Saturday, June 21, 2008

Do We Need Another Revolution In This Country?

I swear, I could cry when I think of how many men and women have died defending this country and the freedoms we once had. In the passed 20 years we have pissed away so many of them.

The two main reason for the War in 1776 was 1) billeting of English soldiers in private homes and 2) warrant-less searches and seizures.

We aren't making private citizens keep the military in their homes, but at the rate we are going, who knows?

However, our president and the seemly uneducated congress and senate are hell-bent on giving us warrant-less searches on a permanent basis. As un-American, disgraceful, unconstitutional, and downright treasonous the Patriot Act was, at least it had an end. Now they want to preserve the absolute worst part of it.

When a warrant is served by a administrative branch (i.e. the Attorney General, or any lower minions, even at state and local levels), or legislative (i.e. congress, senate, state houses, etc.) they should have review by the judiciary. That is called "checks and balances". It is not perfect but at least it is a little control on the absolute certainty of abuse of power.

It also appears that we need more checks on the judiciary especially the Supreme Court, whose rulings are based more and more on public opinion and politics and not on the constitution. That is one of the reasons we needed more people like Robert Bork. Those of you who fought against him should be ashamed. Hang your heads and cry!

Now it looks like Bush and the power hungry bunch that surrounds him, and the non-elected bureaucrats yearning for control of our lives are going to get their way. It is bad enough that the Republicans are going along with this, but so are the Democrats. Don't any of you ever tell me that Democrats or liberals are for the people, freedom of speech, etc. Bull-feathers. This proves the point dramatically.

Oh, they bill and coo about the changes they agreed to, and the other side b-----s and moans about what they had to give up, but the bottom line is the frog has gotten a little more cooked and isn't likely to jump out of the hot water anytime soon.

If you don't think this is important, ask the Russians. The Soviet Union has been gone for over a decade and the KGB is still operating (under a different name), and is now in control of the government. As my wife says, these people are like cockroaches, because no matter what you do, you can't get rid of them. Do we really want to go down that road?

If it sounds like I'm teed off, you're right. We are constantly being sold down the river and it is looking every day like we are going to have to put a stop to all of this. Call it what you want, but you have to make a choice, and I think you know which side I'm on.

We need to respond and fight back, and now. I know a lot of you feel as I do. I don't know much about organizing, but it is obvious we have to do something, before more drastic actions have to be taken.

Stop the madness,

The Hammer

Copyright Crickard Publishing 2008. All rights Reserved

Friday, June 20, 2008

The Rise and Fall (Hopefully) of the 4th Reich

Roger Cohen, in the opinion section of the June 19th edition of The New York Times, ridiculed and derided the Irish electorate for not approving the latest version of a constitution for the European Union in an article entitled "The Muck of the Irish". He blames the people of Ireland for gladly taking farm subsidies and not wanting to give up their sovereignty (my insert) in return.

Roger, me boy, if you are not uninformed (which I doubt) of the situation then you are part of the problem. You mention the Irish gladly taking the euro currency when the English and Danes turned it down flatly. That was indeed a mistake by my Irish friends and the rest of the countries of the EU.

When the families and businesses that were the powers behind the The Third Reich failed, they simply waited... until the time was right. By the 1990's Europe was ready for the attack from a new front, economics.

The same people that ran the Third Reich now run the Fourth Reich, they simply use another name and "newspeak" to get it over on everyone. Why do you think the headquarters was moved form Brussels to Bonn?

The last time a constitutional vote was held, even France (who historically collaborated with Germany, and anyone else that suited their purpose), voted it down. That is not a good selling point sir.

I ask a very simple question, "Why would any sovereign nation, want to give that up for the 'honor' of being just another state in a large Union, a very small seat at a very large table?" I can not think of a viable or logical reason.

It would be like asking the United States to become just another country in the Union of North America. Most of us would use our second amendment rights and die first.

We should keep our European brothers in our thoughts and prayers, because there is trouble coming "over there" with a capital "T" and it is not just from the mid-east.

Keep an eye on this one folks,

The Hammer

Copyright Crickard Publishing 2008. All rights Reserved

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Food Prices & Congress: A Really Bad Mix, Part II

It would appear that most people are not that interested in the economics of food prices (or anything else, I guess), but since it is such an important issue, I will complete this series of articles. I really don't think a lot of folks understand how the actions of government affect our everyday lives. This is just one way.

Because of technology, effective transportation, and many other factors we enjoy the most varied, freshest, and nutritious food in the world. We should count our blessings every day for this. Obviously, I love food.

However, because of government intervention we also pay a lot more for it than we should. By paying farmer's not to grow crops, subsidizing inefficient production, and massive regulation, we pay on an average of probably twice market, and as prices increase, temporarily, this is becoming even more of a hardship on our general populace.

Maybe if I illustrate this in a different commodity, it will be clearer, Until the late sixties we were one of the largest producers of steel in the world. Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and some other towns thrived because of steel. Now, most of these areas look like scenes from an apocalyptic movie. Why did this happen? What should we have done?

First, while the rest of the world modernized their factories we rested on our laurels and did nothing to improve production. There were at least a couple reasons, other than inertia. Because steel was so vital for so long, unions were able to demand more money (lots of money) and they discouraged plant investment knowing with that fewer workers could do the same jobs more efficiently. Also, because of the pay rates, companies did not have the extra cash to invest. Therefore, they basically priced themselves out of work.

What was the governments answer to this? Tariffs. Taxing imported steel to the level of costs in effect at the time. Sounds good, but it doesn't work. The jobs were lost anyway and steel was kept at an artificial level costing the public on both ends, taxes and steel costs (and any products made from steel.)

It would seem to me that the correct way of handling this would have been to buy up every ton of cheap steel (countries were subsidizing and dumping it below cost to gain market share, and it worked). Take that steel and make more affordable products which would have made jobs for the displaced steel workers. They didn't do that and everyone lost. Higher prices and fewer jobs.

This same model is at work today in several foods. For instance, sugar is about 10 cents a pound on the world market (not long ago it was 6 to 7 cents), but it is controlled and subsidized at about the 40 to 50 cent level.

Even though, it is not a healthy choice in life, it is used in almost everything; therefore you are paying more and getting less.

BTW: if they really want to make ethanol for cars, make it out of sugar instead of corn, and stop the subsidies and tariffs (and stop taking a staple food out of people's mouths). Brazil runs their vehicles 100% on sugar based ethanol and produces so much, it could export it.

The reason for tariffs are to bring prices in line with what producers want (lobbyist's job) not what the market can do, costing all of us, no matter what the commodity. Other countries do this too, and it doesn't work for them either.

Let the market work; it is best for everyone. If a company or farm (one in the same now), can not produce a product for the existing price level, let them go out of business. Someone will buy it and do the job.

For example, Bethlehem steel was just bought by a Russian steel maker because of the weak dollar. He obviously can't count on it staying weak, so the first thing he is going to do is put $500,000,000 in modernization (which means work for a lot of people during and after construction).

A side example, AMTRAK which is a government subsidized company, is always losing money under its current structure. Let the darn thing go bankrupt. someone will buy it and run it correctly.

You can not keep jobs by taxing and subsidizing. You can not keep food prices (or any others) down doing the same or trying to regulate everything. All of this costs the public money.

Remember the government has no money of its own. It only has what it can steal from you.

Good luck.

Be aware and prepared,

The Hammer

Copyright Crickard Publishing 2008. All rights Reserved

Saturday, June 14, 2008

OMG is Sarah Jessica Parker Skinny!!!!! Addendum

I wrote the SJP article just to prove a point. As of today, it has had 770 hits on Gather and the last piece on Food Prices has only had 23. (For those of you reading this on my blog only, my articles appear simultaneously on, and the statistics are from those entries).

It would seem to me that people are more interested in "skin and bones" stars than their wallets. Maybe they simple like to complain about things such prices of food and gas instead of trying to understand them, and do something about them.

Almost every ill or problem out there is directly due to or exacerbated by the Federal and local governments. They are not our friends! Don't believe that propaganda. In the 1950's when a lot of this crap started, there was a running joke (and I think a movie) about; "Hello, I'm, from the government and I'm here to help you". It means now as it meant then; I want more of your hard earned money, and more control over your life.

By exceeding their authority (as set by the various constitutions), most levels of government are simply in the business of self-perpetuation, i.e. re-election. For the most part, they don't give a rat's back end about any of us, either party.

So the next time you read a rag-mag article, please try and give equal time to the people and events that will affect us and the generations to come.

Be aware, be involved,

The Hammer.

Copyright Crickard Publishing 2008. All rights Reserved

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Food Prices & Congress: A Really Bad Mix, Part I

As congress tries to get a new Farm Bill through and around President Bush (hopefully, he will veto it), American's should all be holding their breath and their wallets. Usually when politicians screw around with the market we lose, and this is no different. BTW, if he does veto it, they will just come back again and again, both parties.

A brief history is in order.

During the early part of the 20th century farming really took off, and in no time we were the envy of the world in agriculture production. Humans are known to mess up a good thing, this was no exception. Corn, even then, was the crop of choice. Lots of bucks per acre, so why not plant it year after year. There is a bad problem with that. Corn depletes the soil of nitrogen rapidly, making each successive year less productive.

Now combine that with the worst series of droughts in decades and you have several Midwest states turn into a "dust bowl" and people move to California. Before and after that, when it did rain, the top soil washed into the Mississippi and helped make the delta in Louisiana the huge place it is today. People back then commented on the river being too thick to drink and too thin to walk across. I was there in 1967 and it was still very muddy. Only recently has this begun to correct itself.

After the war and through the mid-fifties a couple of innovations changed everything. The first was crop rotation.

This is a simple concept, but it did take some promotion to get farms to utilize it. The first year you plant corn. The second year you plant a cereal crop like oats, wheat, or rye along with grass seed, such as timothy, clover, alfalfa, or trefoil. Therefore, in the third and fourth years you harvest hay. The grasses help stabilize the ground to prevent runoff, and also help replenish the nitrogen. The problem in many eyes was that you could only plant corn or wheat in two out of four years.

Later, the big farms just used mountains of fertilizer to eliminate some of the grass years. Of course that causes a lot of phosphate problems in the run-off. Some of that was controlled by not plowing the fields and planting the new seed into the unturned ground after the cereal crops were harvested so the soil would remain relatively stable.

The second development was hybrid seeds. By combining species of corn that were very productive with those that were disease and infestation resistant increased crop sizes dramatically. This occurred with most crops and continues today.

All of this was good for everyone, right? Not!

I could write volumes on this (there are already plenty out there, if you want to read them), but just understand this. No matter what is going on, someone is always unhappy, and usually those who bitch the loudest get the attention of congress.

By the late 1950's production was so good that farm prices dropped precipitously. We were feeding a big portion of the world but many farmers just couldn't make ends meet.

Now the natural, free market way out of this is that the weakest perish and the strongest survive. The very people who promote Darwinian theory (I'm one of them) are many of those who want to interfere with the process (I'm not one of them!).

The first farm stabilization and subsidy bill was passed and for the first time I know in history, we paid farmers not to grow food. An unbelievable concept, but it is still there today.

I can clearly remember my grandfather saying that it was the beginning of the end, and time has proven him right.

Government (the Feds) paid farmers not to produce, bought up extra milk solids and threw away the rest (then gave the cheese away to welfare recipients and schools), and added tariffs on rice, sugar, cotton, and a ton of other crops. The bottom line is today you pay $5-$10 a pound for cheese instead of $2 a pound, 50 cents a pound for sugar instead of the world price of 8 to 10 cents, and on and on.

PLUS, you are taxed more to pay for all of it. So as usual you pay not once, but twice, and even more times.

Obviously we are only skimming the surface of this, but I think you get the idea so far. Next time, we'll see how this directly affects you today.

Always learn, prepare, and be mentally ready,

The Hammer

Copyright Crickard Publishing 2008. All rights Reserved

Monday, June 02, 2008

Would You Want to Know if You Were Going to Get Alzheimer's?

My Grandfather on my mother's side of the family died of Alzheimer's. It took him 16 years to do it. My mother cared for him the whole time and basically lost those years of her own life.

Of course, I think about the possibility that I might be in line for it. Thank God, there are no signs as of yet (though my wife might dispute that). I work crossword and Sudoku puzzles on a regular basis and take my Ginko Bilabo (for my tinnitus also).

I read recently that there is going to be an over the counter lab test to determine your propensity for the disease. You know from reading my articles on here, that I am certain about a lot of things in life, well this isn't one of them.

My gut feeling is to want to know so I could prepare, because I don't want my wife or kids to have to go through the hell others have gone through. I have long term care insurance, which I recommend to anyone that can get it, and that should go a long way. I have also set out my wishes in writing and everyone knows that I don't want to be a burden for this or anything else.

What do you think? Do you want to know your possibility of having this disease, or any other for that matter?

Trying to be prepared,

The Hammer

Copyright Crickard Publishing 2008. All rights Reserved

Sunday, June 01, 2008

In Texas: Who Are The Outlaws?

When I wrote about the Texas child rustling case (the taking of the 400+ kids from the polygamists) on May 5th, I questioned the ethics of it. Although I suspect there are some cases that could proceed legally from all of this, I don't feel there was compelling evidence that all of the children were involved.

I'm sure the powers to be at the Texas Department of Child Protective Services bureaucracy thought their day in the sun had arrived, and Judge Barbara Walther probably drooled over the dream of her own television show, "Judge Babs".

You can not tell me that at any time the welfare of the children was the main issue. It just doesn't ring true.

Now the Texas Supreme court has ruled that the whole ordeal was illegal, but Judge Walther rejected their decision and has order the children kept in custody.

A few hours ago, it was reported that the Child Protective Services has been placed under investigation.

No matter what was done wrong at the Zion Ranch, you do not place everyone under (or behind) the same blanket of shame. You do not take that degree of action on unsubstantiated hearsay. If it is allowed here, none of us are safe. It totally weakens and dilutes our ability to help real victims.

Texas Dept. of CPS should be sued and the plaintiffs awarded millions. Judge Walther can't be sued, but she can be disbarred and sent to jail, which is where she belongs. No one is above the law, including a judge.

It is hard enough these days (with the myriad of laws on the books) to tell who is a criminal and who isn't; however, in this case, it is obvious to me who are the real Outlaws in Texas.

Keep Vigilant,

The Hammer.

Copyright Crickard Publishing 2008. All rights Reserved

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