me

Do you want to know more about the guy who's on the other side of your screen, saying all this stuff?

Then come right in...

ribbons

These are my
Mission Statements.

rant

This is where I put the stuff that doesn't fall into the other categories.

A Good Man

A good man was lost yesterday. Louis Hudgings passed away yesterday, at the tender age of 98 years old. He was a 75 year Mason, having gone through his degrees right after serving in the Army Air Corps in WWII. He was a 33rd Degree Scottish Rite Mason, he served as the Grand Commander for the York Rite in Tennessee in 1975, Master of two different lodges and many more things that I can't think of right now.

This man, up until the day he died, was of sound and sharp mind. His handshake was as strong as mine. He buried two wives and had six girlfriends that I knew of. Whenever Bartlett Lodge had an open function, he brought at least three of his girlfriends with him. During my year as Master, he was my Chaplain and sat on my right hand during every meeting. He made sure I didn't mess up too bad while sitting in the East.

He was a holder of the Pin of Excellence and was Bartlett's lead ritual instructor up until recently. He always was exacting, yet constructive in his criticism when you messed up the ritual. One time, a brother was obligating an Entered Apprentice degree for the first time (He played the Master, the biggest part) and the most important part of the degree, delivering the oath the man swears to, this brother got nervous and none of the words came out in the right order. After that part, when we were returning to our seats, Brother Louie said, "I've never heard that obligation before." I just about fell over.

This picture is from Bartlett Lodge's birthday party for him the year I was Master. I had arranged for the Mayor to make a birthday proclamation and it was presented to him by a city alderman.

Louie

You will be missed, Brother, Mentor and Friend. I have no doubt that when you stand before the Great White Throne, you will hear those welcome words from Him, "Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord."

 

Turn this up to 11

My parents, both WWII veterans, greatly influenced my musical tastes. As a teenager, I ate my breakfast at the kitchen table with my dad, who listened to a local AM station that played Big Band and Swing music in the mornings. I came of age listening to more Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, the Dorsey Brothers and many other such musicians and groups. Those musicians are in my playlist today.

A couple of years ago, I happened on an the album Hot by the Squirrel Nut Zippers. I was intrigued by it because one song was called "Memphis Exorcism." When I played that song, I realized (happily) that Swing was not dead. It had grown while remaining true to its roots.

I recently purchased albums from three groups and I want to share them with you. If after listening to this music your toes aren't tappin' and your fingers aren't snappin', check your pulse.

First is the Cherry Poppin' Daddies. I bought their CD "Zoot Suit Riot" and have been kicking this up and down the streets of Memphis:

Second is the Brian Setzer Orchestra and the album "The Dirty Boogie." If the name or face seems familiar, it's because he was the front for The Stray Cats.

The third and not least, Bog Bad Voodoo Daddy, with the album of the same name.

Enjoy!

 

Rights and Not-Rights

More and more people are buying into "Not-Rights." It's time to set this straight.

Let's look first of all at the Rights granted to us under the Constitution. Most of these have phrases like, "Congress shall make no law...", "...shall not be infringed" or some derivative surrounding them:

  • Freedom of Religion
  • Freedom of Speech
  • Freedom of the Press
  • To peaceably assemble
  • To petition the government for a redress of grievances
  • To Bear Arms
  • To not house troops in your home
  • To be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects
  • To not have these searched except on a Warrant issued upon probable cause
  • To be indicted for a Felony only by a Grand Jury
  • To not be subject to double jeopardy
  • To not be compelled to be a witness against yourself
  • To not be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law
  • To be justly compensated when property is taken for public use
  • To enjoy a speedy and public trial
  • To be tried by a jury of your peers
  • To see the witnesses against him
  • To be able to compel witnesses for him
  • To have the opportunity for a lawyers counsel
  • To have a trial by jury for a lawsuit  in excess of $20 (today, about $500)
  • To not have excessive bail when arrested
  • To not have excessive fines upon conviction
  • To not have punishments be cruel and unusual

The Ninth and Tenth Amendments are the "catchall" amendments and do not cover specific things.

Study these Rights intently. Notice what they have in common? With the exception of "To be able to compel witnesses for him", these all restrict the government's authority over the Citizens of the United States. The government must allow (as in they cannot pass a law to abolish) the ability of the individual citizen to say what he wants to say, to worship the God of their choice and in the manner consistent with the teaching of that God, to not have a government agent go through your personal life without probable cause that a crime has been committed and so on.

Now we come to the "Not-Rights" that have been claimed by the Liberals in order to make themselves feel good and win people who also desire to "do the right thing" to their side. There are several categories of Rights, such as universal (held by everyone), inalienable (you have these rights, even if your current government is repressing you/them) and economic/social (something is granted to you because you are a citizen).

This article is focusing exclusively on the following rights, which would fall under the "economic and social" rights:

  • Healthcare
  • Housing
  • Food
  • Employment

So what are the difference between the four "not-rights" immediately above and the twenty-three I listed earlier? The most obvious one is "they aren't in the Constitution," and you would be right. But there is another, deeper reason. See it?

These four are all services and/or products produced by someone else. In simple terms, these Not-Rights are a hidden redistribution of wealth. Why is that? I will be happy to explain.

In Healthcare, you have Doctors, Physicians Assistants, Nurses, Nurse Practitioners, Therapists, Technicians, Paramedics, CNAs, the list goes on and on. For Housing, there are Architects, General Contractors, Carpenters, Plumbers, Electricians, and again, the list goes on. Under Food, you have Farmers of many types and all of the people who process the food to render it usable to you. Employment covers every business and government entity in the country.

In order for the government to give you these things (healthcare, a place to sleep, food and a place to work), they must mandate (i.e., TAKE) these work products from someone else. I am not going to suppose this is a Totalitarian State such as the Soviet Union, China and so on, but rather that the government will subsidize the price to the end user some amount.

Let's say that the government will provide a shotgun house (known in today's terms as a micro house) to everyone who wants one. For the sake of the argument, this house sells for $40,000 on the open market. However, the government as part of it's "Everyone Deserves a House" program needs 12 Million of them that they will provide to the citizens for "free." This would cost $480 Billion just for the houses, not to mention the government agency to oversee the construction, the bureaucrats to perform who decides what house they live in, the maintenance and upkeep, etc, but I digress.

But you see, the government never pays full price. They pay what they want to pay and it's left to the builder to make the product (the house) fit the specifications within the cost constraints. For the sake of argument, let's say the materials (wood, drywall, wiring and the like) costs $30,000 and the labor $10,000 to build that house. If the government decides it will only pay $30,000 per house, then the contractor has some hard choices to make. He either cuts the pay to his workers and/or he cuts the quality of the components. If he cannot make an adequate profit (his pay) then he or he won't build them at all.

But our contractor does decide to build the houses anyway. Due to the lower payment he receives for his efforts, when compared to the free-market $40k house, the contractor has to use a lower grade of wood in building the frame, then downgrades components (like from this kitchen faucet to this one, saving about $450), the decorative touches go away and he cuts the pay for the skilled workmen by 20%. For a carpenter, the average pay is $20/hour, however the budget only has room to pay him $16/hour.

So let's see how this program impacts Robert the Carpenter. First of all, he is bringing home $320 less for a two-week paycheck on the top line. Second, in order for the government to pay the General Contractor to build them, the government hikes the income withholding tax rate by 10%. That actually adds $30 back into his paycheck because while the tax rate rose, the base income fell with the result he's paying less in taxes, only because he's making less. By the time the changes hit his take home pay, he's making $290 less every two weeks.

Or Robert could be paid his full $20/hour, but he has to put up one of these micro houses faster. If it takes him 100 hours for his part in erecting a $40,000 house, he now has to do it in 80 hours for the government house. If you think the quality of the houses produced at this faster pace won't be lower, you're an idiot.

This same example can apply to any other "not-right" as well. The government bureaucrat does not really care about the cost or the quality of the product or service. The contractor does not care about the quality beyond the minimum standards and does not care if you like it or not because you're not paying him for it, he gets his money no matter what. The end result is you get stuck with a sub-standard product because no one involved really cares how you feel about it.

As far as employment goes, let's just say that the "Full Employment Act" becomes law and employers are mandated to have a certain number of "government" jobs, all paying that magical $15/hour. Every thing is great if you already have a job. The defecation impacts the rotary oscillator (the shit hits the fan) when you lose your job. Because once you become unemployed, you join the masses. You are assigned a job and your talents and passions do not matter one whit to the bureaucrat charged with getting you employed again. You are forced into the first open position. You will stay there until you find a better job, if you can take the time off to do interviews that is. In the mean time, do you really think that anybody in a forced labor situation, getting a "living wage" who can't be fired will more than likely do very poor work.

Think about how much quality and enthusiasm you would put into your work product if you had to work either off the clock or at a reduced rate for a day or two a week. Then think about how that forced work hurts you while "helping" others.

Chutzpah

Dictionary.com defines chutzpah as:

1. unmitigated effrontery or impudence; gall.
2. audacity; nerve.

It was best explained to me as, “Someone who kills their parents, then throws themselves on the mercy of the court during the murder trial for being an orphan.”

This comes from the Washington Times article, Philadelphia soda tax fizzles in first month, layoffs likely: Reports.

When Liberals want to tax (control) something, they don’t believe that their actions will affect what they are trying to control. So they are genuinely surprised when the citizens’ behavior changes as a result of their actions. The truly amazing thing is Liberals use “sin taxes” as a means to change citizens’ behavior so that the citizens don’t do what Liberals consider “bad things,” i.e. smoking and drinking (both alcohol and sodas). They want you to change your behavior away from “bad things,” but then again they don’t want you to. It’s kind of like a “Have your cake and eat it too.”

Philadelphia instituted on January 1st 2017, a 1.5 cent per ounce tax on soda. Before the tax, Philadelphia consumed about 3.95 million gallons of soda per month. 3.95 million times $0.015 equates out to the $7.5 million in taxes they projected. This tax means on the personal level about $1.52 more when you purchase a 6-pack of 500ml ounce sodas or $1.01 for a 2-liter bottle.

The beginning of the article spoke about only $2.3 million was collected in January for the first months’ taxes. That translates to only 1.2 million gallons of soda was purchased, or a drop of 60%. The next several paragraphs are about how layoffs are already happening and more appear inevitable with the bottlers of the soda and grocery stores inside the city.

This drop represents the fact that citizens have altered their purchasing habits based on this tax. Either people are buying less, or they are shopping outside of Philadelphia where the tax is not collected. If you have watched Hillsdale’s Economics 101 video course, they repeatedly talk about how when prices rise, less people will choose to purchase that product or service, because it is no longer worth the increased price to them. Remember that 6-pack of soda above? That tax adds 50% onto the final price. A $2.99 six-pack now costs $4.51. That 99 cent 2-liter now costs $2.00 for a jump of 102%.

Near the end of the article, the Mayor’s office released a “full accounting” number of $5.7 million in taxes collected, or a drop of 24% of soda purchased. No matter how you slice it, a 24% drop is still a catastrophic drop in sales.

Here’s where the chutzpah comes in:

“I didn’t think it was possible for the soda industry to be any greedier,” Mayor Jim Kenney told the Inquirer. “They are so committed to stopping this tax from spreading to other cities that they are not only passing the tax they should be paying onto their customer, they are actually willing to threaten working men and women’s jobs rather than marginally reduce their seven-figure bonuses.” [emphasis mine]

I have seen the sign in many businesses, "We don't charge tax, we only collect it." If the Philadelphia city government directly taxed the bottlers this tax, the bottler would pass it along to the consumer just like every cost incurred in bringing the product to market. However, this tax is a sales tax, charged to no one but the consumer.

As far as the "marginally [reducing] their seven-figure bonuses" goes, evidently the mayor thinks that the soda bottlers should reduce their profits and prices so that the government can get their money. When I wrote that last sentence, the Dragnet 1967 episode “The Squeeze” came to mind. In that episode the bad guy was caught on a wiretap saying something like, “You’re going to start giving me 3% of your sales, or bad things will happen to you.” Basically, the mayor of Philadelphia is attempting to extort money from the soda bottlers. The Mayor wants his taxes and not a penny less than he thinks the government should get.

The continued collection of this tax will have disastrous consequences for the businesses who sell this product in that city. While all soda sales will not stop, the amount purchased in the city will virtually drop to zero. This will severely hurt grocery stores, fast-food establishments, convenience stores and all the other places that sell sodas. People will be put out of work, business will close and the one thing that will start that cascade is this tax.

 

What Socialism always leads to

The consequences and end result of Socialism are evident, if you open your eyes, ears, mind and heart. “Democratic Socialism” is the same thing with different window dressing.

Socialism, for those of you who don’t know what that means, is governmental control of the means of production in a country. Government bureaucrats determine what you are paid and what the factories will produce. If the bureaucrat in charge doesn’t think that iPhones (or whatever) need to be made, then there won’t be any iPhones made.

The problem with this economic model is that it is not agile, or able to quickly adjust to unanticipated needs or conditions. If a population needs Widget B instead of Widget A, which is being produced right now, individual companies in a free-market economy can switch to producing Widget B a lot faster than a single bureaucrat operating in a command economy. Bernie Sanders shot Socialism in the foot recently, when he told a lady running a hairdressing business in Tulsa, Oklahoma that "he knows nothing about hair dressing or the economy of Tulsa." No bureaucrat running things from Washington D.C. will have that kind of prescient knowledge about hairdressing in Tulsa, or the condition of the quality of cattle in Texas, and so on.

Another symptom of command economies is price-fixing. The bureaucrat decides the price of the item being sold. This invariably leads to black markets because price controls inevitably lead to shortages and/or rationing. Case in point, in 2013, there was (and still is) a severe shortage of toilet paper in Venezuela. A 2015 article shows this: An economist just explained Venezuela's chronic shortage of toilet paper. Basically, the Venezuelan government heavily subsidized the purchase of toilet paper and the companies that imported the TP then exported half of it to reap enormous profits and used that money to buy better stuff to sell. Because of the difference in currency exchange rates (the Venezuelan government said the exchange rate is “6.35 Bolivars to 1 US Dollar”, however real world says 800:1) the company re-exporting the TP makes 13,500% profit on the TP, rather than 20% selling it in the country. They then use that cash to purchase something not subsidized and can be sold at market prices. The end result is not enough TP for the people of Venezuela. Multiply that by hundreds of other goods and products and you see why their economy is in ruins. Since this price-fixing and profiteering affects every aspect of the economy, to say food and other essentials are in short supply is an understatement.

According to the Encovi 2016 Living Conditions Survey (sorry, it’s in Spanish), the bottom 75% of the population of Venezuela (since the rich almost never starve) have lost an average of 19 pounds in the past year because there is not enough food. 82% of the households in Venezuela live in poverty. This is a country that is sitting on their own ocean of oil. It's not like they don't have a valuable commodity. However, because the oil production is controlled by the government, they have destroyed that as well.

Some of you Socialists out there will say, “the right people weren’t running things.” Let me say this in response: It doesn't matter who is running things, it's a shit system and the best administrator with the best staff in history will still screw things up royally.

Here’s a few more data points that indicate a trend, not just anecdotal evidence:

In the 1970’s, the USSR (Union of Soviet SOCIALIST Republics) was importing US wheat because their collective farms weren’t producing enough to feed their population. The funny thing about it is, in the late 70’s, the Soviet farmers were allocated small plots of land where they could grow and sell wheat and vegetables. Those “small plots” quickly outperformed the much larger collective farms.

Today, thanks to decades of malnutrition and famine, both byproducts of a Socialist control economy, North Korean people escaping to South Korea are 1-3 inches shorter than South Koreans. Because of their “genetic purity” (there has been no significant immigration, and thus no "dilution" of the Korean race in hundreds of years), this height difference can be attributed solely to the lack of adequate nutrition on the North Korean side.

If these “malignant indifference” byproducts of an all-powerful, centralized government weren’t enough to put you off Socialism, might we discuss the 170,000,000+ people killed by Socialist governments in the 20th century? Most of these people died slow, horrible deaths due to starvation and disease. When those brutal Socialist governments got tired of waiting for them to die and were actually appalled by the temerity of these people to survive, then they just went in and shot them.

The paper in the last link refers to those countries as "Communist." True Communism is where there is no government. After transitioning through Socialism from Capitalism, when the leaders of the Socialist countries "decide that the time is right" (e.g., after they die), the government will "fade away" and everybody will work together and for all. Which is a pretty way of saying "Anarchy."

Anytime, anywhere someone else hundreds or thousands of miles from where you live had the ability to decide what you will be paid for your labor, where you will work, what you will (or will not) buy and so on, that never ends well for you. History is replete with those examples.

 

You can like me now!

I finally went ahead and researched and installed code for my website to add Facebook "Like" buttons for each of my posts. It will take a while for me to delve into my archives, which my take a while due to my amounts of copious free time. Please like me whenever you can.

 

Why Activist Judges are bad for us

A Judge of the law is someone who is supposed to "upon complaint" decide if a law or other legal document is appropriate. They are supposed to remain within the "four corners" of the law (i.e., what is written in the document). External factors not brought up by the plaintiff (the entity filing the complaint) are not supposed to be weighed or used in the decision. Activist Judges are judges who rule not on law, but rather political agendas.

When I was last called up for jury duty (a jury is basically a judge by committee) this story was told to us by the lawyer briefing the jury pool:

There was a lawsuit before the court, concerning damages related to a traffic accident. One of the jurors knew the intersection where the accident had happened. On his way home for the evening, this juror went through that intersection, then stopped his vehicle, got out and took pictures of the intersection. This juror then shared these pictures with the rest of the jury during their deliberations. The judge upon learning about this declared a mistrial because the juror presented evidence that neither the prosecution nor the defense wanted to present to the jury. The jury, because of this one juror going out and discovering facts on his own, had reached a bad (not necessarily wrong) conclusion. Their purpose was to decide based on the evidence presented them, not what they went out fining on their own.

There are also what are known as Plenary Powers in the Constitution. For example, the authority to declare war is a plenary power to Congress. The ability to introduce bills which spend or generate revenue is plenary to the House, while the power to ratify treaties is a plenary power to the Senate. These plenary powers belong entirely to the entity to which they are granted and are not subject to review or approval by another part of the government. The Senate cannot be first to introduce a spending bill, the House cannot ratify a treaty with a foreign government and the President nor the SCOTUS (Supreme Court of the Unites States) can declare war.

So when the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals gets a complaint about President Trumps "Muslim Ban" Executive Order (which I wrote earlier about here) plainly put, no judge has the authority to rule on it because that is a plenary power held by the president as stated in the Constitution, Article 2, Section 3, "...he shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed,...".

Just so everyone has all of the information so you can make your own informed judgement in the matter, here is the Executive Order.

The first paragraph of it reads:

"By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America, including the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq., and section 301 of title 3, United States Code..."

So the Immigration and Nationality Act has a provision, specifically Section 212(f) which says:

(f) Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate.

Title 3, Section 301 also clearly states:

The President of the United States is authorized to designate and empower the head of any department or agency in the executive branch, or any official thereof who is required to be appointed by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to perform without approval, ratification, or other action by the President (1) any function which is vested in the President by law, or (2) any function which such officer is required or authorized by law to perform only with or subject to the approval, ratification, or other action of the President: Provided, That nothing contained herein shall relieve the President of his responsibility in office for the acts of any such head or other official designated by him to perform such functions. Such designation and authorization shall be in writing, shall be published in the Federal Register, shall be subject to such terms, conditions, and limitations as the President may deem advisable, and shall be revocable at any time by the President in whole or in part.

So I have just spent all of this showing you that the president has the duty and authority under the Constitution and the INA to issue that Executive Order.

If you look at the 9th Circuit's ruling which denies the government's attempt to stop the stay, starting on page 13 (section IV. Reviewability of the Executive Order) does the 29 page document begin to address on if the Executive Branch has the power to exercise the EO. I won't quote it because it is five plus pages just on that point. I want to make clear that the law which gives the president this authority was never even brought up, by the government, which is a screwup on their part. If they had made this point and the 9th still ruled this way, that would have violated the "four corners" I spoke about at the beginning of this post.

I am taking note that a major point is the complaint that "there was no public warning on the ban." This is for the sole reason in real life that you never, ever tell bad guys what you're going to do. If you see people parked across the street from you watching your house, you do not walk over to their vehicle and tell them, "It looks like you might be wanting to break into my house. Just so you know, I have an armed security detail starting next week." The bad guys should find out about the armed guard when he rolls up on them.

If Liberals hate the fact that Trump did this, they should change the law, namely abolish section 212(f).

 

How the Radical Left have become Domestic Terrorists

You may think the title of this post is inflammatory, however if you read below you will see that it is, in fact, explanatory.

I was inspired to write this due to a couple of articles that came to my attention simultaneously: How to Defeat Weaponized Empathy and Now We Know: Those 'Spontaneous' Anti-Trump Airport Protests Weren't Spontaneous At All.

First of all, let's look at the dictionary term of Terrorism: The use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes. The follow on is the dictionary term for Terrorist: a person, usually a member of a group, who uses or advocates terrorism.The Radical Left has done this since the Civil War. The Klu Klux Klan have traditionally been Democrats, despite the Left's attempt to rebrand them as being on the Right. The Klan, through intimidation and violence, cowed the Blacks of the South for almost 100 years before the Civil Rights of the 60's.

Speaking of the 60's, it was groups on the Radical Left, movements like the SLA, the Weather Underground and other Radical Leftist groups which used terrorist methods to try and topple the government and the entire social order itself.

In the 80's and 90's when "Lone Wolf Right-Wingers" starting bombing abortion clinics and shooting doctors who performed abortions, the Right did something the Left will never do: We helped hunt those responsible down and brought them to justice. We loudly and unequivocally denounced them and their actions. The Left, in contrast blame massive riots and violent protests on "a few 'overenthusiastic' participants" with a wink and a nod.

The Radical Left have refined their terror-inducing tactics by including Social Media and memes propagating staged photos meant to maximize your feelings toward whatever they want you to feel. The MSM will relentlessly pursue of any hint of a possible Republican scandal, probing deeper and deeper until they can find an anthill they can inflate into Kilimanjaro, while any Democrat scandals that have legs like Usain Bolt are given a quick overview so the MSM can say "we covered it" and then let the news cycle quickly bury it. I understand the product they sell is salacious sensationalism, not accurate information. Respectable and honorable journalists with integrity who try to present all the facts of an issue without favor and keeping "reporting" stores separate from "opinion" articles are becoming few and far between because they are crushed by the ones who want to advance the Radical Left's agenda at all costs. More's the pity.

The Radical Left has weaponized the MSM, social media and the federal government (which was started by Bush 43 after 9/11). Which was great for them, as they could then socially guilt and by force of law coerce the populace into their Socialist Utopia.

And when the MSM fails to convince everyone, when the Social Media meme's don't guilt-trip everyone to the Left's side of the issue? The Radical Left's standard fallback method: VIOLENCE.

I support peaceful protests. Get loud and proud! Fill up the streets to get your message communicated to our leaders in no uncertain terms. But when protestors start destroying private property and assaulting the people on the other side, for the sole reason you don't like the other party's candidate, position or whatever, you lose whatever moral high ground you had to begin with. You alienate the hearts and minds of the people you were trying to win over to your side. You want to protest Trump, go right ahead, that's your right. You cross the line when you start hurting people and destroying personal property. 

If you don't want to be branded as domestic terrorists, I highly suggest that at your next rally when the first violent protester picks up a rock to send it through a window, or lights that Molotov Cocktail, the 20 nearest men jump on that bastard, disarm him and then beat him to within an inch of his life and put the results on social media with a tag line like "this guy was going to (fill in the blank). If you come to our rallies and expect to commit violence, this will happen to you!" When multiple stories like that hit the news, my respect for you as a movement will increase.

Until Liberals police your own by purging the Radical Left and denouncing them in no uncertain terms, until you are truly "peaceful protestors," Liberals will be in my view nothing more than domestic terrorists and should be treated as such.

 

Duties of the President

It seems to me that a lot of people need to learn about authority and duties of the President under the Constitution, because all y'all are more upset about not getting your way than anything else.

The President is sometimes referred to as the "Chief Executive" because he holds the highest point of power in the Executive Branch of the US Government. The duties he is tasked to perform and the authority to properly discharge those duties are plainly laid out in Article 2 of the Constitution.

He is charged with dutifully carrying out enforcement of all laws as passed by Congress. His only "no" vote is a Veto. If Congress overrides his Veto, guess what? The president has to execute enforcement of that law as vigorously as the laws he does like.

Just about every government worker works for him. Think of the President as CEO of "United States, Inc." If you worked for a large corporation and you screwed up bad enough that you caught the CEO's attention, he can fire you. The President has that authority as well. Every government worker in every agency that enforces the laws and regulations of this country (outside of Congress and the Judicial Branch) work for the President. Everyone, from the Vice-President on down "serves at the pleasure of the President."

So, when Sally Yates (interim Attorney General) decided to not carry out the orders of her boss, the President, she was fired. The CBS News article Acting U.S. attorney general directed Justice Dept. not to defend Trump travel ban described what she did and what she said.

The statement she released said:

[Yates] was “not convinced” the order is “lawful” and that the Justice Department would not defend it in court “until I become convinced that it is appropriate to do so.”

If you are in such a high-ranking place of authority in the government and you disagree with your boss (the President), you communicate with him privately (i.e. out of the earshot of the MSM) about why his decision is a bad one. Back up your position with facts on why it's a bad decision. Once you have done that, you have two options:

1) Carry out the orders of the President either way, no matter your personal thoughts or feelings on the matter, or

2) Resign.

To publicly disagree with (or worse, actively work against) your boss, the only logical end to that choice is getting fired. I was "fired" from the Masons because of my disagreement. I knew that was the inevitable result of my actions, and the Grand Lodge of Tennessee did not slow down in the slightest as it rolled over me. So all I can say is Sally must think losing her job and possibly her livelihood was worth it.

My personal thoughts on this matter are these: Let's say for a moment that Yates amassed even 5-10 legal arguments/precedents that supported her position and brought those with her, she might have won. I won't say her chances were very good to begin with, or that if she had double or triple that 5-10 cases that would have changed Trump's mind, but it could have. Instead, she used her personal beliefs and not the law to determine what her mouth said. Without a reasoned, documented case (which, as a lawyer she should know how to build) to support her position, she didn't have a legal leg to stand on.

Now that I've said all that, here is Part 2:

Most people have no idea what the function and purpose of Executive Orders (EO's) are nor their purpose. Let me inform you. First of all, there are several "flavors" of EOs, like "Presidential determination," "Presidential memorandum" and "Presidential notice." These have different levels of authority and different uses.

When the CEO of a company decides that the company is going to take a particular direction or action, the CEO releases what is commonly called a memorandum to his direct reports, who forward the information down the chain all the way to the newest employee. EO's are used for a variety of functions. They can draw demarcation lines between agencies where authority/responsibility may overlap, or the declaration of the policy for all who work for the President.

At no time should an EO be meant to craft law where no law exists, nor can it change the meaning of law already in its place, as Obama did on several occasions.

Don't worry about the number of EOs, that's a false flag. Look at what those EOs say.

Understand the duties of the President and the authority granted him under the Constitution.

 

Why #MuslimBan is BS

Let me be very plain here. If you base your positions on issues because of hashtags or only on what the MSM tells you, all I can say is you are willfully ignorant. Not stupid, as that implies that you can't learn. Ignorant means you don't know and that can be corrected. One of my Markisms is "Don't beat yourself up for not knowing what you didn't know before you knew it." Willfully ignorant means that you know that there is information out there relevant to what you are talking about, but you don't try to find it.

Here is a simple, plain explanation why DHS under Obama came up with the list of countries that Trump has temporarily banned all immigration from.

Let's say for a moment that I want to emigrate from the United States to Australia. I would need to visit the closest Australian Consulate, fill out their forms and then provide documentation to prove I am who I say I am. Things like my passport, drivers license, birth certificate and Social Security card. I would need things like bank statements, utility bills and whatnot to prove where I resided. I would have to attest if I did or did not have a criminal record, if I had a job waiting for me in Australia and other questions. The Consulate would then take this information and check it against US local, State and Federal databases to make sure I am telling the truth and I am who I said I am.

Would you consider these actions to be prudent and reasonable? If you were renting an apartment, obtaining a job or purchasing a weapon, would not some subset of these documents would be needed, correct?

The countries in question, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen are on that list for either one of two reasons: Either the National government is hostile to the United States ("Death To America!") or there is no significant National Government. This may seem like an insurmountable intellectual chasm to jump, but I have faith in you to comprehend this. If there is no governmental agency to regulate the identity papers their citizens use, there will be no databases for us to verify who these people say they are. That means we can't independently verify what they tell us.

The result is we have no way of determining if that male of fighting age is a true refugee fleeing the conflict, the poverty or the political/religious oppression he is enduring in that country, or if he is coming to the US to visit death upon us.

In countries with no (or very little) National government, it is a "cottage Industry" to create fake identity documents. With no functional National government to verify the documents against, why would you accept them at face value? In the countries that are actively hostile to us, those countries could just issue false documents and have the databases fixed to show the documents as good.

We are accepting Immigrants from Saudi Arabia and the rest of the countries that are predominantly Muslim because 1) They have a functional National government and 2) that government is not actively hostile to us. So your #MuslimBan hashtag is stupid and ludicrous on its face.

The travel ban is a temporary thing until better vetting procedures are developed. That's the reason in a nutshell. As in my prior post, I am not happy that US Green Card holders from those countries are/were being detained, however new immigrants need to wait and be verified until the US government is satisfied.

For all of you "No Borders" people out there, I tell you what. Travel to all the other countries and convince them to apply for Statehood in the United States. Convince them that they will be better off under the control of Washington DC and President Trump. If you succeed, then there will be no more immigration issues with those former countries.

 

Revetting the vetted?

I have learned today that with the signing of President Trump's Executive Order on "Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States" on January 27th, This affects immigration from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Homeland Security has halted all immigrant arrivals from these countries into the US. This includes people who have current Green Cards. Green Card (officially known as a "Permanent Resident Alien Card") holders are being turned away from entering the US during the Customs process.

THIS. IS. WRONG.

I understand why the suspension, because there will be a review of the vetting process during the suspension. I also know and understand that the program stems from Obama's administration. I know and understand that we have to gain control of every border of our country, not just the border with Mexico (more on that in another post).

If you depend on the MSM as your sole source of information and talking points, I hate to tell you this, but the MSM are lying to you in a major way. The seven countries I listed above (Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen) came from the Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015, not Trump's EO.

The wrong part is preventing Green Card holders entry. These are the people who took the proper path, the legal path that leads through a bureaucratic maze of regulations, requirements and tests that takes months and sometimes years before they even set foot on US soil. Being a Green Card holder means they are at the last step before full American Citizenship. The United States has made a commitment and a promise to these immigrants, this ban is violating the spirit of our agreement with them and the integrity of our country. I might be persuaded to have any immigrants who were "expedited" here in the last 12-18 months from those countries because Obama's policies significantly compromised the vetting process be re-investigated. But not denied entrance without some sort of evidence they have some terrorist ties or sympathies.

 

Trump the Magnificent

When I was going through High School, there was an acquaintance who was two years head of me. Johnny Palmer (Wikipedia Page) loved to do magic, specifically the close-up things where you are within arms reach. He could move each finger individually (try it, you probably can't), and he had a line where right before a sleight-of-hand trick he would say something like, "I want you to watch my hands carefully. At no time will my fingers leave my hands." Johnny taught me about misdirection. About how you have one hand over here doing something flashy and flamboyant to keep your attention, while the other hand does the work to complete the illusion.

The title of this post is meant to imply a Magician's title, not my personal appraisal of his performance to date.

President Trump is doing the same thing with the media. For months, Trump has been training the MSM to jump whenever he says something on his Twitter account. Now that he is the Chief Executive, Trump has the MSM fully distracted. Whenever Trump says something like "Massive Voter Fraud" the MSM does a "LOOK! SQUIRREL!!!" and expends hours of research and column-inches of space on unverifiable numbers, while Trump goes and does what he wants to do.

Trump is not stupid. He is manipulative, he may be bat-shit crazy, he also probably has a hidden agenda. But he's not stupid.

 

 

Liberals. I can smell them from here.

I can tell Liberals by what they say and write. I have been in numerous "conversations" with these far-Left people and all of them have a common method. A common method for them to bring about their Utopia, whatever that vision may be.

From the people who want a additional tax on certain foods, to the "Shared Responsibility" tax you had to pay if you didn't have health insurance, to contributions to those less fortunate all have one word in common: FORCE.

If/when Liberals get their way, you will be FORCED to pay extra if you want to purchase a Coke/Pop/Soda, etc. You will be FORCED to contribute to the pool of money that fed the Affordable Care Act. You will be FORCED to give up your wealth to help those less fortunate.

This concept of the government using force to achieve certain social goals is 180 degrees out of phase with how this country was founded (as in 1620 at Plymouth Rock, not 1776 or 1787) and how we have operated until the 1960's. This land, from the first European settlers until recent history has been about using the freedom of choice that enlightened self-interest generates to improve the lot of individuals. The idea that the individual have the choice on where they should live, what work they perform and whom they marry were concepts conceived in the hearts of those settlers before they left for the New World and given birth to on the American Continent.

In the past 25 years, we have seen the scope and hunger of the federal government grow enormously, culminating in the exploding debt and governmental powers incurred during the Obama administration. Which perfectly suited those who believe it is the job of the government to force the Citizens to do "what's good for them and society" and the beliefs of the titular head of this monstrosity aligned with their vision. They were happy to give up power to the government because it was doing what they wanted, which was sticking it to the people they didn't like.

Then Trump won. The penultimate EVIL, RACIST, HOMOPHOBE, PUSSY-GRABBING SEXIST, who now has full control of the power they happily surrendered.

Why do you think Conservatives have called and pushed for a smaller federal government for years? Not just when a Democrat is in office but a Republican as well. No single person or small group should have that kind of power, regardless of their politics.

Liberals need to remember not to give up their power to a position, because invariably someday a person they don't like will be in that position and have access to that power.

 

Anecdotal vs. Statistical

With the repeal of the Affordable Care Act currently in progress, I have seen over FB several people proclaiming the glorious advantages of the ACA and how they survived horrendous circumstances that they would not have otherwise survived without the services made available of said ACA. Or the inverse, family members facing death because they can't afford the costs to combat similar horrendous circumstances because of their lack of access to affordable healthcare.

These individual stories are called anecdotes. Anecdotes are a single data point and being an individual data point (in this example, "The ACA is good!") there is no context, which in statistics context means trend, thus pointing you to a conclusion. A good way to describe anecdotal evidence is, "when your neighbor loses their job, it's a recession. When you lose your job, it's a depression."

I, too, have my own anecdotal data point on the ACA. In my prior job I worked at a small non-profit agency and I made $15/hour. Because this job was a 30% pay cut from the job before that, my take-home pay was literally 95% of my expenses. That meant I ran out of money before the end of the month, every month. I fell very far behind in all of my bills. I got utility cut-off notices every month. I came within hours of having my car repossessed. The monthly expenses did not include health care. Just to make ends meet, I had to hustle side work and/or skipping meals. If someone in the family needed something not in the budget, I had to increase my hustle, go hungry even more, or they didn't get it. By the way, the side work wasn't very consistent, so a lot of days I got by with a breakfast shake in the morning and maybe a Cup O' Noodles for lunch, then a thin dinner. If I wanted to have insurance through my employer for my wife by herself (because she needed it a lot more than I did), my portion would have been $600 a month. That would have been 28% of my take-home pay, on par with my house note.

So, I researched getting insurance under the ACA. The best plan I could find would have cost me $60 a month (remember, I'm already coming up short about $100 every month) and the deductible was $4,000. According to my trusty calculator, that meant I would have to spend $330 a month on health care, every month before the health care plan would start paying anything. Now who on God's green Earth could "afford" health care like that?

Some people have told me, "The ACA would have kicked in if you would have something catastrophic." Let me say, because I couldn't come up with the first $4,000 an event like that would have bankrupted me regardless.

My opposition to the ACA is not based on jealousy on another getting health care, nor my own inability to catch that brass ring. I did not determine my position for this based on anecdotal evidence, but rather on statistical evidence. I looked at the country as a whole to see how the country fared under this crushing mandate. The proper term for this is Pareto maximized, or Pareto efficiency. Here is a basic description of this term:

Pareto improvement is defined to be a change to a different allocation that makes at least one individual better off without making any other individual worse off, given a certain initial allocation of goods among a set of individuals.

While we are seeing anecdotal evidence that the ACA helped people, we are seeing statistical evidence that millions of people lost health care and tens of thousands more were transitioned to part-time work. On top of that, because the number of paying enrollees were overestimated by several million, the anticipated income from those enrollees did not occur, thereby causing drastic deficits in the program, which added billions to the overall deficit and the debt.

In conclusion, the thousands of people who benefited from this law are outweighed by the millions of people who lost their healthcare by either their plan being canceled, or priced out of range. Then you have the tens of thousands who were cut to part-time work, plus our future generations slaving to repay the interest on the debts we incurred with this folly.

When the United States purchased the land now known as Alaska from Russia, it was known as Seward's Folly. Perhaps the debacle known as the Affordable Care Act should henceforth be known as "Obama's Folly."

 

Sounds good, not good

I happened across this article and even the side that would have immediately said, "EFF YEAH!!!" instead said, "Wait a minute." Rep. Sheila Butt files bill to prohibit unhealthy foods for food stamps.

This idea is definitely in the "sounds good" category, rather than the "good, sound" category where all laws belong. The major reason why many people in the lower income scales are overweight is not from ice cream, cookies and cake, rather due to the cheap, processed foods that are overstuffed with calories, salt and sugar. These "one-pot-add-water-and-it's-ready" meals are okay in moderation, not as a diet staple like they are now for low-income families.

Yet, that's what it is because many of the people on EBT don't know how to prepare a good, healthy meal. Thanks to the death of Home Economics in the 80's where young women were taught how to plan, shop, prepare and cook a balanced, healthy meal from natural (not processed) components, this gave rise to the "Hamburger Helper" et.al. type meals.

Of course, the low-income, working moms are hit hard by these kinds of food as well. They pick up their children from daycare, bring them home, cook a box meal, then ship the kids off to a relatives house or overnight care on their way to their night shift job. That is no way to feed or raise a family.

Restricting any food choices can only lead to worse things. Let's stick to the Conservative ideal of letting the Citizen make their own choices, not Nashville or Washington.