Digital Currency and More

As I understand it digital currency is being hailed as something new and radical. Yet, I have been using digital currency for some fifty odd years. It is called a credit card. This new digital currency is being invented by our government and sends up a huge smoke signal warning me that it is another way for Uncle to be looking into my private life for ways to take money out of my pocket. Digital currency would help streamline money transaction, and eliminate the need for paper or coinage. It is my belief that this would be okay if the government would then abolish one of it’s bureaucratic establishments. I must be dreaming, or maybe it is the effect of the cannabis supplemented coffee sweetener that I used today, but I think I saw a bureaucracy closing its doors. Yeah, I must be dreaming. Bureaucracies never go out of business, they only grow bigger.

I just finished reading a book titled “Poverty By America” by Matthew Desmond which deals with ideas of how to abolish poverty in our country. I thought it was a collection of words which I have somehow heard before, but with a slightly new twist. The author proposes the poverty can be eliminated by giving poor people more money. Yep, you read that right. He also proposes that we should break down the walls of racism by giving people of color entry into our neighborhoods. He must not realize that the laws affecting Real Estate allow people of color to buy housing in any neighborhood they want. But, he claims we racist white people build only neighborhoods with huge homes that most people of color can’t afford. He infers that we should be building affordable housing in between the current monster houses that we live in.

When I was much younger and I spent a lot of brain power on subjects like eliminating racism through housing I came up with a scheme that would dictate the spread of races throughout all neighborhoods equally. In other words if the people of color in America are twenty percent of the population then four out of every twenty houses should be sold to blacks, but the blacks must be spread out amongst the white proportionally. Anything less than that would create areas of color density similar to what happens in neighborhoods today. My theory was that if we spread the people we don’t like around equally(every fifth house would go to a black family) throughout the country we would then learn to love our neighbors. I ditched the idea when it struck me that this would not work well with our Constitution. It would mean that We the People would be dictating where people should live. It would also necessitate another bureaucracy to manage the spread of people around the country. What would happen if the ratio was met in one city, and there were still too many people to house? Would we force the over flow of poor people to another city, state, or even to another part of the country? How would we deal with ratios going out of balance within a neighborhood if one or the other color moved leaving a gap in the spread? Would we have to import people from other cities to keep a happy balance? I abandoned the idea after I realized it would be best to let the real estate market take care of buyers and sellers without any government interference dictating who can or cannot buy a given property.

It is a fact that Uncle now requires every village, town, or city to report their ratio of affordable vs unaffordable housing. The government guidelines dictate that federal money can be withheld from communities that do not meet the requirements. I searched the published list for my town of Frankfort and saw that we are perilously deficit in offering affordable housing. In fact, there were very few towns within the Chicago area that meet the criterion. The only neighborhoods that come close to meeting the spec are those that are over sixty years old. In other words they were built at a time when homes were small.

In the last year, I have noticed a resurgence of construction in the neighboring cities of Orland Park and Tinley Park. These cities are building high density neighborhoods cramming as many single family homes and townhomes onto available land. Most likely they are trying to catch up to conform to the government requirement. The neighborhood looks terrible with crowded townhomes as many as ten units in a row, and three stories tall. Alongside are single family homes squeezed onto narrow lots with houses so close to each other that you can shake hands with a neighbor by reaching out a window. They are more packed together than the neighborhood where I grew up. Our houses where so close together that our shoulders brushed up against the buildings when we walked from the front to the back. From a social perspective the neighborhood was nice because we knew almost everyone who lived within five blocks of us. To this day, I can name the families who lived on our street from one end to the other.

Along with the crowded living came a desire to be free and in wide open spaces. Thankfully, Mom and Dad took us visit Grandpa Jim in the country for summers. It was during that time that crooner Bing Crosby came out with a hit song called “Don’t Fence Me In”.

Along with this hit song came a lifelong drive to live free away from crowded cities, and the suburbs were born. I was twenty-three years old when I finally moved from my boyhood home to the suburbs. I was motivated to live in open spaces. I was happy there for thirty years then I got the lust for more space again, and we moved to Frankfort which was a frontier town on the edge of great Illinois farms. Lots of space between buildings and lots of free space. Now, I see a new fad returning toward crowded living spaces. Are we moving forward or backward? I say backward, but the population of the country is growing as the Administration allows thousands of people to cross the borders illegally and then helps them get lost inside our borders. These people are all poor and need places to live. Most likely they will cram into the oldest sections of our great city and force the current occupants to move out. Where will they go? Anywhere there is affordable housing.

In the “good old days” property owners took advantage of the need for more housing by converting their basements and attics into apartments. Most suburbs have enacted laws to prohibit such activity by homeowners. In a typical modern suburb the houses are so huge that the owner could easily add two more families into the space and help pay for his mortgage. In my own home I already have house within my house, all it lacks is a separate entrance. Laws such as the one I just described are part of a “racial wall” described by the author. Another of his recommendations is to tear down the walls designed to prevent undesirable people from living in their neighborhoods. A few of the walls he describes are red lining neighborhoods (Banks with holding loans to people from red-lined areas), charging very high interest rates for people who have low paying jobs, stop exploiting the poor by charging high interest for payday loans, and the list goes on. As I stated above non of these things are new, they have been discussed and in some cases implemented without success.

In conclusion, I would say that this author is restating many old principles espoused by Karl Marx in his attempt to paint communism as a pretty picture.

Cow Farts Are In the News Again

A friend of mine just wrote in his blog that BIDEN’S Climate Czar John Kerry is proposing to reduce greenhouse gas emission by taxing cow farts. This is about as effective as using an eyedropper to purify the oceans. Back in 2009, Obama proposed a special tax be placed on all cattle as a way to reduce methane gasses being emitted by cows. Where in the world do these guys come up with these ideas? What John Kerry has omitted to tell us is that modern dairy farms capture cow produced methane to power their milking barns. If anything is an example of going green that is a big one. Leave the problem to the American entrepreneur and he will find a profitable way to solve it, as did the dairy farmers. The Left doesn’t believe in entrepreneurship. They only believe in inventing new ways to destroy capitalism.

I believe that when someone proves to me that John Kerry abstains from beef, and eats only bugs to get his protein then I too will consider giving up beef.

Wasting a Gift

A Gift to Humans, From the Supreme Being

There are many things in life that I am unsure of, but there is one thing I am certain of, and that is that there is one Supreme Being that initiated the universe. Be it by the big bang, or what ever other method human scientists can attribute to the argument to support the concept for the creation of the Universe. I strongly believe that a single Being existed before the universe. Believing in a Supreme Being is not a matter of religion even though it is often confused as that. In my mind the Supreme Being is a matter of common sense with which we are all endowed.

Planet Earth is merely a single tiny entity within a universe with billions of stars, Nova’s, black holes, comets, and planets spread throughout. What I do not know, nor does anyone, is if there are other planets with life on them. Common sense and the law of probability steer me toward believing there is. I also believe that our knowledge of the universe if infantile, and that the mathematical laws of physics postulated by Einstein are not etched in stone, and can be challenged even if not understood. The limit on the ability to travel faster than light is one of those laws. Life within the Universe is inconceivable without the ability to travel faster that light. Visits to Earth by unidentified peoples can only be possible if they can travel much faster than that the limit which we have calculated within our physics.

The Supreme Being populated planet Earth with humans, and many lifeforms. The Being allowed humans to evolve into their current form. The Supreme Being also made certain that humans would have the ability to survive in this environment. He gave us the resources and the growth of knowledge to extract from Earth all that we need to survive and thrive. Among these resources were air, water, animals, and plant life to provide sustenance. As man evolved he learned to make fire, and to use animal skins to clothe and protect himself from the elements. Man discovered metals within the planet from which he learned to make into tools and weapons. Man learned that he needed protection from predators larger than himself, and he invented weapons to do so.

Fast forward to the twenty-first century in which we live today. Realize how man has evolved and progressed using the Supreme Being’s gifts to us on this planet. We continue to discover new and exciting elements to add to the periodic table, and each one eventually is found to be an essential to life and human development. One resource with which we have learned to use wisely is biological matter. Man has used the resources of the forests and jungles and the sea to his benefit. Trees for wood to build his buildings, to make paper, and foliage to extract chemicals for medicines, and to recycle into compost to nourish the soil in which all these beneficial things grow. At the beginning of the twentieth century man discovered one of the planet’s most useful gifts, oil.

At first, oil was not considered very useful, but man used his mind to discover uses for this mysterious liquid. Initially, he learned that it was a great substitute for keeping his home lighted. Instead of hunting for whales to extract its oils for this purpose, he learned to use kerosene. At each step of man’s evolution, he used the gifts endowed by the Supreme Being to his purpose. Men tamed large animals to carry loads, to till fields, and to transport loads across distances. Then came oil. Man invented mechanical devices to help him with his work. At first, he used the energy derived from burning wood to convert water into steam. After he realized oil could also be burned to produce heat his mind turned to inventing mechanical devices that would use oil to power them.

Man’s genius was stimulated by the Supreme Being’s gift of oil. His invention and knowledge expanded exponentially by using chemistry to separate oil into many components. The process was called distillation, and has yielded fine lubricating oil, tar, kerosene, gasoline, and more. We all know that gasoline is one of the most beneficial gifts we have on the planet. From oil came more gifts as chemists invented new materials using oil as a feedstock for plastics. Plastics may be a bigger gift to humanity than is gasoline. The number of different plastics and their applications are nearly endless, and many have become indispensable in our lives.

Man has not stopped inventing new uses for the gifts bestowed to us by planet earth. Yet we do not seem to appreciate that these are gifts, as is our intellect to invent, and to use them for our benefit. Throughout the entire evolution of man, he has adapted his circumstances to the gifts bestowed upon him. We are but now beginning to learn how to harness the power of wind and the rays of the sun to power our lives. What man does not want to believe is that the knowledge to turn solar and wind power into useful tools may take a century to develop. Man is over-looking the existing gifts he has been bestowed and dumping them in favor of the under developed resources of solar, and wind before there is a crucial need for them to be used. True, we need to develop them, but we don’t need to panic by leaving our greatest resource in favor of an infantile industry that at this time is not essential nor ready to do the job.

No doubt, man is correctly thinking about developing replacements for our most essential power source, but the time table to do so is not urgent. We have hundreds of years of fossil fuels remaining to consume before wind and solar become an emergency. As the time draws nearer to the end of fossil fuel, man will put his brain into high gear to shift the source of power towards his emergent needs.

Assuming man will succeed in electrifying the planet to eliminate fossil fuels he will be left with the horrifying prospect of finding substitutes for making plastics. Man has not thought this problem through to its finality. Think of a world without plastic. Think of plastic within your own life. Your clothes, tools, shoes, packaging, furniture, housing components, just to name a few are all composed with plastics. Man will be forced to continue to refine fossil fuels to make these products.

The elimination of fossil fuels is a direct rejection of the gift endowed upon him by the Supreme Being. Who is man to be so forward as to reject a magnificent gift as this from the Being? In my statements above, I exposed my belief in a Supreme Being, and now I want to expose another belief which is that for every positive in our life there is an equal and opposite negative. What this leads to is an equally negative Being that counteracts the positive one. The current rejection of the positive Being’s gift may be the work of His negative counter-force. There has to be some explanation for why such a beautiful gift is being rejected by man in favor of the current pipe dream to abandon the gift of fossil fuels to that of under developed power sources.

Jumping into an electric world before we are ready to convert completely away from fossil fuels is a mistake that will condemn planet Earth to extinction. Will we have to retrogress away from forward evolution and increased knowledge to achieve the goal of purifying the air, water and earth of pollutants? Do we really want to evolve backward to the Cro-magnon man who lived on a pristine planet Earth, and feared for his life from other larger carnivores, but breathed only the air polluted only by the gasses of volcanic eruptions?

The conclusion I want to direct the reader toward is to re-examine his conclusions about electrifying Earth completely before it is necessary, or even possible.  

If I Wanted a Job, I’d Apply For One

Today, I experienced some frustration that annoyed me beyond comprehension. Lovely and I did our best to keep our neighborhood Walmart from closing it’s doors. We had not shopped for groceries for a couple of weeks now, and our cupboards were bare. It was time to give up and shop. The big news during the week was that four Chicagoland Walmart stores closed because they were losing money. It’s my guess that the effect of the relaxation of penalties for shop lifting have been measured, and one of the world’s largest retailers has voted with it’s feet. In other words, “let’s get out of town before they steal the shelves bare, and strip all the copper wire from the building.” Anyway, we did our best to fill a shopping cart with food. We have a habit of guessing how many dollars are in the cart before we check out. Both of us guessed two hundred dollars.

A New Humanless Checkout
The Traditional Human Checkout

Usually, these stores had as many as twenty lines for check out with humans scanning and bagging. Today, there were only two human staffed checkout lines. In their place were two corrals of fifteen self checkout stations with one human overseer. Walmart has aggressively been working on reducing labor costs since the fifteen dollar minimum wage was introduced. Secondly, since COVID there has been, and still is a huge labor shortage.

Lovey and I parked at one of the computer operated checkout stations and began scanning. We bought a lot of fruits and vegetables and learned that scanning cucumbers, peppers, and onions can be challenging. Each piece of vegetable, and fruit has a label with a bar code. It all sounds great except that the labels are tiny and the bar codes don’t read or scan at all. The computer then asks you to find the item in it’s database by clicking on a photo. Of course this took some time, since it was the very first time I tried scanning a tomato, and a green pepper. Neither was shown as a photo on the screen, so it involved typing in a description of the item, or the four digit unscannable number that was on the tiny label, and then answering how many of the item there was. Okay, I got past that frustration, but then proceeded to try to place the items into a plastic bag that hangs on the station. Plastic material is a great collector of negative and positive ions. The bags stuck together agressively. I found myself fighting magnetically adhering plastic sheet stock to get the bags open, GRRR! This final step of the shopping experience taught me to avoid shopping at places where I must do a self check out. After thinking about this for a few seconds I realized I will not be shopping in too many stores because they are all headed in this direction.

This phenomenon is not new. The first labor intensive vendor switched customers to self checkout many years ago. I recall when my dad drove his car into a service station for gas, he stopped by a pump and waited for the attendant to come to his window. Dad asked him to “fill it up with regular,” or “two dollars worth please.” While Dad sat there, the attendant cleaned his windshield, checked the oil, and filled the tires to a correct pressure. Dad handed him money (credit cards weren’t invented yet) and the attendant would make change and give him a Green stamps. Most gas stations were independently owned and operated businesses. When the oil companies took them over to expand the size of the station by adding more pumps they also reduced the amount of service to zero. Car owners were forced to fill their own cars, and to clean their own windows with station supplied water, brush and paper. Today, I use my phone app to dial in to the station location, the pump number and type of gas. The pump communicates with my phone to charge my card. I still have to open the gas tank, and place the nozzle into the filler tube. Perhaps someday soon an AI robot will do all of this for me.

I don’t know if I saved enough money shopping at Walmart to make the aggravation I suffered to warrant going back there again. If Walmart goes out of business at this location it won’t be because they didn’t have paying customers, it’ll more likely be because they didn’t have customers who wanted to do their work for them.

By the way Lovely and I both guessed wrong, the total was $301.

A Highly Paid Pickpocket

Take a good look at this woman. She has her hands in your pocket, and is lifting your wallet and any loose change you may still have.

“During an interview aired on Wednesday’s edition of MSNBC’s “11th Hour,” Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm responded to a question on whether there is a plan to address energy prices that have started to tick up by stating that “the better choice is to move to electrify transportation, because it is so much cheaper for you” and “moving to clean is moving to energy security and moving to affordability.”

I almost fell off my chair. I just Googled Biden’s electrification of transportation plan and learned that he is pouring money into electric charging station infrastructure. Will it be enough? Probably not for a very long time. His desire is to have 500,000 charging stations in place by 2030. The latest stat I found on the number of gas stations in the United States is 115,400. At first the number of charging stations sounds like it will be plenty, but I don’t think so. Most of the 115,400 stations provide up to twelve or more fueling points. It takes me about five minutes to fill my tank while a fast charge will take about 45 minutes. That means the electric charging depot will require nine times as many charging points to equal the fill capacity of a regular fueling station. My arithmetic tells me that the number of charging points is only half of what will be required. Another fact of life is that the current grid that supplies us with our spark is not capable of simultaneously charging more than about five cars per city block before it crashes.

At the same time Biden is planning to increase regulation of gasoline to make it more expensive and harder to get. Remember a few weeks ago when I stated that the current car shortage is a government conspiracy to force us into electric cars. Along with that, the pandemic taught us that we don’t need to drive. Anyway, I have veered from my point which is to state that this lady who has her hands in our pockets is a moron. She actually believes she can convince us that going electric overnight will be cheaper for us.

What Ms Granholm has left out of the discussion is where the electricity needed to spark those 500,000 charging stations will come from. Maybe she has a plan to install a huge windmill on the roof of every fossil fuel and atomic power plant across the country to give us a charge. While we hire the Dutch to design and build those windmills for us we will have to rely on something else. Maybe it will be hydro-electric, but wait, didn’t Lake Meade nearly run out of water this last year? Where will we build new hydro-electric plants. Niagara Falls already has a power plant. Actually, a better idea will be to buy all the old bicycles that the Chinese are no longer using, and we can use them to move around. Not only would that be clean green energy, but we would all lose weight and be healthier. Think of all the reduced health care costs that would accrue. Surplus doctors and nurses would need to be directed to keeping the millions of illegal aliens that have descended upon the USA healthy. The downside of healthy immigrants is that they will be buying up all the beautifully efficient gas powered cars that we had to give up for the electrics.

The bottom line is that we need more power pants

Jennifer Granholm’s stupid answer was completely political talking points. She did it so robotically, and kept repeating the exact same line so many times that I wondered if maybe she is a government robot with limited artificial intelligence.

Here is my tip to Joe Biden, “we are not stupid.”