I have a confession to make: A few days ago I got an email from Facebook reminding me I have a dozen or so people who want to be my friend on Facebook. I recognize a few of the names, but most I don’t. I don’t know how to use Facebook, and I don’t want to learn.
Even though I got on the Facebook account Annie set up (for the magazine, I think) once or twice a few months ago, I still don’t know how to get back on it, use it, or anything. And I don’t want to learn. Same with Twitter. I don’t want to learn anything new about computers.
I’m not a real social person, anyway, even though I run a magazine. This blog is about as social as I want to get. I hate learning new computer stuff, no matter how “easy” it is. Always have! It took me forever to learn Quark Xpress to launch the magazine, and Annie converted BHM to Adobe CS4 InDesign at least six issues ago and I still haven’t learned that. She creates a template for me and I write my editorial in it. For 20 years the magazine has been using Photoshop to put pictures in the magazine, and I still know next to nothing about that computer program.
So how’s that! I’m the next best thing to a computer idiot and I like it that way!
Measures 66 and 67
Massachusetts offered hope for the future of politics the other day by electing Scott Brown to fill the late Ted Kennedy’s senate seat, but here in the much more thinly populated state of Oregon, where Backwoods Home Magazine is located, we cast gloom on our future by passing Ballot Measures 66 and 67. These measures ostensibly tax only the rich (individuals making more than $125,000, couples making more than $250,000) and corporations, but in actuality they will likely lead to between 40,000 and 70,000 job losses in the next couple of years.
It was sold to voters as a “make the rich pay their fair share” tax. Unfortunately, those rich folks (if you call someone making $125,000 a year rich) employ everyone else. Measure 66 taxes the rich folks, while Measure 67 dramatically increase taxes on “C” corporations, which are the corporations who provide most of the jobs. BHM is an “S” corporation so is relatively unhurt. They’ll probably go after us next time around.
Oregon suffers from having only one big city — Portland — and it is full of liberals who like big government and are willing to vote for these job-killing tax increases. Most of the rest of Oregon is composed of Libertarians like me or conservatives, but we are often outvoted by the Portland morons.
I’m preparing the 19th year anthology in which Issue No. 111 is contained. No. 111 became our biggest selling issue ever. Anticipating its popularity, I had ordered an extra 10,000 copies from the printer, rather than our usual 1500 extra copies. It sold off the newsstand in three days, and the extra issues sold within weeks.
An astute observer could see the recession coming. In the issue before, No. 110, my editorial stated:
“You been watching the campaigns for the Democratic and Republican primaries? Scary, huh? One of these bozos is going to be our next President. Makes me want to double the size of my pantry and garden, stock up on fuel and supplies, and batten down the hatches.
“. . . Another bozo while we have a recession looming on the horizon. Some economists say it may already be here. All the talk from people like me about protecting our freedoms from Government will soon turn to protecting our butts from economic disaster made worse by Government with another bozo in charge.
“Has anyone noticed that the politicians seeking to be President don’t even talk about the looming recession? Economists do, but the candidates don’t. They pretend it’s not there. It’s almost surreal! . . .
“. . . A bozo in the White House and a recession. What an unfortunate and foreboding combination. I’d better order up a new shipment of our Emergency Preparedness and Survival Guide book. People are going to want practical survival information more than ever.”
So for No. 111 (Silveira wrote the editorial), when many readers sensed the oncoming recession, I developed this cover by holding a wad of paper in my hand and having Lisa Nourse take a photo of it in the office a few days before deadline. I quick emailed it to Don Childers in Colorado and told him, “Make that wad of paper the earth and have it and my hand shaking.”
I was in perfect sync with the readership, and Childers, my artist for 20 years, painted a cover that projected the story powerfully. We were far ahead of the politicians on the economic state of the nation. BHM subsequently had a run on the EPSG book, and I had to reprint it.
This 19th year anthology is not likely to go to the printer for another year, unless we sell a ton of preorders for Nos. 15 and 16, in which case I may send all the anthologies out to the printer, right up through No. 20, which I’ll begin working on tomorrow.
Everything depends on money coming in and money going out. Why can’t politicians figure that out?
While Massachusetts was up to important business the last couple of weeks, I have been also by preparing several new BHM anthologies for the printer. In the upcoming issue, we’re advertising the 15th and 16th year anthologies by offering them for presale for $30 for both. The idea is to raise some of the money to pay for the printing of the big books.
Annie is now working on the technical part of turning the 15th and 16th anthologies into the format the printer requires, and we expect to send them to the printer next week. That means we should get back the completed shipments of the books by the middle of February, which means that readers who take advantage of the preorder offer will not have to wait very long at all to get the new anthologies. (Update on Jan 23: Lenie said this is far too optimistic, that the ship date from our office will be more like the middle of March.)
My job is to pick the article chronology for the new anthologies, which can be tricky because I’m deleting ads, Letters to the Editor, and the few articles that don’t fit for one reason or another. I’m leaving in 95% of the articles, mainly in their original formats, which is the tricky part.
Today I completed the chronology for the 17th year anthology, which we hadn’t advertised in the upcoming issue but which I am thinking of sending to the printer anyway. Many of our readers own anthologies 1 through 14, having bought The Whole Sheebang, so the new anthologies will be a very welcome set of books for them.
Anyway, I’m not just playing golf and fishing all the time. I’m working!
Tonight’s Republican senate win in Massachusetts gives me hope for the future. This race wasn’t about health care, but about the American people saying to the Democrat-controlled federal government: “Stop this giant swing toward socialism.” The second American Revolution has begun.
A series of Pacific storms has been hammering us for a week. Today the whole area lost power so I had to put on our emergency propane lights, which worked just fine. Propane lighting is a great backup to electricity.
But the real big news is Claire Wolfe will begin blogging on the website as soon as we can get her blog set up. I’m delighted she has finally agreed to return to the web with a blog.
We finished deadline today for Issue No. 122. It will now wind its way through the printing process before being mailed to subscribers in a few weeks. Superb issue! Several in-depth articles. Blunt returns with a terrific article, O.E. MacDougal has a powerful insight into the econmy’s future, I have a brilliant editorial, lots of stuff. Ayoob and Claire Wolfe and Jackie Clay have great stuff. Several new writers. No wonder this magazine is thriving while others are going bankrupt – We just have good stuff!
Meanwhile the wind has been blowing for more than a week. Gale force winds every day. Glad I have my roof on tight with extra dabs of cement beneath each shingle.
I got a guided tour of the upcoming Crook Point Golf Course this morning from Grant Hornbeak, project manager for what is destined to become the most beautiful and most-fun-to-play golf course in the western half of the United States. Due to open in the summer of 2011, I think it will surpass Bandon Dunes, 40 miles to the north, and Pebble Beach, south of San Francisco, which are Oregon and California’s best coastal courses. Pebble Beach will host this year’s U.S. Open.
Thirteen of us spent a couple of hours in the occasional drizzle walking the rugged terrain, being careful not to fall off the several cliffs that overlook the Pacific Ocean. The sky alternately brightened and darkened and it rained for the second hour, but I got a few decent photos as you can see.
What a wonderful place this will be. It will become the “home course” for the Gold Beach High School team, so the Crook family, which has owned the land as part of the 4,000-acre Crook family ranch since 1857, thought we needed to have a look. In addition to the main course, which will be a major challenge to a rank amateur like me, they will build a special nine-hole short course that kids will be able to play free.
The main course features several tee boxes perched on cliff outcrops. The greens are four and five hundred yards away over canyons that lead hundreds of feet down to the ocean. Talk about heart pounding excitement! I think it will be hard to keep your mind on the tee shot, what with a cliff straight down behind your back and the pounding of waves against sea stacks between you and the green. Whales also migrate by here on a regular basis, and fishing boats dot the horizon, attracted by waters made productive by the deep unwelling of cold water from the close-in continental shelf. You’d have to stop play just to take a photo of everything else that’s going on.
The Crook family has hired Dye Designs, which has designed championship courses around the world. Plans call for five holes along the water’s edge, another five high enough to afford panoramic ocean views, and eight winding through a spruce forest containing several streams. Ocean-front cottages will be available for rent by vacationers, and of course there will be a clubhouse and restaurant. Arcadia Vacation Homes will handle the cottage rentals. Seven are already built and available for rent now.
The course will cost about $135 to play, which is half the price of Bandon Dunes. This area could use a golf resort like this. It will bring both jobs and tourist dollars to our battered economy.
What if global warming disaster was totally wrong and instead the world is facing global cooling disaster, which means that we are about to go into a deep freeze with the top third of the United States and the top half of Europe under ice? Here’s an excerpt from my BHM Issue No. 116 editorial, “How do you save freedom in America”:
“Rather than global warming, earth is probably due to enter its next ice age. Global warming activists base their evidence on about a thousand years of climate change, but they conveniently ignore the much more compelling climate data of Antarctica ice cores which show temperatures and CO2 levels for the last 400,000 plus years.
In a well developed scientific model known as the Milankovich cycles, it is the tilt of the earth (varying over 41,000 years), the shape of earth’s orbit (varying over 100,000 years), and the earth’s wobble (varying over 26,000 years) that accounts for most of earth’s changing climate. This model has been under refinement by climate scientists since 1842, and as recently as 1999 the British journal Nature published a graph correlating Antarctica ice cores taken in the 1990s with the Milankovich cycles. It showed roughly 110,000-year cycles, with ice ages spanning about 100,000 years and warming trends lasting about 12,000. It has been 12,000 years since the end of the last ice age, but let any scientist bring up the possibility of global cooling rather than global warming too loudly and he will not only be labeled a kook, but run the risk of losing funding at his Big Government-supported university.”
The only question there is for the world is what is the actual length of the warming and cooling cycles that affect earth. Scientists know from ice cores that global warming comes on slowly, spanning tens of thousands of years, while global cooling comes on quickly, perhaps in as little as a decade or two. The geologic record indicates that global warming is now coming to an end and global cooling is at hand, but that could mean, in geologic time scales, that global cooling could be as much as 10,000 years off, but probably not more than that, or it could be only a few hundreds years, even less, away.
But what if . . . dum de dum dum . . . it has already begun, and this winter is our first “killer” winter!
I’m engaging in wild speculation, of course, but it’s not much wilder than the speculation about global warming. In fact, science is on my side. I have 400,000 years of ice cores backing up my wild speculation. Global warming doomsayers have about a thousand years of iffy data.
Global warming enthusiasts are correct though — the earth is warming. But it’s always warming, unless it’s cooling. It’s never not doing one or the other. The problem is that the ice core data tells us that warming is gradual and the last part of it, what we call the interglacial, lasts anywhere from 10-20,000 years, while cooling is relatively sudden and the really cold part of it lasts for about 100,000 years.