Saturday, March 16, 2019

Going to Hell in the handbasket of one's choosing

Kevin at The Smallest Minority had a link to Sarah Hoyt's piece "The Right To Go To Hell". It's interesting and insightful, and I suggest you read it.

I hate putting words in an author's mouth, but I think a short summary would be "You have the right to go to Hell in the manner of your choosing. Some people decide to go through poverty and squalor, either because they are lazy and shiftless, or because they don't see the value proposition in not being poor."

To some extent, this makes a lot of sense to me. As I've noted in other posts, both of my parents were what I call "West Virginia Refugees". This means that they picked up, packed up and left the state of their birth for greener pasture$ in the 1950s. I have zero doubt that they fared much better economically than they would if they had stayed.

While my Mom was perfectly happy to be gone, my father never totally was. Many West Virginians I've met aren't either. For several decades the thing that kept many small towns going was their expats returning after they had locked up a secure retirement income.

I've spent considerable time in the state. Once the mountains get in your blood they're hard to shake. I absolutely understand my Dad's attitude on where "home" was, and it certainly wasn't where he lived 2/3 of his life. It was West Virginia. Period, hard stop. That's where I was instructed to take his ashes after his death, so he could finally go home to stay.

Where this ties into Hoyt's post is this: I've noticed over the decades, there are two primary types of West Virginians. There are those who will, willingly or not, leave for those greener pastures, and those who are content to stay and live in poverty and sometimes squalor because West Virginia is home.

I've also noticed, in my association with Rhodesian expats, this same dynamic. Many left and have, by and large, done well for themselves, but Rhodesia is still home and they long to return, even when they know it's impossible. Then there are those stayed, lost everything to thuggery, hyperinflation and other ills endemic to Africa, because it was home and they weren't going to leave it.

Now, this is painting with that broad brush, but these observations tend to support Hoyt's thesis. There are those who, for whatever reason, decide that poverty is better than doing what is required to not be poor. I don't get it, but if I want the right to be left alone and pursue my life in the method of my own choosing, then I need to grant that right to others.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Benchmade redux

(Via the Woodpile Report)

Tom Gresham talks to Benchmade Knives new PR people, who are hoping to get their client off the hook.

Not happening, I hope. As far as I'm concerned, they need to go down. Permanently. The Left always wants its pound of flesh, but we're always happy with a mea culpa. That has got to stop.

Should I laugh or be depressed?

Just finished watching this. There are several hilarious stories. But at the same time, it's depressing just how ignorant/stupid people are.

How the hell do you marry off a kid at 25 and you've never had "The Talk" with them? Great bleeding Ghu.

Monday, March 11, 2019

A note on the media

The AP is blubbering about the death of small town newspapers.

I think newspapers, small town and otherwise, are being killed by two major factors. The first is the rise of the Internet and the ease of online publishing, which the media, print and otherwise, didn't take seriously enough until too late. As we would have said when I was in business school, they thought they were in the railroad business rather than the transportation business.

I also think the small town dailies are dying because they're no longer really local. Note this line in the AP article:

"The Daily Guide, which traces to 1962, was a family owned paper into the 1980s before it was sold to a series of corporate owners that culminated with GateHouse Media Inc., the nation’s largest newspaper company."

You can bet that "series of corporate owners" didn't live anywhere near Waynesville. They didn't give a rip about Waynesville, except for what they could extract from it. The story of small towns since small towns.

You can see the same thing happening in local television. Owned by big media conglomerates, outside of a few older folks who were there before the Internet, it's a steady stream of new faces as each preceding group either moves up-market or out of the business. Is the news local? Some of it. Do the people covering the news have a grasp of what a given story means in the community? Highly doubtful.

Do I even need to go into the media's overall political slant, news reporting with an objective and the whole "fake news" thing? Yeah, I didn't think so.

So wave goodbye to the old media outlets, both the good ones and soon enough, the bad ones. I'm not sure what business they thought they were in, but apparently it was the wrong one. AP blubbering not withstanding.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Thinking outside the box

Sometimes it's not all it seems to be.

I think this is a heck of a concept, but unfortunately it isn't quite as simple as it seems. Checking to see just how big a tank you can get (they get lots bigger), I find a couple of gotchas in this cunning plan:

"This tank must remain 1/4 full at all times when buried in the ground."
"MAXIMUM BURIAL DEPTH - 24"" from the top of the tank."

The larger tanks also have a lot more of piers in them. This is another problem, because with the larger sizes someone will have to go inside to pass up the goodies. It may get awkward in there.

You can work around the 1/4 full thing just as one works around the structural limitations of a shipping container if you bury one. The 2' depth limit doesn't give you enough cover if you were hoping to use one as an underground shelter in case of a nuclear event. Still, the small tanks, 200-300 gallons, would hold a lot of stuff and can be buried with only a small excavator. For a lot of people in remote areas, who have that sort of gear, that means no one other than them that buried it knows much of anything about it.

I think this has some potential to it. But as with anything on the Intertubz (including my meanderings), do your homework first.