Wednesday, April 27, 2011

When a word is worth a thousand pictures...

When I got my first cell phone about 15 years ago, it was about as big as one of my boots, and I had to keep it plugged into the cigarette lighter in my truck to keep it charged up. Sometimes I had to put the base of the phone on the dashboard and hold the handset out the window if I wanted to make a call. Still, it saved a lot of time when it came to getting material to a job site.

The last phone I had didn't resemble the first one in any way, shape, or form. It fit in and fell out of my shirt pocket easily. I could talk to it and it would talk back, and if it didn't understand what I was saying, I could punch a couple of buttons until a list of functions appeared on the screen and I could make my wishes known in that fashion.

But when it fell out of my pocket for the last time a couple of days ago, and it seemed we just couldn't talk anymore, I decided it was time for a new one.

I'm a big fan of the written word. I know that some ancient cultures used picture drawings, or hieroglyphics, to communicate, but I always figured we had it all over them when we came up with the alphabet. (We did come up with the alphabet, didn't we?) Imagine my disappointment when I punched a couple of buttons on the new phone.

It has a bunch of pictures on it. I suspect the picture of the mailbox will take me to my voicemail, and probably the the picture of the hammer and pliers is supposed to represent tools. And the picture of some pictures is probably about pictures, but I don't know why they couldn't call voicemail voicemail, and tools tools, and pictures pictures. I don't know what the sideways pointy mask is for, or the smiley face with an arrow for a nose is for, and I'm not sure I want to know what the abstract picture of the toilet is for.

I suppose I could get the owners manual and check them out. They probably wrote something beside the pictures in it telling me what the pictures mean.

It would have saved me a lot of aggravation if they would have just wrote it on the phone in the first place.

Or if the last one would have just stayed in my pocket.


Saturday, April 23, 2011

Look at them beans...

Back in my younger days, I often spent time at the home of my good buddy, Stinky Wilmont. When noon approached, Stinky would sometimes ask Mrs. Wilmont if I could stay for dinner. She always replied that it would be okay, and then proceeded to add another cup of water to the bean soup. I remember that on days when there were several neighbor kids visiting, the soup got pretty thin, and the beans got a little harder to find.

Just like watering down the soup, the Federal Reserve is now pumping $200 billion a month into the economy. Of course, the same action that made the soup thinner also makes the dollar weaker. You might notice how many more dollars it takes to fill up your cars gas tank: You might notice that land you could buy for $1000.00 an acre not too many years ago now costs $5000.00 or $6000.00 per acre or more. $300.00 per ounce gold is now $1500.00, and $6.00 an ounce silver is now $45.00.

Maybe you've noticed that 12 ounces of bacon this month costs the same as a pound of bacon cost a few months ago.

Since the Federal Reserve starting "managing inflation" in 1913, the dollar has lost about 96% of its purchasing power. The political party that is in control, regardless of which one it is at the time, likes to deny that inflation is a problem when they are running things.

But I could sure tell the difference when the soup got too thin, and I can tell the difference when my truck's gas tank gets empty.

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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Conventional thoughts...

Every couple of election cycles or so, the percentage of voters that alternate between Republicans and Democrats replace a few incumbents, hoping that it will bring about some sort of change in government spending or policy. In 2010, those voters helped the Republicans gain control of the U.S. House of Representatives, who in turn compromised us into adding another $1.6 trillion to the federal debt.

Here in Wayne County, a Republican who ran for office in 2010, and won, claiming that it was not a good time to add or raise taxes, apparently decided that 2011 might be a better time.

If you are one of the growing number of voters that has decided switching your votes between Republicans and Democrats really isn't going to change things all that much, you might want to take a closer look at the Libertarian Party.

The Libertarian Party of Wayne County will hold its 2011 Convention on Saturday, April 16th, at 6:30 P.M., at Carver's Restaurant, 2270 Chester Blvd., Richmond IN 47374.

The public is invited to attend.

The LPWC will be accepting nominations for candidates for the 2011 City and Town Elections at the convention, along with offering a short program called "Liberty 101, What Libertarians Believe".

We will also be electing party officers for 2011, so make sure you are there if you want a position. It's also a good idea to be there if you don't wan't a position!

If you are interested in limited government, lower taxes and personal freedom, or if you are interested in running for office or helping some one else run for office, or if you would like to find out more about the Libertarian Party, or even if you just like good food and stimulating conversation, please plan on attending.

For more information, contact LPWC chairman Rex Bell at (765) 969-0086, or

Several local Libertarian candidates received national recognition for their vote totals and percentages from the 2010 election, and one candidate achieved a total that hadn't been reached by a third party candidate for over 85 years:

These are the offices that are up for election in Richmond and Wayne County towns this year. There will also be openings in cities and towns in the surrounding counties. We don't want to let our momentum weaken. Please consider running for one of these offices this year, and/or recruiting limited government advocates to join us, by running for office, and/or supporting our candidates.

(Incumbents listed in brackets)

City of Richmond:

Mayor: (Sally L. Hutton)

City Clerk: (Karen Chasteen)

Common Council District 1: (Howard “Jack” Elstro)

Common Council District 2: (Kelley J. Cruse-Nicholson)

Common Council District 3: (R. Bruce Wissel)

Common Council District 4: (J. Clayton Miller)

Common Council District 5: (Bing Welch)

Common Council District 6: (Larry L. Parker)

Common Council At-Large (3 Seats) (Bob Goodwin, Diana J. Pappin, Phil Quinn)


Cambridge City:

3 Town Council Seats – Wards 3,4,5


Centerville and Dublin:

5 Town Council Seats – Centerville all 5 Wards, Dublin 5 Seats all At-Large


East Germantown/Pershing:

5 Council Seats – All At-Large


Fountain City:

5 Council Seats-Ward 2 and 2 At-Large



3 Council Seats – All At-Large


Town Judge


5 Council Seats – All At-Large



Tuesday, April 12, 2011

I been thinkin'...

Susan and I had a babysitting gig in Mississippi last weekend. About 1100 miles, round trip, but well worth it to get to spend some time with our newest grandson, Jackson. He seemed awfully glad to see us, and we were sure glad to see him.

A long drive gives you a lot of time to think, and I got to thinking about how members of a family a few decades ago would move across the country and never see other members of their family ever again. I don't like to travel all that much, but I'm glad we have the option.

Of course, in 1100 miles, I had time to think about a lot of things. I have a lot of friends that drive motorcycles, and I try to watch out for motorcycles when I'm driving. I think sometimes motorcycle riders should do a little bit better job of looking out for themselves, too.

I also think we could save a lot of money if we didn't put so many speed limit signs up along the interstate. It's not like anybody pays any attention to them anyway. And I think they've been working on the same entrance ramp in Terra Haute for the last 14 years that I've been driving through there.

I don't like to see dead animals along the freeway, except maybe opossums, and even though I feel sorry for the deer and coyotes that don't make it across, I always figured they at least had a fighting chance. I mean, if they even made the slightest effort to check the traffic they could probably time things to get through.

But the south has had a lot of rain this spring, and with all the high water, apparently a lot of turtles also decided to cross the road. I have no doubt that they all probably stopped and looked both ways before they started their mad dash across the road. But you know people probably aren't paying attention to those speed limit signs anyway.

You gotta feel sorry for those turtles.

At least that's what I think.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Talkin' Trash...

I saw a clip on the news this morning that some people in Washington D.C. were threatening to take their trash over to the yard of John Boehner. Apparently if there is a federal government shutdown, which is possible if Boehner stands his ground on making some meager budget cuts, the government won't be picking up the trash in Washington.

Some of us have thought for a long time that government was doing things it really shouldn't be doing. That's why our federal budget is $3.4 trillion a year, and why our federal debt is over $14 trillion. It's also why so many local governments are running out of money, and looking to raise taxes.

A lot of the people we know pay to have their own trash picked up. And some people who don't want to pay to have their trash picked up, recycle what they can and haul the rest of it to the transfer station or landfill themselves. I'd much rather look after my own trash and not have to deal with quite as much government.

I guess a lot of people would rather have the government do it for them. But I'd think that if you had already loaded your trash into your car, the logical thing would be to take it to the tranfer station or landfill.

I guess people who expect the government to pick up their trash don't think that.


Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Going down the hard road, again...

If you spend much time driving in or through the bordering counties, it doesn't take long to develop an appreciation for our Wayne County roads. Most people understand that quality roads need adequate funding to be both built and maintained. It is reasonable, I believe, to expect that people who use the roads should pay for their construction and maintainence. Everytime you buy a gallon of gas in Indiana, you pay over 52 cents in road use taxes to do just that.

You would think that charging 52 cents on every gallon of gas that is sold would be sufficient to build and maintain our roads, and maybe it would, if the government actually spent all of the money on the roads. Unfortunately, federal, state, and local governments spend our road use taxes on a myriad of projects unrelated to roads. They manage to spend billions of dollars on everything from hiking trails, to horse trails, to museums, to government pensions.

A proposal is being introduced this week to the Wayne County Council by the Wayne County Commissioners to adopt a new Wheel Tax to add to that 52 cents you're already paying.

Now, maybe 52 cents per gallon isn't enough to pay for our roads, but why don't we give it a try before we allow the government to add yet another road use tax. Who knows where that money might end up, anyway?


Friday, April 01, 2011

Did you want cheese on that cheeseburger?...

There have been a few times when I've looked at a picture on a menu and said, mmmmmm!, that's what I'm ordering.

Then, when the waitress brings it out it looks more along the lines of:

I understand that orders get mixed up sometimes, and I understand that cooks and waitresses can have a bad day from time to time, just like everybody else. I've had more than a few bad days myself. But if everytime I went into that restaurant and the same thing happened, I suspect I would take my business elsewhere.

In the 2010 elections, voters that were fed up with government over-spending threw a lot of Democrats out and replaced them with a lot of Republicans who said they were fed up with government overspending, too. Of course, Republicans are always fed up with government overspending. During elections,of course.

To date, Republicans have proposed $61 billion in cuts from a $3.4 trillion budget. That's not even 2% of the budget. And it's starting to look like they may be willing to settle for even smaller cuts than that.

You have to wonder how long people will keep ordering from the same menu and keep accepting the same disappointing results before they finally stand up and say, "Where's the Beef?!"

If you're not at the Libertarian Party table, it's not even on the menu.