Friday, January 09, 2009

Economic House of Cards

Are you ready for it all to come falling down?  The USA economy is nothing more  than a house of cards in a drafty room.  I know that some of you out there are a little more optimistic about the economy than I am, but is America really “too big to fail”?  What I see is an unemployment rate as high as it was in 1945 and a budget deficit of $1.2 trillion dollars in 2009, not including Mr. Obama’s resuscitation plan or the supplemental for the Iraq war, which could easily push the deficit over $2 trillion.  I personally think that going into the red for $2T in a single year is a bad omen of things to come.  What business could survive with such practices? 

The only thing keeping us afloat right now is that foreigners are still buying our debt.  What will happen when foreign investors figure out that their investments in America are not as secure as they thought?  They’ll pull out.  The money will stop flowing into America, although it will certainly keep flowing out.  We won’t be able to sustain our rate of spending!  That will leave us two options… either cut spending dramatically or increase taxes (most likely through an inflation tax because people are more oblivious that way).  I don’t see Obama cutting spending, which leaves only one real foreseeable course of action… the route of inflation.  The problem with inflation is that it can get out of hand very quickly and then everybody suffers.

As America goes, so goes the rest of the world.  Could it be possible that international experts already know that?  Maybe they continue to fund USA debt because if the USA fails then other nations will topple like dominoes?  Can you imagine the world chaos that would ensue if the dollar became completely devalued thereby causing other nations’ economies to destabilize as well?  It’ll be one for the history books!  I think at this point the best-case scenario is a long recession.  But I want to plan for the worst-case scenario.  What can I do now to prepare for and survive a hyperinflation scenario?  A scenario where the entire USA economy comes crashing down, and great shall be the fall thereof.  I hate sounding all gloom-and-doom, which is completely out of my nature, but I think it’s a good idea to start preparing just in case.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Yes, They Really Were That Bad

Proof positive that the East German border guards had shoot-on-sight orders regarding those trying to escape to the West.

Somehow, I doubt Robert Conquest would be surprised.

Sometimes, the bad guys really are bad guys.

Hat tip to the folks over at The Castle, who found this first.


Thursday, July 19, 2007

Chris Farley Reincarnated

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

One Tough Old Whale

This is cool:

19th-Century Weapon Found in Whale

Associated Press Writer

OSTON (AP) -- A 50-ton bowhead whale caught off the Alaskan coast last month had a weapon fragment embedded in its neck that showed it survived a similar hunt - more than a century ago. Embedded deep under its blubber was a 3 1/2-inch arrow-shaped projectile that has given researchers insight into the whale's age, estimated between 115 and 130 years old.

"No other finding has been this precise," said John Bockstoce, an adjunct curator of the New Bedford Whaling Museum.

Calculating a whale's age can be difficult, and is usually gauged by amino acids in the eye lenses. It's rare to find one that has lived more than a century, but experts say the oldest were close to 200 years old.

The bomb lance fragment, lodged in a bone between the whale's neck and shoulder blade, was likely manufactured in New Bedford, on the southeast coast of Massachusetts, a major whaling center at that time, Bockstoce said.

It was probably shot at the whale from a heavy shoulder gun around 1890. The small metal cylinder was filled with explosives fitted with a time-delay fuse so it would explode seconds after it was shot into the whale. The bomb lance was meant to kill the whale immediately and prevent it from escaping.

The device exploded and probably injured the whale, Bockstoce said.

"It probably hurt the whale, or annoyed him, but it hit him in a non-lethal place," he said. "He couldn't have been that bothered if he lived for another 100 years."

The whale harkens back to far different era. If 130 years old, it would have been born in 1877, the year Rutherford B. Hayes was sworn in as president, when federal Reconstruction troops withdrew from the South and when Thomas Edison unveiled his newest invention, the phonograph.

The 49-foot male whale died when it was shot with a similar projectile last month, and the older device was found buried beneath its blubber as hunters carved it with a chain saw for harvesting.

"It's unusual to find old things like that in whales, and I knew immediately that it was quite old by its shape," said Craig George, a wildlife biologist for the North Slope Borough Department of Wildlife Management, who was called down to the site soon after it was found.

The revelation led George to return to a similar piece found in a whale hunted near St. Lawrence Island in 1980, which he sent to Bockstoce to compare.

"We didn't make anything of it at the time, and no one had any idea about their lifespan, or speculated that a bowhead could be that old," George said.

Bockstoce said he was impressed by notches carved into the head of the arrow used in the 19th century hunt, a traditional way for the Alaskan hunters to indicate ownership of the whale.

Whaling has always been a prominent source of food for Alaskans, and is monitored by the International Whaling Commission. A hunting quota for the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission was recently renewed, allowing 255 whales to be harvested by 10 Alaskan villages over five years.

After it is analyzed, the fragment will be displayed at the Inupiat Heritage Center in Barrow, Alaska.

© 2007 The Associated Press.

Found at


The More Convincing Proof

"I have lived, Sir, a long time; and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this Truth, that God governs in the Affairs of Men. And if a Sparrow cannot fall to the Ground without his Notice, is it probable that an Empire can rise without his Aid?"

-- Benjamin Franklin (Motion for Prayers in the Constitutional Convention, 28 June 1787)

Reference: Franklin: Collected Works, Lemay, ed. (1138)

From The Patriot Post


Monday, June 11, 2007

Custom and History

"I believe what really happens in history is this: the old man is always wrong; and the young people are always wrong about what is wrong with him. The practical form it takes is this: that, while the old man may stand by some stupid custom, the young man always attacks it with some theory that turns out to be equally stupid."

G. K. Chesterton


Friday, May 25, 2007

So Now What?

Not dead, just tired and grumpy.

I'm dealing with some changes, trying to figure out how to say goodbye to some good friends who I probably won't see again. I don't like that.

And trying to figure out where to go myself, next. For the first time in a long time, I don't have a Big Goal to work towards (at least not one I have much control over), and I feel a bit adrift.

29 is a bit early to be having a midlife crisis, but here I am...


Thursday, May 10, 2007

Now That's Classy

Offered without further comment:

Fight breaks out at Boston Pops

Wed May 9, 11:18 PM ET

BOSTON - Concert-goers, and even Boston Pops conductor Keith Lockhart, were caught off-guard on Thursday night when a fight broke out on opening night at usually sedate Symphony Hall.

Television video of the fight showed two men struggling in the balcony — one having his shirt pulled off — as several people stood around them.

Lockhart briefly halted the performance, which featured Ben Folds, while the men were escorted out.

Boston police spokesman David Estrada said police officers on security detail at the hall escorted the men off the property, and no charges were filed. No injuries were reported in the 7 p.m. incident, he said.

A Boston Symphony spokeswoman did not immediately return a call for comment.

Witnesses said they heard a scream from the balcony, and the sound of chairs falling, then a second scream as the fight escalated.