The Tool Makers

Note: I did not fall off the roof or plunge to my death falling off a ladder. I simply got busy this morning and forgot to hit the post button. I must admit, I miss working with my hands, so this is a the best days for me right now. I hope everyone has a great Christmas and I will be back next week.


A feature of politics is listing all of the things that are worse than they used to be at some point in the past. The people are dumber. The economy is worse. The politicians are somehow dumber than in the past. That is because politics is about morality, what we ought to be doing or ought not to be doing. You engage in politics because you think we ought not to be doing whatever it is we are doing or we should be doing something that we are not doing and that is going to be trouble.

Marx observed that if we get the morality right, as in we all agree on what ought to be done, then there is no need for politics. Imagine if all of our politicians agreed on what needs doing, the priority of those things and everyone agreed with them. We would no longer have politics or politicians. Instead, we would have bureaucrats busy doing what they are charged with doing. That is not the way of things, so we have halfwits and lunatics yelling at one another and we call it politics.

There are lots of things that are wrong in this world, not the least of which is politics, but there is a lot going right too. I thought about that while on a ladder last night fixing something that needed fixing. I noticed that the top deck of the ladder had a nice tray for holding small bits. There were holes for holding screw drivers and a larger hole for holding a drill. The little tray has a magnet baked into the bottom so the little metal bits you place there will not easily fall to the floor.

The ladder maker rightly assumed that these things would be useful to the sort of person using the ladder. Odds are, most step ladders are used by HVAC guys and electricians, but that is a guess. These are the sorts of people who need drills, screwdrivers and little metal bits with them at the top of the ladder. Perhaps this is standard on all ladders now, but it is new to me. My tall ladder is from a different maker and has a slightly different take on this idea.

When I was a young man working construction, you had step ladders made of wood for electrical work and aluminum ladders for other work. The reason you used wood ladders of electrical work is to avoid being fried to a crisp if you made a mistake and grabbed hold of a live wire. I once cut into a 220 line I thought was cold and it was an electrifying experience. These days most ladders are made of fiberglass which is better, lighter and does not conduct electricity.

Thinking about this at the top of the ladder, it occurred to be that just about all of the tools I am using are better than when I was a young man. I have a cordless drill that has variable speeds and does not require a chuck key. Most importantly, it does not require a nine-mile-long extension cord. As a teenager working construction, I probably wrapped up six million feet of extension cord. The house is full of tools right now and I do not see an extension cord.

The point is that there are lots of things getting better, despite the best efforts of halfwits and lunatics who run our politics. These small improvements in things like ladders and hand tools exist outside of the domain of halfwits and lunatic. The guy who came up with a new top set on a ladder was thinking about how to make a better ladder and thus make life a bit easier for the ladder user. There are millions of people out there who spend their days finding ways to make things better.

Of course, the people thinking about how to make a better ladder are not the people you now see in TV ads. The smart guy in the movies is nothing like the genuinely smart guys finding small improvements in life. The guy in the TV ad is a figment of the imagination of people who hate the guy who made a better ladder. That is the most important fact in the word right now. No matter how hard the bad guys try to make the TV guy real, he is not real, while the ladder guy is real.

That is something to keep in mind, especially in what has always been called the season of hope in the Western world. Joe Sobran was right. The guy making a better ladder, a better drill, a better way to patch a hole in the wall, that guy towers over the rest of the world in ways so large as to be almost inexpressible. The people responsible for those TV ads are motivated by envy, because the guy making a better ladder, the guy who invented the ladder, is the image of superiority.

The lesson of history is that human capital is what wins out in the end. That is the iron law of the universe. It has held for ten thousand years and will hold for ten thousand years into the future. The halfwits and lunatics, the guys mocking you through TV ads and movies, will eventually submit to this iron law of history. Eventually, the guys using those better tools put down those tools and set about solving the problem of those people behind the problems of our politics.

Merry Christmas.


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Colbert
Colbert
5 months ago

Off topic but I need advice from Americans:

In France, untill the 60’s, people from the US were physically described as tall, strong, fit.

Since the 80’s, they were described as fatties (with bad tastes in clothes and haircut, but those aspects were also present before).

As you know, the situation is obviously worse now.
But what happened in the US economy and US behaviours, between 1965 untill 1985,to create such big biological transformation?

Maginot Line
Maginot Line
Reply to  Colbert
5 months ago

Help us with context. During the same timeframes, the french people were understood in the U.S. as being sophisticated, well-read and creative with panache.

But today the french people are none of these things. For starters, one quarter of the population is not even french. France is becoming a sub-85 g IQ arab and african land.

The young people are becomimg as fat as Americans. French creative works today are plebian.

Without blaming America, what big transformation has occurred to bring this about?

The_One_After_909
The_One_After_909
Member
Reply to  Colbert
5 months ago

The US highly-processed food supply has poisoned the population.
FDA “food pyramids” have been corrupted by Big Ag and Advertising to addict children to high Fructose Corn Syrup containing products which has resulted in skyrocketing rates of obesity. The obesity creates chronic inflammatory conditions such as Diabetes, heart disease, cancers, bowel disease.
In turn, the Medical Industrial Complex gets more sick people to extort money from in the form of “treatments” and expensive e medications that may have utility and may not.
Poor childhood nutrition results in worse educational performance over time. The result is a chronically ill dumber population.

Dutch Boy
Dutch Boy
Reply to  The_One_After_909
5 months ago

Young people have also been filled with toxins from vaccinations. The vaccine schedule for children has exploded in the last 35 years, with a consequent increase in developmental and behavioral disorders. Almost 5% of boys are now diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and ADD and learning disorders are off the charts.

Dutch Boy
Dutch Boy
Reply to  Dutch Boy
5 months ago

A new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report shows that the percentage of American children who have been diagnosed with a developmental disability has increased, with now more than 1 in 10 boys having an intellectual disability (ID), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), or another developmental delay. Based on data from the National Health Interview Survey compiled between 2019 and 2021 for children ages 3-17, the report found that the rates of ID and ASD did not increase significantly, but parents who have been told that their child had an “other developmental delay” increased considerably. “Other developmental delay” includes… Read more »

Colbert
Colbert
Reply to  The_One_After_909
5 months ago

Thank you for the answer.
To resume, the corporate big state and capitalism both transformed American bodies

george 1
george 1
5 months ago

Merry Christmas to all the Zers, and hope for all of you to have a prosperous new year.

Bruno the Arrogant
Bruno the Arrogant
Reply to  george 1
5 months ago

All I want for Christmas is an Enlightened™ corpse swinging from every lamppost.

Merry Christmas!

KingKong
KingKong
5 months ago

So much of modern day discourse can actually be boiled down to envy. I’ve seen this play out as a sideline watcher. It is absolutely bonkers how the envious are willing to turn everything to shit out of pure hatred and spite.

Vox Day may be a clown, but the word gamma really did sum up the envious and incompetent. Plato, the fool he was, actually advocated for the philosopher-king, which is no more than a gamma in charge (the Elon Musks of the world).

A story beautifully told in archetypical movies like The Lion King.

Ploppy
Ploppy
5 months ago

When I was Christmas shopping I saw this screwdriver that has an LED light in the handle that would shine on whatever you were screwing. I really wish I had this thing a couple months ago when I was shoulder deep in a boiler trying to screw the new thermocouple in and the little fucker screw kept wanting to pop out of the seating if I didn’t hold it in place with the third arm I needed.

plato spaghetti
plato spaghetti
Reply to  Ploppy
5 months ago

Problem is, it’s likely cheap, injection molded Chinese “steel” that will either break or strip by the 2nd use. As others on here have pointed out, we need old-school quality materials paired with modern design & engineering.

cg2
cg2
Reply to  Ploppy
5 months ago

attach the screw to the driver with a pinch of sticky sealing putty ( thumb gum is one brand). Nebo makes a 400 lumen pocket sized light with magnets on bottom and back and a clip on the back that you can stick anywhere. More tools are not always the answer.

Vxxc
Vxxc
5 months ago

Already happening.
Businesses that want a real country and want Space.

https://a16z.com/american-dynamism-50/

Bourbon
Bourbon
Reply to  Vxxc
5 months ago

Bro.

In your link, the second company is Anduril.

Have you seen WTF Anduril is manufacturing?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=al9ITeP4fUA

Anduril Road-Runners connected to ChatGPT will produce Terminators + SkyNet.

Those Road-Runners send chills down my spine.

I pity the poor bastards who will try to flee from the Road-Runners.

And if Lloyd Austin & Anthony Blinken were to have their way, the Road-Runners would immediately be programmed to destroy Heritage White America.

Spingerah
Spingerah
Reply to  Bourbon
5 months ago

Damn, I agree. Terminator.
Idiocracy
Both are prophetic.

Dansidea
Dansidea
5 months ago

Toolmakers – what a great descriptor for the societies and people who advance and thrive, the ice people and others didn’t just survive their environments, they built things to overcome it. Look around now there are plenty who still do this and plenty who do not and complain.

Bourbon
Bourbon
Reply to  Dansidea
5 months ago

If you wanna see the flip side of the coin, then take a gander at this /p0l/ thread tonight:

https://archive.4plebs.org/pol/thread/452962554/

Evil incarnate.

Everything now is a break-neck rush to the very bottom of the Usury abyss.

You will own nothing, you will rent everything, you will eat the insect protein, and you will be thankful for your masters’ benevolence.

KingKong
KingKong
Reply to  Dansidea
5 months ago

“the ice people and others didn’t just survive their environments, they built things to overcome it”

Yes, their only mistake was violating the sanctity of other environments. Civilization for example is the corruption of the Forest/Nature by Ice People, which the Forest inevitably punishing with the clown show that represents the decline of every Civilization in history.

So much will self-correct when Ice People fuck back off to the ice, as they are now slowly doing (see Dutch/Flemish shows like “Het Hoge Noorden”, where supposed natives of the forests of West Europe return to the iciest parts of Norway).

Vince
Vince
5 months ago

A message of hope for the Christmas season. Thank you for that zman and Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones!

Bourbon
Bourbon
Reply to  Vince
5 months ago

May your sons meet, romance, seduce and marry Pro-Life Pro-Gμn PμreBl00ded White Christian virgins with no tats, no student loan debt, and no history of mμdsharkery.

Amen.

RedBeard
RedBeard
5 months ago

I was just detaching and cutting old electrical lines yesterday in my old house. My technique is to hope I threw the right breaker then turn my face away as I cut the wire I assume is cold.

On that note, speaking of improvements, you can’t get much more convenient than modern polymer safety glasses especially considering the price some people must have payed before they were a thing.

The Wild Geese Howard
The Wild Geese Howard
Reply to  RedBeard
5 months ago

Your comment about electrical work prompts me to mention Wago lever-lock wire splices.

These little guys are far, far easier to use and more reliable than the twist wire nuts of yore.

KGB
KGB
Reply to  The Wild Geese Howard
5 months ago

While I agree, there’s just something satisfying about the moment a wire nut cinches down on the wires being spliced. No matter how many times I do it I still think the nut’s going to keep spinning around and never tighten down. But it always does. In their day, wire nuts were the kind of practical and ingenious invention being discussed in this thread.

3g4me
3g4me
Reply to  The Wild Geese Howard
5 months ago

Wild Geese: Saw those on a YT video and bought a bunch for a rainy day. We may never have the funds to build a larger house or even an extension, but when wiring needs to be redone or replaced, I don’t want to wait 6 weeks to see when supplies might get back in stock at the hardware store. Same with flexible gasket (not wax) toilet rings, and a few other things. My husband thinks I’m nuts sometimes, but I buy odds and ends as I notice things that I think could come in handy. Not really a large… Read more »

Bartleby the Scrivner
Bartleby the Scrivner
Reply to  3g4me
5 months ago

Blades, tires (especially for trailers), bulbs, fasteners, misc lumber pieces;

All stuff that doesn’t seem important, until you really need them.

RonnieO
RonnieO
Member
Reply to  3g4me
5 months ago

Not really a large quantity or expense, but just different things that strike me as a good idea.

This is an excellent trait to have. It also gets honed after time.
There’s nothing like working on something and then quietly smiling to yourself as you know have the exact bobbet you need to finish the task.
Quite satisfying.

Ploppy
Ploppy
Reply to  3g4me
5 months ago

You have to be able to find the spare parts though 20 years after you packed them away. I have a whole basement of things I can’t find.

RonnieO
RonnieO
Member
Reply to  Ploppy
5 months ago

Yeah I forgot to mention that..

Spingerah
Spingerah
Reply to  RedBeard
5 months ago

Non contact voltage tester.
Inexpensive yet priceless.

Good ol' Rebel
Good ol' Rebel
Reply to  Spingerah
5 months ago

Buy the Fluke. And remember to use them, gets a bit buzzy when you forget to double check.

Auntie Analogue
Auntie Analogue
5 months ago

So many battery-pack-powered tools and gizmos . . . a zillion small-scale Teslas. (!)

Worst of modern tech is that almost all of it has become disposable. I can recall when most old tech was often repaired, restored to function: there were radio shops, TV shops, shoemakers, all sorts of repair shops. My last three crappy radio-alarm clocks were irreparable, had to be thrown out despite the simple causes of their malfunctions would, in Olden Days, have been easily remedied.

Ah, well, let’s be thankful for what we have, and for who we are: MERRY CHRISTMAS!

RedBeard
RedBeard
Reply to  Auntie Analogue
5 months ago

I haven’t disposed of my grandfather’s steel cased circular saw with the frayed cord and no safety features. That thing would cut through the Titanic.

Pozymandias
Reply to  Auntie Analogue
5 months ago

My wife is generally sensible when it comes to consumer goods but she has a few blind spots. One of those was the Dyson roller ball vacuum cleaners. The moment she got a better paying job she got one. They seem to be a commentary on the way everything is built and designed today. The design is ingenious and it’s relatively easy to take apart and clean. At the same time, the parts are over-complicated and the whole thing is made of that kind of hard plastic that’s actually very breakable. I have to constantly be careful that I’m not… Read more »

Suburban_elk
Suburban_elk
Reply to  Pozymandias
5 months ago

My old Riccar vacuum went out, I think it was the motor or the cord, (which is beyond the scope of my very modest vacuum tool and repair shoppe) and the repair estimate was 100, so I tossed it. Now am sad for having done so. Shoulda ponied up and kept the old bitch.

BerndV
BerndV
Reply to  Auntie Analogue
5 months ago

The reality is that most older products of all types were much less reliable and much more expensive. We don’t have TV repair shops anymore because a modern flat screen is unbelievably superior and so inexpensive that in the unlikely event that it fails outside of warranty it’s cheaper to buy a new one. The garbage cars this country cranked out in the seventies when I was a new driver were such pieces of shit that they were literally a waste of raw materials. Despite the massive increase in complexity, cars are much safer, much more reliable, crash worthy, and… Read more »

RonnieO
RonnieO
Member
Reply to  Auntie Analogue
5 months ago

1980s Milwaukee Sawzall. Took it to shop (15 years ago), replaced brushes, cleaned up rotor and stator.
Indestructible.

Anti-Gnostic
Anti-Gnostic
Reply to  Auntie Analogue
5 months ago

Circuit boards in appliances are the worst. Replacing just one is 1/4 the cost of a new appliance. Control by wire would eliminate this.

Tars Tarkas
Tars Tarkas
5 months ago

I just wish we could get all of the technical improvements of today while maintaining build quality of yesterday.

Merry Christmas to Z-Man and all the commenters and readers who make the site so good.

LineInTheSand
LineInTheSand
5 months ago

I expect that many of you are familiar with this incident from WW1, but if you haven’t heard about it before, it is heartening and instructive. During the wretched trench warfare of WW1, a Christmas truce spontaneously arose between the British and German troops. They sang carols, shared cigarettes, and played soccer. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas_truce This temporary refuge in hell occurred because of their shared Christianity. Merry Christmas to all. Thanks to Z Man for his insightful and prodigious writing and for creating a place where so many intelligent commenters can converse. No more brother wars! (except for the unavoidable ones against… Read more »

KGB
KGB
Reply to  LineInTheSand
5 months ago

That incident always makes me think of the Paul McCartney song “Pipes of Peace”. The video, which was a staple in MTV’s early days, is based off the Christmas truce. Today, half the troops depicted would be African, and a few Germans would have suspiciously large noses, because of course they would.

https://youtu.be/B3q4Up5ugTc?si=CYE78498EeEuJ6JN

urbando
urbando
5 months ago

Merry Christmas, Zman!

kerdasi amaq
kerdasi amaq
Reply to  urbando
5 months ago

Happy Holidays, everyone from the Black Forest Wolf’s Lair.

Jim Wetzel
5 months ago

A request to those really smart guys who work out ladder improvements: I need a truly magic ladder. Some months back, I was on the volunteer job, using my impact driver up there off the floor a ways. Needed something out of my tool bucket, descended the ladder, then started to move the ladder to a better place to continue work. Was only reminded that I’d left the driver up there at the top when it fell off and bounced off my melon on the way to the floor. Really need a magic ladder that, somehow, will prevent this in… Read more »

Intelligent Dasein
Intelligent Dasein
Member
Reply to  Jim Wetzel
5 months ago

Try using a lanyard.

Disruptor
Disruptor
Reply to  Jim Wetzel
5 months ago

When up on the ladder, I’ve made it a habit to say “ladder” when reaching, changing from some type of activity, time to time.

Merry Christmas!

Jeffrey Zoar
Jeffrey Zoar
Reply to  Jim Wetzel
5 months ago

The corporate/insurance solution to this was requiring hard hats.

ann thompson
5 months ago

Christmas is coming the geese are getting fat please put a penny in the old man’s hat; Zee get up and bake your pies make sure those raisins aren’t flies; then deck the halls with boughs of ivy pour the wassail, make us lively; above all ne’er forget this admonition you might need in your position of elder statesman of the blog (sometimes maybe a bit of a slog) that for twelve nights anything goes!!!! whether it be for friends or foes meaning even fiendish Kamala shall wear a halo as a tiara then, may three horses of the troika,… Read more »

The Real Bill
The Real Bill
5 months ago

Yet another excellent post— and a great way to wrap up a year of the same—reminding us that despite all the idiocy, lies, and ongoing degeneration of standards that characterizes George Floyd America, so much continues to go right. Z’s mention of of the unknown and unheralded ladder designers of the world, serves as a reminder that the vast majority of the discoveries and accomplishments that together make up the comfortable, civilized life we so often take for granted— in philosophy, government, the arts, science, invention and innovation, technology and manufacturing— have been accomplished by that most maligned of modern… Read more »

Drive-By Shooter
Drive-By Shooter
Reply to  The Real Bill
5 months ago

“Chances are good that he was a ‘cis-hetero-normative’ white guy driving a pickup truck to work every day” Probably he’s a guy with a college degree, some relatives who work(ed) in the trades, and a Callaway driver in his golf bag. Maybe he votes Democratic, because he’s a clueless Boomer or Gen Xer with an engineering degree, and it’s even more likely true that his girlfriend or wife is AWFL. She rolls her eyes when she overhears him talking earnestly about the merits of GOP candidates. His friends know that he’s p-whipped, like his father was in his middle 20’s,… Read more »

cg2
cg2
5 months ago

Now the rule if you want to look like a PROFFESIONAL Elektrishun is never use an 8 footer when you can do the job standing on the very top of a 6 footer.

RedBeard
RedBeard
Reply to  cg2
5 months ago

Or on an upside down bucket balanced on some pieces of wood.

Good ol' Rebel
Good ol' Rebel
Reply to  cg2
5 months ago

I resemble that remark….
Not my fault the only stool near the main panel has wheels! Oh wait, it is.
Remember folks, safety third!

Zulu Juliet
Zulu Juliet
5 months ago

Cordless Tools (including weed-walkers and saws-alls). LED flashlights. $600 ARs. (with high-capacity molded magazines and red-dot optics), Blue-tooth speakers. These are few of my favorite consolations of modernity.

Zulu Juliet
Zulu Juliet
Reply to  Zulu Juliet
5 months ago

Wackers. Wackers!

KGB
KGB
Reply to  Zulu Juliet
5 months ago

I thought that was a new name for a weed eater. I remember watching a video from Britain a few years ago and they used the word “strimmer” which I assume is a portmanteau of string and trimmer. Had never heard of it before that.

Tars Tarkas
Tars Tarkas
Reply to  Zulu Juliet
5 months ago

Not me. I hate the battery revolution or at least the idea of putting a battery in anything you can think of. Cordless tools are great, I absolutely despise extension cords, but so are 2 cycle engines. Weedwackers are the perfect example of the utility of small high power 2-stroke engines. About the only thing worse than a battery powered weed wacker is a battery powered snow-thrower. I doubt they will last 5 years or more than 50 cycles before you need a new snowblower’s worth of batteries. By then, there will probably be a new battery standard that is… Read more »

DaBears
DaBears
Reply to  Tars Tarkas
5 months ago

While it may last a lifetime, your gas powered snowblower is still a major hastle to wrestle up the top of a professional 8-foot ladder. I still prefer my cordless electric model for ceiling-level snowblowings especially indoors.

Merry Christmas, all, especially to Z and his saber toothed tigers.

RonnieO
RonnieO
Member
Reply to  DaBears
5 months ago

2 words
Chain hoist

SidVic
SidVic
5 months ago

New place looks nice. Gravity fed water supply may come in handy. Hope you don’t get bored up there. Need to start hunting. I could hunt with a spear around my place. Never seen so many deer.
Congrats

RealityRules
RealityRules
5 months ago

This comment section and blog are a better tool maker in my world. Have a Merry Christmas everyone. Z best wishes getting your new house up and rolling.

Nismo Z
Nismo Z
5 months ago

***—*** “Men are different [from animals]. They propound mathematical theorems in beleaguered cities, conduct metaphysical arguments in condemned cells, make jokes on scaffolds, discuss the last new poem while advancing to the walls of Quebec, and comb their hair at Thermopylae. This is not panache; it is our nature.” -C.S. Lewis ***—*** This season reminds us that hope never fails and never will. Our ultimate foe, the author of all confusion and discord, builder of a false globalist Babel and enemy of everything good and decent and once called “normal” has already been defeated. Our own lives and struggles aim… Read more »

Silver Wolfhouse
Silver Wolfhouse
Reply to  Nismo Z
5 months ago

Thank You 4 the post. Really needed to hear something inspiring in these dark times. Merry Christmas! Wish everyone here a lovely holiday.

Presbyter
Presbyter
Reply to  Nismo Z
5 months ago

Excellent and thanks to the Z-man and all here .
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year !

t0x
t0x
5 months ago

I must disagree with Hemid up above. There are decent guitars in the $200 – $400 range from Ibanez, Schecter, Eart, Fender (Squire series) and Harley Benton. CNC machines really helped to improve the quality and consistency of guitars while bringing the cost down. Solid state amps have also improved. I’ve seen many bands play small gigs with a Boss Katana or Line 6 and they sound good. They also only run $250 – $350. So there you go, a decent guitar and amp combo that should last you several years all for under $1000.

Hemid
Hemid
Reply to  t0x
5 months ago

A perspectival difference, I think. When I was a kid mid-priced guitars were, e.g., the Holdsworth signature Ibanez, and the average-priced amp was a Roland JC120. These are “pro gear” made for serious work. It’s absolutely possible to make great music with the contemporary price-range equivalents—the things you mention and many more—but the *quality* equivalents are boutique products now, and their prices are inflation++. The “hollowing of the middle class” has happened to everything.

ray
ray
Reply to  t0x
5 months ago

Picked up a Martin DXM a couple years back, improbably, in this remote third-world forest. Paid about 160 for it. Fast and easy to work, even for arthritic hands.

Grateful to find my first Martin before my check-out time.

Sub
Sub
5 months ago

Glad you escaped Lagos Z-man.

Merry Christmas and thanks for everything you do for people who aren’t spiteful mutants.

Alzaebo
Alzaebo
5 months ago

You good people keep me going.
Cheers and Merry Christmas!

kerdasi amaq
kerdasi amaq
Reply to  Alzaebo
5 months ago

Happy Holidays to the Noble Wolf!

Kevin
Kevin
5 months ago

Mr. Zman,

You have written in the past about how we might face a skill shortage in the future when older people retire. Do you still think this is something to worry about? We have a lot of nice things, but my generation and younger concern me.

The Wild Geese Howard
The Wild Geese Howard
Reply to  Kevin
5 months ago

It’s already happening. Raytheon has been begging retirees to come back and teach newbies how to build Stinger missiles. No one is even talking about modernizing that system or designing a new replacement system. That story about how Japan is going to start building Patriot missiles for Ukraine? Also because Raytheon could not recruit sufficient talent to Tuscon, even after months of offering signing bonuses of up to $50k. Finally, there is the much ballyhooed TSMC semiconductor plant in Arizona. That is at a standstill because TSMC recruiters found that DIE initiatives have totally failed to produce the GAE-promised army… Read more »

Zulu Juliet
Zulu Juliet
Reply to  The Wild Geese Howard
5 months ago

I have been trying to find Tool and Die Makers for three years. The only ones with required skills are the old men. I can’t find any young people willing to even learn the trade. When the last of the old guys retire, or a fired for being exacting a-holes, well, I guess we’ll outsource the work to Taiwan and accept the poor quality and late deliveries.

RedBeard
RedBeard
Reply to  Zulu Juliet
5 months ago

I’m here! 42 yrs old but love the machining!

Anna
Anna
5 months ago

Merry Christmas to every Christian reads this blog!
Merry Christmas to the author!
May they be appreciated for their unique achievements of sustaining this one of a kind country.

The Real Bill
The Real Bill
Reply to  Anna
5 months ago

“If all the Atheists & Agnostics left
America, they’d lose 93% of The National Academy of Science and less than 1% of the prison population.”
—Ricky Gervais

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  The Real Bill
5 months ago

A falsity on its face. But a very typical conceit.

arthur bryant
arthur bryant
Member
Reply to  The Real Bill
5 months ago

I think he said that to justify his own atheism. Actually the NAS crowd is subject to fashions even more so than prison inmates. That wasn’t the case in the past in regard to religion (think: Newton, Maxwell, Millikan, Planck, Compton etc etc) Gervais sounds like an interesting character, however, and probably would be fun to have a beer with. Merry Christmas

Good ol' Rebel
Good ol' Rebel
Reply to  The Real Bill
5 months ago

Both groups are known for their buggery.

LineInTheSand
LineInTheSand
Reply to  Anna
5 months ago

I feel sincere happiness and gratitude for Anna’s well wishes and neither of us is Christian.

I may be demonstrating one of the white man’s greatest vulnerabilities: gullibility, naiveté, and assuming that other races have values and an inner life similar to whites. But this vulnerability is probably why we built the high trust societies that everyone else on this earth wants to live in.

Tribalism, although mandatory for our survival, does not come easy to my heart.

TomA
TomA
5 months ago

May I offer a suggestion for a home project that is both novel and useful. If you have a portion of the house with lots of large south-facing windows (a window wall is ideal), then you can easily construct a narrow vertical planter with shelved planting beds and incorporate a drip watering system that descends from a top trough. Mine is on a trolley wheel cart for mobility and its very easy to water and tend the plants. Lots of edible options that will provide you with auxiliary food year-round.

3g4me
3g4me
5 months ago

Glad to hear you’re alive and well and hands-on in West Virginia. Hope your new, more rural life makes you as happy as ours has made us. I wish all here a Merry Christmas, as well as success and resolve for whatever we all may face in 2024. In the meantime, spend time with family, friends, and enjoy the many blessings of western civilizaiton we still possess.

usNthem
usNthem
5 months ago

I was setting up to do some outdoor painting where I’d need to utilize my six foot ladder. It’s made of fiberglass and I can easily carry it around with one hand. When I prepared to work, I also noticed it had a perfect notch for a quart sized paint can, which is what I had – now I didn’t have to try and balance it on the top step – el perfecto. I also have a fifteen foot or so extension ladder, made of light weight aluminum, which I can also carry around one handed. I used to have… Read more »

Tired Citizen
Tired Citizen
5 months ago

God bless all of you here. Merry Christmas. May we all muster the courage to do what is needed in the coming months.

kerdasi amaq
kerdasi amaq
Reply to  Tired Citizen
5 months ago

Happy Holidays from the Noble Wolf.

Fruitopian
Fruitopian
5 months ago

“Blessed are the [x] because they will inherit the Earth”—was that the ref? Or I am accidentally on the Tyler Cowen blog

Fruitopian
Fruitopian
Reply to  Fruitopian
5 months ago

Oops, wrong Matthew 5 verse. I really should be back in the aspie marginalsphere; cue up “There Ain’t No Sanity Clause” musical outro

Ganderson
Ganderson
Reply to  Fruitopian
5 months ago

“The party of the first part…”

roo_ster
Member
5 months ago

White pill Friday.

Xman
Xman
5 months ago

Boy, speaking of battery-powered tools, the Greatest Thing Since Sliced Bread has to be the 1/2″ drive battery-powered impact wrenches. Ho-lee fook, bro. Rusted pinion nut? Hub nut? Crank pulley bolt? Transmission crossmember? Head bolts? Braaap, brap, brap. Effortless. No more compressors, hoses, none of that grief. Speaking of the practical people vs. the political nutjobs, one thing I have never been able to figure out is how and why the smart people allow themselves to be put into the service of the political class — who are at best useless teat-suckers, moral defectives, and liars of inferior intellect, and… Read more »

Zulu Juliet
Zulu Juliet
Reply to  Xman
5 months ago

In the wayback, when I got my first cordless Black and Decker 9V drill, it change my world. When I got my first cordless impact driver, I went to heaven.

Jeffrey Zoar
Jeffrey Zoar
5 months ago

More often than not, the better ladder gets made by a white man. And so here we are. I wish everyone a merry and White Christmas. Would be kind of a kick if we could co-opt that tune, wouldn’t it

Gauss
Gauss
5 months ago

Merry Christmas to Zman and friends. Keep the faith. We will prevail in time.

kerdasi amaq
kerdasi amaq
Reply to  Gauss
5 months ago

Happy Hollidays, everyone!

ray
ray
5 months ago

Merry Christmas, I like fighters.

Jannie
Jannie
5 months ago

Cheap, Made In China tools tend to be garbage. I will pay 10x more for Made In America quality.

Alzaebo
Alzaebo
Reply to  Jannie
5 months ago

made to be sold, not used!

Bruno the Arrogant
Bruno the Arrogant
Reply to  Jannie
5 months ago

The Chinese stuff has its uses. If you’re stuck with buying a usually expensive tool for a one-off project or just need it for light duty work, a trip to Harbor Freight can save you some major bucks. It’s made possible projects that would have been prohibitively expensive if I’d had to spring for quality tools. Just make sure you’re wearing your safety glasses before turning the stuff on.

Good ol' Rebel
Good ol' Rebel
Reply to  Bruno the Arrogant
5 months ago

I have found that in Current Year, the HF stuff is often literally the same. Not even all Dewalt and Redwings are made in the US. Sometimes there is literally no option for a non-chineseum tool.

Lineman
Lineman
5 months ago

Merry Christmas Z and my Brothers Here…May You All Have A Blessed Time with Your Family and Friends…

FNC1A1
Member
5 months ago

Merry Christmas to Mr.Z and all the dissidents here. I am glad that you didn’t fall off the ladder

Hun
Hun
5 months ago

Merry Christmas, Z and everybody else here!

Evil Sandmich
Evil Sandmich
5 months ago

I have a wired hammer-drill even now because every now and then an application calling for limitless torque comes up. Otherwise I got a sack of battery drills from an Amish Auction for like $70 so I went through and put a commonly used bit into each drill so I don’ even have to change out bits most of the time. Your post brought that to mind because most of them have a little magnetic tray on them to hold an extra screw or two (or bit). A different drill has a light that comes on which shines just at… Read more »

Lineman
Lineman
Reply to  Evil Sandmich
5 months ago

Well actually Milwaukee started selling one and they are awesome…

Evil Sandmich
Evil Sandmich
Reply to  Lineman
5 months ago

Hmm, Ryobi had (has?) one too but it costs like twice as much as that Milwaukee and required two hands. Looks like the Milwaukee just needs two hands to get going? (As the action shots show both one-hand and two-hand use).

Our contractor used both Ryobi and (mostly) Milwaukee which I liked better, but I got battery-locked into Ryobi since, like I said, I got several of the tools for next-to-nothing.

Lineman
Lineman
Reply to  Evil Sandmich
5 months ago

Yea Milwaukee is what we have switched too in my trade and it’s way better than DeWalt in my opinion…

Guest
Guest
Member
Reply to  Evil Sandmich
5 months ago

I swear by Ryobi. Best bang for your buck as an old german carpenter advised me and as far as my experience goes has been proven correct.

David Wright
Member
Reply to  Evil Sandmich
5 months ago

I have used many corded and battery operated hammerdrills. My Bosch rotary hammer 24v handles every task , even face brick. People are cutting small lawns with battery operated mowers now. It’s a new age my friends!

Merry Christmas to all here.

roo_ster
Member
Reply to  Evil Sandmich
5 months ago

For 12v i went milwaukee. Awesome performance and reliability. When time to get 18v/20v, i went dewalt due to local milwaukee service shop is terrible.

usNthem
usNthem
Reply to  Evil Sandmich
5 months ago

Those little things are great for basic trimming around the property – I’m sold.

mmack
mmack
5 months ago

First off Z, I apologize for the crack about you being in a full body cast. (Although, you COULD be using talk to type, so . . . . . .) Secondly, I do have some ladders that have holes in the top rung for placing screwdrivers, drill bits, or other items to be held securely, and bins for placing the screws, light bulbs, and other things you need held ready and steady. 1000 times smarter design than a flip-out shelf like on my older ladder which means everything unstable takes a sickening eight foot drop to the pavement below.… Read more »

Evil Sandmich
Evil Sandmich
Reply to  mmack
5 months ago

Like banning gas stoves, ruining water heaters and lord knows what they’re doing to the evil that is air conditioning, they want the universe to bend itself to their dreams. Cars are the preeminent example as the mid-nineties were (at the latest) when “peak auto” could be had in terms of reliability, safety, and fuel efficiency (I’m leaving “looks” off because even by then all cars were looking the same, only so many ways to get air out of the way). Everything since then has been a trade-off.

Götterdamn-it-all
Götterdamn-it-all
Reply to  Evil Sandmich
5 months ago

If you live in the Deep South, air conditioning is worshipped as a god. And rightly so.

mmack
mmack
Reply to  Götterdamn-it-all
5 months ago

Indeed. I’ve been in Houston,
TX in August and you could cut the air with a saw. A walk outside would cause a person to melt. 🥵

Dixie
Dixie
Reply to  Götterdamn-it-all
5 months ago

One steamy summer night our air conditioner went out and a desperate call was made. I was certain we’d have to spend a miserable night, maybe several. But in an hour a man in a truck came and soon we had cool air. He said, “What I done was put a band-aid on it.” Well, this hero’s band-aid lasted us two years. He had just sat down at the supper table when he got the call, but left promptly because he lived 36 miles away. This repair man was a godsend and I will never forget his kindness and talent!… Read more »

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  Dixie
5 months ago

A good HVAC man, a good plumber and a good mechanic are worth more than forty score professors, journalists and politicians.

first person singular
first person singular
Reply to  Evil Sandmich
5 months ago

Off topic, but it occurred to me while watching the annual replaying of 1984 Bob Geldof’s “Do they know it’s Christmas time” music video and I can name almost all the participants, how many can you name? And I know all the lyrics to the Dixie Chicks “Merry Christmas from the family” (Mom got drunk and Dad got drunk…)

Hemid
Hemid
5 months ago

There’s a great dichotomy in our everyday stuff. My friends and I are mostly old musicians, and the tools of everyday use to us are better than they’ve ever been, but the *average quality* of musical equipment is lower than ever. The stuff professionals/artists buy is near perfection, and the sonic possibilities available to serious artists are unprecedented, but the “starter” guitar and amp your nephew gets for Christmas are so crappy that Jimi Hendrix couldn’t coax music out of them, so he’s very likely to be frustrated and quit—and far over the standard 90% of new music, from the… Read more »

Moran ya Simba
Moran ya Simba
Reply to  Hemid
5 months ago

Things are made for use and throw away. Back in the day it was built to last and even to be fixed. Who fixes an old drill these days? Quality has definitely fallen in tools

Tars Tarkas
Tars Tarkas
Reply to  Hemid
5 months ago

The quality has fallen on most things, especially consumer goods. They can get technically better with modern tech, but get far worse in build quality or needlessly complex. Toasters with a big LCD screen, an app and an IOT internet connection. Or a toaster oven that scans foods and calls home to find the best way to heat it up. Pretty neat tech, but you just know the thing is spying on you.

Good ol' Rebel
Good ol' Rebel
Reply to  Tars Tarkas
5 months ago

Oh, those good old days when “your toaster is spying on you” was a sure sign of a mentally ill crank, instead of a marketing pitch from a VP at a Fortune 500 company.

Steve
Steve
5 months ago

Merry Christmas to you and your family Z! And to all of the fellow dissidents here as well!

kerdasi amaq
kerdasi amaq
Reply to  Steve
5 months ago

Happy Holidays to the Noble Wolf!

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
5 months ago

May the guy making a better latter one day set to work building a better lamp post. Now if that thought doesn’t set your yuletide cockles to simmerin’, I don’t know what ails ye’. Mebbe too much ale.

Merry Christmas, dissidents.

David Wright
Member
Reply to  Ostei Kozelskii
5 months ago

Knew a guy in the 80s who manufactured ladders. Lawsuits put him out of business. Accidents from ladders are 99% operator error.

Tom K
Tom K
5 months ago

Merry Christmas to all!
Oh, and…
EVERYTHING IS AWESOME!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=StTqXEQ2l-Y

Jack Dodson
Jack Dodson
5 months ago

Fantastic and uplifting piece. Merry Christmas and next year in…the West!

Paintersforms
Paintersforms
5 months ago

Merry Christmas!

kerdasi amaq
kerdasi amaq
Reply to  Paintersforms
5 months ago

Happy Holidays to you!