The proprietor of this site, Ed Roesch, lives in Naples, Florida and Tidewater Virginia where he owns and operates a small business that fabricates precision metal parts for electronic enclosures. Started by Mr. Roesch in 1981, the company has grown from two to almost 100 people. All without memos, meetings, or mission statements. However, like many small business people, Ed understands God put him on the earth to “fund an ever-increasing break-even level.”

He loves freedom and marvels at the accomplishments of people in voluntary cooperation when they are unfettered by government’s dead hand. Pickings started as a clipping service for his six children. Interesting items were copied and mailed in an effort to expose them to ideas about free people and free markets. Although he often said, “If you have an open mind, someone will come along and fill it with garbage,” what he hoped to give them was a chance to fight back.

Milton Friedman: “I see you have six children on the cruise with you. Did you find a way to make the whole trip a tax deduction?
Pickerhead: ” My accountants said it was not possible.”
Friedman: “You need new accountants.”

He also wished they would grow to understand, ‘there ought to be a law’ is perhaps the most dangerous phrase in our language. Mischief and tragedy grow out of those thoughts. The wiser course is to find and repeal the bad laws that created the problem in the first place.

A good example is our third party pays medical system. During WWII employers, seeking to evade wage and price controls, offered medical insurance as a fringe benefit. They went to congress to make sure the expense was deductible but would not be added to their employee’s taxable income. So we have ended in a situation where we all think someone else is paying.

Imagine, if you will, the savings that would accrue from people treating their medical insurer with the same care they give to the company that carries their car insurance. Now new laws are nearly certain to compound the current healthcare morass.

In fact, the phrase is so dangerous, maybe there should be a law prohibiting its use.

Then came the Internet.

Then he had the tools to terrorize his children with greater volume and velocity. The emails were called Pickings from the Webvine and since he was the head picker, Mr. Roesch called himself Pickerhead. Family and friends asked to be added to the distribution list. More family, friends, colleagues, reporters, teachers, pundits, radio hosts, politicos, (liberals and conservatives alike) benefited from Pickerhead’s curious mind and insatiable appetite for surprising and ingenious commentary. The list grew to two hundred and the time came to launch this site.

The goal is to find interesting background to the news that busy people might overlook and the main stream media ignore. Although sources frequently include many right and center-right blogs and publications, the weeks preceding launch in May 2007 saw items from The Nation, Village Voice, and Salon. We try to have fun without being snide, sarcastic or cynical.

Pickings is posted five days a week and the archives go back over seven years.

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