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Archive for February, 2017

Russian to Judgment

Monday, February 27th, 2017

The USSR Started World War Two

I try not to do anything important on weekends. In my creaky old age, I have come to understand that compartmentalization and boundaries are very important. Working during your leisure time can be just as big a vice as goofing off at your job.

It sounds lazy, and to some degree, it is, but it’s also correct. For the most part, two types of people work during their leisure hours: workaholics and the irresponsible. I’ve noticed that irresponsible people are always rushed. They are never at peace. They never know when they’re supposed to work and when they’re supposed to rest. Responsible people make plans and schedules, and they have peace.

That being said, I find it a lot easier to refuse to work when I shouldn’t than to make myself work when I should!

Over the weekend, I tried not to do anything useful, and I treated myself to a movie and a documentary. The movie was Battle for Sevastopol, the “true story” (Is any movie really a true story?) of Lyudmila Pavlichenko, a Russian sniper who had 309 confirmed kills in World War Two. The documentary was The War, a treatment of World War Two by Ken Burns.

If you don’t know who Ken Burns is, he’s the man who made the documentary Jazz.

The sniper movie was quite interesting. It was made by Russians. Because it was made by Russians, the perspective on World War Two was very different from what we see in movies made by people in other nations that fought the Germans. We emphasize the huge contribution we made to the defeat of the Nazis. We generally ignore the huge Soviet contribution.

The Russians lost something like 20 million people in the war. Millions of them were Jewish Holocaust victims. Many were soldiers and non-Jewish civilians killed by the Nazis. Many were killed by Stalin and his underlings. Overall, the Russians had a very bad time during the war.

Americans didn’t join the war in Europe until shortly after the Pearl Harbor attack in late 1941. By then the war was over two years old. It started with the invasion of Poland. France fell in 1940, and by the time we got involved as combatants, Germany had occupied all of western Europe except for Switzerland.

Americans helped invade Italy in 1943, and we also flew suicidal bombing missions over Europe. We began fighting in Africa in 1942. Our ground troops didn’t go after the heart of Nazi Europe, farther north, until D-Day, which was June 6, 1944.

Russia’s ground war with Germany started in June of 1941.

For a long time, Russians were nearly alone against the Nazis in the north and east.

To watch the movie, you would think Americans hid in their closets while brave, principled Russians died. Pavlichenko made a fundraising tour in the US after she became unable to fight, and she asked American men if they hadn’t hidden behind her long enough.

Here’s the thing the movie doesn’t tell you: the Russians brought their problems on themselves. It was 100% their fault. The Russians started World War Two, by invading Poland!

You’re thinking that’s not right. The Germans invaded Poland. Well, you’re half correct. The Russians invaded Poland beside the Germans.

In August of 1939, Stalin and the Nazis signed a “nonaggression” pact, which was not “nonaggressive” at all. They planned to be very aggressive to the rest of Europe, but they agreed not to fight each other. They divided Europe up in advance, agreeing to cede certain conquered nations to each other.

Funny how that’s not in the film.

Less than two years after the pact was signed, the Germans attacked Russia. Suddenly, Russians were the victims! They needed our help!

Please. Their hands were wet with blood.

Would the Germans have invaded Poland in 1939 if the Russians hadn’t agreed to help? Doubtful.

The Russians were sleazy traitors to the rest of the world. They made it possible for Germany to occupy western Europe. If we were unable to put troops on the ground until mid-1944, the Russians should have blamed themselves. Before the Nazis could occupy France, they had to get through Poland with Russia’s help.

Clearly, we did not hide from battle. Our young men were already preparing to die in battle when Pavlichenko made her ridiculous accusation; they just couldn’t get into France. Europe was a fortress Russia helped build. To expect us to march in under an iron dome of Nazi air superiority made possible by Russian collaboration would have been insane. Much better to let the burden fall on the people who created it.

Russians like to say they won the war (which they started) for everyone else. Guess who supplied their planes, trucks, food, ammunition, and supplies? We did. Russia’s industrial capacity was tiny, due to the ravages of leftism. They depended on us. Without our help, they would have had an even worse time expelling the Nazis.

They fought bravely. But think about it…they had no choice. The Nazis were on their soil. The Russians weren’t fighting for Europe, which they had just tried to conquer along with Hitler. They were fighting to save themselves. Even a rat will do that. It’s not praiseworthy. They picked up a snake, and they got bitten. Then they asked us to pick it up, too, and we did.

America didn’t win the war by itself. True. And we do tend to minimize the Soviet contribution. But it’s libelous to say we didn’t do our part, and it’s disgusting and cowardly to omit mention of the fact that Russia started the war along with Germany.

Why is it so few people talk about Russia’s responsibility for the war? It’s obvious. It must be the usual leftist revisionism. We learn about history from academics, journalists, and entertainers, and guess which way they lean?

It seems inconsistent for entertainers to ignore Russia’s guilt while playing down Russia’s help. I think I understand, though, at least when it comes to show business. When you make movies for Americans, you usually have American writers and directors, and you want to reach an American audience. You want to make money. It’s easier to make money here when you praise American heroes.

Some people give Russia credit for saving Jews from the Nazis. Hmm…how many Polish Jews died as a result of Russian and German aggression? Answer: three million.

So much for that canard. If you’re responsible for the deaths of half of the victims of the Holocaust, you can’t really claim you protected the Jews.

If Russia is so nice to the Jews, why have Russian Jews spent an entire century trying to get out?

I like Russia. I like Russians. It’s a different country now. I hope they succeed and improve. But come on. The USSR did tremendous evil, and America’s contribution to ending the war was essential. As for the Japanese defeat, well, we pretty much own that. We produced atom bombs no one else could make, and we supplied our naval might. We worked with the Chinese and British, mainly. The Russians got involved in August of 1945, after Nagasaki. They didn’t even agree to help until February of 1945.

Even the British weren’t around at the battle of Midway, which was the turning point in the Pacific war. That was all us.

It’s amazing how people twist the truth.

If you’re feeling bad about the way we downplay Russia’s part in the war, now you can start feeling better.

The sniper movie is very good. Just make sure you don’t pay any attention to Pavlichenko’s ridiculous insult.

My $120 Milkshake Machine

Sunday, February 26th, 2017

Craigslist Seduces me Again

I have a bad habit of looking at tools on Craigslist, even when I’m determined not to buy anything. Most of the time, I’m fine, but every so often, I just have to reply.

Last week I found something really cool: a Dumore sensitive drill press. It’s like any other drill press, but it needs constant reassurance and has a poor body image. I think I’ll name it Caitlyn.

That was humor. It may not have been obvious.

How about “Dudley Dumore”?

I guess not.

Sometimes it’s interesting to go into the reasons why an unusual tool exists. This may not be one of those times, but I will do it all the same.

A sensitive drill press is a small machine that drills really small holes at very high rotational speeds. It’s a nice thing to have if you drill holes in circuit boards for electronics projects. Circuit board material is very hard on bits, so the best move is carbide, which stands up well to abrasion. Small bits require high speeds and low runout, and because carbide is very hard, it permits speeds that are even higher than small HSS bits.

Why do small bits require high speeds? I will ‘splain.

When you use a metal cutting tool such as a drill bit, what you have is a sharp metal edge being forced across whatever it is you’re cutting. As the edge cuts the work, heat is generated. If the bit gets too hot, the edge gets soft, and then the work rubs the edge off. Then you have an aggravating tool that just slides on the work.

This is why you keep getting stuck and ruining drill bits when you floor your hand drill on a 1/4″ hole. You’re supposed to limit your speed and add a little lubricant to reduce heat. About 0.001% of American men really know how to use a $20 drill.

Consider a rotating cutting tool. The speed at the outer edge will be higher than the speed farther in. The linear speed of a point on a rotating object equals the radius times the frequency of rotation (omega times r, as we former physicists like to say), so as the radius gets small, the speed drops off.

Say you have a half-inch bit, moving at x RPM. If you reduce the size to 1/8″, the speed at the outside of the bit is quartered, so to get the same cutting speed at the outer edge, you have to multiply the RPM by four. You can go slower, but you will spend a very long time drilling every hole, and besides, in addition to tolerating high speeds, carbide actually requires high speeds to cut well, for reasons I do not know.

One interesting thing about all this is that every drill bit has a cutting speed of 0 at the center, so it’s not really cutting until you move farther out. You’re cutting the metal surrounding the center and sort of pushing the metal in the center out of the way. This is why it can be helpful to start big holes with small bits. You can drill a 1/8″ pilot hole for a 1/2″ hole, running at high speed, and then when the 1/2″ bit follows up, it doesn’t have to worry about the 1/8″ of metal in the center of the hole that isn’t being cut very fast.

Sensitive drill presses work with really tiny bits. One example people have mentioned to me is the #80 bit, which is 13.5 thousandths of an inch in diameter. That’s a little over four human hair widths. You can’t just cram that in your Harbor Freight drill press and expect good things to happen.

Let’s say you have a #80 bit, and you’re cutting mild steel, which means you want the outer edge of the bit to move at around 100 feet per minute. You will want the drill to turn at about 28,000 RPM. This is around 10 times what your Harbor Freight special will do. You need a sensitive drill press.

The drill press I bought turns at 17,000 RPM. That’s not 28,000, but it beats a big drill press turning at 3000.

If speed is the main thing, why not call them “really fast drill presses” instead of “sensitive”? I don’t know. These machines have little tables you can move up and down with the work (instead of lowering the spindle), and that gives you a delicate feel for what you’re doing. I guess Dumore thinks that’s more exciting than the speed.

The drill press I found on Craigslist sells for over 900 dollars new. Wait till you see it. You’ll wonder where the money went. I’ll post a photo.

Here’s what I’m told about the expense: it goes into the chuck and motor. They have to turn the drill bit very precisely, with very little of the wobble machinists call “runout.” When you use a very expensive large drill press which is tuned perfectly, you can expect the bit to wobble about 0.003″ on each turn. This is not a problem when you’re drilling big holes in a toilet seat mount. When your drill bit is 13.5 thousandths wide, and your three-thousandths runout is almost a third of that, the drill bit will break.

The chuck on the Dumore is tiny, but it costs over a hundred dollars. A new motor retails for around $900 (like buying a new machine). Eliminating runout is not cheap.

I saw the drill press on Craigslist, and I knew exactly what it was. The price was $120. Come on. I was buying that.

I checked Ebay, and it seemed like they generally ran around $225. Low for a $900 tool. Some tools are like that. Crazy expensive new but merely expensive used.

The machine was 30 miles away, and my first chance to get there was on a Friday, during rush traffic. I can’t say “rush hour,” since the rush is pretty much a five-hour ordeal here. It took about an hour and a half each way. Ordinarily, I wouldn’t make that drive to buy air if I was drowning, but it was a miracle that the press was still available, and I had been burned by catching a similar $45 machine too late.

I drove to the seller’s house, had him turn the machine on, and handed him my money. I asked him where he got the drill press. This is the horrible part of the story. It came from his job. They had three Dumores, and he found out they were THROWING THEM OUT. He snagged one before it got to the dumpster.

So right now, two more drill presses are sitting in the landfill.

Someone needs a punch in the mouth.

The press runs fine. I haven’t checked the runout, but I would have taken it even if the chuck had needed work. Even if it can’t drill a 0.0135″ hole, it can drill a #31 hole much better than my big drill press.

Now you know what a sensitive drill press is and why they cost so much. Are you not entertained?

I think I’ll go turn it on and listen to it hum.

Hasta la Vista, Knight Aberrant

Saturday, February 25th, 2017

Cervantes << Rabelais

I feel like I should let the world know I finally finished the reading in Cervantes’ Don Quixote. I got done yesterday, I think. I can’t describe my relief.

Now that I’ve read a good deal of the book, including the ending, I can say with confidence that it’s overrated and poorly done. The people who admire this book are just dazzled by its age, and by the fatuous remarks of other fans who preceded them.

One of the last things I read concerned Sancho Panza’s brief experience as pretend governor of an “insula” (island) provided by a duke who enjoyed making fun of him. The people of the island (if it is an island; I didn’t read the part where Cervantes describes it) go to Sancho with three cases to judge. Sancho comes up with very clever solutions to the last two cases, a la Solomon. The solution to the first case isn’t clever at all and appears to be a wild guess which may or may not be just.

The clever solutions are plagiarized from other authors. I’ll give you one example. A man is accused of rape, and the woman demands money. Sancho gives her the man’s money and then tells the man to take it from her. She is too strong for him, and she pushes him away easily. Sancho gives the man his money back, reasoning that if the defendant isn’t strong enough to take her purse, he’s not strong enough to rape her. I forget where the story came from, but the translator, in a note, says it’s stolen.

Plagiarism is one of the marks of a hack. If you have something original to say, you say it, hoping to be credited for your brilliance. If you steal other people’s work, you tacitly admit you have no talent of your own.

When I saw the door to the prison starting to swing open, I started reading another book. I bought a copy of The Man in the High Castle, by Philip K. Dick. A friend said I should watch the Amazon series of the same name, so I bought the book, knowing nothing ruins a good book like seeing the movie first.

Now that I think about it, nothing enhances a book like reading a worse book first.

In two sessions, purely for pleasure, I effortlessly breezed through maybe forty pages. What a change of pace. When I was reading Cervantes, twenty pages seemed like the toils of Sisyphus. But then Cervantes is a bad writer, and Dick isn’t.

I know people will argue with me and try to tell me I’m not smart enough to see Cervantes’ hidden genius. Yeah, okay. Keep telling yourselves that. I may not be Maxwell Perkins, but I’m not completely stupid, either. I can tell the difference between Shakespeare and John Grisham.

I guess I shouldn’t use John Grisham as an example. Some people think he’s a good writer. He’s not, but some people think he is. How about Dan Brown? No, I guess some people think he has talent, too.

Barbara Cartman! Harold Robbins! Jacqueline Susann! There must be somebody who will serve as an example.

How about this: “I can tell the difference between Francois Villon and Rod McKuen”?

On the web, I saw people looking for the hidden meaning of Don Quixote. Let me help. There is no hidden meaning. Cervantes isn’t D.H. Lawrence. He wasn’t consciously writing about archetypes that move in all our thoughts. He was a debtor trying to raise cash by writing a popular novel.

You can project hidden meaning onto anything if you try. You’ll probably reveal more about yourself than about whatever it is you’re studying.

The next book on the Columbia College Lit. Hum. list is Milton’s Paradise Lost, which is almost 400 pages of very stuffy blank verse. In case you’re wondering, blank verse is just poetry that doesn’t rhyme. For reasons not entirely clear to me, some writers like to force their work to adhere to certain rhythms without using rhymes to pull it together.

I get rhythm. I totally get rhythm. David Mamet is a master of it. Every naturally funny person understands timing. What I don’t get is sticking to fixed rhythms that don’t improve the work in any way. Why use six syllables when you’re dying to use ten? It turns literature into Twitter.

It reminds me of haikus. Well, I should say, “It reminds me of haiku,” because if you’re really smart, you have to say “haiku” instead of “haikus.” Anyway, haikuS are stupid. God doesn’t charge us by the syllable. Use all you want.

I don’t think anyone really likes haikuS. It’s like pretending to like Japanese rock gardens. Real exciting; three rocks and some sand. Yeah, that’s just as good as the garden at the Tuileries. I can hardly tell the difference.

To grow a real garden, you need artistic talent, enough character to do hard work, and a green thumb. To produce a rock garden, you just need Roundup.

Tip for the Japanese: “garden” implies “foliage.” The English word you’ve been looking for is “sandbox.”

I expect Milton to be a chore, but I’m hoping there will at least be a plot.

I also blew off a lot of the reading in Columbia’s Contemporary Civilization class. It’s similar to Lit. Hum., but it’s philosophy and poltics instead of literature. I was thinking I would do the reading for both classes, but I don’t know if I can stand the pain. Maybe bad literature is inherently more painful than politics and philosophy. Hmm. I could always read two books and see if I can bear to continue.

They had a third class called Art Hum. That one is a breeze. You look at slides. “This is a kouros. This is an Ionian column.” I don’t know if the materials are available, though. It would be a real shame if I had to cancel that project.

I don’t like modern art. I don’t know if I want to suffer with it. Anything past Monet, you can keep. If I have to pretend I like Jackson Pollack and think his “work” has value, I may become ill. I’d rather sit through twelve hours of John Cage.

No I wouldn’t. Not unless it was 4’33” with the MP3 player on repeat. Here’s one of my favorite versions, but I also like the duet Jim Morrison and Jimi Hendrix are currently doing:

John Cage must be the greatest composer ever, because no matter what other composers write or play while they’re alive, they start playing Cage’s work as soon as they die.

I like Salvador Dali, but I don’t think he’s deep. I think he’s sort of like M.C. Escher. Makes you go “GEE!”, but you wouldn’t want his work to represent earth in an interstellar art competition.

Maybe I’ll do CC and Art Hum. in 2018. It would be unfair to my future self to concentrate all the remaining pleasure into 2017.

Truck pulls! That’s what I really need! I need to watch me some truck pulls! Get me some corn dogs and a Busch Light! ‘Murica! ‘MURICA!!!!

I’m off to Bass Pro Shop to buy some Uncle Buck’s cajun foie gras seasoning.

Choose Your Company Wisely

Friday, February 24th, 2017

Influences Matter

I have a little time to fill, so here I am.

I haven’t written much about my relationship with God lately, so I thought I’d catch up. Things are continuing to improve.

If I could only stress one thing, it’s this: the most important thing you’re supposed to do, after receiving salvation, is to become like God. You’re supposed to be transformed by the Holy Spirit, so instead of having the mind and heart of an educated monkey (selfish, violent, sex-crazed, aggressive, greedy…), you have the heart and mind of a being who is made of love and faith.

You can watch Christian TV all day and never hear this. That’s amazing. It’s as if Procter & Gamble gave an ad company ten million dollars to make Tide commercials, and instead, they made Bugs Bunny cartoons.

The “dead” churches–the ones that deny the spiritual gifts–teach about inner transformation, but they teach that you have to do it by yourself, which is impossible. This is what the Jews taught. It didn’t work for them, either. Jesus came to put the Holy Spirit inside us, to do the work, and he was murdered for it. The churches that deny the Holy Spirit murder Jesus every day. They turn a powerful sacrifice into an ordinary homicide.

A monkey can’t give birth to a saint. It doesn’t work that way. Without the addition and help of the Holy Spirit, we are just monkeys.

God has shown me that if I have stress in my life, it’s not normal or acceptable. I think many Christians think we should admire their stress and misery. On their own, without God’s involvement, they decide to put themselves in difficult positions, “for God.” Then God doesn’t help them, because he’s not an enabler, and they think their unnecessary, pointless suffering makes them holy and special.

Look at the Bible. When people had stress, it meant God wasn’t blessing them. Over and over, people with problems went to God, asked them why, and (if they listened to his advice) got their problems fixed. The Bible hammers this lesson home: when things go badly, there is a problem with your relationship with God.

As far as we know, Jesus only had one bad day in his life, and there is no known example of him working hard.

American Christians teach kids to be proud. That’s sickening. They tell kids to believe in themselves and in hard work. The Bible says just the opposite. It says people who believe in themselves will suffer and fail. It says God works against proud people and helps the humble. A humble person, in Christian terms, is a person who lets God do the work and take the credit.

When blind people approached Jesus, he didn’t build laboratories and concoct medicines to help them, using his own mind. He listened to the Holy Spirit and allowed himself to be a conduit for miracles. If Jesus had tried to do medical research instead, he would have failed. God wouldn’t have helped him. God has all the power. Our little tools are very weak. We rely on them too much, and in doing so, we isolate ourselves from the only source of real help.

I’m not saying you can do nothing but lie in bed and pray all day, or that nothing bad ever happens to good Christians, but we suffer and work much, much more than we are supposed to.

Here’s a lesson I’ve had difficulty with: when a problem pops up, BEFORE I TRY TO FIX IT OR ASK ANYONE FOR HELP, I’m supposed to pray about it, curse it, and speak victory to myself and the Lord. If I do anything else, I am actually making the problem stronger. I’ve taught this to other people, but somehow, I still have to be reminded.

The other day, a friend came over for prayer, and he had some sort of problem. I said we should get on the Internet and look for an answer, and he had to stop me. He said he wanted to pray first, because we needed to lay a foundation for success before using our own strength.

That was really something. He was throwing my own words back at me, and he was 100% right. I felt so stupid.

If you’re going to fix all your problems yourself, why are you a Christian? What do you need God for? You’re living like an atheist.

Here’s another thing: I think we’re supposed to perceive the presence of God as much of the time as possible. When his presence is inside you, it makes it much easier to reject things like anger, lust, and fear. The love and peace are too enjoyable to give up. Focusing too much on hard work will cut his presence off. You won’t feel it when it happens, but afterward, when he’s gone, you’ll realize you blew it, and you won’t feel good at all.

I believe the presence of God is one reason I need to get out of Miami. This area is full of people who worship demons every day. It came with them from the islands. There are all sorts of people here who are demon-controlled drones. They provoke and annoy, all day. When you are constantly wronged, as people are here, focusing on God’s peaceful, loving presence is a challenge.

I find that I get connected with God, and then I go about living my day, and the first thing you know, someone does or says something nasty. If the plan works, I forget about God and think about anger. If I continue with it, his presence leaves. Then I’m in trouble.

This is one of the purposes of the Internet. Satan uses it to provoke people. You go the the web to read the news, and the first thing you know, you’re reading filthy, vicious comments from people who hate God. It’s like having Miami piped into your house.

This must be one of the reasons God got me to quit social media. I was provoked by ignorant people all day, and most were Christians. I would go on Facebook and see people praising Black Lives Matter or supporting homosexual “marriage,” and I let it destroy my peace. I had kids from my church try to set me straight on sexual sin. Young kids, with no education, no prayer lives, and no understanding.

A carnal Christian would say, “If you loved them, you would stay forever and be insulted and provoked.” Of course, that’s wrong. Jesus avoided annoying people, and I’m not better than he was. He spent a certain amount of time with them in order to reach the ones God had sent him to, but that was about it. He didn’t sit in the outer court of the temple for days on end, yelling, “LOL LOL STFU!”

I get stirred up just thinking about it. God’s presence…God’s presence…look back at the target…

I feel better now.

Last night I watched some Youtubes about the Jay Leno/Conan O’Brien/David Letterman feud. Maybe you remember this. Jay Leno was pushed off The Tonight Show, and he agreed to go and pass it on to O’Brien. Then NBC brought him back for a ridiculous show that came on before O’Brien’s and killed The Tonight Show’s audience. Then Leno graciously (not) agreed to take The Tonight Show back.

I watched various talk show conversations about this. I was impressed by the talent of the comedians as they ripped Leno and discussed their frustration. It made me think about myself. Humor is one of my talents. I could do the kind of thing they do. I couldn’t help feeling a little left out.

Then I remembered…you can’t have that mindset and also have the presence of God. Their careers are traps. The money and admiration are poisons that keep them asleep so they can’t see how lost they are.

Americans get nastier all the time. Our connection to God gets weaker. I can’t be part of that. Some talents are not supposed to be used.

Here’s another thing: I believe God is confirming what I’ve said about churches. People I respect keep leaving them. Churches belong to the devil. They poison people.

You decide you need God, you go to the people who are supposed to put you in touch with him, and they feed you a lot of nonsense that limits your proximity to him. That’s Satan’s system, not God’s.

Jesus didn’t hesitate to call the Judaism of his time “the synagogue of Satan,” but somehow, we think our churches are healthy and well. Christians are positive Jews are idiots, and that we’re the ones who do it all correctly. That’s wrong. We’re just like the Jews; we are no better. Look how many of us live under the law! Our churches generally belong to Satan.

You can go there and receive salvation, and you may learn some useful things, but in the end, you have to know God personally. A person who continues relying on church year after year is like an adult who hasn’t cut his mother’s umbilical cord.

The Bible calls them babies and says they suckle instead of eating meat.

Last night God told me something that made sense of his plan to move away from churches: in the future, church will be illegal. There won’t be many churches, and apart from the demonic government-controlled church, they will be underground. If we can’t carry on our relationships with God in private, we will be in real trouble.

We have to learn to get by without a sick dependence on organizations.

Eventually I would like a church to visit, simply to be around other Christians, but I won’t volunteer there, I won’t even consider receiving a title, and they’ll get little or no money from me. I am all done with Satan’s hamster wheel.

I was talking to a friend yesterday. Another friend is a sub-pastor at a church we know. He’s talking about quitting. He’s getting great results with the people he works with, but he knows the organization is filthy. Good for him. Why feed the wolves? You don’t need a church in order to reach people. John the Baptist was cut off from the temple, where he had a hereditary right to be a priest, but look how well he did.

God doesn’t need our help. We are positive he does, but he doesn’t.

Because I have been set apart, including my escape from social media, I am provoked and tempted less than I used to be. I look forward to living in a place where the pollution levels are lower still. I think I’ll sin less, be under less stress, and spend much more time in God’s presence.

Prepare for the mess that’s coming. Don’t say nobody told you.

Milo Opinion of Angry Pundits

Tuesday, February 21st, 2017

Secular Conservatives: Your Money is on the Dresser

I see Milo Yiannopoulos is in trouble.

Let’s see if I understand this right. He is gay. He is conservative. He is loved because he is aggressive and angry, and probably because conservatives like to point to him and say, “See? We’re all about the gay.”

Isn’t that about right?

To me, he’s just Ann Coulter or Ted Nugent with gay mixed in. I’m not suggesting he’s as smart as Ann Coulter or even Ted Nugent, but he seems like someone conservatives love simply because he makes their adversaries suffer. I never thought he was good for the GOP.

It seems like conservatives are divided. There are those who admit that the GOP is the party of Jesus and those who think we’re just the party of stinginess. Yiannopoulos appealed to the latter group.

When I say we’re the part of Jesus, I just mean Christianity is the primary thing that binds us, and it’s the primary reason people hate us. I’m not suggesting the Republican party is a religious organization or that we’re as morally superior as we like to think we are.

People are accusing Yiannopoulos of endorsing pedophilia. I don’t know if that’s correct, but based on my reading of his remarks, it seems pretty close to the truth.

Most of us don’t distinguish between pedophilia, which is the abuse of prepubescent children, and the abuse of teenagers for whom puberty has at least begun. Yiannopoulos seems to be in favor of the latter. It’s not pedophilia, exactly, but it’s still bad, so the difference may not be very important here.

He talked about lusting after older men and having sex with them at the age of 13 or 14. He described himself as the aggressor. He also said positive things about relationships in which older homosexuals serve as emotional anchors for “boys” with whom they have sex.

It seems fair to say that Yiannopoulos supports sexual relationships between teenage boys and grown men. Isn’t that exactly what homosexuals are always telling us doesn’t really happen (in spite of the fact that our cities are full of teenage male prostitutes)?

Does that make him sufficiently immoral to justify the things CPAC, his publisher, and (allegedly) Breitbart are doing to him, to distance themselves from the smell of his scandal? I think so. The mistake was embracing him to begin with. His moral positions put him too far outside the camp, and apart from that, do we really need someone who makes us appear more mean-spirited? Aren’t we trying to fight that baseless image?

It’s always hard to decide whom to align oneself with. President Trump is an adulterer who owns casinos where people go to get drunk and gamble. On the other hand, he is helping Christians, Israel, and the unborn, and we had no better alternative. If we’re to be criticized for backing him, it should be for backing him in the primaries, not the general election. In the general election, the alternative was a bona fide horror.

Solutions that offend God are bad, regardless of which political party resorts to them. I shouldn’t say “resorts” with regard to the Democrats, because they don’t have to be coerced to oppose God. They voted against him four times, by voice, on TV, at their own convention. They oppose God in their hearts, so they jump at any chance they get to offend him with their actions and policies. Anyway, Yiannopoulos was a stealth dumpster fire from the time he first gained prominence. We shouldn’t have expected anything good to come from promoting him.

We will reject him now, in all likelihood, and you know what Shakespeare said: “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.” He’s not a woman, but given his temperament, he is likely to react like one. He may become the ex-girlfriend from hell. Remember David Brock?

You have to wonder what feckless conservatives have told him in confidence. Will he disappear quietly, or will some outfit like Huffpo (founded by a scorned traitor) seduce him and use him against us?

I just remembered…Breitbart himself…Saint Andrew…helped start Huffpo. What funny heroes we have.

I didn’t develop my opinion of Breitbart from watching the news or reading his site. I developed it from behind-the-scenes knowledge, starting before his site existed. When I see the T-shirts with his face on them, I don’t get the same feeling other conservatives get.

Politics is interesting, but religion is what makes or breaks a nation. I may comment on political stories because they’re intriguing, but I am not a participant in the political game. Not even on a blogging level. I never link to anyone any more. I rejected PJ Media when they asked about writing for them. I don’t contribute to campaigns. I will never go to a Trump rally. That stuff doesn’t work.

It will be interesting to see what happens.

Escape From Miami

Monday, February 20th, 2017

Choosing Houses Takes Horse Sense

I feel a little better now that the shock of driving to Miami from America is wearing off.

Today I’m working on various responsibilities and preparing for a visit to Marion County to see the area and visit some houses. The knowledge that getting out of Dade County will take months is weighing on me.

I went to a forum to ask people from the Ocala area some questions, and while I was there, I couldn’t resist looking at posts regarding Miami. People were considering moving there.

I had to say something. I was honest. I said the people were very rude and the traffic was horrible. I said Miami had no culture. I said black people got bad treatment here, which is very true. Cuba had a political revolution, but it never had a civil rights revolution.

Some character popped up and accused me of creating an account just to “bash” Miami. Yeah, okay. What about the people who said they agreed with me? I didn’t see a convenient explanation for their remarks.

To prove Miami had culture, this person posted a video of someone singing in a bar!

I don’t know why a person who lives in an unpleasant city would pimp it to unsuspecting visitors. Why bring people here with crazy expectations? I would be pretty upset if I moved here thinking this was a nice place to live. If people tell you the truth, at least you can prepare and adjust.

It’s tough to figure out which properties are best. It seems like people in Marion County don’t follow the universal rule of pricing houses 5-10% higher than what they really expect to receive. The prices seem completely random. The realtor is sending me places with asking prices more than 15% above my limit, and he says they’re “negotiable.” If your asking price is nearly 20% higher than what your house is worth, you’re not a negotiator. You’re a scam artist. You’re trying to fleece somebody.

If you don’t know what properties really cost, it’s hard to decide which ones to look at. If your baseball glove budget is $50, and the store prices the good ones at $75 and sells them for $50, you’re going to look at the cheap ones and end up paying $30.

I wonder what a baseball glove costs. The last time I bought one, my dad was not in a spending mood, so I got one from KMart for $5. I cut the label out so I wouldn’t have to hear about it from the other kids.

Wow. I just saw one for $99.

I don’t even have a KMart glove now. I think it was one of the many items that belonged to me that got discarded when my parents moved. I guess I can get by without one at my age.

I have to have a place for tools, and that doesn’t mean half a garage. It means serious room. Some places don’t have workshops. Some have barns with tooly-looking areas that have concrete floors. How hard is it to turn them into shops? Search me.

There are a number of great properties with really bad houses. Florida is known for ugly houses. If you want a geodesic dome made of pink fiberglass, this is the state where you should look for it. It’s sad that so many nice lots have houses that look like machine gun bunkers or log cabins.

Who, in his right mind, builds a 3500-square-foot log cabin? You will never be able to sell a log cabin house to any family that contains a heterosexual woman. Repairs and alterations will be nearly impossible. Every time you hang a picture, you’ll damage your ridiculous wooden walls in ways that can’t be fixed. Is it even possible to insulate these monstrosities? I don’t know. But they’re surprisingly popular.

One of the nicest properties has a house which is “stucco over frame.” Is that even a recognized construction medium? I can’t even tell what it is. I guess they put some kind of siding over wooden studs and then slop cement on it.

I don’t know anything about rural property, so I don’t know what pitfalls to look out for. I don’t want a place that floods whenever it rains. I don’t want drainage problems, swamps I’m not allowed to drain, or nuclear waste.

I’ll have to trust God and do my best.

It’s my own fault I’m in Miami. I chose it. I didn’t serve God, and I didn’t have his guidance. There was a period during and after law school when I was reasonably happy here; I deluded myself. If I had listened to God, I would have landed somewhere else a long time ago.

Don’t be like me. If you’re young, start listening now.

Relapse

Sunday, February 19th, 2017

Miami is a Disease That Dies Hard

I just got back from Orlando, and already, two Miami imbeciles have practically run me off the road.

I had to sit down and decompress when I got home. I can’t interact with people until I have a candy bar and a few minutes to cope with the grief of returning to this place.

A friend of mine who moved to Orlando renewed his marriage vows, and I was invited. Yesterday I drove up and got a hotel room. I was startled by the traffic on the Ronald Reagan Turnpike (I refuse to call it by its former name). All the way past Palm Beach, it was packed. Things have really changed.

I was disturbed by the way people treated me in Orlando. They were so nice, it made me jumpy. It made me realize something about myself: I’m not just afraid of rejection; I’m afraid of acceptance.

I’m used to avoiding talking to people in Miami, because much of the time, conversations here are hostile or awkward. In Orlando, people forced me to have longer interactions. They held doors for me. The people at McDonald’s gave me helpful tips on prices. I didn’t know what to do. I wasn’t used to conversations lasting a whole 30 seconds.

When people accept you, you have to come up with something to say to them. I didn’t realize I would have to deal with that.

It’s not a humorous exaggeration when I say I was disturbed by the nice manners I encountered. Here in Miami, when a person tries to strike up a conversation with you, it usually means they want to do something bad to you. In my case, it’s mostly telemarketers and addicts (i.e. “the homeless”). I have become conditioned to cut communications short. I was very grateful for the good treatment I got in Orange County, but it also put me under a very real kind of pressure I was not used to.

When I got to the hotel, I learned that I had come on the wrong day. I had made a computer error. I reserved a room for Friday night, and I showed up on Saturday. My card had already been charged. When the clerk realized what had happened, she got on the computer and worked it out so I got a free room last night. The bill said “0” on it. They didn’t have to do that. The place was packed, due to the arrival of a geriatric biker gang (the Grandparents of Anarchy). They could have charged me or rented the room to someone else who would have paid. I didn’t know what to think.

People made a point of coming up to me and introducing themselves at the wedding, to make sure I wasn’t isolated the whole time.

Over the last month, lots of people have told me how much they hate Miami. I went to Home Depot, and the lady who designs kitchens said she hated Miami. I went to the flea market, and the old guy I bought wrenches from said he wouldn’t live in Miami if they gave it to him. I hired a guy to demolish my dad’s deck, and he said he hated Miami, too. At the wedding, my friend’s uncle said people in Miami seemed like they always wanted to fight.

I felt sadness come over me today when I realized I was nearly in Dade County. It was really happening. I was leaving northern Florida and coming back. It was like getting on a bus leaving San Quentin and then being pulled off by a guard.

I realized how much this rotten city has damaged me emotionally. I’m not cut out for this place. I don’t enjoy fighting with people. I’m not willing to cut a stranger’s throat to get a nicer car. I’m tired of living among atheists and demon worshipers. What other major American city has hundreds of thousands of people who literally practice voodoo? Even New Orleans can’t compete.

Before today, I had never seen myself as a person the city itself had harmed. That was a revelation.

Miami-boosters have no idea what life is supposed to be like. Childishness, racism, and aggression are all they know. It’s a good thing they like it here, because maybe it will make them less likely to invade and ruin other places. Miami has always been flypaper for jerks.

This weekend I had another revelation: Miami people have the Sodom mindset. Sodom and Gomorrah were famous for mistreating strangers. Jewish lore says Abraham’s servant Eliezer went to Sodom, and a man wounded him with a rock. A Sodomite judge told Eliezer he had to pay the man for the beneficial bloodletting. Eliezer wounded the judge and told him to pay the man what he owed Eliezer.

Anyway, people here treat strangers very badly. That’s why road rage is so bad here. People here like to use the word “random” to describe strangers, as if not knowing a person justifies whatever you do to him.

Miami is filling up like a tick, as people from other countries jam it to the rafters. The traffic is terrible, and the crude, congested skyline looks like it was moved here from Brazil. The ironic up side is that the more crowded this place gets, the better off I’ll be in Ocala. I’ll inherit what my dad owns here, and the population increase is raising prices fast. The annoying people I leave behind will, if God permits, provide for my ease in old age.

People who think this is a neat place are like men who have never seen a real woman, whistling at Bruce Jenner and trying to get his phone number. If you don’t know what the real thing is like, you can’t be expected to recognize a fake.

I’m going to bust my hump getting out of here. If I have to get in the car three or four times a year and drive down here to manage my dad’s real estate, that’s fine. That is a small price to pay. The hotel bills will be deductible.

With Enemies Like Trump’s, Who Needs Friends?

Friday, February 17th, 2017

Bad Day for Press Elites

Yesterday I had one of the strangest experiences of my life. I saw a president who had absolutely no fear of the press.

President Trump had a press conference, and he was so honest about the deceitfulness and malice of the press, the news has reverberated all over the Internet.

I hadn’t been following things all that closely. I had been seeing and hearing little bits of information suggesting Trump was panicked, frustrated, exhausted, and furious. When I saw him speaking, I saw something completely different. He was happy. He was smiling. He was confident. He never raised his voice. He said very critical things about the press, but he wasn’t emotional about it at all.

Critics are making utter fools of themselves as they trample each other trying to spin the conference. Trump gutted them, so they’re toiling away, trying to stanch the bleeding with a transparent gauze of lies and insinuations.

One major paper (member of an endangered species) criticized Trump for saying the press would spin things and accuse him of “ranting and raving.” That same article had a headline that used the word “rant”! How biased can you be? How blind can you be to your own dissembling?

The reporters in the press pool were livid. Their anger, and the sense that they were being thrashed, was obvious on their faces. They were combative. They kept firing jabs that had nothing to do with learning the truth and everything to do with trying to find a hole in Trump’s defenses. Trump kept turning these jabs around on them, making them wish they had never spoken. It was as if they were punching themselves in the face.

Their emotionalism was exactly what they falsely attributed to Trump.

“Journalists” are describing him as angry and frustrated. They’re saying he was unhappy. What a lie! They’re also complaining that the conference ran 77 minutes. It ran long because Trump was having fun. Watch it for yourself. Presidents who are uncomfortable do not prolong press conferences. Trump was having a ball.

One outlet said Trump “imploded.” Again, watch the conference. He couldn’t have been happier at his own birthday party, and he scored point after point while they kept missing the pinata.

Actually, it was more like they were hitting the pinata, but when struck, instead of raining candy and free prophylactics, it rained manure.

One sucker was dumb enough to suggest Trump’s willingness to respond to press aggression was an attack on the First Amendment. Good Lord. How can expressing yourself freely be a threat to free expression? Who thinks like that?

What he really meant was, “I hate it when people hit back.”

When Trump decided to run, I thought it was a stunt. I said he didn’t want to be President. I said he just wanted free publicity. I didn’t think he was a real conservative (I still doubt that).

When he got the nomination, I consoled myself with the knowledge that he would fight illegal immigration and appoint solid judges. I figured that was the best I could hope for. And he wasn’t Hillary. That’s a major point in his favor.

Now that he’s president, I’m more impressed with him than I ever expected to be. If you look at what he’s doing, and you pay no attention to gossip and slander, you can see that he’s an extremely dynamic and capable president. Maybe some of his policies are wrong, and he does need to shut up on Twitter, but this is a man who took a $1 million loan, multiplied it by 9,000, and paid it back.

Try that for yourself. If you have $10,000 in the bank, see if you can die worth $90 million. Trump didn’t have his fortune handed to him by his parents, the government or a lucky break with a tech startup. He’s not a Rockefeller, a Perot, or a Zuckerberg. He had to beat thousands of highly competent, dishonest, ruthless individuals. We should have realized he would be a dynamo in the Oval Office. Now, instead of competing with real estate investors and hoteliers, he’ll be using the same exceptional skills to defeat world leaders who are hostile to our interests. Think about that. I guarantee you, investors are harder to defeat than politicians.

Whatever he does, right or wrong, he will be extremely effective and fearless. What other president compares? Obama was a limp dishrag and career bagman who avoided responsibility and obeyed his handlers. Bush II bent over backwards not to offend. Clinton was an unprincipled mouthpiece for special interests. Bush I was weak and too eager to please, and in all likelihood, he’s really a liberal who was forced to run as a conservative. You have to look back to Reagan to come up with anyone who was even close to Trump in his willingness to act independently, without apology.

Trump didn’t really talk to the press at his conference. He talked to the public, and he worked to provoke and expose the press. The press room was a courtroom, and although he was supposed to be the defendant, he was the prosecutor. It was brilliant. The networks donated 77 minutes to him, and he used it to strip them naked and horsewhip them in front of America. That’s how he got elected, so we shouldn’t be surprised. No one in history can match Trump’s ability to get his enemies to give him free promotion.

Look at the “lies” the press is accusing him of telling at the conference. He said he had the biggest electoral college landslide since Reagan, and he was wrong. Who cares? Are we ever going to have a depression or a war because the president doesn’t know who got the biggest electoral landslide? He said the Ninth Circuit, a notoriously incompetent and biased panel, was ‘in turmoil” and he guessed it had a reversal rate of 80%. He admitted he wasn’t sure of the figure, and the press ignored that. “AHA!”, shrieked the press; the actual rate is 79%! And other circuits have high reversal rates, too. Wow. That’s important. Because when Trump makes trade deals, protects our borders, and runs the military, it’s crucial that he knows circuit court reversal rates, to the exact percentage point.

The insignificance of the misdeeds a man’s enemies attribute to him is a monument to his character and achievements. When the press gets excited about electoral college vote figures, you know they’re scraping the bottom of a very tired barrel.

I can’t get over it. I expected much less from him.

His critics will probably never give up, even when they realize they’re ruining their own reputations. If the country does well under Trump, they will look like complete morons. They’re so emotional and deluded by passion, they can’t see that they’re undermining themselves.

It reminds me of a story my dad used to tell. A union of Basques in Spain went on strike against a firearms factory. One day someone came to them and told them the strike had destroyed the company and all of their jobs. They held a massive victory celebration.

Man, this is strange. I don’t know what to make of it. It has to be the supernatural at work. God must be giving Trump favor, in spite of his faults, in order to help God’s people prepare for the harder times ahead.

It’s sad to see conservative Trump-haters clinging to their bitterness and rage. Fine; Trump may not be a real conservative. He’s an adulterer. He’s arrogant. Whatever. He’s still on our side, and he will definitely be our candidate in 2020, so unless you’re so childish you would rather have Governor Moonbeam or Al Franken, you better change your diapers and work with what we have.

One neat thing about Trump is that he exposed the Deep State, which is the throng of mostly-liberal career bureaucrats who run our executive agencies. Presidents come and go, but like J. Edgar Hoover, Deep Staters stay at their little desks and become permanent fixtures with immense power to blackmail and obstruct. Trump offended these people, so now they’re emerging from the cover of their holes to attack him. Suddenly the public knows they exist, and that they’re extremely dangerous. They’re like the palace eunuchs in imperial China.

Bureaucrats don’t care at all about the countries they supposedly serve. They care about their tiny empires. They worship the idol of job security. Most people don’t understand that. Trump is giving us a real education.

Chuck Schumer is afraid of the Deep State. He said the intelligence bureaucrats have “six ways from Sunday” to get even with people. Now we’re seeing that this is true. They and the other Deep Staters are actually leaking classified conversations, not to help America, but to take down the person who trained a spotlight on them.

Imagine voting for Chuck Schumer for president. “Elect me. I’m terrified of the FBI.”

One has to wonder what the administration will be like when it’s more than three weeks old. That’s how far in we are, and liberals and anti-Trump conservative crybabies are already saying the administration is a failure. By the end of this year, a whole lot of Trump enemies will have been fired, and some may be under federal criminal indictment. What will the battlefield look like when Trump’s treasonous soldiers aren’t fragging him ten times a day out of pure spite?

I would have been thrilled with any of a number of conservative candidates. I would even have accepted Bush, but he was unelectable because of his name. I voted for Cruz in the primary, but I would have been okay with Paul, Perry, Rubio, Carson, Hunter, Palin, Brownback…maybe even Christie. I didn’t want Trump. But now that he’s here, I will be honest about his good points and his successes, especially when they’re shocking and unprecedented.

If you really care about America–more than you care about being vindicated in your criticism of Trump–pray God guides him and gives him success, and that God drives off the ungodly people around him. Seeing America collapse prematurely may be an alluring notion to you now, but you won’t enjoy it if it actually happens. Trump is a barrier between us and the people who will eventually start murdering us in the streets. Call me crazy, but I want to keep that barrier strong.

Drowning in Choices

Tuesday, February 14th, 2017

As Problems Go, This is a Nice One

I’m writing because some websites are failing to load for me. I figure they’ll probably kick in just as I start getting interested in this blog post.

I’m trying to look at Marion County properties a realtor emailed me. Before I contacted a realtor, I went to Zillow and other sites and found a few properties worth saving. Now I have a bunch of new ones to look at. You would think an Internet search would turn up everything worth looking at, but the realtor found a lot of fantastic stuff that didn’t appear on Zillow.

It looks like the hard part will be narrowing the choices down. I’m overwhelmed. These places are so beautiful, I can’t believe I could end up living in one of them.

For some reason, the prices of properties don’t seem strongly related to the acreage. A place with 10 acres will not necessarily cost much less than one with 31 acres. Obviously, this means I’m excited about the big places. With 10 acres, shooting in my yard could conceivably annoy neighbors. If I get 31, as far as I’m concerned, they can put their complaints in a sock, because I will be way too far away for anyone to have a legitimate gripe.

Why do people live in Dade County (now named Miami-Dade because Spanish-speaking foreigners can’t figure out that “Dade” means “Miami”)? The lots are small. The traffic is starting to rival Hong Kong’s. The people are very, very rude. You have to repeat yourself over and over when you buy things, because half of the population can’t understand English. If everyone here were getting rich, I would understand the draw, but Miami is a poor city. I guess the allure is the knowledge that you can move here, refuse to learn English, and do okay.

There are a lot of variables to look at when I go through these properties. I want reasonably good soil so I can grow food when America finally collapses, so I am looking at the photos and trying to weed out the places that are all pine and no hardwood. I don’t want too much horse stuff. Supposedly, keeping one small barn on a property will bring some sort of tax advantage, but some of these places have tracks and 5000 square feet of stalls.

The north part of the county might be better for my dad, since he will need to be reasonably near good medical care (i.e. Gainesville).

The thought of having a workshop I can roller skate in is intoxicating. I watch other people’s Youtube videos, and some of their shops are nearly empty. It makes me want to jump through the screen and lie down on the cool, satisfying concrete. I can’t imagine what it’s like to have that kind of space. Some of the places in Marion County appear to have shops as large as 2000 square feet. I would never, ever leave. I would move the bed into the shop.

Now that I think about it, I’m not sure what I need a house for. Oh, yeah. Now I remember. My dad will want a place to sleep.

You know what’s really exciting? We could conceivably have a tractor. A man with a tractor is a man to be reckoned with. In addition to chores like bush-hogging (boring!), you can use a tractor to move machinery, do light earth-moving jobs, and generally wreak havoc. I don’t know if I would actually use one. I might just go out into the shop and hold it, like a Hillary voter holding a rented puppy.

I always say I have no ambition. Now that has changed. My ambition is to move to a rental property, screw around with my tools, have all sorts of prayer meetings, get old, and die. Judging from what I’ve learned so far, when I get up there, I may have a lot of competitors in these pursuits.

This morning I read something from 2 Peter:

For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment; and did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly; and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly; and delivered righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked (for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented his righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds)— then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment, and especially those who walk according to the flesh in the lust of uncleanness and despise authority.

Reading that made me very emotional. To think that God might get me out of here and put me among better people…that is true generosity.

Lot lived in Sodom, and God called him righteous. If you read about Lot, though, you will see that he wasn’t what we would call a saint. He wasn’t on the same level as Abraham. Lot’s deliverance shows that God will help people who fail a lot. That tells me he is willing to help me.

I can’t go back and rejoin the crazy, ungodly world. Life has gotten truly insane. If you’re any kind of a Christian, you now have a target on your back. People will do their best to take away your livelihood and blackball you so you can’t get hired or own a business anywhere. You can’t even have a bakery, because vicious people who don’t really want your cakes will come to you and order wedding spreads just to get you put out of business.

Our culture has gone nuts. This week a female performer named Beyonce (you probably know who she is) did a dance number for the Grammys in which she dressed up as a voodoo “goddess,” put a halo on her head, and had other dancers worship her. She threw in elements of the Hindu “god” Shiva. People lapped it up. If you criticize her on Facebook, her warped fans (the “Beehive”) will come after you and heap abuse on you.

A few years back, Madonna did a similar act in which dancers dressed as demons worshiped her.

Americans see nothing wrong with things like this now. Satan is officially mainstream. People think it’s cute. They don’t realize these “gods” represent real spirits that hate Yahweh.

We’re so filthy now, and so proud, most of us are beyond God’s reach. Persecution will now increase, and it won’t be that long before the state treats us the way Nazi Germany treated Jews. If you think it can’t happen here, wake up. The Germans and Austrians were more civilized and orderly than we are now, and they built the death camp ovens.

I can’t go back. I can’t give up what I have. I can never rejoin the devil’s system, so I will always be faced with bitter, cruel opposition. Unless God wants me to live in complete subjugation and misery, he will have to provide a way out, and I think that’s what he’s doing.

The sites loaded, and I went over the properties and made notes.

You can get more property for your money when you move away from Ocala and Gainesville, but then you have to think about the aggravation of driving half an hour to get to Lowe’s or the nearest hospital. Also, my dad likes to have lunch in restaurants. I just looked at a place called Williston, and it appears that the choices are basically fast food, two BBQ joints that get dubious reviews, and diners.

On the whole, a restaurant shortage in a wonderful place is a much better problem to have than being stuck in a rude, crowded city and having restaurants that are sort of okay.

I really want to go lie down on a concrete shop floor. Like, now.

If I ever manage to choose a place, you will read about it here.

One More Thing Lawyers Have Ruined

Friday, February 10th, 2017

The Grand Tour Fails to Reach its Potential

It’s funny how you can sometimes detect the activity of lawyers without being told they’re at work.

I’ll give some examples.

I have bought key lime juice. There are two brands available where I live. One is labeled “Mrs. Biddle’s Key Lime Juice.” The other is labeled “Key West Lime Juice.” Why? Obviously, the second one isn’t made from key limes. If it were, they would use the phrase “key lime juice” on the label. In order to get around the illegality of selling Persian lime juice as key lime juice, they invoke the name of Key West, which has nothing to do with lime varieties.

Here’s another one. Have you ever bought a junk food item with a label that says it contains “creme”? It said that because it didn’t contain cream. “Creme” doesn’t mean anything. It could be lithium grease. Real cream comes from a cow and costs a lot of money.

I’ve watched all of the episodes of Amazon’s The Grand Tour, and I see lawyer footprints all over it.

First of all, no Stig. The BBC owns the Stig (perhaps literally). Amazon found a legal way to replace his vibe on the show. They hired an American driver named Mike Skinner, and they call him “The American.” He’s not as good as the Stig, because the writers who write his material aren’t good, but if he had better lines, he would be a fine replacement.

He has a lot of potential. The constant jokes about him being American could be funny. Problem is, they’re very weak. Maybe bad British writers are to blame. Someone who actually understood American Southerners could write very funny stuff for Skinner.

Second thing…no celebrities. This is a major problem. I suppose it’s possible celebrities are boycotting the show because of the odor of racism, but I doubt that, because they do appear in short, generally silent cameos in which they die horribly. They don’t give interviews or drive laps.

Somehow, lawyers have interfered with the practice of putting celebrities on the show. I don’t know what the issue is. One would think that it would be impossible to protect the concept of interviewing celebrities about cars, but the BBC must have found a way, because there is no other plausible explanation for cutting out a huge part of the fun of the show.

Instead of stars in a reasonably priced car, the show has a feature called Celebrity Brain Crash. It’s supposed to be a quiz, but the gimmick is that every celebrity is killed while making his or her way to the studio. It was funny the first two times, but now it’s annoying, and surely Amazon knows that and wants to fix it. Because they never did, lawyers must be getting in the way.

I guess it’s possible that the creators of the show are just incompetent, but how could anyone be that bad at his job? It’s the kind of decision a producer would make if someone were secretly paying him to fail.

I like the show, and I’ll keep watching it, but it’s in danger of turning into the American Top Gear, which was terrible because it had no celebrities and a hosting team headed by a hipster sissy.

Overall, the show is pretty good, but not quite as good as the original. The writing is weaker; that’s the main issue. Bezos needs to hire some people from Top Gear or some top sitcoms. Male Republicans, if possible. Whether Bezos wants to admit it or not, 90% of the fun of Top Gear was the persistent lambasting of political correctness.

No one really cares whether the Porsche 918 is as fast as the Ferrari Enzo. People want to see the boys make fools of themselves, and they want to see them have interesting interviews with famous people.

A reviewer from The Guardian says people don’t like the “scriptedness” of the new show. He’s right. With the old show, it was always nearly possible to make yourself believe the things you saw on screen were simply things that had happened on their own. With the new show, the action is about as spontaneous as The A-Team. The Grand Tour punches you in the face with its artificiality.

Maybe they need to hire Ted Nugent. That would help.

The Grand Tour doesn’t have a home city. They have a tent they fly around the globe, and they put it in a new place almost every week. Fun idea, but you have to wonder if the work and expense of moving around makes it hard to keep a good staff together and get things done. Here’s something strange: the show doesn’t make much use of its locations. If they were to put the tent in the Bahamas, they might very well film most of the show in Egypt. If you’re not going to use the location, why go there?

One of their locations disturbed me pretty badly. They went to Scotland. Most of my ancestors were Scottish. When they stood in front of the studio audience (tent audience?), I noticed that there wasn’t a single good-looking person in the crowd. I’ll be honest; they looked WRONG. Like someone had hushed up a radiation accident in the 1970’s. Their Dutch audience looked way better. Maybe I need a gene transplant.

If I were running the show, I would find a way to get some celebrities to talk to. I would also beat the writers with a stick and hire some new ones. After that, I’d find a studio in England and stay there. What they’re doing now is like moving a tomato plant from one pot to another every week and expecting it to grow.

It’s still better than the BBC’s offering.

I have to wonder if the hype about Amazon’s giant budget is true. The Grand Tour looks like it costs a lot less than the old show. The projects are much less ambitious.

Top Gear itself is returning soon, with Matt LeBlanc still in charge. Unfortunately, his ineffective co-host Chris Evans will be replaced by the soon-to-be-proven-equally-ineffective Rory Reid and Chris Harris. These guys are not even a little bit funny, and Top Gear is a comedy show. No one at the BBC seems to understand that. They think it’s about cars!

I plan to watch the new season. I’ll do what I did last time around. When LeBlanc or the Stig is on the screen, I’ll watch. I’ll fast-forward past the plastic twins. I should be able to get through an episode in 15 minutes.

Adios, Al Fin

Thursday, February 9th, 2017

Talk to my Taillights

This is a momentous day, or rather, yesterday was. I was working on the problem of leaving Miami, and I realized there was no point in limiting myself to South Florida. Things have worked out so that I will be able to go where I really want to go, farther up the state.

Four years ago, I decided to leave this area, and I went to Ocala and looked at houses. My father was extremely disturbed by this, and I agreed to linger here while he got his affairs in order, with the understanding that we would both leave eventually. Finally, things are more or less organized, and I have realized I can manage his properties just as well from Ocala as I can from places closer to Miami.

It’s funny, but when you’re used to certain problems and certain options, you may not be aware of it when your options change. You have to sit down and reassess things. Sometimes you will think you’re still trapped when the cage door is actually open.

I was looking at properties in Broward County, which is where Fort Lauderdale is. To the west of the city, there are semi-rural neighborhoods where you can cover your lawn with Trump signs without having your house egged. It’s a nice area; no doubt about it. Still, the good houses are already taken, and if you want two acres (the minimum amount of land required to maintain sanity), you will pay out the nose. Also, Broward is 28% Hispanic.

Am I saying I don’t want to live around Hispanics? Not exactly. I’m saying I don’t want to live in a foreign country, which is what Miami is. This county is about 65% Hispanic, and that doesn’t include illegals and tourists. When you go to a mall, you can expect the people around you, most of whom were born in America, to speak Spanish to each other and the clerks maybe 75% of the time. That gets old.

I actually lived in a foreign country where I heard English spoken more often. I spent four months in Israel, and virtually everyone spoke English.

When you turn on the radio here, you may try five stations before you hear anything but Spanish.

If you think wanting to live in an English-speaking country makes me a bad person, wait till you read this: I am also tired of Hispanic culture.

Here in Miami, people talk really loud, all the time, and when they sit in groups, everyone talks at once. People are angry maybe 60% of the time, for no reason at all. People are very aggressive; I think that’s a Cuban thing, not a Hispanic thing. Other Hispanics are less confrontational. Anyway, people here are extremely emotional, and they have no respect for rules (even good ones). It had probably been forty years since Castro’s victory when Miami Cubans learned it was not okay to walk straight to the head of lines in stores and restaurants.

In Miami, one has the persistent sense of being threatened. Everyone wants to deny you the right of way in traffic. Everyone wants to get in front of you and get to whatever it is you want before you do. Everyone wants to get over on you in business. People tailgate and drive with their high beams on. People talk in front of you in Spanish so they can take advantage of you (pretty funny when they do it to Cubans who don’t look Cuban). It makes you feel like you’re Captain Kirk and you can never lower the deflector shields.

I know a Cuban lady who demanded a transfer out of Miami because she couldn’t stand the way people treated her American husband. She told me horror stories. They would be waiting in a restaurant, and the people who worked there would talk to Cuban customers, calling her husband dirty names and saying they would make him wait while the Cubans got tables. They didn’t know she understood.

It’s not like every American is treated badly all the time. Many, many Hispanics treat us very well. There are hundreds of thousands of wonderful Hispanic people here. But it doesn’t take many bad apples to ruin things, and it’s difficult for a person who has lived among nice people and knows how much better life is supposed to be.

People here hate it when you criticize Miami. They love it because they have never been anywhere else in America, and because most of them are in the top caste. If you’re Hispanic, life is good here. Everyone speaks your language, you have big advantages in business, and people will treat you better than they treat Americans (especially black Americans). If you’re Cuban and you grew up here, no wonder you think it’s paradise. You’re like a Brahmin in India. You don’t know what it’s like to be blackballed.

I have a black friend who moved to Orlando. He’s a hard-working man who is doing a terrific job supporting five great kids. He doesn’t speak Spanish. He applied for 27 jobs here and got no calls. He applied for three in Orlando and got three offers. His wife, who speaks only English and Creole, got a good job, too. Hello? Can anyone guess the reason?

My friend says he absolutely hates to visit Miami. It depresses him and makes him angry. He and his family are thrilled with Orlando, even after two years of getting used to it.

Broward County is 28% Hispanic (and that figure is increasing fast), but up around Ocala, the percentage is more like 8%. That means everyone has to learn English and make an effort to fit in with the existing culture. I’ll take that.

My dad has dementia, and it won’t be long before he will need a place to go every day to be with other people his age. In Miami, he would be surrounded by old people he couldn’t talk to. They would talk to each other all day in Spanish, and then once in a while they would talk to him in English. That’s no good. I always say no one wants to get old in Miami.

I looked at properties on the Internet, and I was dazzled. I got brave, and I removed the “2 acres+” filter from my searches. I changed it to 5 acres. Then 10. Then I went nuts and changed it to 20. I found a place with 56 acres. I found one with 107 acres.

I found houses that had magnificent outbuildings built to be workshops. You know why? Because people up there are like me! Oh, my God. It was too good to be true. One place had several welding stations, 200-amp service, and a lift. It even had a bunker with a steel door. It’s like I dreamed that place. All it needs is a machine gun nest.

That was a joke…or was it?

Yes, it was a joke. Calm down, DHS.

Of course, if it wasn’t a joke, I would definitely pretend it was a joke in order to fool people. Just saying.

I’ll finally be able to practice shooting in my own yard. I’ll be able to practice correctly. No slow fire. Think how good I’ll be. I will be positively dangerous.

My new mission in life is to get my dad’s house ready so he can rent it out after the move. I am doing that as quickly as I can. I would like to fix it up so he can charge a lot, but he is resisting moving out until it’s done, which makes the whole process much harder. My current strategy is to get it done, quick and dirty, and get the hell out. If he has to charge 30% less, well, life will go on.

I gave up on local contractors. I went to Home Depot and told them, essentially, “Give my dad a new kitchen right now.” They’re coming in the next few days. I’m going to have his rotten deck pulled out. I’m not going to worry about the terrible 1950’s windows or the 9000 other problems that will take too long to fix. Once we’re gone, maybe I can do more.

Why is all this happening so fast? I can answer that. A stronghold is being broken. I chose to live in this rotten city, and I chose to rebel and do my own thing, so God required me to have my nose rubbed in this place. I’ve turned back to him, and he has restored things in my life one by one, on his own schedule. I have started apologizing to him for choosing Miami. Now things are breaking loose.

One of the neat things about God is that he may be very quick to break a stronghold that looks like it will last forever. That’s important to know, especially for people like convicts who think they will never be free from the consequences of their actions. God gave birth to Israel in one day. He shook a prison and freed Paul and Silas. He still does things like that.

I can’t wait to leave this area. I won’t miss one thing about it. Not for one second. I will never come back without a compelling reason.

Won’t I miss the culture of a big city? Excuse me while I laugh. Miami has no culture at all, unless you count the new rap culture of Miami Beach, which is now the top vacation destination for ghetto thugs. There is no real orchestra here. There is no classical station. There is virtually no jazz. The museums are hilarious. There is no architecture, unless you count a few cheesy Art Deco hotels. No, I don’t think I’ll miss that.

I definitely won’t miss the gay scene. I wonder what life is like on South Beach now that it’s an uncomfortable mixture of gays and rap fans. I know everyone is complaining, and charges of racism are flying around.

It’s not about race. It’s about shootings, beatings, noise, property damage, intimidation, and theft. It’s about scared Europeans who spend more money, who go someplace else now.

Why am I writing about this? Not my problem.

If you want to be helpful, do me a favor and pray God will help me get all this done, and that he will guide us to a peaceful home. I would appreciate that.

Now I have to call a guy to rip out the deck.

More

I arranged for a demolition guy to remove my dad’s deck, so I feel pretty good about that. I felt like expounding on my remarks about Miami culture, so here I am

God has helped me to turn my back on my own culture. I used to be proud of my Eastern Kentucky heritage, for some reason I no longer recall. Now I realize Eastern Kentucky is full of racism, alcoholism, ignorance, violence, and God knows what else. It’s a white ghetto. It keeps getting worse because people who have a better mindset keep leaving.

Eastern Kentucky is not going to get better. Lyndon Johnson’s vote-buying money didn’t fix it, missionaries didn’t fix it, and if Trump takes a shot at it, he won’t fix it, either. People up there cause their problems, and every day, they choose to cling to ways that keep their problems in place. I am not stupid enough to worry about people who don’t care about themselves.

A side effect of my sudden willingness to criticize my own culture is a willingness to criticize other cultures. Miami is very messed up, and I am trying to be honest about it. I may sound harsh or even bigoted, but when something is messed up, and you speak the truth about it, you aren’t going to say positive things.

To show that I’m not always negative about other cultures, I will also say that I now think certain American cultures are superior to my own. On the whole, I think people in the middle of the country, in places like Iowa, Nebraska, and the Dakotas, are the least dysfunctional. I think their culture is flat-out superior to Appalachian culture and Southern culture as a whole.

People in the heartland commit less crime, and they generally treat each other better. They may not be the most exciting people on earth, but on the other hand, they cause less trouble than the rest of us, and they haven’t completely lost their humanity, even in polarized 2017.

A bigot thinks his culture is the best in the world. That’s not me.

Southern culture, like the culture in Ocala, isn’t the absolute best, but it’s pretty good, and it’s a thousand percent better than what we have in South Florida.

A wise person doesn’t cling to backward ways out of pride. I would like to be wise eventually.

If I offended anyone, well, I don’t apologize. Wronging someone and offending them are two different things.

How I Saved $50,000 in Six Months

Tuesday, February 7th, 2017

You Can Read Books Without Paying a Hippy

I’m waiting for a friend to come by and pick up some stuff he left here, so I’ll write.

I’m having an excellent day. The reason is simple: my head doesn’t hurt. I got a cold about 2-1/2 weeks ago, and while the main symptoms are long gone, I just went through a 2-day period during which my head felt like it was in a vise. Some sort of lingering sinus thing. It’s gone now, so I am very happy indeed.

The headache killed whatever enthusiasm I had for doing things, so Sunday and Monday were pretty useless. Sinus pain is a huge hindrance when you’re trying to read, so my efforts to complete the Columbia College Lit. Hum. reading were even more painful than usual.

Man, I am sorry I ever thought about taking liberal arts courses. I don’t know why I ever believed I enjoyed literature. Maybe it was because I was too lazy to do my math and science homework. Courses involving literature are simply too easy to do badly in, so I must have gotten the idea that my good grades in writing and literature courses meant that I should stay in that area of learning.

I made some effort to get away from the easy and useless subjects back when I was young. I became a biology major. But I was too screwed up to pull it off. My family drove me nuts every day, from over a thousand miles away, and I spent most of my time trying not to want to die. Aptitude notwithstanding, I did poorly and dropped out.

Once this self-imposed torture is over, there is no way I’ll ever read another boring work of fiction. If I look at literature at all, it will be entertaining stuff like Shakespeare and Voltaire. Or Philip K. Dick. I think you have to be mentally ill to read Homer or Cervantes for pleasure.

I feel sorry for the technically inclined Columbia students who still have to read this mess. Back when tuition cost $50 per semester, it was okay to indulge the pathetic fantasy that you could turn street kids from Brooklyn into poets and classicists. Now that it costs hundreds of thousands of dollars to put kids through C.U., forcing engineers and scientists to take classes that won’t help them in their careers is a form of extortion.

You know what? If you haven’t taken calculus and university (calculus-based) physics, you’re very ignorant about science. Your scientific ignorance is much worse than the cultural ignorance of a person who hasn’t read Cervantes. Why doesn’t Columbia force the basket-weavers to take these courses?

Liberal arts bias, that’s why. And most of the literature and history professors would flunk physics. It would be embarrassing to make students take courses their professors could never pass.

The more expensive and time-consuming education gets, the less justification there is for library-card courses. By that I mean material you can absorb perfectly well by reading free books from your local library. If you seriously think you can’t understand Dickens without listening to a long-winded socialist draft-dodger with weed on his breath, you’re badly mistaken.

It’s wonderful not to have an oppressive, endless sinus headache. I feel positively dynamic today, as if I had received a blood transfusion from Donald Trump.

Maybe I’ll get something done! It could happen.

Steven Seagal is a Hero

Monday, February 6th, 2017

Don Quixote is Just a Psychopath

I’m sitting here trying to find the gumption to continue reading Don Quixote. No wonder I skipped so much of the reading when I was in college. I feel like I’m getting psyched up for a colonoscopy.

In an earlier post I quoted the author Vladimir Nabokov, who said a bunch of flattering and patently inaccurate things about Don Quixote. For one thing, he called the protagonist “gentle,” which is like calling Richard Speck gentle.

Here’s something weird: Cervantes fan-niños can be found on the web excoriating Nabokov for criticizing Cervantes. Nabokov called Cervantes’ work “crude and cruel.”

I wonder what the truth is. Was Nabokov pro- or anti-?

I have to go with the critical Nabokov. Don Quixote is remarkably free of any type of compassion. When DQ breaks an innocent man’s leg, it’s a trifle. It’s supposed to be funny. Cervantes himself calls a hunchbacked, one-eyed girl who has done nothing wrong “this engaging creature” (en Español). When DQ gets impatient with Sancho Panza, whom he considers a friend, he beats him with his lance, and we’re supposed to go on liking DQ.

I’m thinking Cervantes may have been a sociopath. He may have been unable to feel love or pity, so he may not have realized it when he crossed the line.

To push the notion even further, I think this book may be a good litmus test for sociopathy. If you really enjoy it, and the cruelty doesn’t wear you down, you have an issue. Some essential pieces of your heart are missing. You would probably enjoy a GWAR concert.

One of the rules of fiction is that if you want to put suffering in your work, and you don’t want the reader to sympathize, you should make the characters who suffer look like they deserve it. You can see this rule at work in any Steven Seagal movie. Steven Seagal can’t just march onto the set and start snapping people’s arms backward at the elbow and setting them on fire. Maybe it was hard for his directors to make him understand that, but it’s true. If he wants the audience to root for him, the people he hurts have to be set up in advance. They have to put him in a coma and shoot his partner. Something like that.

If Cervantes had written a Steven Seagal movie, it would have started like this: Steven Seagal is lying in bed with his really good-looking wife. They smile and cuddle. Then he shoves a bayonet through her throat and says something snotty while she dies. No, no, no. That doesn’t work. You have to lay some sort of John Wick-style groundwork. Stomp on a puppy. Steal Keanu’s Mustang.

Maybe the people who defend Cervantes are cruel and underdeveloped. Cervantes can’t see his own problem, and neither can they, because they’re just like him.

Just spitballing here.

What time is it? About 1:30? This isn’t working. I haven’t killed enough time. I still have time to sit down and read. Man.

I saw some foolish person claiming Nabokov was worse than Cervantes, because Humbert Humbert, the main character in Lolita, was a sexual predator who went after a young girl. What a stretch. You’re not supposed to like Humbert Humbert! Hello? It’s okay if a villain does bad things. Obvious, right?

I plan to gag my way through at least 30 pages today. I’m glad the copy I bought was cheap. I would hate to spend more than ten bucks on an experience like this.

It’s 1:34. I guess I better get to work.

Chivalry Isn’t Dead

Sunday, February 5th, 2017

It’s Just Nauseous

Update on my progress through Don Quixote: today I made it to page 206, and I thought I could force myself to go all the way to the start of a horrible verse on the bottom of the page. No dice. After a few sentences, I realized I could not face another line. It’s as if my mind threw up.

Back to work tomorrow, I guess.

Lord of the Fleas

Sunday, February 5th, 2017

Plus Metrosexual Abuse

Sometimes I don’t know what to make of the Internet. It’s tempting to think of it as a reliable repository containing every type of knowledge you could hope to uncover, but the cruel truth is that it fails a lot.

Yesterday I visited the Florida Swap Shop to see if I could find a few cheap old wrenches to cut up and use for welding projects. I bought three, and I also bought two small adjustable (“crescent”) wrenches made by Williams. This company has made a lot of excellent stuff, and I was able to get a 6″ wrench and an 8″ wrench for eight bucks. They’re not in mint condition, but they work fine, and a new 6″ SK wrench costs about $22.

I cleaned the Williams wrenches up and did a minor repair on the bigger one. When I bought it, I didn’t notice that the jaws didn’t close all the way. At home, I took it apart (screw on the side of the wrench) and cleaned it up, but it still wouldn’t close. I finally realized the moving jaw could not slide out of the body all the way (necessary when it closes) because some ape had used the wrench to tap something. Hammer, wrench…what’s the difference?

The metal where the jaw slid out of the body was slightly deformed. I jabbed it with a file a few times, and now the wrench closes.

If you’ge Googling for information because you need help with ADJUSTABLE CRESCENT WRENCH THAT WON’T CLOSE, now you know what to do. Don’t lose the tiny spring that holds the knurled adjustment worm in place.

To get back to the issue that drove me to write today, the Williams wrenches had some kind of greasy black grit (or gritty black grease) on them. I’m sure you’ve seen this stuff. It magically appears on all old tools and in the bottoms of all old toolboxes. I had some success removing it with my amazing shower concoction (water, no-scrub cleaner, Dawn, and dishwasher rinse aid), but I couldn’t get all of it off.

That stuff works wonders on aluminum wheels. Ask my friend Mike, who used my last batch to clean the crud off the wheels of the Explorer I sold him. Without asking my permission.

I Googled today, and I saw a list of offerings. Which site was most likely to be right? People who write things on the Internet are usually ignorant; they just write for the purpose of filling websites. I wanted good information.

I chose Popular Mechanics, even though I knew better. There was a page about restoring rusty tools. The wrenches I’m working on aren’t rusty, but I figured black mystery crud might be covered as well.

Guess what Popular Mechanics says about removing rust? You soak your tools in vinegar and then scrape the rust off by hand. Are you kidding me?

I don’t like Popular Mechanics. I had a subscription, and I canceled. My take was that it was written by poser sissies who knew nothing about tools. It was full of useless articles about overly diverse-looking millennials who had tech startups (Wow! She’s a woman! And she’s Asian!). It also contained lots of material which appeared to be favorable press given in exchange for free tools. When a story features flattering photos of a new tool, plus gushing prose and a link to a website, hey…it’s an ad.

In the old days, Popular Mechanics was written by guys who still had the blood of dead Japanese soldiers behind their cauliflower ears. The target audience was actual men who had Vitalis in their short hair and surplus lathes in their garages. The magazine was full of useful stuff. Now, it’s useless. I mean, Glenn Reynolds writes for it. Come on.

Here’s how you take rust off of tools. You put them in a plastic bucket with a solution of water and baking soda or washing soda. You attach the negative clamps of battery chargers to them. You attach the positive clamps to submerged scrap iron. Then you wait. Every last particle of rust comes off, along with paint and everything else, if you wait long enough. You will end up with tools that are nothing but ferrous metal. It’s great. How can a magazine dedicated to tools recommend vinegar?

At least it wasn’t balsamic.

Another option: products made with phosphoric acid, such as Ospho or naval jelly. Apply. Wait. Rinse. Phosphoric acid loves rust and hates iron. It works.

I don’t know if pressure cleaners remove rust, but I’ll bet they do.

When you use abrasives to remove rust, as the magazine recommends, you take off sound metal. You’re not restoring. You’re altering. It’s much nicer when you can avoid removing steel.

I can just picture the Popular Mechanics writer, with his skinny jeans, Smith Brothers beard, creepy glasses, and punch-me cardigan, trying to use a Sonicare to remove rust from a pink-handled hammer without getting too dirty. They need to put him to work in a waxing salon.

If you want advice on tools, join a forum frequented by old machinists and woodworkers with missing fingers. They know what works.

Here’s the secret password: “Kroil.” If they don’t know what it is, you’re on the wrong forum.

Maybe instead of being disappointed, I should be glad I know more than Popular Mechanics.

I still don’t know the best way to get the black stuff off of tools. Maybe a good soak in gasoline, at least 20 feet from the house. I don’t have a parts washer.

Having visited flea markets exactly twice in the last 25 years, I am now an expert, so I will give you my take, which cannot be questioned. They work for three kinds of people.

1. People who know exactly what they want and what it’s worth.
2. People who like buying useless crap just to have a good time.
3. Poor people.

If you lack funds, a flea market can set you up with acceptable goods, cheap. If you’re a young man, and you need to put together a tool collection, flea markets are where you should be. Look at what I got. Two wrenches for eight dollars instead of fifty. You can also get well-made old furniture which is just beaten-up enough to look sort of chic in a college apartment. It will work better than Ikea crap, and you will be able to resell it for about what you paid.

Flea markets are also good for tool people who care more about how tools work than how they look. Me, I have a weakness for the shiny and clean, so I haven’t bought as many old tools as I should have, but I could have loaded up on quality wrenches and pliers for a hundred bucks.

If you can’t tell good stuff from bad, you will be skinned alive at a flea market, and you will come home with a lot of Chinese tools. Look for “USA” on everything you buy, and you should do okay. Use your phone to check prices.

I couldn’t get people to haggle at all. I got one dollar off the asking price for the three big wrenches. Maybe my clothes were too clean.

I’m happy. I tend to lose small adjustable wrenches, so next time it happens, I won’t lose much.

Maybe next week I’ll hit some garage sales.

More

Forgot to mention another reason the Internet is not as reliable as one would hope: queered ratings.

I bought a Ridgid Jobmax reciprocating saw attachment. You probably call this kind of saw a “Sawzall.” I had had great results with the drill, impact driver, and sanding attachments, so I figured the saw would be useful.

When I used the saw, I was very disappointed. It seemed to get bogged down very easily. I felt it was worthless. You could cut something like foam with it, but people buy this type of saw for wood and metal.

I gave it a one-star review on Home Depot’s site. One day a guy who worked for Ridgid emailed me, asking questions. I didn’t like being pestered about the review, but I responded. I said I wasn’t interested in being part of product development, because I figured that was what Ridgid wanted.

He said they weren’t trying to involve me in product development, and he said various things to defend the saw. He said it was only for light duty. Okay, but I still didn’t like it.

He thanked me for my input, and he said he would like to send me some Ridgid gear, so I gave him my address. Then he asked if it would be okay to take down my one-star rating.

No, it was not okay. It was disturbing and unethical.

I told him the Home Depot ad didn’t mention light duty. It said the saw “will tackle most any repair job.” I have never found the tool to be of any use at all. I don’t know why I didn’t return it. Maybe I thought some day I would have a job light enough for it to handle. I think my review was right on target.

He said it was intended for things like PVC. Coincidentally, I had to do a lot of PVC work last year, and I went out and got a corded DeWalt reciprocating saw. I was not about to try the Jobmax.

To be fair, today I put a 2 1/2″ PVC pipe in a vise and tried to cut it with the Jobmax. You would not believe how slow it was. I got about 3/16″ into the pipe and quit. It looked like I was going to be there a while. The DeWalt would have gone through it as if it were toast.

If you absolutely have to leave your sawzall at home, yes, take the Jobmax. It’s better than a steak knife. But don’t even let yourself fantasize about the possibility that it’s a real reciprocating saw.

I was not all that excited about the Ridgid gear. I like tool-related shirts, but Ridgid’s signature color is orange, so I felt it was unlikely that I would want to wear a Ridgid shirt. It turned out I was in no danger; after I refused to let them remove the review, he said they were out of shirts. I don’t know what they’re sending.

A cynical person might wonder if they always run out of shirts when someone refuses to change a review, but I assume he was telling the truth.

I agreed to let them send me stuff because there was some chance there might be something good included, and they offered before telling me they wanted to take the review down.

Now that I know they ask people to change their reviews, I wish I had turned down the offer.

The point of this story is to let people know that at least one company out there is asking people for permission to remove negative reviews. When I bought that awful saw, the reviews looked good, and I was shocked when I found out how useless it was. Now I wonder how many helpful negative reviews were abandoned by customers who like orange shirts.

I honestly believe the tool is bad, and I would never consider recommending it to anyone. As a customer, I want to protect people from this product, which disappointed me. It seems to me that Ridgid should put its energy into fixing the tool instead of the reviews.

If Ridgid is doing this, who else is doing it?

It’s a bummer, because I really like Ridgid tools. I have two Jobmaxes, a table saw, an oscillating sander, and two miter saws. Whenever I shop for a power tool, I look at Ridgid first, because I like their products and their warranty. Now I’m afraid to believe other people’s reviews.

Here’s what would really be bad: a review of a Ridgid tool, published by Popular Mechanics. “I give the Ridgid jigsaw two thumbs up, because it was great for cutting out the foamboard background for my bedroom shrine to Justin Bieber! It was so quick and easy, I didn’t even sweat up my man bun!”

I hope people are impressed that I didn’t whore myself out for a T-shirt. It will take more than that to buy me off. They should have offered me a free beer insulator.

If you like researching tools online before you buy, remember my sad tale of woe. You may only be seeing half of the reviews.

As long as I’m here, let me say I bought the Jobmax ratchet, and it slipped. If you buy one, make sure you test it thoroughly and apply for the lifetime warranty.