Monthly Archives: October 2021
A sick man with too much power.
In a 1992 New Yorker article, Bob Munden, who was the world-record-holder for fastest draw, ranked the four fastest gun-drawers in Hollywood. Check it out: 4th place went to Glenn Ford; 3rd to Clint Eastwood; 2nd to Sammy Davis, Jr.; and first t0 — wait for it — Jerry Lewis.
What Ever Happened To That Motorcycle Story?
It would seem like the news of the Fed Chair selling $1 million in stock just prior to the stock market crash due to covid lockdowns or the 131 federal judges who passed judgments in cases where they or their families owned stock, would be good reading. But guess what, I’m sick of it. Are you?
Like every teenager, I thought I had to have a motorcycle. I bought a Honda 160 Scrambler. It was the smallest bike allowed on the freeway. Maybe pushing the limits was in my blood. Four hundred miles from Oakland to Newport Beach seemed pretty doable in California weather. Soon I was out of the chaos of on-ramps and only had geezers and hotrodders (auto corrected to potholders) to deal with. I just stayed in the right lane (slow drivers take note).
On Saturday afternoon my throttle cable broke as I was riding past Santa Cruz. Any farmer knows the curse of Saturday afternoon. I parked the bike on the side of the freeway and walked to the Honda dealer. “With no VIN number, I guess this one should work,” said the nice man as he dreamed of the fine south swell he had heard about.
Well, it didn’t fit. I was able to drive the bike off the freeway with the cable telling the carb to be wide open by shutting the bike off and coasting until I needed another boost. I was sure glad that thing started better than the one I have now. I might have noticed people pointing and laughing but I had to concentrate on my attempt to not emulate Evel Knievel. I left it on a big vacant lot with scattered oleander bushes and walked past the closed dealer to the beach. I imagine I was watching my parts guy surf out there.
I slept under one of those oleander bushes and was woke (just had to throw that in there) by a cop in the morning light. He said I wasn’t in trouble but it was dangerous to camp out like that. No fear allows for great adventures. He wasn’t a pretty girl and that was pretty disappointing.
I trucked on down to the dealer that Sunday morning just in case. And like most under-appreciated bosses, the owner was there. I could tell by the Lincoln parked out front. He found the right cable right away. And I was on my way.
This is a little embarrassing but I can’t remember where I camped that Sunday night. I do remember zooming along in the dark with the exhaust pipes glowing as bright as the headlights. The chrome turned blue permanently.
As I approached Santa Barbara I saw on the map Highway 192. I was good and tired of major traffic. Highway 192 looked a little shorter and went over a pass to bypass Santa Barbara. It was typical coastal desert up there and warmer. Hardly a car. Then I saw a big shadow coming my way. This is so cool. A condor flew just a few feet over my head. This was not long before they were declared extinct in the wild. Since then they have been reintroduced and are slowly gaining population. Seeing roadkill is sad until we think of the meal.
I didn’t appreciate at the time how much grief I caused my mom. I was heartless. Getting south of Santa Barbara is entering the gauntlet of Los Angeles traffic. I will never be a road bike rider again and I’m sure my mom wished I never was. I outlived her nonetheless. Here’s to hoping there’s nothing in the news to write about next week.
Here’s This One Again
Gustave Le Bon
‘The ascendancy of crowds,’ wrote Le Bon, ‘indicates the death throes of a civilisation.’ The upward climb to civilisation is an intellectual process driven by individuals; the descent is a herd in stampede. ‘Crowds are only useful for destruction.’
Carbon Dioxide, Hazardous Waste?
I missed the Summit Carbon Solutions meeting at Maynes Grove Lodge yesterday. As I wrote earlier, Summit plans to build a $4.5 billion pipeline to transport carbon dioxide to North Dakota for burial (so plants can’t use it). It was an informational meeting presumably to fulfill state requirements and maybe attract investors.
Well I sure miss Monty Python. Those guys did comedy right. Summit is doing it like a billion dollar game of who can take the most money out of a productive economy and make it look right. What makes so-called conservatives buy into this wacko environmentalist garbage?
How ironic real conservatives joined forces with leftists to oust “constitutional conservative” Steve King from Congress. His support for socialist alternative energy scams was the opposite of constitutionality. And his language regarding “undocumented” residents sealed his fate with so-called moderates. Yet the leftist / environmentalist steam roller keeps chugging along. Many conservatives support big government meddling like ethanol mandates. Companies like Summit present a bizarre project like a CO2 pipeline as a legitimate use of resources.
We met a nice guy while shopping yesterday. The topic of where to put savings came up. He said he’s thinking of putting some money in the carbon capture pipeline.
Further discussion led to agreement that all government mandates and subsidies ultimately lead to wasted resources. Short term thinking dominates as long as a bailout is expected. The real issue is personal. What does he do with the fortune he accumulated through decades of hard work? The hope that a fascist alliance of business and government like carbon capture or ethanol can get us old guys through a comfortable old age looks better than 1% interest. He may be right to invest in this craziness. It’s been almost 45 years since I thought the farm program made no sense and couldn’t last.
The trepidation about where to invest is well-founded. A lot is written about the ominous debt across the world. There is a huge amusement park in China that sits empty because the developer is broke. But word has it that his debt is minuscule compared with the debt of thousands of communities across that country. Here, we have mind boggling student loan debt. To deal with these imbalances the only option will be for governments to monetize it.
Basically that means loaning banks billions of dollars at no interest forever. That means people like our new friend can’t earn enough interest to maintain his retirement income. In a free market savers go through banks to loan to borrowers. Now the Fed has replaced those savers as a source of capital. Savers are discriminated against. So our friend sees nowhere else to go but insane… insane wasteful and ridiculous pie-in-the-sky nonsense that makes sense to him at this point in time but will ruin the lives of coming generations through wasteful misallocation of resources.
It’s a shame that such a beautiful system as a free market voluteeristic economy has been hijacked by opportunists who apparently lacked good ideas for an actual valuable niche in society, no matter how well-intentioned they may be.