Friday, January 30, 2015

Pocket change

I frequently check my pocket change, and recently found these:

Silver quarters from 1958, 1954, 1945, and 1941.

I have no recollection where they came from. They didn't all turn up at once.

Are people getting sloppy with their silver stashes? Maybe they're spending rolls of old quarters that their grannies had hidden in a nightstand or desk drawer.

How many people today don't even know that prior to 1965, U.S. quarters and dimes (and half dollars) were minted in 90 percent silver?

Melt value on these old quarters is currently over three dollars each.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

More energy savings

A simple home-brew LED light fixture can replace traditional florescent fixtures mounted above a drop ceiling.

A pair of these now light a basement room using four 6-watt bulbs, replacing three florescent fixtures that used six 40-watt florescent bulbs. Twenty-four watts versus 240 watts, and light levels are still quite functional.

The LED bulbs here are rated as 40-watt incandescent equivalents. I find them every bit as bright as Edison style 60 watters. I initially tried a pair of 60-watt equivalents in this application, but the light was so harsh, it gave me a headache. We pretty much limit 60-watt equivalent LEDs to porch or garage fixtures.

Score one for spidey

Strangest thing I've come across in a while.

While walking through the garage of a vacant house, I found this dead snake entangled in a spider web, half the body suspended over the floor.

Did recent sub-freezing weather play a part in the snake's demise, or did spidey whip up a heck of killer web?

More banker suicides

From American Thinker:
Western bankers are dropping dead all over the place - most of them youngish and in good health. There appear to be an unusual number of suicides and "unexplained" deaths. 
Last year, 36 bankers died. There have been 3 already this year, including the latest - a Dutch financier who worked for Amro bank.
 "Who's killing the bankers of Europe?"

Over at Sipsey Street, Mike Vanderboegh notes it sounds like a bad '70s movie.

The American Thinker article notes that some complex conspiracy probably isn't in the cards here.

But how many prominent bankers know time's running out on the financial gamesmanship that's allowed the myth of normalcy to remain intact the past few years (or longer)?

How many feel a sense of guilt or despair knowing what may lie just around the corner?

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

More inexplicable Obama government behavior

You'd think the Muslim Brotherhood's brief, disgraceful and utterly failed effort to rule in Egypt would have given the Obama administration a clue.


Obama's State Department has apparently invited Muslim Brotherhood aligned reps to Washington, so they can work together on Middle East.

And then there's this...

Political operatives aligned with Obama have gone to Israel to help defeat Benjamin Netanyahu in Israeli elections.

The president continues to chart a dark course both at home and abroad.

More bad news for Saudi Arabia

Now the Islamic State claims its fighters crossed the Saudi border from Iraq and "melted" into the local population.

Newsweek picked up the story, citing Islamic State social media posts.

Yes, it's impossible to verify the accuracy of the story; hard to say if IS fighters really did cross as claimed,  or if the Islamic State is just playing head games with the Saudi regime.

But the bottom line is IS (aka ISIS) seems to have Saudi as a top target right now.

Western nations best be guarded about letting their oil drilling and alternative energy infrastructure suffer long term harm based purely on Saudi boasting of continued cheap oil.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Bad news for Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia got some bad news this week.

And the worst of it wasn't that Barack Obama and tradition-breaker Michelle were on their way to meet the new king.

Citing "instability in the region," Germany has reportedly chosen to suspend arms sales to the Saudi kingdom.

Is it just Saudi human rights record the Germans object to, or does Germany suspect anything it sends to Saudi now will eventually end up in the hands of ISIS?

Update:  As of Monday, the German government has refused to confirm or deny the policy shift.

We're doomed

Government keeps playing numbers games, but the bottom line is America's piling up debts and deficits at a rate soon to become unsustainable.

Sons of LIberty

I've been watching the Sons of Liberty miniseries on the History Channel. I think the dramatization does a disservice by making Sam Adams such a young character. It's one thing to be rebellious in one's youth, quite another to do so in one's 50s. The real Sam Adams turned 50 in 1772.

Been on a roll...

For those who noticed the slowdown in posting, I expect it to be temporary. The family and I have been busy doing a bit of reorganizing around the house. Finding new places to store or file some for things, and putting things in their proper places. Some unnecessary stuff's being purged. Uncluttering can be a liberating experience.

Report: Bergdahl to face charges

Obama paid a heck of a ransom to get this guy back.

Now this.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Obamaville, USA

Big story in the LA Times says homeless camps are spreading beyond their traditional boundaries in Los Angeles. 

I have some ideas on why this is happening. And it's not just happening in LA.

More regulations, and more taxes (direct and indirect) have stymied job growth. I read somewhere this week that the U.S. still shows a net loss of two million full time jobs compared to 2007, while our adult population swelled by 16 million in the same period.

More people continue to enter the country illegally through sloppy loose borders, and we have a president who welcomes illegals to stay and compete for our jobs.  Illegal immigration also places burdens on America's already stressed social service safety nets.

Even some legal immigration, being pushed by the federal government as refugee resettlement, is pushing some cities to the brink on the social service front.

Don't expect good times to return under failed leadership.

Obama promised hope and change, but instead delivered an America better known for its declining conditions exemplified, in part, by an emergence of homeless camps being dubbed Obamavilles.

The story being told in Los Angeles is part of a much bigger picture. But most U.S. media dare not take on the broader circumstance for fear of bursting the myth of economic recovery, or putting a real face on Obama's fundamental transformation of America.