Money Mysteries

 According to the exchange rates and charts on xe.com, the only currency that has been strengthening versus the U. S. Dollar lately is the Russian Ruble.  The price of gold (Comex August 22 Gold Futures, ticker symbol "GC=F") in U. S. Dollars is down this morning by $45 (it goes up and down but that is quite a swing in just a few hours). 

Yet the government of the United States has been spending like 350 million drunken sailors. And the national debt?  Fuhgeddaboudit!  So the Dollar should be, like, about worthless, right? At least that's what Libertarian acquaintances say. And the price of gold should be, like, about sky high, right? At least that's what Libertarian acquaintances say. What's up with that? Don't expect an explanation from me. I don't understand it.  

Oh, and while we're at it, isn't deflation supposed to be one of the definitional signs of an economic recession? While the price of everything else is rising at beyond escape velocity, maybe the deflation is starting -- with the equities markets? 

"Neither seek what is too difficult for you, nor investigate what is beyond your power." -- Sirach 3:21


On "How Much You Need to Retire"

 This afternoon while looking for something completely different on the Charles Schwab financial site, with which I have some small and insignificant dealings, I saw this on the menu tree: 

Of course for me, it is already a  fait accompli, but still. 

"How much you need to retire" -- wow!

I think (?) they want to help you calculate how much money you may need to live up to your real or daydream standards. Hmm. I don't need help figuring that out, thank you. Sky's the limit. Pedal to the metal. Work till you drop. 

And that portfolio, my friend, won't be much comfort to you when you do in fact, you know: DROP.

I knew how much I needed to retire. 

I fought the thought. I tried to strive and drive and persevere and endure and all that. I failed at that model of working. 

But I needed to retire. Work was killing me. Looking for work was killing me. What good is that portfolio if hitting your goals leads to marching a Right Face off a tall bridge or something equally worthy of a small entry in whatever serves as newspapers these days? 

People who love me were hinting at how much I needed to retire. My guardian angel was telling me how much I needed to retire. Good old Saint Jude even answered my candles and novenas by telling me how much I needed to retire. 

Finally I came out of my denial and admitted I was powerless over Employment. The big step at the time seemed to be the quitting of the last situation. But "I quit" is not the same as "I retired."  Yet finally I shut my eyes and took the step.

Let me tell you straight up.  When the Holy Spirit tells you How Much You Need to Retire, you don't really need the Charles Schwab calculator. 


A. K. Chesterton

 Gilbert Keith Chesterson's alter ego? 

Saw this: 

Thought this: 



From  A SONG OF PARSLEY, by Irving Vanderblock-Wheedle.

Ah, the inimitable and irreplaceable Dr. Boli!


If 10 shooters kill 6 people is it still a "Mass Shooting"?


It is only 29 hours since the 2:00AM shootings in Sacramento yielded six dead and another dozen wounded. 

Early reports said 50 to 70 rounds fired; another said 40 of those little evidence markers on the ground at the scene.

Little is known, and early reports are often spectacularly unreliable. But where there's blood, it's never too early for the Blood Dancing.

You know.  2:00AM on a weekend night. Crowd on the street. A little family friction becomes a spark. Democrat-controlled hell-hole. Rounds are fired (and sights not used, apparently). And . . . 

Next thing you know, the droolers-in-chief are saying the solution to urban violence is to take guns away from Bible-thumping, flag-waving Duck Dynasty fans. 


Gun Legislation: Science NOT Settled, Proposals NOT Common Sense

On 31 March 2022 Aaron Brown and Justin Monticello on REASON published an article on a 2020 Rand analysis of 27,900 gun control studies.

Bottom line: "From this vast body of work, the RAND authors found only 123 studies, or 0.4 percent, that tested the effects rigorously. Some of the other 27,777 studies may have been useful for non-empirical discussions, but many others were deeply flawed."

The Reason.com authors are not saying that it would be impossible that a study could scientifically conclude that gun control leads to positive results. But they do say that "... short of legitimate scientific evidence, belief in the efficacy of additional gun control laws is, and will remain, a matter of faith, not reason."

"We should not look to pass laws that sweep up innocent victims while potentially doing more harm than good, all with the alleged backing of science that can't possibly tell us what we need to know."

Yeah, I'm sure Democrats will really listen to that advice.

Oh, there's a video on the Reason.com article too (about a 16 minute trip). The video is kind of refreshing because statistician Aaron Brown seems like a really clear-speaking and interesting guy.



What did I read in 2021?


What did I read in 2021?

Means to Message: A Treatise on Truth / Stanley L. Jaki

The Wrong Box / Robert Louis Stevenson

Intuitive Eating / Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch

Kim / Rudyard Kipling

True Grit / Charles Portis

The Big Sleep / Raymond Chandler

Plain Tales from the Hills / Rudyard Kipling

The Fellowship of the Ring / J. R. R. Tolkien

The Two Towers / J. R. R. Tolkien

The Return of the King / J. R. R. Tolkien

Leap of Faith / Gordon Cooper (well the first half is okay…)

Uncle Remus, His Songs and His Sayings: Folklore of the Old Plantation / Joel Chandler Harris

New Stories of the Old Plantation / Joel Chandler Harris

Roughing It / Mark Twain

Out of the Silent Planet / C. S. Lewis

Perelandra / C. S. Lewis

That Hideous Strength / C. S. Lewis

The Jungle Book / Rudyard Kipling

The Second Jungle Book / Rudyard Kipling

The Aeroplane Boys in Flight; or, A Hydroplane Roundup / John Luther Langworthy

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone / J. K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets / J. K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban / J. K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire / J. K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix / J. K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince / J. K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows / J. K. Rowling

Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám / Persian Quatrains translated by Edward FitzGerald

Our Mutual Friend / Charles Dickens

One Hundred Years of Solitude / Gabriel Garcia Marquez

One Cosmos Under God / Robert Godwin

The Last Mage Guardian (Book 1 of the Guardian’s Compact series) / Sabrina Chase

Dragonhunters (Book 2 of the Guardian’s Compact series) / Sabrina Chase