• SOME 9,000 AMERICANS STILL LIVE AN OLD-FASHIONED ANALOG LIFE, without “unstoppable connectivity.” The Nat’l Radio Quiet Zone (NRQZ) is a 13,000 square mile area in West Virginia where our Radio Observatory scans the cosmos for extraterrestrial life and large antennas facilitate U.S. Navy communications. Since “any stray signals could interfere, much of the area is completely void of all cellular signals or wi-fi internet.” How children growing up in this environment will ever relate to the rest of their generation should be an interesting story.  [INTELLIGENT OPTIMIST – Spring 15]
  • IN THE REST OF AMERICA, more than one in five Americans “rely on a means-tested assistance program each month” according to U.S. census, and have given little if any thought to Retirement. For half the nearly 6,000 respondents in a new Federal Reserve study, “retirement is a ‘pipe dream’ since they don’t even have the cash to pay for a hypothetical $400 emergency expense like losing a job or suffering a health emergency” – not surprising since 20% currently spend more than their inflow. This is mostly attributable to two factors: (1) Consumer prices have risen 37% since 2000, while median household income has declined by 4%; and (2) Underemployment – half of part-time workers and over a third of full-time workers want more hours, even at minimal wage levels and even though one in seven already work at least two jobs. Some ‘Recovery’! [CBS NEWS.COM – May 29, 15]   Meanwhile, financial industry liabilities of some $15 trillion are ‘guaranteed’ by the federal government – 75% explicitly (principally bank deposits and mortgages) and the rest implicitly based on previous bailouts.  [WALL STREET JOURNAL]
  • IS IT TIME FOR AN AMERICAN “BILL OF NON-RIGHTS” – some common sense guidelines for the terminally whiny, guilt-ridden & delusional folks who believe their “personal Rights” are entitled? Each Article would begin with ‘YOU DO NOT HAVE A ‘RIGHT’: (I) to a new car, big screen TV, or any other form of wealth. No one guarantees you any material possession; (II) to never be offended. This country is based on freedom for everyone, not just you; (III) to be free from harm. If you stick a screwdriver in your eye, learn to be more careful; do not expect the tool manufacturer to make you and all your relatives independently wealthy; (IV) to free food or housing. Americans are most always glad to help those in need, but are weary of subsidizing generation(s) of professional couch potatoes; (V) to free housing or health care; (VI) to physically harm others, rob, cheat, or coerce away the goods or services of other citizens without being locked away without a right to a big screen color TV or life of leisure; (VII) to a job or welfare payment. You are welcome to take advantage of education and vocational training opportunities to make yourself useful; (VIII) to happiness. Being an American means that you have the right to PURSUE happiness; (IX) to expect the rest of us to adapt to your language and customs. This is an English-speaking country. We don’t care where you came from – if you want to be here, learn it; (X) to change our country’s history or heritage. USA was founded on Judeo-Christian principles but with freedom to believe in any faith or no faith without fear of persecution. The phrase IN GOD WE TRUST is part of our heritage and history – if you are uncomfortable with it or our values, you are free to leave anytime.  [INTERNET ANONYMOUS]
  • SUMMERTIME TIPS & CAUTIONS TO CONSIDER: (1) Drinking 4 to 6 glasses a wine a week helps avoid knee trouble, according to a UK survey which found 45% who did so “less likely to develop knee osteoarthritis, presumably from the resveratrol ingredient. But they also claim it’s prudent to avoid beer, which apparently “raises the risk of osteoarthritis because of its uric acid content”; (2) Avoid soda says another study by European Journal of Nutrition who found sippers of six soft drinks a week were “83% more likely to develop liver cancer… and even one diet soda weekly could raise the cancer risk by 6%”; (3) In order to avoid mosquitos, try keeping body temp in the ‘normal’ range, since mosquitoes “possess highly evolved heat sensors and can smell humans from about 60 feet away.” Since direct sunlight and especially workouts “produce carbon dioxide and lactic acid, try moving into the shade and reducing CO2 levels by less talking.”   [MENS HEALTH – June 15]
  • ‘SKUNK’ IS THE NEWEST RIOT-CONTROL DEVICE now finding its way to American local police departments. A non-toxic formula sprayed by water-cannon, it “smells like raw-sewage mixed with putrefying cow’s carcass… which takes days to get the smell out of clothes and off bodies.” Developed for use against Palestinian demonstration rock-throwers, Skunk “might soon be Israel’s latest high-tech export.” [THE ECONOMIST – June 6, 15]
  • THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK:     “It is only when you see a mosquito landing on your testicles that you come to realize that there can be value in solving problems without using violence.”

“You can tell more about a person by what they say about others than you can by what others say about the person.” Audrey Hepburn