Archive for February, 2009

Obama Declares War, and The Enemy is Capitalism

Let me be very clear on the economics of President Obama’s State of the Union speech and his budget.

He is declaring war on investors, entrepreneurs, small businesses, large corporations, and private-equity and venture-capital funds.

That is the meaning of his anti-growth tax-hike proposals, which make absolutely no sense at all — either for this recession or from the standpoint of expanding our economy’s long-run potential to grow.

Raising the marginal tax rate on successful earners, capital, dividends, and all the private funds is a function of Obama’s left-wing social vision, and a repudiation of his economic-recovery statements. Ditto for his sweeping government-planning-and-spending program, which will wind up raising federal outlays as a share of GDP to at least 30 percent, if not more, over the next 10 years. Read the rest here.

I stated before he was elected that he was my enemy. My family is guilty of being serial entrepreneurs, although we’ve temporarily withdrawn from the private sector to help educate the young.

H/T Bonz at GCP Forum

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Miami Judge Tells Runaway Teen She’ll End Up a Dead Crack Whore

Read the entire story in the Miami Herald. Registration required.

A Miami child-welfare judge drew the ire of his chief and local children’s advocates when he told a 15-year-old runaway foster child she would end up a ”toothless, dead crack whore” if she didn’t mend her ways.

Exasperated that the girl was refusing to return to a home where she said her caregiver hit and cursed at her, Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Spencer Eig lectured the sobbing teen about making bad choices during a hearing Tuesday.

”You’re throwing your life away,” Eig told the girl. “You could end up on the street toothless. You’ve seen these toothless hags on the street? You know how they get there? They blow their opportunities in life when they’re 15. They run away. They end up . . . People turn them into whores.”

”Toothless, dead crack whore. Dead at age 19? Is that the destiny you’re looking for?” he added.

The next day, after two attorneys who had been in court the day before complained about Eig’s comments, Miami-Dade Chief Juvenile Judge Cindy Lederman apologized to the girl.

”That should never have happened,” Lederman told the girl. “I’m so sorry.”

Yeah, there are so many OTHER career opportunities out there for 15-year-old runaways.

What were they again? Burglar? Armed robber? Shoplifter? Or, yeah, she could be a whore but a drug-free whore!Her problem is that she’s too young for Congress where the real big money crimes and whoremongering occur.

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“Evidence Based” Means “We’re Just Making This Shit Up”

Read JunkFood Science’s article on the lastest health lies.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of people that believe the garbage that is promulgated by a science-challenged press that doesn’t bother to read the entire report, just a (deliberately?) erroneous summation crafted to fit neo-puritanical food and lifestyle beliefs.

I wonder why the same people that believe that if you eat only (organic) fruits and veggies, eliminate adipose tissue, and exercise like an olympic hopeful that you will live forever don’t believe that irresponsible sexual behavior is dangerous, can cause cancer, and can be fatal.

Those beliefs would actually have the benefit of being accurate.

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What Are the Best Businesses for Hard Times

Al Fin put the question more provocatively: What are the best jobs in an Obama Depression?

What troubles me is how few people have actual survival skills of any type. I have friends that brag because they don’t cook. They don’t clean their houses. They don’t garden. They have never had a pet, let alone livestock. They hate guns, want them banned, and refuse to let their children play with toy guns because that engenders violence. They have no idea how to do basic maintenance on a vehicle because that is what service departments are for. They chauffer the kids to various play dates and lessons and sporting events, some quite expensive, every day after school and work. The weekend is filled with one activity after another, usually sports based, and then they begin anew Monday morning to their jobs which are things like customer service managers and marketing representatives and data analysts.

Now their husbands are losing or have lost their high-paying jobs as their companies are downsizing or closing down completely. Suddenly the wife’s job that paid for the “extras” is buying the groceries and paying the mortgage, the vehicle payments and insurance, and utilities. They can’t make the payments on one salary and are very afraid that their jobs will be gone next.

They don’t know how to do things to save money like fix an engine or do plumbing or electrical repairs around the house. After all, repairs such as carpentry, plumbing, and electrical work is done by people willing to get their hands dirty, not by people that have college degrees and MBAs. Repair a transmission? More of that icky hands on stuff by people that didn’t graduate from a good college.

Many of these people are happy about Obama saying that he’s going to give them all money and take money away from “the rich” to pay for it. I wonder if those “rich” that are supposed to be providing this largesse would be Obama’s cabinet, many of whom were cheating on their taxes before the rates are raised. How about those rich members of Congress and the Senate that are also not paying their taxes? That’s just not going to happen. Taking all the money away from all the wealthy folks, much like has been done in Cuba, Zimbabwe, and Venezuela, to give to “the poor” simply doesn’t work. The rich simply don’t have enough money to fund all those social programs envisioned by the Democrats.

Of course, “the rich” that he’s talking about also includes electrical contractors, dry cleaners, grocery stores, and paint and auto body shops. Who is going to be paying those increased taxes? The people that frequent those businesses.

Obama is going to tax those eeevil power companies for greenhouse gases to raise hundreds of billions (or trillions) of dollars to put into a health care slush fund. Unh hunh. I hope those people with no survival skills will be able to sell off their plasma television sets because the power companies will simply pass the rates on to the consumers. What are the consumers going to do? They have to have electricity, but may not be able to afford to pay the bill. But at least they’ll have free government health care, right?

As a veteran, I also have access to that free government health care. As a last resort I suppose I might use it, but only if my other option were death. It amuses me that people that would turn up their nose at the county health clinic or VA Clinic somehow think that medical care will be better if run by the government. You can’t sue the government for malpractice, and they CAN decide whether you deserve to be treated.

So what is going to happen to those folks whose skills no one wants to buy that have no practical skills that can help them during a down turn? Who live in the city, are unarmed, and defenseless against roving thugs? I hope they don’t have to find out, but I think this new budget is going to be a disaster.

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Another House Duck

I have a newly-hatched duckling that was dying from cold this morning snuggling up on my shoulder trying to get underneath my hair (I suppose he/she thinks they are feathers). I knew that I would regret returning the chilled eggs/duckling to the neglectful momma duck that left me with blood blisters yesterday evening, and I was right. One of the eggs that was peeping peevishly hatched in the night and she let it die from the cold. The first hatched duckling appears to be fine, for now. The one on my shoulder was lying flat out, nearly dead from the cold, and I only had time to bring it inside, put it on a heating pad inside a large Rubbermaid tub, and cover it with a “blanket” (dust cloth) before I left for work this morning. I expected it to be dead but he/she was lively and peeping. She was very happy to see me!

This evening, duckling is lively and moving about. I could have (and probably should have) returned him to Momma Duck but….if he/she doesn’t die from the cold, he/she will surely die from the hawks (that have a nest in an old tree in the pasture) swooping down to eat him/her and any sibs when Momma Duck runs off to get some corn, leaving the new hatchlings to fend for themselves.

Somebody better let me know when H5N1 arrives in this country so I can refrain from mothering tiny, vulnerable poultry.

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Odie and Sam

Odie, at @ 17, is a very ancient dog. He’s been my best helper, friend, and constant companion for the past 14 years, since the day I coaxed a frightened stray dog out of the woods and into our world. He’d been taking our newspaper out of the box and carrying it around with him, sometimes leaving it close to the house, so he had our scent. He never took the neighbors’ newspapers.

SwampMan said emphatically that he was NOT staying because we didn’t need another damned dog.

“Nah, he’s not staying. I’ll take him off to the animal shelter when I have time. And when I have his inverted eyelashes corrected.” SwampMan shook his head, grumbling, knowing that Odie wasn’t going anywhere for awhile, maybe never. He asked daily for several weeks “is that damned Other Dog gone yet?” so when the vet asked the name of my dog, I told her O.D. (for Other Dog).

Odie became My Dog and personal protector. Nobody else in the world matters to Odie. If SwampMan raised his voice to me, Odie would jump in front of me, teeth bared at SwampMan. Now, since Odie is deaf and can’t hear SwampMan raise his voice, he hasn’t snarled at SwampMan in quite some time. I have to do it myself.

Odie has raised and trained two replacements for when he dies, but he outlived them. He’s completely blind in one eye and has a cataract on his “good” eye, and has gone deaf. He trembles when he stands for too long, but insists on accompanying me on my rounds and if I keep the gate shut to limit his exertion, he’ll bark and howl in utter misery until I relent and let him out to take his place by my side. Now he’s training Odie replacement dog number three, Sam, (SwampMan’s dog) as though anybody could ever take Odie’s place in my heart.

When Sam the boisterous German Shepherd puppy arrived full of piss and vinegar, old Odie showed him who the top dog was when he got too rough. Odie does not chase chickens or ducks so Sam has not learned to chase chickens or ducks. (Having a mad momma duck and angry bantam hen defending their young who whooped up on him certainly helped.) Now, with the arrival of the lambs, I have been quite alarmed to find that Sam has somehow made his way into the ewe and lamb pasture but not to worry, Odie was with him. When an angry ewe chases Odie, he runs off instead of confronting or attacking her and her lamb, so he’s teaching Sam to do the same.

Sam still pees on the porch at night and apparently Odie is tired of it. When I fed them this evening, Odie pulled Sam’s bowl of food across the porch over into a puddle of puppy piddle and dumped the food in it. Now, I suppose I could simply refill Sam’s bowl, but I’m curious to see whether Odie’s training is going to work. Besides, who am I to interfere with a professional trainer like Odie?

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Safe Investments?

The local tax professional took out an ad in the local paper saying that he was advising buying ammo and land in the form of farm and timber holdings as well as gold, silver, and firearms.

I don’t think he has much faith in the Porkulus Plan.

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Feeding for Twins Versus Single Lambs

I have had more single lambs born this year than I’ve ever had before, and there’s a reason for it. I did not “flush” (put the ewes on a rising plane of nutrition, done either by grazing good pastures or through supplemental grain) during the breeding period. Flushing the ewes prior to breeding convinces the ewes’ reproductive system that times are good with plentiful pastures, so it is safe to drop 2 or 3 eggs for fertilization as the ewe will be getting enough feed to produce enough milk for the lot. Letting the ewes breed on poor pastures sends an alert to the ewes’ reproductive systems: “Tough times ahead, not enough pasture to provide milk for twins or triples, replacement lambs only.”

You’ve seen the pitiful condition of my pastures that SHOULD be lush with clover at this point. I’d be spending a(n) (even greater) fortune trying to keep enough feed in front of the ewes to provide milk for twins and triplets.

First time lambing ewes and older lambing ewes also have a tendency to drop more singles than twins.

The dogs (not MY dogs) killed my ewes that were heavy with lambs a couple years ago; I have only a couple of ancient ewes that survived the massacre as well as a few ewes that were too young to breed at that time; the rest of the ewes I have are yearlings produced from those few survivors. They may or may not lamb @ May. I haven’t ultrasounded them for pregnancy because I just didn’t have the time.

Luckily, I have a bumper crop of ewe lambs this year and in a couple of years, I will have some good lamb production once again, drought conditions permitting, and may even feel confident enough to sell some ewes.

The ancient Rambouillet girl that lambed yesterday is getting around much better today, thank goodness. She’s the last surviving member of a flock imported here from Ohio. I found that Rambouillet lambs are a little too susceptible to blue tongue virus and internal parasites to really thrive here; however, the Rambouillet x Tunis mix is quite hardy.

Getting up every 2 hours to help her get up so lambie can nurse is not an experience that I wish to repeat tonight! I never thought she would lamb again; she’s blind, and has to locate the lamb through sound. I’ll keep them out of the general population for awhile yet so that Momma doesn’t go crazy trying to locate her precious lamb that is out racing around the pasture with the other lambs and completely ignoring Momma’s frantic calls.

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Busy, Busy Afternoon

Rambouillet x Tunis Lookin' for Groceries

Rambouillet x Tunis Looking for Food!

Well, My Mommy Thinks I'm Beautiful

Well, My Mommy Thinks I'm Beautiful

 It's a Girl!

It's a Girl!

I got home to hear duck eggs peeping frantically from what USED to be my flower bed before momma duck decided to build a nest in amongst the amarylis bulbs.

Momma duck had decided to take a swim and lunch break in 50-degree windy weather, and the eggs and one newly hatched duckling were near death from the cold. While I was taking the newly hatched duck and a couple of peeping eggs inside to a heat lamp, I glanced at the pasture and noted a new lamb with the old Rambouillet, Mon Ami. The lamb was up and about but Momma wasn’t. Oh, crap.

Placing the eggs and duckling under the heat lamp and crossing my fingers that I wouldn’t return to duck flambe, I ran out to the pasture to find a frantic lamb and a ewe with obturator paralysis (a condition in which the pressure of the lamb coming through the pelvis puts pressure on the obturator nerve and the ewe cannot control her back legs). I lifted her back end, but she fell again. I gave her some molasses and water as well as some concentrated feed for energy, tried to feed the lamb from a bottle but she wanted nothing to do with THAT, and tried lifting again. This time, Mon Ami was able to stand, albeit shakily.

In the meantime, the ewes and lambs had escaped through the gate that I had left open in my haste and were joyously romping through my (luckily unplanted) garden spot. Then they picked out my roses that were leafing out nicely and decided to destroy them.

Odie and Sam also decided to sneak in and shared the afterbirth while I was trying to bottle feed the stubborn little speckled lamb. Aaaack! I hope this doesn’t give the pup the desire to dine on lamb tartare.


Then it was off to check on the ducklings, E-mail daughter, check on the whereabouts of Momma duck, return eggs and duckling to Momma duck who was so unappreciative that I have welts on my arms (probably a bad mistake and I’ll have little duck bodies reproaching me in the morning), feed the horse in her pasture, feed the rams in their pasture, feed the chickens and ducks, feed the ewes in their pasture, and carry hay to rams and ewes, then feed the kitties, the young orphan chickens that are caged for protection from the hawks, and finally feed Sam and Odie, who were not impressed with dry kibble.

Then SwampMan wanted to know what was for supper. Leftovers from last night, that is what was for supper!

Now it is time to let the dogs off the porch for a potty break, pick the ewe up so the lamb can nurse again, iron something for tomorrow, take a shower, wash dishes, and head for bed. Once again, I didn’t have time to make a new large concrete water container for the pup.

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Times Are Tough For Models, Too!

From the Miami Herald:

This week’s news that the Irene Marie Models agency was shutting its doors in South Beach only served to reaffirm that the nation’s economic ugliness had tainted the world of glamour.

Slumps in advertising have slashed revenue for newspapers and magazines, resulting in less work for agencies that book the models. Now, Irene Marie Models, which just two years ago had 850 full-time models, is considering filing for bankruptcy.

Oh, snap. Beautiful scrawny people are looking for jobs, too. On the other hand, there is room for hope:

The economic effect can be seen at casting calls — much fewer now — where the models said they expected up to four times as many people trying out. Even more distressing, the department stores will likely take plus-size models, who charge less, to wear their clothing.

I’d go for one of those plus-sized model jobs, but “plus sized” probably means a 4.

”If people are still coming to Miami, they are also cutting their rates,” said Eloisa Carvalho, five feet nine, 115 pounds, radiant black hair tied in a bun, in a flowery bikini. “Now, you just have to really take care of your money, and save it, because sometimes you don’t know what is going to happen.”

Well, at 5’9″ and 115 lbs., she doesn’t have to worry much about where the next meal will come from. Smelling the odors emanating from a BBQ place should fill her up.

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