Monday, June 25, 2012

Choose wisely

Today I heard on NPR that a recent poll showed that 6 out of 10 or 60% of registered voters believed that it did not make any difference on the economy and jobs as to who won the presidential election. Apparently the people finally are not believing the hype that the President actually has a effect upon our economy other than as a spokesman. Why do I say that?

Well if you think about it jobs are created by investment either by government in infra-structure or by capitol growth in industry. The President can only propose legislation but it is our deadlocked Senate and Congress who passes legislation that invest in the nation benefits and infra-structure. If they choose not to as they are now then the working and lower middle class suffer accordingly. They suffer in the lack of construction jobs and manufacturing that results in the government investing in the maintain the public works and social benefits that help purchase goods such as food stamps and housing for the needy. All basically because some are afraid that the undeserving will benefit as well. Well let me assure you they will. But that is not the point. The point is the silent majority who will and who needs the social programs such a WIC, Food Stamps, Public Housing, Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security and Unemployment benefits extensions. In turn the money given helps to keep these people from becoming more destitute and desperate and puts money they receive back into the economy.

But we are a nation of Puritan heritage that preached that if you haven’t been blessed with a silver spoon in your mouth then it is because you are not of the chosen of God. These people believe that their donation of used clothes and the Christmas basket is sufficient and that all should be grateful for their hand me downs. This Puritan Calvinistic altitude is anything but Christian. Christian says “For what you do the least you do for me” Mathew 25:40. Yet the ones who call themselves neo conservative Christians seem to forget this.

As to investment of captiol into the job market or manufacturing sector. Well that becomes a issue of how money is made into today’s world. Until it becomes a benefit to own actual property those who traditionally invest in factories will continue to make money off of paper. In short a house of cards that the nation backs up when the wind blows that house down. If you don’t believe me think Chase Bank and BOA for a couple. Until a international bank can see the value of real capitol such as buildings and equipment then there will be not real improvements in the economy or in the purest local sense. Unfortunately they can’t see the value in something invested on a local level.

That is one reason you should bank with local banks who live in your area, who see the buildings. Who depositors are the very ones who money they spent on improvements in the local business that do the hiring that supply the jobs to the very same depositors. It is a healthy symbiotic relationship as it should be.

In short the problem with the Chase and BOA hi-rise bank buildings is so often those on the top floor don’t know what is going on the bottom floor and don’t want to know.  For them their depositors are nothing but a numbers game. A matter of shuffling paper.

So when you get ready to vote of course vote for a President who represent your values are as close to it as possible. But, even more so vote for the congressman and senator who will act on the laws who will have effect on you and who represent your values.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Rules are made to be Broken

"Any fool can make a rule and any fool can follow it. " Henry David Thoreau

This is one quote that rings true today as it did in Henry’s time. It is almost as bad as when some idiot tells you "that is the way we always do it." regardless of the results. But I am a believer that only 10 rules were written in stone and the rest well most are not worth the paper they are written on.

Most rules are about control and about keeping it and since rules are written by man they are about controlling their fellow man. Hence my distaste for rules.

When I think about the rules I have in my house it was about keeping control of my young children. As they grew older they challenge these rules, as they should, for their comes a time when you must find out for yourself whether or not works for you.

But, that challenge is what most people don’t like. It represent disorder for them a change in the status quo. That is why change that is needed is so slow to happen. It is feared and it is outside the rules of play. But then my so called superiors were always quick to point out to me I do not play well with others.

I love to play dominoes and a game called 42. An acquaintance of mine who I used to play with during a lull and feeling pretty smug winning most of them told the guys at the table how easy they were to beat and proceeded to tell us. He said most of the guys played by a very fixed set of rules in how they bid and how they played their dominoes and were subsequently easy to figure out what they had. But, he told me I was a different case for I never played a set way therefore followed a set of personal rules. Therefore, he hated to play against me because I was hard to beat.

All I guess I am trying to say is be hard to beat. Follow the rules that work for you and don’t follow the ones don’t work for you. Remember rules are made to control the player and rules are made by those who want that control. That is why we have buildings filled with books of rules (law) in that attempt to control and manipulate you and the situation to the benefit of their masters. That is why we have a health care law that is 1500 pages long when Canada’s when initiated was only 12 pages long. Our law was meant to manipulate and control and theirs to help. It makes you remember just who controls our government. That perhaps the Constitution  instead of “We the People” should read “We the few”.

When you start thinking about what and why you follow rules or laws remember old Henry D. Thoreau choose what rules and laws he followed. When arrested and jailed for failure to pay one dollar poll tax (used to support the war with Mexico) for one night Emerson came to see him while in jail. Emerson reportedly spoke to him saying and I paraphrase “look where you have ended up” and Thoreau’s response was “the question is not why I am in hear but why are you out there”.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Thank You GOP and TEA Party

I have been trying to figure out what to write about the last few days. I am in between projects and have been distracted by Doc visits to really give it a whole lot of thought. But then I realized that I don’t really have to be specific. In the begging I stated that I would use this post as a way to clarify my thinking and not necessarily for clarity of others.

So, here goes a couple of things that have been on my mind of late.

I want to thank the GOP (Grand Old Party) for being so bluntly anti lower and lower middle class (working folks). After all they have over the years hidden their agenda fairly well but they are finally telling what they want.  Simply, destruction of every social and progressive  program and labor union gains since 1900 when TR Roosevelt came into office went after the monopolies and the New Deal began with FDR. Even the destruction of programs that Republican presidents like Nixon with the EPA, Food Stamps, and Medicaid. They have become like a rabid animial biting and infecting everything they come into contact with.

My adult children like to kid me about never meeting a conspiracy I didn’t like. My response to them is the classic “just because I am paranoid doesn’t mean someone isn’t out to get me”. Thanks to the blantantly open position of TEA party and their eliteist backers they are starting to see my position. All of this is made worse by the fact the economic situation the world as a whole find it self in.

These individuals, the elite and ultr-rich 1%,  who call on God as the basis of why they are so anti progressive/liberal yet fail to remember what God said that a camel has as much chance of getting into heaven as a rich man into heaven because his wealth mean more to him than his soul.

Ok I am getting carried away because I am getting upset. But, that does not mean I am not right and what really blows me away is how the average common man who if lucky can barely afford the single wide he lives in, who is in debt up to his eyebrows because that is how they want us and then accuse us of being un-American by not going deeper into debt. How he can support these yahoos with his time and even with the few dollars he has to spare. But I understand it is as Joe Bageant has written you can always find someone willing to take a club and beat you back into line for a few dollars more. Example see the recent police riots on the OCCUPY WALLSTREET and OCCUPY OAKLAND demonstrators.

The recent Texas GOP convention in FT Worth TX called out for in their plaque for the upcoming National convention for some pretty draconian measures. A state already known for their lack of compassion for the disenfranchised they wish to take it national. Folks if you don’t think it affects you then think again. Take the time to look it up and you will see what I mean. The good news is that the GOP is divided itself and The Dems may have a change to get a little more say in state and national policy.

Comment on World and Local Economy

Simply put the world economy is a cluster f&%$ and no amount of money will solve it as it has more to do with national pride then they the European Federation wants to admit. Consequently with the fear of nations like Greece all but defaulting and Spain and Italy on the verge it puts European Banks into crisis mode which with US banks owing a significant part of European banks debt needless to say makes them extremely nervous. It all begs one question. Are we heading toward a economic meltdown? Yes, but not in the way most anticipate with rioting in the street and open warfare.

I am a believer in Warren Johnson book “Muddling Toward Frugality”. Written in the 1970’s his work as a economic geographer that the world as we knew it would not go out with a bang as many at the time were predicting urging the stockpiling of food, gold and weapons. But rather the world as it changed would muddled through toward a balance economic situation. A situation that would be more regional focused and not global. His concepts were based on the ideal of “Peak Oil”. That as supplies of fuel became more crucial the reality would be that it would be more profitable for local shirt maker to supply your shirt and not a factory half a world away. This concept applies to all outlets of an economy including that of food and energy production. Of course he does say that this process of muddling toward frugality will not be painless and much will depend on how much the powers to be resist, but in the end it will be inevitable.

The other concept he advocates is that governments policy do not change until the people acts of either civil disobedience or ignoring of government policy make it necessary to change or become obsolete.

Read the book “Muddling Toward Frugality” By Warren Johnson printed by the Sierra Club. It is well worth the effort and tends to calm your anxiety if not your fears.

Well enough for now of that.

Garden – Shop – Books - Movies

Reba has been working on her container garden and it is looking pretty good. The tomatoes and even jalepenos are coming alone. Hopefully what we learn this year we can apply into practice on a larger scale next year.

My next project of a garden work bench for Reba has me shopping for wood not always a easy find at your local big box hardware lumber store. But hopefully a new delivery will arrive soon of cedar that hasn’t been so picked over will come in and I can get on with it.

Books and movies have not been on my radar recently but the AMC series “The Killing” has been fairly intense as it weaves toward a conclusion. Also the A&E series “Longmire” is proving to be worth watching. All shows that can be found on the internet and worth the effort.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Paying Attention

I need to spend more time in the shop. I know that may sound a little disingenuous of me seeing how little time I spend. But, here is the thing I never fail to learn.

No matter how small or how insignificant of a project or task I learn something.  Not only does the lesson relate to the work but to life in general.

Take for example The 9 plant stand I recently completed for Reba is an example.

Next Time
First, I learned patience. I say patience because I have a problem with trying to get to the end result without the taking the steps in between. The end result is almost always disastrous and usually means trashing what has been done and starting over again. When I first started I as pushing the material and tools trying to make them do it quicker. Let's just say the scrap bin has grown. I was pushing a little bench top table saw and band saw into cutting wood faster result a kickback on the table saw that was painful and a broken band saw blade all because I was inpatient. Of course I blamed the equipment and not the operator. But when I came back and was in a different frame of mind, more patient, the table saw cut like a hot knife through butter and the band saw, well I will keep it a little while longer since it did a pretty good job of cutting out the plant stand tops.

How does this lesson translate to life? Well be patient. Quick trying to make people and situations bend to your will for it will not turn out right. Instead work with what you got. Figure how the tools and situations you have can be made to your best advantage in the end it will be all right.

The second thing I learned was pay attention to detail. When I choose my materials, western red cedar, I was careful to choose few knots as possible and to cut around knots when possible. Overall it came out pretty good. But again pay attention to detail. When I began assembly I didn't pay attention to the orientation of the grain on the 9 little table the plants sit on. Result a pronounced grain pattern that go every where and to me is distracting. On the on the next one, and yes there will be another, I assure I will pay attention and align the grain pattern up for a not quite so busy look or least haphazard look.

Reba's Plant StandHow does this apply to life? Simple, paying attention to detail, while it may seem compulsive at times it will and can save you money and time if not your life. Paying attention to detail can keep you from being hoodwinked by the less scrupulous. Paying attention to detail can make you  aware of your surroundings and hopefully keep you from being blindsided by life.

Books and Projects and Movies

I enjoyed working with the western cedar so I am looking for a project that use of western red cedar would work. The biggest problem I see with it is the fact that it is a soft wood. So how I use it will be important.  Maybe a cedar and pine books shelf.

Books- well since I finished the last James Lee Burke “Feast Day of Fools” I started the second book of Craig Johnson “Longmire Series” the first chapter has caught my attention.

Movies- not a whole lot but Reba and I recently finished watching the History Channel’s “The Hatfield and McCoy’s” min- series. These were extremely violent people who as portrayed didn’t take things lightly. Watch it if you can it is worth it.