This web page not available!

This July I will attempt to go to the free side of WordPress. When you do that, as I found out from my other blog https://iowalifedotorg.wordpress.com/ , they change your address slightly so it won’t come up in a search. Just a blaring error message, “That web page not available!” As though the searcher did something wrong. The page is still there, they just want to make it as inconvenient and damaging as possible if you decide to go to the free/dark side. They want to kill your traffic for having the audacity to go to the very free side they offer.

If I was more techno I could probably go back and insert the new address onto the old page of the more popular posts. The other point of this post is to apologize to about half the people who have hit ‘Like’ on a post since the first of the year (that could be upwards of 23 people). During some update from WordPress my site got damaged. I lost my ‘tool’ bar. For some reason half the sites I go to, to return a ‘Like’, won’t accept my WordPress credentials. So I am not able to hit the ‘Like’ on their site. I tried. Its broke. Here are 4 sites. 2 recognize me, 2 don’t. My apologies.

Recognizes me:

https://sailing123929965765.wordpress.com/

https://josephsdailywalkwithjesus.com/

Doesn’t recognize me:

https://edgeofhumanity.com/

https://eclipsedwords.com/

I have no idea what’s going on. And like I say, this July when a search says, That page doesn’t exist! It does, it just takes a little searching.

Jim Roach

[P.S. I take my ‘Likes’ seriously. While other blogs might have 243 ‘Likes’ on 1 post, I’m lucky if I get 4. Years ago I was associated with a conservative organization that Google Search didn’t find acceptable. They put the kibosh on my site by altering the analytics on a search. Even though I am no longer associated with that group, the bias continues. It was evident in my year end ‘hit’ totals. 2006: 2,384 – 2007: 10,253 – 2008: 50,200. The fourth year it went back to the low four digits and has never changed. How do you go backwards? That’s why I get a kick out of this or that celebrity when they get kicked off a platform, or demonetized from YouTube, dude, I’ve been dealing with the bias of liberal social media giants for 10 years. Republicans act like its a new phenomena.]

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John Brown

What a pivotal moment in time – 1859. A nation built on a false premise, that it was acceptable to hold humans in bondage, was about to pay dearly for the sins of its Fathers. Let me rephrase that, half a million poor saps were about to die for the 1%. One of the men calling out the nation was John Brown. A figure I had known nothing more about than say Robin Hood or Daniel Boone (the pathetic nature of public school history being quite evident in me). I had picked up the book: John Brown – Great Lives Observed (Prentice Hall, 1973), for a couple of reasons.

Part of the interest in this historical figure was to fill in some gaps of my ignorance. The other was to figure out why this local radio host (Jan Mickleson) had such a burning hatred for the man. My ‘George Washington chopped down a cherry tree’ knowledge of history had only told me Brown was a man who wanted to free the slaves. How is that controversial? Turns out that the ethical waters get muddied when you throw in robbery and murder to accomplish this noble goal.

In an attempt to convey the basis of this moral dilemma I’ll put below in italics some quotes from the book that frame the issue rather well. (from pages 142,  143, 148 and 178)

   But the true deliverance came with John Brown behind the bars at Charlestown, when there was suddenly revealed to him how inferior a weapon was the sword he had leaned upon from the time he had abandoned the pursuits of peace for his war on slavery.

   Brown is and must remain a great and lasting figure in American history. Not, however, because he strove to undo one wrong by committing another; not because he took human lives in a vain effort to end the sacrifice of other lives and souls entailed by slavery. The methods by which he essayed to achieve reforms are never to be justified until two wrongs make a right.

  For the abolitionists, it will be remembered, he had had nothing but contempt. Theirs were “but words, words”; yet it was by words, and words, embodying his moral principles, the theological teachings he valued so highly, the doctrines of the Saviour, who knew no distinction of  race, creed or color, and by the beauty of his own peace of spirit in the face of death, that he stirred his Northern countrymen to their depths and won the respect even of the citizens of the South.

   Another is that he and Harper’s Ferry were in fact and represent in theory the kind of man and event engendered by national despair. They could only come together in a time of turmoil. It is not surprising, therefore, that Brown’s memory should be revived at similar moments. Malcom X did so most recently when in 1965 he advised young white liberals: “If you are  for me and my problems – when I say ‘me’, I mean us, our people – then you have to be willing to do as old John Brown did.” 

   John Brown embodies, then, the actual despair of his own time and the potential despair of all times. He is a watchword and a warning that when a nation fails to resolve its problems and allows them to reach crisis proportions – particularly those that threaten human rights and liberties – the response of a John Brown is possible and often inevitable.

   There is, however, a further legacy of John Brown. He was, in his last years especially, a man of purpose who translated thought to action, who attempted what others only contemplated, and who was faithful to the dictates of his conscience. 

   John Brown believed in the promise of the Declaration of Independence and anguished over its unfulfillment. However one may judge his means, he sought to realize that promise for black Americans. He dreamed of the more perfect Union that would not come until, as he predicted, the crimes of this guilty land were purged away with blood. 

There, I just condensed for you the wisdom of several hundred pages to a few paragraphs. Ah brevity, another trait that forever escaped Mickelson. But in these few paragraphs I believe contain the two sides of the argument that Brown and Mickelson represent. The doer versus the guy who is going to talk you to death while others suffer. Do you let the man drown because the rope that you could throw to him does not belong to you?

That’s what it comes down to: Are you going to do something? Or are you going to maintain the ethically pure Ghandi-like high ground of non-violence? Malcom X versus MLK. I think that’s what forever irritated Mickelson about Brown. Brown was a doer, Mickelson was a talker. Mickelson spent a career doing nothing. That’s what talk show hosts do. They have a monetary stake in maintaining the eternal “struggle”, never solving anything. If they actually were to solve something, their show would be over.

You’ll see it with Rush too at the national level. The radio host wants to keep people tied up in the false dichotomy of Democrat versus Republican, making sure to never let the truth escape and let it beknown that the truth lies in the third way. That maybe where the answer lay, was in a melding of the two, the peacenik and the murderer. (I think this elusive 3rd way is also an explanation for the universal hatred of Trump among the establishment. God forbid the people ever figure out they’ve been played for fools by the crooks running the game. The whole system would collapse.)

Another key paragraph was when it talked about “national despair”. The cowards in Congress can and do ignore a problem, but it will eventually have to be dealt with. Their procrastination often rewarded with the ‘solution’ being passed in the dead of night on a voice vote. In the case of slavery, their procrastination resulted in the death of 500,000 Americans. A catastrophe that did not have to happen, if only they had had the courage to address the problem earlier.

But what are the lives of the 99% to the 1%? They could care less about the hopes and dreams of ordinary folks. I think what people like John Brown do is force the elites to face the depravity of their cowardice. He holds that mirror up and doesn’t allow them to look away. He grabbed them by the scruff of their neck and made them look at the warts and ugliness of America. He didn’t allow them to look away.

History may condemn Brown, but I don’t. I blame the very elites who looked down their nose at Brown. The very people who think themselves so much better. The “crisis” the elites used to justify the death of half a million men, was a hundred years in the making. It didn’t have to happen.

Jim Roach

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Fear of flying


2019 Cessna 172

Or more accurately a fear of the high cost of flying. I saw an interesting comment after another flying video about a twin-engine aircraft. “$10,000 each for a couple of 912’s (the engines), you telling me $450,000 for the airframe and avionics? I don’t think so.” It’s nice when an awakening happens, slow as it is. Some people are starting to see something is wrong in Wichita (where most domestic certified small aircraft are made).

The plane pictured above goes new for $300,000 dollars. In 1956 it went for $9,000. That’s a 33 fold increase. A loaf of bread then went for .18 cents. It now goes for $1.80, an increase of 10 times. Median home price in 1956  the internet tells me was $18,356. Today: $226,000, a 12 fold increase. A car, $1,800 vs $10,500, an increase of 6 times. The value of $100 in 1956 is now worth $937.44 (a 9 times increase).

Its not every product that can sell for than the customer can pay. Most products can only move with the rate of inflation like the examples with the staples above. Detroit can continue its planned obsolescence by continuing its use of steel. Cessna has to continue with the eternal properties of aluminum and fiberglass for aeronautical reasons. Let’s hope the awakening continues. When the law of supply and demand no longer applies, something is screwed up.

Jim Roach


1956 Cessna 172

You’d think some people might start to notice that aluminum and fiberglass lasts forever, and why couldn’t their cars? The limited lifespan of the auto results in an environmental disaster considering the energy and materials it takes to build a new car every dozen years or so.) If cars were made out of aluminum, fiberglass, stainless steel, ‘N’ type polymers (gun plastic), they’d last forever. Just get them repainted every 10 years or so. Like planes. The exterior of the one above is 63 years old and has only required new paint every dozen years or so.

In 1969 a Boeing 747 went for $24,000,000, a Cessna 172 for $12,500. In 2019 a Max 10 (maybe the equivalent of the 747) went for $134,000,000. A Cessna 172 for $300,000. A 172 started out as .05% the cost of a 747. 50 years later in 2019 it is .22% the cost of a Max 10. Its price relative to the jetliner increased over 4 times as a percentage. During that 50 years the price of a 172 multiplied 24 times. The jetliner’s price multiplied 5.6 times. 24 times versus 5.6. The private plane buyer is being taken for a ride.

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In the beginning…


Piper Cub circa 1947 (In the beginning, God created the Piper Cub… )

I’ve found that I tend to notice the ‘big swings’ in history. Macro economics rather than micro. Pivotal moments, minutia bogs me down. The best way to illustrate this is by using the horribly distorted markets of healthcare and higher education. One of the big moments in the American economy was in 1965 and LBJ’s “war on poverty” and the 1965 Medicare Act. As soon as the government has a “war” on something, you know its going to increase. Like the “war” on drugs or the “war” on terrorism.

With the involvement of the federal government into healthcare and its bottomless wallet, hospital costs skyrocketed and have never returned. A study using 1962 prices showed a hotel room and a semi-private hospital room were very comparable during the time people were paying for their healthcare and not insurance companies. Once the ‘3rd party payer’ concept was introduced, prices were never the same. (Like P.J. O’Rourke said, “If you think its expensive now, wait until its free!”)

A lot of people can’t grasp the concept that it is impossible for the price of a product to outpace the market. If the buyer can’t afford the product, the maker can’t survive. Its self fulfilling. The key being if there is market forces controlling the market, and not the government. Another market that has been grossly distorted by the government is higher education. A person could still work their way through college up through the 70’s. After the government made it “free” with the federal student loan program, the cost of college went through the roof.

For reasons beyond my understanding, Americans can’t seem to grasp basic economics. Having spent less than a week researching small planes, I saw instantly what happened to prices over the past 70 years. The Federal Aviation Act of 1958 doesn’t seem to have killed the market (one of the things it did was create the FAA), general aviation prospered for another 20 years. It took another 20 years from its birth for the FAA to kill aviation. When you insert government influence, you remove market forces. This ain’t real tough.

What has killed general aviation in America was the General Aviation Revitalization Act (GARA) of 1994 and the FAA. The official story is that manufacturers were getting killed by product liability lawyers in the 1980’s and their bottom line was going into the red. Manufacturers banded together and their lobbying efforts resulted in Senator Nancy Kasssebaum of Kansas (which just happens to be where Cessna / Textron Aviation is from) introducing GARA in 1994 and having it signed into law by Bill Clinton in 1995.

Manufacturers promised price drops would result with the 18 year limit on product liability enacted. Nothing of the sort happened, of course. Whereas in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s market forces had kept entry level plane prices inline with slightly more than a year’s wages of a good blue collar job, in the 80’s they exploded to where they are now of ten times a year’s salary! In the 1950’s a Cessna 140 (2 seater) could be had new for around $8,995. Today a new  Cessna 172  costs $230,000 dollars. That’s no where near the historical average of a typical year’s wages.

Typical annual earnings for a working man back then being between $6K and $8K (yes people made more, and yes people made less). At the end of the 60’s, $5 an hour ($10,000 a year) was a good wage. And guess what? A similar Cessna purchased new was then around $13,000 dollars. The same thing happened in the 70’s when $15,000 dollars was a good salary and new plane prices were around $20,000.

Everything was kept in line by market forces. But by the 80’s trial lawyers were putting manufacturers between a rock and a hard place with lawsuits after each resulting small plane fatality. When in reality as Wikipedia puts it, consolidation and unwise mergers were resulting in monopolies that fostered a lack of competition that ended up distorting pricing models. Manufacturers were crying all the way to the bank. Textron Avionics essentially became the only manufacturer of general aviation aircraft bodies, Garmin of electronics and Rotax of engines. Yes of course there are other names, but lobbying of the FAA paid off. Cessna and others essentially said to buyers in the recreational market ‘to hell with you’.

Competition was eliminated. And despite all the squawking about ‘globalization’, American manufacturers were able to keep out foreign competition. They got the FAA  to make it illegal for makers like the Czech Republic’s Merlin PSA solo aircraft so that it could only be sold in kit form in the U.S. The finished product can’t be sold here. They would rather endanger the public by having amateurs do final assembly than have it assembled by factory professionals as allowed in European sales. Think about that, lives are endangered just so manufacturers can keep domestic prices artificially jacked up.

Americans have no idea how lucky they were to have electrical products regulated by a private entity, the Underwriters Laboratory. The efficiency of a private body puts a governmental one like the FAA to shame. That’s one of the reason electrical appliance prices have tracked pretty close to wages over the decades. Its the only thing that COULD happen in a market not distorted by government influence. If there had been a government agency in charge of refrigerators, you’d be paying $25,000 dollars for a new frig.

But in the case of Textron Aviation and their manufacture of Cessna and Beechcraft aircraft, in typical corporate fashion they were incredibly shortsighted. All they could see was jacking the price of a new 4 seater from $24,000 to $240,000. They were willing to forgo private sales and just concentrate on corporate sales. Just 2 years ago they announced layoffs in January 2017 because even corporations got tired of paying those ridiculous prices. And rather than adjust prices to match the market, Textron would rather go under.

If they hadn’t been so greedy, and had stayed in the recreational market, they wouldn’t have been so devastated when corporate sales cooled. They would have had some diversification. And when they stopped production of 2 and 4 seaters in 1986, they never saw the long term of aftermarket parts sales and the like that would have resulted from a healthy recreation and small business market. They were so intent on gouging the consumer, they never saw how it would impact them in the long term.

The sickness of the American economy can be seen by  the casual observer in a number of ways. You can catch Trump daily trying to tout how “healthy” the American economy is under him. Bullshit, Donald. I’m no economist, but I can see what’s going on around me. 32 years ago me and another guy were walking into an employer to test for jobs. He made an observation about the cars in the employee parking lot. He knew he wanted to work there because the employees drove nice, new cars. Smart.

Trump can sit there all day and say the economy is great, but that’s bullshit. Look around you. Malls look like ghost towns. Some are completely vacant, others are at 60% occupancy. Consignment shop growth is exploding. Every city used to have a pawn shop or two, but secondhand store growth is booming, becoming mainstream. “Checks into cash” operations are all over. College graduates now routinely work at Best Buy. The percentage of new car buys by individuals has dramatically plummeted. New car sales now are largely limited to government agencies and other fleet sales like rental car agencies, as compared to decades past. New home sales as a percentage of population compared to 60 years ago is another indication.

Politicians can sling their bullshit all they want, but people have eyes, we can see what’s going on. One of the final ‘ballpark’ indicators is interest rates. The fiscal legs of both business and government start to buckle when interest rates move from zero. That tells you something when BOTH government and business are existing on borrowed money at zero interest. When government and business can’t survive without free cash, something is wrong.

Jim Roach


The Merlin PSA (Personal Sport Aircraft). It supposedly can be built by the kit buyer for $42,000 dollars. A single seater (even one you have to build), does fall roughly inline with the historical average of getting a plane for a little more than a years wages at 42K. The similarities of this plane from 2019 and the one pictured above from 1947, are beyond striking.

General aviation is being kept on life support by this obscure corner of the flying world called “experimental aircraft”. The FAA has allowed this little niche of the industry to exist with a rather macabre bargain. In rough terms experimental aircraft come with a lethal proviso, we’ll allow you to kill yourself by buying and building these, but there is no product liability. If you die you can’t sue. This 1 little corner of general aviation has true market forces. You live or die on what sells, what works. If a product doesn’t work, it doesn’t survive. The downside is neither will you.

One of the best examples of how markets keep things affordable is in another area of transportation: cars. A Ferrari is a car. A Ferrari costs $330,000 dollars. Does that mean all cars cost $300,000 dollars? Of course not! The doctor can buy his new Cadillac XT6 SUV for say $92,000. The plumber can buy a new Ford F-150 for say $31,000. The guy working at the supermarket can buy a used Toyota for $9,500. A student can pick up a working ‘beater’ for $2,500. The unemployed guy who can’t afford anything can take the bus. See how that works? In a market everyone gets covered from top to bottom. A demand is always met with supply.

Everybody at every price level has some form of transportation available to them. From the Ferrari to the bus. The reason this occurs is because luckily the government has largely stayed out of the car market. I say “largely”, because little things like the ‘cash for clunkers’ program during the Obama Administration did result in a dramatic spike in used car prices. But as long as we don’t have an FCC (Federal Car Commission), prices have to stay somewhat affordable. GM can’t exist if no one can afford their product.

It would be like if the 3 social media giants (Facebook, Twitter and YouTube) had no real competition and were allowed to run roughshod over freedom of speech and privacy standards. (That’s irony of course because that’s exactly what happened.) Cessna made the conscious decision to quit being a “pioneer in aviation”, and instead chose to be a multinational industrialist (to hell with the American consumer). If you watch YouTube videos on small aircraft, you’ll see all the innovation is happening in Europe.

While the manufacturers banded together in the late 80’s to fight what they considered unfair product liability laws, the pilot’s association (AOPA) either didn’t have the ability or the desire to lobby Congress for their side. Increased competition, stopping monopolistic mergers and opening domestic markets to foreign competition should have been the goal of AOPA. Instead the private pilot got steamrolled.

I found an inflation calculator at http://www.dollartimes.com , I plugged in the value of a Cessna 172 in 1956 at $9,000. In 2019 dollars that comes to $84,369.29. There are a couple of things to take into account there. Over that 63 years the experience and Cessna’s learning curve would have went through the roof. Coupled with a more automated manufacturing process, that would have clearly offset the cost of a better plane being produced. What a new Cessna 172 comes to is $300,000 dollars. There’s no justification for that except FAA BS and corporate greed. What should have been an increase of just under 10 x is in reality an increase of 33 times.

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You’re supposed to be able to read magazines, right?

Man when you forget your mission that bad! Runner’s World seems to have forgotten its readers. Ostensibly that’s what you are supposed to do with a magazine isn’t it, read it? I don’t understand the use of 6 pt and 8 pt type though. Even if I wasn’t as old as the hills I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t want to make your magazine reader friendly?

In the 2 examples I included in this post the pictures take up roughly 90% and 80% of the page. It would be child’s play to size those pictures a smidge smaller and institute 12 point type. Unfortunately I bought 5 years of this nonsense.  (The type in the yellow highlight in the top picture is 12 point.)


The key is to look at the ‘sample text’. Runner’s World routinely uses 6 & 8.

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Everybody else’s borders but our own

$4,754,855,996,321. Over the last 18 years we’ve had our military galivanting around the world securing other peoples borders, while we’ve let our own country be invaded. We’ve spent trillions over the years on defense. Created mountains of national debt to defend against the Rooskies and the Chi-coms, when in reality it was our own leaders selling us out. All those planes and battleships didn’t do much good against the scourge of illegal immigration. But hey! It got the Democrats lots of new voters. It got the Republicans lots of cheap labor. Sure it destroyed the country, but how long were we going to last anyway? We’ve got all those shiny paperweights. Why do we spend all that money on defense? When we don’t even defend our own border? It’s not every Congress that could take the greatest country in the world and pound it into the ground.

Jim Roach

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Charlatans in the travel industry, go figure

You reach a certain age and you get tired of getting ripped off, you really do. It seems so easy, click click here, click click there, input the credit card numbers and poof! You’re off on a glorious vacation! Not quite. First off you need to have your head examined as to why you would want to go to Miami Beach in the first place. I checked after I got back and Miami has the 3rd highest insurance rates in the country. That’s because the drivers there are lunatics. Insurance numbers don’t lie. A minimum standard for a vacation is that it should be relaxing and you should have a reasonable assurance of  coming back alive.

As  a professional driver for 40 years I think I know my way around a steering wheel. Not in south Florida. They make a big deal about not having a state income tax, they’ve replaced it with a “car tax”. You are either moving or you are plugging a meter (actually a kiosk of sorts, picture below). And if you are moving, chances are good you are on a toll road. So really moving or parked, you are paying. Imagine the cliché of the crazed Tijuana taxi driver, that’s exactly what you have now with the 4 million people in the Miami metro area that have resulted from invasion from Latin America.

You take people who didn’t have any discernible driving skills to begin with, give them alcohol and look out. Aside from nearly dying every time I went on the freeway, my favorite experience was when the cops stood down and let 300 nutcases on motorcycles and 4 wheelers come roaring up Collins Ave in Miami Beach on sidewalks, through red lights and yards in some sort of gang intimidation thing, sending tourists scrambling. America has not benefitted from the “diversity” of bring Latin America’s dysfunctionality here. Its just been relocated. Court cases now need a translator on top of every thing else.

Expedia has this ransom thing going on at the end of the booking process. After the real or imagined “Only 1 room left!”, or “Only 1 car left!” screaming popups that come on making you hurry and accept crap accommodations, they have a little trick left to extort another $200 bucks from you. Its the “change your itinerary” option. I found out how important this was on my last day. I was trying to catch an earlier flight out of the hell hole known as Miami, and United was willing to do it. But because I hadn’t paid Expedia the $200 dollar ransom, they put a lock on my airline ticket that wouldn’t allow United to book a different flight.

It had nothing to do with Expedia, it didn’t affect them in the least. It simply meant getting on the 8 am flight versus the 4 pm flight. The arrangement was strictly between me and United. But because of the ‘lock’ Expedia put on my account for not paying the ransom, no changes were possible. So I sat in the airport for 10 hours (you have to turn in the rental car first of course). But that pales in comparison with dealing with the crooks known as South Beach Group.

The hotel industry has this incestuous relationship with Expedia. Providing customer service is not a concern, just working together to separate you from your money. Expedia lets a hotel claim to have a pool even if its just s large jacuzzi. There should be a minimum size for what can be considered a “pool”. Expedia lets a hotel claim to have Wi-Fi, even if it takes a half hour or more for a webpage to load (try and find your way around a strange town or buy tickets to anything with internet that comes and goes). There should be a minimum speed for what can be considered Wi-Fi.

There should be a definition for what a “wet bar” is. Online its defined as a sink, a refrigerator and a microwave. But since its to the benefit of Expedia and the hotel industry to fudge all this, not provide pictures and not define minimum standards, the sham goes on. The only constant being the customer getting ripped off. But Expedia and Oceanside don’t care about repeat business, they operate on the “there’s always the next sucker” school of business. The municipalities have no interest in looking out for the consumer, they are in the business of funding their governments by ripping off the tourist too.

The parking robot. You fail to feed at your own risk. You are either paying to park or paying a toll to drive.

Literally 5 parking spots for an entire hotel. Irresponsible.

10 hours in the airport because I didn’t pay the $200 ‘change’ ransom to Expedia.

Large jacuzzi they claim as a pool.

Real pool.

Real motel. But because both places are owned by the same corporation, the reviews get thrown together even though they are wildly different. At this place the have a pool, parking across the street and each unit has a kitchenette. The reviews lead you to believe that what your place has, though its nothing of the sort. Expedia allows all this bullshit because it helps them.

Fake hotel. Has the old name ‘Mt. Vernon’ on the building (Monticello on the other side), when it is actually the Oceanside! Its all part of the deception Expedia encourages with photos that get thrown in together from 13 different properties that you have no idea about until you arrive and it too late. As long as they can keep you confused they can snooker you.

 

 

 

 

 

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The canary died

The results of the social experiment known as ‘open borders’ are in: Failure. The invasion from Latin America has not added any discernible benefit to America that I can see. And I have now seen it firsthand in Miami, Florida. I feel safe to say the disintegration of society in south Texas and California would be comparable. Those 3 states closest to the border were the ‘canary in the coalmine’. It will of course spread north as the years go by. You can already see it in certain areas. The big metropolitan areas in the north like Chicago and New York. Pockets in the Midwest around packing plants and poultry facilities like in Iowa, Nebraska and Arkansas.

Locales where the crime rate surges. Places where the infrastructure is overwhelmed because such a high percentage of the population isn’t on the tax roles. In Miami it was devastating to see the native population replaced by people who alternately hate America or have no interest in preserving it. Multiculturalism failed. I’m in a gas station trying to get coffee out of an empty pot and I see a Latina behind the counter hand the Hispanic customer 2 to go cups from her. I’m on the self-serve side trying to explain to her I want what she just handed the guy.

She doesn’t (or pretends she doesn’t) understand what I’m saying and asks the cashier to ask me. I catch her refer to me as the ‘Americano’. If I’m the American, what the hell does that make her? I’m at a café mid-afternoon ostensibly to get a cup of coffee (when in reality its to check out the breakfast menu for the next day), when the Latina manager pushes me out the door, not to be able to sit and drink it at the counter. The Latina at a Goodwill for Pete’s sake cheats me on purchase of a $1.06 purchase!

The Latina at a sandwich shop making the orders gets mine and when she brings it to the counter holds onto it as I’m trying to take it as she looks for some sort of okay from the cashier that its okay to give it to the gringo! I’m the only one there! Of course its mine. She like each of the previous examples is just looking for a way to phuck with the gringo. It was just one example after another of Latinas with a big ole chip on their shoulder.

I understand a good deal of the cultural pathologies that permeate the Latin culture, that the multiculturalist doesn’t want to admit. The physical abuse, the sexual abuse. The alcoholism. The 100% corruption of the governments in Latin America. The proclivity for driving drunk. The discrimination against women. I think a lot of this ‘attitude’ I got from Latin women was from the natural tendency ingrained in their culture to blame everything wrong in their lives on the gringo.

Its funny but I tend to have a higher opinion of the men. Sure you got your criminal element, your drunks, your bums, but you also have a lot of hardworking guys. Maybe that’s unfair as the landscapers and the construction workers and the like tend to be more visible. I also didn’t have the contact with them in the shops and restaurants. I just don’t see a good outcome when the mothers of a race or culture are wallowing in such a sea of dysfunctionality.

Latin America and its permanent position in last place wasn’t helped by moving to America, they just brought their dysfunctionality here. Whether its alcoholism or any other illness, there is no “geographic solution”. You’ve got to deal with the root cause. Its kind of like this video I was watching of a smaller town in Guatemala. They were bragging about its 17 Catholic churches, “2 of which were still active”. That’s pretty much it in a nutshell.

You can’t really say that nowadays in a world where the social sciences are ruled by humanists. But a post-Christian society falls apart without Jesus. Being cultural Catholics just doesn’t cut it. You can see it amongst traditional Americans too. When the qualities of thrift, hard work, sobriety, honesty and others that make a society thrive, are tossed in the trashcan as being corny, outdated and ‘oppressive’, things fall apart.

The metropolitan Miami area is now made up of a majority 4 million Latinos. Not Americans. All their problems, all their faults, were not cured by coming here, just relocated. The original populations of North and South America were what we referred to as Indians. And as anyone who has ever made a visit to an Indian Reservation or an Eskimo community, there is a problem with alcohol. No one will ever admit to the problem, so therefore it will never be addressed. Funny how that works.

The Left likes to push the notion conservatives want to burn books. I suggest they want to burn the truth on the altar of political correctness. The canary died, this culture is going nowhere. They refuse to dance with the one that brung us. If these are the mothers of a people, we’re in trouble.

Jim Roach

 

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Central America

Heaven on earth turned into hell. That’s how I see Central America. Between the gringo and their own corrupt leaders, those poor people never stood a chance. The land is some of the richest and most beautiful on earth. As was explained to me, any town between 23 1/2 degrees north latitude, and 23 1/2 degrees south latitude and at 5,000 feet elevation in the mountains, gives you year round spring like temperatures in the 70’s and low 80’s! If that ain’t perfect I don’t know what is. The mosquitoes and bugs are a lot less at those elevations too.

The book pictured above, Insight Guides: Central America, is a contradiction in many ways. They paint this ridiculous picture of the indigenous Mayans as being these granola eating, tree hugging simple folk at one with the earth, until the nasty Conquistadors came in and upset the apple cart. As anyone with even a little understanding of the revelations that have come out in the last quarter century about the Mayans, they were one of the most depraved people to ever inhabit the earth.

Their ritualistic killing and enslavement of conquered tribes was absolutely on par with the most barbaric and inhuman there has ever been. Cortez and the boys were almost as bad. The Conquistadors just did their rape, pillage and plunder in a much more civilized fashion. So to speak. Fast forward a few hundred years and the Brits, French and Americans get into the act. Insight Guides reveals a part of American history they never taught you in schools and makes me absolutely embarrassed.

United Fruit and Standard Fruit. These 2 American companies came to be Dole and Chiquita. When they felt their ungodly profits were being downgraded to only obscene by a Central American government, they’d arm “rebels” and overthrow the government. Hence the term, ‘Banana Republic’. If the workers tried to organize and move their wages from despicable to only pitiful, their strike would be met with a US Battleship pulling into port. Our government was completely hand in glove with corporations in the rape of Central America.

I can’t even begin to unwind all the machinations of our cutthroat government every time reforms were attempted there. One of the most unspeakable was what we did in Guatemala. Colonel Jacabo Arbenz Guzman was a reformer president in the early 50’s, having followed another reformer, Juan Jose Arevalo. They were starting to make some real progress returning land stolen from the natives by American corporations. The US branded Arbenz a communist and had the CIA overthrow him. What followed was a civil war that lasted off and on over at least the next 50 years.

Thousands upon thousands of Guatemalan Indians who had nothing to do with the dispute were murdered outright. It was all because the 1% ers didn’t like having their ox gored. Violent reactions result if justice begins to eke out. Insight Guides does a great job detailing a lot of our depraved history in the region. Then they turn around and miss it on the solution.

They criticize Trump for wanting a wall and some control of our borders. They criticize the Obama administration for deporting drug lords  back to El Salvador and Nicaragua. They literally lament the resulting murder rates that skyrocket when these thugs are returned to their home country. What?? They come up with this absurd notion that any poor person that speaks Spanish has some God given inherent right to become citizens of the United States!

The problem won’t be solved by America continuing to be the Band-Aid for the graft and corruption of Central America.  

All I do know is that between this book and YouTube videos, I have much more of a profound respect for the people and the region of Central America. Since it is clear with the political climate in Washington we will never have control of our border, let’s work with that. Complete that 66 missing miles of the Panamanian Highway. Allow for the free flow of people and goods from the tip of Chile to the top of Alaska. If Latin Americans are flowing up here, let those of us who want to move down there. It looks pretty good during February in Iowa. Let the Americas become one. Its obvious this country is through as a functioning entity, make a new one.

Jim Roach


The ‘sweet spot’ being between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn at 5,000 feet of elevation.

[Most amazingly, I think I can list the Central American countries with out looking. Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Costa Rica and Panama!]

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Perpetuating poverty

Cities like Ames, Iowa by virtue of their lack of imagination with zoning help keep people in poverty. The person of limited means naturally gravitates to low cost housing (above). $15,000 and its yours. So what. You’re typically left renting a lot from a slumlord like Flummerfelt. They may ‘own’ their home, but they’re not able to save any money for upgrades or repairs because they’re paying $400 dollars a month lot rent!

With conventional housing you have options. Small lot, big lot, new part of town, old part of town, new house, old house. Rent or own. With trailers you’re stuck, you rent. Forever. 

There is absolutely no reason a city couldn’t change this. Next time they incorporate some new land stipulate what it would be developed for. They do it all the time whether its for apartments, housing or commercial. Those bastards in Ames even put a moratorium on apartments in the old town where they actually need them! By their zoning they continue to force apartment construction to the west side where nobody wants them! The jobs are downtown!

I realize to actually do something for the people they’d have to separate themselves from the money nipple of the land developer. I realize they’d actually have to engage their brain and have a little foresight. They’d rather continue to enrich the 1% at the expense of the working class. Its absurd. If your typical lot size for new housing is 80′ x 120′, for a mobile home it would be 48′ x 100′.

Half of the new development instead could be setup for putting homes on a foundation. The developer would still be putting in the roads, utilities and landscaping. In fact a section of it could also be assigned for ‘mini-homes’. Foundations for some, complete new mini homes for others or built to various levels of finish. There are all kinds of innovations to be realized.

Name me a community of any size that isn’t dealing with a “homeless problem”? That doesn’t have a  working group or planning committee dealing with homelessness? Its ridiculous. A private/public partnership could have the homeless working off their new homes by building them! Learn a trade and self-worth all while finding a place to live!  

The new developments in modular/panel home construction make them Childs play to assemble. Not only that, but with metal stud framing and roll or panel roofing, they’re permanent! Not like the designed obsolescence of stick built with among other problems the asphalt shingle requiring a new roof every 20 years. Think of the environmental cost of that?

Jim Roach


A row of mini homes. They typically run 12′ x 20′, but they certainly don’t have to be that size. The materials cost averages out to be $15,000. Think of that. Putting that 240 square feet on a foundation doubles it to 480. Add a second floor and you have 720 sq. ft. This concept could also be promoted for the smaller ‘carbon footprint’ of the reduced living spaces with out of this world insulation possibilities and dedicated solar energy and rainwater collection! The pride of home ownership improves any community. The easiest thing to spot driving down a street is the rentals. You can always spot it by slipshod condition of the house and the cluttered yard. By allowing people to buy the property instead of rent it you allow for upward mobility. You quit locking people into poverty. The problem of course is that government isn’t about solving problems, its about growing the size of government.

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