Land of the Free. Home of the Brave. But you can’t sell that here!

Don’t you love America? Our country provides the ability to pursue our dreams, live relatively unencumbered by the demands and restrictions place on us by  neighbors and fellow citizens, and we can pursue jobs, lifestyles and even hobbies we want here. Want to take a vacation- subject to your understanding with your employer- you can strike a trot and to anywhere you want to go. Coast to coast.

webeknivessfYou can even start a business if you want. The purest symbol of the American Dream, and yet, there is one obstacle you will immediately run head on into if you do- and that is WHERE YOU PUT IT. All across this great land of ours entrepreneurs are restricted in the location of their own business by what is called “Zoning Ordinances.”

It’s just a cute little knife shop

Let’s say you want to open a neighborhood knife shop. That little knife shop can only be located where it is allowed. The good news is though theses restrictions are determined by the local municipality, either city or, in some cases, the country (or Parish). So at least you can have an active voice in laws that are enacted based on you community’s needs and desires- in theory, and in the case of businesses, this includes where they can locate.

I’m concerned there is coming a day real soon when businesses that sell “dangerous” items will have increased restrictions- to the point to where they can’t be located where the customers are.

freedomfastfood

Hold on there- you can’t sell that here

If you think I’m reaching here, consider this- right now we have the Federal Government (not city or county, mind you) preparing to lord it over us by requiring businesses to stop selling or limiting FOOD to their customers.

cover.phpA newly released Government Report calls for unprecedented actions by our local government to put a restriction on businesses and in this case, it pertains not to knives, but to “harmful fast foods.” I’m not kidding either.

“A newly released government report details strategies for local governments to combat what it calls an epidemic of childhood obesity, including enacting zoning and land-use regulations that would “restrict fast food establishments near school grounds and public playgrounds.” CNSNEWS.com

The report is entitled: Local Government Actions to Prevent Childhood Obesity.

Don’t get me wrong, BUT…

I don’t want to get cynical here, BUT….well, let me first say, I’m all for healthy kids, and adults, for that matter,- BUT, I just wonder how many of our tax dollars went to study this. And second, seems to me to be one of the ways the Federal Gov. is going to try to enact national health care. As a business owner, I can understand, inflow and outflow of dollars. If I can cause folks to be healthier then less dollars will be spent, and yet, this is purely another example of an ever growing pervasiveness of Federal Government control.

Tell me knives (and guns) don’t potentially offer a more dangerous “threat” to society than what we choose to eat- so, Bass Pro Shop, Outdoor World, Wal-Mart, local hardware stores- all had better watch out. We all know they sell items that can be potentially dangerous too. If the gov can strong arm our local governments to restrict fast food locations (or what they can sell) don’t think they won’t other businesses too.

So, in the end, it is very important for us to make our voices heard and to soak in the “Life Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness” while we still can.

This is an editorial and the opinions expressed by the writer are not necessarily the opinions of Cutlery News Journal 🙂

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Published in: on September 8, 2009 at 4:58 pm  Comments (1)  
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Knife Education: Doing our part

blogboard“Knives are Bad” was the title of the blogger’s post. The writer had my full attention at that point, so I followed the link to a young mother’s blog.

There she shared a story of her young daughter making a birthday cake out of bubbles as she took her bath. The daughter showed her mom a pretend knife she planned to use to cut the first slice. The mom told her “No, you can’t play with knives. You do not hold knives.” The daughter said, “But I need to cut the cake.” “No knives. Make it a fork,” her mother instructed, so the daughter then pretended to use a fork instead.

Then the mom addresses her readers- “That’s right, I don’t even let her play with imaginary knives.” The mom ended the post with this question- “Overprotective much?”

Now, we understand the mom’s concern for the safety of her daughter and yet, she missed an opportunity to teach and instead left the daughter with- “Knives are bad.”

I couldn’t let this one pass. She had asked a fair information seeking question to her readers, so I paused, took a deep breath and replied-

“Yes,  you are being overprotective. As a father of 4 and a knife collector, knives aren’t bad in and of themselves, nor do knives kill- people do. Helping your daughter understand “we must be careful with knives or any other pointed objects” is wise and responsible, as a parent, but conditioning a child that knives are bad is really not the point you were trying to make.”

Now I don’t consider myself the Knife Collector World Association’s ambassador to the web, but I do try to spread the word a little everywhere I go. And in this case, she asked me!

Knife collectors, we must do our part to help folks see knives aren’t the enemy!

Let me ask you, just what is our part in helping folks have a proper understanding of knives? Are we as collectors obligated to actually do something here? Can we not simply let KnifeRights and the AKTI head off threatening anti-knife legislation? Do we really care that millions of folks see knives as bad things?

It really boils down to us feeling comfortable to have a mature conversation. Yes, they are entitled to their opinions, but we wouldn’t hesitate to add our 2 cents to balance things a little, now would we?

And, if we’ll use the web share in our hobby, will we not also use it to help educate web users on the benefits and correct ill-informed viewpoints about knives?

Let’s just agree to this- we all will try to spread the word a little everywhere we go and especially as opportunities present themselves.

Image credit: blogs.worldbank.org

Published in: on August 28, 2009 at 9:09 am  Comments (2)  
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Does a knife qualify as a work of art?

Hope Diamond Est. Value- $350 Million

Hope Diamond Est. Value- $350 Million

It used to be wealthy collectors could donate their works of art for a tax break.  Then the 2006 Pension Protection Act came along preventing donors from realizing the tax benefits on the appreciation of the art’s value and limited the time to complete the donation. So, with a stroke of a pen donations dried up.

The Weekend Edition of the Wall Street Journal in its article Restoration Work on Gifts of Art reports wealth advisers and estate lawyers stopped recommending the practice soon after the act became law.

Now, several in Congress are coming to the rescue by proposing changes in the 2006 law at a time when artwork is declining in value. In fact, the art market has dropped 30% so far this year and is approaching 2004 values, according to Mei Moses Art Indexes.

Is what we have here an art bailout?

With that said, is what we really have here an art bailout? The specifics get complicated, but real interesting. Did I tell you under the proposed changes the donor can make incremental donations of the piece of art over 20 years? This provides for the collectible to increase in value and provides increasing tax breaks to the donor as it appreciates. And then the one that got me- the museum is only required to exhibit the artwork proportionate to the incremental ownership interest gifted over every five year period, which means the donor can keep it for however much time not gifted. In other words, he can give it and then keep it- at least most of the time. I like that one.

My gracious, this sounds like a couple good ol’ boys got together one evening at their favorite Washington establishment and devised a tax break scheme for their ultra-wealthy hunting buddies.

knifemuseumThe question we only care about is- Does a knife qualify as a work of art? I might be willing, as some of you, to gift a knife to the National Knife Museum if I can keep it for most of the allowed 20 year “gifting period” and account for its appreciation too by realizing additional tax breaks.

I am sure there is some limit on the initial value of the piece of art to like, a million dollars, or something like that, so even if our knife is ultimately accepted as art, it won’t qualify.

Guess I’ll just go cut something with mine then and let the uber-rich keep their gifts.

Cutlery News Journal celebrates its first birthday

Happy BirthdayCutlery News Journal is 1 year old! Yes, that’s right CNJ launched on 8.24.08. The CNJ staff and production team celebrated and sat around reminiscing last week. I gave them 10 minutes to enjoy the good ol’ days, then hurried them back to work. There’s lots of knife collector news out there to be covered.

By now our readers know CNJ isn’t a typical knife website. There are no knives for sale. No knife company behind the scenes pulling strings for preferred features. No knife reviews. No catering to advertisers. Nope. None. Nada of any of that.

CutleryNewsJoD07aR02aP13ZL_mdmCNJ is pure, unadulterated, knife collector freedom of speech. While we aren’t unopinioned, we try to report the news and interesting happenings from the knife world. We offer unique observations on trends as they affect knife collectors. And yes, we provide straightforward, no holds barred, editorials. You probably already know this- we like to have fun in some of our stories too.

CNJ served up 261 articles filed into 62 categories with 706 easily searchable tags.

Over the last year our knife collector news stories were viewed 52,494 times. CNJ now averages between 5000 to 5500 views a month.

What does this next year hold? Don’t know, but we are committed to bring you up to date knife collector and related news as it happens. It will be interesting as it unfolds. These are exciting times for collectors and the industry.

Thank you for your continued support!

Next up: Top Stories as ranked by the readers and a few of staff picks too!

Published in: on August 3, 2009 at 7:36 pm  Comments (1)  
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Knife collection direction- Which way do you go?

fun

Knife Collecting is Fun!

Knife collecting is fun. Of course, there is the camaraderie of other collectors, but for today, that’s not what I’m talking about. Instead, it is the excitement of seeking out new knives to buy. The rush of finding one you want. Sometimes, even the nervousness you feel about wanting to buy an expensive knife, and then the mental games you play justifying the decision to go ahead and get it. All that is the fun, no doubt.

We also love to get our new prize home and then figuring out what to do with it. Display it? Use it? Put it in the safe or drawer, or is it one for the special glass case? Decisions. Decisions. Still all the fun part.

Which way do I go?

Which way to go?

Eventually though, every collector comes to a point where a decision must be made- What is my collecting direction here? Most of the time the collection at that point is made up of knives we like, but are really a bunch of random knives.

If you are like me, you have probably found yourself with a hodgepodge of knives too. All nice knives, yes. All knives you like, sure. But is there a theme or pattern you are following, or are you going to continue to buy just any knife that tickles your fancy?

What direction are you headed?

What direction are you headed?

All the “knife experts” advise us to make a deliberate decision to specialize, whether in a particular type, era, brand, etc. But even within the knife type, for example, there is a myriad of decisions. What about handle materials? Patterns? Makers? Blade types? On and on we could go here, but I think you get the point.

I, for one, have in the past subscribed to this line of thinking, but of late, have decided not to over analyze it. Instead, I’m now sitting back and enjoying knife collecting for what it is- buying knives I like. Knives that are cool, whether old or new. Knives that speak to me when I first see them. Then let the chips fall where they may.

The heck with this, “What do you know about ____ type knives?” Yes, when we go with the flow like this, we run the risk new collectors face, like overpaying because we aren’t as familiar with values. Or buying a maker whose popularity or appeal has peaked, or even falling victim to “buying into the hype” of a knife company’s marketing, only to later realize the knife maybe isn’t high quality or demand.

But in the end, does it really matter? While we don’t want to waste our money, we collect because we enjoy knives, right? Yeah, one day we are going t0 sell them, and may not get all of our money out, but let’s go back to the beginning and reexamine why we started collecting in the first place.

TiggerKnife collecting is fun and let’s keep it that way.

Hunting ain’t no fun when you can’t find the game

liarHow many times since you started collecting have you heard fellow knife enthusiasts say they love “The Hunt?”  You immediately know they are referring to the time spent diligently searching for the next knife to add to their collection. Well, I’m here to tell you, if you don’t know it already- they are lying through their teeth.

Yes, I’m going to tell a dirty little secret. And one that none of the others have the manhood (s0rry ladies) to admit-

Hunting ain’t no fun- not at all.

Don’t get me wrong, they love to find a knife to add to their collection, and I do too, but that ASSUMES we do in fact- find it. In my mind though, “the hunt” is over at that point.

There are only a few things I enjoy more than getting a new knife to add to my collection. You know, you get home with it. Carefully unwrap it. Then sit there gazing over it like it is the Hope Diamond or something. Not even wanting to open and close it too much, so it doesn’t wear. Then gingerly placing it in the display, like hanging a trophy mount on the wall.

hunterSure, the kill, if you want to call it that- the bagging of the knife- is fun, but we had to find it first, so maybe we best break “hunting” down- I guess we can call the first part, “the hunt” and the second, “the kill.”  I enjoy bagging the object of my desire just as much as the next guy, but it is the hunting part I hate.

I’m not talking about just casually out looking around and happening to see a knife to buy here. Nor am I talking about simply window shopping as if any knife will do for the next kill. No, I’m talking about hunting for a specific knife. A particular knife that I have already decided to buy…..if I can just find the doggone thing. To me nothing is more frustrating than to have already mentally bought it (and spent the $$$, at least in my mind) and then not able to find the sucker. There is no way knife guys and gals enjoy this part, unless they are into pain, so they mask how they really feel by telling us, “Oh, I love the hunt.”

In case you are wondering what set me off today. Well, I’m starving- that’s where I am right now. I’m “hunting” for a knife that I’ve got months into and still can’t find one. I keep hitting dead-ends. I’ll get a lead on one and then run it down only to find it already sold. I scouted the entire 8 hundred- million square feet of Blade Show. I’ve posted at iKnifeCollector and knife forums, saved the search on eBay with email notices, emailed dealers and looked at more “dealer” websites that I care to admit. At this point, I simply don’t know what else to do. I think I’m going to pass out from malnutrition.

skeletonwgunIf I was hunting to eat, I’d be major skin and bones- probably eyeing my fellow hunter ’bout right now too.

So, let’s all come clean….if for nothing else, but to make me feel better anyway.

And please don’t tell me I’m just a impulsive compulsive knife collector who is too preoccupied with finding knives to enjoy knife collecting.

*******

I’ll leave it at this- the next time one of our fellow collectors comes strolling up to me telling me how much fun he’s having out hunting for his next trophy knife, you may be reading about me jumping on him right then and there. The next day’s headlines will read- “Knife collector goes berserk and attacks fellow collector.”

Photo credits: redstatepapa.blogspot.com; clothedwithscarlet.typepad.com; chromatism.net

What are you doing with your parked savings?

savingsratejune09Government reports have us substantially increasing our savings rate right now. Is that true? Probably. I don’t know about you but when parts of our financial system began collapsing back in Oct 08, I started pulling back and we are into this for what, 8 or 9 months now? So the question is- Where do you have your money parked? I’m talking about money set aside as savings.

Safety is one thing and overcautiousness is another. Now it is time to evaluate our investment options. Do you go back in the stock market? I don’t think we are out of the woods yet. Our banks are under tremendous strain from non-performing loans right now. One of our largest banks is on the verge of failing as we speak. Unemployment is going to continue to inch up at least for 6 more months. I could go on, but better stop here otherwise, I’ll get labeled as “gloom and doom.”

INVESTMENT OPTIONS

savingsA  financial advis0r is going to recommend diversifying your investment portfolio. Depending on your age and cash needs, some money is put in moderate to high risk investments, while other portions are more conservative investments.

The stock market is out for most folks because of its volatility right now, so what about CD’s (certificates of deposit)? Have you checked the rates lately? They are terrible. I’d only put short-term money in a CD right now.

Knives as Investments

voylesauction42dec08Let me ask, have you thought about stocking a portion of your savings into knives? No, I’m not talking about running out and buying $5000 of Spyderco or Benchmade over the counter knives. Instead, I’m talking about doing your homework and seeking out objective opinions from knowledgeable collectors and dealers as to which knives will hold up in tough times and likely increase over time. I’m not talking about a quick flip either.

Many folks caution us against buying knives as investments. I’ve read those opinions since I started collecting. Sure there is an element of risk associated with buying knives when seeking a return on those dollars, but I didn’t say bet your farm.

Another reason knives need looked at really hard right now is the increased likelihood that over the next year high quality knives will come into circulation as collectors reallocate their collections or sell-off knives that are outside the heart of their collection.

While my suggestion here is subject to pot shots, putting a portion of your mid-to-long term money in collectible knives just makes sense to me. If anyone is able to have a feel for which knives, makers or patterns “ought” to be the right choice- it is us. It’s not like someone told you to buy ink pens or glass bottles. After all, we are knife collectors.

Additional readings on the subject:

20 Investments: CollectiblesInvestment Grade Blades (Part 1)- Tactical diversity in your art portfolio.

Photo Credit: Bruce Voyles Auctions

Washington’s end-around is a national knife law

endroundThe end-around is one of the more tricky plays in college football. If done correctly, the offense typically makes a big yardage gain, as the defense is caught totally off guard. Basically, it keeps the opponent focused on the wrong player or part of the field.

Right now, we may be set up for the end-around by the folks up in Washington on this knife ban issue all of knifedom is worked up about. (more…)

A Radical Thought in a Civilized Society

We’re a civilized group of folks. We don’t eat dogs, or worse, people. We brush our teeth. We don’t go ’round shooting or beating people up, just cause we can- like they did in the early days of the Wild West. No, we are now a civilized society.

We have come of age. We have our daily routines- all of which are very civilized. We wake up in our nice house, have our morning cup of coffee, go to work to earn a day’s pay, come home and then enjoy the fruits of our labor. (I won’t even get into how we allow ourselves to be hypnotized, or better yet- propagandized, watching TV each evening as we “unwind from a hard day’s work.”) When we aren’t at work, we enjoy our recreation. These are civilized activities of our civilized lives in a civilized nation.

Over the recent years we have witnessed our rights being taken away. Each time a little more is taken, it is all supposedly in the context of- the right thing to do for our country. Sometimes, the taking of these rights is so subtle we can’t see it until many years later. Other times, we can see it clear as day, right before our eyes. And right now we are faced with a clear one- our government is attempting to take more rights away and this effort is so blatant it turns my stomach.

Today, we are approaching a monumental crossroad in the history of our country. This moment is disguised as a step forward in our civilized nation.

Our government is taking overt steps to disarm its people. Forget the reasons, for they don’t matter. I think they are trying to keep us from hurting ourselves, or anyone else. They have deemed us civilized, therefore we don’t need knives and guns. Plus, these weapons kill people.

We are in the process of being violated. Plus, the majority of the “We the People…” are too civilized and comfortable. We are allowing this “ruler” to take away the rights given to us by our founding fathers. And these rights are the basis of our identity. We also know knives and guns don’t kill people- people kill people. But civilized people don’t kill people, so, says the government, the weapons must go- one at a time. First it was the easy ones, the switchblades. Now it is the majority of the others.

So, you want to hear a concept that will stir up this civilized nation of ours? It is one that strikes me as a really radical thought, and yet is a foundational principle of our great country.

Thanks to orions7s for reminding us in his recent post on CutleryNewsJournal’s YouTube Channel in response to Help Us Defend Your Rights video-

“The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.”

Thomas Jefferson


Talk about a dumb knife

Since I have been on a rant lately, I am compelled to post this too.

dumbknifeTalk about a dumb knife- it’s this “anti-stab” knife produced in an effort to, well I’m not quite sure why in the heck it was produced, now that I think about it. The obvious reason is so it can’t stab an intended victim, which is why I have called it a dumb knife.

Here’s the deal- Assume all “pointed” knives are banned. Is anyone of the mindset who would actually end up stabbing someone actually going to carry this dumb knife? Absolutely not. It goes back to the gun issue in my mind. Only the criminals will have guns if you were to take them all away.

The same applies to knives. Outlaw knives and only the criminally minded will have them then. Which is why this knife is dumb.

At face value it was designed to keep folks from stabbing other folks. Dumb. Dumb. Dumb. The other thing I must tell you is this knife is going on sale in the UK and is being marketed as the first Anti-Stab knife ever produced.

….and you thought this was a joke, didn’t you?

Published in: on June 19, 2009 at 9:26 am  Leave a Comment  
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