Lesson #5 / 5.7 hrs. Total Time

I didn't write up lesson #4, but it went well. It's nice to get back to more stable, summertime weather conditions. It makes it easier to practice turn coordination. Lessons 4 and 5 were all about that. Very precise turn coordination. Setting a bank for a turn, but making sure the nose stays fixed to a point on the horizon until the bank is complete. It's harder than it sounds. In the Cessna 152, you…Read More

Light Blogging

I've got a ton of projects going, including advanced planning for three (or is it four?) new business ventures. Plus, I'm taking lessons for my private pilot certificate, and that requires a certain amount of attention. Once I began thinking about the pilot thing, I began thinking about buying an airplane, and perhaps, even building an airplane. That's something I've always had in mind to do--someday. Perhaps something like this. 230 mph cruise speed is,…Read More

Livin’ in the Dark Ages

Thing is, both human-embryo destroying stem-cell engineering and human cloning are as inevitable as it was inevitable that all the world's leaders (religious and political) would eventually embrace a heliocentric universe over the quaint geocentric notion that the heavens revolve around the Earth. It's as inevitable as the previously "evil" notion of transplanting one person's bodily organs into another--or even animal parts, such as heart valves from pigs. The failure of religious mysticism to answer…Read More

The Principal Business of “Crime” Fighters

What do the cops do without sufficient number of criminals to justify their existence? They create and invent them, of course. This is what happens when your "job" is disconnected from the rational role of producing tradeable values that others voluntarily pay you for. Would any rational person not be willing to pay for some measure of security? Of course not. We all already buy locks for our homes, cars, bikes, motorcycles, gym lockers, etc.…Read More

Who’s the Communist?

David Westberg, business manager for the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 609, that's who Barbu says he's just trying to get by. Critics say he and a handful of vendors who sell pizza and other snacks near schools from vans and trucks are not only undermining school officials' efforts to get kids to eat better, but also threatening the jobs of cafeteria workers. This, it turns out, is both a competition for job security…Read More

Lesson #3 / 1.2 hrs. logged / 3.2 hrs. total

Whereas the last lesson was weather conditions unstable with winds out of the north, today is pre-frontal with at least 15 kts. out of the south. So, different takeoff direction. It'll be 13 Right today. Amazing how forgiving those Citabrias really are, 'cause I was all over the runway on takeoff. Humbling, but that's just what I needed. Low ceiling today, so we went to a training area where we could do some air work…Read More

Lesson #2 / 1.1 hrs. logged / 2.0 hrs. total

Well, it didn’t work out with Lori as instructor because she lives about 1 ½ hrs. away and so mainly teaches on the weekends. I’m doing my instruction on the weekdays, so things work out better with Jim Grant as my instructor. He’s also the aerobatics instructor, so once I get licensed, I’ll be able to take that course in order to really bolster my overall skills. I actually did find my logbook from 1984.…Read More

No Foolin’

The most gratifying thing about my bits on Wal-Mart, here and here, are those numerous commenters who stepped up with reason and held up facts in full and honest context. Of course, everyone always has facts, just as Joseph claimed to have in his argument against Wal-Mart. But, as I pointed out in one of my own comments... But Joseph, facts exist in a context. If you kill another person, that's a fact. But whether…Read More

Value Destruction

Reading some of the comments to my recent Wal-Mart entry is a real eye-opener. From where does such twisted logic, hate of the good, and envious destruction of major values come from? To me, it's got to be about the most evil thing ever. Someone like a Hitler comes along every now and then, but most everyone clearly recognizes their evil. But great values and great value producers--the true benefactors of all of mankind--are continually…Read More

It Begins

Well, continues anyway Always wanted to fly airplanes. I was obsessed when young. Built models. Built control-wire and R/C airplanes and flew them. But when I couldn't get a slot at Navy flight school and was unwilling to accept a back-seat, the dream almost died. I worked my ass off on my first ship, and when I got my SWO qualification, I applied for a transfer to the aviator track. It was a longshot, 'cause…Read More

Canary in a Coal Mine

The Canary is Dead Now, let's review. A large organization counts on its younger workers and continuing high revenues to fund the pensions and medical care of its retired workers but finds that rising health care costs, longer life-expectancy, and its own inability to control spending force it to cut pension benefits and switch to personal accounts. Kinda makes you go hmmm...doesn't it? Yea, no shit.Read More

Corporations (again)

It's probably worth a separate entry, rather than a mere update. Anyway, Greg Swann actually has a few new entries up regarding this discussion. The one I'm going to point you to is the one on Information Hiding. Sure, it makes good points in support of his argument with me, but that's far and away the lesser of any reasons to go read it. Go read it. Take a few minutes, because it really gets…Read More

News Only to Some

I'm always dumbfounded at the reactions I see to this sort of news, the kind never reported in the mainstream media (which might be a clue to the diminishing status). Most real scientists (and by that, I mean credentialed) denounce most of the tripe associated with the environmental "sciences," and the "science" behind the Kyoto Protocols is no exception. The "problem" is similar to that with the creation vs. evolution (superstition vs. science) debate. Real…Read More


Well, my friend Greg Swann disagrees with my assessment of corporations: The essential defining characteristic of a corporation, as against other ways of organizing a business enterprise, is liability limitation, a conspiracy between the proprietors and the state to defraud tort claimants of all they might otherwise obtain in redress for their injuries. It's pure Hamiltonian Social Engineering, Mercantilism at its worst. The idea is to encourage investment by limiting the risk. But by limiting…Read More

Romote Control Killing

I wonder what sort of visceral reaction Your Average Joe has to something like this. Personally, mine was distaste--on a number of levels. But first, I'm no veg; nor am I opposed to hunting. In fact, we went on hunting and fishing trips a lot when I was growing up. Guns were a regular, ever-present part of our upbringing. These were the days where your guns were on display in the den in a gun…Read More

Freedom vs. Markets

Silly title, eh? Yea, well Radley Balko ought to take note. That's what his tome on Corporations vs. Markets might as well be titled. There's a difference, of course, though opponents of both fail to recognize it. Free markets, peaceful commerce and capitalism consist of voluntary, mutually beneficial exchange. They create wealth. They enable people to live, to live better, and to live more comfortably. And corporations don't "consist of voluntary, mutually beneficial exchange"? Corporations…Read More


It's what friends are for Billy Beck, having returned from directing stage lighting operations for performances in Singapore and Jakarta, caught my entry on Culturism. He gets it, agrees with the essence, but pounces right down on an error, just like any good friend would. It was just over four years ago when I came up with that term. At the time, I was enamored with the inflammatory potential of it. Still am. Nothing teaches…Read More