Showing posts with label Mitt Romney. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mitt Romney. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Voting, 'Statement' Voting and Not Voting

Today is election day. Even though the rise of by mail and early voting has pushed some of it earlier this is still a big day.

I encourage you to get out and vote. We live in a country where we get a voice and should use it. 

If you really do not want either President Obama or Mitt Romney to be our next president then vote for somebody else. There is a whole ballot full of all sorts of interesting folks. You've got the Liberterians, the American Constitution Party, the Greens, and all manner of socialists. We all know that at least in this cycle the President is going to be an R or a D. However it is worth noting that getting 5% of the vote will give a third party access to the same public funds and other advantages that help the R and D folks.

Personally I voted for a third party candidate. You can probably guess which one but I don't want to muddle the waters. This brings us to 'statement' voting. As noted above getting a 3rd party really into the game is a worthwhile goal and as such a vote for them is not wasted. However if one still wants to call 3rd party voting a statement thing I guess that is fine. It is also worth noting that a 3rd party candidate for dog catcher or county sheriff or state senate or even congress may be realistic.

Another consideration is how your state is going to vote. Some states are solid blue or red and as such the odds of a close election where you would be splitting the vote away from the major candidate you dislike less are remote. Depending on how much you like or dislike both major party candidates that might be a consideration.

As to not voting. First and foremost it isn't like you can really opt out of our laws, tax code and such. I didn't vote for him is not a get out of jail free card. The biggest question I would have for these folks is what they plan to accomplish. The answer is usually nothing cohesive and that the system can't be fixed. Historically groups abstaining or in the case of North Ireland electing people who refuse to take their seats have had serious PR and on the ground campaigns to affect something. I do not see this in the American 'I'm not voting because the two party system is evil crowd'.

I would really encourage folks who decide to abstain from voting for a presidential candidate to look at the smaller races. These are the local stuff that actually matters. The Sheriff or the city council who hire a police chief that might or might not SWAT your house. The animal control folks and planning boards that can mess with homesteaders to no end or leave them alone.

As to predictions for today. It has seemed to me that the winds are flowing in the direction of Mitt Romney but it is very close. Today will be an interesting day.



Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Tab Clearing

Lizard Farmer links to an interesting CALL article it gives the weight of a bunch of different military gear.

John Mosby weigh's in on the 'Combat Light' discussion. As with most things John writes I find little to disagree with. It is pretty obvious to me that the gear needed for a specific mission can vary widely. An afternoon or an overnight is different from 2 weeks (or indefinitely), summer is different than winter (especially in the mountains or way up north) and vehicle based operations, though they have their own issues, are different than hoofing it.

Fake gold bars have showed up in NYC. 

It seems that President Obama said "I actually believe in redistribution, at least at a certain level to make sure that everybody's got a shot." No comment here.

Mitt Romney said "There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what," Romney could be heard saying in the clip, referring to those who don't pay federal income tax. "There are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it." I am ambivalent about this. It is an oversimplification as there are rich and poor on both sides of the political spectrum. However it is probably not totally inaccurate. 

It turns out that the miraculously lucky spontaneous attack on our consulate in Libya by average citizens during a riot wasn't actually so spontaneous and involved some hard core Al Qaeda types. Imagine my face showing great shock at this recent revelation.

Along these lines there is a whole mess of rioting all over the Middle East, North Africa and elsewhere. The whole thing is really ridiculous. I don't care what the guy next door thinks about my religion; let alone somebody in a country I need a couple minutes to find on a map. Things like this make the whole 'Islam is a religion of peace' argument an uphill battle.



Friday, May 11, 2012

Friday Randomness

Well it seems President Obama's view has evolved to where he now supports Gay marriage. My thoughts on that issue are on the record and I am pretty much ambivalent about this new development. I suspect it is about firming up his base and making Romney look like an evil hate monger.

If you have been waiting to buy PM's at a dip it might be time to pull the trigger.

In case you were wondering 2 year old girl scout cookies taste just fine.

If you are short on doom and gloom there is an outbreak of whooping cough in Washington State. In case you needed any more reason to vaccinate yourself and your children.

JP Morgan lost a couple billion dollars in the last few weeks.

Greek leftists want to stay in the Euro but avoid any sort of austerity.

France's economy isn't doing so well.

I have been enjoying the show Person of Interest lately. It is a bit big brothery and will make you want to delete all social networking stuff then smash your laptop and cell phone but those may not be thoughts worth fighting anyway. There is always action and the good guys win which makes for an enjoyable show.

Dewars Scotch whisky has found a place in our liquor cabinet.  It is smooth and affordable enough to drink whenever the mood strikes me.  It isn't going to be mistaken for a nice single malt but at half the price that would not be a reasonable expectation. One of the downsides of scotch is that a decent blend is the price of a bottle of Crown Royal or a good burbon.

Have a good weekend,

Ryan

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Weekend Roll Up

This video is kind of scary

Hat tip to Chief Instructor for the find.

FerFal did an interesting video on big knives. It is pretty long at a bit more than a half hour but if you have the time consider checking it out. His point that large knives are far more useful for fighting is valid but pretty much a given. Really you want the closest thing to a sword you can get if a gun is not an option. Something like a Bowie/ Arkansas Toothpick/ Dirk/ Falcon/ Kukuri/ etc would be the way to go.

I wouldn't say that I agree with the whole thing. He sort of combines the roles of knives and bigger tools like machete's or hatchets. In my mind they are distinctly separate categories for distinctly different tools which may admittedly be arbitrary. A machete is pretty much an essential in the Jungle or dense warm enviornments like the Deep South or the sort of Swamps you find in LA and FL. Conversely a hatchet or small ax is probably more useful in the sort of forests found in the Northern parts of the US. For whatever it is worth my experiences in the PNW tell me that a decent medium sized knife (say 3.5-5inches) and a hatchet or small ax are a darn good combination.

Some folks seem to use a tomahawk for this role. I can't speak to that at all because I have never tried it. The bigger more functional tomohawk's like those made by Cold Steel may be a viable option. The Trail Hawk is a beefy and substantial tool.  I like that it has some heft and a hammer head (though probably better for tent pegs than framing a house). I have handled one of them but never actually used it.

However it sort of depends on what you plan to do. If you are going to clear a little bit of brush to make a campsite, cut some sticks to cook marshmellows and trim up a few small pieces of firewood a machete would work. If you plan to cut enough firewood to warm and cook for a dozen people for a week then you want a hatchet or ax. If you want to go into the woods and pull a Dick Proenneke an ax and a saw would be a decent start. Anyway enough on that topic.

That whole foot in mouth from some random Democrat recently was big fun. Recap “Guess what?” asked Rosen. “His wife has actually never worked a day in her life. She’s never really dealt with the kinds of economic issues that a majority of the women in this country are facing in terms of how do we feed our kids, how do we send them to school and why we worry about their future.” Patrice wrote about it here. I definitely wanted to say something but didn't really have a full post worth of content. Obviously that she never had a job has far less to do with her arguably not "dealing with economic reality" than marrying a rich guy who became a lot more rich.

Anyway I think that having a parent stay with the kids and not earn any (or any meaningful) income is sort of a luxury. If the family can't keep a roof over their heads, food in the cupboard and generally meet basic life expenses then both adults need to be doing their best to earn as much money as humanly possible until things get better. If one or both parents insist that (typically) momma stays at home while they go hungry or become homeless there are some serious issues. Having beliefs and ideals is fine but sometimes practical concerns have to trump them, at least in the short term. In fairness also on a comparable level of luxury are beer/ wine/ alcohol, tobacco, soda, coffee and tea, prepared foods, eating out, entertainment other than the library or other free stuff, cable or satelite tv, having the internet at home, eating out, toys like jet ski's/ dirtbikes/ snow mobiles/ travel trailers and if we are really being honest owning personal vehicles. As we can see pretty much all middle class and most supposedly poor people consume or own some of these "luxuries." You certainly don't need Romney money to pull off having the wife at home, coffee in the cupboard, beer in the fridge, a few toys and the internet.

As Patrice noted often if you really look at the income vs necesssary costs (reliable second vehicle, fuel/ insurance/ maintenance for said vehicle, child care, professional clothing, more eating out/ prepared food, the list could go on) women who work often take home a lot less than you would really think. This is especially true with low skill women who will need to pay for childcare. In many cases the income difference if expenses are subtracted is just a few hundred dollars.

Obviously if the potential single wage earner works part time for minimum wage this is probably not viable unless you want to go full on so far out of the box that you can't see it anymore James Dakin, Off The Grid: Life on the Mesa style. However assuming the potential single income is some sort of adult job that is close to full time money isn't the biggest obstacle. I hesitate to say a specific dollar amount because cost of living varies by region. For example 40k is doing pretty decent in Idaho or Alabama but definitely is not in LA or NYC. That being said when people talk about how "they can't afford to have a parent stay home" what they really mean is that they are unwilling to give up some stuff to make it happen and or have a pretty high debt load. I wrote more about this here.

Anyway that is about all the stuff I can think of right now and I am about bored of writing.

Hope you had a good weekend,
Ryan

Friday, April 13, 2012

Friday Night Ramblings and Tab Clearing

I always knew that liberal dudes were weaker and generally less masculine but now there is scientific proof.

Apparantly CNBN did a hit piece of the venerable Remington 870. Hat tip to The Firearms Blog for the find. Maybe they could have been even more unamerican by bashing apple pie and cold beer.
Now for my take. I will even set aside the fact that the so called experts who testify about how pretty much every firearm is unsafe FOR MONEY and are trying to sell some new safety thing they invented.

The thing is that shotgun safeties, to the best of my knowledge are not so much safeties as trigger stoppers. To the best of my knowledge there isn't a shotgun out there that has a safety which blocks the sort of accidental impact based discharge that happened to the unfortunate fellow mentioned in the story. Sort of like many open bolt machine guns if you give them a good whack they will probably go off.

There is a simple and time tested way to handle this mechanical weakness. KEEP THE CHAMBER EMPTY UNLESS YOU ARE ACTIVELY USING THE GUN! For a shotgun this means that when you are done using it take the round out of the cylinder and stick it back into the tube or buttstock carrier.
I own a Remington 870 Express. With both short and long barrels it is a really versatile weapon equally capable of defending ones home or all manner of hunting and sporting. I have trusted it with my life in the past as a primary home defense weapon and would not hesitate to do so again in the future. As to my thoughts on reliability and usefullness the Remington 870 I won't sell the one I have and at some point will get another one.

I was at the store the other day picking up a couple things on my way home from work. The folks in front of me bought some stuff using WIC. Nothing really new about that. Overseas food costs are pretty high so they calculate eligibility differently and a lot more folks get it. I bought my few items and walked out to the parking lot. The folks who bought the stuff with WIC in front of me got into a car that was maybe a year old. Nothing crazy, I think it was a Ford Focus or something like that. I got into my 10 year old SUV with some minor cosmetic damage and drove home. Honestly it sort of made me angry. Why should I be subsidizing them? If they don't make very much money maybe they should be doing things like not buying new cars so they can afford food for their kids. I got to thinking. Given the state of our nation I don't really look down on folks who figure out how to work the system a bit in their favor. A few years back I did look down on them for being moochers. These days I sort of look at it that if you can get a little bit back it isn't a bad thing.
Ironically this year we qualify for welfare Earned Income Credit. A nuance of combat deployments is that since our pay is not taxed. Thus as far as my taxes are concerned it does not count. Since I deployed in February and was gone for a year our taxable income was pretty tiny for last year. Thus we get welfare Earned Income Credit. I wouldn't have thought of it but a pretty sharp contractor (ironically also a contrarian investor and survivalist) said I should look into it. This is something I had some real internal conflict about. It is pretty crazy that we qualify because my income fell into a different column on the stupid little piece of paper that is the W2. I make a decent living and we aren't in any sort of need. However me deciding to be a good guy and turning away free money is not going to fix the national deficit. We are putting the money into our house fund. I kind of look at it as a partial refund of all that money I put into SS and medicare
The man who committed 10 felonies in 9 hours was pretty impressive. Some folks are just bad and if this sort of thing happens when everything is normal toss in a power outage or a hurricane or a riot and well, it ain't pretty.

Well it is just about a done deal that Mitt Romney is going to be the Republican presidential candidate. I am almost entirely ambivalent about this. Got to purchase some more mags between now and November.
Heineken is pretty good and Jimmy Fallon probably has the best late night TV show these days.

That is all.
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