Day by Day Cartoon by Chris Muir

Friday, August 28, 2015

Veteran's Administration survey

The VA is asking for "a million veterans" to participate in a survey about health and mental condition. The survey can be found here.

Knowing what the Jugears administration has already done to our veterans, I would just file the letter in the circular file, not even mark :"I do not want to participate".

Telling the government that you have periods of "feeling blue" or are suffering from PTSD could easily get you listed as a "risk" and barred from owning a firearm. Admitting to chronic pain could easily have the same result.


Sunday, August 23, 2015

Tractor fixed!

Finally got the tractor back together. Only took four splits - feels more like five.

The first time I put it back together, it seemed OK - until hydraulic fluid began pouring out from the starter. Split it again and replaced the 50-year-old rotten looking hoses in the clutch housing, and figured that would solve the problem.

Put it back together and stated it - still pouring fluid out of the clutch area. Got under and looked in while my son cranked it - oil coming out near the high pressure fitting. The new gasket between the front cover and trans housing had blown out because I had missed an O-ring.

Split it again. Found a suitable ring and put it back together again. Still leaking.

Went over the parts in the exploded drawing. The only culprits left were several O-rings in the fittings and the one I just replaced. Ordered all new rings and another gasket.

Got the parts Friday and split the tractor again. The O-ring I had put in slipped out of its' counter bore and got crushed. Replaced all the O-rings and the gasket, and carefully reassembled it. No leaks.

Mowed the firebreaks - and knocked the muffler apart on a dead tree branch. So, off to Farm and Fleet for a new muffler.

At least I can split the tractor in under three hours now...

Update 8/29 - last Tuesday I decided to go over the firebreaks again, as they need to be trimmed at least once a week to keep them neat. Made it around the west fields and about a third of the way around the east side - and the clutch locked up. Had this happen once in a Chevy C30 panel truck - bolts backed out of the flywheel and jammed the driven disc. I'll have to split the thing yet again to find out for sure, but there are no loose parts in the clutch housing, at least.

Oh - and about a quart of hydraulic fluid was in the bottom of the bell housing. Leftovers from the last time, or still leaking? This from about an hour of running.

Picked up a new muffler and a bucket of fluid - muffler in place, fluid waiting for a working clutch.

Since the firebreaks are mowed, it can wait a while - perhaps next weekend, which is a long one...

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Why our society is so stupid

We have taught our kids to unlearn!

As usual, the public school system and political correctness take most of the blame - but parents are complicit in not teaching critical thinking and personal responsibility at home.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

White privilege explained

Sunny is back!

Store owner defends himself and his property

Two weeks ago in Milwaukee, a store owner saw some armed men casing his business, and then ram through the front door with a stolen vehicle. He defends himself with a rifle. Video at the link.

The owner of the store found out Wednesday he won't be charged in the shooting.
 As well he shouldn't be. Self-defense and defense of property from armed attackers is a basic right.

Perhaps I need to be watching the news a bit more.

Found at Sipsey Street Irregulars.

Instant karma?

Vin Suprynowicz has a good article on the recent shooting at the black church in SC:

If we don’t have ‘common-sense gun control’ now, time to start over

“There is no greater coward than a criminal who enters a house of God and slaughters innocent people engaged in the study of scripture,” said Cornell William Brooks, president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, after a visitor to a Bible study group at the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church shot and killed the preacher and eight parishioners there in Charleston, South Carolina June 17.

I agree with Mr. Brooks. I hope we can all agree that when people arm themselves and travel to a church with the pre-arranged plan to open fire and kill people at that church –- peaceful, innocent people who have caused no one harm — that’s evil, and anyone who commits such an act should be charged with multiple felonies and put on trial.
 That's my opinion, too. There's a bit more to the story, that gives me the title of this post:
Why didn’t anyone at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston — anyone but the attacker, that is to say — have and use a self-defense gun on the evening of June 17? It turns out it wasn’t just “bad luck.”
A board member for the National Rifle Association blames the gun-control position of South Carolina state Sen. Clementa Pinckney — the very same man who was killed with his parishioners in the Charleston church shooting — for the deaths of his congregation, Nick Gass of Politico reported on June 19.
If state Sen. -– who was also the Rev. -– Pinckney had voted to allow gun owners to carry their own weapons, Charles Cotton wrote, “eight of his church members … might be alive.”
In one thread discussing the previous day’s shooting at the Emanuel AME Church, a user with the name ShootDonTalk wrote: “Something else to consider: The pastor of this church, who was killed, is a State Legislator in S.C.”
“And he voted against concealed-carry,” 13-year NRA board member Cotton responded. “Eight of his church members who might be alive if he had expressly allowed members to carry handguns in church are dead. Innocent people died because of his position on a political issue.”
The bill that Pinckney voted against in 2011 would have permitted gun owners to bring guns into public places like churches and daycare centers. It ultimately failed.
Read the whole article. Well worth your time.

I've said it before, and it can't be said enough - if guns are banned, only criminals and the police will have guns. And the criminals will not respect anyone's wishes as to "gun-free zones".

Just south of me, in the People's Republik of Ill-Annoys, the city of South Beloit has decided to post huge signs with a gun in a red circle-slash at the entrances to their parks. If they were honest about it, the sign would have the words "Free Fire Zone", or "No Self Defense Allowed" in large letters, so patrons do not mistakenly get the idea that "no guns" means "safe".

Sunday, August 2, 2015

IRS rant

I know it's worthless to complain, but:

We files our 2014 tax return in February, using "E-File".

In early March, we got a letter from the IRS telling us our "refund" would be cut roughly in half, from what their E-File system calculated. OK, so we don't get what we expected. Easy come, easy go. We did get the reduced refund, and promptly spent it on overdue bills stemming from my then-recent layoff.

In April, we got another letter from the IRS - they want $2800 for taxes owed on our 2013 return, due to our not listing a "debt reduction" negotiated settlement of a credit card. We never received the 1099 that companies are required to send to people who get settlements like this, but they evidently DID send the information to the IRS so they could determine that we owe more.

First off, when we contacted with the lawyer to negotiate credit cards down, we were not told that any settlement would be treated by the IRS as a lump-sun increase in our income that year.

Secondly, why did the IRS not notice the discrepancy in our 2013 return before refunding almost double what we "owe" to us for 2014? I thought they deducted unpaid taxes from refunds.

I'm beginning to understand why some people go nuts.

To top it off, we recently got notices of MORE "settlements" from that lawyer - he's earning his keep, anyway - that will undoubtedly almost double our income this year, so in 2016 we will have to go into more debt to pay taxes on money we never saw.

There's been much talk of the "Fair Tax" where you pay a set percentage of your base pay to the government. It still will require the IRS to monitor people's personal lives lest they have an undocumented job, and will still require all those databases of American's financial dealings.

How about we abolish the IRS and all income taxes by Constitutional amendment. Make all government live off 5% or 10% of all retail sales exclusive of food, and shrink as needed to stay within budget. Let the various states donate 5% or 10% of their tax income to the federal government. The feds should never be bigger than 1/10 of 1% of the economy, defense included. This will provide a long-needed positive feedback mechanism for the government to actually help grow the economy rather than impede it.

Of course, this will mean a wholesale deconstruction of the federal government, and the layoffs of millions of useless drones, who will all go on unemployment until it runs out. Since all "entitlements" would also end, these drones would have to learn useful trades or starve.

Beautiful image. I won't hold my breath.