Citizenship, Education, Free Society

Credit where due

(c) 2012 Earl L. Haehl Permission is given to use this article in whole as long as credit is given. Book rights are reserved.

James Madison, Jr, took copious notes at the federal convention and fleshed them out between sessions. That he was one of the instigators of the convention is not disputed. That he participated in the ratification process and eventually put the Bill of Rights (as well as the Twenty-seventh Amendment) in their current form are matters of record.

But he is not the Father of the Constitution or the Father of the Bill of Rights. Most of the language in the Constitution proper comes from the literary abilities of Gouvernor Morris of Pennsylvania and the Bill of Rights is a (poor) adaptation of the Virginia Declaration of Rights produced by Col George Mason.

Col Mason believed a bill of rights needed to be the first article of any Constitution—he had done it that way in Virginia. Although present, he declined to sign the document for lack of the Bill of Rights and worked to prevent ratification in Virginia. Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts did the same. Edmund Randolph did not like the document and declined to sign.

The Bill of Rights was the result of the anti-federalist movement. Madison was only a drafter, not being particularly invested in the project—he had argued for ratification without a bill of rights. His version of the Second Amendment lacks the admonitions against standing armies found in the Virginia Declaration.

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Compleat Idler, Free Society, Humor

Boots – a tradition

(c) 2012 Earl L. Haehl Permission is given to use this article in whole as long as credit is given. Book rights are reserved.

Joaquin Ochoa and I were buddies in grade school in Arapaho County, Colorado. His dad worked at Highland Ranch when it was a ranch. It was in 1955 that I left to journey back to Nebraska where five generations of my mother’s family—both sides—had lived. But during the time we played together we mostly practiced roping and mounting horses and other stuff. At 10 Joaquin finally got permission to do Little Britches, a junior circuit rodeo taking its name from Ralph Moody’s book series that took place in Arapaho County. I did not. One of the disadvantages of a brain injury from breathing before I got out of the canal is a tremor and some loss of muscle control that my parents decided I might ruin my career as a scholar if my body got more screwed up.

Since I was 11 they offered me Scout Camp instead. And when my troop could not come up with a patrol, they let me spend an extra four weeks at my Aunt’s place in Wyoming. Scout camp was not really an acceptable option because I knew from my Uncle’s cowboys what kind of groupies they had at the rodeo and I was 11. But going to the ranch meant that I would get a decent pair of boots to wear for school.

We moved to a small town in Nebraska and then to the west coast. I went on to college and law school and a few jobs before my career as an investigator and administrator—a career being a job you stay at too long. Working retail after retirement I ran into Joaquin. He was involved in stock procurement for a rodeo circuit—having his MBA. His first reaction was to ask if my square toed boots were Tonys or Noconas.

Noconas—Mexican.” I replied.

Why?”

Can’t afford Lucheses.” After we both stopped laughing, he told me about Manuel Almanza, a custom builder in Fort Worth. He gave me a card and told to look the shop up.

As things were going I had been doing some security consulting for a small manufacturer near the airport so the next trip down I took a rental into Fort Worth—I remembered the Almanza brand etched into my Uncle’s square toes—it had taken fifty years to realize why he liked them. I had even practiced a little Spanish just in case. It was a little out of the way place and I went in. The guy who came out of the back said, “Buenos dias, Y’all. I’m Manny.”

Joaquin sent me.”

Yeah, he told me about you and I used to read your posts on the forum—you’re Lobo.”

A pair of black boots covered with dust caught my eye. “Something like those.”

My daddy made those for a Wyoming rancher back in the 70s. He died before picking them up.”

Probably my uncle. We called them old guy boots.”

Let me guess—you liked pointed toes.”

Casey Tibbs wore pointed toes.”

So he measured my feet with the Brannock device and made a tracing. A couple months later—after getting an email that the boots were ready—I went back down to Fort Worth to discuss my report and pick up the boots. I had more time because I was no longer working retail so I hopped in my little Tacoma and drove. I did not need to worry because the Life NRA sticker in my window was sufficient to mitigate the Kansas tag. The little wheelchair on the tag helped in parking.

I went in. As I looked at the counter there was a pair in my style, but they were too short. “Don’t worry Amigo,” Manny said. “I have yours in back. These boots were made for Joaquin.”

As a writer of fiction—I used to write budget justifications for state positions and equipment—I use stories for illustration. Characters may be fictitious, but they are composites of people I met. If Almanza Boot Company exists, let me know—I’ve got a pair wearing thin on top.

Boots are important to people from the part of the world I inhabited as a child. Mostly I got boots from my aunt and uncle—my mother kept me in orthopedic shoes. When I got away to the University of Denver I walked into JC Penney’s, went downstairs and found a pair of H&H oiled leather Wellingtons. It was rebellion. During my career in government service I wore Frye, Hyer, Acme, Dan Post, Tony Lama, Nocona and H&H. I also wore Chippewa, Danner and H&H hiking and military boots.

But today we are discussing western boots like the ones on my feet as I write this. If I hit the PowerBall, I will buy two pair of Lucheses, black and oxblood with square toes. My favorite footwear is the forbidden fruit of my high school years when I wore Dr Scholl’s and some Italian made suede shoes that were oh so comfortable and oh so bad for my feet.

Pointed toes were what the rodeo cowboys of the fifties were wearing—square toes were what “old men” wore. My uncle must have been at least 55. In the beginning Charlie Hyer built a round toed boot at Olathe, Kansas. There were probably dozens of bootmakers in the west but Charlie was close to Kansas City and had a knack for publicity. I do know that the riding heel was at times referred to as the Spanish heel—much like what we call a western saddle is referred to in some circles as a Mexican saddle.

As things go, in 1974 I drove into Olathe to buy some boots at the bankruptcy sale for Hyer boot company—I think I was four or five when my grandfather got me a pair of Hyers for Christmas. But this was a bankruptcy sale and for $150 I bought two pair of boots and a 3X Stetson hat. Amazingly they fit. I have on a couple occasions bought boots that do not—and have paid dearly.

It was about 1976 when I fell in love with a woman 50 years my senior named Enid Justin. Miss Enid wrote a statement I have remembered since about fit. She said that boots which do not fit when you first try them on will never fit—countering my grandmother’s statement about breaking in time. I violated that once and I regretted it. Miss Enid, when her father died and her brothers decided to move the business from Nocona to Fort Worth, opened the Nocona Boot Company with existing employees. There was a reason that Justins and Noconas felt similar. By the way, Nocona is a Comanche word and was the name of Chief Quanah’s father.

So much for history. Olathe boot company opened in the old Hyer factory and builds boots that are used by a lot of cowboy action shooters because they have a 19th Century look. The company was, the last time I checked, located in Mercedes (pronounced Mer-sid-ez’) Texas.

Miss Enid’s company merged with Justin Industries in 1981. In 1991, following her death, all operations were moved to Fort Worth. Tony Lama, also a Justin Company, occupies the same factory but has a slightly different process. There is a low end Nocona built in Mexico. It does not differ much from a similar Lama Boot. Like I said, I cannot afford Lucheses. Justin is now owned by Berkshire Hathaway.

Some hints:

Make sure of your fit and make sure the boot will handle any orthotic device you use. This is a lot more important when you hit 60 than when you are 18 and immortal. (Note: by the time I was 21 I had been clinically dead three times. The last was when I was 20 so I’m only 48, right?)

Do not assume that all boots with the same brand name have the same last.  This especially applies to boots made in China.

Decide if you can wear a Spanish heel or you need a walking heel. Some of us interchange.

The pointed toe is for controlling a horse. It originated in Mexico and became popular with the rodeo circuit. I became aware of it in 1953-54. If you plan to do a lot of walking, get a round or square toe.

Realize that they are not really “cowboy” boots until they have had excrement cleaned off of them.

We had a couple of politicians decide to go native and dress in jeans and boots to meet with ranchers. The latter showed up in suit and tie. Note: I was more comfortable wearing boots in Washington than a friend of mine from the east was wearing boots out here.

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Humor, Technology

Intellectual Property — Humor

There is no copyright here.  My source was last seen getting into a strange-looking vehicle that rose above the tree tops and hit mach one in five seconds.

Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Homeland Security

Leon Panetta, Secretary of Defense

Eric Holder, Attorney General

Subject: Intellectual Property Infringements

It has come to our attention that many of your vendors have been supplying you with surveillance and communications equipment which directly or indirectly impinge on patents and patent improvements of Diet Smith Industries without obtaining proper licensing for such use.

This will inform you that we have filed suit in the US District Court for the District of North Dakota where Diet Smith Industries has a testing facility and regional corporate office and there is a light docket ahead of us. Preliminary actions were taken through the US Patent Office procedures.

This will also inform that should Diet Smith Industries prevail in these matters, your agencies will be expected to assure compliance by your vendors with the licensing requirements of Diet Smith Industries.

R. M. Tracy III

Chief Legal Counsel

Diet Smith Industries

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Citizenship

Goodbye federalism

(c) 2012 Earl L. Haehl Permission is given to use this article in whole as long as credit is given. Book rights are reserved.

As I have been re-reading Madison’s notes as edited by Solberg I have picked up on some details that the 23 year old college senior (slow learner) missed. In fact, I would recommend a re-read of a lot of stuff as an adult—you’d be amazed at what holds up and what does not.

But I digress—as most of my friends and relative note…often. Reading Madison’s notes on the federal convention reveals a lot. Many of the debates are still unsettled from day one. What are we as a nation. Do we have a general, national government or a federal republic? I can argue it both ways as my old hero Harold Fatzer did on occasion when he was chosen (by rotation) to write a majority opinion against which he had voted—his majority was solid and well thought out but his dissent was masterful, logical and chiding of the majority. I can write a legal paper on the textual federalism of the Constitution. I fervently support a federal republic and believe the national government has done more to destroy than protect.

I am writing this about the fact and not the law. The Constitution of the United States is regarded as antiquated. Franklin D Roosevelt wrote to Samuel B. Hill, Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee on July 6, 1935, stating, “I hope your committee will not permit doubts as to constitutionality, however reasonable, to block the suggested legislation.” I did not find a quote for his reference to the Constitution as a “quaint 18th century document,” but the sentiment fits with his attitude toward Congress and the Supreme Court. And I would posit that most in elective office agree.

What Hamilton and a number of people at the Convention preferred was a national government—some went as far as to propose the elimination of states. At that point even Madison was in favor of a stronger central government than he was after persuasion by Jefferson during ratification. The argument was that the states were a roadblock to a strong (read militarily powerful) nation. And of course the states were a hindrance to commerce—actually California does not recognize the commerce clause when it comes to firearms and the Ninth Circuit says fine.

If I end up interspersing current events with this it is that the same forces are at work today and this is about where we are. There is no provision in the Constitution for a national police force. The federal government has 150,000 “law enforcement” personnel which essentially constitute a standing army within our borders while the natural defense of society—the militia of the people—is further infringed. George Mason who drafted the Virginia Declaration of Rights wrote in Section 13: “That a well-regulated militia, or composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defense of a free state; that standing armies, in time of peace, should be avoided as dangerous to liberty; and that in all cases the military should be under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power.” The Department of Homeland Security has become a power unto itself and has voided much of what is left of federalism. Does this bother the electorate—hint, the candidates are both believers in national government. As Clinton and Bush gave up their defense of their gubernatorial powers when they arrived at the juncture of New York and Pennsylvania Avenues, so too will Romney if elected.

The arguments ranged back and forth on the merits of democratic election versus a republic. And at the Convention, there was a compromise. We are told today by those who wish a more powerful and intrusive government that compromise is not a bad thing. The Senate was to be selected by the legislatures of the states as a bone to the republicans. The fear was that a complete democracy would endanger the rights of all. As the growth of democracy gained power in the 19th Century, the Progressives manipulated the Populists into assenting to their power grab and the 17th Amendment was adopted in 1913 leaving the Senate of the United States unaccountable to those states they represent.

The situation we are in now—a national, central and unaccountable government—is not a failure of democracy but rather the natural consequence of democracy. It arises out of a public school system which has, as its primary mission, the indoctrination of the population in the current political system. This sets them up to accept the demagoguery they became acquainted with in school. Unfortunately the progressives have control of education regardless of who holds the government through the NEA and AFT.

The document remains but the reality is different. The courts and Congress cannot control the Executive because they do not have the will. This is not a new phenomenon of the Clinton-Bush-Obama years. Andrew Jackson once said, “Mr Marshall has made his decision, now let him enforce it.”

More quotes:

“I took the Canal Zone and let Congress debate about me.” Theodore Roosevelt whose 1912 campaign made suggestions about the need to revise the Constitution to give the central government more power.

““The President is at liberty, both in law and conscience, to be as big a man as he can. His capacity will set the limit; and if Congress be overborne by him, it will be no fault of the makers of the Constitution, – it will be from no lack of constitutional powers on its part, but only because the President has the nation behind him, and the Congress has not.” Woodrow Wilson who believed there was a “transcendent constitution” that superseded the dead written document.

So we are here with a national rather than a federal government that Republicans and Democrats alike are comfortable with.

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Citizenship

A case for a change

(c) 2012 Earl L. Haehl Permission is given to use this article in whole as long as credit is given. Book rights are reserved.

There are two major candidates, one of whom will be elected in December, with different aspirations. Mitt Romney wants very much to be President. To that end he will promise anything he needs to promise and will have a tough time following through on those promises if elected. This is not intended as an endorsement of Mr Romney.

Barack Obama, on the other hand, is President. He made all those promises four years ago, and to achieve some he ignored others. He wants very much to transform America. It worked for FDR—four times. It was only after World War II ended and Truman lifted wartime restrictions that the nation began to recover from the recession of 1931.

So let us look at the transformation so far. The “bailout” of the auto industry involved a takeover of two companies in order to preserve the union welfare state of those companies and give the government a “stakeholder” place in decision making. The bankruptcy law was violated and preferred stockholders, many of them public employee and teacher pension funds, were left holding the bag to assure government preferred stakeholders—aka the UAW. When franchises were closed, the fact that some had paid serious money for their franchises was not a consideration. Apparently volume of sales was not either.

Another aspect of the transformation of the auto industry is the new green technology. An example of this is the new Chevy Volt. GM loses $49,000 on every one that leaves the factory in order to reach a price point of $40,000. In addition the taxpayers pick up another $7,500 in a tax credit to bring the price down to a level where people will buy the vehicle.

The genius of the American auto industry has been its ability to produce vehicles that capture the consumer. And scuttle those that do not. They did not have to deal with the fiat that “you will build this vehicle” mentality of the Combloc. The Edsel was a failure—Ford ditched it and followed with the Mustang. Despite Ralph Nader the Corvair was extremely popular—there is a 61 driving around town that is in better shape than Ralph.

Ford escaped the “bailout” by having shepherded its resources to where it would not have to take a reorganization. Not to worry. New EPA CAFE standards took care of the the popular Crown Victoria. The company will survive, but a solid, powerful vehicle has been removed from production. Its replacement, the AWD Taurus-SHO, is unlikely to last as many miles and has a higher price tag to begin with. And with Executive Order 13603 in place, Obama has “authority” to seize industries in the name of national security.

The “bank bailout” saved some companies that should have been allowed a quiet demise. The real estate bubble which brought it down was caused largely by federal requirements to “open up” the housing market. To avoid pressure by compliance agencies, the banks loosened credit requirements to the point that massive groups of people were approved for loans they could never pay. There were people in certain counties in Colorado who were refinancing every eighteen months. There was a joke in the consumer community about using Visa to pay Mastercard—eventually the house of cards (so to speak) tumbles.

As the Congress set about remedying the financial situations there were companies that should have gone under, but were “too big to fail” so they were propped up. The regulations bill that the President signed had not been read by its sponsors. Retiring Sen Chris Dodd said it would take a couple years to find out what was in it.

So we come to the quick fix comprehensive health care reform. Like the financial services bill it was rushed and rammed through without time for reading or reflection. So much for the promise of transparency. What is in it—other than a tax that is unlawful because it originated in the Senate or else in the mind of an intimidated Chief Justice—is not clear. What is not in it is: cost control, frivolous lawsuit control, and cost increase control. Without these, the temporary nature of the bill is apparent—the costs will crash the government.

Then we come to the assertion that the President has authority to order the assassination of anyone he deems a threat to the American people. In asserting this power—which was not asserted in the Divine Right of Kings—the President places himself with banana republic dictators as well as Vlad the Impaler, Caligula, Stalin and Rasputin.

The President has also issued executive orders giving himself authority Congress and the Constitution will not. He tires of waiting for Congress. He has always, from his own statements, been frustrated by the Constitution’s negative liberties. He would like to change this Constitution out for one that mandates redistribution. And he clearly is looking for three more appointments to the Supreme Court in order to achieve this.

Mr Obama recently remarked that is is nearly impossible to effect change from the inside. Perhaps the community organizer needs to get back outside.

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Compleat Idler, Education

Scottish-Americans meet reality – Jacobites

(c) 2012 Earl L. Haehl Permission is given to use this article in whole as long as credit is given. Book rights are reserved.

NOTE:  This is a rant, not a detailed piece of scholarly history.  Much is relayed through different family traditions and I am not a Jacobite.

The season of Scottish-American pride draws to a close. Soon it will be October with the weather getting cooler and snowfall upon us making outdoor festivals less than pleasant—I remember freezing my buns at McPherson in late September after ditching my windbreaker in Estes two weeks earlier. My broken hip has, for the last few seasons, limited my ability to get to these gatherings and tweak the pride—though a good argument is probably the most Scots of that goes on.

My definition of modern Scots is as follows: A people of varied Celto-Norse heritage living north of England who, without English interference, would have annihilated each other centuries ago. The languages spoken are English, Scots (an English dialect originally called Inglis), Cymru, Gaelic (also called Erse or Irish), Norwegian and Glaswe (the dialect of Glasgow which does not appear mutually intelligible with any known language). Cymru, Gaelic and possibly Glaswe are Celtic (Seltic) languages. English, Scots and Norwegian derive from Old Norse.

I will start with the Jacobites because they are the easiest to describe, being a group of English and Scots aristocrats and bishops who preferred the profligacy of James II (VII of Scotland) to the hard money austerity of William of Orange (both of whom were descendants of Henry VII). We are here talking about the throne of England, the throne of Scotland not having much in the way of power or finances. No, kiddies, Bonnie Prince Charlie had no interest whatsoever in an independent Scotland.

Do not worry. Over the next few weeks I can dispatch Duncan the Wicked, his son Malcolm the Fat Head, Malcolm’s English second wife Margaret, Robert the Brus, the Stuarts and anyone else I can skewer.

Charles I had been removed as King by Parliament. The power of Parliament to choose the monarch goes back to the days of Henry VIII and his concern about the Spanish Princess Mary inheriting from him and restoring the bishops to outside control. He had hopes that Edward VI would grow into a powerful monarch destined for greatness, but gave Parliament authority to name Edward’s successor. Instead of naming Henry’s nephew James V of Scotland, They named Henry’s hapless niece Jane Grey, setting her up to last about as long as Macbeth’s successor Lulach. What happened in terms of greatness of Henry’s successors was that the throne eventually devolved on his younger daughter Elizabeth. And while Elizabeth of England eliminated her whiny, manipulative cousin Mary Stuart, when she died the throne went to Mary’s son James VI of Scotland. This was not because his mother was the rightful monarch but because his great-great grandfather was Henry VII—the Stuarts were in the Royal line because they were Tudors.

In 1688, a group of seven nobles persuaded William of Orange, James II’s nephew/son-in-law and his wife Mary to come to England to oust James. Mary believed her new half-brother to be a switch for a stillborn and feared the coming Catholicism. William arrived with his troops, the military switched sides and James, on his second attempt, was able to take a permanent vacation in France. Parliament declared the Throne vacant, disqualified Prince James Edward by disqualifying any Catholic, and made William King. Note: I determining “rightful” monarchs I follow the practical solution of recognizing the prevailing monarch in the fight.

The first Jacobite uprising was led by John Graham of Claverhouse (AKA Bonnie Dundee—see Sir Walter Scott’s notes in Old Mortality). Claverhouse slaughtered a bunch of Presbyterians at Killiecrankie—he enjoyed slaughtering Presbyterians. However, Claverhouse was killed and the movement sputtered.

Jacobites derive that name from Jacobus (Iacobus) Rex—the Latin for King James. The fact is that Parliament prohibited the issue of James II by his second wife from inheriting which left his two daughters, Mary and Anne, and his nephew William of Orange. Following the deaths of William and Mary, Queen Anne assumed the throne. Following the death of Queen Anne’s last son, Parliament passed the 1701 Act of Settlement which provided the English crown, in default of issue from either William or Anne, was settled upon “the most excellent princess Sophia, electress and duchess-dowager of Hanover” and “the heirs of her body, being Protestant.” As it happened, when Queen Anne died without issue in 1714, the crown went to Georg Ludwig, great grandson of James I. So we have the line from the Hanovers to the Stuarts to the Tudors.

Now the throne of England has a history of being transferred by military power. The most famous was in 1066. When Edward the Confessor died there were four claimants. The “rightful monarch,” grandson of Edmund Ironside stayed in Hungary and expected to be called. Harald Hardradi of Denmark invaded from the North, picking up support from Caithness and Orkney. In a fluke he was killed by the troops of Harold Godwinson who then marched his troops south to Hastings where he ran across William of Normandy. William’s Normans had lived in Normandy since his ancestor Ganger Hrolf had made a deal with Charles the Simple for land in exchange for stopping the raiders from the North from viking in Paris. The were basically Norsemen who spoke abominable French. So when George ascended the throne James Francis Edward Stuart, having been recognized as King by Louis XIV in 1702 decided to restore his rights.

The problem is that when you attempt a military solution against a recognized monarch you need a competent army, competent commanders and a coherent plan. Remember that when the Brus went up against Edward II at Bannockburn, he had 300 Norman cavalry stashed in surprise mode and he had more or less popular support. Scotland was not universally Jacobite. The Duke of Argyll had no love for the profligate James II and VII. The Protestant branch of the family had stabilized the economic situation. A note: The Stuarts, like the Brus, were Normans—they tended to crop up in a lot of places as the civilizers of Europe.

Again in 1745-46, there was another major uprising led James Francis Edward’s generally besotted son Charles Edward William Stuart who was half-Polish and raised in Italy. The general reception he got in the west of Scotland was, “Go home.” According to Alex Beaton he replied, “I am-a home.” Alex went for the New York showbiz laugh. Bonnie Prince Charlie had never led an army in combat but that was not a problem because Scots are “natural fighters.” (Note how Robert Brus had heavy French Cavalry and the Scots did not fare that well against the English overall.)

So after getting within striking distance of London, Charlie retreated to Inverness. George called on his own surrogate, his son William, Duke of Cumberland, who had been in military combat for years and was battle hardened. With experienced English and Scots troops he marched north to the climax at Culloden. There was no secret Templar army waiting, only Bonnie Prince Charlie and his Jacobites. The aftermath of the battle—the slaughter of survivors—was carried out by Scots troops, the English not really having much taste for slaughter.

We all know the Skye Boat, the escape in drag courtesy of Flora McDonald in exchange for the Dram Buie recipe, and the later life which would indicate he was not as much into discipline as his Hanoverian cousins. But this little tidbit was in the Telegraph: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/history/9211247/DNA-reveals-the-truth-about-Bonnie-Prince-Charlie.html

Evidently there is a gene for profligacy in Cornwall as well.  (Addendum: Well he should have Welsh DNA.  He was a direct descendent of Owen Tudor.)

While the rout a Culloden ended the military threat to the Hanoverian line, there were some sphincters tightened in 1784 when Scottish Episcopal Bishops consecrated Samuel Seabury as Bishop for the Church of North America. Fearing the rise of a Jacobite Church the English Bishops swiftly obtained authorization to consecrate Bishops for the American Church without the oath to support the King.

There are still some “Stuart” claimants, but it is more likely that the monarchy will simply disappear altogether. As I have said, no one recognizes a loser—except maybe other losers.

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Compleat Idler, Education, Homeschooling, Technology, Tool user

Complete idler — reading suggestion

(c) 2012 Earl L. Haehl Permission is given to use this article in whole as long as credit is given. Book rights are reserved.

10.12! That is the October 2012 Popular Mechanics. The question as I wander by the magazine rack is “Should I buy this or hope someone else does?” And I looked at the cover, and it featured stealth aircraft which will turn off most of my friends. The technology of stealth fascinates me because it represents a game of camouflage—sort of like the scout patrol that wore woodland camo pants and called themselves the Camo Gators: “We’re the Gators! You can’t see us.”

But I look at the contents. Jay Leno’s Garage. Okay, it is coming home. I will never afford the car collection he has—the Powerball never gets that big. But I have been fascinated by cars ever since we did the work on my grandparents’ LaSalle. That an engine works that way was a mystery to a five year old that bordered on magic. And since I realized I could read about third grade, what was in the magazines around the house was fair game.

And when I had mumps or other long illness, I would get a stack which included Field and Stream, Popular Mechanics, Popular Science, and sometimes Popular Photography. I was corrupted from a young age. I also snuck a look at my uncle’s True.

So check out the October issue. Especially with homeschoolers check out the squishy circuits and LED projects. On Lew Rockwell, Karen de Coster is fighting for incandescent bulbs as opposed to CFLs. The bad news is that incandescents are going by government decree (and the Administration also killed the Crown Vic). The good news is that in five to ten years CFLs, which have mercury as well as a tendency to break in my hand, will be history. LEDs are cleaner and require much less power.

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