Saturday, February 16, 2019

Indicators for the Real World

Often, there are indicators or warning signs before "something" happens. Sometimes they are unrecognized and sometimes they are misinterpreted. Sometimes they are ignored.

The US economy has all sorts of measures applied to it that become information from which "indicators" are built. Some are considered "leading indicators", meaning they presage some development. Others are "lagging indicators", where the information they bear can only be interpreted after the event has happened. Then we have "coincident indicators", which, as you might guess, occur during the event. (If you want some more information on indicators, Investopedia has a short article on them.) Bear in mind that these indicators are relatively academic in nature. They aren't things we can easily see around us. Because of their nature, they're often of limited usefulness to individuals, and as a result, many people simply ignore them for the most part.

I think it's important for each of use to develop our own list of real world economic indicators. It's just another sort of situational awareness. Like politics, the economy is interested in you. Unlike politics, it has near immediate effect on your life.

Charles Hugh Smith, one of the economists I follow, has a post on the "Telltale Signs of Recession". He concentrates on looking at more real world indicators versus the more high-flying indicators that most economists look at. Use these as a starting point for developing your own personal list of indicators that you monitor. Use what you see and deduce from your indicators to know when "something", good or bad, is about to happen.

Ignorance is not bliss.

Tuesday, February 05, 2019

Hell, I'll say it

(Via the Woodpile Report)

We're on #10 and working hard on #11. #12 is already underway as well.

One reason I love the Woodpile Report is that it gives me all sorts of new blogs I want to read.  The thing I hate about the Woodpile Report is that it gives me all sorts of new blogs I want to read. #FirstWorldProblems, right?

I was raised to respect and more importantly trust the police. Fed a steady diet of Dragnet, The FBI, Adam Twelve and Hawaii Five-O, the cops were heroes, The occasional dirty cop was an aberration of the worst sort and was quickly dealt with. Yeah, 60s and 70s TV. The media probably lied then, too.

Unfortunately, I've seen too much, heard to much and experienced too damn much to have much respect for or trust in law enforcement these days. Daughter went through two-ish years in a major metro in our state where she was constantly pulled over while driving because her car was the same make and model as a local drug dealer. Making matters worse her license plate was one digit off the bad guy's as well. Of course, my short, rotund, white daughter didn't look much like a black man in his mid 20s, but that made no difference.

She suffered this in silence save for the first occurrence, dealing with it and the constant threat of "driving while mistaken for someone else" until it got out of hand right in front of her university. One of those "ruthless agents of the state" pulled her over. Out of her car, she stood her ground and refused to allow him to search it. (And yes, I'm damned proud of her for taking a stand.)

Then he ran the plate and found out the vehicle was registered to her mother. Mrs. Freeholder has a concealed carry permit. So now he believes he has probably cause to search for the gun he is convinced is there. Daughter demanded that he get his superior on scene forthwith, but wisely allowed him to search the car. The longer he looked the angrier he became, because he couldn't find anything.

About the time he arrived, one of her business professors saw what was happening and went charging in to the rescue, and introduced himself as "Daughter's attorney", which at the moment due to his bar license and her good sense to accept the offer, he instantly became. It helped that the supervisor was, by her description, one of the "old cops" that I refer to as "peace officers".

By the end of this entire sorry story, she had apologies from the agent of the state, the peace officer and the chief of police. Amazing what the threat of a lawsuit for "harassment under color of law" will do.

That weekend, she came home and told us what had happened. As quickly as possible we transferred the car to her ownership, got her insurance and a new tag. Problem solved.

Except that there is now an entire family who has seen the dark side of law enforcement Dr. Weiner refers to. And what is seen can not be unseen.

The sad thing is that 99% of every LEO I've ever interacted with has been a reasonably good person as far as I could tell. Courteous and as helpful as they could be, the front man or woman for "To serve and protect". But that one bad apple has caused all of us to be on our guard every time we have an interaction with the cops, especially if we don't start it. We never know when that 1-in-a-hundred will show up.

We now live in a time when we can't trust most of our government or our media. Lying politicians, government agencies out of control and the obvious, blatant attempts to subvert the legal process for political gain ought to be enough for anyone to lose faith in the system. I pretty much have.

I can't wait to see Part 2 of Dr. Weiner's series.

It appears I was wrong about legalizing drugs

I'm one of those small-l-libertarians who has always held that if we legalized drugs, the problems associated with illegal drugs would go away.

Empirical evidence strongly suggests I'm very wrong. Scroll down to the bottom of the February 5 edition of The Tactical Wire and read the piece titled "War In The Woods: Illegal Immigration, Drugs and Wildlands". Pretty eye-opening. I plan on watching the documentary tonight.

It seems that legalizing marijuana has brought the illegal growers out of the woodwork. To make matters worse, they import illegal aliens and banned chemicals to do their work, while leaving destruction in their wake. Legal growers can't compete because they're regulated like any other agricultural operation.

President Trump is right about our southern border. It has to be rendered as impermeable as possible. Now. It won't stop the problems, but it should put a big dent in them.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Toss a bunch out on their ear

And the rest (mostly) get religion. After a series of election losses for ARRL incumbents, plus the (in appearance, at least) hasty departure of a new president, it seems we members got the attention of our Board of Directors.

Addressing an ARRL governance issue, the Board repealed the ARRL Policy on Board Governance and Conduct of Members of the Board of Directors and Vice Directors, commonly known as the "Code of Conduct," on an 11-3 vote with one abstention.

The Board voted unanimously to create a Legal Structure Review Committee to study and make recommendations to update ARRL's legal structure "to reflect ARRL's current operational needs."

Yeah. "...current operational needs." Like keeping the membership happy with the direction of our national amateur radio group. They've already gotten the membership involved, and it cost a lot of people their cozy little positions of power. I know I didn't vote for the Roanoke Division incumbents. A lot did; more didn't. This happened in other divisions as well.

Now if we could just make this happen on a national level.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

There will be no civil war - until there is

(Via the Woodpile Report)

Matt Bracken is all sunshine and puppies in this piece for American Partisan. I had a hard time pulling a money quote, but let's go with this one.

In short, Civil War Two will quickly become an urban versus rural conflict divided along demographic and cultural lines. This type of dirty civil war will be fought at the zip code and neighborhood level. Front lines will be vague and constantly shifting, with three or more local factions often competing for supremacy. It will be a civil war of secret arrests, disappearances, IEDs and targeted assassinations that will have many of the worst attributes of Argentina and Northern Ireland in the 1970s, or even Rwanda and former Yugoslavia in the 1990s.

Like I said, sunshine and puppies. I doubt that what he says will be news to those who come by here, but take some time and go read it anyway. Then see to your preparations for bad times. They might be here before you know it.

Monday, January 21, 2019

You're kidding me

As the gun control debate continues to rage, a survey released this month by the Department of Justice (DOJ) showed that armed criminals' primary source for guns is, by far, the black market.

No that this will change the tone of the shrill harpies on the other side of this argument. Facts never do.

Could it actually be this "simple"?

(Via the Drudge Report)

A new treatment consisting of using electromagnetism to induce currents in the brain seems to be a promising treatment for PTSD.

After reading the article and how this therapy might work on many other issues associated with the brain, I have to wonder if it might someday be used to treat migraines, my unchosen neurological deficit disorder.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Food storage in one easy lesson

(Via the Woodpile Report)

If you're new to prepping, allow me to tell you something: Food is the single most important thing you can store. While in an emergency there are a ton of problems to deal with, if you're hungry in an emergency there is only one.

That said, food storage, when approached in the prepper manner, isn't as simple as "We'll just fill up the spare bedroom with stuff from the grocery store!" However, the grocery store isn't a bad place to start when you're starting.

Bear in mind the caveats pointed out. Remember that water, which is only mentioned in passing, is as important as food. Actually more so from a technical point of view, but I'm not going into that now. Just be sure you have access to plenty of potable water and a means to make more.

To paraphrase F. Scott Fitzgerald (or possibly Mark Twain or Ernest Hemingway), a crisis starts slowly at first, then all at once. Don't get caught empty-handed in a crisis.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

An interesting diatribe on the NRA and our current situation in the District of Criminals

(Via Says Uncle)

Let's see how many "This is the hill I'm dying on!" comments I can get from the "Not a single inch!" and "The NRA sucks!" crowd.

Duane Liptak, NRA Board Memeber and Executive VP at Magpul has a few things to tell you about the NRA, the bumpfire stock ban and reality in politics.

From the bitty bit I've done at a state level, this sounds about right. Politicians on both sides are all about getting elected/re-elected, a little about doing the People's Work, a smaller amount about representing the people who elected them and almost nothing about doing the right thing. A lobbyist, no matter who they represent, has to work within that reality.

And sometimes, the best you can do is fight a delaying action while hoping that the troops in the prepared positions behind you can hold when you fall back.