I don't do GDPR.

I have deactivated my FB pages, personal and for here. Timeframe if/when I reactivate them is unknown.

As long as you aren't a spammer, your respectful comments will be posted. Fair warning, you want to go Godwin's Law on me, the Ban Hammer comes down.


Medicare for All will kill us all

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There are bills in the House (H.R. 676) and Senate (S.1804), proposed by Democrats, under the banner of "Medicare for All." These bills, if passed would provide Medicare coverage to every "non-elderly" person (the elderly are covered under Medicaid) in the US, without regard to citizenship status. Let me put it into plain language why this would wreck 1) every citizen, 2) the federal government, 3) the healthcare industry and 4) the economy as a whole.

According the The Urban Institute (no right-wingers allowed there), they released a report, The Sanders Single-Payer Health Care Plan.

These are the highlights of their report:

Federal spending will increase about $3.6 Billion a year. This is Table 1 on page 4, "Increase in federal spending ($billions), 2017-2026, $32,003.5" That's $32 Trillion over ten years, or $3.2 Trillion a year.

The entire Federal budget right now is $4.1 Trillion to give you an idea how much the federal spending will increase.

The last bullet point on page 3 reads thusly:

Analysis by the Tax Policy Center indicates that Sanders’s revenue proposals, intended to finance all new health and nonhealth spending, would raise $15.3 trillion in revenue over 2017 to 2026. This amount is approximately $16.6 trillion less than the increased federal cost of his health care plan estimated here. The discrepancy suggests that to fully finance the Sanders approach, additional sources of revenue would have to be identified; that is, the proposed taxes are much too low to fully finance the plan.

Now, the "additional revenue" (that will only be about 45% of what is needed) is made up by:

From the top of page 6: ...[The Sanders Campaign] propose a 2.2 percent income-based premium on households, a 6.2 percent payroll tax imposed on employers, additional revenues from revisions to the estate tax, increases in taxes on capital gains and dividends, new limits on deductions for high-income taxpayers, and increases in income taxes that largely affect high-income people. They anticipate that low-income individuals would save because the amounts they would be required to pay in new taxes would be less than what they are required to pay today in premiums, cost sharing, and other tax payments.

Similarly, employers that now provide coverage would pay less because their obligations under the proposed approach would be limited to the 6.2 percent payroll tax paid by employers. In contrast, across all employers (i.e., including those who offer health insurance and those who do not), employer-paid premiums for health insurance benefits currently average 8.3 percent of total compensation. Higher-income individuals would be expected to pay considerably more toward health expenses than they do today. [Emphasis mine]

So, it's more "soak the rich," but what happens if the rich leave? Seriously, what happens if Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, The Koch Brothers and all the rest of "the rich" get tired of this crap and just take the cash they have in the bank, leave the country and live overseas?

This is a math issue. "Medicare for All" will almost double federal spending. The proposed tax increases will cover half of that. Our current federal government annual deficit is $800 Billion. That's how much we borrow on the "good faith and credit" on the United States, every year. If we were to start this, without any additional taxes or cuts, that annual deficit would jump to $2.4 Trillion a year. Not gonna happen, no way, no how. Our debtors would stop buying our bonds (that's how we borrow money) that day. The federal government would not be able to pay it's bills and it would collapse, likely bringing the entire US economy with it.

The only way I see this happening is we have to increase taxes more and cut payments to providers. That is the only way to bring this into balance.

Here's something you may not know, Medicare only pays between 60% to 75% of what private insurance pays. Let's say my disabled son (who is on Medicare) and I go to our PCP for an exam, get some blood work done, etc. If, between my co-pay and my private insurance pays the doctor $100 for my visit, the doctor only gets between $60 and $75, for the same services. In essence, my visit makes my son's visit profitable for him.

Serious question time: would you have an average of $85 per visit (($100 + $70)/2), or $70 since we would both be on Medicare?

That would be, assuming that the reimbursement rates would be the same. If the federal government was the only payer in town, what would you do if they decided to cut the rates? Go from $70 a visit to $40? If the doctor wanted to stay in business, he would take cash and not Medicare.

What will you do if you have no money because your taxes doubled to pay for Medicare, but your doctor won't accept Medicare? You die, killed by the Democrats.

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Is this what you want?

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I and others have said for years that the ACA was designed to be from the very beginning to be a clusterfrack of Biblical proportions. I remember real experts (not "government" experts) who repeatedly said, "regulating the healthcare insurers was the worst possible place to cut costs." If the full ACA had been implemented, the people would been begging for anything other than the ACA... Which is when the Democrats would have rolled out a real single-payer, nationalized health-care system.

Just so you know, because I knew this when the ACA was passed, the "individual shared mandate" in 2015 was $325. If Trump and the Republicans had not ended the mandate, on April 15th, 2017 (after Obama was out and Trump/Hillary in) would have been $695, about a 125% jump. the numbers are on the top of page two in this Congressional Research Service document.

Why do I bring this up? Because when government has control of health care, they have almost total control of you. They can do almost anything they want under the guide of "improving health outcomes." That can mean "sin taxes" on sugar, meat, eggs and caffeine, plus more sin taxes on  alcohol, tobacco and anything else the government declares is "bad for you."

You think I'm joking? You think I'm being a conspiracy theorist? How about this. The UK, with its' NHS and nationalized health care system, is considering regulating food portions: Pizzas must shrink or lose their toppings under Government anti-obesity plan.

We are already on the way there. Have you noticed that every menu board, every printed restaurant menu has the calories for every item, "so you can make healthy food choices." And the government mandates the font, font size and font color of all of those calorie counts. It's not a big step to go from mandating calorie counts on menus, to the UK's plan to limit portion sizes.

Let's think this out for a minute. At McDonald's, a Big Mac and a large fry will run you 1,050 cal. Let's say for a moment the Big Mac and large fries are outlawed, what will you do? Probably get something like two Bacon McDoubles and a medium fry. This will cost you 10 cents less, the problem is the second choice has 1,240 calories, so anti-obesity-wise, it's heading in the wrong direction.

The next (Leftist) logical control step is to nationalize restaurants. That means McDonald's, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Chipotle, Subway and all of the other places will become a cafeteria system where you get your government-mandated three meals a day. The good news, all of the employees will become government workers, so they'll get $15/hour. The bad news is, you walk in, scan the RFID chip in your hand, the computer in the back of the store retrieves the diet portion of your EHR (Electronic Health Record) and you are served what you are supposed to have. You don't have to (or can) say anything. Oh, and no meal trading like elementary school. The police stationed there will see to that.

I probably won't see this, but unless this is stopped and now, my grandchildren and great-grandchildren will. Because when government takes control of part of your life, your ability to choose for yourself disappears.

Surrender Your Dignity

There are some things that come free yet have too high a cost.

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Making the case for us

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I am all for personal choice and personal responsibility. When it comes to the self-defense of yourself and your family, you should have access to the tools you deem necessary to perform said self-defense.

Because I do not support causes or people who do not believe I should be able to defend myself and family as I see fit, I make it a point to not purchase movies with actors who promote gun control. BTW, their definition of "gun control" is, "the government and our bodyguards have guns, you don't."

So, any movie where pro-gun control actors like Chris Evans, Matt Damon, or Liam Neeson appear in a movie where their character uses violence or a firearm, I will not buy the DVD, I will not rent it, I will not watch it in a theater and I will not stream it. They have the freedom to make their point, I have the right to not purchase their work product.

So I find it screamingly ironic that another gun-control advocate Jamie Lee Curtis, who is starring in the latest chapter in the Halloween movie franchise, makes my point for me against gun control. In the trailer for the film, viewers can hear Curtis' character mention the need to protect her family and they see her with numerous guns, including a revolver and a lever action rifle, the latter of which she fires multiple times.

A citizen always has the obligation to protect themselves and their family. Government has zero obligation to protect you. This is why 911 is also known as "Dial-A-Prayer" because when seconds matter, the police are minutes away if they come at all.

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Kavanaugh as it could have been

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For those of you who haven't heard, after a long and terrible scorched-earth campaign to destroy Judge Brett Kavanaugh and his nomination for SCOTUS came to a screeching halt when he was confirmed by the Senate on a 50-48 vote. It was along party lines, with Manchin (D-WV) crossing the aisle to confirm, while Murkowski (R-AK) voted "Present" and Daines (R-MT) did not vote at all. Justice Kavanaugh was sworn in right after the vote.

This nomination will now forever cast a cloud over a man whom from what I have seen has led an exemplary life. Not a mistake-free life, however it seems like he has always tried to uplift and empower all who surrounded him. You can't raise a child who said, "Daddy, we should pray for the woman who is accusing you" and not be an upstanding man, husband, father and citizen. These unfounded accusations will now be forever shackled to him like a ball and chain.

The sad thing is, if the radical Leftists and the MSM had a shred of integrity, decency or respect for others, this could have gone totally different.

Let's warp into an alternate time-line where the Democrat party of today is like the one in the 1950's. Decorum, respect, non-radicalized, not prone to histrionics.

First of all, the Democrats talk about his voting record. They question him thoroughly on why he reached certain decisions. When Dr. Ford sends her confidential letter to Senator Feinstein in July, Dr. Ford is immediately contacted by Feinstein, who says, "Dr. Ford, I need your permission immediately so the Committee can investigate your allegation. If we cannot investigate, your allegation will not be investigated and your voice will not be heard." Senator Feinstein then forwards the letter with her response to the Committee Chairman. Dr. Ford gives her permission and Senator Grassley then orders a special investigation of the allegation. Judge Kavanaugh is informed of "a serious allegation" against him, but no details (since there are none at that point). The press can be told that an allegation is pending, but no details. Dr. Ford is questioned, her statement and list of possible witnesses recorded. Dr. Ford's background is also investigated because it can greatly enhance (or hurt) her credibility. Once the FBI has completed its' investigation and the entire Committee and Judge Kavanaugh has all of the new information, the allegation is made public, Dr. Ford testifies in early September presenting her allegations and any corroborating statements and evidence. Judge Kavanaugh then gets a day or two so he can formulate his response to the allegations.

Notice that my message has been consistent. Dr. Ford deserves to be heard, her statements and evidence to be given the benefit of the doubt. She is then asked questions by the Committee to clarify any points that are unclear. Judge Kavanaugh also deserves his opportunity to address the accusations against him and stand for the hard questions the Committee will undoubtedly have for him. The Committee then votes passing it's recommendation to the full Senate. Then the Senate votes, conferring or denying his nomination.

You see, this is how adults do things. That's the way it should have been done.

However the radical Leftists, driven into a rabies-like frenzy, let slip their attack dogs. Kavanaugh, killed (metaphorically, not actually) every one. He has a bite or two, he's going to have to undergo the treatment for rabies, but he's still standing and the other side isn't. Multiple House and Senate races that were easily predicted for the Democrats to hold or gain in the elections next month are now cast into serious doubt. This rabid, spittle-flying, screaming, nonsensical hate-filled diatribes from the Leftists have done this. They and their efforts have angered enough regular people that the Democrats just might snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

If the Democrats had stuck to the issues and avoided the politics of personal destruction, they would have had a chance to defeat Kavanaugh's nomination. There were many reasonable people and groups out there talking about his rulings and record. I have no problem with that. The bad news is, the reasonable people were drowned out by the crazies. This means every Democrat office holder will pay the price to some degree later.

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My whole point about Kavanaugh

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I got into a "heated discussion" the other day on FB, one of the reasons why I deactivated my account. My whole point was that Ford needed to be heard, Ford should be offered the opportunity to speak and present her allegations and what she had to support her accusations. Kavanaugh also needed to be heard and either accept or deny her allegations. He chose to categorically deny any events she claimed happened with him. He never refuted she wasn't assaulted, just that he was not the one who did it.

This article says what I was trying to say very clearly: The Problem With #BelieveSurvivors.

This, I believe, is one of the most important and balanced points to be made:

Even as we must treat accusers with seriousness and dignity, we must hear out the accused fairly and respectfully, and recognize the potential lifetime consequences that such an allegation can bring. If believing the woman is the beginning and the end of a search for the truth, then we have left the realm of justice for religion.

Religion in this context does not leave room for the accused, except on the torture device deemed appropriate by the mob calling for the blood of the accused.

Here is another important truth:

The best reporting of the #MeToo movement has shown that when journalists examine all the possible holes in an accuser’s account, find corroborating witnesses and documentary evidence, and give the accused the opportunity to respond, they make the victim’s story more powerful. (Men can sexually assault men, women can sexually assault women, and women can sexually assault men. But the vast majority of these allegations are of males assaulting females.) [emphasis mine]

More powerful as in believable, more credible and most importantly, more likely to convict. Without any evidence on the side of the accused and hundreds of people saying "In my experience, the accused is the polar opposite of that the accuser is describing," meaning everything I know about this man is the opposite of what you describe. Face it, someone who does something heinous like sexual assault will more than likely not stop until caught and punished. And maybe not even after that. Bill Cosby was brought down because he sexually assaulted dozens of women over the years.

We are, after all, the land that holds as one of our cornerstones the presumption of innocence in the face of an accusation. The accuser must prove the accused did the deed, according to the standards of the venue. A criminal proceeding is "beyond a reasonable doubt." A civil proceeding is "the preponderance of the evidence" and so on. To have the accused prove innocence is to try to prove a negative, i.e. something didn't happen. Try to prove the sun rises in the east at noontime.

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I Stand For These Ideals

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A rather heated discussion in another corner of the Internet has caused me to put these words to paper, as it were for all there to see. I thought it would be a good idea to post them here as well. I have also saved this to my Personal section.

I STAND FOR FREEDOM OF CHOICE. You should be the ultimate decision-maker for your life. This includes the freedom to choose stupidly. Do not limit my choices or force your choices on me without my permission.

I STAND FOR FREEDOM OF VOICE. What you say should never be stifled or silenced, no matter how unpopular or uncomfortable what you say is for others. The exceptions to this are slander, inciting violence, child p0rn and the like. I have the freedom to listen or not. Don’t make that choice for me. I also expect that if I call for a person to be silenced, I will be silenced in turn.

I STAND FOR FREEDOM OF PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY. If you go and do something, always be prepared to face the consequences, good or bad. Do not prevent my negative consequences from happening to me. This is how most of us learn.

I STAND FOR A PERSON TO BE AFFORDED A BASIC LEVEL OF RESPECT AND DIGNITY. Everyone we meet deserves this basic and common courtesy. Your respect for them and their dignity can always go up based on their actions, however even if you despise another person, if you must interact with them, still grant them a basic level of respect and dignity. It says way more about you than them.

I STAND FOR A PERSON TO BE TAKEN AT THEIR WORD. I will believe what you say until proven otherwise, which goes for both sides. An accusation is equally offset by a denial. This balance can be changed one way or the other by evidence or corroboration.

I STAND FOR YOU TO HAVE THE FREEDOM TO BE WHO YOU ARE. I don’t care about your sex, gender, skin color, sexual/gender preference, height, weight, religion or lack thereof. I am attracted to your soul, not your meat sack. Be nice to me, you’ll get the same in return from me.

I STAND FOR MINIMAL GOVERNMENT. It is a simple and clear power balance between the people of a country and their government. The more power the government has, the less power the people will have. We need government because there are certain things and duties a government can do that an individual or group cannot. There is too much government when it adversely affects all our lives.

I STAND FOR ALL TO BE EQUAL UNDER THE LAW. No person should ever be afraid to seek justice under the law. Those in the law should never deter those who seek justice. All people have been wronged must have the opportunity to prove and seek damages from those who wronged them.

I STAND FOR SUPPORTING POSITIONS, NOT PARTIES. I do not praise or condemn someone based on their party or ideology. I praise or condemn them based on their words and actions. And I can and do praise and condemn the same person on different subjects.

These are my core principles. It has taken years of careful and introspective thought, study and meditation to arrive at them. They will not change. There is no use to even try.

Do I fail at these? Every day. I am not afraid to admit it. But I would rather have standards that with my maximum effort I almost achieve, than those standards I can achieve and do not have to exert myself. Sometimes I come on the short end of the stick, I do not change them to suit my situation.

I am perfectly willing to discuss the finer points of my core principles and how they can be enacted for the betterment of all. If we discuss it with politeness and respect, we might find out that we agree more than we disagree. I can also agree to disagree.

If you want to call me wrong, insensitive, stupid or worse, do us both a favor, don’t say it and don't visit here anymore. If you do say it, I’ll block you so you can't. I promise you won’t hurt my feelings either way.

In the end, if you want to post about why I’m wrong, write to yourself “I STAND AGAINST” where I say “I STAND FOR” and then the subject. Then think about it before you post. Do really want to say “I stand against freedom of choice” and the rest?

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How many degrees is safe?

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I have said this for years, "A right-wing dictatorship demands your physical obedience, you can think what you want. A left-wing dictatorship demands a unity of thought. You must think and behave as you are told."

One thing the old Soviet Union did, was to "unperson" certain people, a lot like George Orwell's 1984. If a person of power or close to the Premier "fell out of favor," he not only disappeared from public view, he was erased from all records. They were airbrushed from photographs, newspaper archives were reprinted. Don't believe me? Soviet Censorship of Images During Stalin's Regime.

The Leftists, in their normal behavior pattern, continue to eat any and all of their own who dare set one toe off the ideological reservation. In an effort to silence points of view the Left does not like, they now attack anyone who even slightly support the unpersons, or worse yet, give them a voice.

This comes from this article, Now #MeToo is coming for your thought crimes. This article talks about Jian Ghomeshi, who was accused and acquitted of sexual assault charges. But you see, the mob had decided he was guilty, evidence or lack thereof be damned. This spilled over onto Ian Buruma, editor of The New York Review of Books. What, exactly was Buruma's crime? Publishing an apology essay from Ghomeshi, Reflections from a Hashtag.

We have seen the recent unpersoning of Alex Jones from all social media platforms. Wil Weaton, was also recently unpersoned because his best friend Chris Hardwick was accused (not convicted) of sexual assault. Wil's tweet was:

I'm shocked, and I'm sure you'll understand that before I'm ready to make a public statement about my best friend to 3 million+ people, I need some time to process what's going on and put words to my thoughts. Thanks for listening and understanding.

— Wil 'this account mocks fascists' Wheaton (@wilw) June 15, 2018

I'm sorry, did he say anything other than "please give me time to properly express my thoughts?" And because Leftists are cannibals, (ideologically and metaphorically, I have no direct or indirect knowledge that any Leftist is actually a cannibal) for the sole reason that Wil did not denounce his best friend fast enough to please the mob, he was excoriated publicly. I don't follow him so I have no idea about how his social media presence has changed from this. I do know several friends who regularly attend the JoCoCruise (I have no idea what this is) have remarked about Wil attending in the past. I don't see him on this years cruise celebrity list. I have also heard my friends who go on this say "If Wil is on the cruise, I won't go."

All this leads to the post title, "How many degrees is safe?" It has been said that we are all connected by six degrees of separation. You can, through a chain of five "friend of a friend" connections, be connected to every other person on Earth. So when Chris Hardwick was unpersonned, and because Wil Wheaton didn't unperson Chris fast enough, how many of Wil's friends were unpersoned? and so on, and so on. It sounds like a pyramid scheme.

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Someone got pranked

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And it wasn't me. I received this in the mail the other day. It seems that I ended up on the wrong mailing list. I don't know how this happened, but I am going to have some fun with it.

First of all, this movement will never remove Trump from office. Oh, Trump may be Impeached if the Dems win the House, however if you have actually read the Constitution, you'll know that's only half the job. The other half is 67 Senators must vote to remove Trump from office based on the evidence presented by the House. The actual chances of that happening is pretty slim without a lot of turncoat Republicans.

impeach trump letter

Another thing, since we are a nation of laws, we find evidence of a crime first, then follow the evidence to whomever committed the crime. We do not investigate people until we find a crime, that's what Lavrentiy Beria (Stalin's Secret Police Chief) did. Beria is the one who originated the quote, "Show me the man, I'll find you the crime."

I find this highly ironic (as well as idiotic). The summary on the right side is ironic because this is exactly what Trump is doing. By rolling back bureaucratic red tape and cutting taxes, Trump is "restoring power to the people" over their own lives. "Real progress on our biggest problems" are things like jobs and opportunities for those who want them, not interference from Washington.

I also received this "call to action" flyer that I'm supposed to fill out and return. I think I will.

impeach trump cta

For "Defend Democracy," my response will be, "I vigorously defend the Republic that is the United States. Democracy is mob rule and that I cannot support."

For "Congress," I'm going to say, "If you mean 'act as a Constitutional check and balance to Trump's Presidential power, I fully agree. If you mean 'endlessly hound and investigate until Trump is driven from office,' no."

Lastly, for "Return power to the American people" I can only say, "I already see Trump carrying out that agenda. The majority of Americans are prospering because of it. So why is it you want him out of office?"

For the cost of a stamp, I hope they keep sending me more stuff. That will cause them to expend resources with no possibility of a return.

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Losing the language again

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Language (written and spoken) is how we communicate. Words really do mean things and when we misuse a word, we destroy the meaning of that word as well as the use and meaning of the proper word. A terrorist is a person who uses violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes. To call someone who assaulted and robbed you a terrorist is marginally correct (the criminal did probably induce terror in you) but to apply that term to him destroys the terminology to use and describe true terrorists.

The term "Traitor" is getting tossed around a lot lately. I thought I should take the time to inform you clearly of what a traitor is and how it is different from a turncoat, a more accurate but mostly unknown term. Just to be clear, a traitor is always a turncoat, but a turncoat is not always a traitor.

The term "turncoat" means someone who has switched allegiances, and comes from the time when the professional armies had distinct uniforms from other countries. This was how one side could tell who were friendlies vs. enemies, preventing what we today call "blue on blue" events, or friendly fire. If you were to remove your coat and turn it inside out then put it back on, your coat would probably be a different color (and harder to fasten with the buttons being on the inside). The function of this is you will mask who you are to someone at a distance. If a British Redcoat had switched to the side of the Colonists, he would turn his coat inside out, thus making him look less like a Redcoat and somewhat more like the Blue-clothed Colonials. A red coat in a sea of blue would stick out pretty dramatically and make an easy sniper target.

A traitor is a turncoat who has done so during a time of war. A traitor is someone who "gives aid and comfort to the enemy in a time of war." This means, according to the Constitution (Article 1, Section 8, Clause 11), that Congress must declare that a state of war exists between the United States and another country. If there is no war, you cannot have a traitor. In modern times when we have fought two wars against non-state armed forces that intentionally wears no uniform so they can blend into the local population, there is no entity or country to declare war against. A grey area would be where a soldier deserts his post and seeks out the enemy to surrender himself to them In a combat zone. There was a soldier who did that in Afghanistan and I refuse to mention his name. That was a traitorous act. The traitor did not give any strategic, tactical or operational information to the enemy, but did give them a morale boost, especially when several of their compatriots were exchanged for this single traitor.

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The role of the FBI

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With the attempted derailing of Judge Brett Kavanaugh's appointment to the Supreme Court, I wanted to clear the air on a couple things.

First and foremost, I want Ms. Ford to be heard. She has every right to speak for or against Judge Kavanaugh. She should also be given the benefit of the doubt. However, any accusatory statements she makes need to have some kind of corrobation. Either physical evidence or statements by other people who were there. In this country, I like the fact that we run on the “innocent until proven guilty“ concept, not “guilty until proven innocent.” It’s impossible to prove a negative. Prove to me that the Sun rises in the East when it’s lunchtime.

The Senate Judiciary Committee has also been very accommodating of her reasonable requests, while telling her to pound sand on the unreasonable demands.

Second, accusations of a serious nature need to be resolved in a court of law or civil court, not the court of public opinion. She has leveled a very serious accusation and it deserves an appropriate investigation and prosecution if there is evidence to justify the charge. If Judge Kavanaugh is guilty, he needs to be removed from his current bench, not just denied a spot on SCOTUS. While Ms. Ford might be content with just denying Judge Kavanaugh his spot on SCOTUS, it stinks to high heaven as a Leftist political hit job if she does not press for criminal charges or does not press to have him removed from the Judiciary entirely if she manages to keep him off SCOTUS. That is called Justice and is based on that little, annoying phrase in the Constitution that reads, "...no person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law."

Third, the Federal Bureau of Investigation is a federal police force. Their charter allows them to investigate only federal crimes. The FBI knew about John Dillinger ("Public Enemy Number One") but they couldn't go after him, as the dozen bank robberies he committed were not a federal crime in 1933. It took Dillinger taking a stolen car across state lines ("interstate transport of stolen goods" is a federal crime) that gave the FBI the authority to pursue and try to capture him.

Fourth, I believed that the point about her "passing a lie detector test" is significant enough to warrant it's own Deep Dive, The truth about lie detectors.

I also want to make clear the differences between a background check vs. a criminal investigation. These are two distinct police actions and it is critical if you are to have an informed opinion of this matter you understand the distinction between these concepts.

A background check (done by the FBI in this case) consists of two parts, a criminal records check and a check into your character. I know this because I used to have a Top Secret security clearance and I had to go through a background check to get it and every couple years they re-run a background check. My TS/SCI clearance included an investigation of my parents before I was born. It starts with me filling out a form of all my particulars (name, SSN, etc.), plus where I have lived and a list of people I know. The FBI agent stars off by entering my data into the NICS to see if I have any arrests, charges or convictions against me. The agent then interviews everyone I listed. They are asked, "How do you know him, what is your opinion of him, what kind of trouble was he ever in, etc." It is assumed that these people are only going to say good things about you, as if they weren't, why would you put their names on your application? The investigator then asks, "Can you give me the names of anyone else you know that also knows him?" The investigator then goes and talks with those people, and this is where most of the real information comes out because these "unnamed sources" may not like you.

For the sake of this example, let's say one of the unnamed sources doesn't like you and tells the investigator, "Yeah, I know he goes into work drunk 2-3 times a month and a couple of his address changes were because he lost his rent money gambling and they evicted him." These examples are what would be called "moral failings" and could open the target up for blackmail, thus making him a security risk and unlikely to pass the background check.

"Showing up for work drunk" is not necessarily a violation of the law, sometimes it can be a job requirement. Let's say for a moment that the person being investigated is a forklift operator, professional OTR driver or an airline pilot where "showing up work drunk" would be a very bad thing. Or, this person said, "he tried to rape me." At this point, there is evidence that an actual criminal violation may have occurred. The FBI agent would then get the particulars from the person (when, where, any other witnesses, etc.). While this information would go into the background check report, the agent would then forward the information on this alleged criminal act to the appropriate law enforcement agency, in these cases the State/federal DOT, the FAA or the city police/county sheriff. It would then be the responsibility of the DOT/FAA/Police/Sheriff to investigate, then upon probable cause a prosecutor would evaluate the evidence and possibly prefer charges and prosecute.

Once the FBI has completed either a background check or investigation, all that information is forwarded to the person/agency who requested the action, giving only facts and no conclusions or recommendations. That person or agency then makes their decision based on the information given. As an aside, this is why Comey's July 5th 2016 press conference detailing everything against Hillary and then saying "...we are expressing to Justice our view that no charges are appropriate in this case" is so out of character.

Here's Joe Biden telling you as much about FBI background checks/investigations. Skip to 1:10 for the relevant part:

The FBI cannot and will not investigate Ms. Ford's claim because the alleged crime is a violation of Maryland State law, not federal. The FBI does not have the authority to investigate State or local crimes. Now if the alleged incident happened on federal property (military base, government office building, government housing, etc.) then and only then can the FBI investigate.

There are limitations on government power for very important reasons. One of those limitations is the feds can't get involved in State or local matters unless it's either a federal crime or the locals invite the feds in. If the FBI could interfere in local matters unrequested, that's when the FBI ("Fidelity, Bravery, Integrity") becomes the Secret Police. Do you really want that?

[9/30/18 UPDATE] I realized that I left a paragraph out summarizing my explanation, plus I found a YouTube video of Joe Biden making quite clear about what an FBI investigation is worth. I added the video above and the two preceding paragraphs.

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The brutal force of government

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If you followed my Facebook link here because you are outraged that "The Governor of Oklahoma is forcing banks and insurance agencies to not do business with Planned Parenthood," Good. Let's see if your outrage is selective or not. Please replace "Oklahoma" with "New York", "Planned Parenthood" with "NRA" and read it again. If your outrage dissipated, or worse, turned into smug satisfaction, congratulations, you're a hypocrite! Why? Because the business shouldn't matter.

To set the record straight, New York Governor Cuomo is persecuting the National Rifle Association by pressuring banks and insurance agencies to not do business with the them. The clear intent of this is to force the NRA out of New York State or out of business entirely. Here's what's going on. Worse than taking away guns, New York threatens to take away NRA's insurance.

Just to be clear, here is the definition of persecuted:

  1. to pursue with harassing or oppressive treatment, especially because of religious or political beliefs, ethnic or racial origin, gender identity, or sexual orientation.
  2. to annoy or trouble persistently.

This happened to many businesses and individuals deemed "marginal" by Obama's government under Operation Choke Point. I wrote about it here.

Because I'm ideologically consistent, I don't care what the business or organization does. I would be speaking out if this was the ACLU, Planned Parenthood or even the Southern Policy Law Center. As long as the good or service produced by a company or organization is legal, I will stand up for them.

This started with an insurance product offered by the National Rifle Association called Carry Guard, an insurance policy for those citizens who lawfully carry a firearm in public. If that armed citizen should ever have to (God forbid) use their weapon to protect themselves, the policy will pay the legal fees for their defense. Because the truth of the matter is, even if a self-defense shooting is ruled justifiable by the police and there is no criminal prosecution, the family of the criminal often sues. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has since decided to declare the selling of this legal product as illegal. Not the actual insurance, mind you, but Cuomo is using the pretext of "The NRA is selling it and they are not licensed to sell insurance." Which is absurd on it's face and anyone with a minimum level of intelligence (and no agenda) can easily see what's going on.

Now it has gone beyond that. It has been made clear to the Insurance and Banking industries (both heavily regulated by the State) in New York in no uncertain terms that "Things will be difficult for you if you offer services to the NRA." No large organization can operate today without liability insurance or the ability to process electronic payments or bank accounts, so this is hurting the NRA.

This is a clear case of persecution. This act defines the "weaponization of government," meaning the full regulatory force of the government (federal, state or local) is being brought to bear on an organization that is engaged in legal business that is compliant with the law, with the intent to cause it to fail. If you are neutral or even in favor of this persecution, then all I can say is KEEP YOUR PIEHOLE SHUT IF THIS HAPPENS TO AN ORGANIZATION YOU LIKE. You started this dance, you like it when this happens to the NRA, expect it to happen to a Leftist organization. If you don't want it to happen to Planned Parenthood, et.al., then don't let it happen to the NRA.

This is why I argue for a smaller and less-intrusive government so it can't do things like this. Government is a brute-force weapon, if it goes after something, expect collateral damage.

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Patriot's Day 2018

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It has been seventeen years since a group of radical Islamists hijacked four commercial passenger aircraft. Two found their way to the World Trade Center, one to the Pentagon in Washington. The fourth, supposedly bound for the White House, crashed in a Pennsylvania field when the passengers tried to retake the aircraft.

In the days after, the world separated into two groups, civilized and uncivilized. The civilized people of this world reacted with horror, anger, empathy, concern and sympathy. The French newspaper LeMonde's headline for September 12th, 2001 read simply, “Nous sommes tous Américains.” We are all Americans.

911WTC

The uncivilized people of the world danced and celebrated in the streets, giving candy to children. Now, just so you know I’m not talking just about the Middle East, we had (and still have) plenty of uncivilized people here. This person is a prime example. Please notice how brave this person is, hiding behind their sign.

ihateny

Since then, we invaded two countries, overthrew their governments and tried to give them freedom, with less-than-ideal results. Thousands of our best and brightest served and died in these two countries. A lot of American blood and sweat was expended in this fight. Thousands of our veterans who made it through but never really came home are still suffering. All I can say is we made the best decision we could at the time.

A Hero Who Never Came Home

Looking back, I understand the purpose of invading Iraq. We wanted to change Islamic society at the root level by installing a freedom-based government in Iraq, hoping the countries around them would see Iraq prosper and think to themselves, "I want some of that" and the idea of Freedom would spread and fundamentally change the Muslim world. What we ended up with is millions of Stockholm Syndrome sufferers who not only didn't want freedom of choice and action to the degree Americans enjoy it, but actively fought against it. We also did find those chemical weapons stockpiles, however the chemicals were "expired," meaning they were still fatally toxic but not in their designed way. While the MSM touched on the subject, it never received a hundredth of the coverage of "Bush lied, people died."

To all who died on this say, to all who took up arms to defend this country, from on old, grizzled, ex-sailor I salute you.

Todays Color Alert

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NYT's Anonymous Op-Ed

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This came out last week, and I had to sit on it for a few days so I could temper my words.

The "Senior Administration Official" who wrote this unmitigated piece of horseshit is a moral and physical coward. He has no testicles, no guts, no spine, no moral conviction and most of all, no loyalty. And to all of my Leftist friends, if this had happened during Obama's (or Hillary's) presidency, I would have said the same thing.

Every person who works for another has a societal obligation to do their best for whomever they are working for. To not do your best or even interfere with that your boss/customer has told you to do is a betrayal of trust that goes beyond all forgiveness. It is the highest violation of trust you can visit upon another, and it does nothing but destroy your own word and integrity. The consequences of this one action should result in your being unemployable, let alone having any position of authority for the rest of your life. No one will ever trust you again. If you pass on to your reward homeless and broke, you got off lightly.

I fully understand that there is private "in-fighting" with any group of people. Behind closed doors there will be loud words, hurt feelings and sometimes even blood spilled (metaphorical, not actual). That being said, if you cannot present a public face totally supportive of your boss, then don't be there. .

I can say this because this is what I did.

You can read my prior posts under Masonry to get the full story. When the Grand Master of Masons in Tennessee suspended two brothers for the heinous crime of loving each other, I stood to be counted to abolish this rule. When working within the system failed, I spoke out publicly. I did not hide, everyone who needed to know who wrote the words I posted here and on Facebook knew without a doubt who I was. Those words earned me a private meeting with the next Grand Master, who gave me the options of shutting up, quitting the fraternity or being expelled, I chose to be expelled.

I have completed my thoughts on the insipid, milquetoast, craven, turncoat coward who wrote this. Now it's the New York Times' turn.

To the editor-in-chief and the editorial staff of the New York Times: Jane you ignorant slut.

I seriously have to ask, how many journalistic ethics boundaries did you ignore, break or bypass? To publish something of such a salacious, unverified, undignified and disturbing matter speaks volumes about your lack of integrity. The Press is supposed to have standards and integrity, that what they report is true, correct and complete. That the reporting of events are clearly separated from opinion. That we can discuss points of opinion with the author. The trust and integrity you build while doing this is why the customer decides to part with some of their money to purchase your product. If your customers can't trust what you say to be true, why should they purchase your product?

I'm sure your aim in publishing this bullshit was to hurt Trump. A man who was elected on the premise that Washington is hurting the rest of the country. A man who has made great strides in returning freedom and money to the American People. While you have increased the volume in your Leftist echo chamber, you have done nothing more than further alienate half of the country. In my eyes, the Weekly World News has more credibility than you do.

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South Africa is going Full Zimbabwe

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This is what happens when the laws are easy to change and there is racial animus. 

Starting in 1980, as soon as Zimbabwe became independent from the United Kingdom, Prime Minister Robert Mugabe who came into power at the end of White minority rule, started a program that seized commercial farms from White farmers. At the start of this unnecessary catastrophe, Zimbabwe was known as the "breadbasket of Africa." Today, at least 75% of the country ranks "High to Very High" in food insecurity. While Zimbabwe used to export food, they are one of the biggest importers of food and a large part of their population would die from starvation if those shipments stopped.

Then this story comes out last week, South Africa farm seizure: Terrified white farmers plot escape as crackdown looms.

From the article:

And ANC chairman Gwede Mantashe sparked panic last week when he said: “You shouldn’t own more than 25,000 acres of land.
“Therefore if you own more it should be taken without compensation.
“People who are privileged never give away privilege as a matter of a gift.
“And that is why we say, to give you the tools, revisit the constitution so that you have a legal tool to do it.”

This is the kind of governmental abuses that are visited upon the people of a country when the government can either rewrite their constitution any time they want, or those vested with the responsibility of following it, don't.

Those who study history without an agenda can clearly see what happened (and is still in progress) in Zimbabwe repeating in South Africa. And just like Socialists who believe, "Despite the historical, documented proof that Socialism has a 99% failure rate (the last 1% hasn't failed yet, but they're close). It will get done right this time because we'll be the ones' in charge," those committing this land grab will think everything will turn out wonderfully. Which, of course it won't and millions of people will starve to death like with the various Five-Year Plans of the USSR, China and other Socialist countries.

The operative lesson for everyone, Capitalists, Socialists, Communists alike is this: "If you take the means of production away from those who produce and give it to those who can't produce, don't be surprised if nothing will get produced."

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How stupid can you be?

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Masterpiece Cake Shop recently beat the proverbial snot out of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission with a 7-2 SCOTUS victory, affirming the right of the owner of Masterpiece Cake Shop to refuse to apply his talents to a custom-made cake celebrating things he finds morally and spiritually objectionable, in this case a wedding cake for a same-sex couple (He also won't do Halloween cakes, either, just so you know). He would sell them any standard cake in the shop, however he would not make them a custom cake. I wrote in detail on it here. This comes from the Huffington Post, Masterpiece Cakeshop Owner Sues Colorado After Refusing To Bake Trans Woman’s Cake.

So, what does radical Leftists do when they lose like this? Get furious, double down and work harder to destroy those who disagree with them.

A trans-woman went to Masterpiece Cake Shop, just a few days after the SCOTUS decision and wanted him to make a custom cake for her to celebrate her anniversary for coming out as a woman. This woman is either stupider than a bag of hammers (for not knowing about the SCOTUS decision), or she went there intentionally to pick a fight. I'm leaning toward the latter. When the owner, Jack Phillips, refused on the same moral grounds to make this custom cake, she sued and the Colorado Civil Rights Commission has forced Phillips into mediation with this woman.

When the highest court in the country says, "The owner has the right to not be forced by the State to apply his work and talents to things he finds morally objectionable" those of us who live in the rational world would call that "A CLUE" and would advise against poking that particular sleeping bear.

This is what escapes me:

A spokesperson for the Anti-Violence Project said the denial of services to LGBTQ community members fuels disrespect and violence.

“This is a concerted effort by Phillips, in concert with designated hate group Alliance Defending Freedom, to push anti-LGBTQ discrimination under the guise of so-called religious freedom,” the spokesperson, Eliel Cruz, told HuffPost. “These continued infringements on LGBTQ people’s access to public goods and services cultivates a culture of violence against us by promoting a narrative that LGBTQ people are less than. Sexual orientation or gender identity should not prohibit anyone from being treated with dignity and respect at any establishment.”

Okay. She can buy a cake from this business, she just can't get a custom cake celebrating her transition, that she could easily get from any of at least another dozen bakers in the city. This woman is supposedly offended that Phillips refused her service. Does her demand to force Phillips not to offend her by refusing to accept her money trump Phillips being offended for being forced to do something morally reprehensible to him?

Being offended is how you choose to respond to a situation. There is no law, legal or social, that says you have the right to get your way if you're offended. If you don't like how you're treated at business A, walk out their door with your money and give that money to business B. That's the best message I can think of. It's part of this funny concept we in the United States have, it's called freedom. You may or may not have heard about it, and it goes both ways.

Because this woman picked a fight and the CCRC decided to poke this bear (again), this time the bear is showing his teeth. Phillips is fighting back against this persecution. He's suing the Colorado Governor, the Colorado Attorney General and every member of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, individually and by name. I hope he sues for damages equal to 10 times each individuals net worth, to send a clear message to let some sleeping bears lie.

Oh, I almost forgot. In a previous post of mine, Governor John Hickenlooper, just to show what kind of classy guy he is, made a quite overt promise (threats are usually idle) that he would pardon a mass murderer if he wasn't re-elected in 2014. I hope Hickenlooper pays dearly enough for this lawsuit that he will have to rent the spare bedrooms in the Governor's mansion to help him pay for what he owes Mr. Phillips.

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