Monday, 24 February 2014

10:19 – The morning paper reports a murder in Winston-Salem, our second of the year. I find it interesting how the newspaper code words have changed. Forty years ago, the paper would probably have reported that the murder took place in a “white neighborhood”. Twenty years ago, it would probably have reported it as a “middle-class neighborhood”. Now, they report it as a “quiet neighborhood”. However they word it, this is a pretty unusual murder. The vast majority of murders, in Winston-Salem and elsewhere, occur in poor areas.

I now have everything I need to build three dozen more chemistry kits. It’s just a matter of boxing them up. Rather than do that today, however, I’m going to spend some time checking inventory and placing purchase orders for more components. I have to balance keeping sufficient supplies on hand with storage space.

For example, the chemistry kits include a 9V battery and a purple Sharpie. We’re down to zero 9V batteries and half a dozen purple Sharpies in stock. I used to order both of those five dozen at a time, but I’ve just cut purchase orders for twenty-five dozen of each. That should be enough to carry us through our busy period next autumn. Same thing for 24-well and 96-well reaction plates. We’re down to 75 and 61 of those, respectively. The time before last, I ordered 100 of each of those. The last time I ordered 250 each. This time, I’ll probably order 500 each. If it weren’t for storage space, I’d probably order twice that number, but even 1,000 reaction plates require a non-trivial amount of storage space.


16:07 – The news headlines say that SoD Hagel plans to cut the headcount of the US Army back to “pre-WWII” levels. Not even close. Before WWII, the US Army had about 180,000 people, and that counted the Army Air Corps. Hagel proposes to cut the Army to about 440,000 to 450,000, about 2.5 times the actual pre-WWII headcount, and roughly four to five times what it really should be. I propose that he cut our total military forces to 220,000. Call it 100,000 each for the Army and Navy, and 20,000 Marines. The Air Force should be eliminated as a separate force, with air/space arms of the two major services taking over those duties.

Hagel also proposes to eliminate the A-10’s, which are one of the few warplanes worth having, but to keep all of our fleet carriers. All of the carriers should be eliminated as one of the key steps in rendering US military forces (read “the US government”) incapable of interfering overseas. Eliminate the subs, both hunter/killers and boomers. Close all overseas military bases and bring all of our troops home. Close most of the domestic bases as well. They’re not needed. Transfer the tanks and APCs and warplanes to the state militia organizations. Bring back the DCM, and give an assault rifle and 1,000 rounds to any US adult citizen who wants one, no questions asked, no strings attached, and no records kept.

Withdraw from the UN and all other entangling alliances. Let the rest of the world do what it wants. We don’t need them. We are self-sufficient. If they want to trade with us, fine. But don’t expect us to clean up other people’s messes, and don’t expect us to continue giving away trillions of taxpayer dollars in “foreign aid”.

Patch up our relationships with Canada, Australia and our other traditional friends. We have treated our real friends badly, particularly Canada. We owe them a sincere apology and our best efforts to fix what we’ve broken.