Episode-674- Listener Feedback 5-31-11 — 27 Comments

  1. Hi Jack,

    Thanks for pointing out the real meaning of Memorial Day, it bugs the heck out of me when all of these radio hosts and Television folks are wanting to thank all vets for their service. My twin brother CW4 Keith Yoakum was killed 2 Feb 2007 in Iraq, so for me everyday is Memorial Day. The link has a little bit about Keith, but the bio dosen’t come close to conveying who he was.
    Thanks again,

  2. Almost 3 years ago, my wife and I bought a new house. We tried for 6 months prior to this purchase to sell the house we were living in. We didn’t get any interest what so ever to buy the house. When we decided to try to rent it instead we had a waiting list with several interested people in the queue within 48 hours. Alarmingly to me they were willing to pay $250 more to rent this house than their mortgage payment would have been had they purchased the house. Needless to say, we are now landlords and looking for additional small houses to buy and convert to rental properties.

    To compound the story, my wife works as an appraiser in the county assessors office and we have up to date stats on how the ratio of homeowners to renters in our county has been falling for several years now. When you have a stead increase in the percentage of renters compared to overall available homes, it’s not good for the overall local economy. What happened in our family (which is a simplified microcosm of the county) Is take our family homeowner/available household ratio from 100% to 50%. This number is unfortunately tied to the number of stable jobs available in the area. For us it has been a good and profitable experience, but it’s not a good trend for the economy’s long term prospects.

    Alarming subject. Thanks for bringing it up.

  3. Jack, I can tell you that there is already a glut of available teachers. I have two friends who have been searching for a permanent teaching position. One has been looking for over 2 years (she is waitressing and working as a substitute teacher). The other has been looking for over a year.

    As to working in college, I think one of the best college jobs you can have is being a security guard. Generally speaking, most positions allow you to study and work at the same time.

  4. Anthony-
    Hey man I’d like to see you go out and try to find some kids andd tutor in the subject you’d like to go into. Not only could this get you a decent income as well as give you some building blocks for your resume into the teaching field.
    Good luck, keep it up


  5. Jack, thank you for that spot-on summary of “The Death of Suburbia.”

    When suburbia first got taken up as an adjunct town planning model here in the USA about 150 years ago, it was never meant to become the present-day behemouth which devours our farmland and islolates citizens from each other in these house-sized coccoons of energy inefficiency. The original 1800’s template for suburbia mandated that any suburb more than a ten-minute walk from town (more than half a mile) always had to be directly linked to the town proper via small train lines, and it also had to be well-lined with dual sidewalks on both sides of every street (although alleys were excluded from that requirement of sidewalks). And each small suburb of the 1800’s was always designed to include a local village of shops berly a 3-minute walk from any house which could be walked to for groceries and various services including shoe repair, pharmacy items, and a newstand. Back then it was common to be able to send your 9-year-old child on an errand to the local store or pharmacy. But modern suburbia does not support sending your kid to the corner store for milk when the nearest gallon of milk is 5 miles away. Actual human isolation was not the goal of original suburbia, nor was the imprisonment of suburban citizens (especially their children) into geographic nowherelands incapable of being entered or exited via any other mode than a private car.

    Too many of today’s Americans who can be described as having “modest means” are only able to afford just a house or just a car, but not both. And yet the current modern day version of suburbia is so far flung (the outer belts are also called “ex-urbs” because of how far out from the town center they are becoming) dictates that a car MUST be owned. This tyranny over our incomes becomes a financial trap in and of itself. And the cooping up of our children in these houses-from-here-to-the-horizon neighborhoods where their school and public library sit a 4-mile bus ride away and where there aren’t even sidewalks for the kids to walk upon to go and visit a friend is a huge factor in why American kids of today are so overweight.

  6. Also, there’s a cool documentary film available on YouTube and Hulu called “The End of Suburbia” which lays out in painful detail how and why modern suburbia will cease during this generation, crumbling under the crushing weight of its own energy-sucking and money-wasting inefficiency. The older, inner-ring suburbs throughout America built in the 1800’s through to the 1920’s have a shot at surviving beyond this current generation of Americans. But the suburbs built from the 1940’s onward are the ones that just won’t make it. That documentary says modern far-flung suburbs –including the realy new suburbs full of huge 7-digit McMansions built from the 1990’s onward– will either become ghettos, ghost-towns or get dismantled for scrap materials harvesting.

  7. With regard to rapture believers feeling a need for guns…

    There are 3 basic types, pre-, post-, and during tribulation. The tribulation is a 7 year period of, you guessed it, trials and tribulation. For those who believe in post- or during tribulation rapture they expect to be the subject of great persecution to the point of being hunted and killed. If you expected your were going to be in that situation, you’d definitely want to be well armed.

  8. @Arnica – Must have been a connection issue on your end. The file is there and just fine.

  9. Jack, as far as homeschooling and doing a report on a comic book, that’s a perfectly legitimate exercise and I hope more parents and even classroom teachers learn the value of comics in the classroom.

    Some kids struggle for a much longer time period than others in improving their reading, and they can’t quite make the leap away from grade school picture books to the illustration-free story books found at the middle-grade and high school levels. But comics are a sideways avenue to eventually help them get to that much-needed goal. Comics force the kids to sepaarte in their minds the difference between the “word balloons” and the “narrative boxes,” thus they help kids get a much better feel for discerning the difference between dialogue and narrative. And the pointy tips of each word balloon help the kids more readilly sort out in their heads who is speaking which pieces of dialogue when. (It’s kind of like a story book with hand-rails to keep you from falling over as you walk through it, or in the same vein it’s like a bicycle with training wheels.) Comics also help kids learn punctuation via their heavy-handed use of question marks, exclamation points, and elipses. Kids can evenetually make that leap to more sophisticated books when the rhythms of dialogue and story telling become second nature to them via comic books. And one of the best things of all about comics is that they get read by the child again and again, buildig their adpetness at grasping the story and anticipating each new twist of the plot.

    Here are two resources I can highly recommend for parents who are considering using comic books to help their kids become better readers:

    1) This one-page blog entry lists 100 comic resources (mostly web-based and/or free resources) for educators, including several different opinions on “Top 10” lists for the best comics you can use in teaching.

    2) This text book I actually own myself. It’s writen by a school teacher named Scott McCloud. He tours the USA and Canada giving letures to parents and teachers and even to children’s librarians on the virtues of using comics in the classroom.

  10. I have become somewhat of a loner due to living in the boonies.  I’m somewhat anti-social due to my disdaine for pop culture, celebrity, spectator sports, and the like.

    I’ve been called eccentric because I believe in absolute Liberty and have no problems explaining to strangers that big government means a trillion dollar police state and not a billion dollar program for old and poor people on Medicare.  I meet people daily who don’t understand that both political parties take money from corporations through lobbyists to pass preferential legislation and therefore, by definition, they are corporate fascists.  I try to explain to people that the political parties and most Americans support Communism and Dictators daily by buying “Made in China” etc.

    The truth, is the truth.
    Am I nuts for speaking of the truth or just outside the norm.  Eccentric.

    Without going into religion, just be aware, that all of us who believe in any invisible being that is all knowing and all powerful, that is scientifically unproven to exist, are clinically considered insane (nuts) by nonbelievers in the psychology field.

    I merely wanted you to consider not using the word nuts.  People are most often misled and deluded into believing things that aren’t true, right nor good.  Wether it’s being deluded by profitable religious institutions or Fox news, it’s being delusional, misled, eccentric… not nuts.

    Just wanting the discourse to remain… accurate.
    Love you guys

  11. Another Memorial day issue that I am finding most people don’t know about. The US Flag flies at half mast until noon. At noon it should be raised to full staff.

    I always looked at this as half a day (which is nowhere near enough) to honor those that didn’t come back. And the rest of the day to celebrate the freedom that their sacrifice allows us to enjoy.

    Remember that Memorial Day is for those that didn’t come back. Just ask a vet, they know. That’s why you get “the stare” when you tell them thanks. Because they are convinced that they didn’t do anything special in light of the ones who didn’t come back. Enjoy your freedom, make it worth it!

  12. Our school district is already laying off teachers, 50 I’ve heard and the number of students is increasing not decreasing.
    Not too many new houses built and sold. Many duplexes, apartments, built. Trailer parks too (near bus routes, and the trailers look like FEMA trailers) New dollar stores popping up along bus routes too. Rent prices have gone way up past couple of years.

  13. Thanks for sharing the tips on homeschooling. We are a long time homeschooling family but it’s great to be encouraged and reminded that we are giving the best education for our kids and a school that is tailor made for our family!

  14. I see an entire new undergound industry gearing up – hackers who can tweak the black boxes, like in days of old when you could manually turn back an odometer reading. I’ll bet there will be some clever types who’ll figure out how to screw over the tax weasels & their *@#$% boxes.

  15. The concern I have about the Car Black Box if I need one for my ride – do I dangle it around my horses neck? or what? (the “or what” is what my horse is probably worried about as well).

  16. It’s almost assuredly about being able to track every vehicle instantly. The debate is in the use of that info ie. accident alerts, traffic patterns, mileage (toll) taxes, speeding tickets, or people (vehicle) tracking (likely all).

    Keep in mind, the foot thick patriot Act, seemingly written and passed overnight, was for catching and tracking the terrorists, not common criminals, peaceful protesters and definately not wannabe off-grid gardeners with huge pantries. But now they are telling local police to be on the lookout and waste more resources on people who believe in Freedom and Liberty and self sufficiency? To those teapartyers, THAT is big government. (Soon to be the federally trained and funded local police forces) are being told NOT, to serve and protect but Protect (the governments interests) and Secure (government control).

    Jut saying that things have always trended towards the worst possible government over-reach and abuse of authority being legalized and nationally institutionalized.

  17. On a lighter note: with respect to the unexpected need of a camera, I’d suggest that if you go the digital camera route, that you try to store one that takes AAs. When stored, rechargeables are prone to loose charge more rapidly than alkalines (which you should be rotating in and out of your preps anyways).

    This also allows you to be in the situation where the camera might take the same batteries as your flashlights, radios, walkie-talkies, etc. Also this common battery type is infinitely more likely to be part of relief supplies.

    There is also no reason why rechargeables (and a charger) can’t be stored with the camera (and your other devices which use AAs) in case power is available and you want to save your alkalines for when it is not.

    I have an old digital that we no longer use that I am planning to add to our secured storage. AAs (alkaline and rechargeable) are already in the preps.

  18. Jack,
    I agree with the concept of giving people who have recently gone through traumatic experiences “nice things” like the gift cards to nice resturaunts.

    My wife and I have a 6 month old daughter who required heart surgery (basically they had to “gut and remodel” her heart). The surgery was completed and then two days later, we had to have emergency surgery to have it done over again.

    Through that time my wife stayed at the hospital with Beth. As you can imagine, it was a stressfull few days.

    Once we saw that Beth was on the mend, I took my wife out to a nice Italian resturaunt for dinner. It was really relaxing for both of us.

    While I spent more than normal for the meal, I felt that it was a good moral-booster for my wife who had not been out of the hospital since admitting our daughter. A few days later we discussed the dinner and I told Laura my “motive” for the night out. She agreed that it was a relaxing and “moral-boosting” evening.

    Sorry I was so long-winded… Thanks for the show!

  19. Jack,
    The plant that was used might be related to a wild flower that grows here in the Ohio River valley – Saponaria officalis, better known as Soapwort as it was used by the pioneers for washing delicate fabrics like silk.
    Really enjoy your commentary, even though you are a bit further to the right than I am. However, there is no doubt that the present day welfare/warfare state cannot continue for much longer – how can it ever be paid for?

  20. I’ve known about the Atchafalaya River and basin since the early 1990’s (1993 or 1994 IIRC) when I was working closely with a company in Iowa during that earlier great multiple month Midwest flood. The Army Corp of Engineers has the Old River Control Structure at the confluence of the Mississippi and the Red Rivers. This is the point at which the flow changes dramatically every 1000 years or so. Currently most of the Red River flows down through the Atchafalaya basin, while the control project, which is essentially a dam and levees keeps the Mississippi flowing toward Baton Rouge and New Orleans. It turns out that the Red/ Atchafalaya River system is also a large economic corridor that must be maintained. The thing I remember most about this time was some video I saw on the news, of Army Corp personnel in a boat doing soundings. The water volume was so high and choppy that they looked like they were on a white water rafting trip. At the time they were taking soundings of the entire dam every 4 hours to ensure nothing was being undercut. I think the scary thing was that they were checking every 4 hours, which tells me that they were a bit lacking in confidence in the integrity of the dam, or rather concerned with the power of the river, or perhaps a little of each.

  21. When I first heard that they were going to flood the atchafalaya basin I wasn’t too happy about it – lots of good hunting, fishing, and crawfish trapping will be messed up. But then after hearing Jack talk about how that’s really the natural course of the mighty Mississippi and where it should be anyway, I thought, then let her go! (in a planned fashion of course, otherwise she’ll go when she’s ready and we won’t be prepared) Obviously it would cause problems, but we see what happens when you try to harness mother nature.

  22. Did I understand correctly that the lady making the detergent is doing so for $1.25 for 5 gallons? If so, where is she getting her supplies to do so that inexpensively?