Tag Archives: economy

Cash for Negroes

This advertisement in the Kansas City Star isn't sufficiently well explained to allow me to ease your thoughts by elucidating the reasons it's included in the Johnson County Museum.

This advertisement in the Kansas City Star isn’t sufficiently well explained to allow me to ease your thoughts by elucidating the reasons it’s included in the Johnson County Museum.

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read.

The Kansas City area has as much history as any area of its size in the United States.  Every few hundred yards there’s a sign, “California Trail crossed here“, “Santa Fe Trail  crossed here“,   “Oregon Trail crossed here“, and “Overland Trail crossed here“.

The Sunflower Army Ammunition Plant near De Soto was a huge operation during WWII, the Korean War and somewhat so during Vietnam.  Today it's mostly in ruins, a superfund cleanup site with no funding remaining.  This sign was evidently from one of the times when they had plenty of money to throw away feeding workers.

The Sunflower Army Ammunition Plant near De Soto was a huge operation during WWII, the Korean War and somewhat so during Vietnam. Today it’s mostly in ruins, a superfund cleanup site with no funding remaining. This sign was evidently from one of the times when they had plenty of money to throw away feeding workers.

Yet over and over again as you puruse the exhibits in the Johnson County Historical Museum you’ll find yourself muttering, “Why is this place so Goddamned lame?”

Thanks to Sunflower Army Ammunition Plant employees sweating like good Americans the Korean War didn't last as long as it did and not as many people were killed and injured as actually were.  All our boys have come home from Korea now thanks to these Americans.

Thanks to Sunflower Army Ammunition Plant employees sweating like good Americans the Korean War didn’t last as long as it did and not as many people were killed and injured as actually were. All our boys have come home from Korea now thanks to these Americans.

Some historians possessing PHDs have believed almost all babies born to pioneers nine months after resting overnight within this geographical area were conceived here.

When you have a labor shortage you have to appeal to the baser instincts of every potential labor pool.  Gypsies, tramps and thieves.  Safecrackers.  Negroes.  Patriots.  Whatever works.

When you have a labor shortage you have to appeal to the baser instincts of every potential labor pool. Gypsies, tramps and thieves. Safecrackers. Negroes. Patriots. Whatever works.

There used to be cowboys and Indians, stagecoaches, battles between  the north and south, raids, rapes, plunderings, blunderings, Quantrill, Bloody Bill Anderson, Jessse and Frank James, the Daltons, the Youngers.

Probably similar things are being spoken in Chinese today somewhere in Asia.

Probably similar things are being spoken in Chinese today somewhere in Asia.

But Kansans know everyone was pretty much passing through, either time-wise, or on their way somewhere else geographically.

Harry Truman and Joe Stalin fought on the same side in WWII.  But both had to readjust their thinking rapidly, think on their feet as shown here, because five years later they were on opposite sides.

Harry Truman and Joe Stalin fought on the same side in WWII. But both had to readjust their thinking rapidly, think on their feet as shown here, because five years later they were on opposite sides.

Part of the problem is that even though human beings live fairly long lives, human memories are short and budgets are ‘budget-years‘.  Budget decades might allow for long-term alliances and loyalty between friends measured in years or longer.  But budget-years demand constant realignment to keep the funding rolling in.

To help everyone remember when there's a war going on a lot of strategies have been tried.  War Dad caps were only partially successful because older guys frequently became confused about who's the enemy this week.  Especially if they were shooting at the friends and dodging bullets they fired a short while back.

To help everyone remember when there’s a war going on a lot of strategies have been tried. War Dad caps were only partially successful because older guys frequently became confused about who’s the enemy this week. Especially if they were shooting at the friends and dodging bullets they fired a short while back.

Weaponry ideology has been attempted on numerous occasions.

This was intended as a morale builder.  Unfortunately it allowed friendly fire to be identified with too much certainty by those on the receiving end to become a trend.

This was intended as a morale builder. Unfortunately it allowed friendly fire to be identified with too much certainty by those on the receiving end to become a trend.

But attempting to get Kansans out of the yellow brick road mindsets and into  the Jesse James and John Dillinger approaches to history doesn’t seem to lead anywhere.

If one of those guys had long hair I'd lean to believing it was Bonnie and Clyde.

If one of those guys had long hair I’d lean to believing it was Bonnie and Clyde.

Maybe there’s still something from the Sunflower Army Ammunition Plant days still to be learned and useful.

The US might yet make use of an explosion proof clock.  I sort of wish i had me one if I leaned to having wall clocks.

The US might yet make use of an explosion proof clock. I sort of wish i had me one if I leaned to having wall clocks.

Old Jules

The Vietnam War finally explained

Why are these men not in jail? (photo: Getty Images)

Above:  People carefully avoiding inadvertent visits to Vietnam.  http://readersupportednews.org/news-section2/345-justice/22925-vietnam-is-sentencing-corrupt-bankers-to-death-by-firing-squad

Hi readers.

I’ve you’re like me the two burning mysteries of the 20th Century concern US submersion into two foreign wars:  WWI and Vietnam.

WWI will probably always remain a piece of unexplainable and unexplained craziness.  But suddenly the underlying reason for the Vietnam War bubbles to the surface of 21st Century reality almost out of nowhere.

The bastards execute corrupt bankers!

Vietnam Is Sentencing Corrupt Bankers to Death by Firing Squad”  http://readersupportednews.org/news-section2/345-justice/22925-vietnam-is-sentencing-corrupt-bankers-to-death-by-firing-squad

Sheeze!  There was never anything in that country worth a single US life and it never made any sense any US troop had to set foot on the soil there.  Just some crazy-assed paranoid ‘domino theory’ was how they justified it at the time.  But secretly the US Government probably knew the Vietnamese were capable of thinking outside the box.

Any place that has the potential for standing corrupt bankers up before firing squads and blowing them into the next lifetime is sure as hell a place that needs stopping.  That’s the sort of idea that could catch hold.

Dangerous stuff.

Hell, if we had another hundred yards of Vietnam Memorial Wall and it saved the life of one corrupt banker it would be worth it.  Executing politicians, bankers, war industrialists is just the sort of subversive thinking that caused the Russian Revolution.  Got the whole fatcat aristocracy sitting on the heads of starving peasants killed off and replaced by a different kind of killer-shark.

We’ve been a bit short of wars lately, but here’s an opportunity to fill the gap.  But this time, a Constitutionally legal war declared by the US Congress.  A new Vietnam War everyone who matters will be able to understand and sympathize.

Bomb those bastards back to the stone age.  Destroy them to save them.

Fact is, if this were adopted in the US it would silence all this dissent about the death penalty.  Likely there’d be ticker-tape parades.  Where the hell would that leave us?

Remember where you heard it first.

Old Jules

 

 

Hobo Hilton highs for homeless

Opaque windows on all four sides at all levels to allow both privacy and lights are only one of the imaginary, unique, compassionate features.

Opaque windows on all four sides at all levels to allow both privacy and lights are only one of the imaginary, unique, compassionate features.

Hi readers:

When the tsunami of Chinese [and other Asian imports] spawned hobo-jungles of unemployed US workers a lot of us believed it was an ill-wind that blew no good.  However, what we couldn’t have anticipated was the new birth and rejuvenation of the US railroads to deliver those goods to consumers who still had jobs.

As you see in the photo the nearby dumpster provides easy diving as well as convenient disposal of garbage accumulations for community volunteers policing the area.  Note also the 'donation' bin located middle right.  Nearby residents are thereby able to voluntarily dispose of items of their own choosing rather than having things stolen willy-nilly from their vehicles and homes.  A pad located at the donation bin informs residents of the high-rise of who is contributing, and who is not carrying part of the load voluntarily.

As you see in the photo the nearby dumpster provides easy diving as well as convenient disposal of garbage accumulations for community volunteers policing the area. Note also the ‘donation’ bin located middle left. Nearby residents are thereby able to voluntarily dispose of items of their own choosing rather than having things stolen willy-nilly from their vehicles and homes. A pad located at the donation bin informs residents of the high-rise of who is contributing, and who is not carrying part of the load voluntarily.

The logjam automobiles at train crossings caused by new rail freight traffic forced many cities to elevate tracks inside the metropolitan areas.  Unfortunately the consequence was to displace hundreds of dispossessed workers living in hobo jungles.

The Kansas City Metro area, concerned for the welfare of their homeless population and inadequate available shelters during inclement weather, chose to devote resources to a long-term solution.  Based on the assumption US consumers would never again be able to produce anything but hamburgers to sell to one another and jobs  involving the transport, storage, unloading and sales of Asian products, they [the Kansans] built long-term.

Every elevated railroad intersection has a multi-story Hobo Hilton providing warmth, privacy, a place to relax where they  can be easily located and rounded up for police lineups when nearby neighborhoods fail to use the donation-bin with sufficient enthusiasm.

Asian products are fundamentally responsible for this one more demonstration of compassion so typical of US citizens and local governments.  When conditions change, Americans reach out and respond to help other Americans instead of only giving only lip-service “WE WILL NEVER FORGET” promises and self-congratulatory flag-waving.

It’s a warm fuzzy just seeing it.

Old Jules

A merry little dumpster diving year-end adventure

Hi readers:

When I left Andrews on Christmas Eve morning a cold fog wrapped the RV and a tasteful bow atop kept it all together for the felines and me until I reached Big Spring.  That’s where the brakes on the RV failed.  Roughly 100 yards before the entryway into the parking lot for a chain store for auto parts.

Great, helpful folks there while I was diagnosing the cause of the problem, feeding brake fluid to the pre-Christmas Universe.  Determining the next best guess to be a failed master cylinder.  And me with almost no tools along.

Ordered the master cylinder inside the store, arranged with them to park in their lot until it arrived the day following Xmas.  They showed me an electrical outlet where I could plug in to keep the heater and lights modern.

Hydrox, Tabby and I watched a store employee carrying boxes past us to the dumpster straining to get them over the side.  One plastic box appeared to be a great possibility for a litter box, so I went over to retrieve it.  I was astonished to observe the dumpster was home to several boxes with taped label, “Manager Disposal”, the contents scattered among the lowbrow cartons and candy wrappers.

The contents:  open end wrenches all sizes, box end wrenches, socket sets, miscellaneous other tools, a couple of which I’d surely need for the master cylinder replacement.  So early Christmas morning I climbed down the chimney of the dumpster and began digging out every tool I could bring myself to save from the landfill.

Finished in time to have myself a nice Christmas dinner of something-or-other, cuddle a cat, watch a vintage movie.

Next morning the master cylinder arrived, I installed it with the dumpster-tools, ran the RV around the parking lot a bit to test the brakes, and headed off to points south.

Easily the weirdest Christmas I’ve ever been blessed with.

Old Jules

Cheating the landfills

Computer karma

Hi readers:

Thanks for coming by for a read.

My life’s blessed at the moment having my bud, Eddie, available to kick around finding fixes for the unfixable. In this instance, all that broken plumbing and wastewater damage blowing the tires did on the RV. That stuff’s made of a material monikered, ABS, which was never intended to be repaired. Plastics, nylon, nothing much easily available attaches to it and the hardware stores don’t carry anything much in the plumbing department made of ABS.

But ABS does attach nicely to other ABS if a person can find some.

Eddie did some web searches to find out what products might be made of ABS to be ravaged for the purposes of converting them to RV wastewater heaven. One turned out to be old computer monitors.  So he dug around until he found one.

Yesterday we examined the old monitor to make certain the flat area on the side would be large enough to make a patch to cover the hole broken in the greywater tank on the RV.  Then we took a waste piece of RV broken plumbing pipe, scarified it, scarified the potential monitor, and doctored both with purple ABS goo cement.

Voila!   Yes.  You heard me right.  Voila.

That flat surface on the side of that monitor’s going to RV wastewater heaven, holding back the forces of darkness, undergoing reincarnation, likely providing a whole new US cottage industry in the future.

Damned monitors all over the US now have something to aspire to.

Old Jules

4-5 amp solar collector for recharging batteries

Hi readers:

Eddie’s made me another generous offer of a solar collector he had lying around, complete with controller.

solar collector

solar collector controller

controller

I have a smaller one back at Gale’s, but I think I’ll be able to just add the wires to those going into the controller.

Eddie’s amazing Rocket Heater

The Cantina area of Eddie's and Val's home is just under 1000 square feet, uninsulated mostly.  The wooden doors open to a patio and you can see daylight through them.

The Cantina area of Eddie’s and Val’s home is just under 1000 square feet, uninsulated mostly. The wooden doors open to a patio and you can see daylight through them.

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read.

Last year when I visited here Eddie and Val were heating The Cantina with a fireplace and a propane heater kicking in when things became uncomfortably cool.  He was troubling himself about the price of having Mesquite firewood hauled here.

http://sofarfromheaven.com/2012/12/21/la-cantina/

This year it’s an entirely different matter.  During the summer months Eddie researched the rocket stoves being utilized in 3rd world countries, turning out an amazing amount of heat on a few twigs.  Finally, he altered the designs somewhat and built one from a scrap pressure tank for his well, mortar-mix Vermiculite for the heat concentration, and a small firebox constructed from stovepipe.

The fuel?  Free pallets from the local businesses.

Total firewood requirement to keep the Cantina warm for the coldest week thus far in 2013?  Three pallets.

Total firewood requirement to keep the Cantina warm for the coldest week thus far in 2013? Three pallets.

This past week was the test.  Temperatures below freezing for a week.  The Cantina was toasty all week, and all week long they awoke to comparative warmth in the Cantina despite the fire having been out for hours.

That perpendicular piece of stovepipe is the firebox.  Eddie's redesigning it somewhat to make for easier cleaning.

That perpendicular piece of stovepipe is the firebox. Eddie’s redesigning it somewhat to make for easier cleaning.

The exterior appears fairly commonplace.  It’s inside where the Secrets of fuel economy reside.

rocket heater under construction2

What appears to be concrete is a hardened mixture of mortar mix, vermiculite, and stovepipe ….. wood ash mixed with the mortar/vermiculite to provide stability when the pipe melts or rots from the center.

Old Jules

Joined at the hip

Good morning readers.

Hanging around an RV during a week-long ice storm is a good time for a person to boil down blessings and scrape them off the bottom of the pot.  I’d been doing a lot of reading nights before the water froze, but reading requires a level of involvement I was decreasingly able to maintain what with various uncertaintainties nagging for my attention.

So when I went in to Andrews to get my new tires put onto the ground I swung by an Alco store, which is the be all and end all in Andrews for certain types of purchases.  Bought a box of movie DVDs called Nifty Fifties for a few bucks.  50 movies from back when.

Nights if my attention span doesn’t feel up to reading I watch a movie.  Saw one a few nights ago with Sydney Portier and Eartha Kitt, him being an African firebrand leader named Obam, which was worth the price of admission.

But last night I saw Chained Forever, or something of the sort.  Two sisters joined at the hip, a Vaudeville singing act, trying to make lives of themselves in a world where the rules of behavior assume a lot about the rule-followers not being joined at the hip.

One of the sisters ‘falls in love’ with a marksmanship act guy who might have returned her affection had it not been for the party of the third part they’d have to drag along.  All manner of difficulties with laws, also, trying to get marriage licences for the party of the first part and the party of the second part while ignoring the party of the third part without any bigamy issues.

Fun movie, though daft.

Fact is, being joined at the hip just ain’t that uncommon.  Jack and Bobby Kennedy became joined at the hip at some point during the late 1950s and nobody even noticed.  George Bush Sr. and George Bush Jr. were joined at the hip similarly but it mostly just manifested itself in wars in Iraq and other matters.

Hillary Clinton, Janet Reno and Bill Clinton were all joined at the hip though nobody noticed until the Army, National Guard, FBI, and a million television cameras bunched up around Mount Pleasant outside Waco, Texas.  The joined-at-hip condition became more obvious afterward at Ruby Ridge, various real estate shennanigans, CIA importing cocaine into Arkansas airstrips for the trio, etc.

In fact, when you think of it a lot of modern life is dedicated to snooping out people who aren’t yet joined at the hip to something, or someone, and getting the knot tied to reduce the amount of trouble anyone’s likely to cause.  Sending them off to penal institutions for certain factions, joining the military for others, becoming rabid fans of this or that celebrity, music genre.

Time was joining at the hip was simpler.  People just got married.  But that was back before the age of enlightenment and marriages tended to last longer.  Now for any duration the joining at the hip has to cut a wider swath.

The way the Democrats and Republicans have blazed the trail for joined at the hip inclusiveness might well be the wave of the future.  Imagine.   Everyone finally agreeing at the bottom of things they’re just following the mandate of their hips, pulling the same direction despite themselves.

Old Jules

Buffalo Bill’s Defunct – The Communist Toyota 4-Runner

That old 4-Runner had a quarter-million miles on it when my lady-friend sold it to me about a decade ago.  Until then it lived on the Zuni Rez.  Somewhere around there are pics of the 1998 Lost Adams Diggings Search, Amy met Gale, Dana and me on Fox Mountain driving it.  One more bug on the windshield of life.

That old 4-Runner had a quarter-million miles on it when my lady-friend sold it to me about a decade ago. Until then it lived on the Zuni Rez. Somewhere around there are pics of the 1998 Lost Adams Diggings Search, Amy met Gale, Dana and me on Fox Mountain driving it. One more bug on the windshield of life.

Toyota RV out by the same car dolly later in the day.  At 71 a person can’t be sentimental.

Buffalo Bill ‘s
defunct
who used to ride a watersmooth-silver stallion
and break onetwothreefourfive pigeonsjustlikethat
Jesus he was a handsome man
and what i want to know is
how do you like your blueeyed boy
Mister Death

by E. E. Cummings

Why Snowden blew the whistle

Snowden made a grave sacrifice for you, me, us.  He was a person who knew all about computers, electric telephones, all kinds of technology things and what’s going on with FaceBook and Yahoo News and blogs.

He knew when you look down the isles in grocery stores and see people squinting at cans, plastic bags, bottles in one hand, talking on cell phones in the other, the NSA was listening.  Recording.  Storing.  Every word.  Every background noise.  Preserving it for the future.

Snowden worried about that because every moment a million calls between the same sorts of people as those in the grocery store isles are also being recorded, listened to, stored, preserved.  Along with the background noises.

And Snowden knew at a visceral level that anyone who’d want to listen to those calls, record them, store them, could only be profoundly insane.  And anyone working for the profoundly insane person who conceptualized it would also soon be insane after being exposed to the prospect, the concept and the reality.

Snowden also knew countless millions of happy faces and inspiring thoughts fly around the internet every moment.  Billions of inspiring platitudes.  Trillions of “I heart my [fill in blank]” messages and touching pictures of puppies, kittens, and baby whales. 

Snowden knew no nation could survive the onslaught of such chaos except by trying to ignore it.   Listening, recording, storing it to preserve it for the future is the most dangerous activity in the history of mankind, and not only because it’s being done by sociopaths, psychopaths and otherwise osterized brains.  Noone, Snowden knew, in his right mind would ever even consider such a thing.

Snowden had to try to save the planet.

Old Jules