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We're a Pathetic, Programmed Lot!

You can’t say, “colored”.  Not that you would, the word has been out of fashion, with one glaring exception, for years.  As a word, it is utterly harmless.  If you described a black person as “colored” in a sentence, there is no valid reason to assume that you would mean any harm.  But the assumption would likely be made.  A comical case in point:  Matt Damon confronting Bernie Mac in Oceans Eleven.

Tribute to Bernie Mac

But when I was little – we’re talking the Johnson Administration here – I learned that the correct, term for a kid of African decent was “colored”.  The formal and respectful term, we were told, when addressing a black adult, was Negro.  The NAACP still carries the “colored” in its title.

Tangentially…

At a time earlier still, I remember playing in my friend’s yard.  I couldn’t have been older than four of five. She would go on and on about “colored people”.  I had no idea who the hell she could be talking about. She would tell scary stories about “the coloreds” and how bad they were. For some reason, I got it in my head that she was talking about people whose skin was all the colors of a pack of fruity Chiclets.  That was the only frame of reference I could come up with. Then one day, we were on her front lawn.  That was already a problem because we were always supposed to stay in the back yard.  Suddenly, she ran behind a bush and told me to “get down!”

I looked around.  “What?”

“Coloreds!”

I froze.  I had butterflies in my stomach and an urge to duck.  I slowly turned in the direction she was pointing.  Across Rundale Avenue, some kids were walking home from school.  I look around urgently, looking for the dangerous people she had told me about.  I saw no one.  Just the older kids.  “Where are they?”

“Right there!”, she hisses.

“Those guys?  They’re not colored.”  Then it dawned on me.  They were darker than us.  It never meant anything to me.  And I didn’t know the significance of her hiding in the bushes.  When I asked my mom about it later, I used the term colored.  She immediately corrected me.

“Negro,” she said firmly.  “Colored isn’t a real word.”  Needless to say, I was a confused little kid.  I would spend my early grade school years saying,”negro” at home and “colored” when I was outside.

This was one of those odd incidents that stay with you.  It all struck me as so silly.  I would later start to grasp some significance as I realized you had to go all the way to Chester Avenue on one side of my town and Bailey road on the other, just to see the home of a what?…Negro family?  Colored family?  Christ!!

In the late sixties, between the dawn of the hippie age and the black exploitation films popular in the seventies, the term Afro-American came into use and gained popularity.  Very quickly, if you didn’t use the term, you were at best, old school and at worst, racist because you were not classifying another human being as they insisted on being classified.  Later, the term “black” was supposed to be the proper term. Truth be told, by that time, my friends and I always used the terms black and white.  It was simple and everybody knew what the hell you were talking about.

Later still, the term African-American came into style. I never liked it because I never liked hyphenated Americans.  I also thought it pretentious.  But, what the hell…  In my writing, if I even think to make a distinction, you’ll see me use black and African-American interchangeably.  I rarely do make such distinctions among people, so you’ll rarely see it.  But why such a fuss when people don’t mean anything when they use whatever term they were once brow-beaten to say, with that term now having fallen out of favor?

Why?  Because we are being programmed.  If you speak in anger, the listener can tell by context or tone that you think ill of them.  When you use street vernacular in addressing someone, they know immediately whether or not it is intended as an insult.  But these terms, steeped in a history of racial friction, have been made earth-shattering issues by those who are good at agitating and enjoy behavioral engineering.  The result is that people are always on social eggshells, worried that they may offend the sensibilities of someone else with a slip of the tongue or a joke they thought harmless.  The actions of people we never met against the victims we never met, are fashionably carried forward to add a sense of drama to the lives of some individuals and the needless the discomfort of the group.

I am still that kid on my friend’s front lawn.  I don’t see the point of any of it.  I never think in terms of race. The only time it comes to mind, regardless of company, is when someone makes an issue of their own or someone else’s race.  Then I just get annoyed, and sometimes empathetically embarrassed for the speaker.

Recently we have been treated to this type of thin-skinned drama in DC surrounding another socially protected group, the Native American.  I am not going to say anything you haven’t read or thought about already.  But I have been wanting to comment on this for a while.

Let me start by saying they didn’t name the team the Washington Pussies for a reason.  When a team is given a name, the intent is to create personae that, it is hoped, will be impressive, even intimidating.  It is also a name that team owners hope the community will rally around.  If the team plays well, even if they only try hard and play consistently, the team becomes a source of pride for fans.  Fans like Harry Reid who up until now watched the Redskins on his laptop while he worked so he wouldn’t miss a game.

In the case of the Redskins, the name has been around for 100 years.  The logo was an American Indian, ready for battle, rallying his friends to the cause with his cry.  It was only in the 80s that a few people figured out they could make a political name for themselves by encouraging individuals from a small tribe to don the mantle of victimhood and accusing an NFL team of racism.  If the point of a team name was to make someone look stupid or for the players to put on uniforms they are ashamed of, these people who are voluntarily showing everyone their bellies in imaginary defeat, would have had a point.  For example: Let’s say Snyder decided he wanted to find a perfect target of shame and embarrassment.  Let’s suppose he wanted to take on an image of that target and also embarrass that target every week on the football field.  It would be so easy, even geographically thematic.  He could change the team colors to a dingey brown and grey, have a slouchy mascot with a petulant whiney schtick and call the team the Harry Reids. It would be the perfect DC team!  Or…his logo could be a chinless, pudgy-cheeked man.  The mascot could go to a microphone before every game and spout a bunch of meaningless inanities and they could call the team the Mitch McConnels.  See?  Now we’re talking insult!

But, so far, on this the third go-round of the phony outrage, Snyder intends to keep the name Redskins. He’d be foolish to do otherwise.  This is a brand a century in the making, named for the first head coach, an American Indian (or Native American, don’t want to get anyone’s nose out of joint).  There are high school teams all over the country that also carry the name, including one in Washington State that is made up of predominantly Native Americans.  They’ve already announced that they are not going to change their name.  Oops…

The bottom line is that it is no one else’s business what you chose to name your business.  If it truly is offensive, it will fail.  People aren’t stupid.  They’re not going to rally around some pathetic name like the Washington Welfare Sponges or the Washington Democrats.  Society will marginalize things that are considered offensive.  We do it all the time.  Nobody will ever be allowed to open a strip joint next to Fawn Lake in Virginia.  Why?  Because it is considered offensive.  It will not be welcome.  Andrew Dice Clay wore out his welcome when all his fans, suffering form the immature urge to shock, got tired of his routine.

In the past year we’ve seen the same types of professional crybabies try to drive a perfectly legitimate restaurant chain out of business.  We’ve seen political activists comb through lists of donors to political causes, a personal right the last time I checked, and vilify the CEO of a successful tech company in the most dishonest and spiteful way to the point where that man lost his job.  Why?  Because he chose to believe in a cause the crybabies didn’t.  HOW DARE HE?  DOESN’T HE REALIZE THAT THE MODERN AMERICAN LIBERAL IS THE MOST PIG-HEADED, CLOSED MINDED, ILLIBERAL POLITICAL CREATURE OF ALL TIME?!  SUCH A LACK OF SENSITIVITY!  DESTROY HIM!!!

Okay, the sarcasm switch is off.  But if you’re still reading, you and I both know that such character assassinations are beneath contempt and should enjoy no respect whatsoever.  None.  In fact they deserve any insult that might be heaped upon the effort.

To that end, I have a suggestion.  Grab some Redskins gear; a towel, a drink cozy,  a hat and wear it or carry it.  No matter who your team is* or what sporting event you may be attending, wear it or carry it.  By all means, wear your home team colors too.  But get the Skins gear out there.  This for two reasons:  First, it is well past time we started to support the rights of free market entities against the disingenuous whiners in society.  Make no mistake, these crybabies need to feel that they are being obeyed.  They truly think that their narrow view of the world is the only view and you to which must conform.  So thumb your nose at them by waving your Redskins towel.  Second, it will be a test to see just how far down into the politically correct shit bucket this society has slid.  Wouldn’t it be interesting if, say, the Pittsburg Pirates organization banned Skins gear.  Could you imagine how toweringly shallow and stupid they would look on the news confiscating some kid’s towel at the gate?  Or telling some season ticket holder to remove his hat because the markings on it don’t fit what the crybabies dictate?  It is not outside the realm of possibilities, but my faith is with the individual team owners and common sense.

But do get your gear.  I am ordering a towel.  And tell your friends to do the same.  We’ll call it a blow against the division of society; us from our friends who don’t agree with us by people who thrive on the division.  Let’s all thicken our skins, no pun intended, and live in a world where what is said and what is clearly intended cannot be perverted by Orwellian piss pots.

And for goodness sake, keep your sense of humor.  We’ll start here:  I am of Irish decent** and retired Navy.  There’s got to be hundreds of jokes surrounding those two things.  I invite everybody to take your best shot.  Don’t pull any punches in the comment section, below.  I want some funny Navy and Irish jokes. Jokes submitted by existing “protected groups” get extra points.  Life should be fun.  What can be more fun than busting each others chops about things over which we have no control?  Well, at least until the first pussy hires a lawyer and calls us all bullies.  Even that’s kind of fun when you think about it.

Note to the victim class:  Call this my contribution to the dialog about race you are always whining for. But know I really don’t give a crap what your race is.  Neither you nor I picked that for anyone or for ourselves. It just is, and what non-mouth-breather gives a real damn.

*My family lives and dies by the performance to the Eagles, Phillies and Flyers.
** As a fifth generation American, I am about as Irish as Alan Dirshowitz.  I just needed a frame of reference to get the ball rolling from here.

Get your gear!
Cheers.

 

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Obama's top 50 WHAT?!

The Washington Monthly, in their March/April edition of 2012, published a list of the Jerrett, er uh, excuse me; the Obama Administration’s top 50 Accomplishments.  Needless to say, a blizzard of comments followed.  I was not aware of the article until a friend on Facebook brought it to my attention in order to make the point that we mean haters who hate (read: Conservatives) ought to at least be willing to cheer Obama’s successes while we jeer his failures.  I agreed and asked for an example, saying in all sincerity that if he could point out a legitimate accomplishment, I would happily laud it.  In response another friend, Brenna, sent me the link to the article.  When you read it, from the very first example, you are left blinking in astonishment that ANYONE could construct this list and hope that readers anywhere would actually take seriously what is on the list.  To be certain, only two types of people do; the frustratingly immature who believe it “just because” – They see Obama as cool, so he is right.  He is always right. – and the intentionally credulous.  Harry Reid is their patron saint.  He knows that what he and Obama have done runs the gambit from theater to sedition.  But he continues to blather on, knowing that no one believes he believes any of it himself, but hoping that enough people will pick up on enough talking points to keep the blind stalwarts in the fight.

So I am left with this list of “accomplishment” to address as I said I would.

Number 1 – Obamacare

I can’t believe they actually listed it. Let’s start from now and work our away back to passage of the precursor to socialized medicine.
Just a few days ago, the Supreme Court struck down an item in Obamacare that demanded that all business with over 50 employees pay, through their insurance policy, for contraceptive services (for the purposes of preventing babies – that’s an important distinction)  including abortifacients.  The court held that based on religious beliefs, a closely-held corporation could opt out of participating in medical procedures that offend those beliefs.  In the case of Hobby Lobby and others, the objection was to four items on a list of 17 that they said they could not abide being a part of.
(Full disclosure:  I am an atheist and an activist in the secular community.  I don’t care wit about Hobby Lobby’s religious beliefs and don’t believe churches should have special rights that are different than those of a corporation or a person. That said, the very principles that protect people to run their own lives according to their religious beliefs are in the same first amendment the protects free speech.  If you want to end religious exemptions from law, you must start with the first amendment and go from there.  Whose going to be the first to pick the good religions and the bad ones?  Who is going to the first secular person to quash 250 years of protections for religion and not expect the same thing to be done to us secularists the following week?)
The vitriol that followed the ruling was typical of the history of this whole non-medical care exercise from the beginning.  But having to do with this particular ruling, the left was instructed to scream that “Old White Men” were denying women ACCESS to contraception.
First, the Hobby Lobby objection was to items that were to be used to destroy the “ception” that the acceptable stuff was supposed to run “contra” to.  So the words “to contraception” used here were intentionally misleading.  Secondly,  no one is being denied ACCESS to anything.  It is simply not being FINANCED by others who object to doing so for moral reasons.  But the baseless whining continued.  Hilary Clinton said this was the first time in our history that we treated corporations as if they were people, a lie, until she adds, “when it comes to religion”.  See what she was doing there? She’s hoping most liberal proles don’t know that corporations have all the rights people do.  If you need an explanation, read Smith or Locke.  One among the rights shared by people and corporations is religious liberty.  That stupid concept that Jefferson blathered on about just to make Barry’s life harder.  Both Barry O and Woodrow Wilson have complained about the constitution getting in their way as they try to run the nation.
I only spend this much time here to demonstrate what a rhetorical shipwreck Obamacare has become. There is nothing about it that is or will be successful.  There is almost nothing about it that does anything for the healthcare industry.  It dismantled valuable insurance companies, it will not see 32 million more people insured, it has been run from day one with staggering incompetence, and if you think medical costs have gone up too fast in the past, wait until you get to the other end of this year and into next to assess the damage to the economy and your own wallet.
The fact is that with every step of the nightmare that is the Patient Protection and the Affordable Care Act (PPACA), as with defending the serial criminality of this administration, the tactics have been the same; marginalize the opponents, crate straw man arguments and argue against those instead of arguing the actual point and merits of the case.

This all could have been avoided.

In July of 2012, in a move the New Yorker called a “singular act of courage”,  Chief Justice Roberts decided he wanted to be a co-president for a few hours and missed the opportunity to gut the whole mess when he stepped off the bench, into the well and made the administration’s argument for them.  The question was whether the penalty for not participating in Obamacare was a tax or a fee.  On consecutive days the administration’s lawyers argued that 1) it was absolutely a fee and not a tax 2) it was absolutely a tax and to a fee. The reason is because of the dubiousness of the governments authority to cause people to buy something they don’t need under the penalty of law.  Only in Orwell’s crazy world should this thinking survive.  Roberts would have been correct to laugh the parties right out of the court room.  But he didn’t.  He chose to nail his name into the pages of history and leave us to take this monstrosity apart piece by piece while the misinformation  continues to gush from the White House and a sycophantic press.  With each step, we will have to fight the straw man misdirection and hysterical wailing.

Original Sin

The “Patient Protection” part of PPACA is a laugh riot.  The people most left out there flapping in the breeze, the people least able to absorb the damage inflicted by this 2700 page law and upwards of 30,000 pages of regulations (!!!) are the patients.  The doctors are going to be, and are already, screwed to the floorboards trying to comply with it.
The genesis of all this was even more frustrating for honest people to watch unfold.   In 2010, through lies – this won’t increase budget deficits – to qualify the bill for the what the Senate calls “reconciliation” and outright unethical practices, this monstrosity was presented to BHO for signature.  The question of ethics comes in first, using “reconciliation” to blow open 1/6 of the economy. This is preposterous.  Reconciliation in this context is used to shuffle line items in an overall budget and make small adjustments without having to adjudicate the whole thing over again.  It took Reid and Pelosi to stoop to the levels they did to use this process to magically marry two bills that had not gotten through both houses of the legislature, in some cases skipping steps by “deeming to have voted”, buying votes with HUGE kickbacks and voila, you have the worst law from the worst lawmaking since the nation’s founding.  They really did think they had made the whole thing so complex and confusing and rush-  rush that the public would do shrug and say. ‘Well, okay, if you say so.”  Instead they created the Tea Party.  That movement is the child of Reid and Pelosi more than anyone else.

Conclusion:

Point one of the top 50 accomplishments is a total failure.  Little secret; it may have been intended to fail.  Time will tell.

A Not So Insignificant Aside:

In the piece above, I wrote that we were hearing that women were being denied ACCESS to healthcare because people did not wish to FINANCE their lifestyle choices; specifically not paying for a handful of abortifacients.  I have heard from hysterical women and sunken-chested men several times asking if it was fair that insurance pay for viagra and other treatments of erectile disfunction (ED) and not pay for abortions and abortifacients.  I rarely believe that these complainers don’t see the difference at work here, but I will do the unpopular and point out the weakness of the argument for the truly dense.
ED and related prostate problems, including cancer, are disorders.  It is a doctor’s obligation to treat this as such and do his best to cure or mitigate it.  Pregnancy is not a tumor.  If you are pregnant and the baby is growing nicely, then there is nothing for the doctor to treat.  His primary obligation is to monitor his patient and make sure all remains well.
If the patient decides to terminate the pregnancy, that is an elective procedure.  NO ONE has a moral obligation to finance that procedure.  Mother and child are healthy.  If an insurance company wants to cover that procedure, the pregnant woman is in luck (women in their productive years who don’t want babies ought to check into this when buying medical coverage.  But that is NOT MY CONCERN!)
“But, ah!” comes the occasional retort, “what’s to stop a doctor from citing a bullshit health reason to give a friend viagra just so he can have more sex?”  The answer is nothing.  If a doc wants to compromise his practice and be a total douche bag.  He can do that and probably get away with it.  In much the same way some doctors take into account the “mental anguish” some upper middle class college girl will face by experiencing a perfectly natural biological process.  That’s contrived bullshit too, but it remains one of the prime arguments in favor of a pregnancy being treated like bubonic plague.
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The Entire Federal Government is a Sewer. I Blame You!

 Yes, you!  I mean you…personally!

Update 13 Nov 15: It seems that every election brings the clarion call of the under-educated saying we need to get rid of the Electoral College. This call is very popular among in the very places it is meant to protect.

Without the EC, places like Detroit, Philadelphia, New York, Milwaukee, Chicago and Los Angeles would get 100% of the politicians’ attention. No one else would, They wouldn’t have to spend any time and money courting your vote because they already control the population centers. The cities, which have been taken over by the takers of the world, would also dominate the federal government. No one would care what the rural voter thinks about anything.

The Electoral College is the last vestige of states’ rights left in this once wonderful American Experiment. Like the rules the Democrats flout in congress while Republicans continue to follow, the electoral college was intended to be a bulwark against mob rule. Lose it and that’s what you will have from now on.

I give the EC scant mention at the end of this post, but inspired by my friend, Tammy on FB, I thought I’d expound a bit. Enjoy!

It goes without saying that every generation has it’s unique flavor.  And with each new generation, the one before voices its disappointment and says theirs was a better generation.  The young ones roll their eyes and think oh sure, like you guys were so great.  But you know, as we watch that cadre – Brokaw’s “Greatest Generation” – die away now, any dismay they register with us is probably correct and quite more subdued that we deserve.  They have watched the country they struggled for morph into an unrecognizable creature.
We – I’ll say the population under 75 – have watched or participated in the dumbing down and perversion of knowledge and civic duty not seen since the early days of the Soviet Union. (Read The Perversion Of Knowledge: The True Story Of Soviet Science)  We have permitted our political zoo to become so blatantly and nakedly cynical of us that there are now no boundaries on what they can concoct.  And no matter how stupid or harmful the concoction, they get away with it.
Why?  Because we are lazy.  It’s easier to just say, damn, there’s nothing you can do about it.  Another reason is because we are mind-bogglingly gullible.  Congress is now polling lower in this country than Putin (that’s Russian for “Hitler”). But each precinct sends back the same asshole that voted for Obamacare or corn subsidies or No Child Left Behind or nearly a trillion dollars paid to municipal and federal unions or anything having to do with anybody getting married or Dodd-Frank or…, all of which have put us right here economically.  And then we completely lose sight of the economy as well.

Monumental Misdirection

Here’s where you have to really start paying attention.  Because the political zoo we have today is playing you for rubes on a scale that that would have made Joe Goebbels proud.  Every week you turn on the TV and see the attention of our politicians riveted on a new “scandal”.  They pound podiums, ask probing questions.  Pundits discuss the nuances and mis-steps surrounding each “scandal”.  We are left furious that the administration told us Benghazi was a protest about a video, we shake our fists that the IRS claims to have lost files, we shake our heads at the poor treatment of vets.  But here’s the thing: these are not scandals, scandalous though they may be.  These are crimes; genuine criminal activity, carried on out by elected officials and federal employees.  These crimes are not alleged.  They were committed.  As allegations, they fall on the heads of the accused.  Members of our government conspired to to do harm to groups or individuals for money or votes.
Too carried away, is it?  Veterans died while VA administrators cooked the books in order to secure their bonuses.  And they all cooked the books in the same weird way.  So where did the idea originate? Cincinnati?  Do you think that if the head of the Cincinnati office came up with a fraud scheme to cheat the taxpayers and not take care of patients, he’d advertise it, tell everyone what he was doing?  Nope. This fraud was hatched very high up DC.
We already know that the IRS crimes were not the product of a Cleveland plot as originally claimed by Lerner. (Poor Ohio, these dick heads in DC seem bent on giving that state a bad name)  Nope this was carefully coordinated with senators, the Justice Department and the Obama campaign.  There is one and only one place to pull that off.  I’ll give you a hint:  It’s not Lois Lerner’s office.

Want to talk REAL crime?

One of the first initiatives of the Valerie Jarrett administration started with a fabrication.  There were, we were told, hundreds of guns being sold everyday in Mexico after being purchased here in America. Our guns were the fuel behind the drug wars.  There were a few problems.  We found out in short order that drug dealers and other criminals found guns from overseas were cheaper and easier to get than anything they could buy from the US.  The Mexican government had not claimed, as stated by Jarred’s spokes goon Barry, that they almost always found serial numbers of US guns at crime scenes. No one was listening.  I think Americans knew it was bogus.  That wouldn’t do at all.  The people had to be made to listen and obey.  So guns were intentionally allowed to walk (enter Mexico without a means to trace them) by law enforcement to create the scrim behind the narrative.  The tail was already wagging the dog.  Then, Oops!  Brian Terry was killed by one of Eric Holder’s guns; which is to say Barry Obama’s guns.  Caught with their hands in the cookie jar, the Jarrett administration circled the wagons, planned their obstruction of justice against the efforts of congress and had to put off gun control until something else came up.  Terry’s death allowed for touching sound bites but no genuine respect on the part of the Imperial Presidency.  Lots of Mexicans were killed with these guns too, but that doesn’t seem to matter much at all.
In Benghazi, it wasn’t the crime of 9/11/12 that was the issue.  The White House circus didn’t commit a crime that night.  They just plotted out a neat bullshit story while four Americans were dying or were about to.  The crime came later, lying to congress about how the bodies came to be so cold and why they lied about it to begin with.  The administration’s actions before and during the attack are a simple matter of incompetence and depraved indifference to the lives of those killed.  The crime is the lying and obstruction.

Congress swings into inaction!

There should be no question on either side of the aisle, in either house of the legislature, of the need to appoint an omnibus special prosecutor or several prosecutors.  It should simply be a question of which of those two to pick.
But congress and likely YOUR congressman don’t really want that.  They have it easy right now. With very few exceptions, both parties in both houses are using the rhetoric inspired by the crimes that have been committed to avoid actually doing their jobs, passing budgets, getting the federal government out of our lives and pocketbooks or vise versa if you are of a big government persuasion.  Most important, by chattering at microphones, they avoid dealing with the crimes about which they chatter.  By paying lip service to the “scandals” they avoid doing anything that requires taking a real stand and the rubes back home think they are doing their jobs.  They are safe from real repercussions because in at least one case, possibly two, the Attorney General is up to his eyeballs in the crimes himself.  The previous Secretary of State is a culprit in one, the heads of the IRS in another and to one extent or another, the President (the one we elected) is a party to all, if only by neglect or providing the motivation for each crime.  In the case of the Benghazi coverup and Fast and Furious, I’d say he was probably one of the main perpetrators.

With mealy-mouthed Harry Reid in between the perps and those who should  be calling for criminal charges, the whole cast can play out their feigned anger for TV cameras and never actually do anything that would require leadership or the cashing in of any political chips.  Certainly the cowards John Boener and Mitch McConnell aren’t going to rise to the occasion.

…And a bonus.  No one is bugging these guys about the economy.

If they’re the assholes, why am I mad at you?

Simple, my lazy friend, you continue to elect these monuments to muck.
“But, MJ, I don’t like these guys any more than you do.”
Great. Do you vote?
“Sometimes.”
Do you volunteer for candidates and causes you believe in, do you write your congressman, the local newspaper?  Do you even read a newspaper?  Do you talk to anyone in office about what pisses you off?
“Well…”
Well, then, you are responsible.  It is considered politically chic to say that you hate these politicians and to spout your own point of view.  “But it doesn’t make any difference,” you say, so you won’t waste any of your incredibly cool time to wait in line to vote.  Thanks to you, these ass faces inside the beltway feel no sense of accountability.  That’s on the left and the right!  They are laughing at you every single day for how easy they have it.
Funny, the “you” I am speaking to is often the guy I hear saying we should do away with the electoral college and certainly doesn’t understand the value of having states appoint senators vise a popular vote.  For the hyper morons in the room, states used to appoint our senators.  But it didn’t feel good. So spotting the opportunity to further corrupt and fleece the electorate, politicians said, “Sure! We’d be glad to elect Senators by popular vote!”
That doesn’t speak too poorly of you.  Most people don’t understand the correct need to follow constitutional law or even why the constitution says what it says.  No matter; there are people in high office right now who belong in a cage.  The rest perpetuate the criminals’ imperial reign.  Some will read this, some even enjoy it, and click on the next thing that pops up.  Others will get riled up for about a minute, maybe yell at their spouses about it.  Very few will take much from it.  So…I guess it’s true. It doesn’t make a difference.  That’s your fault, too.

Matt Jordan is a travel writer, political commentator and author of 16 20 24. Get your SIGNED copy here!

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A Cautionary Tale; Irresponsibility and Corruption.

Economics is a simple discipline.  It’s people who EFF it up.

There is a school of thought that says by letting the value of the dollar slip again and again, we keep the price of our goods down, increasing foreign trade.  You don’t want a trade deficits, right?

Well, who the hell cares?  Markets come and markets go.  Exporting goods isn’t the only means of creating revenue in this country.  It is only when you form partnerships between chosen businesses and the government (subsidized pricing, protectionism, dollar devaluation) that everything goes to hell. The decline of the dollar helps only dishonest people in the larger scheme of things.

(Reminder:  I am a free market conservative.  I am not ranting about the 1% here.  I don’t begrudge anyone their money, honestly earned.  This is about crony capitalism and economic ignorance.)

What people don’t get is that foreign trade is not all we do as an economic power.  We do more business inside our own borders than anywhere else.  And the value of goods argument is a phony argument. There are trade-offs to having a strong dollar and a week one.  Better to let markets rise and fall as they naturally would.

A strong dollar is a strong dollar everywhere, including inside the United States. If deficits run too high, countries that sell us things will find themselves with full warehouses and have to adjust their prices or reduce their exports to the US.  It all works itself out on its own.  But when you have government patrons using phony arguments to prop up exports, the results are not as they are advertised.  The long-term damage to the dollar will kill many times more jobs and shrink far more incomes than trending trade (im)balances.

Same Ignorance, Different Scale

There is a similar scam being touted by local politicians throughout the country.  It has been a rising trend for years, but in some places it is becoming a real nightmare.

This story takes place in a once-sleepy Spotsylvnia County.  Located in Virginia, near Fredericksburg, it is a place steeped in Civil War history.  For a long time, folks who didn’t mind a 60 – 90 minute commute from Washington DC could find a nice place to put down roots at a price far lower than what they would pay nearer the city.

During the housing boom, pre-2008, the whole area including neighboring counties exploded with no planning at all.  As some counties began to see the writing on the wall and get a handle on their growth, Spotsy, as it is called by locals, continued on a reckless trajectory.  The Board of Supervisors, peopled by developers and builders and/or friends of developers and builders, has not met a residential or real project they didn’t like in years.  The exceptions, of course, are projects that might park a Walmart across the street form places like Fawn Lake and Bloomsbury Farm Estates.  But to shoehorn more retail and apartments and houses anywhere else?  No problem.  This has all been done with no consideration for the exponentially expanding traffic on the Interstate 95 corridor.  In fact, it is often done while pretending not to realize the problem they are intentionally contributing to.

Case in Point…

In recent years, it would be nothing unusual to spend two to two and a half hours making a commute from exit 166 to exit 126 on I-95.  3 hours is not unheard of.  4 hours on a summer Friday is common. This to travel 40 miles on a major freeway.  All of this is due to rampant development without a plan to provide the required infrastructure.  In a move demonstrating obtuseness on a scale few can imagine, this board of supervisors approved the construction of a raceway.  Old Dominion Raceway is owned by the same (get this) real estate developer who had his raceway kicked out of Manassas, Virginia. After being laughed out of two other proposed locations, he found friends on the Spotsylvania County board.  Arguments were presented by a few concerned citizens against the raceway, with traffic being a major consideration.  Arguments in favor were made by dozens of out-of-town members of the raceway industry telling touching stories of a boy and his go-cart to defend the raceway.  The level of misdirection on the part of proponents was also breath-taking.  One interesting exchange went something like this:

Board Member:  (to the raceway lawyer) How can we be sure you won’t contribute to the traffic problems on I-95.

Lawyer:  As you can see on our application, we won’t start racing until 7:00PM.  The rush hour will be clear by that time.

Board Member nods.

Here’s the obtuse part.  Traffic is still quite healthy at 7:00 PM.  To get to the raceway BEFORE a weeknight event, one would have to leave the DC area from the north and Chesterfield or Williamsburg areas from the south at 4:30 or 5:00, and incrementally later as you get closer to the target.  A quiz for the minimally aware:  What time does rush hour traffic start?  Just this raceway will add thousands of cars to already  packed roads and I-95.  It was amazing to watch the lawyer and board members pretend not to know this.  They all do, of course. But the commuters on I-95, the people who live in Thornburg, at exit 118 (new home of the raceway), and the general population in Spotsy don’t grease their elections, pay their honoraria or promise them jobs for after they leave the board.

And the beat goes on?

In late May of 2014, this same board of self-serving misfits voted in thousands of housing units and tens of thousands of feet of retail space in an area near exit 126.  This at a time when we are already seeing soaped up windows of closed retail stores.  They have been approving developments, left and right, for thousands of units for the last two years.

Here’s what the board understands completely.  You don’t serve your existing citizenry by allowing wild, unplanned development, especially in already congested areas.  You only hurt home values and cause more congestion.  It is sold as “progress”.  But what it is – is crony capitalism.  And Boss Hogg runs the show.

The real way you bring up standards and home values and income and quality of life in a community is by setting very high standards for development, especially in congested areas.  And in some areas, stop building altogether.  By just allowing unchecked development to run amok, you do to housing what the Fed does to the dollar.  You devalue it.  And for their pain, the citizens are rewarded with more traffic.

Don’t be an ass for these people, locally or nationally.

I called this a cautionary tale.  This isn’t just happening in Spotsy.  In Spotsy, real estate development is not the only business in town and foreign trade isn’t the only economic mechanism at work in America. And it isn’t just real estate or the dollar being destroyed.  Look at every single case of “government and the business community coming together for the common good” and you’ll find people trying to suspend the laws of economics, which are as real as gravity, and making a mess of our economy FOR THEIR OWN GAIN.  Whether it’s sugar subsidies, Obamacare, green energy “initiatives”,… the rule of thumb will ALWAYS be a harder life for the people who it is supposed to help and money for the winners picked by the government.  And it is happening everywhere.

Sadly, the people of Spotsylvania County don’t read the paper.  They already hate the existing traffic pattern.  But when all these plans come into being, they will be shocked. “How can this happen?”, they’ll ask.  But it won’t matter.  When the county board was planning, intentionally, to make their lives harder, the citizens were blissfully ignorant.  Don’t let this happen to you.  Read your local paper, watch local news and GO TO COUNTY AND MUNICIPAL MEETINGS.  When the citizens are looking out for what is good for them, less of this stuff happens.  It wouldn’t hurt to keep an eye on the lunatics inside the DC Beltway while you’re at it.

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See?!?!?! This is why Republicans don't win more elections!

Well, I suppose I should concede that there are several reasons the Republican party snatches defeat from the jaws of victory.

The one we’ll visit with here comes to us from John Alley of the Fredericksburg Coalition of Reason (FredCoR).  It seems Al Bedrosian (R – Roanoke County, Va) needs to go away for a little while.  Unlike most of his colleagues, some even from the other side of the isle who get elected spouting off about god-ditty-god-god, Al actually believes the undiluted fecal matter he is shoveling.  Worse, he wants to create a little county-wide theocracy in the heart of Virginia, birthplace of the Religious Freedom Statute and genesis of the First Amendment. Bedrosian not only believes that people need to pray to a god at county meetings, but they need to pray to the god of the Christian New Testament only.  His “reasoning” process is truly Orwellian, a label I usually reserve for my liberal targets.  By letting another flavor of prayer to be heard, or none at all in his presence, is denying HIM his religious freedom. Put another way, you must pray as directed by him and his ilk or we are thwarting THEIR liberty.  Put another way still, he believes laws should be passed that say you will be Christian or you are not permitted to pray at County events.  Would someone be kind enough to ask Mr. Bedrosian if non-christians should wear a big, yellow “NC” on the shirts so he can see who might be trying to sneak a prayer to the wrong god at county meetings and town picnics?  

Here’s the rub:  When politicians, sadly and all too often, Republicans, bring their gods into their political races and offices, they make voting for them difficult. (Full disclosure: I am a fiscal conservative.  I am registered republican and usually identify as such.)  Goldwater, who a lot of liberals now miss for his timeless even-handedness, warned against the rise of fanatical Christian movement and what it would do to the party.  To their credit, the average voter, in hopes of finding somebody who might just start to address the real issues, have looked past the religious pandering and voted for these guys anyway.  They are sometimes rewarded with bills that try to get Big Brother out of our way so we can live our lives.   Sometimes.  They are also often made to feel foolish when the god guy gets caught stuffing his tongue down a political aide’s throat in hotel hallways, among other activities.  

Statement released:  “Oh, I’m flawed.  I fired the aide and ruined her life. Now I am praying to god and asking my family’s forgiveness.”  

What he is really thinking:  “Hey, this is what people do.  I try to respect the artificial restrictions we place on ourselves, but she’s really hot.”

Bedrosian is simply the worst of the lot in making things difficult for Republicans seeking office.

To win and win consistently, Republicans and fiscal conservatives specifically, must accept a few basic truths.

  • Only a minority in the party actually cares what sky daddy the candidate prays to.  While certain individual candidates from very small homogeneous districts must – sincerely or otherwise – claim a deep and abiding faith in one religious brand or other, the American population as a whole has moved far beyond being impressed by religious credentials.  The more a candidate plays at religion, the less impressed the larger electorate is.  While old-school, the political handlers and statisticians say it is risky to run a  candidate who doesn’t pay lip service to a god.  I would submit that it is, nowadays, unproductive or in some places counter-productive to do so.  Keep your religiosity to yourself.  It doesn’t carry a single argument outside the choir loft. 
  • There are more non-religious colleagues in office than most realize, causing doubts about the veracity of religious identification by pols. Religiously non-affiliated people represent a rapidly growing percentage of the population.  As many as 25% of people, according to some polls identify as non-affiliated, 16-20% are agnostic or atheist.  Yet, we are expected to believe that 534 out of 535 members of congress and every single president and vice president are humbly faithful to some mystical interpretation of a god.  This among a cadre of the most bloated egos in the country.   While I acknowledge that an outsized ego isn’t necessarily a bad thing for a person in a position of power, it doesn’t lend itself to bended-knee pleading and impracticable beliefs.
  • Encouraging identity politics while trying to repair a country is a fools errand.  FDR was the first master of divide and conquer electoral politics.  He couldn’t subdivide the population often or quickly enough.  His particular favorite was economic class envy but he wasn’t immune to using sex or race as well.  The result was great for Democrats, not so good for the country.  Such divisiveness has never served the republicans well.  Only the former Democrats that switched to Republican in the 60s and early 70s ever benefited.  Also, an us versus them message is an anathema to the correct social contract conservatives need to draw in order to fix this ailing country.  The free market doesn’t give a damn for the color of your skin, your religious beliefs or with whom you wish to mate.  It only demands participation. And the free market is the last best hope to repair our economy, put people to work and dampen enthusiasm for those who insist only they or god can build your life for you.
Reasonable people can debate the previous two paragraphs.  But there is more to the impact of people like Bedrosian.  The most dangerous aspect of all this is that the people he is pandering to, are like the devoted of all faiths.  The more ludicrous the demonstration of faith, the more fanatical the proclamation, the more admiration the practitioner on display garners.  Padre Pio leaps to mind.  

Why is it dangerous, you ask?  When the secular realism that made the country great is set aside, and little tin-pot theocrats like Bedrosian gain a voice, resentment of others and from others is the most immediate result.  A fuse is lit.  Fortunately, our culture has often seen through such silly social power grabs, tarted up as religion and dampened the fuse with equal parts reason and ridicule, the end result being a return to some sense of normalcy. 

But in recent decades there has been growing attention given to people who spout about god and the state while financing diamond mines off of the social security checks of old ladies ,among other rubes.  The majority used to laugh.  Now the majority remain silent. You don’t want to be seen as intolerant, right?
 Well, two weeks ago the Supreme court actually said that a denominational prayer before a state function doesn’t throw into doubt the fair treatment of people NOT of that denomination.  And so starts the slide.  Small towns will bicker over whose god is the right god and who says the right prayers. Resentment will fester.  Allegiances will form while others will fade.  A with-us-or-against-us attitude among religious advocates will evolve.  You WILL start to see the treatment of other or non-religious change by the congregation in charge.  You WILL see a gradual legalization of unequal treatment by local or more numerous regional religious groups.  Laugh if you want, but in 1641 England slid into a bloody civil war over the use of the right prayer book.  Our political zoo, and a quick scan of any Facebook feed tells me we are not far advanced from that time, and in some ways, less so.

It has always been said that god has been the reason for the success of this country; not so. The various gods and various filtrations of god’s groups have always been happy to give “him” the credit.  The truth is that reason and science have advanced American exceptionalism, not myth.  That is not something reasonable, educated people can debate so easily.  If anything, religion has slowed our rate of advance here as it has everywhere throughout history.

If the Republican party doesn’t put a leash on people like Bedrosian, they will continue to lose elections that were theirs to walk away with.  More importantly, if reasonable people don’t loudly and directly reject his ilk, this nation will continue its slide into a cesspool of identity politics and national failure.
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The Tell: How Jay Carney signals to everyone that the Administration is unworthy of our trust.

I want to play poker with James Carney.  I want to see him throw a handful of blue chips after drawing two cards.  Then I want to watch that little turd’s left, upper lip fold back and his head drift down and to the left when he declares his bet.

Carney came to this White House via the Duh Biden campaign after carrying the party water at TIME magazine.  And that lip has been rolling back ever since; in a big way over the last two days.  The administration has elected to say that the email covering up Hillary Clinton’s depraved indifference to the safety of our people in Benghazi was actually about the protests carried out the previous day in other cities around the region.  Protests that no one cared a lick about by 10:00PM on 11 Sep 2012.
To his credit, it is clear that Carney doesn’t believe a word he is saying.  The rolling lip attests to that every single time.  To his everlasting discredit, he doesn’t have the nuts to stand on his hind legs and say. “This is indefensible bullshit and I’m not going to be the face of it!”
And so the lip curls.  If I were sitting across the table from him at that moment, I’d go all in and clean his clock.
But there is a larger question that the democratic party is betting you are too ignorant to grasp.  You see, they are happy to trot poor Carney out day after day to argue talking points.  If they ever get really busted on the talking points issue, they know they will get away with it.  They have no conscience or concern about lying to EVERYONE about ANYTHING.  It is the straight line between their neglect (Benghazi) or design (Fast and Furious).  In these cases, they will argue the secondary points all day long, even when they know they’ll lose; perhaps even especially so.  Because they know if they can play rope-the-dope with people like Boehner and McConnell, they get away with actually getting people killed, quite predictably, by their own actions.  With the IRS scandal, they keep discussion on minutia.  With Obamacare, they are happy to take the slings and arrows about the shitty roll-out, because the bigger story is the irrevocable damage the entire program will do the the economy and to us.  When conversation gets to close to the larger truths, Barry’s Bullshit Brigade will bring up lesser failures to dumb down the conversation.  And YOU let them.
This assortment of spunky, snarky, quirky non-leaders are counting on their mastery of the one-liner and YOUR laziness to carry them through their term in some semblance of peace so they can move on to their speakers’ fees and honorariums.  In Obama’s case he is praying that his heiress apparent – Hillary – will survive.  He will buy property in DC and spend his time interfering in her administration a la Putin, until he lacks breath.  But for all this to be so, you, dear reader must pull a Carney.  You must tuck your tail, curl your lip and say something inane like. “Oh, they all do it.”  But we all know, they don’t ALL do it; not on this level.  But these people do.
______________________________________________________________________________Update: It was just a few days after this went out that Jay Carney announced his resignation.  You have witnessed the power of streetpolitics.us!!!…And probably a hundred other blogs and commentaries.  But hey, I’m sure this is the one that brought him down.  Muah-haha!

Matt Jordan is a travel writer, political commentator and author of 16 20 24. Get your SIGNED copy here! A book on his travels in Mexico and Belize will be released in the Fall of 2015.

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Let Us Pray!

11 March 2014

Tonight, the well of the Senate has been transmogrified into a church.  Adherents are gathered to give witness to the power of the gods of climate.  They will piously warn of the devastation that awaits us if we listen to the apostate flat-earthers who doubt the holy writ.  They will ignore the MASSIVE ice sheet to our north and the stable temperatures we have experienced for the last decade and then some.  There will be prophecies.  For lo, the land will be swallowed by water and draught and famine and tornadoes and hurricanes and lumbago and carbuncles all at the same time.  For when have we ever seen these events before?  Not in our lifetimes, certainly.

Don’t the heretics know that a storm hit New Jersey and New York last year?  Are they blind?  Can’t they see that it was the worst storm ever to hit the region since the prehistoric days of the 1960s?  Could they not have seen the swath tornadoes that cut through this nation in the last twelve months.  It matters not that such a gathering of twisters has happened several times in our past.  It matters even less that we were coming off a seven-year dearth of these types of storms.  If we, the faithful, say one tornado season is a pattern, it’s a pattern.  Facts be damned.

We must now pledge that our treasure be wasted on second rate countries who will not really spend it fighting climate change (it will be spent on corrupt or practical things) because these little people are too stupid to make natural adjustments to changes in weather patterns we warn of.  We must tell them what to do and then be duly ignored by them.  Only in this way can we appease the gods.

And know this, if we are right, and the earth warms, only bad things can come of it.  Deserts will expand.  But verdant spaces will magically remain stagnant.  Longer warm seasons will NEVER cause longer growing seasons, because that would help feed people.  It is therefore verboten to even speak of.  More rain will not lead to rivers providing more irrigation.  In the religion being celebrated on the the reader’s dime this holy night, the torrent of rain claimed to be coming by our high holy ones only brings flooding to health rivers and skips over rivers in need of rain.

And all this because of the haters that brought the blight of carbon dioxide, the hell gas, upon us; along with medicine, transportation, electronics and the technology to make our tinker toys, solar panels and wind farms.  May they BURRRRRN in the fires of their evil gas (well, we can pretend their evil gas does BURRRN anyway).

I urge everyone within the sound of my keyboard, to offer up a prayer of humble contrition for every act of carbon desecration they have ever committed against our planet and accept their personal culpability in the destruction of every living thing that exists.  Say that prayer in the name of our dull-eyed saviour, and savvy green energy short seller, the Reverend Al Gore.

Amen

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See?!?! This is Why I Can't Have Nice Things!

It’s been reported that there is, yet again, an activity and some tools that people are employing for pleasure which have the added benefit of helping them end an unhealthy relationship with something harmful.  And here’s the worst part; they are doing it on their own without supervision and taxation, beyond sales tax, of the government!  This must not stand.  There is no justification for anyone to do anything that isn’t controlled and limited by the imperial nanny state and its self-important, nosey, insecure busybodies.

The independent press, what little is left of it, is already criticizing the important steps local governments are taking to put these individualists under the loving thumb of the state, as they should be.

Here’s an example of dangerous people advocating independent behavior.  It should be noted that none of this was ever a White House talking point and is therefore unauthorized!  You are permitted to watch it, but you are not permitted to think and must fall back on government approved information as soon as the video is over.

Crazy haters who hate the good people who know more about everything than you do.


This whole e-cigarette craze is doomed to fail because it lacks many important elements of the kinds of successful programs Big Brother, er…uh, the United States Government and all those cute little, pretend state and local governments have forced into your lives for your own good.  First, there is not enough law surrounding it.  The Dodd-Frank bill, which took over the financial segment of our economy is a 1200 page law, tens of thousands of pages of regulations and costs employers billions of dollars in compliance (Good!  We hate rich people anyway.  And what have those mean corporations ever done for us anyway?).  The new immigration bill, designed to create cheap labor for weak-kneed republican populists and voting slaves for morally bankrupt democrat populists, is 1700 pages long. Obamacare, designed to end quality health insurance as we know it, is 2700 pages long.  Two of those pages actually deal with health CARE.  The rest is about placing power with the government where it belongs. It has already spawned nearly 30,000 pages of exquisite regulation that will keep those stupid, out-of-control doctors and insurers too busy complying to exploit the poor people of the nation.

What follows is beyond treachery.  While the lion-hearted mayor of New Amsterdam, Nanny Bloomberg fought for the banning of e-cigarettes in public places, cars, homes, sewers, etc., Bloomberg news (THE SAME NAME AS HIS HOLINESS) has an independent thinker actually talking on a TV program.  And the hosts are not banning or insulting her!

Warning: Contains information which may lead to free decision making.

Do you remember the debate about how guns independently leap out of their boxes, load themselves and kill people?  We were told to be frightened by the semi-automatic assault weapons.  (I know there is no such thing.  That’s not the point.)  Even though they can’t fire like a machine gun, they kinda look like one.  And that’s scary!  The guts are the same as any hunting or plinking rifle of the same calibre, but it is how you feel that counts; not pertinent facts.  Well, if all of that doesn’t give you the vapors, look at this!

Clearly, this product has been designed and marketed in such way as to be attractive to its end user; the, forgive my course language, individual.  Be afraid.  Be very afraid.  Because I said so.  I am with the government and I am here to make you afraid.
And this from a doctor; see if he ever gets any Obamacare money!

Let’s get down to brass tacks.  It’s with big laws that the government finances the tens of thousands of little laws we use to tax you and punish you.  This e-cigarette thing has the potential of being really big. And the government needs your money!  Hey, cutting pay and benefits from the military and taxing medical device manufacturers only puts so much in our pocket.  We need more.  We’ve colluded with real cigarette companies for a century now.  We approve and handle their product and allow their market, while taxing the b’jesus out of YOU.  We say where you can smoke and make you pay for ever more pointless changes to the packaging and it’s still not enough.  We don’t care that wrecking this new concept will encourage people to continue smoking regular cigarettes.  We owe more favors to Marlboro than we do to some mom and pop vapor store.  By regulating and taxing the shit out of both houses, we get more of what we want; money and regulatory power, the latter which ultimately means more money.  We don’t care if nobody actually quits smoking.  We don’t have to.  We are the government.  And if you don’t see things our way, you are not patriotic.
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Disclaimer for the truly slow:  The author doesn’t wish to see the electronic cigarette interfered with by the government.  They F-up EVERYTHING they touch.  Lot’s of people will walk away from traditional cigarettes using this technology.  It follows that the e-cig popularity will eventually die off.  If Big Brother starts getting its incompetent fingers into the mix, people won’t go to all the work of using these things while paying as much as they do for real smokes right now.  They’ll just keep smoking.  We have to be careful what we are encouraging.
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Cheers.

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Damn you, Krauthammer!

25 Feb 14
CK stole my thunder with a piece in the Washington Post.  I had just read about the disappearance of a lake in Iran and have been trying since to find time to sit and address one point made by the author.  But I learned in the meantime that Charles Krauthammer (almost always the smartest guy in the room) was already firmly under the skin of those open-minded people who are so tolerant that they insist on silencing ANYONE who disagrees with them.  And I wanted to be that guy!  People who think we need to dump our national treasure on redistribution scams based on chicken little-ing “changes” in our climate have been lobbying news papers to not print Krauthammer’s article.  So much for the free exchange of ideas.
But what am I saying?  This is settled science!  There is no questioning it. If you do, you’re a hater.  A DENIER!  Case in point:  Everybody knows the earth s flat.  It’s settled science.  The earth is flat and the stars are little lights floating just above it.  This Galileo jackass is simply a hater.  He hates the Pope.  he hates Catholics, and he’s flat wrong…No wait.  Uh…
No, I have a better one; this whole flying thing.  A bunch of rich eccentrics and socially stunted people hook wings to their backs and to bicycles and think they’ll fly like birds.  IT IS IMPOSSIBLE.  You’ll never find the propulsion to overcome gravity and…What?  They did?  When?  Shit!
Well, there is no way they’ll ever convince anyone that global warming isn’t settled science.  Hah!  We got them there.  So, okay, the guy who invented the idea made some dodgy assumptions, and he won’t show ALL his processes for closer review, and he even admitted that he increased the numbers to create a dramatic increase in the out years because the people need to be shocked into paying attention.  But this is hard and fast science! It must be.  Because from that day to this, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has been using that data to flim-flam, er uh, educate the world on the subject; that very same data.  When the IPCC own in-house scientists don’t come up with models that are shocking enough or address the right terrible conditions in the right locations, they are sent back to rewrite their findings until they do.  That’s why so many real scientists have left the IPCC.
Okay, here endeth the sarcasm.  I do it because it’s fun.  I use it to drive my GW friends crazy.  I don’t know why they put up with me.  Maybe it’s my collection of Axe fragrances – for men!  But they love me and I…allow them to.
But here’s something that is disturbingly not sarcastic, from none other than our chief “diplomat”.  In this little vignette, Kerry starts by saying it is time for a frank discussion.  He then goes on a bit of a tear starting at 20:19.  At the end of this rant, before going on with how we all need to work together and contribute (read – take from you and give to them) he then refers to anyone who disagrees with the concept of global warming – even as a matter of degree, or points out it’s clear inconsistencies – as the flat earth society.  Why is it not at all surprising that he sounds just like Maduro who, just today said he wants dialogue with his opponents in Venezuela and then goes on to call them fascists?  The flat-earth comment carries all the intellectual heft and social maturity of a middle school debate considering the question: “Is Bobby Biffmeyer the cutest guy in homeroom, or what?!”
Like many people, like Krauthammer, I neither deny climate change, that’s what it does constantly, or the possibility of global warming. I just don’t think it is as certain and demonstrable as gravity or water freezing as our SOSUS says.  And I am very happy with the amazing progress North America has made to clean up the air and waterways over the last forty years.  But there is much to debate on this issue, not the least of which being the self-destruction of circular claims that GW/CC causes rain, draught, storms, heat, cold, longer growing seasons, famine all at the same time.  The only things that can be said with confidence is that there is more carbon in the air now than at SOME other times, and that time will tell if we are actually in a constant warming trend. We’ve been stalled for well over a decade now.  It must reasonably be allowed for that the late 80s/early 90s may have just been a warm time.  There will always be a warmest month, year, decade, century in a world which might, at any given time, be generally warming or generally cooling.  Think millennially. (Is that a real word?  I’m not sure, but auto-correct didn’t bust me on it.)
But I get real nervous when the political class tells us, “Act now, don’t think, just do what we say!”
A bit more on what is unsettled science; those pesky ice-sheets.  While we are told the ice is melting, we have reached the end of many of the last winters with a larger ice mass than the year before.  This year, Lake Superior froze.  That hasn’t happened in a while.  (For the psycho freak who dropped F-bombs on me for having a simple discussion without qualified citation last week…here you go.  Read ANY news story about Lake Superior two weeks ago.  IT FROZE!)  Update:  As of 4 March, all but Lake Ontario are frozen and LO is slushy.
Also, if the ice sheet has been melting at such an alarming rate over the last half of the century – an alarming rate – why haven’t the oceans risen at an alarming rate?  There are two reasons sure to offend the GW/CC dogmatists.  It really isn’t melting at an alarming rate.  It comes, it goes. And, when water-born ice melts, it contributes amazing little, if at all, to the volume of water supporting it.  I am blowing raspberries at the ice-sheet melting proponents right now.  Damn, now I have little drops of spit on my screen.
Anyway, to my thunder that bloody Krauthammer stole.
In this bit of lazy journalistic advocacy Live Science staff writer and political advocate for the IPCC, Denise Chow writes about the disappearance of Lake Oroumieh, a large, shallow body of salt water.  In it, she lists the causes for the lakes impending demise; indiscriminate damning and irrigation from tributaries and underground sources to the lake.  To this she adds the now obligatory “and the effects of climate change”.   
Of course when water flow is blocked and source water is drained away from a lake, these are facts that can be observed and verified with simple observation.  BUT!  How much did “climate change” contribute to the reduction of water in that basin?  Seven square miles?  Seven gallons? Seven tablespoons?  The question cannot be answered.  There is no algorithm, no formula, not a single shred of evidence hard or deduced to indicate that the wide-ranging conditions in our climate contributed uniquely to this or any other anomaly presently occurring on the planet. NONE.
The simple fact in play here is that the GW/CC movement is now the engine being used to convince developed countries that they must give control over more of their treasure to people who will redistribute it (well most of it) to the less fortunate countries.  Those countries will then use it to build green energy infrastructures.  In much the same way the American government used the outlandish fines levied on the cigarette companies for smoking prevention programs for kids.  A little spoiler:  they didn’t.  It was all syphoned off for other uses.  This after the federal and state governments colluded and continue to collude in the distribution of tobacco products.  And so it shall be with GW/CC funds.  
It doesn’t take a PhD to see what tinpot “leaders” of many of these countries will do with the wealth they receive after the GW/CC do-gooders take their cut.  There will be the usual disbursements to political loyalists and the construction of lavish governmental facilities and even some real projects that help people.  But there will be little, if any, green energy anything undertaken.  It is too far down the list of priorities for people who have enough to do just to survive; survive in the existing climate.
Still, it is the thumb in the eye to the West and the feel-good utopianism of “sharing” with the developing world that people like Ms Chow and/or her editors cannot resist.  So, whenever there is a storm, a draught, a flood, a sudden sweep in temperature, it is followed by occasionally accurate analysis along with a plug for an ever-more discredited concept being used to create a more perfect world. All of this brought to you by people who have declared themselves much smarter than you.

My point is this.  We need better, more testable, transparent information before we go off now, now, NOW, throwing money at climate issues.  I have yet to hear anyone, including the scientists in magazines and other media (yeah, I’m a nerd, I watch and read this stuff) offer more than anecdotal or finite time-frame evidence on the subject.  If there really is such a thing as catastrophic climate change looming, and I hope there isn’t, we need more than “we have CO2, some recorded temperatures have been warmer than others, therefore we are going to all die in the next 200 years”.  Insert whatever claim you wish as the result, there just isn’t enough information available to hang your hat on.  We have only had accurate measuring devices, i.e. thermometers that can consistently measure to a tenth of a degree in the last half century.  And we know of warmer times that have come and gone since the last ice age.  We need more facts.  The impatience of proponents is not a reason to do anything.  
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Minimum Wage Laws = Minimum Thinking

George Will once posited this question, that if by some miracle everyone’s net worth and income measured against purchasing power were to triple overnight,  would the howling about income disparity suddenly go away? The answer is, of course not.  The reason is because pundits and politicians favored by the non-thinking class would point out that the lower third on the income ladder are still the lower third, and therefore cannot afford the four bedroom, three bathroom lake house the middle third now can.  And that isn’t fair.  One should fold one’s arms and stomp a foot when uttering that last sentence. Assume I’ve done that for you.
 
Fortunately, the free market system does not address what is “fair” in terms of how big your bank account is, how much I get paid, how shiny and fast his car is.  That is up to you, your upbringing and your decision-making. In the free market, and I would contend in a truly civilized society, the citizens have the sense and the strength of character to live their lives without complaining about the possessions and success of another, beyond perhaps a compliment on the qualities of whatever it is that person has garnered.   The compliment would be a simple pleasantry.  The rest is none of our business.  Further, we meddle with opportunities and the methods of success of others at our own peril.
This is axiomatic in the thinking of truly successful people; people who made their own way in the world without resorting to the insulting of, or interference in, the lives of others.  Wow, the heads of Occupy Wall Street fans are exploding all over the country right now.  Most, despite the fact that many are members of the 1% they pretend to despise and privileged with a college education, don’t understand the first sentence of this paragraph.  And those that do, know it’s true but also know they’ll never be able to apply their global warming degrees with such dangerous ideas still lurking in the minds of thinking people. 
 
How does this apply to the minimum wage?  Let’s go back to the politicians mentioned above.  They know that a large majority of people think it’s okay to raise the minimum wage.  They also know, but wouldn’t dare mention, that a vanishingly small number of people actually work for what is presently the federal minimum wage.  They also know a few more things.
First, the sector of the economy for which this wage was introduced (never having a lasting impact on those it was intended to help) is the unskilled, entry level or supplementary income sector.  Wait staff in mid to low quality restaurants, gas station attendants, unskilled construction labor (we used to call them go-fers),  janitorial staff, etc.  Because of the simplicity and often the flexibility of working in these sectors, these jobs were typically offered to teenagers to give them entree into the working world and teach them a work ethic.  For others it was supplemental income. None of the jobs the minimum wage laws are aimed at were ever intended to be a livelihood and were not designed economically to be so.  The fact that middle-aged people have crowded out entry-level kids at Walmart is neither our, nor Walmart’s, fault.
These same pandering pols also know that the electorate is shamefully uninformed.  The average voter is asked, “Do you think people at the bottom of the income ladder should have more money?”  And the average voter says “Sure, why not?”  If asked, “Should the government mandate what a person’s wages should be?”  You’d get a sneer, at best.  The correct answer is, of course, what an employer and an employee agree on, in the exchange of time for money, is absolutely none of the government’s business.  And the legislation to meddle in such arrangements is a waste of time and money.  But there are politicians in need of cover from real issues, so here we are again.
Will made another great point just today, in fact.  Who will pay for this rise in the minimum wage?  Well, by huge disproportion it will be the poor, of course.  Who does the most business with those earning minimum wage?  It isn’t politicians.  It’s not the guy who drives a Jaguar.  It’s people who eat and shop as inexpensively as possible.  They will finance the lion’s share of this stupid idea.  And only a mouth-breathing idiot really believes that hours and jobs won’t be lost and prices increased at those very establishments to offset completely, the new wage.
 
As a side note, both McDonalds and Walmart already pay above the prevailing minimum wage in most cases.  Not all their stores, of course, pay the proposed minimum wage to new employees.  Most employees presently move past that $10.10 figure rather quickly.
Here’s a cool result of coming up with the magic number of $10.10/hr. to solve the woes of the down-trodden.  The down-trodden get to remain so a bit longer as employers will be less generous with promotions and raises for established employees.  And another!  This will incentivize some restaurants to finally employ technology that’s been out there for years. Automated ordering.  Wawa stores are kicking ass with it.  In fact they have been able to hire more people to cover the growth in business, so that just might be a wash in extremely well-run businesses.  It won’t matter though.  Occupy Wall Street-types will put on their shabby chic outfits and urinate in front of any restaurant that tries it.
This latest iteration of pretending to care about poor people is the brain child, as it always is, of politicians who find themselves in a hole and in need of some handy misdirection.  The present administration has been an abysmal failure on absolutely every front.  Between blatant failure, to corruption, to deaths by the administration’s ineptitude (Bengazi) or design (Fast and Furious), this is a White House in constant need of Occupy Wall Street-esque distractions.  Follow any news stream from the beginning and you will find programs trumpeted, programs failed, then the “rich” attacked and/or the “poor” pandered to.  It is so naked it is embarrassing to watch.
 
The CBO reports that the new wage mandate will cost a few million jobs although there’s a negligible chance no jobs would be lost.  This is good news according to the White House.  They say that a few million isn’t too many people to worry about and it MIGHT be none!  Last week they were saying that the 2.5 million jobs estimated to be destroyed by OBAMACARE will be an excellent opportunity for some of us to relax and get out of those jobs we’re trapped in.
Unions love the minimum wage also.  As soon as it goes into effect, mark my words, they will point to union employees and say, “Look at poor Charlie over there”, doing a job he never chose to  grow out of.  “Poor fella is only making $2.00/hr over minimum wage!  That’s a disgrace!  He needs a raise.”  The effect this has on the bank accounts of the pure-of-heart union “leadership” will only be a happy coincidence .
More and more (but not nearly enough yet) people are realizing that the government is a standing insult in many ways, this being one of them. Whenever politicians/unions claim to be “helping the little guy”, know with crystal clarity that the only people being helped are the political class and their own incumbency and personal gain.
Those who we are told will benefit directly from an increase in the minimum wage will see their gains eaten away rather quickly as the entire economy floats to a corresponding position with respect to their  big pay raise.
I know, I know.  I say all these things because I am a hater.   All fiscal conservatives are, right?  If I had the wisdom to be found in a drum circle or Justin Beiber pajama party, I’d be totally on board with this minimum thinking idea.
Remember, government that assumes it can decide your minimum wage can also decide your maximum wage.  It’s been tried.  Read up on Nixon.

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