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Quick Updates

I have partially fixed the issue with the deep dives for mobile users. You can see the images, however the layout leaves something to be desired...

 

Also working on my library, I have books that you aren't seeing and now I know why.

The fix has been in for a while

This news article is not surprising in the least to me. 7 Jaw-Dropping Revelations From Hearings on the Motion to Dismiss the DNC Fraud Lawsuit. I remember from the 1996 Presidential election, at the Democrat National Convention, a lot of committees that formed the various "planks" that made up the platform of the Democrat Party, the process went something like this:

Committee member: "Mr. Chairman, I move that [this] be the position of the Democrat Party on this subject."

Chairperson: "All in favor say 'Aye.' Motion carries."

If you're unfamiliar with Robert's Rules of Order, it should have gone like this:

Committee member 1: "Mr. Chairman, I move that [this] be the position of the Democrat Party on this subject."

Committee member 2: "Mr. Chairman, I second the motion."

Chairperson: "Everyone, we have a motion on the floor, properly seconded. Discussion?"

At this point, each person on the committee would have the opportunity to speak for or against the motion. Motions could be made to amend the motion. After everyone has had an opportunity to speak, the chairperson then calls for a vote.

Chairperson: "We are now voting on this motion. All in favor of this motion say 'Aye' [everyone in favor of the motion says 'Aye']. All opposed say 'Nay' [everyone against the motion says 'Nay']."

This is called a voice vote. If it is evident that one side outnumbers the other, the motion either carries or fails. If it sounds close, any member can ask the chairperson to call for a show of hands or for the voters to stand when 'yays' or 'nays' are called.

Notice the difference? In the first rendition, there is no "second," nor is there any discussion on the subject. There is also no opportunity for a dissenting vote.

So when the DNC uses "superdelegates" paid for by Hillary to publicly throw the delegate count to her and insure that Sanders never had a chance at the nomination. As a result, Sanders supporters sued the DNC on the grounds of fraud. The DNC is using the reasoning, "We are a private organization. We can run how we select candidates however we want" to dismiss the case.

The Bylaws of the DNC (specifically Article 5, Section 4) reads:

...In the conduct and management of the affairs and procedures of the Democratic National Committee, particularly as they apply to the preparation and conduct of the Presidential nomination process, the Chairperson shall exercise impartiality and evenhandedness as between the Presidential candidates and campaigns. The Chairperson shall be responsible for ensuring that the national officers and staff of the Democratic National Committee maintain impartiality and evenhandedness during the Democratic Party Presidential nominating process. [emphasis mine]

Yet there is ample evidence out there that Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (the head of the DNC at the time) clearly and repeatedly leaked intelligence about the Sanders campaign and debate questions to the Clinton campaign beforehand, I doubt these actions come anywhere close to the definition of "impartiality."

The lawyers for the DNC actually state in open court and on the record, "We could choose our candidates in a smoke-filled back room if we so desired."

Let that sink in for a moment, because I can hear Stalin laughing manically in the background. It was Stalin who said, "Those who cast the votes decide nothing. Those who count the votes decide everything." The common people, the citizens of this great country who believe in the positions of the Democrat Party, who give money, effort and time to elect like-minded people to positions in our government from dog-catcher the the President, You are only sheep to be sheared by those in power at the DNC. You are expected to be obedient foot-soldiers who have no power or input on whom you're voting for. You vote for who you're told to vote for and that's it.

And just to make the point very clear, the Republicans do not do this kind of thing. I can point to President Trump to make that point. When just about the entire Republican power structure was actively against Trump, yet he played the RNC game by the RNC rules and won the nomination on his way to the Oval Office.

Failing to Fail

No, I do not mean that you passed by using the double negative of "failing to fail." This story, California Will Give Free High School Diplomas To Kids Who Flunked Out is about how California may be granting High School diplomas to about 249,000 students who failed the CASHEE (California High School Exit Exam). First of all, it's 8th grade material, second you only need a 55% score to pass. Second, if I scored 55% on a test, I'd have been beaten to within an inch of my life. That level shows no mastery of the material. 55% can be explained by eliminating the most outrageous answer and randomly picking from what choices remained.

A diploma is a certificate that the bearer possesses a standardized level of knowledge. To give an 18-year-old a certificate that indicates they have a minimum level of skills they were supposed to know as a 14-year old is a very low standard. To not be able to meet that level and still possess that certificate surpasses the level of negligence on the part of our educators.

I am personally dismayed about how little the young adults who are pushed out of the school system actually know. They might have knowledge, they might have facts, however they generally lack practical skills.

I have been thinking about this, and I have compiled a list of practical life skills that a young adult needs to know when out by themselves in the world. This list is in no way complete.

They are, in no particular order:

  • Develop and follow a financial budget.
  • Balance a bank account.
  • How to purchase groceries.
  • How to prepare a balanced meal.
  • How to wash clothes.
  • How to clean and maintain their living space.
  • How to perform minor household repairs.
  • How to budget their time (work/play, arrive early, etc).
  • How to be interviewed for a job.
  • How to perform minor clothing repairs.
  • How to set a life goal and intermediate goals.

The Science smell test

This is going to take more explaining than usual. Go freshen your beverage of choice and read carefully.

Hard Science (Physics, Astronomy, Metallurgy, et. al.) and Mathematics go hand-in-hand. Using Mathematics, the effects of Hard Science is measured and quantified.

Science starts as a hypothesis, which is then tested until the hypothesis is either validated as correct or incorrect. If the hypothesis is incorrect, then more research is performed to discover why it is incorrect.

Case in point, the Pioneer 10 and 11 probes are, as of writing this, are about 400,000 kilometers off where the astrophysicists thought the probes should be, 40+ years after launch. So after about 20 years of hypotheses and research, scientists determined that waste heat from certain components and the radioisotope thermoelectric generator that powers the spacecraft are microscopically ((8.74±1.33)×10−10 m/s2, or .0000000001 times Earth's gravity. Imagine a 200 pound human weighing 3.2/1,000,000ths of an ounce) pushing the spacecraft off its intended course.

How did these scientists determine this? They transcribed the paper blueprints of the spacecraft into a CAD program and built a virtual 3-D model of them. Then the scientists ran thousands of test runs, having the virtual spacecraft emit various amounts of heat from various parts of the spacecraft until their virtual spacecraft matched the trajectory of the actual spacecraft. This took a level of nit-picking attention-to-detail that would make the heart of someone with severe Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder sing with joy.

I give this example to show that people who are not scientists (including myself) could not just walk into the laboratory where this work was performed and have any grasp of the fundamentals, let alone detail of astrophysics, mathematics, metallurgy, nuclear science and all of the other disciplines needed to solve this problem. You cannot walk in off the street and comprehend these concepts and methods without years of college-level classes.

Because of this, we have to implicitly and totally trust scientists when they explain these kind of things to us lay-people that they are not bullshitting us. Scietists by their position need to act with a high level of integrity because we have to trust them to deliver accurate information as to what is happening and why it's happening.

The bad news is, scientists are human beings, flawed like the rest of us. They have private agendas, or they can be influenced to "shave" or "parse" data which changes the base data and "proves" a predetermined hypothesis.

Then comes along this NYT article, 2014 Breaks Heat Record, Challenging Global Warming Skeptics.

If you read the article, about halfway down, there is this paragraph:

Such claims are unlikely to go away, though. John R. Christy, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville who is known for his skepticism about the seriousness of global warming, pointed out in an interview that 2014 had surpassed the other record-warm years by only a few hundredths of a degree, well within the error margin of global temperature measurements. “Since the end of the 20th century, the temperature hasn’t done much,” Dr. Christy said. “It’s on this kind of warmish plateau.” [Emphasis mine]

Let's get back to the Science thing. Let's say you have an air-powered cannon out in the desert. You use it to test how different shaped projectiles fly through the air. You fire the same projectile 20 times with all of the other variables identical (air pressure in the cannon, air temperature, wind, projectile weight, weather, etc.) and the projectile lands 100 yards away on average, with a margin of error of plus or minus (+/-) 1 yard. This means that some tests will hit 99 yards, or 101 yards, or somewhere between those numbers. To look at shots 8, 9 and 12 (which hit at 100 yards 6 inches, 100 yards 10 inches and 100 yards 14 inches) and proclaim that the range is increasing is absurd and unethical. Why is this unethical? Because while we can measure the distance down to the inch, there are subtle forces at work that make any exact measurement in that margin-of-error irrelevant. We cannot use numbers within that MOE to draw a trend because they are not statistically relevant. It's like a pre-election poll, when the pollsters give a MOE of +/- 3% and the two candidates are 47% and 49%. You can't say with any certainty that the 49% candidate will win the election because the results are within the MOE.

So when NOAA publishes a 2015 paper (behind a paywall, sorry) that "debunks" the GW "pause" (no statistically significant warming) that's happened over the past 20 years, upon review it is found that 1) they changed how ocean temperature data is collected (from ships that generate heat, rather than no-heat buoys) and 2) NOAA didn't even follow their own established procedures for data integrity for this paper, then you have to act under the premise that those scientists are bullshitting you.

This is why I am very skeptical about man-made climate change. I have no doubt that our climate changes on the micro- and macro- level every day. To say or believe otherwise is to prove yourself a fool and an idiot. I don't know if humans are any significant cause of the change, one way or the other. I personally can't tell because 1) I don't have access to the raw data, 2) I lack the tools, knowledge and resources to properly analyze the data and 3) I cannot trust those scientists who do have the data and tools because I can see them using data that is flawed from the collection or altered post-collection.

All I can say is, the people who want to convince me that man is the biggest and/or exclusive force that is changing the climate needs a shower, because they aren't passing the smell test.

The power of Socialism

Last week, officials from the Venezuelan government (unsure who, as the economic minister Ramon Lobo is denying this happened) seized control of the General Motors plant down there. This comes after Kimberly-Clark had a factory seized, Coke, Pepsi, Mondelez (they make Oreos) and many other companies have abandoned or severely curtained operations in Venezuela. Supermarket store shelves are empty, bread makers have been enslaved to make bread, the list keeps expanding.

The Venezuelan economy has collapsed 18% in 2016 alone, which has been going on since 2014 when the oil market bottomed out.

This is what happens in a government-controlled economy. Let me apologize ahead of time. If you think a government bureaucrat, either at the state or federal level, should be making decisions on how you should run your business, you're an idiot. Here is Bernie Sanders admitting to that at the 2:20 mark of this video:

Here are Bernie's words, in response to the business owner's question, "So my question is, how do I do that [provide health care] without raising prices to my customers or lowering wages to my employees?":

"You see, the difficulty is also, is that I'm not much of an expert on hairdressing in general, and certainly in Fort Worth."

Unless that governmental official has owned a successful business in a particular industry, they will not have the expertise on how to run/control/grow that industry, any decisions made by them will ultimately end in disaster. Sure, they might get a couple of things right, but only through pure chance.

So, when bureaucrats nationalize, then destroy an industry, what do they do after there is nothing left? Nationalize another industry! Wash, rinse, repeat.

This picture seems to sum up how command economies "expand." From the power that comes from the barrel of a gun.

socialism

 

 

Margaret Thatcher sums it up thusly:

I would much prefer to bring them [the Labour Party] down as soon as possible. I think they’ve made the biggest financial mess that any government’s ever made in this country for a very long time, and Socialist governments traditionally do make a financial mess. They always run out of other people’s money. It’s quite a characteristic of them. They then start to nationalize everything, and people just do not like more and more nationalization, and they’re now trying to control everything by other means. They’re progressively reducing the choice available to ordinary people.

So, now I need someone to tell my why governmental control of an economy would be a good thing. Venezuela is collapsing, the Soviet Union collapsed, China is transitioning to a market economy (at China's speed, which will take another 50 years). Don't point to the Nordic States. They have open markets with large social supports (and a tax rate that starts at 40%). No command-driven economy has ever flourished like open market economies.

 

The fight against City Hall

I wrote about Robin Speronis in December of 2013, I have revived the post and it is here.

The basic story is, she is living in a house that is not connected to any utilities. No electricity, no municipal water or sewage, no gas. The city of Cape Coral, FL is fighting tooth-and-nail to either force her to connect utilities or evict her. The latest chapter has her with a "partial victory." I put that in quotes because most of the stories out there about this are not news stories, they're press releases. I found multiple sites, usually having some focus in "living off-the-grid" with the same, exact article, word-for-word. Even the Russian Times has published the press release. What raised my antennae was the lack of any link for the original news article or the court's decision. I did find the original news article for the latest chapter, Cape Coral off-the-grid woman remains defiant, and a Bloomberg Businessweek article (starting on page 50) giving you an overview of the whole story. If you read the links, notice how the News-Press doesn't say what the press release says it says?

I support the cause that this woman is fighting for. It's about freedom. If you don't want to be dependent on the local utility monopoly, I'm right there with you. I do not support her personally because I detail in my original post about how she swindled people out of large sums of money.

Just to give a taste of what is probably in your own municipal code, this is based off the 1988 Standard Housing Code (the link goes to a 94 version, close enough), as published by the Southern Building Code Congress International, Inc., part of the International Code Council. The following code is from the Lee County Land Development Code, Chapter 6 - Buildings and Building Regulations, Article II - Codes and Standards, Division 5 - Minimum Standard Housing Code, Section 6-222(3). The "section 302.4" is from the parent document:

Delete section 302.4 and replace with new section 302.4 as follows:

Every dwelling unit shall have water-heating facilities which are properly installed, maintained in a safe and good working condition, and capable of heating water to such temperature as to permit an adequate amount of water to be drawn at every required kitchen sink, lavatory basin, bathtub or shower at a temperature not less than 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Minimum storage capacity of the water heater shall be 10 gallons. Such water-heating facilities shall be capable of meeting the requirements of this subsection when the dwelling or dwelling unit heating facilities required under the provisions of this code are not in operation. Apartment houses may use a centralized water-heating facility capable of heating an adequate amount of water as required by the plumbing code, adopted herein at section 6-131, to not less than 110 degrees Fahrenheit.

So Cape Coral, FL requires that you have (among other things) a minimum of a 10 gallon hot water tank, able to deliver 110 Degree water to any faucet in the house. What if you have one of those new tankless water heaters? I guess you're in violation of city code.

Don't get me wrong, I love modern conveniences like electricity, running water, cool air in the summer and heat in the winter. That being said, if I desire to eschew some or all of said municipal utilities, that should be my choice. Quite frankly if I desire to cover my roof in Elon Musk's solar powered roof tiles, use a wood-fired stove to cook and heat my house and dig my own water well, then I should be able to. If the local utility monopoly and municipality does not like that, then they can go screw themselves. Of course, a full divestiture of utility services would entail me properly disposing of wastewater so it does not contaminate my own well, plus disposal of my solid waste. Perhaps an ala carte type of arrangement where I can pick what services I want to use.

Remember stores and struggles like this the next time you invoke that magic word of "freedom."

Lying statistics

This article stemmed from doing my due diligence in researching for the article Have you noticed?, I started reading about the Gender Pay Gap that was the basis of Obama’s EO that Trump abolished with one of his EO’s. I had to split it into a pinned post of its own, The Gender Pay Gap to detail what the issue is about, and then this article about the disingenuousness that exists when your research shows what you don’t want it to show.

The overall lesson of this article is supplied by Mark Twain:

He uses statistics as a drunk uses a lamp post: for support rather than illumination.

Numbers are numbers and cannot show anything but facts. If you collect the numbers incorrectly or incompletely, or you parse the data to show what you want rather than the logical conclusion the whole data shows, then you are lying. You could say “obfuscating,” “exaggerating,” or any of several other adjectives, but they all come back to lying. The context of the subject and data will determine if the lies are from incompetence or intentional.

Basically, the basis of the “Gender Pay Gap” says that women make 77% of men’s earnings. Some Liberals love to drag this “statistic” out at every possible opportunity, which was derived from taking the average earnings of all full-time female workers and comparing it to the average earnings of all full-time male workers.

Now comes another applicable quote, this one by Neil deGrasse Tyson:

In science, when human behavior enters the equation, things go nonlinear. That's why Physics is easy and Sociology is hard.

In other words, when human choice enters the equation, numbers now have other factors that change their context and thus their significance.

While researching Have you noticed?, I found an article on the Huffington Post (a Liberal-leaning website if there ever was one), Wage Gap Myth Exposed — By Feminists. I also found pretty much the same article by Art Gutman here, AAUW Releases Report on Gender Gap in Wages.

The curious thing is, the link to the document on the American Association of University Women website in both articles leads to this image:

AAUW 404

My curiosity, piqued before, now has gone on full alert. Here are two articles that say the gender pay gap is 7 percent. They reference a document that proves this. When you go to try and find this document however, you get the above image. Someone is lying here. I do want to make clear that I am not stating or implying that AAUW intentionally hid this document from these articles. It could be merely a broken link due to an upgraded version of the document, or the document was moved to another directory. I will confess my website is probably guilty of that somewhere. What I am saying is that their data shows way different results than what their images are saying.

With some additional searching, I found the PDF referenced by the links and I am hosting it here to make sure it doesn’t go anywhere. Here it is: Graduating to a Pay Gap The Earnings of Women and Men One Year after College Graduation.

I have detailed the why and how women make less in my Gender Pay Gap post and I will not repeat it here. Suffice it to say is that the “Gender Pay Gap,” is there, but it’s 7 percent, not 23 percent. The 16 percent (23 - 7 = 16) are things like the particular career chosen, negotiation of job pay/hours/scope and so on. They spend 63.5 out of 64 pages decrying this humongous pay gap, yet if you read, really read this document, you will see one sentence in the Executive Summary on page two and this paragraph at the end of page 20. The sentence in the executive summary is a summary of this passage:

One-third of the pay gap is unexplained.

Although education and employment factors explain a substantial part of the pay gap, they do not explain it in its entirety. Regression analysis allows us to analyze the effect of multiple factors on earnings at the same time. One might expect

that when you compare men and women with the same major, who attended the same type of institution and worked the same hours in the same job in the same economic sector, the pay gap would disappear. But this is not what our analysis shows. Our regression analysis finds that just over one-third of the pay gap cannot be explained by any of these factors and appears to be attributable to gender alone. That is, after we controlled for all the factors included in our analysis that we found to affect earnings, college educated women working full time earned an unexplained 7 percent less than their male peers did one year out of college (see figure 10; see also figure 13 in the appendix).

Let me translate that passage: “After the variables for human choice to select a less-than-optimal career path is accounted for, there is a pay gap, but it’s less than the numbers we want to promote, so while we are mentioning it to be ‘honest,’ this will be the only mention of it.”

There is also a subtle accounting trick being used here as well that you won’t see if you’re not looking for it. Have you noticed it?

Let me rewrite the last sentence from above and shift it to the same measurement value:

That is, after we controlled for all the factors included in our analysis that we found to affect earnings, college educated women working full time actually earned 93 percent of what their male peers did one year out of college.

Compare “Women makes 77 percent of what a man makes,” and “Women really make 7 percent less than a man,” versus “Women makes 77 percent of what a man makes,” and “Women really makes 93 percent of what a man makes,”

Does that not change the whole context of the case? It sounds very different and a whole lot better than the doom and gloom AAUW is pushing, does it not? In my pinned post conclusion I do state that we should work toward eliminating that 7 percent difference.

Just as an aside, what is AAUW's "solution" to this "problem"? You guessed it. Government intervention by way of laws and regulations to mandate equal pay.

This is why when you see a lot of graphs and numbers being thrown around, it always merits a second, hard and detailed look at the raw data.

 

Have you noticed?

I wrote this in 2014 when I was using Wordpress for the blog software about an "emotional index." I have not imported that post into Joomla (yet) so here is the important part:

Words have what is called, for a lack of a better term, an "Emotional Index." This means that a word or term will cause an emotional response in the person hearing or reading the term. The word "Friend" produces a positive index because we think of our friends and our connection with them when we hear or see the word. Likewise, "Enemy" produces a similar number but in the negative direction.

So, when Liberals try to convince you to like something you don't like, they will change the terms, from words that have a strong negative index, to words with either a less negative index, or even a positive index. If they can, they will use words outside of the vocabulary of a average person, then define the word how they want it defined, rather than what it really means.

Case in point: "Illegal Aliens," used to denote citizens of other countries who are entering the United States without following the laws and procedures established for the orderly processing of people who wish to become Citizens of the United States. Liberals don't like that term, because, "People are not illegal." So, they want you to use the term "Undocumented Immigrant." When we use the term "Alien," we are talking about definitions like,"a foreigner, especially one who is not a naturalized citizen of the country where they are living," or "relating, belonging, or owing allegiance to another country or government." To prefix the term "Alien" with "Illegal" you are stating that a citizen of one country has moved to another country and is now living in the second country without going through the process as defined by law to renounce their citizenship of their former country.

Now let's take a look at the second term, "Undocumented Immigrant." Both of these words have way lower negative index scores than the first term. After all, the United States is a nation built on immigrants, wasn't it? So, we switch from "Alien," which also means unfamiliar, while also invoking at least some fear, because people instinctively fear that which is unknown, or alien to them. Thus we change from a big negative index, to a neutral or even a positive index. Then the prefix adjective, "Undocumented," which means "not supported by documentary evidence." We can rationalize this by saying, "If I'm driving my car and don't have my drivers license when I get stopped, I'm undocumented." Or you can think about that "undocumented expense report" because you didn't provide the necessary paperwork to justify your claim. You can almost begin to think that the Undocumented Immigrant belongs here, they just haven't made it through the bureaucratic red tape to become full citizens yet. Again, when comparing the indexes between "Illegal" and "Undocumented," the index is way lower for the latter.

I bring this up because if you haven't noticed the MSM has decided to change the words used to describe President Trumps actions to undue the Socialization of the United States.

Case in point: Trump Pulls Back Obama-Era Protections For Women Workers.

Do you see it? The word "protections" is used rather than "Executive Orders." When you actually read the article, it says this:

On March 27, Trump revoked the 2014 Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces order then-President Barack Obama put in place to ensure that companies with federal contracts comply with 14 labor and civil rights laws. The Fair Pay order was put in place after a 2010 Government Accountability Office investigation showed that companies with rampant violations were being awarded millions in federal contracts.

So this Obama EO merely mandates that agencies contracting out for goods and services follow the law instead of going with who pays the better bribes. Because if the agencies performed their due diligence in screening bidders, this wouldn't happen, right?

Now if I were to write the headline to be more accurate, it would say "Trump Revokes Obama Executive Order For Women Workers." Reading my version, your reaction is probably either "meh, so what?" or "Hell yeah! Get rid of those Obama Executive Orders!" Reading the original headline gives the impression that Trump actively hurt women workers. Which is BS, because Obama's EO merely reminds government agencies that for contracts over $500k, the agency must make sure that the bidder is in compliance with existing law.

(Side note: In doing research on this, I found a whole bunch of juicy stuff on the gender pay gap that merits its own post. Stay tuned for that! But I digress)

So, "Rolling back PROTECTIONS" is a lot more inflammatory than "Rolling back EXECUTIVE ORDERS." See what I mean? Of course, if this were 2009 and Obama was rolling back Bush EO's, would the headlines say the same thing? I think it would be quite the opposite.

Do it for the children

Before I begin this, I want you to have some concepts rolling around in your consciousness.

First, I found these words from Calvin Coolidge the other day:

A government which lays taxes on the people not required by urgent public necessity and sound public policy is not a protector of liberty, but an instrument of tyranny. It condemns the citizen to servitude.

Those words tie nicely into my original starting point for this article:

When people die, any debts they have end with them. Secured assets like cars and houses go back to the note holders unless the heirs purchase the house/car or "reaffirm" the debts and continue the payments. Then everything of value that is remaining is sold to pay for any remaining debts (credit cards, student loans, etc.) of those who make claims against the estate. If the deceased’s estate does not have enough assets to pay all of the debts, then those creditors are stuck with the debt. They have no way to get their money back.

Now, imagine we do away with that concept. If your estate does not have sufficient money to pay all of your debts, your creditors can transfer your unpaid debts to your heirs. Would that change how you manage your current financial affairs? Are you okay with leaving your credit card and/or student loan debts to your children?

According to Nerd Wallet, the average US household holds a total of $16,700 of credit card debt and $49,900 of student loans. Be honest with yourself: would you be okay with dumping that debt on your children upon your inevitable demise?

If foisting your excesses upon your children does not sit well with you, why are you okay with the federal government doing it to all of our children?

This needs to be said again, and again, and again until it is hammered home to everybody:

Do not look to Washington to give you money and services, nor to help you whenever you encounter a difficulty in life. Look to your community instead.

Recently, I’m sure you saw the news headlines about President Trump cutting Meals on Wheels out of the budget. Listening to the MSM, you would think Trump shut the entire program down. The truth is a little different. MoW is a private organization and Trump cut off direct federal funding of MoW, which totaled 3% of their entire budget. The rest of the funding comes from donations from state and local governments, corporate sponsors and individual donations.

To be fair, future scheduled cuts of federal block grants to the states can cut up to another 18% from the MoW budget and that will hurt. The good news is, thanks to MSM misrepresentation of the initial facts, private donations to MoW have surged.

You may think that the MoW money is insignificant, however we need to do it to all programs like this, which I will explain why in a minute.

Consider that the US government has $20 Trillion in publicly held debt outstanding. Our “Unfunded Liabilities” (known expenses we will have to pay in the future) total $127 Trillion.

$127,000,000,000,000.00. That’s a lot of zeros. Let me describe it this way to give your head a chance to wrap around it:

A stack of 10,000 $100 bills ($1 Million) takes up a stack 12” by 12.5” by 4.3”, which comes out to 645 cubic inches or just over a third of a cubic foot. Now imagine your average Wal-Mart Supercenter. There is about 250,000 square feet of floor space in that building and it’s about 30 feet to the rafters. That’s 12.96 billion cubic feet.

To visualize $20 Trillion using $100 bills, we could fill that Supercenter from wall to wall and floor to rafters. At that point, there is still enough left to build a block in the parking lot that would measure 100’ wide by 100’ long and 30’ high.

For the unfunded mandates, figure 5 more Supercenters on top of that. That’s the debt we have left our children.

I created this visualization to try and give you an idea of the problem. I am not a Pollyanna who thinks “cutting the budget” alone will fix this problem. We the People have been electing people to Congress for over 50 years that are running the backhoes that are digging this fiscal hole. It will take 100 years of hard, concentrated fiscal discipline to undo what these Congresscritters have done to our children.

But like I said, we could cut the budget to zero, totally disbanding the federal government while still collecting all of these taxes and it would still take decades to get close to catching up.

As Dave Ramsey says, “If you’re in a hole, the first step is to stop digging!” We can’t cut the budget to stop getting farther into debt, we have to grow the economy so the taxes increase as well. You might want to read up on the Laffer Curve so we can create the proper conditions to create and grow businesses that employ more people and thus generate taxes. Then those tax rates should be mindfully and carefully adjusted to maximize growth and taxes in balance.

In the end, this means that Meals on Wheels, NPR, and many other programs must stop receiving federal money because the government is spending our children’s money today. If you want these and other programs and services to survive, donate your time and money to them. That’s a concept known as Freedom. You have the freedom to choose to do it or not, rather than be forced to be socially conscious” at the muzzle of a gun.

 

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.

 

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.

 

 

Cascading Economics

The next time someone flashes a #fightfor15 hashtag, hit them with this.

This is a very simplified and incomplete model of how a physical product is produced. I am using this model to show how a forced raising of the minimum wage will send ripples through the entire chain that goods are produced. Here is a link to a spreadsheet that I used to produce the numbers in this article.

A concept Liberals don’t (or won’t) comprehend is that the pay a worker receives for their part in producing the product or service has to add an equivalent value to what is being produced. Brain Surgeons and 747 Captains are paid very well for what they do. Anybody can be taught how to do brain surgery or how to pilot a 747 in ten easy lessons because 99% of what they do are basic rote actions. The reason why the surgeon and the pilot make way more than a McDonald’s worker is because they know what to do when the patient’s brain starts bleeding, or an engine falls off the aircraft. They are paid the “Big Bucks” so they are in the right place at the right time with the proper training and experience to prevent the catastrophe.

I had a manufacturing job for a short time, assembling 3-D printers, so I got a peek into the manufacturing world. Each printer was composed of six (different) panels for the case, an electronics board, a wiring harness, a heated bed, the actual print head and the various gears, motors and pulleys to move the head and bed to produce what you want it to. There were also screws and other miscellaneous hardware involved as well. All in all, I dealt with about 30 distinct parts, many were used 2 and 4 times (motors, gears, pulleys, etc.) in a single unit. Each part had a different cost from the others, making this a slightly complex product.

The “product” I am making in this example consists of three parts, each made from three different raw materials. In real life, there are more levels, more materials and more sub-assemblies.

Again, this is a very simple model. Please do not fuss over the numbers at all, outside of the labor cost itself. If you do, that makes you miss the point.

The labor for each step is what is necessary to produce enough materials/sub-assemblies for one unit. The same with the transportation. A tractor-trailer can transport hundreds of units, so the labor cost for each unit is very low.

Each raw material costs nothing for the materials (it’s being pulled from the ground) and it takes 15 minutes of work by one person to extract the amount of material necessary to produce 1 part. The overhead is your equipment costs, administration staff, office supplies, etc. All of the things that help the workers bring the materials in and send the finished good out the door. There is also profit to be made.

These raw materials are then transported to another company that uses the materials to make the sub-assemblies. So the sub-assembly companies have to pay for the companies to produce and transport the materials, their own overhead costs and profit. Once each sub-assembly is created, it is shipped to my company so I can use the sub-assemblies to create the final product. I will have my own overhead costs and profit as well.

To keep this simple, I am paying everybody $10 an hour. At $10/hour, each sub-assembly pays $42.00 for their inputs. After labor, overhead and profit, each subcontractor gets their product out their door for $58.50. I pay $64 for each sub-assembly delivered to my factory for a total of $192.00 for my inputs. After materials, labor, overhead and profit I sell one unit of my product for $234. The MSRP/RRP (Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price, or Recommended Retail Price in the UK and elsewhere) would actually be higher, as it would likely have to be shipped from my company to a store (Wal-Mart, Target, Brookstone, et.al.) to be sold to you. For this exercise, I’m only concerned about my out the door price.

If a rise in the labor costs is caused by a forced inflation of the minimum wage to $15/hour by legislative fiat, provided all other costs stay the same (they won’t; I’ll explain why in a moment) my sub-assemblies will now cost me $74.75 and my out the door price will jump to $281.25. That’s a $48.25 or a 16.8% increase in price.

In the real world, my price will actually go up more than what these “pure” numbers reflect. What will go up in addition to the labor price is the overhead. Remember, “overhead” is the labor costs of your administrative staff, office supplies and the equipment you use to produce your product. The companies who provide me with goods and services covered under that "overhead" banner will have to increase their prices to compensate for the new minimum wage. The price of everything I use, from reams of paper, staples and all the way up to million-dollar fabrication machines are going to be affected by just like I am. The company that makes the paper, staples or fabrication equipment has the same “tree” as I do. And if everyone has to get paid a minimum of $15, the price of paper, staples and fabrication machines will inevitably go up.

Now, one of the companies that produces my sub-assemblies may not have to buy a new fabrication machine for 5 years, however because the cost of labor is jumping now, that company has pressure to raise his prices now, not just to cover the additional labor but to help save up for the additional price of that new equipment down the road.

Labor also does not exist in isolation. All jobs are connected and dependent on others. In real life, some workers in this chain are paid less than $10, others are paid more. Just to make this clear, let’s look at two workers in this manufacturing chain. Worker A is paid $9/hour and Worker B is paid $19/hour, if/when the minimum wage raises worker A’s pay to $15, you would have to be on a different planet to not realize that worker B will push for more pay as well. Worker B has to fight for his pay to increase about $25/hour because by raising the pay of worker A, you devalue the knowledge and experience that justified worker B their $19/hour.

Because economics is an indirect art form, if we raise the labor costs on January 1st, we will start seeing prices increasing about June. Prices will increase, I promise you. You may not see it, but they will increase.

Real-world examples can be found in your local grocery store. Products contained in jars (peanut butter, jelly, mayonnaise, etc.) will decrease in quantity by increasing the arch under the jar to reduce the internal volume while charging the same price. So if you have a 24 ounce jar that costs $2.49 in March, it transforms into a 20.4 ounce jar that costs $2.49 in October, that is a price increase of 15% (it costs 10.375 cents/ounce before, 12.205 cents/ounce after). Boxed products (like breakfast cereals) will retain the same front dimensions (height and width) but make their boxes thinner (less depth) to reduce their volume.

My advice is to be very careful what you wish for. You may get it.

 

Truth vs. Narrative

Journalism is what used to be news reporting. People witnessing historic events or interviewing those who had seen it first hand, then transcribing it into such a form for all people to read and learn from. It is meant to be an account from a neutral viewpoint, all facts presented equally to let the reader decide on the matter.

The term "Yellow Journalism" was developed by Erwin Wardman who at the time was the Editor of the New York Press, and was meant to describe the fight between Pulitzer's New York World and Hearst's New York Journal. The "classic" Yellow Journalism ran at its heaviest from 1895-1898. While the concept or practice was not exclusive to New York or these two newspapers, this particular "feud" did not extend beyond New York, simply because the communications network did not exist.

After the turn of the 20th Century, reporting the news returned to being a serious business where reporters realized that there was a great level of trust bestowed upon them by the public who depended upon them for an accurate recounting of events. I remember watching men like Water Cronkite, Chet Huntley and David Brinkley give the evening news. My Dad was a Cronkite man all the way, but sometimes NBC came up on our TV tuner at 6:30pm.

It was in the 70's that some network executives wanted the news bureau to "make a profit." I think that's pretty much the start of the groundwork for our current news climate. It was the launch of CNN on June 1st, 1980 to start the 24-hour news cycle. Since then, that news network addiction of "being first" (not being correct, or truthful or accurate) let the drive to live and die by ratings. The MSM has also artfully blended actual news with opinion pieces since the 90's makeing them very difficult to tell one from the other. Since the concept and term of "clickbait", most of the news media in the United States has had a resurgence of Yellow Journalism and "fake news."

I bring all of this up because I hear the MSM and everyone who believes their narrative hook, link and sinker, is yelling about "THE RUSSIANS HACKED OUR ELECTION."

To which I say:

Inigo

The reason why I say this (and use that meme) is because when you use the term "Hacked the US election" (or some other derivative) this implies that somehow the Russians changed the outcome of the election by changing the vote totals. Just to dispel that notion, elections are conducted and certified at a county level in each state, which is transmitted to the appropriate State government and on to the MSM to provide "election coverage." Currently, there are 3,143 Counties (called Boroughs in Alaska, Parishes in Louisiana) in the US. The "Russians" (or whomever is to blame) would have had to penetrate at least 90+% of these counties and on demand votes. Not to add votes, but to record Hillary votes for Trump. Since "they" couldn't know which counties would go which way or how far, this could be pulled off only if the vast majority of systems were successfully penetrated.

What the hackers actually did was penetrate the email system of the Democrat National Committee and pass those emails to Wikileaks. These emails, private communications between high-ranking members of the DNC and their minions, show how they rigged the primary elections against Bernie Sanders so he never had a chance, and worked with major MSM players to provide as many pro-Hillary and anti-Trump "news" articles and opinion pieces disguised as news as possible. Enough of the information in these emails surfaced in the American Collective Consciousness through the truly neutral and Conservative-leaning media to make a difference in changing public opinion enough to put Trump in office.

The US would never, ever do that to another country, right? According to a L.A. Times story:

The U.S. has a long history of attempting to influence presidential elections in other countries – it’s done so as many as 81 times between 1946 and 2000, according to a database amassed by political scientist Dov Levin of Carnegie Mellon University.

[...]

Levin defines intervention as “a costly act which is designed to determine the election results [in favor of] one of the two sides.” These acts, carried out in secret two-thirds of the time, include funding the election campaigns of specific parties, disseminating misinformation or propaganda, training locals of only one side in various campaigning or get-out-the-vote techniques, helping one side design their campaign materials, making public pronouncements or threats in favor of or against a candidate, and providing or withdrawing foreign aid.

And of course, we see the US meddling in Israeli affairs and actively trying to oust Netanyahu, the current Israeli PM.

Goose, meet Gander.

 

 

Chasing bubbles

As a young man, I bruised my forehead rather severely. I inflicted this wound upon myself by repeatedly slapping my forhead over the plain-to-read common sense in the pamphlet Common Sense, written by Thomas Paine in 1776. I kept slapping my forehead because it made perfect, common sense to me when I read it over 200 years after it was first published.

This book, Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt has generated a similar self-inflicted wound.

Mr. Hazlitt wrote this in 1946, ten years after John Maynard Keynes wrote The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money, which is the bible for Keynesian Economics today. Economics in One Lesson lays out plainly yet with elegant prose concepts that explains economics as what I call a "delayed art form." I mean that in this way: In the age old Art vs. Science argument, if you can quantify the elements and reliably replicate action A producing result B, it's a science. Everything else is Art. In economics, action A will more than likely produce something approaching result B, but not always, six months to a year (sometimes even longer) after the initial action. This is because of Microeconomics, the thousands of transactions that occur daily in an economy. It takes time to make all of the transactions that culminates in a person purchasing a product from a business.

Think of putting a decorative cling on your window. Invariably, there will be some air bubbles trapped between the cling and the glass. Even if you are extremely careful, trying to "squeegee" the bubbles to the edge and get rid of them will result in those bubbles moving in almost any direction but where you want them to go.

When God created the Law of Unintended Consequences, He was thinking about economics. Mr. Hazlitt shows plainly using the "broken window" fallacy that when someone, a consumer or a business, is coerced in one way or another to buy a product (in this case, a Baker has to buy a new window because a miscreant broke the original) a great victory is proclaimed because the Glazer (the person who produces glass and windows) has business. But what about the Tailor, or the Plumber, or any other tradesman? Say the Baker was going to buy a new suit because his present clothes are tattered. Or, the plumbing is leaking in his home. The Baker is forced to spend his limited resources to replace the window and thus postpone getting new clothes or his pipes replaced. This story is repeated every time a choice is forced upon a consumer or a business.

Read this book, please. Then you can attend the free, online video course Economics 101 by Hillsdale College and grasp those concepts with a lot more understanding.

 

Controlled Burn

Here you go. Example upmtyzillion on how even with all of the facts, Liberals come to the wrong conclusion. Trump’s Chief Strategist Wants To ‘Destroy The State’.

Here’s the fear-inducing quote:

“I’m a Leninist,” Bannon proudly told Radosh in 2013.  “Lenin,” he continued, “wanted to destroy the state, and that’s my goal, too. I want to bring everything crashing down, and destroy all of today’s establishment.” Bannon’s fondness for the Russian revolutionary is telling in light of the the recent scrutiny over Russia’s pro-Trump interference in the 2016 election. Vladimir Lenin was the leader of Russia’s Bolshevik Party whose 1917 October Revolution threw a provisional government out of power, leading to the creation of the USSR.

If you read the sentence immediately preceding that quote, you’ll see what Bannon’s objective is:

…Bannon’s goal is to destroy the American system as we know it and replace it with a populist, Tea Party agenda.

I find it ironic that Liberals have since the 60’s have worshiped the bloody revolution that Lenin instigated to overthrow Tsar Nicholas II to bring about the Communist Party and the “workers paradise” that was the Soviet Union. If you’ve ever wondered why that pessimistic fatalism and a total “don’t give a shit” attitude is ingrained into the DNA of almost every Russian, look at their collective lives under the Tsars and Communism.

Also, “Radical Zero” (as opposed to “patient zero”) and Obama mentor Saul Alinsky in his book Rules for Radicals gives an “over-the-shoulder acknowledgement” to the original “burn-it-all down” guy, Lucifer (AKA Satan).

saul

The Liberals of the 60’s wanted to “burn down the Establishment” until they realized that if they could infiltrate the Establishment, they could gradually bend it to their objectives. We are coming to the end of eight years of having a Radical Leftist in the Oval Office.

IMG 1093

So “burning it down” can be a good thing, with controlled burns. Trumps Cabinet picks show hints of this. From the article:

Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt — Is a climate-change denier with deep ties to the fossil fuel industry. 

Does Mr. Pruitt deny any climate change, or that Man is the major contributing factor in climate change? Remember, Liberals were screaming “GLOBAL COOLING” in the 70’s, and “GLOBAL WARMING” after that up until they realized that no one is listening to them because their predictions were 100% wrong.

And of course the EPA needs SWAT teams to perform paperwork inspections, nor would one of their inspectors would actually cause an environmental disaster through incompetence.

Department of Energy Secretary, Rick Perry — In a 2011 GOP presidential debate, Perry listed the Department of Energy among the agencies he would completely eliminate as president. 

It seems like the functions of departments like the EPA, Department of Energy, Department of Education are to consolidate power in Washington and interfere with the daily lives of citizens. Severe pruning or amputation of these and other federal departments should be seriously considered.

Department of Labor, Andy Puzder —  A fast-food CEO who opposes the minimum wage and whose company has been fined multiple times for worker safety violations.

Forced elevation of wages hurts the people they were designed to help. Simple math and real-world effects clearly show this. Higher base wages than market value force employers to raise prices, lay off people in favor of forced automation and/or requiring the remaining workers to “do more with less people in the same amount of time.”

Concerning the safety violations, I have written before on forcing executives who make bad decisions to pay personally, not the company.

Department of Education, Betsy DeVos — She’s a leading advocate of school voucher programs. 

*GASP*!!!1! You mean parents shouldn’t have the power to choose where their children are indoctrinated taught?

Our history has seen businessmen and farmers temporarily putting their businesses and tools aside for a short period of time to go to Washington and serve the People. In my lifetime, we have seen a political ruling class install themselves in the seats of power and refuse to leave.

Maybe it’s time to divest Washington of the political rulers and restore people who want to improve the country and serve the people rather than line their own pockets.

 

 

They got what they wanted

In the Star Trek (TOS) episode The Savage Curtain, Abraham Lincoln gave some advice to Captain Kirk: "Give your enemy what he wants. Just don't give it to him the way he wants it." I apply that advice to my opponents when I wargame.

The #fightfor15 crowd has won some significant victories to have government force the private sector to double the minimum wage. California and New York have made this state law. But like in all things Economic, the results of actions happen after a delay and can be somewhat unexpected. This one has been foretold since the discussion began. Now the buzzards have started coming home to roost: Thanks To 'Fight For $15' Minimum Wage, McDonald's Unveils Job-Replacing Self-Service Kiosks Nationwide.

The consequences of paying your employees more are either A) charge your customers more (higher prices) or B) have less employees. These changes and their consequences are clearly shown to those who look at the actual numbers and do the math. Frankly, either choice upsets the business-customer equilibrium. If prices go up, sales go down. This is a well-established economic fact, proved by hundreds of years of research on this subject. However, reduction of staff without a "force multiplier" (something that enhances the effectiveness of the employee) will also result in lost sales because the level of customer satisfaction will decrease.

The "force multiplier" discussed in this article are self-service kiosks. This means you will walk up to a kiosk, put in your order, swipe/touch your card and your food will be ready in a few minutes. This will cut the number of employees at an average McDonald's from 15 to about 8-10.

But wait! There's more! There are also machines in development (actually in testing) that will automate the entire store. One or two people will be required to put the materials (buns, meat, fries, condiments, etc.) in one end of the machine. The machine will then process the food order (via the kiosks) from the customer and proceed to cook the food, then assemble, package and deliver the order to the customer without any human assistance.

Congratulations! You now have four employees working full time at $15/hour, when you used to have 15 employees working various hours (30 hours/week average) at $7.50/hour. If you've done your math, you can see a 30% decrease in payroll ($7.25/hour x 30 hours/week x 15 employees= $3,375/week payroll vs. $15.00 x 40 x 4= $2,400). The bad news is that the $1,900/week "saved" has to go to pay off the cost of the machine as well as maintenance and repair costs.

So you have reduced employment opportunities for young people by over 60%. Because at least one or two of those four workers will have to have experience and knowledge in maintaining and repairing the new machine. If that machine stops working for whatever reason, the staff on hand won't have time to call the service technician and wait for him to drive across town to get their store working.

I promise you, the 16-year-old that used to get his first job at McDonald's will not have the knowledge or experience to run and maintain that equipment reliably. His opportunity to have that "first job" where he could learn all the necessary skills for his future jobs (arrive on time, dressed properly, do the job as you are told, etc.) just evaporated, and #fightfor15 killed it.

Any job has to add value to the product or service in order to justify the price the customer has to pay for that product or service. If a worker by using his skills does not add a value to the product greater than what they are being paid, the business cannot remain producing that product or service.

The #fightfor15 crowd has gotten exactly what they wanted, a $15 minimum wage. But by losing 60% of that job pool, they aren't getting it the way they wanted it.

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