Monthly Archives: July 2017

Austerity – What is it, Really?

Thousands of anti-austerity protesters are expected to march in London today - Reuters
Anti-austerity protesters in London (June 2015)
image courtesy (© 2015) Reuters, via EveningStandard, (story: June 20, 2015).
A word often heard in the media, particularly in regards to foreign countries and usually associated with massive and sometimes violent protests is “Austerity”.  The dictionary defines it as a “Severe and rigid economy” and most people associate it with lean times and tight fiscal policies by governments. Austerity is actually a politically-loaded term and keyword.  Whenever you hear the word associated with a nation (government) or other governmental entity, it should indicate to you that said government is a “socialist” (redistributionist) government (one that is in the business of stealing from it’s productive citizens and enterprises, and “redistributing” it to those less productive).  Such a government has legalized plunder!  You will almost never hear the term or see it protested in a free society, hence the reason you have not traditionally heard it in reference to the United States.  The (often violent) protests are by those on the receiving end of the legalized plunder and “redistribution”.  It begins with the emotional appeal by “progressives” for the government to create “entitlements” for certain “groups” of people (to achieve “social justice”), then either robs (taxes) people (directly) not in these groups, borrows fiat money from a (private) “central bank” (The “Federal Reserve” is NEITHER!) that is more than happy to create “money” out of thin air and “lend” it to said government (AT INTEREST), thus robbing the industrious “non-entitled” and “entitled” alike (indirectly) through currency “inflation”!  When taxes and / or inflation rise too rapidly, the “non-entitled” start to complain too much as “the economy” starts to stall under the (too rapidly) rising weight of debt, taxes and plunder.  The government will sometimes implement “austerity” measures in attempt to countermand these symptoms (but does nothing to fix the real disease).  What this often involves is a (usually temporary) reduction in the GROWTH of “entitlements” or restrictions on the eligibility to join the “entitled” groups.  This, of course leads naturally to the “entitled” groups and the wannabees now blocked screaming in protest like stuck pigs!  They do have a legitimate reason for their protests – their real physical LIVELIHOOD is truly threatened just as much as a farmer who’s lost his crop or a working class person who’s a sole breadwinner for his family and has suddenly lost his job!  They have indeed become DEPENDENT on the largesse from the plunder of their fellow citizens.  Usually, after a period of time, however, the government is once again able to come to some type of “compromize” with all it’s “stakeholders” (the “entitled”, the “taxpayers”, and the “central bankers” / IMF who are counting on the free interest on the ever-increasing “debt”) that appears to partially ease some of the “pain” for each group, the “austerity” is ended or reduced, and the economy “recovers”, rinse, spit, repeat.
I must emphasize that “Austerity” is only applicable to and enacted by SOCIALIST governments.  Again, this is why you hear of it in places like Europe, Latin America, and (despite state-control of media) Communist countries but NOT the U.S., though with ever-growing entitlement programs like Social(ist) (in)Security, and Obamacare (now wedged into and very entrenched), you may likely start hearing it more here too.  They haven’t used the word itself yet, but the howls by the Democrats AND “moderate” (liberal, RINO) “Republicans”, indicate the advancing spread of the disease of socialism here.  You can see the most vocal opponents in the states that foolishly expanded their “medicare” entitlements under Obamacare, whereas states that didn’t have nothing to fear as fewer of their citizens have become “dependent” on it.  The feds GIVE and (then) the feds TAKE AWAY!  It is much easier for a (once) free society’s government to create entitlements than it is to later have to remove them!  This is why a well-educated (morally, economically and politically) citizenry is absolutely NECESSARY to avoid these pitfalls and maintain a free society! Temptation resisted is evil and suffering avoided.
In a free society, the government maintains a stable and constant level of “austerity” (as viewed by socialists) as indeed it should.  A free society eschews the creation of “entitlements” based on envy and plunder and sticks to the actual duties of government:  the common defense, punishment of crimes, enforcement of contracts and the rule of law, a uniform system of weights, measures, and currency (backed by substance, ie. gold and silver), and equal protection of everyone under the laws from violence and plunder.  It is up to families, churches, charitable organizations, benevolent and prosperous citizens, and local governments to tend to the needs of their fellowmen who are unable to provide for themselves.  By not creating “entitlements” by “protected” groups of citizens by granting them a claim on the property and labor of others, dependency and societal volatility are avoided.  This, along with maintaining a stable currency based on real substance and value (ie. gold and silver) and the subsequent avoidance of debt allow for economic stability to be maintained with the highest level of prosperity for the highest percentage of people.  Simply put, if you don’t create “entitled” groups and dependence, you don’t ever have to “take anything away” (austerity) resulting in massive howls and violent protests!  Government can’t take away anything it doesn’t first steal and then give away!  This also reduces the need for government expansion, debt, constant lobbying of government, government interference in the economy, and the dividing of citizens into opposing groups promoting peace and harmony.

Beautiful Vintage ’70s-era Two-piece Nozzle Set by Nelson

Beautiful vintage 2-piece nozzle set by NelsonI purchased this beautiful two-piece nozzle set with S&H Greenstamps way back in the day (late 1970’s when I was a teen).  The one on the right is solid brass.  The other is only painted brass, but solid metal with a solid brass nozzle head.  Both are very well-made and lasted well over twenty years of frequent use before it began leaking.  When the brass one began leaking, I simply unscreawed it and replaced the single O-ring inside, which was a standard size included in a typical O-ring set I purchased for a couple of bucks at the big-box home improvement store.  I tried to fix the other one by attempting to unscrew the nozzle head.  Unfortunately it was NOT attached with threads but somehow pressed or glued on such that once it came off, it could not be securely reattached, but instead pops right off when water pressure is applied.  Despite this, I’ve never had another handled nozzle work as well nor last nearly as long as this little beauty!  I’ve actually never seen another one like it either.  It appears that the brass nozzle was made by Nelson based on the worn logo shown on the base, but the other one has no information written anywhere on it, so I assume it’s also Nelson.  I looked in Google images for vintage nozzles and found numerous photos of nozzles like the brass one, but nothing resembling the “golden gun”, which was always my favorate!  In the photos below, you can see the one plastic piece, along with the separated nozzle head in the “gun” nozzle along with the O-ring in the brass one.  I’m very OPEN to any comments / suggestions on how to properly reattach the nozzle head to the “gun” one and from anyone else who still has one of these sets!
Nozzle Parts 1 of 2 Nozzle Parts 2 of 2

Fauxdacious Version 3.83-Final Released

Fauxdacious Version 3.83-final Released for Linux and Windows: 

* FIXED filewriter plugin to “fail over” to “unknown” for the filename if the playing filename is too long or invalid (needed for youtube streams, etc.).  Also fixed a potential null-pointer reference.

* FIXED (rebuilt) FauxdaciousURLHelper.exe (Windows version binary) to add missing utf8_heavy module needed to fetch some IHeartRadio streams (Linux version not effected, which uses the Perl script).

* Added “close after song change.” checkbox for STDOUT output to “close” STDOUT when either song stops playing or record is toggled off in order to avoid errors in the created output stream.  Otherwise, output to STDOUT accumulates as a single long stream until recording stops.  This allows for combining multiple songs into a single output file, but can produces (somewhat harmless) errors at end of playback in such files.  The default is TRUE (checked) (properly close and prevent errors and only record the last song (overwrite).

* Added fixups for ugly but common stream title formats.

* Mandate SDL2 in Fauxdacious main, remove choice to use SDL1 in plugins.

* Merged all Fauxdacious commits through ace32cd; and plugin commits through: a666f70.

* Merged Audacious commits: 7886b7b; and plugin commits:  #9816dc6, 4f327c6, 10abf7d, 94d95fc, b13a35d.

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