Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Government default?

Can it happen...again? Most likely. The government has defaulted before, and guess what...nothing horrible happened.

The US government defaulted in 1933, on refusing to honor gold bonds, and FDR confiscated all privately held gold.

It did it again in 1968, when refusing to honor silver bonds (remember those silver certificates?), and instead, they became worthless paper. Well not worthless, as they are collectibles.

In 1973, Richard Nixon defaulted on gold debts to other nations, with its gold obligations.

Did you realize that 2 trillion of this debt is owed by the Federal itself? Yep, the Fed has that owed. You know, the people that print the money, etc. The *unconstitutional* and *inflationary* and *devaluing the dollar* Fed.

“Paper money eventually returns to its intrinsic value… zero.” -VOLTAIRE (1694-1778)

Using the government's own calculator, for what $1 in 1913 (earliest year possible) compared to today's dollar - you will spend $22.80.

I wonder about 1980 price change from $20, as I could get 4 paper sacks of groceries at that price, compared to today's prices - $54.79

And I was buying basics. Soup, stripped chicken for soup, etc.

Compared to today's usual grocery trip for me, I spend around $125 to $150 (this includes cat food, dog food, cat litter, etc) I come up with $5.48 in 1913 dollars.


In 1969, Cornflakes: [1969] 12 oz, 29 cents. In 2011, 12 oz. costs $3.79.

I just found an interesting book on Google Books: Cost of Living and Prices of Food, GPO, 1904. It's free, and you can browse through it on your computer. I find it quite interesting. I seem to collect *more* reading :)

Enjoy your day, I will certainly be reading old statistics today. I've found that statistics and economics are INTERESTING! Who'da thunk it? Someone that used to sleep as much as possible during classes in high school (I was reminded last year at the class reunion by the guy I used to sit behind, to "hide me so I can sleep' in Russian History. I'm skeered to actually look at my HS transcript, it might be pretty darn poor!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Questions that need answers!

I was browsing around earlier, and came across these gems of questions, asked in a Socratic manner, by Oleg Atbashian:

(he's an immigrant from the ex-soviet union)

Dear Americans, these are some questions I have collected in 16 years of living in your country. Please see if you can answer them for me:

If all cultures are equal, why doesn’t UNESCO organize International Cannibalism Week festivals?

Why do those demanding “equal pay for equal work” never protest against “equal pay for little or no work”?

Why has no politician ever run on men’s issues or promised to improve the lives of males?

If all beliefs are equally valid, how come my belief in the absurdity of this maxim gets rejected by its proponents?

Ever noticed that for the past thirty years, we’ve been hearing we have less than ten years to save the planet?

Once a politician labels the truth as hate speech, can anyone trust him to speak the truth afterward?

If a politician gets elected by the poor on a promise to eliminate poverty, wouldn’t fulfilling his promise destroy his voting base? Wouldn’t he rather benefit from the growing numbers of poor people? Isn’t this an obvious conflict of interests?
How did the “war on poverty” end? Has there been a peace treaty or a ceasefire? Who is the occupying force and who are the insurgents?
Why weren’t there demonstrations with anti-feudal slogans under feudal rule? And under Stalin, no anti-communist demonstrations? And under Hitler, no anti-fascist demonstrations? In a free capitalist society, anti-capitalist demonstrations are commonplace. Is capitalism really the worst system?
If capitalism makes some people rich without making others poor, who will benefit when capitalism is destroyed?
If the poor in America have things that people in other countries can only dream about, why is there a movement to make America more like those other countries?
Why, on the rare occasions when Obama’s actions benefit America, does his base get angry? And every time his actions are hurting this nation, his base is happy? Who exactly are these people?

If cutting out the middleman lowers the price, why are we paying the government to stand between us and the markets?

If racial profiling is an abomination, what do you make of the last presidential election?

After Eric Holder called Americans a nation of cowards, what has he done personally to help the situation?

If diversity training benefits everyone, why do those classes mostly consist of white heterosexual males?

Why is a huge poisonous cloud over a volcano considered magnificent — but a smokestack over an American factory is ugly and harmful?
How many Kyoto Protocols are rendered pointless by one medium-sized volcanic eruption?
Why is burning gas in my car hurting the planet, but setting fire to housing developments in California is saving it?
Why does Hollywood glamorize drug addicts, criminals, liberal Democrats, and mentally challenged people? What do they all have in common?
How come Hollywood can always find a good side in thugs, but never in businesspeople? What was the last movie that pictured a self-reliant, industrious man as a role model?
If it’s capitalist greed that forces Hollywood to exploit the lowest human instincts, why didn’t the same greed force Hollywood to exploit America’s patriotism and make war movies showing the U.S. presence in Iraq and Afghanistan as a force for good? Wouldn’t one such film bring more green cash than all the anti-American flops in the recent years? Where was Hollywood’s capitalist greed then?

How come those calling Sarah Palin a “bimbo” often look like part of Paris Hilton’s entourage?

If there are no absolutes and family is an antiquated tool of bourgeois oppression, why is having gay marriage an absolute must?

Would you know from the media coverage that there are more sex offenders among public school teachers then among Catholic priests? How come the church gets the blame and the Department of Education doesn’t?

Why is the media so outspoken about sex abusers being priests, but avoids calling them homosexual pedophiles? Who are they afraid to offend?

Why do those who decry modern civilization never live far from shopping centers and why don’t grind their coffee with a stone ax?

If we are called a “consumer society” because we consume, why aren’t we also called an “excreter society” because we excrete? For that matter we also sleep, dream, talk, think, invent, play music, raise children, feel pain, get sick and die. Many of us work for a living. Why aren’t we called a “producer society” because we produce the things we consume? Who puts these labels on us and for what purpose?

How come the unselfish Americans hate their country out of personal frustrations, while the selfish ones defend America with their lives?

If describing terrorists as freedom fighters is justified by the journalistic principle of neutrality, what is the name of the principle that justifies describing U.S. troops as rapists and murderers?

When the media portrays the killing of terrorists as “slaughter of civilians,” while slaughter of civilians is portrayed as “resistance to occupation,” is the media really being neutral? Whose side are they really on?

If Hollywood types are so opposed to capitalism, why is there a warning against unauthorized distribution of their movies?

Why is experimenting on animals cruel, but experimenting on human embryos compassionate?

How come industrial logging is a crime against nature, but the destruction of forests by wildfires is a natural cycle of life?

Why do those who object to tampering with the environment approve of tampering with the economy? Isn’t the economy also a fragile ecosystem where a sudden change can trigger a devastating chain reaction?

Isn’t the latest economic crisis such a chain reaction?

Aren’t most of today’s social ills the result of tampering with social ecosystems?
Why is bioengineering bad, but social engineering good?

If Al Gore is right and our consumption of the planet’s resources is a moral issue, doesn’t that make genocide an ethical solution? How about an artificial famine? What would Al Gore choose?

If being a winner in nature’s struggle for survival is selfish, does being extinct make you an altruist?

Since our planet’s resources are limited, wouldn’t the ultimate act of environmental activism be to stop eating and starve to death?

How come those who hate humanity for its faults are called “humanists” but those who love humanity for its virtues are called “hate-mongers”?

If economic ups and downs are natural cycles, why is the downturn always blamed on unbridled capitalism, but the upturn is the result of a wise leadership of a Democrat president?

Why is there never a media story praising capitalism for the booming economy?

Ever noticed that those who demand “power to the people” also believe that people can’t do anything right without government supervision?

How exactly does dependency on the government increase “people power”?

Why is there never a headline that says “Government program ends as its intended goal has been achieved”?

How come so many anti-American radicals are wearing American brands, listen to American music, watch American movies, and play American video games on computers designed by American engineers?

Why do advocates for higher taxes have accountants advising them how they can pay smaller taxes? Wouldn’t you expect them instead to seek advice on how to give away more of their income to the IRS? Or at least not to hire accountants at all?

Can you name one person who paid the IRS more than he owed because he trusted the government to put his money to good use?

Did it occur to any of the 9/11 Truthers that a government conspiracy to murder thousands of people would have also included a plan to rub out a few troublemakers?
If U.S. oil companies own everyone in Washington, how come they allowed Congress to grill them for the alleged price gouging — and to broadcast it on C-Span?

Why didn’t Congress also grill Hugo Chavez, Vladimir Putin, and a guy named Abdullah Ibn Abdul Aziz Bin Abdulrahman Bin Faisal Bin Turki Bin Abdullah Bin Muhammad al Saud?

Why are windfall profits a problem when they enrich U.S. companies that pay billions in taxes — but when Hugo Chavez uses the same windfall profits to fund Marxist guerillas in Colombia, it’s not a big deal?

If George W. Bush was an oil-thirsty dictator, why couldn’t he in eight years get permission from Congress to drill in ANWR? And why didn’t that failure in any way hurt his dictatorial reputation with the media?

If it’s true that the media emphasized bad news and harassed President Bush only because they competed for ratings, what changed now? Aren’t they worried that today’s emphasis on good news from the White House will destroy their ratings and make journalism irrelevant?

And finally, if all opinions are equal, how come a liberal who disagrees with a conservative is open-minded, but a conservative who disagrees with a liberal is a bigot?

I really can't say any more than these questions pose - Feel free to throw them at your favorite liberal!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Poverty in the United States

That is the title of a paper by I am in the process of reading. Quite interesting, as the average "poor" household has:

In 2005, the typical household defined as poor by the government had a car and air conditioning. For entertainment, the household had two color televisions, cable or satellite TV, a DVD player, and a VCR. If there were children, especially boys, in the home, the family had a game system, such as an Xbox or a PlayStation. In the kitchen, the household had a refrigerator, an oven and stove, and a microwave. Other household conveniences included a clothes washer, clothes dryer, ceiling fans, a cordless phone, and a coffee maker.

this is poor? The "poor" today are living better than all but the richest people 100 years ago.

When I was growing up, we had a black & white TV, as color was expensive, and my mom didn't get a regular washer until 1976 - We had a wringer washer (remember those?) and I was the feeder for the rollers. Also we line dried our laundry. Hung them up in the basement when it was winter, so they'd dry. We had a microwave back in the 70s - ONLY because my dad was a salesman for Litton at that time. Only thing we used it for was making 'cinnamon apples' - scoop out some, put in those little red cinnamon candies & cook it. Mom never really liked them. After dad stopped working for Litton, we got rid of it.

We also didn't have air conditioning. Summers were hot, but never really thought about it, except for at night when it was so hot that a sheet was too heavy. We just left the windows open (and bats would also fly in).

My parents invested in a hydraulic log-splitter, put up signs all over, they would come cut down your trees that needed it, for free, as long as they could have the wood. My sister and I did the hard part - putting the wood on the splitter and piling up all the wood. Dad pushed the button.

I guess I grew up with Depression values in life - if you're looking for a job, and need money, you don't pass up jobs just 'because you don't like it' or you feel its below you. You take whatever job is available. My grandfather walked 15 miles one day to get a job during the Depression.

People didn't feel "entitled" to something, merely because they were alive, or lacked something. My mom told me of eating lots of french toast during the depression - her mom owned a bakery, and the bread that was way too old to sell, along with eggs & milk from her grandmother's hens & cow, made up their dinners. And lunches, etc.

Now, we have generations of people, just sitting about, getting (as the Dire Straits song goes) "money for nothing".

How do we define poverty? Is it just lacking all the doo-dads and goodies that over half the people have?

I don't have an Ipod, an Iphone, or anything fancy like that - I bought an 8gb mp3/vid player at Walmart at Christmastime, while they had them on sale for $39. Why should I pay lots of big bucks for a name?

Or an "adequate house"? What constitutes 'adequate'? For many in this world, even the ramshackle houses are quite nice compared to pieces of tin leaned up against each other.

Look at the house sizes over the years. Even in the US, it's increased greatly from the average of 943 sq ft in 1950, to 2,349 sq ft in 2004. I'm like :O

I guess my house would be an average house in 1950, as it is just a tad over 1100 sq ft. And it's sufficient for a family of four. A friend's family growing up, had a 4 bedroom house - grandparents - 1 room, parents - 1 room. 3 boys - 1 room, 3 girls, 1 room. And all of one bathroom. Hm. this is interesting: The average home owned by persons classified as poor by the Census Bureau is a three-bedroom house with one-and-a-half baths, a garage, and a porch or patio. I don't have a garage, a half bath, and our "patio" is a carport.

People today say "xyz is a necessity". But what are we really calling a necessity?

Necessity -

3. Indispensableness; the state of being requisite. The necessity of funds to support public credit, no man questions. The necessity of economy in domestic concerns is admitted. No man can plead necessity in excuse for crimes.

another dictionary says: noun: anything indispensable

how many of our "necessities" are actually 'wants' or 'nice to haves'?

If you had the choice of paying rent, or paying cable, what do you skip? Or buying groceries, what do you buy, if you have a limited amount of money? I see people paying with the Lone Star card, buying lots of junk.. and yet look at this:

The average consumption of protein, vitamins, and minerals is virtually the same for poor and middle-class children. In most cases, it is well above recommended norms. Poor children actually consume more meat than higher-income children consume, and their protein intake averages 100 percent above recommended levels. In fact, most poor children are super-nourished and grow up to be, on average, one inch taller and 10 pounds heavier than the GIs who stormed the beaches of Normandy in World War II.

I'm often behind someone using that card, they are buying nice cuts of meat, brand-name sugary cereal, etc, and lots of...basically crap.

We eat alot of chicken (because it's not outrageously priced); we buy ground turkey rather than ground beef, as it is more than $1 less a pound. If you're not actually working or doing something to earn the money, it is ... held in less regard, I guess. You really don't care how you spend it. Did you know lobster, and food gift baskets can be bought with the Lone Star card?

Is this poor?

In 2005, the typical poor household, as defined by the government, had air conditioning and a car. For entertainment, the household had two color televisions, cable or satellite TV, a DVD player, and a VCR. In the kitchen, it had a refrigerator, an oven and stove, and a microwave. Other household conveniences included a clothes washer, clothes dryer, ceiling fans, a cordless phone, and a coffee maker. The family was able to obtain medical care when needed. Their home was not overcrowded and was in good repair. By its own report, the family was not hungry and had sufficient funds during the past year to meet all essential needs.

No, far from it.

Those saying "the poor need more help" are just deluding themselves...making themselves feel good... with other people's money.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

2nd Day of VBS

and we have a bit more than 33 kids that we had yesterday. I got the 4 and 5 year olds today. The primary class (8,9 year olds) girls only had one, so she took the 6 and 7 year olds in her class.

I'm looking forward to tomorrow's class, as it involves some random food, a blender, and someone drinking said blended food. Foxtail girl drank blended chopped beef sandwich, baked beans, and a soda at church camp this year.

The story is of the young man who said "give me my inheritance now", spent it all on wild living, and had to go take care of pigs, live with them, and eat what they did. So.. pigs eat slop.. so the teenager that volunteered we talked into doing this, said as long as it had Dr Pepper in it, he'd do it. Woohoo! The other lady doing the class with me is bringing her blender tomorrow. I think this will be a lesson the kids will remember.

I'm kind of bummed about VBS, as the time allotted for the lesson, and learning the verse for the day, is NOT long enough. I'd re-work the time schedule to allot 45 minutes to 1 hour for classtime.

What is the purpose of VBS? (vacation bible school). To teach kids about Jesus and God, and get kids saved. THAT should be our primary focus. I've taught VBS on the navajo reservation, where all we had was a packet of visuals (4 cards per lesson), and the teachers book. Nothing else. Guess what, lots of kids came forward. Adults included. The purpose was not glorified babysitting, or giving them fun stuff to do (although they did a craft, and mostly the kids I had (6 and younger) had coloring sheets. We didn't have decorations, etc, no prizes each night (for learning a verse that no one had time to teach, but each kid got a prize anyway); they received a gift (a stuffed animal one year) on the last day of VBS. And we gave away lots of Bibles. THAT is the purpose of VBS. The games, snacks, crafts are nice, but that is not the focus nor the purpose of it. I have a feeling I'm gonna piss some people off by bringing this up to the preacher this week. I guess I can't please everyone, and today is not your day :P hehe.

I got a new bumper sticker for my car - "criminals prefer unarmed victims". Going to see about getting my concealed license.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Ok.. I know I posted earlier about upcoming events here... but this article I am reading, is just %$@&#$!

I'm reading the 2010 Wastebook - Put together by Tom Coburn (R-OK), and I'm ready to scream. AND go to my legislators' websites & contact them with WHY IS THIS GOING ON? WHAT ARE YOU ACTUALLY DOING UP THERE BESIDES SITTING AROUND SPENDING LIKE A DRUNKEN SAILOR?

HERE is the PDF of the Wastebook.

Some lovely facts to turn your stomach today:

“Free” Grateful Dead Archive - (Santa Cruz, CA) $615,000

Agencies Pile Up Unnecessary Printing Costs - $930 Million

Studying World of Warcraft and Other Virtual Games - (Irvine,CA) $2.9 Million

Poems in Zoos - (AR, IL, LA, WI, & FL) $997,766

Shooting Range Armed with Taxpayer Dollars - (Las Vegas, NV)$15.68 Million

Internet Dating Study - (Stanford, CA) $239,100

Studying Male Prostitutes in Vietnam - (San Juan, Puerto Rico)$442,340

Teaching South African Men How to Wash Their Genitalia -(Los Angeles, CA) $823,200

FDA Employees Need Contractors‟ Help to Understand Backlogs - (Washington, DC) $1.08 Million

“Free” Harvard Courses for Federal Workers - $5 Million

And of course, ethanol. to the tune of 6 billion.

Federal Study Investigates Cow Burps - (Durham, NH)$700,000

Pedestrian Bridge Built Steps from Another Pedestrian Bridge -(Bothell, WA) $260,000

Study of Why Political Candidates Make Vague Statements -(Berkeley, CA) $216,884 (they can't figure this one out on their own?)

Transportation Enhancement Grants Used to Plant Flowers Instead of Repairing Highways - (Department of Transportation) $571 Million

Office for Retired Speakers of the House of Representatives -$440,955.87

anddddddddddd...the best for last... shrimp on a treadmill! Yes, imagine the US without a study of shrimp running on a treadmill. Makes me wonder if the shrimp was being chased by...a giant cup of cocktail sauce! After dumping a bit over $3 million into this, they came to the grand conclusion that: "... sick shrimp did not perform as well and did not recover as well from exercise as healthy shrimp."

is that a duh! moment or what? they even put on little duct tape "backpacks" on the shrimp to see if an increased load slowed them down. You can watch the shrimp here.

OH BOY! HERE is the NSF (National Science Foundation) idiocies. Including this gem:

create? One of the recent studies highlighted by NSF is “ground-breaking” research being performed at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research: “Exactly How Much Housework Does a Husband Create?” By the way, they've spent $60 million on this. How do you like your hard-earned dollars going to the government to be WASTED in this fashion?

These two PDFs really need to be gone over, and what your gut tells you to do - Lambaste your legislators about this STUPID spending. The NSF *has* given us useful things, like the net, barcodes, cloud computing, MRIs, and vision care. but it has given us quite a bit of crap studies that shouldn't even be getting a penny.

I'd write more, but I have lots of housework to do (not all caused by the husband!) and my lamb for kebabs needs some garlic in the marinade :)

VBS is next week

It's that time of year again - Vacation Bible School! I teach the 5, 6 and 7 year olds each year. I wonder how many kids I will get this year, and ack!! how many will NOT behave or listen? I have really noticed a difference in between the kids I taught on the Navajo reservation (I had around 25 in my class) to the group of kids I get here (around 15). The kids on the rez are better behaved, I *might* have some trouble with one, but just have a helper take him to the missionary, and they come back, apologize, and there's no trouble anymore. THEN, there's VBS at our church. Last time, I told the VBS head that I wanted to work in the kitchen next, as the kids just *would not* behave. Not as bad as the year we had the biting incidents. One of the kids bit my youngest daughter (who was a helper), another child, and she took him to the office to be taken home, he bit the guy that was taking him home.

I don't know if this is a reflection of American society on a small scale - these kids (except some of the younger ones) have BEEN in school, and know how they are supposed to behave.

I find this type of behavior reprehensible, and I completely fault the parent(s).

Is this a fall-out from the entitlement mentality? "I should have X merely because I am" is NOT a reason to receive anything...except contempt.

While I was in Medford May & June, while driving to Michaels for more yarn, or the grocery store, I would see many just standing on the corners, holding cardboard signs, begging. I really felt like yelling out the window "get a haircut and a shave, a bath, and get off your butts and find a job". Except that is kind of long, so I'd probably just cut it up to "get a job!"

One lady I saw by the Arby's in south Medford the whole time I was there. And they all looked like the people in those anti-meth commercials you see on Oregon TV.

Back to the upcoming VBS. I look forward to it each year, but as each day of it goes by, I dread going to church and having to deal with the kids. Can't do anything to any of them, because a parent might sue the church & you. I think some parents need to be taken out back of the woodshed and given an education.

I've learned how to crochet socks, so I've been busy making some for people for Christmas. Also found out, sock yarn is very easily chewed through by cats. 'The Devil' (previously known as "princess anna marie buttercup" likes to assist me in my crocheting. I just found a potholder I was making, separated from the cone of yarn :|

As for the blogosphere, I was reading an article over at Redstate, and came across a blog link that I followed - and wow, some good reading. I'm in the middle of her "Why taxes and welfare are bad" section here. Well worth a read.

Hope you guys have a good day!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

I'm back

Well I'm finally back. I returned to Houston last Thursday, got home Friday, and BAM! no internet! It got fixed Tuesday evening. Turned out the cable from the antenna had some slashes in it, and water got in, corroding the wire. So...I got quite a bit of crocheting done, and started watching my World At War DVD set. I'm up to DVD #5 now.

Watching CNBC this morning, 2 talking heads said that some in Washington are finally catching on to the fact that if they STOP SPENDING, they can actually meet debt payments including interest. But...they're worse than drunken sailors up there, so I really don't expect them to stop spending.

And those that are getting money from Uncle Sam (roughly 50% of the population) will not want THEIR share to get cut.. but it's okay to cut something else.

I forgot who it was, said to cut EVERYTHING by 43%, as that is the amount being spent over what is taken in. Sounds like a great idea to me!

dagnabbit, there are gnats... just inhaled one :| guess that's all for today. I don't see why the morons in Washington are so blind as to see you can't spend way more than you get, and keep on doing it, and expecting everything to turn out A-okay.