Site Headlines

Please scroll down for posts on main page...

WARNING: THIS SITE FEATURES ORIGINAL THINKING...Jim Croce once sang Don't tug on Superman's cape..., which seems like reasonable advice should we not wish to anger the supreme powers. We do have this duality in our culture: the Superman that is the state collective, the leftist call to a politics of meaning managed by the state, the deification of "we're from the government and we'll take care of you" - versus the Superman that celebrates individual freedom, private property, freedom of conscience, free enterprise, and limited government. We humbly take on the latter's mantle and, eschewing the feeble tug, we dare to PULL, in hope of seeing freedom's rescue from the encroaching nanny state. We invite you, dear reader, to come and pull as well... Additionally, if you assume that means that we are unflinching, unquestioning GOP zombies, that would be incorrect. We reject statism in any form and call on individuals in our country to return to the original, classical liberalism of our founders. (We're also passionate about art, photography, cooking, technology, Judeo/Christian values, and satire as unique, individual pursuits of happiness to celebrate.)

Most popular posts Recommended reading
Meet another hero - but he's not allowed to vote WA Governor's Race Saga
The Heroes of India Company United Nations - Oil For Food - Oil For Fraud
WA Governor's Race: EXTRA EXTRA, READ ALL ABOUT IT! Wisconsin Vote Fraud
One day in Fallujah Bioethics
Diktat summons Simplicio 'Science'? What's that?
Harsh Conditions Japan


WWW Pull On Superman's Cape
Superman's product of the century (so far):

April 17, 2005
The Coming Environmental Disaster -Episode II-Lead
Filed in: Current Affairs, Satire

Lead abatement, contingency lawyers who have built fortunes suing paint companies that haven’t made lead based paint since 1955 and groups who blame lead for all forms of learning disabilities simply because people live in old houses.    Lead is evil, lead is dangerous, and there must be no lead anywhere.  Well let’s go back to those wondrous years of 1945 to 1948 again and join little, slow developing, and totally uninformed Ronnie again.

I’m not sure what my life would have been like without lead.  All I can say is a whole lot would have been missing.  Every pipe in our house was lead.  Not just the seals the whole darn pipe.  One of the favorite weapons in the Clue game is what?  A lead pipe of course.  And just why do you think they chose the lead pipe for an implement of crime?  There was a lot of lead pipe available.  Every drop of water that flowed through the City of Racine Water Department pipes to my mouth was lead, lead lined, lead coated or in some way connected to lead.  Did we have lawyers advertising contingency lawsuits on the “Lone Ranger, “The Cisco Kid” or “Billie the Brownie” (A Christmas Show)?  NO!  We loved lead!  Let me explain.

At age 5, one of my greatest pleasures was going to the “Dime Store” (The Five and Ten for non-Cheese Heads) to spend my allowance.  For various chores assigned I was rewarded with a quarter for the week.  Along with my lunch delivery job for Mr. Feldman I had fifty cents for the week.  A veritable fortune!  I must, however, spend it wisely to ensure maximum entertainment value.  A weekly must was the twenty-cartoon extravaganza at the Venetian Theater in Downtown.  My friends and I would hop the Red Line Bus and spend all Saturday afternoon in the theater enjoying the latest in Three Stooges, Bugs, Daffy, and Friends.  There were no TV’s and our visual stimulation came from the big screen.  I didn’t spend it all at the theater.  I always made sure I had enough of my allowance left to indulge my other favorite activity.

I collected lead soldiers.  At three for five cents, I was able to accumulate a respectable collection.  Lead soldiers were just that.  Figures molded in the shape of soldiers carrying various weapons, in various poses, that had one goal, destroy the enemies of America.  Hundreds of these one and one half inch high warriors occupied the top drawer of my dresser.  I had more lead in that drawer than was ever emitted by all lead based gasoline ever produced.  Yes kiddies, not too long ago all of our gasoline contained lead.

Every two weeks we would go to Mowry’s Service Station.  They sold Sinclair Gasoline, the one with the dinosaur on the sign.  In 1945 gas rationing was still in effect.  They also had a high school kid that pumped the gas and washed the windows, and checked the oil, and checked the tire pressure and handed out the premium you got with your purchase.  All this for eighteen cents a gallon.  The greatest thing for me had nothing at all to do with that.  Any male of my age group will remember this fact.  Nothing on the face of the earth would come close to the smell of leaded gasoline being pumped into the tank of the family car.  That vapor obviously is part of the reason men are different than women.  From a very young age, the lead was changing our brain cells into something assimilating the brain structure of Cro-Magnon man.  I think we can get some lawyer and blame it on lead.  Our wives and daughters will finally understand why we miss the bowl and leave the seat up (and we do it on purpose). I think "Animal Kingdom" explains the need to mark our territory adequately.

Back to my soldiers!  Every day upon returning from school, I either practiced saying Mass (I loved Latin) or played with my soldiers.  My mother actually thought I was going to be a priest.  Did I fool her!  I may make that an episode.  Depends on what I feel like after the homily (we used to call it sermon) on Sunday. 


I would line up those who looked like Americans on one side of a hole I dug in the back yard of our flat.  The ones who looked like Germans or Japanese were on the opposite side.  Positioning myself behind my American forces I initiated an artillery barrage.  In other words, I picked up a rock and proceeded to crush the enemy  (George Patton was my hero even then).  The great thing about lead soldiers was even after being crushed by a substantial rock they could be bent back into shape most of the time.  If not, at three for a nickel they weren’t too hard to replace.  I would never throw them away however.  Not because my parents grew up in the “Depression.” I had another use for them.  To be more accurate my cousin Bob did.

Bob was three years older than me.  His Dad loved hunting and therefore so did he.  I wasn’t much of an outdoorsman, but the family kept trying to get me involved.  Bob had an electric smelting pot that could heat up enough to make lead melt. What better way to dispose of the enemy than to melt them into a silver colored liquid and remold them into a new form.  Twenty-two caliber bullets!   Remember wartime rationing was still in full force.  The brass cartridges were collected after each shot and kept for future use.  My job was first to be a source of lead supply.  Next, to stir the lead as it was melting. Finally to file off the burrs after we removed the solid lead from the molds.  Often this occupied the better part of a Saturday evening at my Aunt and Uncle’s house.  So chalk up another three hours or so each month to inhaling lead vapors.

I always enjoyed visiting my aunt and uncle.  You never knew what mysterious thing was occupying their basement.  My aunt (my mother’s sister) was Italian and my uncle was Polish.  Talk about a unique menu.  With rationing and shortages caused by the war and my uncle being a carnivore of the first order the lead bullets came in handy.  The Sunday menu at their house was almost always what a fancy restaurant today would call “Wild Game.”  It was usually something like duck, pheasant, rabbit or squirrel.  Yes, when I was a kid I ate squirrel (Bet John Kerry can’t say that – wait a minute he did live in France didn’t he?).  Of course the squirrel had lead buck shot still embedded in its’ body.  Every now and then you’d hear the clank of someone spitting a lead shot out on to his or her plate.  Chances are I probably swallowed a fair amount of lead shot in my time.

Like every little boy aged five or so, I wanted to do everything my dad did.  During and shortly after World War II Johnson Wax made paint.  The unique attribute of their paint was that it contained carnauba wax, as well as lead.  I guess the goal was to have shiny wood trim that would go nicely with your shiny linoleum.  My father was a perfectionist.  Everything had a place and everything should look as he intended it to look.  My desire to help with painting, therefore, was discouraged.  One job related to painting was allowed for me to participate in.  Sanding!  I was given a block of wood with a piece of very fine sand paper attached with furniture tacks.  I suspect it was very fine so any potential damage caused by my overly vigorous efforts would be minimized.  Any heavy grain and I would likely have sanded my self a nice indentation in the windowsill.

We always thought the lead content of paint was the cause of painters being more prone to alcoholism than the public at large.  I doubt there was any validity to that theory.  More likely the alcoholism could be attributed to a trade where they waited for rain to leave the area before resuming their work.  The favorite waiting-spot was the corner bar.  And in those days every corner had a bar (another story). I remember my dad saying you couldn’t paint if it were damp because it would take too long for the paint to dry and it would run.  Beats me – it sounded good to a five year-old brain.

A good job here would mean extra allowance and more lead soldiers.  I grabbed my sanding block and threw myself into the job assigned with a vengeance.  Of course, the old paint was lead based.  Fine particles of dust arose from the wood as I sanded at a speed I was surprised I could maintain.  In 1945 there were no dust masks in the local hardware store.  They were reserved for coal miners.  And I’m not sure they had them come to think of it.  Happily, I inhaled the lead ladenned dust particles on my way to earning more cash for more lead soldiers.

Being five, you know this story is not going to have a happy ending, don’t you?  My dad was starting to paint.  He, being a perfectionist had placed masking tape all along the wood trim so he could maintain that perfect razor sharp line between wall and wood.  After stirring the paint for the better part of half an hour (I guess that was to ensure even distribution of the lead and carnauba) he was ready almost.  The drop cloth was not yet in place.  He left to retrieve it.  You might guess what comes next.  A bare-footed five year old quite by accident kicked the newly opened, well stirred can of paint and proceeded to get the shiny white paint all over the always waxed (my dad worked for Johnson Wax after all) wood floors and a substantial part of my right foot and leg.  My father returned!  It was at that moment I learned every obscenity I have ever used; quite effectively I might add.  One good thing – the well-waxed floor was able to repel the shiny white paint.  Saved!  Or was I?

The invention of latex paint was years away.  No soap and water clean up for me.  My foot and leg did not have the benefit of a carnauba wax finish. This meant an unscheduled bath for sure and a pre-soak in turpentine.  Have you ever had your skin rubbed with a turpentine soaked rag?  Believe me it is not fun.  In fact, my right foot and part of my leg could never grow hair.  I attribute this affliction to that very day.

So, in summary I inhaled lead, ingested lead, and soaked in lead.  Let’s go back – the average life expectancy in 1940 was 62.9 years and in 2005 it is 77.6 years.  I’m about to turn 65.  How did I do it?  Certainly not by avoiding exposure to lead!

Stay Tuned for the Next Episode  -- Ronnie and the gang invent some toys.  This is going to be very scary.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference: The Coming Environmental Disaster -Episode II-Lead:

People Pulling
My Photo
Patriot 'Dillo!

Pajamas Media BlogRoll Member

Ron L - Wisconsin election watchdog and hilariously fun grandpa.

James Pell - Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class - American hero with stories to tell about Iraq, Kosovo, and Bosnia.

Emcee - "Don't encourage him!" Jeff Goldstein

November 2010
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30        

Recent Posts


Site Info
Powered by TypePad

Blog design by:

Header art by: Coby Cyr

Ann Coulter
The most brilliant journalist of our age - does heavy lifting

Black Five
Want to know what is really going on in our armed services? Matt does tell. He's a man of honor and gives tribute to men and women who serve all of us around the world.

Blogs For Terri
Terri Schindler Schiavo - We will NEVER forget!

Master photographer Jan shows off spectacular photos around the Pacific Northwest.

Commissioner Hugh Hewitt
The man! Inspirer of blogs, flogger of the currently most important.

Common Sense and Wonder
Great group blog - full of common sense penned by very talented people. I wonder...

Cream of the Crock
Diana once killed me in a place of wisdom. We've made up. One of my favorite experts.

Day by Day
Chris Muir provides the best first place for you to spew your coffee every morning

Digital Brown Pajamas
Sleepy Stormtroopers of the Religious Right. Plus Jeff is just a great guy. And Steve! Don't forget Steve! Oh no, where'd you guys go?

Evangelical Outpost
What can I say? I like Joe.

File it under...
These guys are animals. I mean it, they are animals.

Hamilton's Pamphlets
The Federalist Papers are still alive - and so is Alexander ...

Huffington's Toast
Hilarious answer to Arianna Huffington's psuedo-blog

In DC Journal
Bill is positively InDC, occasionally InDCent, always Bill

Jihad Watch
Lead by Robert Spencer - dedicated to bringing public attention to the role that jihad theology and ideology plays in the modern world.

Laura Ingraham
Find her on the radio and listen - does heavy lifting

Matt Rosenberg
Culture and current affairs from Seattle journalist and musician - and contributor to Sound Politics and Redstate - all in one very productive guy.

Michelle Malkin
Conservative goddess - does heavy lifting

MY Vast Right Wing Conspiracy
Beth has a terrific blog AND she's my favorite Bama fan. (Which for an AU guy is like we've overcome class warfare, you know?)

Nerf Coated World
Friend Matt's wisdom tech and politech

Ninme, tenme, elevenme, just don't two-time me

Pillage Idiot
Replacing the creator of worlds - do you miss Allah? Go see Attila.

Pixie Lair
I'm a Pixie. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it. (It's Shell - Look what God made!) - Found her again!

The triumvirate. I'm not worthy! I'm not worthy!

Protein Wisdom
Jeff's menagerie of extreme thoughts, well said.

Scribal Terror
Gail can write! And make you do your English homework!

Sissy Willis
'Wiley' Willis cats and thoughts.

Sondra K
Like Special K - only better

Sound Politics
Shark and friends dig out the unsound

Tapscott's Copy Desk
Mark Tapscott, Director of The Heritage Foundation's Center for Media and Public Policy. Solid good read all the time. Moved to Examiner now...

The incomparable Ace of Spades HQ
The truth in spades!

The Jawa Report
Dr. Rusty and pals. Find original fisking and research here.

The Mighty Beldar
Crusty trial lawyer, bemused observer of politics & internet dilettante from Houston, Texas

the pragmatic chef™
Scott is a connoisseur of food and life! He really knows what seared means...

The Radio Equalizer -Brian Maloney
Could Brian be the next conservative heavy lifter? My money's on him.

The Truth Laid Bear
TTLB Ecosystem host and esteemed pundit.

Timothy Goddard
Brilliant analysis - plus Red State WA!

Great conservative commentary and about some kind of Weblog awards or something like that

Fellow traveler McGehee's musings