron*, or copper.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Gold/Silver Ratio, etc

Since March 7, 2011, the ratio between the prices of gold and silver has been below 41 every trading day but for three days. The ratio at current prices is at the lowest it's been all year (38.48). This means it takes a little less than 39 ounces of silver to purchase an ounce of gold.

On June 7, 2010, nine months ago, the ratio was 70. In other words, if you'd traded 2 ounces of gold then, it would have bought 140 ounces of silver. Today, you could trade that silver back into roughly 3.5 ounces of gold, a 75% gain in only 9 months. Zero leverage in two investments considered to be sterile, producing a true 75% return... after all, you started with only 2 1-ounce coins... now, you have 3 1-ounce coins and a half-ounce coin.

Out With A Whimper

Some folks may have thought I was overstating my case a while back when I wrote about the American dictatorship. More evidence is piling up, however, that supports the notion that we have indeed finally crossed the Rubicon and are ruled by a Julius. If this historical reenactment continues to unfold (God forbid), the next administration may very well be our Octavian.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Chicks Ahoy

We have nineteen chicks hatched thus far. Five more are pecking away at their shells. One didn't make it. We just pulled the hatched chicks from the incubator and moved them into the brooder. My sister's eggs are the slowest-hatching. Only one of her eight has hatched, and three are currently trying to get out of their shells.

The black copper marans are easy to sex when they're only a couple days old. The hens have a distinct spot on top of the head, while the roos don't. Of the black copper maran chicks, we have three roos and four hens.

The rest of the chicks are all half black copper maran and half something else... an assortment of hens other breeds produced the eggs: cuckoo maran, welsummers, australorps, buff orpington, and one high-strung leghorn. These should all be decent egg-producers in a few months.

Wait A Minute... I Thought We Were All Supposed To Be Dead By Now

EPA's radiation monitoring is online here.

Private radiation monitoring network here.

Webcam feed of a Geiger counter in Los Angeles here.

Webcam feed of a Geiger counter in Tokyo here.

Weather and radiation levels in Tokyo here.

Instead of blowing all that money and energy on freaking out over the "fallout" that was going to kill us all, maybe we should have been more focused on praying for the millions of Japanese affected by the massive earthquake, the subsequent massive tsunami, the loss of 20% of the nation's power generation during winter, and the economic meltdown that's currently taking place in Japan. Black Swan event, indeed.

If You're Not Angry, You're Not Paying Attention

On Friday, in a federal trial, a United States Attorney claimed in court that Bernard von NotHaus is guilty of domestic terrorism. The jury deliberated less than two hours and found von NotHaus guilty of conspiracy against the government. The FBI, the Buncombe County Sheriff, and the Secret Service were all involved in taking down this dangerous terrorist. He's expected to get 25 years in prison.

So was von NotHaus a Muslim convert plotting to carry out jihad? Was he Hutaree or affiliated with those wackos in Fairbanks? Did he threaten judges or police officers? Did he shoot someone? Was he plotting to blow up a federal building?

Nope. He was bartering. With silver. You read that correctly. This vile terrorist needs to be sent to Gitmo ASAP.

Now think how many times the idea of another gold seizure is scoffed at.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Hatchery update

We have at least four chicks pecking their way out of their shells now, and one black copper maran that has completely hatched. I haven't been this jazzed since the birth of our youngest child. My oldest daughter is giddy, and can't stop giggling. Definitely worth doing... if you haven't hatched out chicks, do it!

Friday, March 18, 2011

That's My Rep

While I don't always agree with him 100%, Carl continues to get my vote at the ballot box, because he is dedicated to protecting parental rights in Alaska, particularly in terms of abortion and home schooling. He has now introduced a bill prohibiting Alaska state courts from honoring foreign law, which is a cornerstone of national and state sovereignty. Way to go, Carl! Keep up the good work and I'll keep voting for you.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

An Actual Expert On the Subject

Turn off the television and radio, ignore the sky-is-falling blog posts and frantic ButtFace FaceBook status updates. Then head over to the Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler and read LC Jackboot's take on the Fukushima Daiichi power plant problems. Run, don't walk. Seriously, read it all, but be forewarned that Jackboot is ex-Navy, so the language is a little rough in a couple spots.


Head over to the Man-Cans site and order scented candles in scents such as:
  • Coffee
  • Bacon
  • Grandpa's Pipe
  • New Mitt
  • Fresh Cut Grass

Geiger Counter in Tokyo

The video stream of the Geiger counter I posted yesterday is offline now. Of course, that causes tons of people to freak out and assume that something horrific has happened. In any case, here's another site with readings taken every 10 minutes and graphed out over what appears to be about 36 hours. Here's a snapshot of the graph:

As you can see, Tokyo is still not receiving significant amount of radiation. It sounds like the bulk of the radiation that's being reported as leaking from the Fukushima reactor is from noble gases, with extremely short half-lives. In other words, unless you're in the immediate vicinity of the reactor and stay there for hours, the radiation isn't going to significantly affect you. That's the current status; the situation is still developing, but the more I read, the more (cautiously) optimistic I am.

UPDATE (3/16/2011 12:45pm ADT): The live video stream of the Geiger counter in Tokyo is back online, and the counter is currently reading around 23 CPM.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

More Radiation In Denver Than Tokyo

Here's a live feed of a Geiger counter in Tokyo. Tokyo is 142 miles from the Fukushima power plant.

Compare that to the National Radiation Map. Currently, there is nearly twice as much radioactivity (57 CPM vs 28 CPM) being registered in Denver than there is in Tokyo.

Per the latter web site, 130 CPM is an unusually high count.

Kind of puts things in perspective.

Synchronicity... again...

Several years ago, we made the decision to begin, bit by bit, to prep a bit. We're hardly what you'd call "preppers" but we realized after 9/11 that Alaska is in a pretty precarious spot if anything big were ever to happen. So, we decided that, as our first order of business, we should acquire at least enough MREs to feed the family for a week in an emergency. I did a bit of research and finally settled on ordering a couple cases of Wornick Eversafe MREs from Long Life Food Depot. That was late August of 2005. I placed the order, but not before Hurricane Katrina hit. My order took a couple months to be fulfilled.

Regarding Compulsory Public Education

“The aim of totalitarian education has never been to instill convictions but to destroy the capacity to form any.” — Hannah Arendt

“The purpose of Compulsory Education is to deprive the common people of their common sense.” — G.K. Chesterton

h/t Serge

Oh Noze! We're All Gonna Die!

Yeah, that's the basic content of half the emails and ButtFace FaceBook posts from my reactionary friends and family (the ones referred to in my last post as pessimistic suckers) regarding the Japanese reactors.

In the interest of spreading more level-headed information (as opposed to the ignorant crap at Prison Planet*), here is the email message I composed to some of my wild-eyed family members today:

I'd recommend taking anything on Prison Planet with a grain of salt. They tend toward the sensational and are notorious for playing fast and loose with the facts. Just to put this all into perspective, here is a trio of informational sites, from folks that know something about nuclear power (which the Prison Planet guy clearly does not) and are closely monitoring the situation:

Thursday, March 10, 2011

It's P. T. Barnum's world

"This curmudgeon fellow
really annoys me."
As I get older, I've learned to (usually) bite my tongue when this happens, but it's nearly every day I hear someone say (or read it posted online) something that only a sucker would repeat. The list of these offenses is as long as my arm, and getting longer every day, but they all have the same root cause: a complete and utter lack of critical thinking skills. The Public Miseducation System has been nearly a complete success. Virtually nobody can think any more. Nobody even tries to think, because they believe that they are "thinking" when they regurgitate whatever it is they read online, or saw on television, or heard on the radio. This is not a left vs. right issue; it's not Republican vs. Democrat. It's a complete inability of the vast majority of people in this culture to think, to question their own assumptions, to "trust but verify" no matter the source. It's the result of intellectual laziness coupled with a subtle kind of arrogance: laziness, because most people will simply not lift a finger to verify the veracity of a "fact" they've been fed; arrogance, because, despite the knowledge that they haven't done so, most people believe they have actually thought through their beliefs and practices.

I often find myself guilty of the same crime. I will realize that something I have heretofore accepted unquestioningly may or may not be the truth. I've taken to reading a lot of stuff that I completely disagree with, in the interest of actually proving to myself that I know what I believe and have considered the opposing viewpoints. My own pursuit of truth has cost me personally, but one thing my parents instilled in me from the earliest age was that truth is its own reward, and the cost of truth is irrelevant.

Truth has an enemy: the sucker.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Hatchery update

The chicks have been incubating now for 9 full days. The kids and I decided to pull the infertile eggs and those with chicks that have died. We found 9 that were infertile, and 3 that had died. I threw away most of them, but kept one that had a 3-4 day old embryo for an impromptu science class some time later this week.

Of the remaining eggs, the majority had very obvious live chicks inside, swimming around, doing somersaults, etc. We really can't tell if any of my wife's eggs are doing well or not; the shell is too dark. Seven of my sister's eggs have live chicks in them; we couldn't tell with her eighth.

We're half way through the process now. It's strange to think that in just two weeks, we'll have a flock of chicks that were just eggs two weeks ago.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Rock on, Wyoming

Welcome to the elite sisterhood of states (Vermont, Alaska, Arizona, and now Wyoming) that officially recognize the right of their citizens to be armed without a permission slip: Wyoming adopts constitutional carry law.


I happen to work for the company that was (note the operative tense) webcasting the restart of the Iditarod. Just a couple minutes before Lance Mackey was about to embark, the webcasting server crashed. Grr.

Update: well, it only took about a half hour before somebody finally got around to rebooting the server. During that time, several different error messages appeared when attempting to access the web site, so at least that shows someone was actively working on the problem. Still missed Mackey's start, though.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

My entrepreneurial kids

My wife and I were talking the other night about getting new chickens this year. We usually buy chicks from the local hatchery and raise them from a few days old. However, last year, we had quite a bad experience with the owner of the hatchery, and we've been talking about how to get new chicks some other way this year. It suddenly occurred to us that, since we have a rooster and a bunch of hens, we almost certainly have some fertile eggs; we could just hatch our own. It was quite an eye-opener to realize that we can actually produce not just eggs, but our own chickens. So, I started looking at incubators, and it turns out there are a lot of choices out there, but they're all expensive, and a lot of them are relatively low quality styrofoam deals. If we were going to strike out on our own, we didn't necessarily want it to be a more costly endeavor than simply patronizing the local hatchery.

It turns out that my next door neighbors had acquired an incubator from a friend of theirs, and had never used it. I went over one night and the husband and I dug it out and fired it up and all seemed to be in order. I brought it home and went about calibrating the thermostat and working out how to get the humidity high enough, which is quite a chore here; the wind blows a lot here, which makes for a very dry climate during the winter. Anyway, the incubator looks like some sort of kit built from extension service plans (similar concept to the wooden one here), and appears to be as much as 20-30 years old; I didn't have high hopes, but I persevered, and sure enough, we were able to get the temperature and humidity in the correct ranges for incubating eggs.

45 eggs ready to go into the incubator
By this time, the two oldest kids had hatched (get it?) a business plan: they would purchase fertile eggs, incubate them, then sell the chicks. We have a black copper maran rooster, so all of our hatched chicks would be half black copper maran. My wife got the notion that she wanted some pure black copper marans, so she started poking around on craigslist and found a family that sells fertilized eggs, both pure black copper maran, and black copper maran cross. She bought eight black copper maran eggs, and the kids bought a dozen more crossbreed eggs. My sister decided she wanted to hatch out some of her eggs to, so, within a week, we had 45 eggs ready to be incubated. The incubator we're using looks like it could easily hold 250 eggs, but since this was to be our first attempt, we decided to keep the numbers down, so as to minimize our losses (the pure maran eggs were $5 each, and we eat almost all of the eggs our own chickens produce).

Friday, March 4, 2011

Silver breakout cont'd

The price of silver in US dollars has now made a 25% gain since the first of February. As mentioned in my last post on the same subject, this has an even bigger impact on junior silver miners: in the same time period, Canadian Zinc is up 67%, and U. S. Silver is up 36%. The conservative silver bulls' predictions have already come to pass: silver is already trading well over $35 per ounce. A lot of other bulls are still targetting $45-$75 by the end of the year.

Always remember that precious metals should not be considered an investment. They only "grow" relative to the collapsing purchasing power of the dollar. In other words, precious metals retain their true value, and thus, they can inflation-proof your savings. As I've been saying for a long time: convert your dollars to something else now, before they lose even more purchasing power. Heck, go buy a half-dozen gas cans and fill them up with gasoline at the current low prices. Inflation is hitting us in a big way, despite what the talking heads on the idiot-box say, so every day they convince you to hold onto your worthless paper dollars, is another day you are losing money.

In the interest of full disclosure, I own silver bullion, CZICF, and USSIF and have no intention of selling any of them any time soon. I don't have gas cans full of gasoline, but I may soon.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Walter Williams is my hero

A discussion arose today on Buttface Facebook, during the course of which several self-described conservatives were extolling the virtues of several government programs, and bewailing the inevitable apocalypse that would result if government kept its nose out of the business of its citizens.

This is why I refuse to call myself a conservative; it's meaningless these days. I know too many people who call themselves "conservative" that are quite "liberal" with the money I earned and which was stolen from me via taxation... as long as it's not going to fund something they dislike, such as abortion or health care. The way I see it, the Republican party today is just as bad as the Democrat party when it comes to curtailing personal liberty. Let's not forget, it was "conservative" Republicans that gave us the TSA and the Patriot Act (which the newly-minted "conservative" Tea Party congressmen just reauthorized); and as for the impending economic armageddon, it was "conservative" Republicans that started the current orgy of corporate welfare with TARP.

Anyway, my ranting aside, this particular lecture by Walter Williams is 52 minutes long, but it is well worth your time, assuming you actually care to understand the true impact of government intervention in the private sphere.

The False Paradigm

From Garrison Graphics, the following quote and political cartoon. Most of his political cartoons hit the nail on the head. This one in particular is pretty much how I feel about the political landscape in America today. People vote for their candidates because of the letter after their name, and when it boils down to it, they do so because some talking head on the idiot box told them to do so. Regardless of who wins any particular election, the liberty bequeathed to us by our Founding Fathers is eroded at a constant rate, with virtually every bill that's passed.
"They keep us distracted with left vs. right while giving us the illusion that voting for one of the other parties will solve things. It won't."

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The American dictatorship

An amazing thing has happened. I'm not certain when this took place, and it remains to be seen if it will be challenged, but it appears we have completely ceased to be a Republic or even a functional Democracy. We are now a full-fledged dictatorship. Don't believe me? Check out this Department of Justice memo. Pay careful attention to the fourth paragraph, in which the Attorney General states:
The President has ... concluded that Section 3 of DOMA, as applied to legally married same-sex couples, fails to meet that standard and is therefore unconstitutional. Given that conclusion, the President has instructed the Department not to defend the statute in such cases. I fully concur with the President’s determination.
What's wrong with this? Anyone? Oh, that's right... they haven't taught civics in school for decades, so if you mention "separation of powers" to anyone under the age of 40, you're more likely than not to get a funny look and asked, "You mean separation of church and state?"

Ripe for the moon god's harvest

I read a comment today that went like this:
I am sooo having this issue with some who complain that jihadists want American Christians all dead, ... their solution? KILL them all.. Hello?? I think I thought up a new term 'Christian jihadists'
Well, darling, this begs the question: given the premise that jihadists want to kill us, what is the solution, if not killing them first? As far as I am concerned, there is only one viable solution, if they continue to pursue worldwide dominion, and that is to fight back. Killing your enemy is actually sometimes necessary. The only other option is to be slaughtered, or in the case of Muslim rule, become ahl al-dhimmah. Death before dhimmitude, I say. If you disagree, let me quote that great patriot, Samuel Adams:
If you love wealth more than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, depart from us in peace. We ask not your counsel nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you. May your chains rest lightly upon you and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.

What would Sam Adams say to this dhimmi?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Well said

Gold Subject on reasons to buy gold. Gold is not an investment; it's inflation-proofing your savings. Sell your dollars while they're still worth something. Get something tangible, and gold should be at the top of that list of tangibles.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Concerned American: "The rule of law in this country is dead."

A somewhat depressing article by Concerned American that you need to read. It's his response to a Rolling Stone article entitled Why Isn't Wall Street in Jail? which is also worth reading, as long as you don't mind getting pissed off.

Arctic Patriot's initial reaction. Then he slept on it and wrote something a little more measured.

I'm not optimistic about this stuff at all. That's why we've been working so hard on getting out of debt (only a couple months left) and learning to live a simpler life for the past several years. I'd encourage you to do the same.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Silver breakout

Silver broke through resistance around $31 yesterday and kept right on going today, almost hitting $33 before pulling back to $32.42. This represents a 7.5% gain in one week. Silver miners are doing even better, particularly some of the junior stocks: Canadian Zinc is up 27.7% and U. S. Silver is up 22.1%.

Where it goes from here is anyone's guess, but now that it's broken through, it's going to have to find a new high. Some of the silver bulls are predicting $35, $45, $50, or even $75 silver by the end of the year. They've been wrong before. On the other hand, they've been right before. I fondly recall buying silver at around $4 just ten years ago with PFD money. In another decade, will we fondly reminisce about the "good old days" when we could buy it for a paltry $35?

Charts from

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Looks like a fair year for sci-fi

In addition to the pile of steaming poo superhero movies (Thor, Green Lantern, Captain America, Conan the Barbarian, Transformers, X-Men) coming out this year, it looks like we'll be treated to a sci-fi flick each month, March through July. Trailers after the break...

First off, on March 11, Sony is releasing Battle: Los Angeles, starring Michelle Rodriguez (Lost). This movie will be great, no matter what, for three reasons:
  1. Michelle Rodriguez
  2. Los Angeles gets blown up
  3. Michelle Rodriguez
As an aside: Michelle, you have to stop calling me; I'm married, and happily so. I know it's hard for you to let go, since I'm such a catch, but I'm afraid I'm taken. Now, please put down the gun.

Next, on April 22, Dimension is releasing Apollo 18, about which there is very little information, but it supposedly has aliens and 1960s astronauts. We'll see...

Then, on May 13, Sony is releasing Priest, "a post-apocalyptic sci-fi thriller, is set in an alternate world -- one ravaged by centuries of war between man and vampires." So, we get post-apocalyptic sci-fi vampires; how cool is that? The problem is, the trailer makes it obvious that this is (yet another) slam against the Roman Catholic Church, and, by proxy, all of Christendom. Then again, what do you expect from Hollywood?

Come June 10, Paramount releases J. J. Abrams' (Alias, Lost, and the most recent iteration of Star Trek) Super 8. It stars Kyle Chandler (The Day the Earth Stood Still, Friday Night Lights) and... a bunch of kids. So, despite the spooky trailer, this may turn out to be another E. T.

Finally, on July 29, Dreamworks releases Cowboys and Aliens. Seriously, the only way that combo could be any cooler is if it was entitled Cowboys and Aliens and Ninjas and Vampires. Anyway, to make Teh Awesome even more complete, it stars Han Solo Indiana Jones Jack Ryan Rick Deckard Harrison Ford. And also Daniel Craig, who is one of the few James Bond impersonators that somewhat measures up to Sean Connery.

Speaking of cowboys and ninjas, The Warrior's Way came out a month or so ago.

Now, for the trailers:

Friday, February 11, 2011

On Bloody Ground

Abraham Covalt is my ancestor of the 9th generation, through my mother's father. I found this story of the settlement of the Terrace Park, Ohio area (close to Cincinatti) that references him and several of my other family members.

Pioneer settlers and Shawnee Indians fought and died for possession of what is now Terrace Park. The Indians almost won.

Five settlers were killed in little more than a year after Abraham Covalt, a Revolutionary War captain, established fortified Covalt Station here in January, 1789. The Indians lost only one. Two military expeditions suffered dismal defeat, and Covalt Station had to be abandoned over the winter of 1791-92. Of the Covalt Station men who joined the second military expedition, only [my great-uncle] Chenaniah Covalt returned.

The menace continued throughout the Miami area until an army under General "Mad Anthony" Wayne won a victory and then a peace treaty in 1795. But in the years between, four other men had been killed here. Four more were carried off as prisoners, and only one was ever heard of again. The usual lot of Indian prisoners was to be burned at the stake.

For a time, indeed, the land between the two Miamis was called "the Miami slaughterhouse." So harassing were the Indian raids that a committee of citizens of Columbia and newly-founded Cincinnati once offered rewards for Indian scalps "with the right ear attached."

For the record...

There was a post on FriendFace ButtFace FaceBook some time ago that contained a bunch of misinformation half-truths lies. To set the record straight:
  1. The integrated circuit was conceived in Britain by Geoffrey W.A. Dummer. The Intel 4004 was developed by Federico Faggin and Ted Hoff of Intel, and Masatoshi Shima of Busicom. It was released November 15, 1971.
  2. Windows NT was developed between 1989 and 1993 by Dave Cutler et al of DEC.
  3. The first paper on firewall technology was published by DEC in 1988. Packet filtering was developed by Bill Cheswick and Steve Bellovin of Bell Labs. Third-generation firewalls were developed in 1989-1990 at Bell Labs by Dave Presetto, Janardan Sharma, Kshitij Nigam.
  4. Cellular technology was invented by Bell Labs. Sweden had the first small cellular network in 1956. The USSR had one in 1958. The first public cellular phone network was in Finland in 1971. The modern cell phone was invented by Motorola in 1973; Martin Cooper made the first call on April 3, 1973.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Quit complaining and enjoy the life God's given you

I can't remember where I got this, so I can't give credit where credit is due, but it's worth watching. One of my pet peeves is people bitching and moaning about how bad things are, how horrible the industrial revolution was, and how modern technology has actually made life worse. I've always called bullcrap on this notion, which is almost always voiced the loudest by hypocrites who fully enjoy all the benefits of living in modern society: medicine, computers, the internet, automobiles, and so on. Mr. Rosling backs me up:

In the same vein, but more entertaining:

Oh Idaho, how I love thee

Two district chairmen of the Idaho Republican Party have proposed a resolution that seeks to nullify the illegal Gun Control Act of 1986.
h/t David Codrea over at The War on Guns

The GCA 1986 established the FFL system we have in place now, making it illegal to sell mail-order guns. I've heard that back in the good old days, you could order a Tommy Gun from Sears.

Idaho is on my (very short) list of states I would be willing to move to if I ever had to leave home Alaska.

Look at me now: sporting a global audience

Apparently, someone from India typed "what is meant by expense ratio in Gold ETF" into the Indian version of Google and it looks like my blog shows up on page 2. Then, they clicked through to my post on gold ETFs. Who is reading this worthless drivel? I've got visits from Malaysia, Canada, UK, Greece, India, Germany, Denmark, and the Netherlands. However, the vast majority of my whopping 201 pageviews come from my wife's blog.

And one person has viewed this blog on their iPhone.

Yeah, I discovered the stats page. Color me confused.

Monday, February 7, 2011


I was teaching history to my four oldest kids today; we were covering the twilight of the Moghul empire. When I wrote the name of the Sayyid brothers on the white board, I asked, "Based on their names Hussain and Hassan, what religion were they?" (Husayn ibn Ali and Hasan ibn Ali were grandsons of Mohamed)

My younger son, who loves to guess at answers without putting any thought into what he's saying before hand, said, "Russian. Pirate. Catholic." But he ran the words together, trying to get as many guesses out there before anyone else spoke up... so it came out sounding like he said, "Russian Pirate Catholic."

My youngest, who has just started babbling incessantly (you parents know what I'm talking about), told her first joke today:
SQ: Knock, Knock.
Me: Who's there?
SQ: Kangaroo.
Me: Kangaroo who?
SQ: Poop.
(raucous, gut-busting laughter from the siblings)

Doing it right

Five 6-8 year old girls did it Acapella [sic]. And (LIVE). With no orchestra. Without singing off-key. Without screwing up the lyrics. And they sounded a heckuva lot better than Christina Aguilera.

As Mac said in Tender Mercies, "Sing it the way you feel it." Watching "Xtina" butcher the National Anthem reminded me of the very next scene in that excellent movie, in which Dixie is hypocritically singing "Over You."

Okay, I'm done Christina-bashing. For now. Now, if you haven't seen Tender Mercies, go watch it right now on Netflix. If you have seen it, watch it again.

Christina, you ain't no Whitney

Not only is Whitney a much more talented singer, but she also actually took the effort to learn the words to the National Anthem before going on television before millions of viewers. To top it off, I think Whitney is a class act (exceedingly poor taste in men notwithstanding), unlike the skankoriffic Christina Aguilera, whose "apology" on Twitter for butchering the National Anthem consisted of:
Acapella, (LIVE) with no orchestra,..millions of people watching!! Like @nickiminaj said..."Haters you can kill yourself"! HA! #superbowl
Wow. Such class. I think I'm in love. As Bob Parks notes:
The old school way: apologize and let things die down. Americans are very forgiving.
The new skool way: Tell people to die after you make excuses for your screw up.
At least Roseanne got the words right (don't follow this link if you have a weak stomach) when she squealed it for a Padres game in 1990. It's pretty bad when you make Roseanne Barr look good.

And yes, I still have a little bit of a crush on Whitney Houston.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Nowhere Road - Copperline Hills

I was rethinking my post the other day on investing and realized copper is perhaps another metal one might want to invest in to ride out the Hard Times ahead. Unlike gold and silver, copper doesn't have to be a sterile investment. Certain forms of copper can produce a pretty high return on your initial investment.

These nice country boys mention Colonel Vaughn Wilson, whose stills can be ordered at Copper Moonshine Stills. Not that I would ever recommend buying such a thing, unless you want the BATFE to kick in your door with a SWAT team on the mere suspicion that you might not be paying your fair share of federal liquor taxes... after all, that is the only reason distilling is illegal; it's a holdover from Prohibition.

Monday, January 24, 2011

What am I thinking?

Just got off the phone with a buddy who's a beekeeper. I had expressed an interest in beekeeping last fall and he's keeping me honest. So I guess, come April, I'll be setting up my first hive. We'll see where it goes from there. That'll be about the time our two goats kid as well. And I will need to start gathering wood in the spring. This is going to be an interesting year.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

In which I opine on the superiority of stocks...

First off, let me state that my philosophy of saving is quite abnormal. I don't believe in amassing a large fortune. If fortunes are given, one must carefully consider what the Scriptures and the Fathers say about wealth: how difficult it is for the wealthy to enter the kingdom of heaven (the Master); that one's excess belongs to the poor (Chrysostom); and that riches are fleeting (James). That said, one must manage one's wealth carefully, as it is a gift of God. My first responsibility is to my family, and in order to provide for them, saving is a necessity... living paycheck-to-paycheck won't pay for a roof replacement, and going into debt (aka slavery) for the same should be my last option. In addition, in my case, I must manage my children's money for them while they are still young. Therefore, it behooves me to carefully consider what constitutes a good investment versus a bad investment.

There are a number of things one can do with one's money. Here is my opinion of each.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Friends on a journey

A family we're close to are driving from Alaska down through Central America. I think they're insane, given the high level of violence, particularly in northern Mexico, but it's not my choice. In any event, I'm following their travelogue here:

Friday, January 7, 2011

What the heck?

Tech News Daily says Nothing to see here, move along.

I don't know what to make of this. I reflexively don't buy into the hordes of conspiracy theories, but this is just wierd. The burning question nobody seems to be asking (except Tech News Daily) is whether or not this is simply an anomaly in reporting. Still, this user-created map of the mass animal deaths that have occurred in the last week or so is a little disconcerting:
Here's a link to the Google map page.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

I was going to post something about the trivium and quadrivium...

...but I decided against it. Instead, I stoked up the fire in the woodstove and made our (the kids' and my) favorite comfort food for lunch: mac & cheese with hot dogs. Yep, that's right: mama is out and about, and papa is feeding the kids. Sadly for them, my culinary repertoire is primarily grill-centric.

I say "sadly" only from the perspective of the parent that realizes the lunch he just made for his children is not exactly what those skinny dieticians would call "healthy" -- but then again, I can't recall the last time I looked at a dietician and thought, "You know, she looks really healthy." Nope. Every dietician I've ever known or met looked like an extra from one of those "Feed the Poor African Kids" commercials Sally Struthers used to do on TV when I was a kid. I look at them and immediately think, "This person will not do well in an economic collapse." They've got no stored body fat, so if they start going hungry, their body will immediately start consuming muscle mass instead of utilizing the body fat that God designed for exactly that sort of situation.