Thursday, April 30, 2009

Cheese Heads Allowed To Look Like Jesse James

Residents of the state famous for its cheese hats, high property taxes, forfeiture laws and trapping its own state symbol nearly into extinction have recently been granted the privilege to look like Jesse James, the Road Warrior and David Crockett in some public areas thanks to the passage of open (firearms) carry legislation. The small minority of Wisconsin residents classified as self-restrained and possessing IQs above mid-July temperatures have been told not to hold their breath with regard to the passage of concealed carry legislation.

The Day The Earth Stood Still For No Apparent Reason

For the last two decades or so I have droned on to virtually every person who I have met with the slightest interest in film that a movie based upon the acclaimed 1951 science fiction classic The Day The Earth Stood Still starring Michael Rennie and Patricia Neal would be a worthy endeavor and a likely box office success. Unfortunately, my wish came partly true. The new version is a frustrating disapppointment primarily due to to poor directing, mediocre acting, unbelievably terrible writing and incoherent sequences. That it could have gone so wrong with highly talented Kathy Bates, gorgeous Jennifer Connelly and perfectly cast Keanu Reeves in lead roles is truly unfortunate. The earth did "stand still" at the tail end of the movie with a universal electrical outage but is an entirely pointless act. In the 1951 version Kleatu (Michael Rennie) needed to catch mankind's attention in order to deliver a dire warning regarding the dangers of positioning atomic or nuclear weapons in outer space. In the new version the earth stands still after Reeves has given up on delivering any public message or warning to world leaders or the MSM.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Grow Your Own - Tobacco

The latest egregious increase in the federal tobacco tax has resulted in de facto prohibition for millions of users. Yes, I know that inhaling tobacco smoke may not be wise but it is probably far less hazardous than the nearly ubiquitous activity of living to eat and acquiring mounds of unsightly blubber, diabetes and heart disease as a consequence.

For the time being tobacco is still legal to grow for personal use. Do not try to sell the leaves to another party, however, because that is classified as a crime under laws that are somewhat similar to sixteenth century mercantilist codes thoroughly discredited by Adam Smith over two centuries ago.

The tobacco varieties grown for smoking are cultivars (manmade plants unable to survive on their own) requiring about ninety days to reach maturity depending on the specific variety. The seeds are very small and should probably be started indoors under growlights four to six weeks before the last frost in your area. Light is required for germination so sprinkle the seeds on the growing medium and keep the surface moist but not wet. After harvesting, the leaves need to be stored somehere airy and dry to cure. The longer that they cured, apparently, the better they taste. Both seeds and flavorings are available on the internet. If your first crop is successful it might be a good idea to save seeds for the following year.

I must give the tobacco companies praise for producing consistently high quality, flavorful and conveniently pachaged products. It is far easier to buy their goods than to grow and roll your own. Unfortunately, taxes have now reached a level where they are interfering with commerce.

Quest For Fire

Is your full or part time residence an RV, travel trailer or mobile home and wood is plentiful but unusable as a heat source due to safety concerns? You might find this article of mine posted at the answer to your problems. I think this link still works:

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Another April 15

Another April 15 has come and gone with nothing newsworthy occurring other than a groups of disgruntled Republicans sprinkling small amounts of tea to onto surface water. Apparently, the so called tea parties did not brew up much of a stir in Washington.

As the number of American troops occupying Iraq is decreased the number of American troops fighting elusive and mostly unseen enemies in Afghanistan will be increased. Alas, perpetual war is a key nutrient required for government growth and one of its controlling appendages, the military-industrial complex. Both appear to be putting on an alarming amount of weight as the working class struggles to survive the economic nosedive.

Contrary to popular belief, stimulus programs do not work. They only prolong and intensify recessions and can even transform them into depressions. Japan literally blanketed its landscape with public works projects but the spending did not reverse its long recession.

It appears that the torture memos are going to be made public. Americans should not be debating whether the barbaric, evil and counterproductive practice might be useful under certain circumstances. The ticking bomb argument is bogus.

Is Uncle Sam going be the biggest stakeholder in GM along with the insurance giant AIG? I thought that state ownership of businesses or "the means of production" is defined as communism, an evil that Americans have spent half a century fighting tooth and nail. My, how things have changed - and mostly for the worse. I wonder how the thousands of Americans employed by more successful foreign auto companies feel about feel about how their tax dollars are being "invested". I strongly suspect that they were never provided an opportunity to express their opinions.

I have not had time to scan any of my own slides yet so there will be no images associated with this first post. I have, however, played with a few Hubble images which can be viewed by clicking my Flickr link. This blog is still in a rudimentary form but improvements are on the way.