Monday, March 31, 2014

Win-ter! Win-ter! Win-ter! He's our man, if he can't do it, NO ONE can!!!

I grew up in a farms, around farmers, and spent a lot of time farming as a younger man.  I met a lot of amazing men while farming.  Self-sufficient, skilled, and fiercely independent men who taught me how to operate heavy machinery, weld, and force a plot of land to produce a living for my family.  They were renaissance men – men who could do anything that needed to be done, and WOULD do what needed to be done without qualm.

This is why it breaks my heart to see these men become more and more dependent on the largesse of the Federal Government farm aid packages.  A self-fulfilling prophecy if there ever was one, designed to reduce the agriculture industry into a politicized crony establishment, farm aid is only needed because farm aid exists.  A farmer who does not take it cannot survive farming, because farm aid artificially depresses pricing (while simultaneously boondoggling to increase them by paying farmers not to produce crops) and so even the most fiercely independent among them must accept the dane-geld in order to keep the family business alive.

As a result of all of this, the more politically connected agri-businesses flex their crony muscles, gaining advantages in the market like cronies always do, and as a result, more and more family farms shut down, and sell out to these huge agri-business conglomerates. Conglomerates, as it were, which are the poster children for why cronyiest policies result in bad businesses in the first place. 

So in an attempt to “help” farmers back in the ‘30s and ‘40s via government largesse, the Federal Government has destroyed any semblance of a rational market in the agricultural industry and turned an entire generation of American farmers into welfare cases against their will (or caused them to go under and sell out to the government’s cronies in agribusiness). 

So when I read a story like this one, where a meat producer who makes the much-maligned “pink slime” product (never did understand why it was so maligned, but whatever) vs. a major news network for defaming them and causing their business to go under due to people revolting against the “pink slime” in their food, I can’t help but think of my old time-tested allegory of the Nazis vs. the Communists: on one hand, you have one of the most crony-infested industries in America today, who produces a faulty product that does a disservice to every American citizen, and on the other hand, you have agribusiness…

In this example, the media are the...
or Agribusiness is compared to...
Fuck it, it doesn't matter, does it?
Who do you want to win? 

Me?  I’m voting for winter. 

They’re both a perfect example for how government meddling in industry will lead to ruin.  

The Canyon Clams Another Soul.

Another accident in the canyon, this time, sadly, with one life lost.

They were boating in Wild Sheep Rapids with flows pushing 20,000 cubic feet per second, which makes that rapid a Class V at that flow, if I recall correctly. 

To those unfamiliar with the Rapids Classification system, rapids are rated on a 1 to 6 scale for danger, pass ability, and competence and ability of the captain. 

Class 6, the highest rating, is considered certain death to any person who attempts to run the rapid, in any method, at any experience level.  Niagara Falls is a Class 6 rapid. 

At the flow levels in the Snake River on the day Ricky was lost, it looks like Wild Sheep would have been a Class 5, which is considered “edges of navigability.”  Essentially, a Class 5 rapid is considered to be extremely dangerous and deadly, with lots of maneuvering necessary to achieve safe passage, and should be attempted at great peril of life by only the most experienced captains. 

Hugely exciting; highly risky.  Ricky was lucky enough to die doing what he loved, which is something that we should all be so lucky as to be able to do, but the tragedy is that he died so far before his time, and left so many loved ones behind. 

I did not know him, but he was my kindred spirit.  He had the river in his blood.  Had I known him, I’m sure we would have gotten along well. 
Ricky and his friends in Wild Sheep Rapid last year
A few minutes after the above picture

Friday, March 28, 2014

Tam Backs Me Up Like a Boss

Quick reinforcement over at Tam’s place today, of what I said a few days ago about Socialism/Cronyism screwing people blue, and those people being too dumb to realize it. 
 "If the federal government made auto loans subsidized, guaranteed, and undischargeable by bankruptcy, a Chevy Sonic would cost $150k and you would need to show proof of new car ownership to get all but the most menial of jobs."

The thing is, this isn’t even that unbelievable a thing for them to try and do.  All it will take is for politicians to decide that automobile ownership, and the mobility that carries with it, should be “universal” and that in the interest of “fairness” that banks and the government should make these loans. 

Sounds a little like the whole housing debacle and bubble, doesn’t it? 

So why is it so hard to believe that the skyrocketing costs of college are just that – an education bubble, that is going to pop soon, just like all bubbles are destined to do? 

All the kids going to school right now for worthless degrees need to take note – all the people that bought their houses during the bubble got hosed royally.  Draw the moral…  

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Do Not Decide Until You Understand

I was reading another article, and saw this comment:

“I just don’t see why anybody would want to own a gun!
 It’s stupid, like collecting antique clocks or some other useless thing.  What a waste of money!”

As if people should only have hobbies that he approves of.  I mean, collecting antique clocks?  How fucking moronic, amirite? 

There is an old parable that I’d like to share with you, dear reader, and allow you to draw the moral:

A young man started his new job at the county roads department, and on his first day, he toured the roads of the county with the man he was going to replace; a wise man who had been at his job for many years and who was about to retire. 

The young man thought himself wise, and had grand plans for the direction of the roads department in the county.  As they drove, they came upon a gate that blocked the road. 

The young man got out of the truck, and considered the gate.  After thinking on it for a while, he said “I see no reason for this gate to be here, let’s take it out.”

The old man shook his head.  “I will not allow it.  The men who installed this gate did so because it had a purpose, or else they would not have gone through the trouble and expense to install it.  A wise man would tell you that you should not remove a thing because you cannot see the use of it, but rather, that you should only remove that thing once you’ve determined it’s use and why it is there.  Until you can tell me the reason for this gate, you should not remove it.” 

The moral?  Anyone who cannot see any reason for a person to own a gun, should remove themselves from the debate until they can see the reason, because until then, they are speaking from ignorance and committing the same mistake that this young, ambitious man is committing.  You don’t destroy something when you can’t see the use of it, because surely it has a use, or else it wouldn’t exist.      

How Does He Even Get Out of Bed in the Morning?

I was perusing the comments of an anti-gun piece the other day, and a pro-gun guy showed up and said something along the lines of “Shall not be infringed” and in response, the article’s author came on and said:

“So you’d be okay with your neighbor owning an assault weapon and high capacity magazines!  Could you sleep at night knowing that he has the ability to kill you at any moment he chooses?” with such a snotty tone that it was obvious that the author thought he’d really backed the commenter into  corner.

The commenter responded “He DOES own several of them.  We go shooting a couple of times a month.  It’s a lot of fun!”

I, on the other hand, was not so kind.  I responded:

“How in the hell does a soup sandwich like you even manage to get out of bed in the morning?  How is it that you haven’t melted down into a quivering lump of terrified jelly?  I mean, you’ve probably shared a beer or a bottle of wine with your neighbor at least once.  How did you manage to not run away screaming in terror when you realized that he could break the glass in the bottle at any moment and plunge the shards into your throat?  Did you even think about what he could do with the corkscrew?  How do you sleep at night knowing that your neighbor is only one stomp of the gas pedal away from running his car right through your house and killing you while you sleep?  If you really think about it, he could get you any time, right?  You’ve probably even given him a key to your home, haven’t you?  Remember how he was looking at you last summer while he was trimming his hedges?  Imagine what that hedge trimmer would do to you!”

He responded that he doesn’t sit around thinking about all the ways that his neighbor could kill him, and that he’s not scared all the time, as I allege. 

“So why do you fear your neighbor owning a gun, then?”  Never did get an answer.  

Strength in Ukraine

To all of the people out there that are criticizing my statement that the best thing that the POTUS can do over the Ukrainian situation is to shut his piehole and go play some golf, let me pose you one question:

If, as you seem to fear, Russia actually DOES have imperialist tendencies, and plans to attempt to invade all former Soviet areas and annex them (which I think is silly, but let’s just assume I’m totally wrong for the sake of argument) what position on Ukraine would put us in a better place to actually project strength and make sure Russia knows we aren’t screwing around?

Option #1 – We draw a line in the sand, where if Russia crosses that line, we engage them in hostilities (let’s say for the sake of argument, the invasion of any NATO state), and then we talk tough on the Ukraine, make threats, pass embargoes and sanctions and strut around like Team America, World Cop, but back all that bluster up with nothing when the chips actually fall where they may (because, let’s face it, people, we aren’t going to even launch a cruise missile at Russia over Ukraine or Crimea, much less hostilities any more involved with that, no matter which way you look at it).  We aren’t going to do shit until Russia crosses that line, and Ukraine ain’t it.


Option #2 – We keep our mouths shut, and draw that same line in the sand, and when Russia crosses it, we tell him in our big boy voice “ENOUGH!”  And then actually back it up if they don’t listen. 

Option #1, I think, would lead Russia to think “aww, they’re just bluster and talk, we can keep going.  They didn’t do anything before, why would they start now?”

Option #2 would grab their attention, and I think even a clinically insane Putin would find a way to retreat honorably rather than face the entire modern might of the US military, with 30 year old, degraded ex-Soviet equipment and an underpaid army.  

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Caprock Academy Would Rather Students Just Conform to the Hive....

A girl shaved her head in support of a friend who lost all of her hair to chemotherapy, and was rewarded for her brave, compassionate act by being expelled from school because her shaved head did not meet the dress code at her school.  

Look at that little delinquent....
Caprock Academy decided that compliance with their dress code was more important than any number of outstanding qualities that this act displayed, including:

Bravery – many of us adults have forgotten how terrifying the idea of standing out and being different was to us when we were 12 years old.  To show up for school with a shaved head, as a girl no less, was an invitation for all sorts of ugly things.  Kids can be nasty.  This girl was stunningly brave to do what she did; to choose to stand out like a sore thumb amongst her peers, something which is almost suicidal for a girl her age to choose to do, in support of a friend who needed all the support she could get.  This is bravery, gentle reader, on a level that our society does not grant opportunity for very often. 

"I added some coriander to my Hamburger Helper tonight!  How brave am I, right?"

Initiative – She didn’t ask for permission to do this.  She didn’t check to make sure it was okay with the authorities when she made a decision that affected her body and nothing else. She chose to take action to support her friend, because it was the right and moral thing to do, and that is a quality that we want to encourage in our children, not stifle, or heaven forbid, punish!

"How DARE you take initiative!  Don't you know that I don't want you doing
anything without getting permission first?!" Said no decent boss, ever.

Compassion – I’m told that young girls like their hair.  It was a sacrifice for her to cut her hair off, and she did it in order to support her friend; to ensure that her friend was not alone in her “otherness” and that someone was there with her when she went to face the scary world of pre-teenhood hairless and vulnerable.  And I quote:
Delaney loved what her friend did.
"It made me feel very special and that I'm not alone," she said.
Why would any thinking person choose to punish such an act? 

If there's anything that Caprock Academy hates, it' kids with cancer who
are momentarily happy and not feeling alone in the world.

It is more important to the “great” minds at Caprock Academy that this child fall in line, and not stand out or express any individuality and initiative; more important that she have a head of hair than show some compassion and support for her friend; more important that she do as she’s told than to do what is right. 

"Ve haf vays of makink you conform,"
Caprock Academy Principal Clink (anonymous source)

These are the minds that are teaching and informing our children in this day and age.  Minds which are so focused on conformity to the hive that they cannot stand any individualism whatsoever.  So dedicated to ensuring that the next generation of drones are compliant and do exactly as their told that any sign of a child thinking on their own, or acting without permission in any capacity whatsoever is grounds for expulsion. 

Is this really what we want in our children?  Mindless conformity, and compassion, initiative, and morality be damned? 

At the risk of Godwinizing, I could point out that the last generation of people who had those qualities didn’t quite turn out as well as expected.  

Monday, March 24, 2014

That Dan Quayle... What an Idiot...


“you (auto unions) are the only ones keeping the Barbarians at the gate!” – Vice President of the United States of America

How many more years do we have this guy?  Because seriously, he’s just comedy gold.  It’s just too easy.  Between giving advice to shoot off double-barreled shotguns in every conceivably crazy manner imaginable, including into the sky and through a door, of which you have no idea what is on the other side, and all the other crazy shit he’s done and said…

Joe, the barbarians aren’t supposed to be at the gate, and you really ought not to praise anyone that keeps them there.  The phrase is “keeping the barbarians AWAY FROM the gate.”  As in, making sure that your city/group/society is not under siege from outside, harmful forces.  Anything within your society actively KEEPING them there, and ensuring that you ARE under siege, should be considered a bad thing. 

It certainly should not be considered praise. 

In the same speech, he assuaged the fears of every democrat voter, however, when he said that he probably would not run for President.  The reason given? 

He wouldn’t be able to drive the new Corvette Stingray. 

Whatever it takes, I guess.  Thank God for General Motors…   

Friday, March 21, 2014

We Taught Them to Be This Way...

I posted this picture today, and didn’t mention my opinion on these pictures, which are very prevalent, and to a one, are basically a person complaining about how they’ve run themselves into financial wringer by taking on stupidly insane amounts of debt, and then telling everyone else that it is THEIR fault and that they should be bailed out.


While I think this is a pitiful, lamentable action for someone who wants to at least pretend that they are an adult, I can’t hardly blame them.  Most of them are young.  Most of them were told by their boomer and X-er parents that they could be anything they wanted to be, and that they should chase their dreams, and only do a job that they love…

…all while working jobs that were far from all of those things, themselves. 

These kids grew up steeped in a culture of no-consequence.  Trophies for everyone, and bailouts for banks, and it all came down from positions of authority.  We told them their entire lives that what they wished for, and what they dreamed, was plenty good enough - was all that mattered - and that reality wasn't important. 

Slowest kid on the track team?  Still get a letter and a participation trophy.  Probably something along the lines of “’most inspirational” or something like that. 

Got pregnant?  Abortion on demand, baby.

Want to be a professional video game player? An artist? Chase your dreams, baby, there’s a job out there for you.  Major in women’s studies?  Surely society owes you a job doing whatever makes you happy! 

"The first thing you should do when you move out of your parent's house is buy a house of your own, by any means and at whatever terms you can get, because the house value will go up and you'll MAKE MONEY!" 

These are all the things they were told, and none of those things were true, or consequence free.  Now, they are reaping the benefits of what their parents trained them to be, and it is miserable for them, and NOW we want to line up and lambaste them for being pathetic?  Every single one of my friends from high school save two, have had to turn in the keys on their houses in one way or the other.  They were lied to about housing.  

They’ve been told their entire lives that things were one way, when in fact everything was quite clearly the exact opposite, and we’re supposed to think they’re pathetic for pushing back against that? 

You lefty Boomers, you did your kids a huge disservice.  Your flower-child, summer of love bullshit ass-fucked an entire generation of American kids, and the worst of it is, you think that you are the people best equipped to fix it.  As I said below, you, and your socialism, is what fucked these kids, and I hope they aren't all stupid enough to think that you and your socialism is what is going to save them.  This young woman may be too far gone.  There are many like her.

This woman.  Single mother.  Hopelessly in debt.  Absolutely worthless degree.  Dead-end, low paying job as a result.  She is in a world of hurt, and it is because the baby-boomer feminists lied to her and told her that promiscuity, single motherhood, and a "woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle" are all incontrovertible truths and "very good things."  It's because she was told that it didn't matter what degree she got, that just showing up was enough.  It's because she was told that she should be allowed to make a living doing whatever she wanted, instead of doing something that produced value for other people, for which they would pay her.

She bought into all of this, but she was raised, steeped in a culture that taught her that all of this was just fine and dandy, so why should we hold it against her when she does exactly what her upbringing taught her was the right thing?

But people who point all this out are mean and cruel.