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If confronted by a mob, by wisconsin_cur on Wed Apr 25, 2012 2:04 am
I heard the question asked recently, how do you defend yourself from a mob. Assuming you have done your best (and failed) to avoid the mob, I see the options as:

1. Turn and run (flight)

This will engage the prey drive of the crowd. they will think they got you if they can only catch you. How big is the crowd and what percentile of the population can you out run? I'm not an avid runner but still in good shape, at least for the first mile or so. When I was tested for a job (self-selection bias at work here since only people who were willing to be tested in their 1 mile time applied) I was in the top 90%. So lets say for the population as a whole I'm in the top 5%. If there are 20 people, the odds are good that at least one of them will catch me.

I am also of the age where I will begin slowing even if I start to run more for exercise. Another question is if I have the lead...

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6 Comments Viewed 237175 times
When heros are murdered. by smallpoxgirl on Fri Jun 12, 2009 5:10 pm
Crazy Horse. Martin Luther King. Malcolm X. Harvey Milk. George Tiller. Our heros reflect the best in us. Our strength. Our passion. Our ability to see the heart of the issue and speak to that heart. Our willingness to risk everything to fight for what is right. When those heros are murdered, it's as though that which is best in us dies with them.

George Tiller was to abortion providers, what Harvey Milk was to the gay community or Malcolm X to the black community. He, more than anyone I ever met was able to articulate the heart and the compassion of our work. George was a devout Christian. In every way he embodied the Christian principal "Greater love hath no man than that he lay down his life for another." George lived for decades with the knowledge that his life could be ended by bigots any time. His clinic was bombed and was repeatedly vandalized. He was shot and threats against his life became a daily routine. Despite all that, I never once heard George...

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2 Comments Viewed 9975 times
Whither the economy? by Jack on Fri Oct 02, 2009 11:11 pm
The powers that be have coined a phrase - "green shoots". I think they've made a mistake, not only in calling a turn, but politically and emotionally.

Our problem boils down to employment. Until we start generating large numbers of stable, well-paying jobs, there is no foundation to support recovery anywhere else in the economy. Housing involves mortgages - which imply a steady income on the part of the borrower. Likewise, increased consumer spending requires a source of income. Note that such spending can no longer grow from expansion of consumer credit - the banks have increased rates, increased payment rates, and cut lines of credit.

The stock market has increased since the March lows; however, if we look back over the past century (as done in Mauldin's work, Bull's eye investing), we find that bear markets end when stocks represent excellent values. Dividends on quality companies rise to as much as 6%. PE ratios decline. None of these have happened - yet. In addition,...

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0 Comments Viewed 8197 times
Taking off the gloves by wisconsin_cur on Tue Jul 13, 2010 12:59 am
If you look at my hands, you can tell that the money I bring home is not earned with my hands. Comapre them to my father's, uncles or grandfathers and there is no doubt who went to college and is privilidged to work in climate controled comfort. Though I keep nearly every spare minute filled with a variety of maintance and expansion projects around the homestead, my hands do not show it; mostly thanks to good gloves.

This weekend I had a lot of work to do and I took off the gloves.

While I love good gloves and will still use them for more dangerous work, I have decided to start building some callouses and scar tissue now. Developing thick skin now reduce by one the number of things that might slow me down when I need to work with these hands in a more consistently rough environment.

4 Comments Viewed 60341 times
The Virtue of an Oil Change by wisconsin_cur on Tue Aug 24, 2010 8:33 pm
It is a shame that, for the most part, we have stopped changing our own oil. I'm not saying thing itself is so important, but rather the virtue that arises from doing such a small, technically simple but high consequence task for one's self. Changing oil is a straight-forward affair, within reach nearly everyone. When it is completed, one is left with the consequences of their own work. If you forget to put on the filter and oil spills to the ground as you re-fill it, there is no one to blame but the mechanic. If the plug comes loose after forty miles, there is no one to sue but the person swearing in the rear view mirror.

He who changes his own oil also comes face to face with his own waste in a manner that is all too rare these days. Dirty oil must be placed in a bottle of some sort, usually the empties your new oil came in, and carried with all its weight and volume to be recycled. It does not magically disappear like when the speedy lube does the job while you drink coffee and watch...

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2 Comments Viewed 51922 times

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