Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Difference between Voters

I just came across a poll, through Althouse, which shows which issues are most important to Obama vs. Romney supporters.

If you look at the poll results, may I direct you to the second chart in the link, then we can compare what things both sides are interested in, the things one side is interested in, and the things neither side is all that interested in.

Issues both parties think are important:

"Reducing corruption in the Federal Government"
"Creating Good Jobs"
"Dealing with Terrorism and other International Threats"

Issues Obama supporters favor:

"Making healthcare available and affordable"
"Improving the nations public schools"
"Ensuring the long-term stability of Social Security and Medicare"

Issues Romney supporters favor:

"Reducing the federal budget deficit"

Issues neither sides all that interested in:

"Dealing with environmental concerns, such as global warming"
"Increasing taxes on wealthy Americans"
"Setting high moral standards for the nation"

This won't make it any easier or more difficult for the congress to accomplish anything, even the issues both sides agree are important, because the sides differ on how to change things.  But the issue I hear the most about from democrats is the increasing taxes on the wealthy, despite the population of the left being concerned more about several other things.

I suspect that the democrats pushing for higher taxes are really just hoping for an "I taxed the rich" award.

What is fair?

I'm currently reading "The Road to Freedom," by Aurthur Brooks.  While I think about what is in the book I want to record some of my thoughts to reflect upon later.  The following is not fully thought out, only my thinking in a medium of writing.

What is fair? An equal playing field or equal results?

Let's try an analogy.

(Before we begin this analogy, let me point out that a baseball game is not a direct 1 to 1 comparison for economics and the government.  For example the goal for individuals is not to win at the expense of another but to succeed as much as we are able.  In my baseball analogy, the best result would be one where both sides had high scores, because that means they both did well even if one did better than another.)

Which is more fair?

Option 1: A baseball game that always ends with a final score of 2 to 2 (equal results)
Option 2: A baseball game that always starts with a score of 0 to 0 (equal playing field)

Apparently a majority of Americans, and minority of other people, prefer option 2.

If baseball is an analogy for economics and personal success then a world like option 1 would be a world where it doesn't matter how hard you work or what you do.  Whatever you do you'll get the same results.

If you choose option 2 then your work and effort can take you to great success or failure, but the options are there for you.

Roosh wrote a book, "Don't Bang Denmark."  Denmark is a country that has chosen option 1.  In talking with the Danes, Roosh noted that if he said something like "Polish is a difficult language to learn."  That statement would be frowned upon, because it implies that he knows another language and that may make others look bad in comparison.  He noted that he would not get kindly responses if he said things that sounded like bragging, even things like the fact that he has traveled the world.  He describes everyone as being similar and uninteresting.  They are all equal and all the same (despite their own thought to the contrary).

A final note about his book is the fact that that book's title starts with "don't."  His other books about countries do not include that word, and coincidentally have also not moved as much towards option number 1.

Of course the world isn't perfect.  We are not all the same.  Some of us are healthier, smarter, or better looking than others (too bad you're not me).  Some of us got born into happy families, or inherent wealth.  And others are not so lucky.

Our options aren't really: 1 or 2, but 1 or 3.

Option 3: A baseball game that randomly starts with a score of 4 to 0

Our options are option 1 or 3.

I would still prefer option 3 to option 1, because I know that even if I am not born lucky I still have a chance to be great.  A baseball game that starts with an unfair advantage still leaves the unlucky team a chance to win.  If a team chooses option 3 they can still work harder than their opponent and come out ahead, even if it is harder than it would have been had they had option 2.

There are an endless list of options for this baseball game of ours, but I will only comment on one more.

Option 4: A baseball game where the score starts at 4 to 0 and the umpire randomly chooses to help or hinder one side or another.

Option 4 is how America currently operates.  It is clearly inferior to options 2 and 3, but is it still better than option 1?

I think that it could go either way.  If the umpire's help and harm (taxes, subsides, and regulations) are minimal, or at least predictable, then even if you are on the side that got all the harm and started behind, you can still have a chance for victory (or success).

If the umpire really prefers one side or makes calls at random, then there would be no hope for someone not favored by the umpire to succeed.  That team could not hope to know what it is that they need to do in order to win.  Unless they are the preferred team.

Some on the left want to tax the rich more.  If we enter this into our analogy that would be like the umpire saying for each 5 runs scored the fifth point is awarded not to the team that scored it, but instead to the other team; to make it more fair. 

If we look at countries that have tried things to make things more "fair" in this way we can see that they have problems too.  For example, in France a company that employs 50 employees needs to allow the employees to form a union, pay for more extravagant benefits, etc.  What this often results in is companies who get to be around 48 employees big, but then not employing any more people because the cost increases would make it too expensive to do so.

To summarize:

If we choose to have equal results there will be no incentive to work hard.

An equal playing field does not exist in this world.

If the rules are the same for all, an unequal playing field still gives everyone a chance for success.

If the playing field is unequal and the rules are unequal, or worse, random or biased, then we get a world where you may, or may not, succeed, and your actions will not influence the outcome.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Quote of the Day, 7/30/2012

"Visit any political website these days, and you’ll find a cornucopia of news and commentary aimed at exposing just how terrible Those People are. As Jonas Kaplan, a professor of political psychology, puts it: “In the political process, people come to decisions early on and then spend the rest of the time making themselves feel good about their decision.”

Conservatives aren’t going to vote for Obama. Therefore they have to vote for Romney. Ergo, they need to find a reason to. That isn’t easy. And it’s especially hard because it requires them to do the one thing they most revile Romney for: change positions for the sake of political expedience." -A. Barton Hinkle

How to catch the biggest possible nuskie

If our goal is to catch the biggest possible muskie then what we need to do is:

1. find out where the biggest muskies live
2. fish there a lot
3. use good equipment and techniques

I think that the options for where the biggest fish are: the great lakes, the St. Lawrence River, northern Minnesota, and Northwest Ontario.

There are good and bad points about all of them. 

One thing not to overlook is how far the spot is from where you live.  If it is nearby then you will be inclined to fish it more often.

Finding a likely body of water that you can fish a lot is your first task.

Fishing Basics

I've just come across a website that has a lot of good freshwater fishing information.

Learning How to Fish

I particularly recommend reading their "The Underwater World of Freshwater Fish" page for information on lake structure and water types, etc.

The website has good information on knot tying and fish characteristics.  The places to fish and species specific information are a bit too limited to be of much use but the first few links along the left side provide some really good very basic freshwater fishing information.

More Olymipc Silliness

Did you know that there are "synchronized swimming" and "rhythmic gymnastic" events at the Olympics?

Who comes up with this stuff?

When will there be a tiddly wink event? At least that can be scored in an objective way.

Empty Seats at the Olympics are another argument against government

Apparently there are all sorts of imposed rules and regulations and so on about who can attend the Olympic games in London.  The organizers are then surprised that there are empty seats everywhere.

Story here.

Tim Reviews: Books

The Bee Eater, By Richard Whitmire

This book is about a woman who was the chancellor of the schools in Washington D.C.

It was very interesting to read about how the D.C. school system "worked" before and during her time as chancellor.  It sounds like Michelle Rhee made dramatic reforms and improvements.  Finding the best teachers and principals, and improving the bureaucracy.

Washington D.C. schools had, and still have, lots of problems and poor teaching records.  It sounds as though the fight to improve the schools was against the teacher's unions and government rules and regulations.  Apparently many teachers are teachers are teachers so that the can be government employees, which means to them they can be lazy unaccountable and have a very secure job.  Living in Wisconsin during the past year has shown what teachers, and their unions, will do when they are asked to help balance the budget and improve in their teaching.

The book also highlights some of the achievements of Teach for America.  Whose goal is to make the education system in this country better and to do a better job of educating kids.

We can certainly use more people as passionate about teaching as the people from Teach for America are.

It is a very interesting book, but I do need to note that because the book was rushed to completion to coincide with Michelle Rhee's firing the book was edited really very poorly.  I had not before ever really noticed editing in books, but in this one you really can tell that it is lacking.

Heart of Asia True Tales of the Far East by Roy Chapman Andrews

This book is about many of the adventures of Roy Chapman Andrews in east asia.  One remarkable thing about these stories is that if anyone remembers RCA they won't remember him for the stories in this book.  He was famous in the twenties and thirties for his adventures in Mongolia after the stories in this book.

He worked for the American Museum of Natural History in NYC and was asked to become the world's first expert on whales.  So one thing he did was to arrange to travel to Japan where whaling was still practiced and in addition to being the first scientist to study whales he even risked all the money he had in order to harpoon one himself.

He explored what is now North Korea before nearly any white man had ever done.  And he accomplished many things while avoiding having the porters abandoning him in lands that they were constantly scared of.

He explored parts of southern China.  Hunting the native wildlife, and collecting many plants, insects, and animal specimens that were new to science.  He had a few close calls with violent natives.  One of which he escaped by drawing on his limited doctoring skills to repair his enemies and then to escape.

If you want to write an action adventure story for a movie but you are having a hard time coming up with a script.  I suggest that you open this book at random, read the chapter you stopped at, and then expand it until you have your story.

This book is excellent.

Tim Reviews: Books

Since the first day of 2011 I have only read 3 fiction books.  I thought that nonfiction might be more interesting for a while.  I don't think that I have read as many good books in any stretch as I have since I have been almost exclusively reading non fiction.

Lets start with the books of fiction I have read recently:

My Man Jeeves, by PG Wodehouse

I picked up this book because both Vox Day and Ann Coulter had said that they liked his writing.   It is an amusing book, and I am partway through another by this author.  The stories are about a wealthy Englishman and his butler, or manservant, who saves the day with his wit an knowledge of the world.

The books are simple and easy to read.  The English witticisms are cute and amusing.  Jeeves' problem solving is interesting to read about.

All in all, I can see why someone would like to read PG Wodehouse.  I would even recommend that if you have high school age children who like to read  Have them read these books for some experience reading books from an English author who speaks how we'd hope the English spoke.

The Lost World, Sir Aurthur Conan Doyle

Written by the same author who wrote Sherlock Holmes.  The Adventures, and so on, of Sherlock Holmes are all interesting and easy to read books.  In those books you can get a feel of turn of the last century London was like.

With this book, however, you can tell that the author had never done exploring, or visited South America before writing this book.  The story is interesting, but you may have to suspend your disbelief at how exploration worked a hundred years ago.

The story is about some scientists who have discovered a valley that is full of Dinosaurs, among other things.  And they go to have a look.

The story is interesting, but it does not really compare to Sherlock Holmes.

Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe

A benefit of reading classic books is that you can get them very cheap or even for free if you own a Kindle or simmilar.

This book was a lot different than I had expected. 

The story of the man landing on his island and not seeing another person for something like 28 years was more about the things that he needed to invent or discover in order to stay alive.  Planting corn, taming goats, making cheese, making clothing, building shelter, and so on.  If I were to write a book about being stranded on an island these too would have been my subjects for writing.

Robinson's adventures before and after his island ordeal also seemed to nearly as interesting as his stay on the island.

If you were to ask me which classic books are worth reading, and I've at least tried to read many of them, I'd say Robinson Crusoe, Sherlock Holmes, and Jane Austen's.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Khan Academy

In my last post I referenced a quarterly report from the Mulhenkamp Fund.

One of the things referenced was the Khan Academy.

This is a website that has free instructional videos on a variety of subjects and they are very informative and helpful.  I've only watched a handful of them on finance, but that website has always gotten good reviews.

If you want knowledge on the subject, then forget overpriced unproductive, and all around vile colleges, look through the Khan Academy first.  I'll bet that you will learn more from this website, and at your own pace, than you would taking several college classes.

If your reason for attending college is the girls may I suggest merely putting a book under your arm and waking across the campuses about 15 minutes before each hour (10:45, 11:45, etc.), and then doing what Roosh says. 

Day Bang by Roosh V

The Economy

So I'm reading the quarterly report from the Guy in charge of the Muhlenkamp Fund, and apparently this company had a seminar with their panel of experts about the economy and the future of our investments with them, which you can look at here.

My dad thinks that Ron Muhlenkamp explains the economy as well as anyone.

The questions involve things like inflation, employment numbers, market numbers, and so forth.

But one answer to a question about how our upcoming elections will effect the economy was to say that we can look at examples of some states who are trying to control spending, like Wisconsin and Texas, and states that aren't, like Illinois and California.  The way the country was founded was in the belief that each state would be mostly independent and if one state did something well others could copy and vice versa.  Federal laws, like Obamacare, do not allow the experimentation in the states to occur,  everyone will sink or swim together.

The summary from the mutual fund points out several other ways that the government is interfering with the economy which is preventing the growth necessary to reduce unemployment.  One expert on the panel pointed out that as an employer he does not know what the employment rules, etc., are so he cannot predict if he should acquire long term assets, like people.

The governments of europe and the United States are interfering dramatically in the markets and we are seeing the effects of their results right now.

I assume that this is from the Olympics

"Kim Rhode of U.S. Takes Gold in Women's Skeet, Setting Records"  Congratulations to her.

I did not watch the Olympic Opening Ceremony.  I did see about 30 seconds of it, when the British (English?) comedian Rowan Atkinson was making faces while playing the piano.  I thought this was dumb, and I don't know why anyone finds him funny.  To each, his own; I suppose.

I shall henceforth ignore as much of the Olympics as possible.  I will only say: despite our continuing reduction in greatness as a country, I hope that the United States wins every event.

Go Packers!

Trail Cameras

I've had a trail camera out at one of the properties I hunt for two weeks so far.  I've gotten pictures of many does, turkeys, and herons.  And also about 5 year and a half old bucks, plus this two and a half:

Deer in Velvet
As you can see: its still in velvet.

Dad thinks that it is awfully late in the year for the horns to still be that size and I'm wondering now if our 50 days without rain, during antler growing season, might not have been good for antler growth.

He also pointed out that last year we got lots of pictures of small bucks to start the year and the bigger ones didn't show up on cameras until later.

Hair Care

Being a guy, I don't know much about hair care or products or whatever.  But since march of 2011 I have not gotten a haircut, so my hair is rather long.  I've heard lots of different thoughts on what is best for maintaining your hair. 

RooshV has said that he gets lots of complements with his conditioner only strategy.  When I tried conditioner only for about 3 week (I was trying a new brand and didn't notice that it was not shampoo for a while.) I found my hair to become brittle, I got split ends for the first time, it got tangled more easily, and I got dandruff.  It could, of course, be that the weather was dry here and/ or we have different hair types, etc.

I have also constantly heard that you should only wash you hair 2 or 3 times per week.  When I tried that I got really tangled and greasy feeling hair.

My strategy for hair care has been:
1. take a shower nearly every day
2. wash hair with one of the "Head & Shoulders" shampoos
3. comb hair when I can't run my fingers through it

This has given me clean shiny hair, that does not tangle as easily, no dandruff, and many envious compliments from hairdressers (back when I was getting it cut).   And the best part of my strategy is that I don't think it could be simpler.

When I was in college I shared a room.  One year with a new roommate we each had our own soap and shampoo.  Mine was Head and Shoulders, his was something else.  After a few weeks his old shampoo was gone and he too had a bottle of Head and Shoulders.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Commenting at the Huffington Post

Apparently if you are on the right politically and comment at the Huffington Post, not only do you get suggestions to kill your self, but also called names.

Getting called "stupid" or an "idiot" by someone from the left isn't new or interesting.  But this last response I got is just hilarious:

"You're illiterate, too. I said specifically that their policies are failures. And they are. As for the federal budget, the constitution says that's up to congress . . . Which represents yet another republican failure"  -Phxflyer

Get it? I was called "illiterate" in response to a comment that I ...wrote, I didn't even spell any words wrong.

Debating the left is just too much fun.

And I'm improving my writing skills; if I make a mistake I'm sure to hear about it.

Figure 8 for Muskies

Muskies are more prone than other fish to follow a lure up to a boat.  This makes it easier to find fish when they are not biting, but these fish can sometimes be hard to catch.

The standard way to try and catch a fish that is following is to make a figure 8 at the side of your boat.  The way you do this is to put your rod tip in the water and lead the lure in as big of an 8 shape as you can.  Big fish in particular will have a difficult time making a tight turn; so make your 8 as big as you can.

Some people suggest changing the speed or action because they think that the difference may encourage the fish to strike.  But the advice that makes the most sense to me is to make the lure continue to do what it was doing when it got the fish's attention.

Keep the figure 8 going for as long as the fish is interested, and then a bit longer.  Sometimes the fish will disappear for a minute and then reappear from a different angle.

If it is following for a really long time you might try speeding the lure up, hopefully, if the fish thinks your lure is going to get away it will hit it.  I still advise maintaining the lure's speed and action, from when the fish was first interested, for at least a while before speeding up.

Some guys claim to make a figure 8 after each cast.  This would certainly result in catching a few fish that you'd miss otherwise, but you'll also be making fewer casts.  Fewer casts out to where the fish are is not as good either.  I'll usually make an L-shape at the end of my casts, because if a fish is following and it makes a turn I'll be able to see the flash of the fish's turn.  If the fish are following a long way behind or very slowly one day it might be a good idea to extend your casts alongside the boat for a little longer than normal.

If a fish hits right at the boat, then it will give you a good fight.  You should still net it right away, to prevent tiring it.  This will make picture taking more exiting too.

One of the first fish I ever caught followed a minnow bait with 3 sets of hooks right up to the boat.  When the fish hit the mouth caught the first hook and the tail came around and got caught in the last hook.  The fish then froze and the fight was over.

Hello Russian Website Visitors!

The majority of viewers of this website come form the United States.  Considering that this blog is, in theory, about muskies (native only to North America), Whitetail Deer (native only to North America), and the politics of America this is not suprising.

Quite a number of Russians have also visited this blog of mine.

Hello, you Russians.

Prior to reading Neil Skywalker's "Around the World in 80 Girls" I would not have considered visiting your country, but after reading that book I am very interested in visiting.

If any of you Russian readers of this blog would like to tell me anything about your country, in comments or by emailing me: eltim164@blogspot.com I would be ecstatic to learn more about Russia.  Please sing the praises of your country; I want to know more.

I promise that I will pay for a drink, or eight, if we meet in person.

I am currently convinced that our American politicians, and government, couldn't get much worse.  And I am considering moving to China or Brazil.  If you Russians can convince me to move to Russia, then I would be eternally grateful.

I really look forward to any response that you may have!

Shooting Deer or Nailing Girls

The picture of the deer at the header of this blog was taken in February of 2012, at our "Green Bucket Stand."

If someone I greatly admire, such as RooshV or Naughty Nomad said you can shoot that buck OR nail dozens of attractive girls around the world in the fall of 2012.  I'd have a bit of a predicament.  (If you're betting on which I'll do, however, bet on that buck having an arrow stuck in him.)


I recently heard someone say something to the effect of: "Everyone things that their own personal taste in music is original and eclectic, it isn't."

I suspect that whoever said that is correct.

It is always good, it seems to me, to look high and low for new and interesting music that is not played, and overplayed on your local radio station.

In any case here is the list of musicians on my mp3 player, it stupidly lists artists by their first name (yes. I am drunk as I type this.):

7 Seconds of Love, have you heard "Soupy George"?

AC/DC, my vote for best band ever

Adele, She's actually very good.

Bonnie Raitt, "Hear me Lord" is one of my favorite songs.  I really like the style of her music.

Buddy Guy, "You're Damn right I got the Blues" and also an album about not having anything but the blues.

Cee Lo Green, I was impressed with his Thanksgiving 2011 singing, and I'm not impressed by much.

Charlie Parker, an old time jazz musician, okay, but not as good as I'd hoped.

Dexy's Midnight Runners, "Come on Eileen"  they are reasonably good.

Dire Straits, need I say more?

Donna Lewis, I like, "I love you always forever."  Do you want to revoke my "man card"?

Fiona Apple, meh.

Foo Fighters, not as good as I thought they were before I bought an album.

Frank Zappa, every so often he has a few chords, or a line, that makes you completely forget the fact that you listened to a song for a half hour just so that you could hear, "I am fond of chiffon."  Some songs just have parts that are better than most anything else, ever.

George Thorogood, it could be that I listen to him just to hear him reference the original artists of his songs, and then I listen to them

Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel, who else likes 70's British pop music brought to their attention by their dads?

John Lee Hooker, "Boom Boom" is that the best song ever? It might get my vote, even if I like his "Boogie Woman" better.

Howlin Wolf, is seriously under appreciated.  I pointed out earlier, that you could have been listening to Howlin Wolf before the beatles were around.  Even if they changed music you can keep your boy bands, give me more Howlin Wolf.  Apparently the Grateful Dead covered a lot of his songs.

Indigenous, are not bad.  Sort of modern okay music. They are pretty good now and again.

Journey, my best friend's favorite.  Not as good as I thought.

The Kinks, I got an album of theirs just for "Lola."  Did you know that its about a black guy? L-O-L-A, lola.

Kittie, a bunch of girls playing "death metal."  The start of "Sugar" might be the heaviest, metalist, music I've heard.  Even more than anything by Slayer.

KT Tunstall, is perhaps my favorite musician.  I use the radio any my mp3, but the CD slot in my car always has her latest CD in it.

Kylie Minogue, if my "man card" wasn't revoked after Donna Lewis it should be now.  "Love at first sight" is okay.  I really like it despite its insert generic beat here.

Leona Naess, her self titled album is quite nice

Lynyrd Skynyrd, who Doesn't have "Free Bird" on their mp3?

Mark Knopfler,  from Dire Straits.  He's pretty good by himself.

Megadeath,  the first CD I ever bought was their "Capitol Punishment."  It was my favorite in high school.

Melvins, I first heard about them when their leader, "King Buzzo" was on Fox News' Red Eye.  Their song " The Water Glass" was the first I'd heard of them.  Buy their "Nude with Boots" album, then bang your head.  I would have never heard of them had I not watched Red Eye.  This band really awakened me to the stuff that I hadn't heard of before.

Muddy Waters, a contemporary of Howlin Wolf, and John Lee Hooker.  The recordings of his that I've heard are not that good.  But if you listen closely you can hear what inspired other bands like Savoy Brown.

Natalie Merchant, her songs are nice-ish.

Rachel Yamagata,  she has songs that make Enya sound like death metal.  I really like some of her stuff.  Although it seems to get worse with each new album.  Listen to "...Happenstance" it'd make my top 5, or 6, albums.

Ram Jam, an album bought only for "Black Betty."  A reasonably good song.

Rob Zombie,  if I'm going to wreck my ears listening to music to loud its going to be Rob Zombie, or "Boogie Woman" by John Lee Hooker.

Todd Rundgren, "Bang the Drum all Day."  I defy you to listen to that song and not be happy.  The rest of his stuff is really bad.

Sara Bareilles, I quite liked her stuff, but then I was channel surfing and listened to her say that she liked the current, socialist, president and I cannot bring myself to listen to her anymore.  I've purposely ignored, and tried to avoid, everything that KT Tunstall has ever said so that she doesn't suffer the same lack of interest on my mp3.

Sara Evans, if I liked country music, then I'd listen to Sara Evans and Miranda Lambert.  (I don't like country music.)

Savoy Brown,  they could be the best underrated band ever.  Have you ever heard of them?  Listen to "Hellbound Train," on the album with the same name, late at night out on an abandoned road and you'd be unable to convince me that anything else is the best song ever.  I have nearly all of their albums and they are are perfect for any time or situation.  If I could only listen to one band, then Savoy Brown would be it.

Shakira, I do not like many celebrities.  Most celebrity women look good, but Shakira is about the only one I really like. I've almost been encouraged to learn more Spanish so that I understand more of her songs.

Shawn Colvin, her vocals are awesome, her songs are not good.

Susan Tedeschi, bluesy.  Some are juuust right.

Taj Mahal, indeed.

Tantric, just another band that came and went.  I imagine that if you were about high school age around 2003 you'd think that "Breakdown" is an okay song.

The Allman Brothers, good instrumental 60's band.

The Asteroids Galaxy Tour, I heard a song of theirs on a commercial for Heineken beer.  it is interesting.

The Pogues, they have a good song or two from Ireland.

Van Morrison, is he not more talented than most anyone?  Al of his stuff is good.  Of course you've heard, "Brown Eyed Girl."

Warren Zevon, I don't have "my song" but if I did it would be one of his.  For a couple of months I listened to him exclusively.   I then needed a break and listened to other things for the hour it took to reach a certain place.  On the return trip I turned Warren back on. "Werewolves of London"

Yoko Kanno, I am more impressed by the anime "Cowboy Bebop" than I am of nearly anything.  Her music is awesome, with or without the anime.

ZZ Top, do they really only have around 2 good songs?

After typing all of this I am still drunk.  But for as long as I keep this blog I will know what it was I listened to during 2002-2012.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

My Heros

If at any time in my life you had asked me to name my heroes I would have said my dad.  I could list some of his accomplishments and you'd say, "That is a good list of accomplishments.  That is a good series of events in a man's life.  That is not bad and I hope to compare to that list.  If I did I would be content with my life.  I hear that the people who are afraid of death are those who did not live full lives, but he wouldn't feel that way.  He is a man that I can admire, a man that lived well, and I am impressed."

But in the interest of being unbiased I will list the three men who impress me more than anyone who is not family.

In chronological order:

No. 1: Toyotomi Hideyoshi

Here is a link describing him as "One of the most remarkable men in Japanese history,"

Here is his Wikipedia entry

This is a guy who was born a peasant.  A peasant in a society that did not like people to change their station in life.  If you were born a farmer you died a farmer, and so on.

This guy was employed at various times in various trades.  He learned some but was unimpressed with them.

He then went to a man that was often overlooked, but who had potential even if no one noticed.  And he said, approximate: Employ me.  He was asked, "what skills do you have?" He responded, "loyalty." (That man was Oda Nobunaga.)(If there is a company I feel similarly to today it is the Boston Brewing Company, maker of Sam Adams beer.  If they were located anywhere near where I'd like to live, I'd say, "I'm working for you, and not taking 'no' for an answer.")

He was hired.  And rose through the ranks.

Apparently there is/ was a saying in Japan:

What if the bird will not sing?

Oda Nobunaga: "Kill it."
Toyotomi Hideyoshi: "Make it want to sing."
Tokugawa Ieyasu: "Wait."

Most of what I just told you comes from my reading of one of my favorite books.  Taiko by Eiji Yoshikawa.   (Since you are not me, if you wish to read about Japanese people in a book of historical fiction by Eiji Yoshikawa, I suggest Musashi.  That book is about an admirable man, and is more to taste for most people; it was described as the "Gone with the Wind" of the far east.)

I often daydream of being as admirable as Toyotomi Hideyoshi.

No 2. Roy Chapman Andrews

Here is his Wikipedia entry.

This guy comes from my state: Wisconsin.

He was the world's first expert on whales, he explored Korea, and southern China, among other things.  But is most notable accomplishment, the one that made him famous in the twenties, was his exploration of Mongolia.

If I was going to summarize him to you I'd say, "Have you seen the Indiana Jones movies?  The exploring far away countries? The getting shot at by natives? The fear of snakes? That's him."

He explored Mongolia as an archeologist and one of his party discovered the first dinosaur egg (that's how I first heard of him).  But even before that he was impressive.  Here is a biography, how can you not be impressed by this account of his life?  Here is his book about exploring southern China; I want to do what he did there.  This book, Heart of Asia: True Tales of the Far East, is so good I wonder why each chapter is not the basis of a movie.  In fact if you want to write an action movie script I suggest you pick a chapter of this book at random and turn it into a full movie.

Here is his biography.

He has written other books, many of which I have not read. Yet. 

No. 3: Naughty Nomad

Here is his website.

He is a contemporary of us, and a year younger than me.

But if you read his blog posts and his comments on the rooshv forum, how can you not be impressed with his travel of the world. (and slaying of girls.)

He has seen africa, east asia, southeast asia, eastern europe, etc.

I dare you to read his words and not be impressed by his deeds and adventures.  If you are not? Fuck you.

I imagine that I will have much more to say about him on August 1st, 2012 because that's when his first book comes out.  If its 10% of what I hope, I'll need to rearrange my list of favorite books.

Honorable mentions to my list of heroes:

Ghengis Khan
Tokugawa Iyeasu
Horatio Nelson
Roosh V

Federal Spending

Many democrats are in favor of higher taxes on the rich in order to balance the budget.  Lets look at it: (all data from the congressional budget office)

Federal revenue, 2011: $2,300,000,000,000
Federal expenditures, 2011: $3,600,000,000,000
Federal deficit, 2011: $1,300,000,000,000

If everyone were to pay the same amount towards the revenue, then everyone would be responsible for: $7,419.  If you did not pay $7,419 in federal taxes, in 2011, then you paid less than average (your fair share?).

If everyone were to pay the same amount towards balancing the budget, then everyone would have to pay: $11,613.  If you did not pay $11,613 in federal taxes, in 2011, then you paid less than average (your fair share?).

If you did not pay $11,613 in federal taxes, in 2011, then the federal government spent more in your name than you paid in taxes.  If the government were totally efficient in redistributing wealth then you would have received $11,613 in benefits.

Suggestions for Spending Improvement: 


If we kept all revenue collections in tact, totaling $2.3 trillion in 2011, eliminated all spending except defense and interest on our debt, $927 billion, we could give each of the poorest 100,000,000 Americans a yearly check for $13,730 and still have a balance budget.

According to the "2012 HHS Poverty Guidelines" the poverty line for one person in the United States is: $11,170.

According to the census bureau in September of 2011 there were 42.1 million Americans living beneath the poverty line.

If we kept all revenue collections in tact, totaling $2.3 trillion in 2011, eliminated all spending except defense and interest on our debt, $927 billion, we could give every American who lives below the poverty line, 42.1 million, a check for $29,783.  That is nearly triple the poverty line.



The federal government is so incompetent that despite the fact that it gets enough revenue to pay for all of the defense spend we are currently funding (including multiple wars) and the interest on our debt, and enough to give each American below the poverty line a check for $29,783 and still have a balanced budget.  The federal government spends $1.3 trillion more than that and yet we still have poor people.

And the democrats want to raise taxes on the rich?

Suprise. The President wants to ban guns

Article here.

Found thanks to this post at Vox Populi.

Vox also has the correct response:

"Let me see here. If young Africans are regularly gunning down other young Africans in large cities where there are already stringent gun control laws, how is disarmingattempting to disarm white suburbanites and exurbanites going to reduce the level of violence in any way?

It seems to me that disarming suburban white America is much more likely to lead to this sort of thing. One of the reason the urban Africans tend to restrict their violence to their own turf is because they know they're both outnumbered and outgunned outside it.

And as far as I'm concerned, every adult male citizen should be required by law to own an AK-47, a handgun, a shotgun, and a rifle with a scope. If the Republicans had any real balls, they would pass such a law and dare the Democrats to oppose it."

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

People who own Priuses are unpleasant.

By following a tweet from RooshV I came across this video of an unpleasant "woman" harassing a guy and swearing at him in front of his kids.  His perceived crime? Driving a diesel truck.  "She" was of course in a prius.

This reminded me of my favorite story involving a prius:  I was driving down a country road and got stuck behind a car.  When I discovered that it was a prius my first thought was, "someone in a prius would love to hear what my sports car sounds like when I floor it."  Generally if someone passes another at night the passed person turns off his /her brights.  When I floored it past that prius the driver turned off their brights when I began and turned them back on as soon as I was around to fill my mirrors with glare. It was quite an ungentlemanly act on their part.  I was amused immensely. 

100 Posts

I started this blog on the first and I'm up to 100 posts, hooray.  If I can keep this up...   ...then something.

Check out my "quote of the day;"  I post them when I come across an interesting quote and would like to remember it.

This one is my favorite.

Record Keeping for Hunting and Fishing

One of the reasons that fishing guides get good is because they keep good records.  If you record the weather, fish activity, fish locations, etc. every day you go fishing, you can learn a lot about how fish behave.  The more records you keep, and the more often you fish, the easier it will be for you to find fish on any given day.  I happen to know that Tony Rizzo has records for every day that he has gone fishing, over 34,000 hours.  If he looks at his records he can tell you: July 25, water temp 73, hot and overcast?  I know right where the fish will be.

My dad and I kept records for the first time for our deer hunting last year.  If nothing else it is interesting.  I saw 35 bucks during archery season last year.  I can look at the records and know specifically what days were best and know exactly which treestand was most productive.

The more information that you have the more about fish and deer you will be able to figure out.

Quote of the Day, 7/25/2012

"Big business depends entirely on the patronage of those who buy its products: the biggest enterprises loses its power and its influence when it loses its customers." -Ludwig von Mises

Where does wealth come from?

Yesterday I watched a show about a London bus driver going to Manila to drive a jeepney.  The bus driver lived with the jeepney driver for 10 days.  Because it was made by the BBC it of course was not anywhere near the show I would have made; I would have started by eliminating the narrator.  We didn't really see much of the country in the video; I wonder what filled the hour, upon reflection.  Why are people that travel to poor countries always surprised that the people in poor countries are poor?

Anyway, here is the video, and it is interesting:

So as I was watching it I was thinking about the poor.  Everyone in the video seems to seems to wonder why there are rich people and poor people.  That's not what I wonder.

I wonder how there are rich people in the first place.  Hundreds of years ago the rich were the people who could get other people to do all of their work for them, think fuedalism.

About 200 years ago the wealth of some countries grew dramatically.  Why did the wealth in those countries grow in the first place? Why only in some countries? 

It would be hard to watch the video, see the jeepney driver, and think of how he could become wealthy.  And he's probably better off than most people in the history of the world.  He's probably got a better standard of living than some European kings of several hundreds of years ago; he potentially has access to medical care that didn't exist 100 years ago, he only needs to work 12 hours a day 6 days a week, etc.

How did anyone rise from that level?  Why are there countries that are almost entirely composed of relatively wealthy people?

I think that the answer to why some people have become wealthy lies in the article by Dr. Tim Nerenz I linked to yesterday.  Specifically the quote in my last post:

"And yet all of the trappings of modern living that we have come to depend on have just come into being in the past 200 years.  Ask yourself why.  Why did this not take place in any of the other two-century stretches in the history of our species?  They were smart, they worked hard, they understood mathematics, and the iron and oil and coal was right there in the ground the whole time.  What changed?    

America - that’s what changed. 

For the first time in the history of the world, the person who “built it” got to keep it.  Liberty – that is all that it took to free the unlimited human capacity for enterprise and advance the living standards of the human race beyond comprehension."

I've read elsewhere that the things needed to create wealth are: liberty and private property rights.

The next question might be: how can we help raise the living standards of people in poor countries, and how can we make a buck off of it?

If we start a collection and send money to poor people, like celebrities are prone to ask us to do, they will not be wealthier.  What would happen when we stopped sending money?  Would they suddenly learn to make it themselves? 

We shouldn't gather food and send it over either.  The people that make and prepare food there currently would go out of business.  If you're poor do you pay your local food preparers or go get the free food some westerners sent over?  And what would the people eat once we stopped sending food and the local food providers have lost the ability to provide food.  At best sending food would be a short term solution.  And one that would encourage bad habits like begging, what would prevent the strongest and meanest people from robbing the weaker people of there free food once they are out of sight of the food donors? (On a side note: anytime you see someone promoting local food and products, know that really poor countries already follow those "buy local" ideals.)

I'll bet you wouldn't guess something that does improve the lives of people in poor countries: sweatshops.  No, they're not fun. No, they don't pay well.  But, if people choose to work there that suggests that it is a better option than their alternatives.  New businesses, like restaurants and doctor's offices, couldn't afford to locate were there is hardly any wealth at all.  But once the citizens start to acquire some money other businesses will be able to start.

Many on the left like to make videos of the poor pay, etc., in sweatshops.  I've been to a few in China, and while I wouldn't like it, they do seem to be better options for the people than any of their alternatives.  What is often suggested by the left is to raise the wages, etc., to higher levels.  If that was done there would be no advantage in having the work done in poor countries, the jobs would leave, and the poor people would be worse off than they are now.

Of course, another way to start people on a path to prosperity is to implement minimum wage laws.  If only the city of Manila had a US$10 /hr minimum wage that jeepney driver's wealth would shoot right up.  Read my all time favorite column.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Just read the whole column

My previous post was a quote of the day.  From this column by Dr. Tim Nerenz.

"And yet all of the trappings of modern living that we have come to depend on have just come into being in the past 200 years.  Ask yourself why.  Why did this not take place in any of the other two-century stretches in the history of our species?  They were smart, they worked hard, they understood mathematics, and the iron and oil and coal was right there in the ground the whole time.  What changed?    

America - that’s what changed. 

For the first time in the history of the world, the person who “built it” got to keep it.  Liberty – that is all that it took to free the unlimited human capacity for enterprise and advance the living standards of the human race beyond comprehension."

Now I know why my favorite talk radio, Viki McKenna, host calls him her favorite blogger.

Quote of the Day, 7/24/2012

"Or how about Obama gives half of his campaign war chest to Libertarian Gary Johnson, since somebody else made that stash happen.  Let’s close that income gap first and then worry about the rest of us. " -Dr. Tim Nerenz

You didn't build that

A response:  (through imao.us)

Is college worth it?

Here is an article pointing out that half of law school students cannot find a job.

As a recent college graduate I feel qualified to talk about college.

For decades we have heard that going to college is necessary.  If you talk to a poor person one of their biggest concerns is saving money for their kid's college.  We have been told that you will not get anywhere in life without a degree.  We are told that a degree holder will make more in his, or her, lifetime. 

But we don't often hear the case against college.

Colleges have been run in order to make money.  I am not opposed to that at all, especially if they are privately funded.  But the colleges have spent too much time trying to maximise their short term revenue to think about the future.  People are spending tens of thousands to get a degree in areas like sociology, art, English, and business.  These are all pointless. 

Everybody is going to school and lots of people have degrees, but there are not enough jobs for those degrees.  How many recent graduated do you know have jobs that they got with the help of their degree.

If I were hiring today the things I'd look for are: experience, knowledge, and passion. 

At best school gives people a testing ground for responsibility and experience on their own.  But unless you take a STEM class you are totally wasting you time and money.

The advice I wish I had had before going to college is: Know what job you want now.  Look up job listings for that job.  Contact the employers and ask for unpaid internships and advice on weather or not a degree is really  necessary.

Guns are Good

Look at this video at The Feral Irishman's blog.  Notice how serious that situation could be.

Debating the Left

I've spent the afternoon asking question to the commentators at the Huffington Post.

I think that I have been asking simple, logical, and polite, questions.  I have revived insults to my intellegence:

 "if you don't know

you are not smart enough to be on this thread

or any thread for that matter" -ram6968

suggestions to commit suicide:

"If you think what comes out of your car's exhaust pipe is harmless may I suggest you close yourself up in the garage with the car running." -Zevonia

and some name calling.

You should all try to debate liberals, its quite fun.  Last time I debated liberals in public I got called: "a clown," "racist," "close minded," and an "idiot."

Do those of you not debating politics see what you are missing?

How many guns are nessesary for a deer hunter?

Guns are an important part of hunting deer; how many should you own? There are a variety of hunting situations and each one has a tool that will fit the situation ideally.
Clearly the correct answer is lots, and lots, and lots. But a more specific answer may be appropriate, as a number to shoot for or just as a thought experiment.

I need a lightweight deer rifle so that I can easily carry it around in the woods; that's 1. Clearly I need a second lightweight rifle in case rifle number 1 is ever out of order; that's 2.

If I was going to walk over long distances I would need a heavier rifle to steady my tired arms; that's 3.

A big rifle for shooting big Canadian deer, or elk, or moose too may be in my future; that's 4.

How about a long distance gun for when I go out west; 5.

How about a heavy lever action for hunting thick cover; 6.

A rifle with a small cartridge for hunting the Florida Key deer or coues; 7.

Plastic and composite stocks look out of place in pictures in Africa, in case those antelope need to be shot, so a wooden stock would be needed; 8.

A plastic or composite stock won't expand or contract as much in high elevations or in heavy snow; 9.

Single shot rifles are cool, big cartridge, medium, and small; 10, 11, 12.

A bolt action, semi-auto, and lever weapons, too; 13, 14, 15.

So that might be about it. If you are just beginning to hunt deer with a rifle you now know how many rifles you need: 47. But that's cutting it a little tight, get a few more when you can afford it.

Why is the 2nd Amendment different from the others?

My recurring response to comments on liberal websites, who think that "the people" in the 2nd amendment means something other than "the people."

"If "the people" in the 1st, 4th, 9th, and 10th amendments means: the people, why does "the people" in the 2nd amendment mean something else?"

Policy vs. Politicians

I've spent some time over the last week writing comments on leftist blogs, trolling, I suppose.  It is interesting to read the other side's positions on the topics of the day.  And their commentors can often be quite silly. 

One place that I have not written many comments is at the Isthmus forums.   This is a newspaper that is local to me and full of liberal silliness, so you'd think that it would be fun to point out some of their flaws in logic.

I've just realized that the reason I don't comment their is because they often argue about particular politicians and quotes, while I find the policy issues to be more interesting. 

I think that it is often the case that libertarians are ignored because we are interested in the polices of the government not the people who make the policies.  If every voter read Ron Paul's "Liberty Defined" without knowing who wrote it, then I'd bet at least 85% of the voters would agree with almost, if not every, position but because of the way our political system works people say that they like some of his positions but would never vote for him.

I am amused by the fact that people often say that they want to elect people who aren't career politicians, but when Herman Cain ran for President the voters would complain about mistakes that he made that career politicians would not have.  The voters didn't realize that if we are going to elect a non politician, then we will need to accept some campaign mistakes as well.

And so we continue to elect politicians whose biggest qualifications are looking and sounding presidential.

Which Treestand Should You Buy


There are several styles of treestands. How /when do you use each?

Built-in tree stands

Before tree stands were commercially available hunters just nailed some boards into trees, some more elaborate than others. And when the trees grew and the boards moved, they fell out, perhaps with the hunters on top.

When to use:


Climbing treestands

These may be expensive but you only need to have one. They really only work with straight trees of a certain width, which can limit your placement options. But they are valuable and useful to have, especially if you cannot leave the stand up for a while.

When to use:

Hunting public or land you do not own
You can afford 1 stand
You want really good abs

Ground blinds

Ground blinds can be pop-up tents, piles of brush, or a homemade box. They are useful if you have limited mobility, and if you are in thick cover, where an elevated position may not be useful. having a ground blind or tower with a roof is great to have when it rains or during other inclement weather. Anything that keeps you comfortable keeps you out longer.

When to use:

During inclement weather
You have limited mobility
When an elevated position is not helpful

Hang-on tree stands

There are a wide variety of hang-on tree stands available, seat-belt like straps or chains. These can be very expensive or cheap. They can be very comfortable or easy to move. They can be heavy or light. They are great if you can afford several stands. They are very useful if you do not want to carry your weapon and a stand in every time you hunt. They can also be a bit dangerous to put up and take down. Replace the straps every so often or use chains.
For more information in choosing hang on treestands .
Hang on stands will need to be paired with some sort of steps to get up the tree

When to use:

You own, or similar, the property
You don't want to carry treestands in each time you hunt
You want the treestands that are easy, although not the easiest, to go up and down

Ladder stands

Ladder treestands can be very comfortable and are very easy to climb up and down. However, they are also very heavy and require more than 1 person to put up. They also require a lot of storage space in the back of a truck and in the off season. They aren't the best when you bow hunt due to the armrests limiting your ability to turn right and left.

Buy one with a wide ladder section not a narrow one. Narrow ladders are useful only when you have 1 foot and wish to climb a tree like you are a runway model, one foot directly in front of the other. I'm in reasonable shape, in my twenties, and I find the narrow ladders very uncomfortable to climb.

When to use:

You have limited mobility
You have someone to help put it up

Tripods and Towers

Tripods and towers can be very comfortable. They may be necessary if you do not have any trees of the the right size. Ones with roofs are great during inclement weather. If you build your own you won't be able to move it, but you can add things like stairs if you want. Even if you have a lot of trees you may want a stand in a specific place where there is no good tree.

When to use:

No suitable trees for the other stand styles
Inclement weather
You want to build one
If you build your own you can add stairs, railings, electricity, cushioned chairs, refrigerators, etc. These things are not recommended but you could be as comfortable as you want.

Step syles

You'll need some sort of steps in order to reach hang-on treestands.

Stick sections

One option for steps is a series of sticks with horizontal sticks out the sides. This is my preferred option. There are several styles of these sticks. I like the ones that have posts on both sides at every step. The sticks with alternating steps make it much harder to put stands up and down. With consistent steps you do not need to look for each step when you climb. They can be cumbersome to carry around.

Strap-on sections

The sections that are independent of each other can be put up irregular trees, but are much harder to climb than the stick alternative. With the strap-on sections you need to look exactly where each of your feet goes at every step.

Screw-in steps

These are the traditional method, but they are flawed. They can be difficult to put in. They are small. They put holes in good trees. They get grown into the trees. If left too long they can be dangerous if you want to cut down the tree. Imagine cutting the tree and hitting an old metal step.

Its a Good Time to Buy Your Hunting Equipment

Hang on Treestands

Utilizing hang on treestands can be an effective way to hunt deer. In some occasions a hang-on, or chain-on, tree stand is a good option. If you own, or similar, the property you hunt having a stand semi permanently in place means you won't need to carry a stand in each time you hunt, and you'll go in faster and quieter. If you are trying to decide which treestand style to use, have a look at this page.

Points to look at before buying

1. Weight. Setting up a heavy hang on treestands is immeasurably more difficult than setting up a light one. After setting up several 28 lb. hang on treestands I now laugh at hang on treestands for sale that weigh more than around 21 lbs.

I put weight first because there is no reason to buy a hang on stand that weighs more than around 21 lbs; they are very difficult and dangerous to put up when they are heavy.
Any of these other criteria could be debatable for hang on treestands but not weight.

2. Price. Hang-on treestands can range in price from $50 to $250. What do you get for the price difference, since they are all just a few metal tubes and mesh? Lightness, build quality, and lightness with size.

An all metal treestands should last just about forever (the straps won't). So price should not be your biggest concern when buying a stand. Say you buy 3-4 per 40 acres you hunt, and you won't need to buy them ever again. Staying safe and comfortable should be your main concern when buying the item that holds you way up a tree.
Save money elsewhere.

4. Seats. There are generally two seat styles: a hanging mesh or cushion and a metal platform with an optional cushion. I prefer the seats with a metal frame and mesh covering, with an optional foam cushion. The other two common seat types are a metal frame with a foam cushion that is not optional and hanging mesh.

I'd like to point out an example of a poor seat. Big Game Treestands' hang on treestands look great. They are relatively inexpensive, you can get a big one that weighs 20 lbs. (not bad), some have footrests, and they have wide platforms, (I particularly like how they are wide and square at the back). But the seat is a small tubed frame (a good start), but instead of a metal mesh over the frame, like other stands, they are just tube frames. you need the cushion to sit on this seat. If you carry the cushion each time you: have more to carry, make noise when you attach the Velcro, and need to spend time messing with the cushion attaching. If you leave the cushion up, then squirrels will eat it and it will get soggy when it rains.

The Rivers Edge hang-o treestands look as good as the Big Game stands, but they are heavy and have the same seat problem.

If Big Game adds the mesh, so that the cushion is optional, then I would recommend them; even if they are on the heavy side of acceptable. Until then buy something else.

5. Size. A small platform can be uncomfortable to sit in, but they are lighter. If you want big and light you may need to pay a bit more.

I suggest getting the biggest hang-on treestands from whatever company you like. But not at the expense of going over around 21 lbs. Bigger is better and more comfortable.

6. Strap or chain. Hang-on treestands are attached to the tree by a seat belt like strap or a chain. The straps attach tighter but need to be replaced every so often. Some hunters replace the straps with chains in order to be safer. This may not be a deciding factor since you can change the strap to whatever you like easily enough.

Some hang on treestands have straps with metal hooks and little plastic safety things to prevent the hook from coming off as easily. I suggest busting the plastic thing off one hook so that you can get it on or off while you are up the tree.

7. Footrests. If you've never sat in a stand with a footrest, then you'd be surprised at how much more comfortable they can be. Some manufacturers offer optional footrests. I would only consider footrests before a purchase if the two stands were otherwise identical.

8. Attachment brackets. Some stands offer brackets for attachments to the tree and then adding the stand. I have not tried one of these but they seem needlessly complicated, with needing to line up a bracket rather than a strap not being an improvement anyway.

9. Armrests. If you hunt with a gun they are okay. If you hunt with a bow they get in the way.

Which hang-on to buy

My ideal hang-on would have a long wide platform, a metal tube and mesh topped seat, a footrest all across the front, be square to the back, and weigh less than 16lbs.

There once was a stand that, more or less, met that criteria. They were the last version of Gorilla: King Kong treestands. But they are no longer made.

Maximum Comfort

The more comfortable you are in a tree the longer you'll hunt. I recommend this Gorilla: King Kong Expedition HX treestand ($150). This stand is very comfortable, with a sizable platform, a footrest, and a very comfortable seat.

The problem I see with this stand, and all stands with big hanging seats, is that a big seat makes it harder to go from sitting to standing. Secondly, if you are right handed shooting in front or to the left is easy, but if you need to shoot to the right you need to turn in your seat. With a small hard seat this is easy. With a big deep seat you need to go up and over the side in order to turn.

Maximum Hunting Efficiency

Short of the old Gorilla hang on treestands, my vote for the best currently manufactured hang on treestands are the Lone Wolf: Alpha Hang-On II.

These hang on treestands are very light, very quiet, very easy to set up, has an excellent seat (with stupid cushion attaching Velcro), and a good size. It is $250; for which it better be good. If your goal is to be maximally efficient while hunting hang-on treestands. Get this one, its clearly the best.

There are some other good hang on treestands which you may look at, the biggest, armrest-free, Gorilla, looks fine but is inferior to the Alpha Hang-on II.

Which climbing steps should you get?

For me there is only one option: Rivers Edge 15' or 20' Double Rung Climbing Aid or Rapid Stick..

These are 3 (for 15') or 4 (for 20') square metal tubes with rungs on both sides. (With alternating rungs, where do you put your other foot when you are hanging a stand?) I could probably run up and down one of these sticks, in the dark, with one hand behind my back.

I've tried the similar Big Game stick but they seem to have forgot to take the metal burs off the metal tubes, I've torn clothes, and me on them; their straps are also colossally awful, I don't think that whoever picked those straps has ever been up a tree. (I wish to curse whoever picked those straps with the hellish task of using that stick and those stupid straps.)

One other product that you should avoid is the Ameristep Rapid Rails. These are awful. There are several other companies making similar steps, they are all bad. I suppose if I had only one leg...they'd be better, but still awful. A narrow ladder with sides on both sides of the rungs leaves room for only one foot. That may not seem like a big deal, but when you are hanging the stand you need to put your other foot somewhere; ideally, helping hold the stand up while you arrange the strap. They also stick out a long way from the tree, this means you need to lean around them to hang a stand. These rapid rails are the worst hunting product I've ever experienced.

How to set up hang-on treestands

If you've just bought new hang on treestands, or sticks, you may need to assemble it with a few bolts. I recommend doing this at home so that you are sure you have the wrenches and don't lose nuts.

Setting up your hang on treestands a few weeks before the season is a good idea because it is a bit noisy. Because its a hang-on you only need to do this once a season.

Once you've arrive at your tree. You should arrange all the straps on the ground. I like to have the attached end on the same side all the way up the stick. Make sure that you have enough strap before you go up so you have one less thing do do when you are up the tree. Make sure the straps are in good shape before you use them. They are all that hold you to the tree.

Plan where you want the stand to point. If you are right handed you want the left and front to face where you think the deer will be. The sticks should be perpendicular to the stand, out either side.

Trees aren't quite straight. So, put the first stick on loosely. Put the second stick on, tighten it, and then tighten the bottom stick. Do the rest the same as the second. I like them in there as solid as possible even though they will be hard to remove later.

If you have the Rivers Edge Rapid Stick, like I recommend, you can stand on one rung and balance the stand on your other knee which can be hooked around another rung. Put it on wherever you can get it, mine often have the stand floor at the same height as the second highest stick rung. Often if you stomp on the hang on treestands with a free foot you can tighten the stand a bit more.

Paraphrase of the Day, 7/24/2012

The best part about watching an illegally downloaded movie is that you don't have to watch the warning telling you not to download it illegally.  -Dara O'Brien

Monday, July 23, 2012

Cop Humor

Check out what Florida police think is a joke.  Notice that they did not get a ticket, like us commoners would have.

Muskie Baits

Everyone who fishes a lot ends up buying lots, and lots of fishing lures.  Most will then only use a few to actually fish with.

How many do you actually need for a week of muskie fishing?

Every year my dad goes to Canada to catch big muskies.

And this is what his tackle box looks like for a week at a fly-in resort:

A Harasser bucktail, a Suick, a White Knuckle crankbait, and a Stalker jerkbait.

How many lures do you need for a week?  Just a few good ones.

Muskie Structure

There are all kinds of places where fish hide from their predators.  Weeds often get the most attention, and rocks often get overlooked.

I've heard several stories of guys going up to Canada for the first time and spending half of their week looking for, often nonexistent, weeds.

Muskies will hang out in weeds, next to rocks, next to shelves, under piers  next to fallen trees.  Most any irregularity in the body of water has the potential to hold a muskie.

If you are going to fish an unknown body of water look at a map for points, islands, underwater humps, shelves, and man made structures in the water.

Once you find a good spot, remember it.  Many good spots will produce fish every year.

Don't be like those guys spending half their trip looking for weeds.  Muskies will hang out near any structure, and even when they are suspending they will relate to the structure.

71 Year Old Armed Man Foils Robbery

I found this through Vox Day's WND Column.  He's suspicious that the government may have been involved with the Colorado shooting.

Has anyone seen this in the news?

Isn't it interesting what makes the news?  After a brief search I couldn't find more than a few blog posts on the subject.

This happened a few days before the Colorado shooting, where is this story's coverage? Guns in non-criminals hands save lives but don't make the news.

If someone tells you that they want to ban guns, show them this video and ask that person what they would tell the people in the attempted to be robbed internet cafe?

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Banning Guns

This post at Vox Popoli is the result of an Australian reader of that blog writing that Americans should ban guns like Australia has and watch the numbers of shooting go down.  Vox's response was to look up Australian violent crime rates after the gun ban, the results:

"Between 1995 and 2007, Australia saw a 31.9 percent decrease; without a gun ban, America's rate dropped 31.7 percent.
During the same time period, all other violent crime indices increased in Australia: assault rose 49.2 percent and robbery 6.2 percent.
Sexual assault -- Australia's equivalent term for rape -- increased 29.9 percent.
Overall, Australia's violent crime rate rose 42.2 percent.
At the same time, U.S. violent crime decreased 31.8 percent: rape dropped 19.2 percent; robbery decreased 33.2 percent; aggravated assault dropped 32.2 percent.
Australian women are now raped over three times as often as American women.

So, if the USA follows Australia's lead in banning guns, it should expect a 42 percent increase in violent crime, a higher percentage of murders committed with a gun, and three times more rape. One wonders if Freddy even bothered to look up the relative crime statistics."

I also read this article at the Huffington Post about the Colorado shooting and the articles author's desire to ban guns.  I was heartened by the fact that the first several comments at this liberal website were in support of gun ownership.

Since all of the mass shootings in America have occurred in gun free zones, I think the problem is that the gun free zone signs aren't big enough.  Maybe those murderers wouldn't have shot people if they had seen the signs.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Beatles are Overrated

I heard part of a Beatles song on the radio today and I don't like them.  For all of you who think that music changed after them, maybe you're right. 

But before the Beatles, you could have been listening to John Lee Hooker:

or Howlin Wolf:

Friday, July 20, 2012

Quote of the Day, 7/20/2012

"Think about it. Obama got a lucrative deal for writing a memoir when he had never actually done anything in his life, he got a Senate seat in a race that was basically thrown, and then after interning in the Senate for a couple week, he was basically thrown into the presidential race as a novelty. And even after being president for three and a half years, the only accomplishment he has that people really like is his not actively stopping the Navy SEALs from killing bin Laden."  -FrankJ at imao

Colorado Shooting

If this new shooting doesn't convince us to get concealed carry, maybe nothing will.

This article details the media stupidity and desire for more gun laws, there's a reason I haven't watched the news since November.

 A retired cop on Viki McKenna's radio show pointed out that you have no right to be defended by cops, only a right to defend yourself.

Another caller pointed out that the shooting wasn't all the shooter's fault, but the government built the roads and the UAW built the car, etc. that got the shooter there. "...somebody along the line gave you some help…. If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen." 

European Debt Crisis

If you want to understand what is going on with all of the debt problems in Europe, then I suggest that you read "The Bubble That Broke the World."  It was published in the early thirties and in it Garet Garret describes the world of finance after WWI.

To summarize:  The United States, both privately and publicly, lent money to various countries in Europe to continue fighting the war.  Once the war ended the European countries could pay for their debt to the US for a while, the twenties, with help from more loans from the US.  The US continued to lend in the hopes that they would not lose what they had already lent.  Once the Great Depression started those countries tried to get out of their debts, and the US continued to loan money so the European countries could pay back their loans to the US.

All of this led to: the great depression, hyperinflation in Germany, and WWII.

Let's look at the parallels with today's Europe.

Greece, and a few other counties, ran up huge government deficits and borrowed money to pay for it from other countries, and banks in other countries.  Just like debt from WWI.  Once the money was loaned, they discovered that they could not pay for their continual budget deficits and interest on more debt.  The countries that loaned money, not wanting to lose what they had already lent, lent more in the hopes that Greece, and other countries would "turn it around." 

And now Greece, and other countries, are wondering why they can't just go bankrupt.  And the creditor counties are trying to not let that happen.

I don't predict good things for anybody, but I do recommend the book which is very interesting.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

John Galt Day

John Galt Day on the monthly Anniversary of Obama saying,  "If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help…. If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen." 

Sounds Like a plan.

Quote of the Day, 7/19/2012

In response to this:

"Headline: "House GOP set for health care law repeal vote, but offering no alternatives"

We get this (from Bad Example):

"Sure, we could liberate this concentration camp, but what concentration camp will the Jews live in after that?"

A Bold New Federal Budget

The President of the United States has not signed a federal budget into law in a few years.

According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) the federal government got 2.3 trillion dollars in 2011.  (source: CBO)

According to the same source, the federal government spent 3.6 trillion dollars in 2011.

That is a deficit of 1.3 trillion dollars in 2011. (US$1,300,000,000,000)

The Democrats and Republicans have had a hard time agreeing on a budget.  Even budgets like Representative Paul Ryan's budget, which still includes a deficit, have not gained enough support to be passed.

Check out the CBO graphic.  It makes it easy to read and understand the budget, even if some of us do not believe all of the numbers.

Let me propose a budget that, perhaps, can get bipartisan support and get passed.

First lets understand the big parts of the budget:

US Federal Budget 2011


Personnel Income Taxes: $1.1 trillion
Corporate Income Taxes: $181 billion
Social Insurance Taxes: $819 billion
Other : $211 billion

Total: $2.3 trillion


"Mandatory Spending:"

Social Security: $725 billion
Medicaid: $275 billion
Medicare: $480 billion
Other: $545 billion

Discretionary Spending:

Defense: $700 billion
Non-defense: $646 billion

Interest: $227 billion

Total: $3.6 trillion

Surplus (Deficit): ($1.3 trillion)

Tim's Budget


Reduce all income taxes to 10% (with 0 exceptions or credits)

Maintain Social Insurance: $819 billion

Eliminate "other"


Defense: $500 billion
Interest: $227 billion

Total expenditures so far: $727 billion

Social Insurance less Defense and Interest spending: $92 billion

Then the democrats can spend $92 billion plus all revenue from 10% income tax on anything.  We will remove all "mandatory" spending.  The democrats can spend all of total revenue, less $727 billion, on absolutely anything. (If they want to spend $1 trillion on abortions, or art, or education, or helping the poor, or whatever, then that will be okay.)

The benefits of my plan for the Republicans are: 1. a balanced budget 2. reduced income taxes and income tax complexity.

The benefits of my plan for the Democrats are: they can do whatever they want with the majority of the budget.

My plan is not ideal, but in a system where Democrats get 1/2 of the spending power, and the Republicans have the other half, then this could be about as good as we can get.