Is Physical Cash and Currency Coming to an End?

There has been a lot of speculation lately over the fate of physical cash (folding money as Grandpap used to say). Many self-appointed seers have stated that it is no longer needed because we have a plastic card with a chip, by golly!

Folly, I tell you. To rely on electronics and fancy machines for making our transactions is convenient. Yes, I will give you that. I do it myself. But a problem arises when the grid falters; everything electronic grinds to a halt. And woe to the Captains of Complacency.

The problem becomes more severe in an EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) attack. Everything digital or electronic (other than things which have been properly shielded) go bye-bye.

The Government’s Interest in a Cash-Free Economy

The government has a huge interest these days in a cash-free marketplace. Every transaction by strip or chip can be recorded and made accessible and recordable since those freedoms against intrusiveness have been eroded. So long, Bill of Rights.

The government databases can record your purchases, your preferred stores and websites, your personal demographics, oh, and your bank balance and credit card info. Feel all snuggly and warm now? Didn’t think so.

Is there an upside? Sure! Organized crime and drug dealing will have to scramble to find new ways to keep up business as usual. But you know that they will so to assert “not” is a straw man argument.  However as a citizen, where do you draw the line between personal anonymity and “We’re just here to help?”

Public Acceptance?

To this writer it is amazing how many people are willing to give up their personal rights to the state for convenience at Starbucks. According to Reuters.com, “Overall, 34 percent of respondents in Europe and 38 percent in the United States said they would be willing to go cash-free, according to the survey conducted by Ipsos for the ING bank website eZonomics.”

I suppose that most of the respondents never went through the aftermath of a natural disaster like a hurricane when there were no electronic transactions for basic necessities for weeks. Cash is king, baby. Be ready for cash or bartering.


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Japan Slaughters Over 300 Whales

The Japanese are known for all manner of odd things — quirky cartoons, schoolgirl fetishes, and more. But by far the most curious is their tradition of slaughtering whales. Certainly the Japanese consume their fair share of seafood, but their whale meat consumption is way down since the aftermath of WWII so it hardly justifies their current hunting tradition.

So why do they do it? Just this year they indulged in an annual Antarctic hunt that killed more than 300 of the mammals. It’s not for the meat and it is probably not for perfume (ambergris is produced by sperm whales and valued as an ingredient for women’s perfume for some reason).

No, the Japanese Fisheries Agency says the annual slaughter is really, “research for the purpose of studying the ecological system in the Antarctic Sea.”

Wow, didn’t see that coming. But then hey! I’m not a highly-paid Japanese press agent, right?

According to Yahoo News,  “Under the International Whaling Commission (IWC), to which Japan is a signatory, there has been a moratorium on hunting whales since 1986. Tokyo exploits a loophole allowing whales to be killed for ‘scientific research’ and claims it is trying to prove the population is large enough to sustain a return to commercial hunting.”

Maybe it’s just me, but that sounds like crappola in all its glorious splendor.

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Homemade Oatmeal Flax Seed Bread Recipe

I can safely state that one thing I cannot tolerate is store-bought white bread. It’s full of crap ingredients and air. If I can’t buy some good stuff, I just prefer to make my own. The good thing about homemade bread is that I get to control the ingredients.

So, that being said, here is the recipe for the oatmeal flax/chia seed whole wheat bread that I baked today. Enjoy!

Oatmeal Flax/Chia Seed Whole Wheat Bread Ingredients

  • 1 cup organic milk
  • 1/2 cup steel cut oats
  • Enough whole wheat flour for mixing and kneading
  • 1 egg
  • 1/8 cup flax seeds
  • 1/8 cup chia seeds
  • 2.25 oz. pecans, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup wheat bran
  • Rapid-rise yeast

Assembly and Baking

  • The oats are not as as processed as the instant kind so mix them with the milk and allow them to soak for an hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  • Mix in the yeast, egg, seeds, bran, pecans, and enough whole wheat flour to where you have to turn it out and knead it.
  • Knead the loaf, adding flour, until you have a proper consistency. The more you knead it, the better texture it will have.
  • Butter the loaf pan and press the dough down into it.
  • Bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean
  • Let the loaf cool on a rack.
  • Enjoy!

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Economics and Consequences of Illegal Aliens and Work Visas

RIP America

No one can dispute the fact that Donald Trump was whisked into office on a wave of fly-over America. Not left-coasters, not right-coasters, but the average American who has lost his and her job due to exporting production, importing foreign talent, bad trade deals, and illegal immigrants.

Yes, illegal immigrants are felons. Sneaking into another country is a crime. I’m not making a moral judgement here; how can you fault a man or woman who just wants to provide for family since the rabiblanco government in Mexico makes no concessions for their own poor and downtrodden? It is the encouraging system that is at fault.

The Economic Effects of Illegal Immigration

America has almost always encouraged immigration. Where would we be without the Irish and Italians? Nowheresville, baby.

But those emigrants came in according to the law, embraced the country, and assimilated to the point that some never taught their children the old-country language.

The problem with the illegals today is that for the most part, they don’t have those same goals. They come here illegally and suck up tax-payer provided public services (emergency room medical, food pantry access, public transportation, etc.) without giving back to their hosts.

The problem is that after working under the table or under a fake or stolen social security number, rather than pumping wages back into our economy, they send it back to their home country as remittances which does nothing to stimulate our economy.

According to CNN, “Last year, Mexico received $27 billion in remittances — a record high and far more than what the country got from its oil exports, $18.7 billion, according to Mexico’s central bank. The vast majority of remittances sent to Mexico come from the U.S. and they support millions of low-income families in Mexico.”

This is money that should have been spent in the country that is providing all the services that the illegals willingly consume.

I’m all for hard-working people but not when their prime motivation is sucking my country dry in order to make theirs more prosperous.

Americans Won’t Do that Work

How many times have you heard this bovine excrement canard? Most likely, many times! Complete liberal nonsense. Who do you think did all these jobs before the Rio Grande got an express lane?

Point in case: I am a veteran and went through a 4-year carpentry apprenticeship. After I worked as a commercial journeyman carpenter for 20 or so years, I can’t even buy a job hanging sheetrock. Why? Because I have a real social security number and won’t work for $5/hr.

The same is true in many other industries. But the authorities will not address it. Why? I don’t know; ask them that after they explain why they can’t be bothered to fix the VA hospital problems.

How About the H-1B Work Visa?

This one is all over the map. Silicone Valley says they need them because there are not enough Americans. Total bovine excrement, again. It really all boils down to the paycheck. You can say whatever you like about how great these employers are but their bottom line is more important than their loyalty to our citizens and the country that has provided them such a great work environment.

Many companies have not only sought to import foreign workers and sponsor their H-1B work visas but force American employees to train their replacements prior to being fired!

Disney, that standard-bearer of the American entertainment industry, is one of the worst offenders. The New York Times states, “About 250 Disney employees were told in late October that they would be laid off. Many of their jobs were transferred to immigrants on temporary visas for highly skilled technical workers, who were brought in by an outsourcing firm based in India. Over the next three months, some Disney employees were required to train their replacements to do the jobs they had lost.

“I just couldn’t believe they could fly people in to sit at our desks and take over our jobs exactly,” said one former worker, an American in his 40s who remains unemployed since his last day at Disney on Jan. 30. “It was so humiliating to train somebody else to take over your job. I still can’t grasp it.”

Even more ominous, some tech and energy workers here in Houston that I have talked to have been told that they had two termination choices. Either train your foreign replacement and get your severance package or just walk away with nothing. Some choice.

No wonder we elected Donald Trump.

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Delicious Pizza Margherita Recipe

The pizza Margherita is something of a minimalist pizza pie. That doesn’t mean you can’t tweak it by adding anything that floats your boat.  Word has it that in June of 1889 Neapolitan pizzamaker Raffaele Esposito created it to honor the Queen consort of Italy, Margherita of Savoy. He garnished it with tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil to represent Italy’s national colors as they are on the Italian flag.

Despite the simplicity of the recipe, there are a number of variations. For example, some recipes call for the basil to be added after the pie is done. I prefer to put it under the cheese before baking so the herbs flavor cooks into the cheese and sauce.

Optional Pizza Making Equipment

If you really get into making your own pizzas, I recommend:

  • A pizza stone. This is essential if you want top-notch pizza. A good pizza stone does wonders for your crust development because, unlike a baking sheet, it’s completely heated before the pizza is placed upon it. and that, my friend, is how you achieve a crisp and chewy crust that you can’t get out of a box. As you can see above, mine has some serious mileage on it.
  • A pizza peal. This is one of your best friends when using a stone. The one in the image below is typical. You build the pie on it, you transport the pie on it, and you can cut the pie on it. No muss, no fuss.

Pizza Crust Considerations

You basically have two choices. If you have the time and inclination, make your own. Check out this pizza crust recipe. If you are pressed for time, simply buy a crust in the grocery store. Don’t go for the really cheap ones.

The good thing about making your own crust is that you can add in just about anything—herbs, flax seeds, you name it.

Pizza Topping Ingredients

  • 7 roma tomatoes. You can use the big slicers but the romas are much more economical. Cut up the tomatoes and chop them up in the blender.
  • Mozzarella cheese. How much you use is up to you. Slice it about 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick and place it randomly (see the video in the link below under Preparation to see what I like).
  • 1/2 cup chopped basil.

That’s pretty much it for the basic ingredient list. Have fun with it and throw on anything that suits your fancy.

Preparation

This is very easy. Spread the tomatoes out evenly leaving about 1/2 inch around the edge “naked.” Add the basil. Add the cheese randomly. Watch the video. Have patience; it takes a while to load.

Bake that Baby

Preheat your oven (with the pizza stone on an oven rack) to 500 degrees. Bake it until the dough is crisp and browned and the cheese is golden and bubbling in spots. This will usually be from 13 to 16 minutes; just keep an eye on it.  Slide your pie off the peal onto the stone.

Let it rest about 5 minutes and then slice and enjoy!
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Why is the Democrat Left so Angry?

The mainstream left, since President Trump’s election, would be better described as the alt-left. Even previously reasonable citizens have jumped on the crazy bus. These people acted normally when President Obama was holding sway, signing constitution-adverse executive orders and playing hooky to hit the golf links. But now that the tables have turned, the alt-left has reduced itself into a saliva-slinging frenzy.

Just Can’t Accept Hillary’s Defeat

I was surprised when none of these Saul Alinsky wannabes didn’t let a single sigh escape their collective mandibles when it was shown that Hillary effectively stole her nomination by rigging everything against Bernie Sanders in collusion with the DNC and Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

Neither did they cry foul when it was revealed that she gamed the system by having the debate questions spoon-fed to her beforehand. Neither did they cry foul when it was revealed that her “foundation” skimmed the donations meant for starving Haitians. OK, I could go on and on but you get the idea. The bottom line is, “Elect me because I’ve got a vagina, I’m entitled, and it’s my turn.”

But she lost. Forget the left and right-coasters; fly-over America spoke. They want their jobs back. They want off Obama food stamps and free cell phones. They want their dignity.

The problem now is that the activists (many professional activists paid by George Soros) are still looking for that free meal ticket. Supposedly from the party and philosophy of “inclusiveness, diversity, and respect for the rights of others,” they feel that it is OK to destroy public property and physically beat the crap out of people that don’t march to their brown-shirt tune.


What Can be Done in Government?

Unfortunately, not much. The geriatric Democrat party is still being marionette-string-controlled by the likes of Pelosi and God-help-me feces-for-brains Chuck Schumer. The average Democrat seems now willing to toss them on the dung-hill of historical have-beens but there isn’t really any new talent to replace them. These guys have been around since the Democrats sponsored the Ku Klux Klan and their heels are dug in.

Face it, they are mad, mad, mad. The leftists don’t want jobs. They don’t want their neighbors to have jobs. They are not interested in safe neighborhoods. They don’t care about social justice unless it is their particular flavor (otherwise they will beat your ass, especially if you are wearing a “Make America Great” hat). What they really want is more free stuff, paid for by someone else.

Wake up America. Have some self-respect, and for crying out loud, pull up your britches, yo. Nobody wants to see your ghetto boxers.
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7 Tips to Improve Your Home Security

Home security is more important than ever. Gone are the days when we could leave the front door unlocked or the garage door open. This is precisely the reason why selling alarm systems and surveillance cameras is such a lucrative business.

There are other methods to foil the bad guys both before and during a break-in or home invasion. Rather that complacently thinking, “It will never happen to me,” consider the following tips. Forewarned is forearmed.

  1. Protect your home from burglars by securing the garage. This is a prime spot for not only grabbing your stored stuff, but there is usually a door leading into the home that is not as secure as the front door.
  2. Ensure that you have defensive “tools” for easy access in all areas of your home. You might keep your pistol by your bedside and that’s great. But keep in mind that you won’t always be able to get to it in an emergency when Billy Badass is blocking your way. Place cans of wasp spray in various locations. They shoot a fine stream for about 20 feet. A shot in the eyeballs will stop the most unruly crackhead. A stun gun or taser in a bathroom or kitchen drawer might save the day.
  3. Have plenty of exterior lighting. Whether you opt for always-on or motion sensor lights one thing is for sure—no crook likes to be seen. They would rather move on to darker environs.
  4. Got a back porch but no guard dog? Put out a big water bowl and chain-on-a-stake anyhow. The very idea of a dog being present is enough to make many crooks move on.
  5. Make it look like your home is always occupied. If you are going to be away, have your neighbor pick up your mail and newspaper daily. Put your interior lights on a timer.
  6. If your circuit breaker box is outside, put a padlock on it. This will prevent crooks from putting you in the dark before they invade.
  7. Don’t stash a door key under the mat, over the door trim, or in one of those obviously “fake rocks.” Crooks are hip to all these amateur tricks. If you must stash a spare key, be more imaginative. Why not put it in a medicine bottle and actually bury it? It’s not like you will need it very often.


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North Korea’s Missile Program and the Maniacal Kim Jong Un

North Korea has been ramping up their ballistic missile program at an ever-increasing rate. Not only has it been launching more missiles than ever before,  it has begun concentrating on longer distances (see the graphic below). This seems to be Kim Jong Un’s pet project, allocating more and more money to the program while more and more of the citizens starve. Clearly, this man is irrational (and it’s not just that goofy haircut).

North Korea’s Current Missile Arsenal

The missile and payload arsenal has been growing rapidly. The most recent nuclear test took place on last September 9th and yielded an impressive 30 kilotons which is double the force of the “Little Boy” bomb which was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan. It has also developed a bomb that is small enough to fit inside the nose cone of one of it’s missiles.

It’s missiles include the following:

  • Scud B/C/ER – short range
  • KN-02 – short range
  • Nodong (the jury is still out as to whether the developers were having a chuckle at Kim’s expense) – medium/intermediate range
  • Musudan – medium/intermediate range
  • KN-14 – Intercontinental
  • KN-08 – Intercontinental

Kim Testing President Trump’s Will

One of Kim’s trademark moves is saber-rattling. The problem is that his particular method involves not only hysterical and low-brow ineffectual insults (for example, “Obama always goes reckless in words and deeds like a monkey in a tropical forest.“) but also action.

The graphic above shows how quickly the program has accelerated since Kim took over from his late father. In particular, Kim Jong Un has pledged to deliver long-range missiles capable of striking U.S. cities. Although President Obama basically gave him a pass and let it go. To his credit, he did employ cyber and electronic measures but the results were minimal. A maniac like Kim simply doesn’t respect any non-physical measures.

It remains to be seen how President Trump will handle the situation.Just before the inauguration of Trump he seemed to taunt Pyongyang in a Tweet declaring that North Korea’s plan for building intercontinental ballistic missiles “won’t happen.”

Did he over-speak or will he put his money where his Tweet is? Time will tell but judging from his propensity to honor his campaign promises, Kim would do well to tread softly. He might find himself receiving a prostate exam with the tip of Trump’s boot.

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The Sheer Lunacy that is Kim Jong Un

One of the ways that Kim keeps his subjects loyal and perhaps even worshipful is through propaganda that showcases his lunacy. He claims to be an expert mountain-climber. Can you imagine? He casually scaled the 9000-foot high Mt. Paektu outfitted in only an overcoat and and leather dress shoes. Before sunrise!

Quite a sailor! At age nine he  raced the chief executive of a foreign yacht company visiting North Korea and “won sensationally.” He could drive a car by the age of three. Look out NASCAR!

He was born on Mt Paekdu, the most sacred mountain, in a log cabin. This cosmic delivery caused rainbows to appear, a bright star to shoot through the sky, and (oh my) the seasons immediately swapped winter for spring. Kind of makes the three wise men a bit lame. The truth is that he was born in a guerrilla camp in Russia.

He invented the hamburger, could speak like an orator at age three, and wrote 1500 books and six full operas between classes at university.

Clearly, we don’t need this bonehead to have his finger on the big red button.
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Springtime is Roof Inspection Time

The roof of your home should be inspected, and have repairs done if needed, twice a year. The time corresponds to the season. Specifically, during the spring and during the fall. This is especially important in areas that experience snowfall. I don’t get any snow (well, maybe once every ten years).

These inspections grow increasingly more important the older your roof is. I have found that shingle manufacturer’s “guaranteed lifetime” are wildly optimistic and are basically a marketing tool.

Some Considerations During a Roof Inspection

The fact is that composition shingle roofs don’t last forever. What that means is that right after installation you shouldn’t have any issues but as time goes on you will have more and more. At some point it will make more sense to just bite the bullet and replace it.

  • If you are knowledgeable and know what to look for you’re gold. If not, have a reputable roofing contractor determine if you need a new roof or shingle repair.
  • If you do need a new roof and decide to do the job yourself you will need to know how to estimate how many shingles you will need.
  • On the other hand, if you are going to farm the job out it is important to know how to select a roof contractor. The industry is notorious for fly-by-night contractors. This is especially true if you need a new roof because of damage from a hurricane or other natural disaster. Some contractors flock in from out of state and take advantage of folks that already have enough to worry about. These contractors are often called “storm chasers.”
  • For minor damage repair such as fixing shingles, in many cases the average homeowner can do it himself. Just be sure to follow all the safety rules. I’m certainly not suggesting that you climb up on the roof if you don’t know what you are doing.

I hope you found this information helpful. Your roof might just be the most important component of your home. After all, if it goes, everything below will be exposed to the elements.
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Do Transgender Athletes Have an Unfair Advantage?

The above image shows some effects of testosterone.

Regardless of what we might think of transgender bathroom policies or how gender-shifters should be affected by many other social issues, sport is a particularly sticky area. Sports performance is indeed affected by hormones, muscular structure, heat tolerance, and even height.

It’s no secret that this gender issue is huge in the Olympics. In particular, testosterone levels in women, transgender or natural, affects performance. Take the 25-year-old South African woman Caster Semenya for example. She is a natural woman but has an intersex condition. This means she possesses the anatomical sex characteristics of both males and females.

By definition she is hyperandrogenous. Her body provides much higher levels of testosterone than the majority of other female athletes. It follows that this builds greater muscle mass and bone mass which permits her to run faster and train harder with fewer sports injuries.

Should She Compete against Men or Women?

This introduces a moral dilemma. Semenya dominates the 800 meters. Certainly many factors allow her to do this but it is irrefutable that her higher testosterone level gives her a clear advantage. In fact she is built like a man—broad shoulders, narrow hips, very muscular, and even a masculine jawline.

This brings us to the moral question; if her competitors took testosterone supplements in order to even the field it would be considered doping. Semenya isn’t doping but does she have an unfair advantage because of her condition? Since her testosterone is abnormally high for a woman, more like a man, should she compete against them instead?

To address that question, at one point track’s governing body, the IAAF, placed a ceiling on testosterone levels in female athletes. When that happened her performance came somewhat down to competitive levels and the common speculation was that she began medically suppressing her testosterone production in order to meet the requirement.

Since the IAAF removed the ceiling she has become virtually unbeatable once again. Depending on one’s personal outlook, it’s easy to draw a conclusion about what is “fair” and what regulations should be in place.

High School Sports are Affected Also

Recently, a transgender wrestler named Mack Beggs from Euless Trinity High School has been easily dominating the girl’s field at a competition at the Berry Center in the Cypress-Fairbanks school district.

Beggs was a girl but is now a transgender boy taking testosterone. Ironically, he wanted to compete against other boys but the University Interscholastic League rules force Beggs to compete as a girl instead. If that’s not a case against illogical wrongheadedness, what is? Once again testosterone is a huge factor. The really sad thing is that some of those testosterone-lacking girls were probably hoping for a sports scholarship.

So, what’s right and what’s wrong? Where should the lines be drawn? Each of us has to decide for ourselves.
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