Open Arms

Right. They hate us for our way of life. I imagine the myriad of enemies we’ve been convinced to hate feel the same way about us. I still believe we are right and they are wrong. It’s just that our approach is wrong. We provoke. We try to do the impossible without a second thought as to the consequences of our actions. The price is trillions of dollars and thousands of lives. Our foreign policy could easily be mistaken for the tantrum of a middle school boy on Andro400.

Open Arms

Coming soon to a neighborhood near you, refugees. A new kind of foreign invasion is about to change our daily lives. Thanks to the Neo-cons, increased diversity will enrich our cultural experience.

There is much talk of welcoming the new arrivals to our kind and caring embrace (after all, they flee the results of our intervention). And much talk is also about turning them away (such icky multiculturalism will disrupt our lives terribly).

In Austria, which is in the path from Syria to the generous (so far) state of Germany, gun stores are sold out. A new culture that views women as targets is making European women terrified at the prospects. The rest of Europe doesn’t have the gun store problem, as they abandoned the idea of legal self defense long ago.

There is a reason for government: enforcement of rules common to the inhabitants of a defined area.

In a household mom and dad are the government. Well, maybe not so much anymore now that dad is a government check and commitment is an anachronism. In a city, the city counsel and mayor use the police department to assure residents that cultural norms are not violated.

Not long ago in the upper reaches of the Amazon, cultural norms included raiding and eating nearby tribes. That is why their government is there and ours is here. We wouldn’t want those Amazonians coming up here and eating us, and they would probably resent it if we forced them to eat mac and cheese instead of roast bicep.

Governments do their job best when the limits of their effectiveness guide their scope.

Smugglers who once found profit in guns and drugs are now moving people from war torn Middle Eastern countries to Western Europe. The people are locked in trucks and abandoned factories as they wait for their ride. The smugglers rape and steal, then ditch them at any sign of trouble. Once regal neighborhoods in Bulgaria are now marketplaces for unscrupulous currency exchangers and traffickers.

Politicians in the West are offering asylum to the refugees because they feel guilty for what they have wrought. The Middle East was once fairly stable. Dictators ruled over people unaccustomed to ruling over themselves. We traded with these countries on terms agreed to by both sides in spite of cultural differences.

But that was not enough. In Iran, our CIA and British intelligence agents overthrew duly elected Mohammad Mossadegh and installed their ruthless puppet king, The Shah, in 1953 in order to have better access to Iranian oil. This is at the root of Iranian hatred of America. In 1979 the Iranians took their country back.

This is just one example of how U.S. support for one side of private disputes in sovereign nations has created our enemies over the years. The others are more recent and so should be familiar with anyone who follows the news.

Our regal neighborhoods could become like the dens of iniquity that are developing in Europe as those poor souls flee the terror that our meddling politicians have unleashed in the Middle East.

And what of the lives of those politicians? They will be secure in their gated communities and safe, accompanied by their taxpayer funded bodyguards. We who enabled those politicians will be left to deal with not just traffickers, as in the war on drugs, but also with the trafficked, much of which is an unseemly lot.

Too bad we didn’t think of all this when we were acting all macho like John Wayne, striking out to make the rest of the world like our own. Instead, we get our own neighborhood becoming like the rest of the world.

Letter to Popular Mechanics on Koch Bros. article

Dear Editor,

Popular Mechanics is to be praised for a great article about Koch Industries.

You open with a declaration of the Koch’s views as extreme and then go on to describe a company that embodies what I perceive as the core philosophy of Popular Mechanics. They make useful things. They enrich the lives of their customers. They utilize waste, reducing pollution for efficiency’s sake, not just at bureaucratic edict.

Their views are extreme only in the sense that they recognize the political world around them has gone crazy and is the biggest thorn in the side of innovators and doers. Their lobbying undoubtedly enriches their business through cronyism, but much of it goes to unshackle small business from overzealous regulators.

Love, Fritz Groszkruger

Marx, gun control ect.

Interesting story on the burial site of Karl Marx. His devotees are complaining that the state isn’t maintaining the grounds there and so a fee is required to enter that hallowed ground. Marxists try to distance themselves from conservatives and the more they do it the more they prove themselves to be exactly like them. Essentially their take on the world is, “somebody else should pay.”
Is this confusing? I don’t doubt it. Here goes: Conservatives want to police the world; I say, “do it yourself.” Marxists want the bronze bust of Karl Marx polished and the grass trimmed; I say, “do it yourself.”
You might think something is so essential, but it really isn’t enough so that you can’t pay for it yourself.
National defense is just that. It has nothing to do with these worthless allies whose defense is so critical that no one will pay for it except at the point of a gun.
Europeans are at the beginning of a hard lesson on national defense. Their rulers are the enemy. The immigration wave is a symptom. Now the gun stores are sold out. Does this seem reminiscent of something Ben Carson is criticized for saying?

The Grizz

I don’t know how long it has been on but Morry “Grizz” Taylor has a radio show. The things you learn when the radio is company at odd hours.

Taylor is the man behind Titan Tire, one of the great stories of entrepreneurialism. They even bought Goodyear’s farm tire division and are pioneering low profile ag tires.

The Grizz ran for president once and so he has a lot in common with The Donald. He is brash and self confident.

On his show tonight he said the Iranian people have been “under a thumb” for years. His playmate on the show said, “yeah, since 1978.” That’s the trouble with democracy. If the majority is ignorant, we all suffer. 1978 was the year the Iranians threw out the Western puppet, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, The Shah. Western powers orchestrated a coup to unseat, duly elected Mohammad Mosaddegh to gain access to Iranian oil. It is more truthful to say Iranians were under the thumb of The Shah. They elected Mosaddegh.

Irwin Schiff

I hear people say we live in a free country. Our Statehouse representative says our soldiers fight to preserve our freedom. Fight who? Right, Saddam Hussein was threatening our freedom. Iran is threatening our freedom.

OK, ordinary people, Irwin Schiff will demonstrate who threatens your freedom. He died yesterday in federal prison for refusing to pay income taxes. While there has been much talk about slavery and how that 150 year old situation puts a ceiling on human progress, any taxpayer is a slave for that portion of their labor that enriches the fantasies of the evil politicians.

If you don’t comply you pay. You are a slave.

Preserve Life

“In a cornfield each tiny seed sprouts into a fragile seedling, subject to the calamities of weather and insects and disease. It struggles on its own to survive without any knowledge of the neighboring plants. But without its neighbors it wouldn’t survive. It would grow tall, blow over and die. Its own selfish drive to survive benefits its neighbors, as does theirs, and this results in a beautiful field of corn.”

I wrote this many years ago and posted it on the mudroom wall because our lovely niece, Heather liked it so much.

I often think of it, not only as a story of corn, but as a small part of the environment it describes and also as a metaphor for the world in general, or a family, or a community. Each scenario depends on self interest for survival of the whole.

In the case of the cornfield, the paragraph only scratches the surface. Under that surface are roots, bacteria, viruses, worms, insects, arthropods, nematodes, protozoans and fungi; all coexisting in mutually beneficial relationships. They eat each other, they utilize waste, they make pathways in the soil. Predators or partners, all this life is interconnected like the corn plants in the opening paragraph.

We rotate our crops in an attempt to interrupt the lives of predators of our corn and soybeans. But generally life in the soil is beneficial to our crops. Annual crops limit those benefits and I doubt I’m the only one who looks forward to the day we can harvest crops as useful as corn and soybeans from perennial plants, something machinery manufacturers likely dread. (Imagine the scientist dead on the laboratory floor, all his papers missing. Like Michael Hastings, he was on to something big.) Enough of that crazy talk.

Perennial crops wouldn’t just save annual planting. They would perpetuate the perennial life in the soil that serves the crops.

We had a 12 year old pasture that we sprayed and strip-tilled (with no fertilizer) last fall. We tilled a narrow band so the planter could put the soybeans in good contact with the soil. Because we killed the pasture plants last fall, we applied mycorrhizal fungi with the planter this spring. Mycorrhizae grow in the soil and up into plant roots in a symbiotic relationship. They make existing phosphorous and water available to the plants’ roots.

In a year like this, our yield (70 bushels per acre) wasn’t unusual. But the amount of time we spent tilling the soil was.

A lot of farmers were wrapping up soybean harvest last week. Already I see tillage done on erosive soybean stubble. I wonder why these farmers find it necessary. Is fuel so cheap they feel sorry for the Saudis? Are their planters so poorly designed they must murder soil life just to get the seed in the ground? What could they be doing if they weren’t driving back and forth in a farm field? Are clear running streams disgusting in some way? I suppose some of these farmers even travel to Canada on fishing trips to get away from the muddy water caused by their tillage.

As you drive through the country this fall and you see bare soil, realize a farmer has murdered his partners. He has thrown out God’s gifts that enable him to sustain society with nourishment. The tools we needed to tame the prairie have been made obsolete by technology. The productivity of the prairie soils was produced only with the activity of the life in the soil. Since we began reaping the benefits of the centuries of the work of these creatures, we have not allowed them to continue with that work.

In economics there is a term: creative destruction. It is time we reduce the destruction and increase creativity by living in God’s image. Leave the soil alone this fall, not to stave off the evil EPA, but to show some appreciation for what we have been given.

Thanks for reading and heeding. I can’t see writing these things and sending them out to Pluto or some other place where confiscated funds are deemed worthy of harebrained schemes.

St Louis Cardinals

Well, they lost to the Cubs.
Such is life. For the people who don’t like baseball here is a quote from the comments section of WSJ online about an article describing the relationship between Cards fans and the team.
There was a seat in the right field bleachers at the old Sportsman’s Park that had been broken by a Babe Ruth home run and never repaired. My grandfather had gone to Cardinal games before WW1, and my mother remembered the Grand Avenue streetcar being stopped in its tracks by the crowds that filled the street after the last out of the 1926 World Series. She was 15 on her way home from school and had no idea what it meant that Babe Ruth was thrown out trying to steal second or that Alexander had struck out the Yankee’s famous Murderer’s Row to save the game and the series, but she remembered forever the joyous clanging of the trolley bell and people cheering from open windows all along the Avenue. There is a feel for local history that is captured in the faces of the old ball players, in their uniforms and in the stills in black and white of long gone summer days. A sports team is more than one thing, but for the Cardinals one of them is surely a measure of the local flow of time.