Sunday, April 28, 2013

Stopping Pests in the Bedroom Window

(As promised, here's the tale of the Window Weenie-Wagger -- and a couple more besides)

Three times in my merry career, in three different cities and states, I've had to chase burglars -- and worse -- out of my bedroom windows, using serious weapons.

 The first time was back in Michigan, where I was going to school.  I was living in the second-floor apartment of a rented house, and I'd elected to stay and take classes over the summer semester.  The house had no air-conditioning, the attic insulation wasn't very good, and an unusual heat-wave came along, so I was distinctly hot that night.  My roommates were out at a movie, and I was alone, so I stripped off my clothes and sat naked in the armchair to do my homework.  I'd finished my studies, still wasn't sleepy, and we had no TV at the time, so I turned on the radio to the local Classical/Folk/Blues station, took down the ornamental sword from the wall, pulled out a knife-sharpening stone and began sharpening the sword in time with the music.  Talk about cheap thrills on a hot Michigan night!

Anyway, as I was sharpening the sword, I heard a funny noise -- like raising a window -- from the bedroom next to me, which had been made out of a former dining-room and was cut off from the living-room only by an archway and a pair of curtains.  I knew that nobody was supposed to be in that room, let alone raising the window.  I set down the stone, took the sword in hand, got up and peeked through the curtains.

There I saw, in the dim light, a punk climbing through the bedroom window.

Well, I knew there was no point in calling the police;  they'd never get there in time to help, and besides, they were notoriously lax about responding to calls from students -- hippies and radicals, you know.  I had to take action myself.

So I plunged through the curtains, sword held high, yelling "Kreeee-gah!" -- straight out of Tarzan novels.  Yes, I fully intended to skewer the punk -- or slash him, and I knew that the sword's edge was up to the job.

Well, the punk saw a naked woman, swinging a sword, charging at him while screeching a battle-cry in an unknown language -- and decided that this scene was a little too weird for him.  He yanked himself back out the window, grabbed for the drain-pipe he'd clambered up, missed it -- and fell all the way to the driveway below.  When I got to the window and looked out, I saw him pull himself up and hobble down the driveway as fast as he could drag his injured leg, which looked broken.  I was disappointed that he hadn't broken anything else, thought again of calling the police, and decided that it wasn't worth the hassle.  That broken leg would keep him out of the crime game longer than any likely jail sentence.

I also resolved to get a more serious weapon than an ornamental sword.

Interestingly enough, we weren't bothered by thieves anymore, all the time I lived there.

                                                               *          *         *

The second time was a few years later, in Chicago.  By then I'd managed to buy a 12-gauge shotgun, which usually stood in a corner of the bedroom.  I was staying with the late Mary Frohman then, in an old-town "carriage house" -- a small house at the end of the back yard, with the bedroom window overlooking the alley -- on the notorious Near North Side.  One lazy Sunday afternoon we were lounging around in the bedroom, reading, when we heard the unmistakable sound of the garbage-can outside being dragged to just under the curtained bedroom window.  We looked at each other soundlessly, then I got up and got the shotgun.  Mary slid around beside the window and took hold of the curtain.  I sat on the bed, aimed the shotgun right at the lower edge of the window, and waited.  When we saw a poking motion move the curtain, I nodded to Mary.  She yanked the curtain away, revealing...

...a young punk with his hands and nose just over the window-sill, in the classic "Kilroy Was Here" position -- with his nose just about an inch from the muzzle of my shotgun.  I crooned: "Hel-LO there!"  His eyes grew very wide, and he pulled back fast out the window.  I scrambled after him, leaned out the window in time to see him jump down off the garbage-can and run -- quite quickly, too -- down the alley.  I called after him, in my best Chicago accent: "Oooh, come back!  We wanna play wit' yez!"  Of course, he did nothing of the sort, but dodged into the nearest available back yard to get out of my line of fire.

Mary and I collapsed on the bed, hugging the shotgun and laughing our @sses off.

No, we didn't bother calling the cops.  This was the Near North Side, after all.  But in any case, we weren't bothered by thieves again all the time we lived there.      

                                                                   *          *          *

The third time was here in Arizona, in Phoenix, when I was living in Ozzie's and Allanna's house, just off 7th Avenue and Missouri Road.  It was a one-story frame building, and I had the front bedroom to one side of the front entrance.  The windows were the old-fashioned crank kind, that looked out on the large front yard.  I'd bought my little pistol by then, and kept it on the nightstand beside my bed.  I also let my cats go in and out through the bedroom window.

One summer night, it being hot as Arizona usually is, and the house having only evaporative cooling, I was sitting in bed reading, with the window open.  I barely noticed, through the window, that the light over the front door was out;  that was unusual, since Ozzie usually left it on all night, but I thought nothing of it.  Then I heard a rustling outside the window, and thought it was the tomcat wanting to get in, so I got up and cranked the window open a little wider, leaned out and called: "Kitty-kitty-kitty" as usual.

The rustling came again, but now I saw that it came from a man -- middle-aged, middle-sized, wearing nondescript clothes -- who was crouched by the side of the entryway.  He saw me and lunged toward the window, so I promptly ducked back and began cranking it closed.  You cannot crank a window closed quickly, and he got there before I finished -- and stuck his arm through the window and wagged it in a particularly threatening way.  I promptly let out a fine string of outraged curses, because I recognized that gesture.  I'd seen that movie, too!  It was a pretty-damned-sexist thriller about a stalker that threatens a feather-headed girl who hasn't a clue how to protect herself.  I was furious that this creep thought I was anything like that fluff-brained fool!

Undeterred by my unexpected reaction, the perv pulled his arm out and instead stuck his weenie through the window and shook it.  Infuriated, I grabbed his weenie -- good and hard -- and pulled it, and part of him, through the nearly-closed window.  I also reached for my gun on the nightstand, but couldn't quite reach it.  He, naturally, pulled back.  We had a brief tug-of-war with his weenie as the rope, until -- his dong being uncircumcised -- the skin slid on the core and pulled out of my grasp, just as my fingers closed on the pistol.  I promptly leaned out the window and aimed at him, but he was running away.  I remembered to angle the shot downward so it wouldn't go out of the front yard, and fired.  I might have creased him across the buttocks, but there was no sign of it;  he only ran away faster.  In another second, he was out of sight in the shadows.

I would have let it go at that, guessing that my grip would cause him difficulty p!ssing for the next few days, which might make him reconsidere his pet sport, but I realized that somebody in the neighborhood must have heard the shot.  That meant some neighbor was most likely reporting "gunshots" right now, and I'd best beat them to the cops.  So I got on the phone, dialed 911, and explained: "If anybody has reported a shot being fired in this neighborhood, don't worry;  it was only me, chasing a weenie-wagger out of my bedroom window."

Well, as I might have expected, the cops soon showed up.  I recited my tale, and when I got to the bit about grabbing his weenie and pulling it, the cops had trouble keeping their faces straight.  They asked for a description, which I gave -- and then I added that, considering how hard I'd grabbed him, he probably had finger-sized bruises up and down his dong, which they might find in a "short-arms inspection".  The cops were hard put not to crack up at that.  One of them managed to say that, yes, they'd had similar complaints of a weenie-wagger in this neighborhood.  The other tried to scold me about firing a shot in a crowded city neighborhood, but he kept snickering while he did it.  I claimed that yes, I understood that, which was why I had angled my shot downward and therby probably missed.  They asked if I were sure that I'd missed, and I explained that I might have creased him across the buttocks, but certainly didn't stop him from running away faster -- and the cops snickered again.  I also mentioned that he had probably unscrewed the front light-bulb, so his prints might well be on it.  The cops agreed, handed me the formal papers they usually hand out to crime witnesses, and went outside to collect that light-bulb.  I could hear them laughing all the way to their cop-car.

Well, I was never called as a witness, so I guess that either they caught the perv and didn't need my testimony, or else -- after a few days of painful p!ssing -- he decided to give up weenie-wagging.  In any case, I never heard of him bothering anybody in my neighborhood again.  For that matter, we didn't have any problem with burglars, either.

This is why I encourage everybody -- and especially women -- to get themselves firearms and become competent with them.  It also helps to cultivate a bold attitude -- and a strong grip.

--Leslie <;)))><   )O(    

        

  

Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Most-Filmed Manhunt in History



(I had originally planned to tell the funny tale of the Weenie-Wagger in the Window, but current events took precedence.  I'll get to the Weenie story next week, promise.)
                                                       
The bombing of the Boston Marathon managed to do the almost-impossible;  it broke the media's (and several unscrupulous politicians') carefully-nurtured four-month hysteria campaign, using the Newtown school shooting to push for more federal gun-control laws.

This shift isn't surprising, considering how totally insane the bombing was.  I can't think of any activity more apolitical, religiously neutral or inoffensive than the Boston Marathon.  The only possible reason for bombing the race would be to harm as many innocent people as possible, and who on Earth would want to do that?

Well, I can make some guesses. 

Though nobody publicly took credit for it, foreign correspondents reported Hamas, Hezbollah, Al-Qaida, Islamic Jihad and other Jihadist groups in the middle-east publicly celebrating the attack, handing out candies and dancing in the streets, and howling "America is ruined!"  "Boston is paralyzed!"  "Allah is making the West suffer!"

The physical evidence also showed ties to Jihadist terrorists;  the bomb was an IED of the type commonly used by Jihadists in Iraq, Afghanistan and Israel.  As the Boston police commissioner announced, after describing the nature of the bomb, "Draw your own conclusions."  That conclusion wouldn't be difficult, seeing that Jihadists are notorious for attacking innocent and politically totally-unrelated targets – often for no other reason than to shock and dismay, they hope, whole populations.  American politicians and media know better, which is why they've been doing their damndest to deflect America's rage and demand for vengeance away from anything remotely Muslim. 

That's probably why the Boston police commissioner didn't say anything more than that;  no doubt he was muzzled by his political bosses.  The Liberal news pundits, and politicians, promptly tried to blame the bombing on "domestic anti-government groups", sometimes going to ridiculous lengths.  Chris Matthews noted: "(It's) Tax Day…  But of course it's Patriots' Day.  It's also the Boston Marathon.  And would you as an expert be thinking domestic (terrorists) at this point?"  House minority whip Steny Hoyer (Democrat, Maryland) blamed the bombings on "irrational" security cuts caused by the "sequestration".  MSNBC host Lawrence O'Donnell claimed that "lobbyists from the NRA have made it harder for the FBI to find the murderer who planted the bombs…" because "The NRA has successfully blocked any requirements for such (identification) taggants in gunpowder" – and this last was said after the Chechnyan brothers had been identified as the bombers. 

Even after the suspects had been respectively shot and captured, even after the FBI announced that the elder and dominant brother had spent six months of 2012 in Chechnya, even though it's common knowledge that the population of Chechnya is predominantly Muslim, government agencies and the media scrupulously avoided saying the word "Muslim" anywhere near any mention of the brothers – even though the public can readily draw its own conclusions. 

Also interesting is that the Boston police thanked the public for its assistance in identifying and capturing the bombers, while the FBI and the media made no mention of the civilians' immense role in the manhunt.  In fact, it was all those cameras – security cameras in stores along the marathon's route, video-cameras and cell-phone cameras in the hands of all those watchers, thousands of them, voluntarily given to the police – that picked up images of the Chechnyan Brothers planting those bombs in the mailbox and trash-can, thus allowing the FBI to identify them and post their pictures on the news.  From that feedback, it was the civilian who owned the boat that the younger brother took refuge in, and who reported it to the police, that resulted in the capture.  Thanks to all those pictures, this manhunt was amazingly short: less than five days, from start to finish.  This was certainly the most-photographed crime, and manhunt, in American history – thanks to thousands of civilians – and that's what made it one of the shortest manhunts in history.  You'd think the federal government would acknowledge that fact.

Instead, politicians and media are still trying to drag popular attention back to its deflated argument for new federal gun-control laws.  They may find that difficult, now that the Newtown hysteria has been wiped out by the marathon massacre – and its vivid proof that gun-control does nothing to guarantee the public safety. 

--Leslie <;)))><   )O(    

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Killing the Money Game


There's a marvelous little video on YouTube -- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0nERTFo-Sk -- that explains the difference between Hayek's and Keynes' ideas of economics: "free" markets vs."managed".  Now anybody who's studied history can tell you about the disasters of a "managed" economy -- whose ultimate expression is/was the Soviet Union.  Likewise, history shows what happens when a "free" economy's big boys -- usually the banks -- are allowed to do whatever they please;  this led to the crash of 1929 and the resulting Great Depression.

Now understand that I never took an economics course in my life.  All I know about economics comes from my own experience running a small (very small: just myself, my guitar and my word-processor) business, but I've observed that the basic rule of economics is the same as the basic rule of physics: you don't get something for nothing.  I've also observed that if you live beyond your means for very long, the creditors will come and strip your bones -- so don't do it. 

I've also seen that all real wealth comes from just two sources: physical materials that come out of the earth, and people's work on them -- and of those two, people's work is the greater part. 

Example: suppose you're strolling through the wilderness -- land that nobody (except maybe the national government) owns, land that nobody works, land that's maintained entirely by Nature -- and you happen to come across a big healthy fruit-tree, loaded with fruit and about to drop it.  Well, this is what the term "windfall" comes from!  Here's all this lovely fruit, free for the taking;  you can gather it and eat it yourself, or make it into jams and jellies and fruit-wine, or sell it to the neighbors -- either bartered directly for other things you want, or traded for a "trade standard" (money) that will buy you other things you want.  The fruit is free -- or is it?  You have to put in the labor of gathering the fruit, taking it home, washing it off, storing it safely, processing it into those other foods, then advertizing it to the neighbors and carting it to where the neighbors can buy it.  In other words, even if you can get your raw material (or finished product) for free, you still have to put work into it. Labor is the greater part of real wealth.

The "economic problem" started after money -- the uniform trade standard -- was invented, and certain clever and unscrupulous folk realized that they could get rich by playing games with the value of money, rather than by making real goods or real services.

The most common means of playing games with money is by unscrupulous lending -- and I don't mean just by charging outrageous interest, which keeps people paying off debts five or ten times over (common with village money-lenders in Asia and South America).  And I don't mean just lending the same money to several different people at the same time (invented by early bankers in the late Middle Ages).  I also mean deliberately lending to people whom you know can't or won't repay, so you can foreclose whatever property they put up for collateral, and also collecting lender's insurance on the "lost" loan.  I also mean borrowing money at low interest rates, then turning around and lending it to someone else at high interest rates.

And then there's speculation, including playing the stock market, which is an elaborate form of gambling, that I've gone into elsewhere.  And never mind the trick of hoarding money so as to make it scarce to the public, or likewise putting a lot of money out into the market with the deliberate intention of making it cheap. 

All of these are playing games with promises and obligations and the perceived value of money.  They create no goods or services, but only inflate the value of money -- under false pretenses -- which eventually deflates, with a bang.  This is what causes booms and busts -- and ruins lots of innocent people who really do work at creating actual goods and services.  The people and businesses that play these games are nothing more or less than parasites, and dangerous parasites at that.

The Money Game itself must die.

How do we kill it?

Well, I have an idea that might at least be a step in the right direction.  Whether by federal law or nationwide custom (which would include anything from expose' and massive boycott to mobs armed with tar and feathers), forbid anyone -- individual, group or corporation -- to lend money to the public unless he/she/it/they has first owned and managed a business (likewise doing business with the public) that has produced enough profit to cover the loan.  Said business shall not include banking, brokering, insurance, mortgages, or any other "financial institution".  Instead, think of "Joe's Bank and Grill", or "Ford Motors and Loans", or "Mor's Furniture and Mortgages".  Having to manage a real business, and therefore having to suffer fluctuations in the market along with everyone else, would make such money-lenders a little less inclined to damage that market with money-games.

What do you think?  Can anybody come up with further ideas?

--Leslie <;)))><  )O(