Tuesday, March 29, 2011

One Practical Measure of the Cost of Obama's MENA Follies

It has been widely reported that Obama's Kinetic Military Action (his words) in Libya has thus far cost the U.S. taxpayers $600,000,000.00 and that the ongoing costs are projected at $100,000,000.00 per week, or $430,000,000.00 per month.

Since the government simply prints the money it does not have, and it does not have any, most taxpayers are not feeling the pinch of Obama's not-a-war.

Of course, Libya is but one of the follies in the Middle East/North Africa which are going on under the incompetent watch of our Dear Leader.  Since February 24, 2011, when Libya was in conflict and Egypt and Tunisia had already expelled their dictators, the price of gasoline in my area has increased from $3.02 a gallon to $3.64 a gallon.

Doing a bit of simple math, let's assume that there are, conservatively, about 75,000,000 regular automobile drivers in this country of 310,000,000 people.  Assuming that each driver uses ten gallons of gasoline a week, on average, each driver is paying an additional $6.20 per week for gasoline.  With 4.3 weeks in the average month, that would amount to an additional $26.66 for gasoline each month. 

While this does not seem like a substantial additional sum to be paying for gasoline, multiply that number by the 75,000,000 drivers.  That is an additional $1,999,500,000.00 spent on gasoline each month.

Since we import about 60% of the oil used in the U.S., it seems fair to assume that 60% of the refined gasoline comes from imported oil.  If gasoline prices have increased $0.62 per gallon across the U.S. since February 24, 2011, we will be transferring an additional $1,199,700,000.00 of our wealth out of the country each month. 

The $600,000,000.00 in funny money frittered by the Obama administration pales in comparison with the real cost to motorists of Obama's MENA follies.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Retarded Politician of the Week Proposes Tax on Turds

Actually, taxing turds would just be the logical next step for the proposal made by Jim Suttle, Mayor of Omaha, Nebraska.  Mayor Suttle is proposing that the federal government levy a 10 cent tax on each roll of toilet paper purchased.   Suttle, the consummate politician, makes it clear that, while he is proposing the tax, he is not necessarily endorsing it.  Interesting.....

The turd paper tax would supposedly pay for federally mandated sewer improvements in Omaha.   Of course, like any tax proposed by any politician, a tax enacted never seems to go away and is often expanded beyond its original purpose.  Is it such a slippery slope to go from a tax on TP to a tax on turds?

Story in the Omaha World-Herald here.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

EyeWitless News: It Ain't a Crime if You're a Lefty

So much for the "new civility" in political discourse demanded by the left...

An unnamed Connecticut octogenerianette threatened to castrate an unnamed Connecticut politician who favors cutting funding to Planned Parenthood.  The FBI declined to arrest the woman, even though their investigation determined that she intended the castration threat, she was not capable of carrying it out.

The woman had formerly been a volunteer for Planned Parenthood.

Is it fair to surmise that a credible threat of grave bodily harm is not a felony when made by a Moonbat?  Or that there is no crime if the victim is on the Right?

Maybe law enforcement was just prejudging the old bat to be not guilty by reason of insanity. 

Story at NBC here.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Governor "Tapeworm" Gregoire Sure Is Popular

I was going through my blogger stats, and my post on Washington Initiative 1069 has been viewed more than any other post.  Is it because of my doctored photo showing Governor Gregoire as a tapeworm?

If so, here it is again.


Original post from September 23, 2010, here.  And, yes, it was a real initiative, but did not make the ballot last year.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Quote of the Day

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Robert Frost, Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening
This poem has always resonated with me, especially in my more contemplative moods.  Whenever I'm about to succumb to the distractive curiosities in life, this poem seems to emerge from the recesses of my mind.  Lately there have been many distractions and curiosities.  It sure would be nice to stop and gawk for a while, but there is family to be with, a job to go to, and preps yet to be put away.  And miles to go before I sleep.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Slow Decline Starts Spiralling....and Thoughts on What to Do

Last Thursday I filled up the gas tank at $3.02 a gallon.  Yesterday morning I noticed that gas was $3.13 a gallon.  I had to take a trip out to the Lincoln County Courthouse yesterday.  Gas was $3.32 a gallon at one station I passed in Lincoln County.  When I got back to River City, the place I usually stop at was $3.29 a gallon.  Quite an increase in a short period of time.  Despite the MENA turmoil, there is a gas glut in this country.  I fear what will happen when the supply glut is gone.

Gold is hovering over $1,430 an ounce.  Silver is over $34 an ounce.   The copper and nickel in our five-cent coins is worth more than the face value by over two cents.  It appears that a lot of the recent increase in metals prices is related to global political instability, particularly in the MENA region.  This is, of course, on top of the increase due to weakening of fiat currencies.  I don't expect either the political instability or weakening of fiat currencies to abate anytime soon.

The stock market looks like it wants to dive again, but is being propped up by who-knows-what.  I don't think the stock market will be indicative of anything until it crashes again and confirms an all-out calamity.

I have seen more home foreclosures cross my desk in the last two years than I had seen in all fifteen years prior to 2009.  Combined.  Despite the promise of fraudulent foreclosures threatening to take down the big banks, there is little effect here where most foreclosures are non-judicial.  The lender takes back the property by buying it at the trustee's sale.  The former homeowner just walks away.

Surprisingly, food is still relatively cheap.  I don't expect this to last.  I have been noticing price increases of ten to twenty percent on a lot of items over the past few months.  Usually the name brands.  I think that food prices will markedly increase in the very near future as the price of food commodities is added to production costs and passed along to the consumer.  I think that food commodity prices will continue to increase due to the increase in price of oil-based fertilizers and production methods and also due to decreased global production.  A double-whammy we will soon be seeing in grocery store prices.

Unrest is increasing in our own country and there are few leaders who are capable of recognizing and dealing with the threat.  The entitlement class is at war with the middle and upper classes.  Welfarites, professional disabled, pensioners, public servants, and the union thugocracy are all gunning for the last Bernankedollars in the trough.  Will this lead to civil war?  Who knows?  We are staring straight into the abyss of a financial collapse and so far the only leaders who see the threat are Governors Christie, Daniels, Kasich, Scott, and Walker.  On the national level we are toast.  The measure to keep the fedgov funded for two more weeks tells it all:  Political willpower only exists to cut $4,000,000,000, or $104,000,000,000 annualized.  That is not nearly enough when we are in the hole for $1,700,000,000,000 this year alone.

With the country, if not the world, spiralling down the commode, here are my thoughts on what to do right now.

First, as Ol' Remus frequently tells us:  Stay away from crowds.  No matter how strongly one feels about current circumstances or the need to confront the union/communist/fascist thugocracy, it just is not worth it.  This house of cards is coming down like a ton of bricks.  Best not to be under it.

Second, food is relatively cheap, but won't be for long.  Stock up.  Buy things you will eat based on your current diet, but only things that will keep for at least a year.  At this point I don't think true LTS (long term storage) foods are necessary.  If inflation comes on as strong as it appears, we will be eating out of our stocks before too much longer.  However, there is probably enough time to stock up on "loss leaders" over the next month or two so that paying regular price isn't necessary.

Third, do you have some water stored just in case of a power outage or in case things get so bad you can't pay your water bill?  Have the capability to store at at least five gallons per person in your household plus the ability to produce more (filtration, rain catchment, etc.).  At least five gallons at any time.  A person needs to consume at least a gallon a day just to stay alive and dirty.

Fourth, can you keep your house warm?  Again, think power outage or inability to pay the utilities.  For the short term, something like a kerosene heater may work for you.  Longer term, a wood-stove, manual pellet stove, or waste oil burner is a better bet.  The best method is one for which you have a ready and steady supply of fuel.

Fifth, can you go anywhere.  Do you have a means of transportation you can count on and sufficient fuel?  Most of us have at least one form of transportation and likely more.  Besides keeping the gas tank no less than half full, it is a good idea to store at least another full tank's worth of stabilized fuel.  Fuel may become unavailable all of a sudden or the price may be exorbitant or you may just need the extra fuel at a time when putting food on the table came first.

Sixth, but not last for preparedness, can you defend what you have?  Many firearms are still affordable and as of this writing ammunition is plentiful and not too expensive.  I believe that every able-bodied person in the household should have a personal firearm and the training to use it.  Even if you have to buy a Hi-Point pistol and Mosin-Nagant rifle for each person in your household, you would be out only about $400.00 per person with a reasonable amount of ammunition.

The foregoing are my thoughts on what to do if a person stays in place.  I don't think many of us are actually going to bug out to some other location or otherwise abandon our homes during the coming crisis.  I expect that many will continue to go to work or continue to look for work, requiring us to have a home to start out from and return to each day.   Additionally, many of us have children that we take to school five days a week (except in Wisconsin).

What I am expecting in the near future is marked inflation in the prices of food, energy, and other necessities.  I also expect a huge increase in government taxes and fees.  The powers that be simply will not cut spending in any significant amount and will be looking for additional revenue from any and all sources.  For example, just this year in River City I have watched the city utilities (water, sewer, garbage) increase in price and the city tack on a $20.00 per vehicle licensing fee in addition to state fees.

It is foreseeable that we will find the costs of living increasing while our wages do not, with the result that some current necessities become tomorrow's luxuries.  It may become necessary to forego electricity in favor of food, and paying the mortgage instead of having city water and garbage pickup.  Walking instead of driving.  Circumstances could become that dire.

Better to prepare for such adjustments than to be forced to make the adjustments. Or worse, to become a ward of, and be at the mercy of, the state.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

I'm Not One of Eric Holder's People

Eric Himpton Holder, Attorney General of the United States, may not represent all citizens of the United States.

Holder was questioned today before a House Appropriations subcommittee regarding his department's failure to prosecute members of the Black Panther Party for intimidating voters outside a Philadelphia polling place during the 2008 elections.

Representative John Culberson read a comment from a Democratic activist who stated that the Black Panther incident was the worst incident of voter intimidation he had witnessed in his career.

Holder's reply?

"When you compare what people endured in the South in the '60s to try to get the right to vote for African-Americans, to compare what people subjected to that with what happened in Philadelphia, which was inappropriate.
"I think that does a great disservice to people who put their lives on the line for my people.”

Now we know who Holder represents as Attorney General.

This clown should be fired, immediately.

Story here.