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art-zeke-button.jpg Story from Outten the Hills

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Ol' Remus offers his opinions as-is, where is. He rarely cites support for his opinions so they are, in that sense, unwarranted. He comes by them largely by having lived and watched and listened rather than by argument or persuasion. His opinions, not having been arrived at by debate are, therefore, not particularly vulnerable to debate. He entertains opposing opinion but he feels no inclination, much less obligation, to discuss or defend his own. Whatever usefulness or amusement readers may find in them is their own business.

Woodpile Report is from the Hermetic School of websites. There is no advertising, no partnerships, log-ins, popups, subscriptions, print version, Disqus, feedback section, tip jar or shop. There are no trackers, cookies, LSOs, analytics or widgets. Posted links are cleansed of superfluous identifiers.

Although the sentiment warms Remus's tiny little heart, Woodpile Report has no mechanism for receiving donations or gifts, nor does he accept them by other means.

Woodpile Report does not maintain an archive. Some issues linger on the server until Remus gets around to deleting all but the previous three or four. Don't confuse Woodpile Report with a blog. It isn't. It's an olde tymme internet site made by hand and archives are a dispensable chore.

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Here at Yer ol' Woodpile Report all incoming email is automatically detected and deleted by instantaneously disconnecting before it arrives. Taking no chances, a clever device shreds Remus's hard drive into nanosize filaments and sinters them into a bust of Chopin. Meanwhile, from a hardened and very remote location, he sends a bot that deletes said email on your end by tricking your PC into self-immolation. Other devices vaporize every ISP that handled it and beam the resulting plasma into deep space. Then he sends a strike team of armed pre-med students to administer a prefrontal lobotomy so you can't remember your own birthday much less writing him an email. Finally, all persons in your zip code with the same last name as yours are put into the witness protection program. Now that's privacy.


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The content of Woodpile Report is provided as general information only and is not be taken as investment advice. Aside from being a fool if you do, any action that you take as a result of information or analysis on this site is solely your responsibility.

Links to offsite articles are offered as a convenience, the information and opinion they point to are not endorsed by Woodpile Report.

. . . . .


Copyright notice

You may copy and post an original article without prior permission if you credit the Woodpile Report, preferrably including a link. You may copy and post an original photo in a non-commercial website without prior permission if you credit the Woodpile Report .

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Where the name came from

What's with the title Woodpile Report? Well, it's this way, from January of 2004 until mid-2007 it was emailed to a subscibers list. In that form it was titled the Woodpile Weather Report. A picture of ol' Remus's woodpile appeared at the top as both a weather report and, by documenting the progression from log pile to chunkwood to a split 'n stacked woodpile, a witness to the seasonal changes. It was the thin thread from which comments hung. As thrilling as all that was, the comments metastasized and took over. But the title remains.

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You're about to be lied to when they say-

a hand up
a new study shows
a poll by the highly respected
a positive step
are speaking out
at-risk communities
best practices
broader implications
climate change
commonsense solutions
comprehensive reform
cycle of poverty
cycle of violence
demand action
disparate impact
diverse backgrounds
economically disadvantaged
emerging consensus
experts agree
fair share
fiscal stimulus
fully funded
give back
giving voice to
greater diversity
growing support for
gun violence
have issues
high capacity magazine
history shows
impacted by
in denial
inclusive environment
investing in our future
linked to
making a difference
making bad choices
marriage equality
mean spirited
most vulnerable
mounting opposition to
non-partisan, non-profit
not value neutral
off our streets
on some level
oppressed minorities
our nation's children
people of color (sometimes, colour)
poised to
poor and minorities
positive outcome
public/private partnership
raising awareness
reaching out
reaffirm our commitment to
redouble our efforts
root cause
sends a message
shared values
social justice
solidarity with
speaking truth to power
statistics show
sustainable, sustainability
the American People
the bigger issue is
the failed ...
the larger question is
the more important question is
the reality is
the struggle for
too many
too often
touched by
underserved populations
undocumented immigrant
vibrant community
voicing concern
war on ...
working families

. . . . .



You know what the media's saying by not saying it when they say -

at-risk students
low-income students
mob and rob
mobbing up
pack of teens
rival gang members
roving group
swarm mob
teen gang
teen mob
teen thugs
unruly crowd
urban youths
young people
young men
youth violence

. . . . .


Tactics of the Left
Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals

Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have

Never go outside the experience of your people.

Whenever possible, go outside the experience of the enemy.

Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.

Ridicule is man's most potent weapon

A good tactic is one your people enjoy.

A tactic that drags on for too long becomes a drag.

Use different tactics and actions and use all events of the period.

The threat is more terrifying than the thing itself.

Maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition.

If you push a negative hard and deep enough, it will break through into its counterside.

The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.

Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, polarize it.

. . . . .


Moscow Rules
via the International Spy Museum

Assume nothing.

Never go against your gut.

Everyone is potentially under opposition control.

Don't look back; you are never completely alone.

Go with the flow, blend in.

Vary your pattern and stay within your cover.

Lull them into a sense of complacency.

Don't harass the opposition.

Pick the time and place for action.

Keep your options open.

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Rules of Disinformation
via Proparanoid

Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil

Become incredulous and indignant

Create rumor mongers

Use a straw man

Sidetrack opponents with name calling, ridicule

Hit and Run

Question motives

Invoke authority

Play Dumb

Associate opponent charges with old news

Establish and rely upon fall-back positions

Enigmas have no solution

Alice in Wonderland Logic

Demand complete solutions

Fit the facts to alternate conclusions

Vanish evidence and witnesses

Change the subject

Emotionalize, antagonize, and goad

Ignore facts, demand impossible proofs

False evidence

Call a Grand Jury, Special Prosecutor

Manufacture a new truth

Create bigger distractions

Silence critics


Remus's antidote: tell the truth as plainly as you can. Humor helps.

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The Five Stages of Collapse
Dmitry Orlov

Financial Collapse. Faith in "business as usual" is lost.

Commercial Collapse. Faith that "the market shall provide" is lost.

Political Collapse. Faith that "the government will take care of you" is lost.

Social Collapse. Faith that "your people will take care of you" is lost.

Cultural Collapse. Faith in the goodness of humanity is lost.

. . . . .


The Psychology of Cyber Attacks
Robert Cialdini
via securityintelligence.com

Principle of Liking - people tend to form trust with those they’re attracted to, both physically and emotionally

Social Proof - People are motivated more by what others do than a perceived or even quantifiable benefit

Rule of Reciprocation - Humans feel a sense of obligatory quid pro quo

Commitment & Consistency - Most people stick with their original decisions despite information that supports changing their course

Principle of Authority - Authority, whether real or perceived, elicits obedience in many people

Principle of Scarcity - People want to be included in exclusive offers and often make poor choices under pressure

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How to prosecute anybody

Look around for "suspicious" behavior, i.e., behavior on the part of a private citizen that can be made to appear suspicious

Ruthlessly probe every element of the "suspect's" life, using the effectively infinite resources of the State, until enough "suspicious" behavior has been amassed

Assemble a huge list of charges to place before a grand jury

Present the case in such a fashion as to promote the less plausible accusations and obscure the more plausible ones, thus securing a grab-bag indictment

Offer the indicted person a plea bargain that will spare him centuries in prison and complete pauperization at the bargain price of a few years and/or a few thousand dollars.

Francis Porretto

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email yer comments to ol Remus
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Munich Still Life
William Harnett 1882

William Harnett (County Cork, Ireland, 1848—New York City, 1892) was a still life artist working in the trompe l'oeil"fool the eye"tradition art-link-symbol-tiny-grey-arrow-only-rev01.gif. His works were considered folk art at the time, so his patrons were the better class taverns and restaurants rather than collectors or museums. The still life above was painted while he lived in Munich from 1881 to 1885.

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art-link-symbol-small-rev01.jpg About Woodpile Report

November 18, 2014

This is the last posting. It's a static display, Woodpile Report is no more. The first Woodpile Report appeared in January of 2004, George Bush was president, Facebook was launched, the first Moslem beheading video was posted, the first "same sex couple" pretended to be married—Massachusetts went along with the gag, and the year fearless Islamic warriors torture-murdered 334 little kids and their teachers at a Russian school.

Things have not improved since 2004.

Woodpile Report was emailed for three years before I started posted it as a web site in mid-2007. In mid-November 2014 Woodpile Report was discontinued. All in all there were about 550 issues.

For those who are interested in such things, Woodpile Report had a rather simple style sheet and rule book. Mostly it was "no"—no Woodpile Report original articles with titles ending in a question mark, no parenthetical expressions, no substituting double dashes for full Em-dashes, no profanity, first and last names only, no popups of any description, no advertising, partnerships, log-ins, popups, subscriptions, print version, Disqus, feedback section, tip jar or shop, no trackers, cookies, LSOs, analytics or widgets. Your Ghostery or No Script always said "No Trackers Found" because there weren't any. I have no good idea what the numbers were for Woodpile Report's readership.

Links were to the single-page option where available, stripped of tracking add-ons and sneaky identifiers. YouTube links were reformatted to the bare "watch?v=" standard. I generally back-tracked from aggregators and posted from the source. When a web site other than the originator had a good opinion piece wrapped around it, or pointed reader comments, I linked to them instead. Here are the transition issues from email to internet posting:




The art

The paintings at the top were a surprisingly popular part of the ol' Woodpile Report. Naturally I have a theory as to why. Academic art is making a monster comeback. Even so, otherwise sane citizens are reluctant to embrace it unless some expert tells 'em it's okay. Very odd. Tell people what music they should like and they'll tell you you're nuts, they'll decide for themselves thank you. But somehow they need to know what's okay to like when it comes to art—huh? Don't think so. I'm not an art expert but I played one on the internet, so by merely posting 'em, along with a little background information, people had my okay to like it. Most did. There's much first-rate work being done by living artists I'd have liked to use but, you know, copyright problems.


The few words for you ...

... are about me this time. Fair warning, everyone's the hero of their own life story and I'm no exception. Like Remus, I really do wear a Dick Tracy hat—aside from being a personal preference it's a thumb in the eye of the sartorial embarrassment all around us. I really am a pipe smoker and really do live in the wooded hills of Appalachia, born and bred. Altitude is our way of looking down on those who look down on us, you see. My basic data: I'm a retired manufacturing engineer, age seventy-two, two sons, widower, remarried. I wrote nothing before Woodpile Report, and it's not likely I'll write much, if anything, after.

I did my hitch in an amphibious assault outfit, during peacetime, so we practiced a lot in case something needed assaulting. It was loud and entertaining—and someone else paid for it! Wow. More importantly, all the ordnance was outgoing. Wartime assaults should be done the same way, incoming ordnance just runs up the casualty count and degrades efficiency. My opinion. For the record, former GIs without combat experience, which includes me, aren't "real" veterans in my book.

Woodpile Report was fun. People tell me they "know" it was a lot of work. I know work and this ain't it. I enjoyed doing it, and my beloved readers seem happy I did. Yes, I'll miss it the ol' WPR, but I won't miss it enough to keep doing it for ten more years. I've put off other things long enough. So it was time for ol' Remus to tap the dottle from his pipe, get his coat 'n hat and go back to where he came from. My thanks to Cousin Zeke for doing the Stories from outten the hills for all these years, and to JM for proofreading each issue before it was posted.


The old ads

These were surprisingly easy to come by. Woodpile Report old ads had to look like they did when they were first printed, hence the snappy "clean" look. Typical problems were the ghost image of the other side of the page from indifferent scanning, uneven discoloration from aging and creases, but embedded in all that corruption were real gems.




The old photos

Downloaded from the Library of Congress's negative scans art-link-symbol-tiny-grey-arrow-only-rev01.gif, mainly. Public domain, you see. Most were pretty good, but all of them needed processing to meet Woodpile Report's standards. Other than donkey work like spotting I used universal tools, largely automated with my own scripts, one of which generates contrast without losing shadow or highlight details, and emulates the buttery smooth gradations of a larger format without giving up sharpness. Took me the better part of a year to develop. I like to think of it as a major achievement of Western civilization, right up there with electricity and unearned income.

For WPR's last few years, the photos and old ads were at 600 pixels on the longest side, up from 450 pixels, a carry-over from dial-up days. Before I downsized 'em for posting, the 'originals' and their final tweaked versions were filed at full size, often larger than my monitor's screen. About one in four needed more than a half hour or so of my undivided attention. Some needed much more.

The top photo is as-downloaded except minimally adjusted for light and shadow, just enough so it doesn't get blotchy, what nerds call "losing information," what photographers call "compressing the toe and shoulder." You know, blotchy. Technically it's not terrible, but it has no presence. Running up the contrast doesn't help, it starts to block up immediately. And if I apply a customized curve that sequesters the top and bottom it looks "off". Because it is. The bottom is my superduper tweaked version, presented with a slight selenium-like duotone to counter the perceived greenish colorcast of any grey scale. Now how much would you pay?





The stories from outten the hills

Woodpile Report - Stories from outten the hills


Stuck in Page Two

“Mmmmfffff. Mmmgaaaaaa. There, got that gag off finally. Hey folks, Remus has got us hog-tied up down here on page two. He's gonna shut the light out, go away, an' jest leave us here. Ain't fair I tell ya.”

“Ptui! Wait till I get my hands on your cousin Remus, Zeke. Shoving an old rag in a girl's mouth will never keep that girl from talking. Just because he is getting tired doesn't mean we all are.'”

“You ain't any madder than the rest of us, Aby.”

“Gggnnnnn mmmg”

“Look at Josh struggling, Zeke. He ain't gonna get that duct tape off his mouth no how. I'm glad the children can't see us like this, just abandoned like old used-up friends.”

“Well, Remus was puttin' almost a lot of his day into the Report, Aby. Can't do that forever without gittin tired.”

“You are two years older than Remus, Zeke. You aren't tired yet and you have been writing for the Report nine of the ten years it's been written.”

“My job was easier, Aby.”

“He wrote on page one and you wrote on page two. You both had readers. He's stopping writing for his readers so that means you have to also?”

“I don't know iff'n I even had any readers, Aby. A reader of my stories could only write to Remus an' he never told me if any even did.”

“Oh Zeke. All that writing you did and you don't know if anyone even read it?”

“Folks is all worried ‘bout politics now, Aby. Remus told them ‘bout politics. Not many folks got time fer stories nowadays. Maybe there were a reader that jest never wrote back.”

“Well you better say goodbye to that reader while you can, Zeke.”

“Yer right, Aby. I think I can stand up even with my hands and ankles tied. — There.”

“Dear Reader. I hope ya liked my stories. I will miss not knowin' if yer out there or not, but thinkin' ya were out there was what kept me goin'. Thank ya fer that. Aby an' Josh an' the family will be here on page two, in the dark till someone turns the light back on. We love ya an' will miss ya … iff'n yer out there. Bye.”

“Wanna say goodbye, Aby?”

“No …but I'm going to miss Ol' Remus, Zeke”

“I know ya will, Aby. Me an' Josh will too. But all things come to a end someday.”

“Wanna say goodbye, Josh?”

“Gnnn Bnn”

“Remus just turned the lights out, Zeke.”

“I can see that. I mean now I can't see that. I mean, you know what I mean. Don't be afraid, Aby. Page two has been our home for nine years. It's nice here though we don't got nuttin' to do now. It's jest like we was retired now. Hey, did I ever tell you the new story I'm writin' about a ten year old boy who meets a girl from ten dimensions? Thaddeus P. Blount was his name. He was a round faced boy who looked like …”

The End




So there you have it. Issue 395 art-link-symbol-tiny-grey-arrow-only-rev01.gif was the last "real" Woodpile Report. This is the last posting. Done and done. Woodpile Report is no more. Stay away from crowds, or said differently, och halla sig borta fran folksamlingar.


For adjusting your monitor

Woodpile Report 396 - 18 Nov 2014




Notate Bene

We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission.
Ayn Rand

. . . . .


Gold is the money of kings, silver is the money of gentlemen, barter is the money of peasants and debt is the money of slaves.

. . . . .


The smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities.
Ayn Rand

. . . . .


Don't you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thought crime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it.
George Orwell, 1984

. . . . .


There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws.
Ayn Rand

. . . . .


The socialist ideal eventually goes viral, and the majority learns to game the system. Everyone is trying to live at the expense of everyone else. In the terminal phase, the failure of the system is disguised under a mountain of lies, hollow promises, and debts. When the stream of other people's money runs out, the system collapses.
Kevin Brekke

. . . . .


When you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing; when you see that money is flowing to those who deal not in goods, but in favors; when you see that men get rich more easily by graft than by work, and your laws no longer protect you against them, but protect them against you … you may know that your society is doomed.
Ayn Rand

. . . . .


Because the regime is captive to its own lies, it must falsify everything. It falsifies the past. It falsifies the present, and it falsifies the future. It falsifies statistics ... It pretends to fear nothing. It pretends to pretend nothing.
Vaclav Havel

. . . . .


Injustice is relatively easy to bear; what stings is justice.
H. L. Mencken

. . . . .


We have reached a point of diminishing returns in our public life. Hardly anything actually needs doing. We may in fact be past that point; not only does nothing much need doing, but we'd benefit if much of what has been done were to be undone.
John Derbyshire


Tyranny is defined as that which is legal for the government but illegal for the citizenry.
Thomas Jefferson

. . . . .


The gold standard of survival sites

art-link-symbol-small-on-blue-tile-rev01.jpg Survival Blog

The Daily Web Log for Prepared Individuals Living in Uncertain Times

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See issue 395 art-link-symbol-tiny-grey-arrow-only-rev01.gif, the last "real" Woodpile Report.