Sunday, July 5, 2015

Bingo! Obamacare Is Failing...

Trying to figure out exactly what is going on with Obamacare has been rather difficult. This is because Team Obama has flooded the media with unreliable numbers and the media has run with these. But now we have a number which zeroes right in on the truth, and it shows that Obamacare has indeed been a colossal failure. Observe...

Here's the deal. One of the keys to determining whether or not Obamacare is/will work is looking at the number of enrollees. The original estimates of what were needed were rather significant and obviously unobtainable, so Team Obama quickly downgraded that number significantly. The MSM put on their amnesia caps and ran with that new number, pretending the original number never existed. The new number required that Obamacare enroll more than 8 million people in the first year and then 15 million in the second.

Well, the best Team Obama could do in the first year was a fake number around six million, so they blurred this number with people being added to Medicaid, which was never part of the projection. Combining those numbers, they just barely beat the 8 million number and declared victory. Then they just started making stuff up, claiming that 16 million or more had really signed up. Most recently, they claimed that 32 million were signed up through the exchanges (and Medicaid) and thus the program was a smashing success. Eat it, doubters!

The problem was that there was no way to verify any of this and the MSM was busy putting out their own fake studies to confirm all the BS Team Obama was spewing. Hence, no one knew what was really going on, but the MSM was busy painting the program as a stunning success.

Now we can prove differently.

According to some recent polls, which the left is touting, the percentage of uninsured adults in the US "is at a record low of 11.9%, down from 18% in 2013." Ok. Let us now consider what this means, shall well. First, the 18% figure is obviously fake. Eighteen percent of the population works out to around 57 million people. That's not a true figure. The number of uninsured has been steady at right around 43 million. That is the number that was used to sell us in the need for the program and that is the number that has come up time and again as "those without insurance." So the 57 million figure is a lie. But what interests me is not that figure. Look at the other figure: 11.9%. That works out to just over 38 million people. Subtract 38 million from 43 million and you get 5 million people. That means that since the passage of Obamacare, only 5 million more people got insurance... not 8 million, 9 million, 16 million or 32 million... just 5 million.

What's more, many of those are new Medicaid enrollees. I can't say for sure, but I estimate about 3 million fall into this category based on date Team Obama originally released. What that means is that only 2 million NEW people signed up for private insurance. The rest in the exchanges are people who previously had insurance and just jumped to the exchanges.

That is a HUGE failure of Obamacare's original purpose.

What's more, despite hearing that young people signed up in amazing numbers that were much higher than anyone expected... oh thank the Maker!, we now know that young people signed up at a rate that is 41% below the target rate. That means the program is not self-sustaining.

We also know, by the way, that 10% of the total premiums paid to insurers in the program last year were transfer payments from the government to insurers to balance out unexpectedly high costs run into by insurers in the people they enrolled. That means that the population of enrollees is 10% sicker/more expensive than expected.

None of this bodes well for the health of the program. It doesn't mean the program will die, but it means that it will cost a lot more than expected and it hasn't really put a dent in the number of uninsured. That's a major fail.

Thoughts?
[+] Read More...

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Thanks....

I wanted to take today to thank our contributors...

People may not realize the amount of time and effort that goes into blogging, especially when you produce original content rather than just repeating headlines with a three or four second blub attached. Some articles can literally take hours to write. Sometimes it takes hours to find something to write about. And often, the things we write can draw quite an unpleasant response (see, anything circa 2012).

So with that in mind, I want to offer my truly heartfelt thanks to Kit and Bev for their hard work in turning out exceptional articles every week to keep this wonderful little community going.

I'd also like to thank everyone who has contributed to the film site with excellent articles as well, like the Major-Minor Studio series or guest reviews. And I'd like to thank everyone who contributes their thoughts in the comments. Comments keep blogging fun and keep the community active.

Thanks everyone! :D
[+] Read More...

Friday, July 3, 2015

Happy Birthday America!!

Happy Birthday America! Happy Birthday to the home of the brave and the free, to the shining city on the hill that has inspired so much good over the past Century, the one country that gave the world freedom, prosperity and peace in all but the most primitive corners of the globe. America... love it... respect it... protect it!
[+] Read More...

Friday's Thoughts: Some Thoughts on America

By Kit

The idea of America as a new nation, unlike any other in history, is as almost as old as America itself, going back to the Shining City Upon a Hill imagined by the Pilgrims as they set foot in the place that would come to be called “New England.” They, seeking to separate themselves from what they saw as the heretical English Church, hoped that their new settlement would be an example to the whole world, much like Israel was (or was supposed to be) in the Old Testament.

And this association of America with the Israel of the Old Testament continued, indeed it became stronger, even after America declared its independence. Benjamin Franklin’s proposal for the Great Seal was an image of Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt. In a way, America was to be the new Israel and Americans the new Jews. We would be strangers in a strange land, leaving behind an old world and forging a new nation in a new world.

And how would we be different? The nations of Europe, it must be remembered, were took their general shapes from accidents of geography, language, and the limits of kings’ medieval fiefdoms. There have been occasional alterations since but have remained largely constant since then. And over time those countries coalesced into nationalities and ethnicities; the English, the French, the Scots, the Czechs, the Poles, the Germans, etcetera. And each of those nationalities and ethnicities had histories and folklores.

But what did America have?

G.K. Chesterton has been quoted almost ad nauseum on this topic but his famous quote needs repeating because it is true: “America is the only nation founded upon a creed.” And that creed, he said, was in the Declaration of Independence: all men are created equal, that they have the right to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness, and that governments are created by the governed to secure those rights. It promoted the unique idea that a governments exist not only to protect people from the armies other countries’ governments or from criminals inside the country but from the government itself; that government itself is as much a threat to the people as it is a necessity. As a result, while most countries seek to disarm their populaces to keep the people safe, America was constructed with the idea that the populace should be armed to keep the country free.

The idea that governments exist to protect it’s people’s liberties was, and still is, a radical and astonishing idea.

What is even more astonishing is that we’ve kept it going for more than 200 years. The French love to brag about how they “created” democracy, as if Athens had never existed, the British did not have a parliament, and the American Revolution did not pre-date theirs by at least a decade. Or maybe it’s their Philosophes, Montesqui and Rousseau, who inspired Americans, which they did, but that ignores the existence of English writers like John Locke and Thomas Hobbes, both of whom were born before Montesquieu and died before Rousseau was even a zygote. As well as ancient Greek and Roman writers Aristotle and Cicero. Those, too.

But, whatever the source of their claims, it is always worth mentioning that though they did create a republic, they could not keep it going very long. They descended into the nihilistic bloodshed of the Reign of Terror and fell under a dictatorship before finally returning to monarchy and, after a brief 4-year return of the republic, again had a Napoleon sitting in power as a dictator, Napoleon III. They were only able to establish a permanent republic in 1870, eighty years after Bastille. And that one was only stable after brutally crushing the Paris Communard in 1871 during the Semaine Sanglante (“Bloody Week”).

The failure to permanently establish republics in Europe caused many republican and liberal-minded Europeans such as Alexis de Tocqueville to come to America to see how we had managed to do it.

It also brought immigrants, too, and still does. People from around the world seeking a better life.

It is often not realized that the God of “God Bless America” is, at it’s heart, not the Christian God of the New Testament, believed in by many of the early settlers and frontiersman, but the Jewish God of the Torah. Songwriter Irving Berlin first heard those words not from some Christian preacher or politician but from his Jewish mother. At the age of five Irving Berlin and his family were forced to flee Russia due to the anti-Jewish pogroms, the only memory Irving had of Russia was watching his home burned down at night. After they arrived in America his mother would often say, “God bless America” because if it were not for America they would have had nowhere else to go.

So, on this fourth of July, have fun, stay safe, and remember all of the things that have made this country truly unique.

And may God continue to Bless America.
[+] Read More...

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Book Review: Conservatarian Manifesto by Charles C.W. Cooke

By Kit

“I think it probably shows how precarious things are for conservatives that we’re meeting in secret and you’re listening to a foreign radical talk about his little red book. With ‘Manifesto’ written on the front of it.”

Thus, Charles Cooke, National Review’s current resident posh, gun-loving Englishman, jokingly began a speech at the Heartland Institute speaking of his “little red book”, The Conservatarian Manifesto, which he offers as a possible way forward for the right in the early-21st century that combines many tenants of both conservatism and libertarians.

The book, Cooke writes, was inspired by meeting a number of conservatives, mostly young people, Gen-Xers and Millennials, who, like himself, found themselves feeling libertarians when around conservatives and feeling like conservatives when around libertarians. They lean towards libertarians on issues like the drug war and same-sex marriage but towards conservative on issues like foreign policy, abortion, and immigration with a strong support for federalism, or the right of the states, as well as local municipalities, to govern themselves. They are also tired of Republicans handling fiscal issues in a way that is anything but conservative.

By and large, I found myself agreeing with him.

I think states and local governments should, for the most part, be able to govern themselves. I think the drug war has gone too far and would like to see a rollback, my attitude towards same-sex marry is “eh, let ‘em have it” but I support a strong foreign policy and I am pro-life. The only point I feel I might have differed was on immigration and even then I am not a fan of open borders like libertarians are; I support a path to citizenship for illegals, provided clear penalties are involved, but also secure borders and regulated immigration.

One of the most interesting points is the one he raised on social issues. The left loves to treat current Big Three of social issues, gay rights, drug legalization, and abortion, as equal but he points out that they are each very different from each other —especially abortion. He argues that the debate on drugs is about how and in what way may the state intervene in the economy and what products, if any, may it ban. Same-Sex marriage is about what the role the state plays in “the institutions of civil society”.

Abortion, however, is about when life begins and under what circumstances is it moral to terminate a life. Those are a fundamentally different questions from the ones raised about gay marriage. Further, he points out that if you compare the generations, in some ways millennials are more pro-life than Boomers and Gen-Xers and that if the laws on abortion were done according to the public’s opinion then it would be fully legal only in the first trimester with exemptions in the 2nd and 3rd trimester involving cases of rape and danger to the health of the mother.

The only problem I had, and this are very minor problem, is that there are areas I wish he could have gone a bit more into detail. But the book is an overview, not a full-fledged, reference tome like Thomas Sowell’s Basic Economics (a book you should all own). It has more in common with Karl Marx’s “little red book” from which it’s title borrows rather than, say, Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations; a short, easy-to-read statement on what he and other young “conservatarians” believe.

And in that, it does well. It provides a good, strong path for the Republican Party and the conservative movement in general in the 21st century.
[+] Read More...

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Spanking time!

I’ve written about liberals giving themselves away on many occasions. Let’s do that again tonight. Tonight’s topic is spanking. Yes, spanking. It turns out that despite what talk radio will lament, you can in fact spank your children. SO sayeth the Court.

Here’s what happened. The Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled last week that parents may in fact spank their children, ruling that spanking “remains firmly woven into our nation’s social fabric” and “it follows that we must guard against the imposition of criminal sanctions for the use of parenting techniques still widely regarded as permissible and warranted.” Wow, common sense!

The one caveat on the ruling, which makes sense too, is that the spanking can only involve “reasonable force” so as not to cause the child physical harm or mental distress. That makes sense and it fits with the normal rules for use of force in tort cases.

This rule represents a clear victory for traditional child rearing concepts and a blow to whiny liberal experts who have been trying to stop spanking for years, especially as the ruling came in a very blue state. This was not a spank happy Texas court.

Anyhoo, the liberal we will now discuss is Rachel Bersche, who wrote a length article about the decision for Yahoo and her cited expert Deborah Gilboa, some child-rearing expert. Rachel dutifully reported the decision but quickly and repeatedly warned us that “experts say that even though spanking may be permissible, it’s not advisable.” In fact, the bulk of the article is basically about how spanking is a horrible thing. In making this case, she quotes Gilboa without raising any of the obvious problems with what she says.

According to Gilboa, there is only one time that spanking is effective when it comes to raising a child. That is where it is an expected form of punishment and “it is normal across that child’s community,” but “that’s just not the case in our society anymore.”

Now first, let me point out the ludicrousness of this. If spanking is bad because it teaches kids to be violent, as Gilboa claims, then why would it suddenly not teach that lesson if everybody’s doing it? That’s nonsense.

What’s more, consider her statement that spanking just isn’t “normal across the community in our society anymore.” Right before this quote, Rachel quotes a poll that found that 78% of parents think spanking is appropriate and 67% say they have spanked their kids, with 30% of 1-year olds having been spanked in the past month.

I would call that pretty darn widespread if 8 of 10 parents approve of it. Wouldn’t you? Apparently, Rachel and Gilboa don’t. This reminds me of the debate about the Washington Redskins’ name where liberals are stretching a poll that found that more than 8 in 10 people approved of the name into claiming a “significant and widespread opposition to the name.” Yeah right. The existence of a fringe does not a lack of consensus make, and less than 2 in 10 is a fringe.

Gilboa also makes the classic mistake of presenting only one side of the ledger when it comes to costs and benefits. She claims that spanking doesn’t work because “it undermines the trust the child has with the parent.” But she never examines the flip side, which is that respect is vital to trust and children won’t trust a parent they don’t respect and they won’t respect a parent who is incapable of enforcing rules. Time outs and hand wringing simply aren’t enough for some people to be able to enforce their rules.

Further, Gilboa whines that the problem with spanking is that it “undermines the message that we don’t hit people to get what we want.” Only, spanking is not done by the parent to get something from the child. It is to remind the child that they should not be doing something. It is a punishment, not a form of extortion.

So in two very fundamental ways, Gilboa misunderstands the nature of spanking and she completely distorts the behavior of society to make her point, and Rachel never seems to call her on it because she’s too busy telling us how spanking is bad. This is so typical of liberals, but you find it in other places too. They want you to believe something, so they give you a one-sided presentation of it, hoping that you’ll go away nodding your head like an idiot believing what they want without ever questioning it.

As for spanking itself, I personally find there are much better methods of enforcing rules. The best method involves taking away privileges. This is something prison wardens talk about. The reason they provide things like weight rooms and good food is so that they can take it away when the inmates misbehave. That has proven to be infinitely more effective than threats of violence.

I also find it interesting that the one thing liberals never seem to connect with spanking in their diatribes is that spanking sends the message that might makes right. That is a lesson we should not be teaching, yet I think liberals kind of like that one since might happens to be the only way they can push their ideas on the rest of us.

Thoughts?
[+] Read More...

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

What Have We Learned?

So, what have we learned in the last month? Let's review:

1. Gender is a choice.
2. Race is a choice.
3. Health insurance is NOT a choice.
4. Marriage equality here to stay.
5. Conscientious objection is on the chopping block.
6. Flags kill people and are bad for business.
7. President Obama can sing "Amazing Grace"...okay maybe not. But props for trying.

What have we not learned?

1. Anything.

What will change?

1. Nothing.

Okay, I know things are not quite that bleak. But here's something useful from the world of science. Scientists have determined that looking at videos of cute kittens is good for your well-being and makes you more productive. Sooo...



The floor is open.
[+] Read More...

Sunday, June 28, 2015

The End of the Gay Movement

“What do gay men have in common when they don’t have oppression?” asked Andrew Sullivan, one of the intellectual architects of the marriage movement. “I don’t know the answer to that yet.”

Told you.

When the gay marriage issue hit Friday and talk radio land was talking about the end of the world and setting themselves on fire, I made a couple points in the comments. The most important point was that this ruling would be a disaster for the left. Right now, the American voting public is divided 50/50 on elections. The Republicans have claimed most white males and many older white females. The Democrats have put together a grievance coalition of everyone else. The problem with the Democratic coalition, as I've pointed out before, is that it's unstable because they don't share a common ideology. All they have together is a desire to get their pet peeves put into law over the objections of Team GOP.

That means that blacks (the race lobby actually) don't care if women/feminists get what they want or not, they are just using feminists as voting power to get their spoils, e.g. proportional voting, affirmative action, reparations, and ultimately a much larger share of what they see as a zero-sum game economic pie. Feminists, in turn, don't care about blacks or Hispanics or atheists. They want an ERA and for men to be just as weepy and pathetic as they are. Atheists couldn't give a crap about blacks or unions. They want you dumbasses who believe in God to be forced to drop your stupid superstition and this God thing removed from history. Environmentalists don't really care about these other fools because they just want them all exterminated so glorious nature can be free of man. And gays... well, gays don't care about anyone but themselves.

And that is the problem.

That is why the Democrats have for decades now been very careful to never actually give their alliance partners what they want. Indeed, ask yourself why not a single partner got what they wanted when the Democrats held a super-majority in the Senate? The Democrats had absolute control over ever lever of power. They could have passed anything and everything they wanted for over two years.... a carbon tax (or ban), the equal rights amendment, enhanced voting power for minorities, reparations, gay marriage, equal protection for gays, amnesty for illegal aliens, an end to right-to-work laws, and so on. It was all there for the taking. And what did the Democrats do? They freaked out. They started blabbering about how they needed Republican support to somethingsomething and they went to work on passing an Obamacare law that ultimately looked like it came out of the Heritage Foundation circa 1992 as everyone except a couple Senate Democrats went into hiding.

Not a single Democratic wish list item was even voted on.

And this was no accident. The Democrats know that if any one of their constituent groups gets what they want, they no longer have any reason to hang out with the loser club because they just don't care about the other interests. In fact, the interests of the others often conflict with their own. Blacks are deeply religious, and hate the goals of the atheists. Blacks and women are in direct competition for affirmative action jobs, and blacks and Hispanics are notoriously enemies in inner cities, where they compete for the same jobs. Unions and environmentalists are directly opposed in their goals as well. Gay males tend to be wealthy entrepreneurs, tech employees or managers in Fortune 500 companies or government. They are much richer as a class than regular folk and their economic lives are not compatible with unions. And so on.

The Democrats know this, so while they will go full retard in their rhetorical support of these groups, they won't ever actually give them what they want because they can't afford to lose them. The Supreme Court ruling has in essence given gays everything they want. Within a year, laws will be finalized in every state giving them marriage rights, adoption rights, and equal-rights protection. There is nothing more they can want and, hence, nothing to hold them together. To repeat Andrew Sullivan's quote: “What do gay men have in common when they don’t have oppression? I don’t know the answer to that yet.”

The answer is nothing. The gay movement will evaporate and gays will drop out of the coalition. Some liberals will stay. Some libertarian gays will switch sides. The ones raising families will become conservative. And many more will simply go back to clubbing and forget politics entirely. Right now, gays make up about 3% of the population, but they vote in strong numbers. That gives them maybe a 4% punch in the elections... all for the Democrats. Imagine if gays just go back to normal voting levels and 1% of the 3% simply drop out. Now imagine if another third (1%) switch to the Republicans. Suddenly, Republican totals go up 1% and Democratic totals go down 2%. That's a 3% point swing in a 50/50 electorate to 48/51! That represents a permanent run of Republican presidents, a new natural Republican majority in the Senate, and continued Republican dominance in the House.

That is the problem for the Democrats right now.

That is what Sullivan suddenly senses, and what his comment foretells. And he's not alone. Film director and professional homosexual John Waters hinted at the same in a graduation speech at the Rhode Island School of Design: “Refuse to isolate yourself. Separatism is for losers. Gay is not enough anymore.” In other words, please don't go away, please find something other than gay rights to hold the gay movement together. Good luck with that.

Making this harder, I also saw an interesting article in which several gay sociologists noted that gays are not a strong identity groups like blacks or Jews because they aren't born into gay families, they can't be identified just by appearance, and they don't have any holidays or generational traditions that bind them together. Really, oppression was all they had. Heck, have you ever seen what happens when you put gay men and lesbians in the same room? You could power a city off the hate that oozes out of them. Their movement is at an end. The enemy of their enemy has surrendered. The party is over.

Many articles are being written about this on the left. Some are even calling the Supreme Court's ruling "a secret gift to the Republicans." That might just be right.

Thoughts?
[+] Read More...

Friday, June 26, 2015

Kit's Friday Thoughts: Civil Asset Forfeiture, Current Iraq War Name, and Around the World!

By Kit

It doesn’t seem like it but it has actually been a very slow news week. Given the shooting, the ensuing Confederate flag controversy, and the Pope’s Laudato Si it seems big. But those have been the only big news stories this week and we’ve pretty much covered them to the point that I’m sure you are all sick of them.

So, instead I talk about why the Republicans will not act against Civil Asset Forfeiture (though they should), what do we call the current war involving ISIS, and a series of links catching you up on some foreign affairs you might have missed, starting with one of the weirdest stories out of Russia.

Why Republicans Will Not Repeal Civil Asset Forfeiture

Quite a few conservative groups are calling for the government repeal or at least roll back Civil Asset Forfeiture. It has evolved into something that basically allows law enforcement to seize property on little more than the suspicion that it might be used in criminal activity and use said property finance themselves. Anyone with a basic understanding of human nature can see the danger inherent in such a system. Police are abusing it to increase the funds of the department.

Most conservatives have called it blatantly unconstitutional.

Freedomworks and last year the Heritage Foundation held a panel attacking it.

Yet don’t expect most Republicans to push against it.

Yes, Mike Lee wants it to be reformed but the moment a fight begins over repeal expect an army of police unions, prosecutors, and department representatives to come out and call it a “necessary and important tool for law enforcement” and without it there would be chaos on the streets with drugs flowing like Molasses flowed through the streets of Boston in 1919.

And the Republican Party will buy it. Hook, line, and sinker.


What Should We Call the Current Iraq War?

Really, that is something I want to know!

Wikipedia calls it “Iraq War (2014—Present)” but I don’t think that works as a name for a war. I don’t want to go around saying, “Iraq War Twenty-fourteen to Present” every time I discuss it.

So, what do we call it?

The 3rd Iraq War? The 2nd Iraq War? The ISIS War? The ISIL War? The Daesh War?

I honestly prefer the last one. Even though Daesh is nearly impossible for English speakers to pronounce. It’s used by a lot of anti-ISIS fighters, it’s the Arabic acronym for ISIS/ISIL, and, DAMMIT, the show Archer deserves better than to be associated with a bunch of medieval barbarians!
Also, "ISIS War" and “ISIL War” just don’t roll off the tongue as easily as “Daesh War”. At least for me.

“DANGAH ZONE!”


Miscellaneous

The Russians can apparently read minds. We must stop the Mind Reading Gap! Ok, I kid. It was a statement made by a nutty Russian general but it actually has some real ramifications. He claimed that not only did they read Madeline Albright’s mind but that she also believed that "Russia should not exist as a state at all" and that Siberia should not belong to Russia.
Now, you may be asking, so what?
Well, Russian politicians (including Putin) love to throw around those “comments” by Albright about Siberia to incite anti-American sentiment and “prove” that America secretly wants to destroy Russia—never mentioning that only the source is a nutty Russian general. And Russians believe it.
LINK

Pro-EU parties win big in Moldovan local elections. Another pushback against Putin’s hyper-aggressive stance towards Eastern European countries.
LINK

Protests in Armenia against the rate-hikes by the Russian-owned energy company Yerevan continue.
LINK

The Islamic State (or Daesh) blew up two historic mausoleums. Because, why not? They’re not only a bunch of a-holes, they’re 100% dick.
LINK

As if to prove my above statement, ISIS recently announced they would be offering sex slaves to winners of a Koran memorization contest. I have to give them credit here. They keep finding new and innovative ways to shock, horrify, and even surprise us. Again, they are a bunch of a-holes who really are 100% dick.
LINK

As for the rest of the population of Iraq: 3 Million Iraqis have been displaced by current war. But at least Bush ain’t running things.
LINK

Back at home: According to Andrew McCarthy, the “Freddie Grey autopsy Report Deals Blow to Murder Charges.”
LINK

Film legend Toshiro Mifune, star of Seven Samurai, Shogun, and The High and The Low, will get a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He deserves one. I think it was when watching Yojimbo (later remade as Fistful of Dollars) that I realized just how good an actor he was. He could completely disappear into a role yet still manage to maintain the gravitas of a leading man. Not many film actors can do that. LINK
[+] Read More...

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Enough Is Enough Already...

I have spent the day reading comment after comment from liberals about the rampant racism in the South and how all vestiges of southern living should be destroyed. Not only the Confederate flag, but now there is a call to tear down statues of Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, and destroy every last vestige of our slave-owning, Civil War-fighting history. This includes the Jefferson Memorial too because, of course, despite being the architect of the Declaraton of Independence and the 3rd President of the United States, he was a slave-owner.

Have we all just gone out of our collective minds? If this is the "conversation" we are supposed to be having in the aftermath of the attack on the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, then the inmates are truly running the assylum now. We are doomed if this is the best we can think to do - tear down statues and burn flags. And now that everyone has been whipped into a collective frenzy, I can't wait to see what happens on Friday when the Supreme Court renders its rulings on Congressional redistricting, housing discrimination, same-sex marriage and Obamacare. If our esteemed Supreme Court Justices do not make the decisions that are acceptable to the angry mobs, I expect that D.C. will be burned to the ground and that's being optimistic...

Discuss.
[+] Read More...

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Obama Crushes His Supporters Again

Obama is an historically bad president. Of that, there is no doubt. Everything he touches, he makes worse. But the worst damage Obama does seems to be reserved for his supporters. Indeed, time and again Obama hurts the people who have supported him the most. Here is another great example of this which just happened.

I've pointed out before how Obama keeps stabbing his supporters in the back. Examples of this abound, like how the employment prospects of blacks went in the toilet under Obama, how black racists found all the spoils the Democrats have given them over the years wiped out by the Supreme Court without a fight from Obama, how unions who got blasted with Obamacare, how environmentalists saw their global warming scheme get depantsed by Obama at Copenhagen, how he let China off the hook for currency manipulation, how not a single Wall Street exec went to jail and how "too big to fail" got official protection in the law, how his supporters now need to buy health care rather than get it free, how he avoided giving gays anything they wanted except token support, how he expanded our wars and drone attacks and never closed Gitmo despite the squeals of his peacenik supporters, and so on.

Now we have a new one to add to the list.

Construction workers, teamsters and food service workers tend to be covered by what are called multi-employer private pension plans. More than 10 million employees are covered by about 1,400 of these plans. Unfortunately, many of these plans, like the Teamsters Central State Fund, are underfunded. That means they don't have enough money to pay out the benefits they owe. About one million of those employees are in plans that can't pay their benefits.

Naturally, the unions want a bailout. They want Uncle Sam to rape the taxpayers to pay these benefits. And that's exactly what Obama did... right? Nope. Obama has refused to fight for a bailout and instead he's running with a plan the Teamsters and AARP have both opposed. In essence, Obama has decided to screw several hundred thousand retirees and soon to be retirees. Indeed, he has appointed an attorney to review applications from the pension plans for permission to cut the benefits of hundreds of thousands of retirees so that the funds will remain solvent for the rest. This includes currently retired employees, by the way... unless you are over 80, then you are protected.

So let's bottom line this. Rather than seeking government money to fund the pensions of these union employees or harassing employers with lawsuits by DOJ until they pay more into the funds, Obama is going to strip hundreds of thousands of union workers of their benefits.

So once again, being Obama's supporter is a ticket to disappointment. This man is amazing.
[+] Read More...

Some Thoughts On Extinction

Here's a couple of seemingly non-related issues on extinction to talk about today.

Global Cooling/Warming, Climate Changing to Extinction - So let's review. In the past 45 years or so, we have evolved from "global cooling" in the '70's that was going to kill us to "global warming" in the '90's that was going to kill us to the less specific "climate change" around 2008 that will kill us. [That last one came about because, well, the global warming numbers just weren't adding up.]. Just in case none of that has scared you enough to recycle, the lastest scientific report out of Stanford, Princeton and Berkeley universities (as reported on HuffPo) has now gone full-on "imminent extinction". Yeah, as if things weren't bad enough, now we are going to go extinct in some unspecified time really, really soon...
"Avoiding a true sixth mass extinction will require rapid, greatly intensified efforts to conserve already threatened species and to alleviate pressures on their populations -- notably habitat loss, overexploitation for economic gain,* and climate change ... However, the window of opportunity is rapidly closing."
The opportunity is rapidly closing, people! Okay, I am not an anti-science/global cooling/warming/climate change denier and I really do believe that we must be much better caretakers of our natural world. We have been doing a pretty good job since the tearful Native American Indian and "Don't Mess With Texas" PSA's were aired in the '60's in cleaning up our lakes and rivers and finding ways to not kill the forests off. And by all accounts, we have saved the whales from extinction. But really, now they are hawking full-on extinction?

Personally, I have no doubt that they may be right about human extinction, but it's not going to be because of "overexploitation for economic gain" [at the same time they are extracting more grant money from the global community for their own "economic gain"]. It's going to be because Mother Nature tires of us and shakes and quakes and blows us off her face like the annoying gnats we are. Or maybe it will be a giant comet slamming into the Earth like the one during the 5th mass extinction that took out the dinosaurs. That's just me, but what do you think?

End Hate Now - Let's talk about the Confederate flag. In light of the most recent attack on the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in her state, SC Governor Nikki Haley has finally announced that she will pass whatever legislation it takes to remove the Confederate flag that flies high on the lawn of their state capital. Even though I am a quasi-Southerner, I have absolutely no emotional connection to the Confederate flag, so I say burn the dang thing if it makes people feel safer. I have long had my own thoughts about the kind of person that wanted to display that flag because as my Mother says, it really is no different that the swastika. It is time for its extinction and to be relegated to the giant dustbin of history.

All that aside, I am so proud that, instead of fueling more hate after the death of nine of their parishioners in a senseless and stupid mass murder, the good Christians of that church and the families of the victims chose forgiveness. It was a breath-taking moment. Instead of fueling more senseless violence and hate, they chose to come together with so many others from around the country to hold hands and stand up to "the devil" and call it by it's proper name - Evil. Because it was an evil act brought on by a hateful monster whose hateful message should not be fed, but starved out of existance. And that can only be done by good people standing up to it. It is a moment that would have made Martin Luther King proud. By the way, did you notice that Al Sharpton and all the other race hustlers have been deafeningly silent? Maybe love and forgiveness can win.

And finally -
A "Pie Factory"?? - Okay, this has nothing to do with extinction, but I need to correct a grievous wrong and just outright lie by our very own Andrew. It was not as Andrew stated in a comment on his post yesterday, a "pie factory" in the most famous episode of "I Love Lucy". It was a chocolate candy factory. Dear Lord, how will we recover from this disgrace?

*[emphasis added]
[+] Read More...

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Top American Women? Really?

This one is going to upset any feminists who happen by. Good. How am I going to piss off these underachieving chickies? By mocking the achievements of the women feminists think are worthy of being placed on the $10 bill. In fact, let me be blunt: if this is the best that women have, then you girls haven’t done dick for this country!

What follows is a list of ten eight women prepared by a group of leftist chickies as the women they would like to see replace Alexander Hamilton on the $10 bill... which will now only be worth $8.60 because women are worth less than men earn less than men. Funny that they can’t come up with a top 10, isn’t it? Anyways, let us see if any of these penis-deficient individuals are indeed worthy of being put on our currency:

Francis Perkins: Who? That’s what I thought when I first head the name. Is she Anthony Perkins’ mother? Marlin Perkins’ wife? Or does she work at Perkins where they make really nice muffins? No. Apparently, her claim to fame is that she’s the first woman appointed to the US Cabinet. wonk wonk wonk wonk

So her claim to fame is being the first woman to do something that hundreds of other men had done in the past. What’s more, her claim to fame really boils down to being that a man gave her a job. Aim high ladies. Her achievements in the job, by the way, were to “be instrumental” (because she didn’t actually do anything concrete) in passing the New Deal. In particular she got a woody for the first minimum wage and labor standards, both of which destroyed jobs. Oh, and feminists claim she “was a catalyst” for women entering the civilian workforce during World War II. Oh good, maybe she can share the bill with Hitler who deserves the real credit for that one.

Eleanor Roosevelt: Let me see if I can simplify this: rich girl marries rich guy who becomes president and she changed his diaper when he got polio. Yep, another woman whose achievement is to be the wife of a famous man. Liberals like to beef this up by saying that she made speeches about popular liberal causes, but uh, so what? “Rich man’s wife reads speech! Film at 11!” Oh, and her husband didn’t love her. Hello, Hillary! Pathetic.

Emily Dickinson: Liberals claim she’s one of America’s greatest writers, but I dare you to tell me what she wrote. Apparently, she was a poet. And get this, only 12 of her 1800 poems were published in her lifetime and they were heavily edited by editors. In fact, most of her poems weren’t published until long after her death and then, again, they had to be heavily edited. It wasn’t until 1955 that her work was actually published in the form she wrote it... long after she was made famous.

Amelia Earhart: Flew a plane, got lost, died. Need I say more?

Patsy Mink: My first thought was that she was a terrorist from the 1970s, but that’s Patsy Hearst. Mink was a suffragette (yawn) and the first woman to get elected to Congress. Gee, so she’s famous for doing what thousands of others have done, only doing so without a penis. Gotcha. Her big achievement in Congress was to author Title IX, which has brought women’s sports up to the same level of interest as men’s sports! Oh, wait. Yeah, that didn’t happen. What Title IX really did was allowed a few thousand lesbians to get some exercise. Sadly, that puts her first on our list so far by a mile!

Susan B. Anthony: I know Anthony because of her failure on the SBA dollar coin. And when I look up what she did to earn being put on currency, it seems that she was a leftist busybody who worked with other leftist busybodies on issues like women’s rights, slavery, and temperance. I don’t see any actual achievements.

Harriet Tubman: Tubman is a black woman, which means the $10 would be worth only $6.90. She helped 13 slaves escape through the underground railroad (other sources say 300). This is a noble achievement, but did it change the nation? No, not like the publication of Uncle Tom’s Cabin or that Civil War thing.

Rosa Parks: Rosa Parks is famous for refusing to give up her bus seat to a honkey in Montgomery, Alabama. This started the Montgomery bus boycott. I can actually respect that, but any attempt to credit her with more in terms of civil rights is just public relations. Everything the Civil Rights Movement claims to have kickstarted in these high profile PR moments was already underway in the country for several years at that point.

So that’s the list. Seriously. Think about that. The only two even close to decent candidates are (1) a woman who helped rescue a few slaves and (2) a woman whose deed has been falsely mythologized into one of a dozen simultaneous “change the nation” events... for a nation that was already changing. The rest are do nothings, failed writers, women who got famous because men made them famous, and women who got famous for being the first women to do what thousands of prior men had done.

Is this really the best American woman can come up with? Don’t we have a Margaret Thatcher who literally reshaped the UK and Europe and revived a nearly dead ideology of common sense? Don’t we have an Indira Ghandi who reshaped India and is credited with its modern constitution or Golda Meir who shaped Israel? Don’t we have a Marie Curie who won Nobel Prizes (which meant something) for Chemistry and Physics? Don’t we have authors like Agatha Christie, Jane Austen, Emily Bronte and Daphne De Maurier?

Apparently not.

The real issue here isn’t why those sexist men have kept women off the $10 bill, it’s why aren’t there any American woman who are undeniably worthy of being on the $10 bill. When it comes to men, the cup (athletic supporter... heh heh) runneth over. Indeed, there are so many truly deserving men that you would need a hundred different bills to cover them all. Yet, when it comes to American women, there isn’t even one I would rank on the list of women I just listed.

That is pathetic.

But I suspect the real problem is the chickies making these lists. They don’t want women of achievement, they want chickies who did “woman identity” things, like being the first non-peniser to do something the penisers already did. That is what is truly pathetic... distant second (if that) is no achievement at all. How about we instead look for women of genuine achievement? How about these...
● Hedy Lamar... an actress who invented spread spectrum technology, which has become the technical backbone of modern cell phone and wireless technology.

● Oprah Winfrey... who runs a communications empire she built from the ground up, and who has tremendous influence with the public.

● Danielle Steel... best selling author alive (800 million books) and 8th all time (says Forbes)

● Sandra Lerner... co-founder of Cisco

● Estée Lauder... co-founded Estée Lauder Companies
Thoughts? Any others we can add?
[+] Read More...

Friday, June 19, 2015

Kit's Friday Thoughts: Trump, OPM Hack, & (No) Father's Day

By Kit

Well, it's been quite a week! The Chinese know all our secrets, Ross Per- I mean Donald Trump is in the race, liberals being liberal about a truly evil act, and this weekend is Father's Day, the day we honor the men who stood up and made an impact on our lives —or is it?

America’s Cyber Pearl Harbor

Given Trump’s campaign announcement, the hypocritical fake-black NAACP chapter president, and Hillary’s (second) campaign launch it is understandable that you might have missed the fact that the personal information, including Social Security numbers and medical histories (among others), of maybe 4 million government employees’, both current and former, is now in the hands of the Chinese government opening them up to identity theft and possibly blackmail.

And these employees aren’t just, say, County Executive Directors at the Farm Service Agency, though the Manning case should serve as a warning that even a lowly private can have access to a slew of sensitive documents. A large number of the victims have a security clearance. And among those we still don’t know how big the damage was, from a Reuters article, “According to a U.S. House of Representatives memo seen by Reuters, OPM knows what types of data were exposed to the hackers but not what data was taken.”

Art Bowker told Fusion.net his experience, “I called the contractor from OPM that was listed in the email, a 1-800 number, and wanted to know how big the breach was. Did they just get names? They couldn’t tell me. It’s like someone broke into my house and they won’t tell me what they took.”

You should read the rest here, it will scare you: LINK

Another bit: “He asked Seymour pointedly about the legacy systems that had not been adequately protected or upgraded. Seymour replied that some of them were over 20 years old ” Translation: Some of the systems are at least as old as Pokemon is —in Japan.

Now, you may be wondering, “How did they get into our systems in the first place?” Well, this bit from Ars Technmay provide an answer:
Unix systems administrator for the project "was in Argentina and his co-worker was physically located in the [People's Republic of China]. Both had direct access to every row of data in every database: they were root. Another team that worked with these databases had at its head two team members with PRC passports. I know that because I challenged them personally and revoked their privileges. From my perspective, OPM compromised this information more than three years ago and my take on the current breach is 'so what's new?’””



The OPM contracted their security work out to Chinese nationals within China.



WHAT THE FLYING F%&K?!?!?!?!?!?!
JUST WHAT THE LIVING %$#@%%$#^*&%I*)(@%#$@^&^*^&*$%# WERE THEY #$%#@$%* THINKING AND %$%^W#$@#$?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!?!?

UGH!

And that’s all I have to say about that.

Really, all I can add is heads better roll at the OPM and the US better start hitting China back over this, if China did do this. Hack the Shanghai Stock Exchange, hit the Politburo, fill the government’s official website a bunch of illustrations of Karl Marx and Mao Zedong going at it Biblically.

JUST DO SOMETHING! GOD!


Donald Trump is in the Race! Reactions.
Donald Trump is in the ring and the reaction from the Right is split. The Republicans, especially those running, are quite upset because Trump will constantly spout off his half-baked, poorly-thought out views and demand that everyone treat them seriously and if they don’t or if they just politely disagree with him, expect him to indulge in a furor of name-calling and petty insults. And the moment they hit back he will pull out Reagan’s 11th Commandment, “Thou shalt not attack a fellow Republican”, without the slightest sense of irony.

It will be a massive distraction for the Republican candidates who are trying to run a serious campaign while giving the left plenty of ammo to attack the GOP as a party of clowns. Which is what they are doing already.

Conservative pundits and writers, on the other hand, could not be more thrilled. They are overjoyed at the amount of material they will get because Trump will constantly spout off his half-baked, poorly-thought out views and demand that everyone treat them seriously and if they don’t or if they just politely disagree with him, expect him to indulge in a furor of name-calling and petty insults. And the moment they hit back he will pull out Reagan’s 11th Commandment, “Thou shalt not attack a fellow Republican”, without the slightest sense of irony.

So they are rushing to their keyboards in anticipation, eagerly awaiting the next bit of lunacy to come from the man Jonah Goldberg said arguing with “is sort of like dressing up an adorable toddler in a Viking outfit and listening to it say that he will raid my village and slaughter all in his path.”

And the Talk Radio crowd is happy because they love a candidate who will constantly spout off his half-baked and poorly-thought out views… ok, you get the idea. They love him because he hits the notes they want candidates to hit, he attacks the targets they like to attack —Obama, the debt, ISIS, etc.— but he never offers up any concrete solutions. Because developing concrete solutions often mean compromising with the political realities that exist.

Remember that the next time someone complains about conservatives lacking “conservative solutions.” There are far too many conservatives who aren’t really interested in hearing “conservative solutions.”

Of course, the big concern among Republicans is that he will lose the nomination and decide to run third party and possibly pulling a Ross Perot. Really, Donald Trump could put Hillary Clinton in the White House. Think about that.


Charleston Shooting

On Wednesday, a racist white gunman went into a famous black church in Charleston and murdered 9 people, including the pastor. The man was caught Thursday.

Now, normally, I would say we should not politicize this event and just honor the memory of the victims but its already a bit late for that. In fact, the media is already filled with idiots making political hay of this. There is a lot for anyone to go through (gun issues, the idiotic comparison between the pool party incident and his arrest, etc.) but I want to pick on one particular point being thrown about right now.

From the Washington Post: “Shooters of color are called ‘terrorists’ and ‘thugs.’ Why are white shooters called ‘mentally ill’?”

The writer is “an associate professor of religion and Africana studies at the University of Pennsylvania.” So its possible she was very busy during the Navy Yard shooting a few years back where the shooter was (1) black and (2) described by nearly everyone in the media as mentally ill.

Actually, if I recall, it was that shooting when the media really began to look at mass shootings as a mental health issue instead of solely a gun issue.

Now, as for this recent shooting, I can’t speak for the left-wing media outlets in but for the more right-leaning persons, I’ve seen a general consensus that mental health is no excuse and that the guy was a huge dick.

Bill O’Reilly called him a terrorist Thursday night. And Iowahawk called him a terrorist Wednesday night. And numerous conservatives have called him a thug, a monster, or variations of the two. Jonah Goldberg called him a “ghoul”. In fact, I would say the general consensus among conservatives is that he is the reason we have a death penalty.

But, of course, the woman who wrote this is “socially aware” and being “socially aware” means you don’t have to be aware of anything that is being said outside your own tiny social clique. You can say that conservatives are making excuses for the shooter and receive nothing but nods of approval and “You are right”s from everyone you know. Salon will call you a genius.


Why I Will Not Be Honoring Father’s Day This Year

I will not be getting Dad a Father's Day gift nor will I give him even a simple a simple "Happy Father's Day" greeting. Why?

I just learned, courtesy of Angel Soft Toilet Paper, that Father's DAy is actually a day to be set aside for single MOMS not dads.

So, honoring a FATHER on Father's Day would be grossly inappropriate. I hope you can understand.

Ok, ok, I’m joking here.

Though Angel Soft actually did do an ad thanking Single Moms on Father’s Day.

Now, yes, I’m probably over-reacting, but I want you to imagine the reaction if a company decided to honor single fathers on Mother’s Day with a #HappyMothersDayDad campaign.

Which makes the whole thing ironic considering that Father’s Day was pushed by Sonora Smart Dodd to honor her single father, American Civil War veteran William Jackson Smart who had to raise 6 children after his wife died. From umc.org:

“In 1909 in Spokane, Wash., Sonora Smart Dodd listened to a Mother's Day sermon at Central Methodist Episcopal Church. Dodd's own mother had died 11 years earlier, and her father had raised their six children alone. Dodd felt moved to honor her father, and fathers everywhere, with a special day as well.”


Why I Will Not Be Honoring Father’s Day This Year

I will not be getting Dad a Father's Day gift nor will I give him even a simple a simple "Happy Father's Day" greeting. Why?

I just learned, courtesy of Angel Soft Toilet Paper, that Father's DAy is actually a day to be set aside for single MOMS not dads.

Thus, honoring a FATHER on Father's Day would be grossly inappropriate. I hope you can understand.

Ok, ok, I’m joking here.

Though Angel Soft actually did do an ad thanking Single Moms on Father’s Day. You can see it here, I'll admit, it is sweet and touching. LINK

So, yes, I’m over-reacting, but I want you to imagine the reaction if a company decided to honor single fathers on Mother’s Day with a #HappyMothersDayDad campaign.

Which makes the whole thing ironic considering that Father’s Day was pushed by Sonora Smart Dodd to honor her single father, American Civil War veteran William Jackson Smart who had to raise 6 children after his wife died. From umc.org:

“In 1909 in Spokane, Wash., Sonora Smart Dodd listened to a Mother's Day sermon at Central Methodist Episcopal Church. Dodd's own mother had died 11 years earlier, and her father had raised their six children alone. Dodd felt moved to honor her father, and fathers everywhere, with a special day as well.”

Now, you might say that given the rise of single mom households it is necessary to for us to honor them. But doesn’t that make honoring the men who do stay and become good fathers even more important? I would argue, yes.

Also, there is another matter. Quite a few writers have raised concerns about a crisis of masculinity in this country and in the West in general. They claim that young men feel very unsure of what their place is in the culture and that media has not been helping. For example, some have pointed out that sitcoms have in the past 25 years been portraying dads as moronic bums (though it’s gotten a lot better in recent years) and use that as proof that society no longer values fathers. Now, while I think those concerns are often exaggerated, I do think at least some of the writers raise at least sometimes raise salient points about the way modern society values men and fathers. (Brett McKay does this well)

Yes, in the long run, the commercial is nothing I'm going to get too upset about. I’m not going to be boycotting Angel Soft, because (1) I don’t care and (2) I never really pay attention to the brand of toilet paper I’m buying; I just buy what I see on the shelf. And I'm not going to call for the director and CEO and the entire cast to resign in disgrace because I'm not a Social Justice Warrior.:-)

But I can’t be the only one who finds it at least a bit disconcerting that a company would choose to run an ad like honoring mothers on Father's Day.

What do you think?

*Note: Modern Family’s Phil Dunphy is no Andy Taylor but he might as well be compared to the sitcom dads of the 1990s (Ray Barone, Tim Taylor, Homer Simpson, etc.).


Miscellaneous

Alexander Hamilton is getting booted from the $10 bill and being replaced by a woman! You know, the born-out-of-wedlock immigrant who helped get us out of debt and built the Department of Treasury is not good enough to grace the $10 bill. Now, the Treasury Department has clarified that he will still be on the $10 bill, just somewhere else.

But a lot of people are pissed and have taken to twitter with #KeepHamilton or #SaveHamilton (as I encourage all of you to do) but, unfortunately, it seems not enough people even know who Alexander Hamilton was or why he is important.

Also, the “right” people are happy and that is all that matters.

Alan Wolfe, a political science professor at Boston College, argues that libertarianism is very similar to Stalinism. Really.
LINK

Heather MacDonald on the rise in crime resulting from anti-police activities. Welcome to the 1970s. LINK

A Jezebel blogger tried to get a tattoo on her neck, however most professional tattoo artists do not do neck tattoos on people not already largely inked so he refused. She reacted how you would expect; by publicly shaming him and his business. He replied. It. Was. Epic.
LINK

On a similar note, in case you have not been following GamerGate it appears they have won a solid victory. Far-left radical feminists Anita Sarkeesian and John McIntosh (and make no mistake, they are both very far left and radical in their politics despite what the media would have you believe) may have finally gone a bridge too far in their harsh criticisms of the trailers for Fallout 4 and Doom 4. It seems they echoed of Jack Thompson's attacks on gaming in the 1990s. Comparing someone to Jack Thompson is among gamers what comparing someone to Joe McCarthy is in Hollywood. He is not someone you want to be compared to if you want to go far in the gaming industry. Breitbart.com has the story here:
LINK

Mark Ruffalo has endorsed Bernie Sanders, instead of Hillary, even saying Hillary should more or less look to Sanders. In fact, Sanders is getting a number of celebrity endorsements.
LINK

Brian Williams has been moved to MSNBC. As Charles C. W. Cooke put it, “I’m charmed by the idea that it needs explaining to the public why Brian Williams isn’t honest enough for NBC but perfect for MSNBC.”

Prayers for Michelle Malkin’s daughter and family.
LINK

Something fun: Rachel & Jun are a Japanese-American couple who put up blogs about Japan largely from the POV of American expatriates. I highly recommend watching their’s, her’s are typically well-researched and quite fascinating insights into Japanese culture. This week, she did a video on “head size” in Japan, apparently, smaller heads are attractive in Japan and its not often to hear a Japanese man or woman complement you on your small head or complain about his or her big head. Take a look and then watch some other videos they’ve done! LINK

Have a nice weekend and a Happy Father's Day!

(See, told you I was joking.)
[+] Read More...

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Another Question of the Day

I have been so distracted lately by Caitlyn Jenner changing the face of gender identity and Rachel Dolezal's (formerly known as"African-American Rachel") changing the face of race with her daily revelations of everything short of alien abduction or CIA deep under-cover Bush-era covert ops to infiltrate the NAACP (I am certain this will come out) that I really don't know what to say.

And then there's (Dear God, help us) Donald Trump's announcement that he is throwing his gold-leafed hat in the Presidential ring. Frankly, I really can't focus on anything. So, here is another "Question of the Day".

What really is the most important political issue of your life?

Seriously, what is important to you? As we wait for the Supreme Court to issue their rulings on Same-sex marriage and Obamacare, what is it that really effects your real life? Is it stagnant economy, Middle-East conflicts, Russian aggression (yeah, it's a thing again), trade agreements, Wall Street bad guys, voting rights, thieving elected officials, crime and/or punishment, GMO infiltration, or the evils of trans-fats or the constant PSA's from the CDC about the dangers of whooping cough? What do you really care about?

I just don't know anymore...

By the way, yesterday was the 130th Anniversary of the delivery of the Statue of Liberty to New York and the US, as a gift from France. Did you know that one of the architects of the statue was Gustave Eiffel? Yeah, the same person that engineered the Eiffel Tower.

Discuss...
[+] Read More...

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Up In Smoke

There was an interesting ruling from the Colorado Supreme Court this week which has shattered the dream of potheads everywhere. In fact, things are not going as they hoped in any way. How sad.

The ruling in question involved whether or not private employers could fire someone for using marijuana on their own time. In 6-0 decision, the court ruled that private employers could fire such people. What’s more, this ruling involved a man who was in a wheel chair and used pot for medical purposes to stop spasms. If any case was likely to go the other way, this would have been it.

Now there is a caveat I’ll explain in a minute, but what this means is simple. When pot was legalized, the activists (“Dave’s not here, man!”) thought this would mean that they had received the official seal of approval and no-consequence from the state. In other words, they could now smoke pot however they wanted without anyone being able to punish them. This ruling blows a huge hole in that. This ruling says that pot will now be treated as any other public vice. The state can’t ban you from using it, but other citizens can shun you for doing so. In this case, that means employers can fire you for using it, just like they can fire you for any other number of reasons that they consider to be inconsistent with the work environment they wish to provide.

This was shocking to activists, who wrongly thought that legalization would essentially equate to pot use being put into a special category like race, religion or sex, and carry with it immunity.

Add to this other rulings by various courts which say the government can regulate the crap out of pot and what you get is exactly the situation that pot activists used to sell legalization, but which they really didn’t think they would need to live with: a heavily regulated product that is expensive, underwhelming in quality, and comes without legal immunity from use.

Even more interestingly, the two states that have legalized pot (Colorado and Washington) have used the power of regulation to do what regulation does. Washington in particular has made it so expensive and so cumbersome to grow pot that it’s apparently impossible to make a profit doing so. In Colorado it’s more profitable for growers, but there are lots of complaints about the cost and the quality by consumers... which is exactly what regulation does, it makes things less available, less advanced/innovative, lower quality and more expensive. And if they think it’s bad now, then just wait until the regulators start treating pot like cigarettes.

Anyways, the caveat on the Colorado Supreme Court ruling is that the ruling was based on pot still being illegal at the federal level. But that’s not ultimately going to matter because there is simply nothing anywhere else in the law which conveys a right on people not to get fired or whatnot based on their leisure activities. So this should ultimately hold up even if federal law changes.

Thoughts?
[+] Read More...

Question of the Day



Are "gender" and "race" defined by science or social constructs that force people into artificial categories?


Let's discuss...
[+] Read More...

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Some Thoughts On Children

Having recently come into the possession of an 11 year old and a 9 year old, I have learned much about children. I thought I would take today to share a few of my observations.

● First, I have discovered that children are not in fact human. No. They are instead constructed of time absorbing material which robs your day of all its useful hours. It's almost like magic, but I suspect we just don't understand the science behind this yet.

● They have amazing destructive powers too. Indeed, just as fairies spread toxic fairy dust in their wake and environmentalists' Volvos belch out black smoke, children have the ability to shed clothing and toys everywhere they go... even when they aren't wearing or holding any. In fact, they are capable of destroying any room in the blink of an eye. Perhaps a post on Pinterest someone sent me says it best: "Before I had children, I had no idea you could destroy an entire house with a granola bar." So true.

● Kids are much more savvy than you think too... with one huge caveat. They seem to have the ability to understand when something is said or done that is beyond their level of comprehension, like innuendo. Yep, they know something is going on they weren't meant to understand and, by God, they caught you, buddy! BUT, despite having the ability to spot these moments, they truly have no ability to fill in the blanks. And their efforts to fill in the blanks are often quite hilarious.

● Kids are horrible liars. Seriously, they are worse than dogs playing poker. You can spot their lies coming for miles. Yet, they are convinced they excel at lying. They can be easily manipulated too just by letting them think they are manipulating you.

● I pick the girls up from their schools each day during the year. In so doing, I have discovered that while all people may be created equal, not all are as capable when it comes to self-preservation. I realized this watching dozens of middle schoolers trying to cross the road to get to the minivans waiting for them. Yikes. Half these kids do well: they look both ways, judge when they can make it before going, go quickly and adjust to changing conditions and finally reach safety. The other half, however, are a disaster. They have no idea when they should go, so they stand there frozen until they suddenly lurch out before oncoming traffic. Once in danger, they freeze up. Then they scurry in some random direction.

● But all that said, let me say honestly that children are amazing. They are amazingly innocent and without cynicism. They can overlook any flaw in a parent to love people we adults would rather had done in by a contract killing and they always look on the best side of almost anything. Watching their eyes light up at the mention of the tooth fairy or Santa (who has been proven to be real because he uses different wrapping paper than mom!) just warms your heart. And watching them glow when you help them grasp some math problem or praise their ever-improving reading is just an amazing experience. Those moments make everything worthwhile... everything.

Just thought I would share that. Thoughts? Any stories you want to add? If not, treat this as an open thread.
[+] Read More...

Friday, June 12, 2015

Kit's Friday Thoughts: Rubio's Speedboat & Jurassic World

By Kit

Sorry I'm a bit late. I fell asleep last night before I could write it.

Marco Rubio’s Speedboat

The New York Times decided to devote a considerable amount of ink and dead trees to uncovering what they claim are disturbing skeletons in Marco Rubio’s closet. Oral sex from an intern? Nope. Do he and his spouse have a charity foundation that might have been involved in some shady deals? No, not that, either.

Did he drunkenly drive a car into a creek killing a young woman he was having an affair with and then, instead of calling emergency services contact his lawyer who immediately did everything he could to cover it up?

Of course not.

No, what they uncovered was (1) he got 17 tickets over the course of twenty years, (2) he had some financial difficulties in his twenties, and (3) he bought a “luxury speedboat” after his made a bunch of money off his book deal.

Now, let’s take this apart.

(1) I’ve been driving for about 9 years or so and in that time I have received a few warnings, a ticket for an outdated license plate and a ticket failing to stop in. . That’s two. I’ve also gotten probably 3-5 warnings but I can’t remember.. Now, I’ve heard Florida cops are a bit more ticket friendly (with claims of cops being put under massive ticket quotas), so, if you do the math and turn those warnings to tickets then if I lived in Florida I would probably have as many as Rubio.

(2) Rubio’s financial difficulties. When I was somewhere between 3 and 5 my parents, who were about 33-35, hit some financial difficulties. Many people in their twenties and thirties have financial issues. Many have mortgages, student loan debts, etc. Most people have some kind of debt. So, why is this a shock.

(3) As for the “luxury speedboat”, let’s do some comparisons.

Here is a photo of the kind of boat he owns: LINK

Here is a photo of the kind of boat my parents own (and neither of them is not US senators with a book): LINK

And, lastly, here is a photo of the yacht John Kerry owns: LINK

And the interior of John Kerry’s yacht: LINK

Jurassic World

I saw Jurassic World last night. Was it silly? Yes. Did it over-use CGI? Definitely. Did I have fun. Of course!

As long as you don’t expect it to come anywhere near the first one, you’ll have fun. It was better than three and not as pretentious as Lost World. Yes, the dinosaurs are made smart to almost ridiculous levels. I think I had to hold back a small chuckle

As for the characters, they are ok. The two kids are not Tim and Lex and our two leads are not Alan Grant and Ellie Sattler by any stretch. Mosrani is not Hammond. But, on the other hand, you won’t spend the movie hating all of the characters and groaning at their idiotic decisions like you did with Lost World and Jurassic Park 3 (Why take the baby T-Rex back to your juiced-up winnebago? Why not tell Dr. Grant you are looking for your kid? And why build a ^%$#ing Dino park in San Diego?!?! At least on an island its isolated!).

Part of this is because when the characters do make some rather stupid decisions, and this being a Jurassic Park movie you know at least a few will, those decisions are for the most part explained and handled well enough that we believe it —even if we know it won’t end well.

The only glaring exception is Vincent D’Onofrio’s gloriously over-the-top head of security.

So the characters, while not particularly interesting or memorable, are tolerable enough for a two hour movie.

Another thing I liked was that its nods to the original are handled with just enough cleverness that they work on their own while at the same time giving a treat to fans of the original. Unlike, say, J.J. Abrams’ nods to Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan in Star Trek: Into Darkness.

Of course, some might argue that saying “this movie handles its nods to the original better than Star Trek: Into Darkness” is damning with faint praise.

In short, I enjoyed it.

The movie is largely geared to the late-Gen Xers and Millennials who grew up with the movie. We all wanted to visit a real Jurassic Park as kids. We wished for it to be real, despite the obvious dangers present in the movie. Because dinosaurs = awesome.

Case in point; I was about 3 and watched it, as well as the Land Before Time movies, on a near-endless loop. Now, I had no real burning desire to see it until about a week ago when I was walking through Target buying groceries and happened to walk past the toy section, with its cardboard display of two velociraptors jumping out. I took just one look, reversed to my inner 5 year old, and realized “Dammit, now I have to see it.”

In fact, I just might see it again…

Links and Sundry

On Jurassic World, a writer at the Daily Beast attacked the movie for being “Sexist” because the main female lead becomes less corporate obsessed and more maternal towards the two kids in her care or something.
LINK

This, along with the people who attacked Avengers 2 was sexist because she was upset over being sterilized as part of the Black Widow program shows a rather disturbing anti-motherhood trend among certain feminist circles.

LINK

That or they just want an excuse to be offended at something in Western culture. Beats having to discuss the gentile mutilation, stoning, and sexual slavery going on in the Muslim world.

Which might actually be true given that at Vox a writer has decide that saying “You guys” is sexist and compared it to your grand-parent that uses the word “Negro”. I’m not kidding.
LINK

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post where he called for catastrophic climate change skeptics to be charged under RICO. And he’s not the only person to call for this, read the outright glee in the comments at the prospect of people being arrested for holding differing views. If the science is so settled then why is it so many climate change activists would rather bring criminal charges against critics than debate them.*
LINK
I wonder if soon an environmentalist will start claiming that “denying climate change” is traumatic and should be censored on those grounds.

LA cop Jack Dunphy (a pseudonym) has a lot of questions for McKinney police officer Eric Casebolt. It is worth noting that, according to Dunphy, the action that makes the most sense is the decision by Casebolt to pull out his gun. Worth a read.
LINK

Dirty Jobs’s Mike Rowe was attacked by someone for doing “right-wing propaganda.” He replied. LINK

I made a decision today; I’m never having kids. Why? This Reason story on actions taken by the CPS. LINK

People complain a lot about helicopter parenting but it seems if you want to avoid getting put in handcuffs, then it’s the safest route.

Any other thoughts? Anything else you want to discuss?

*For the record; I do think the Earth is getting warmer and that human activity has had some role in that. What I “deny” is that the consequences will be catastrophic; New York City under water, massive extinctions, dogs and cats living together, etcetera.
[+] Read More...

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Caption This - City Pigeon Addition

So, I was walking through the City Hall Park in lower Manhattan one morning last week when I saw this...


Two pigeons sitting on Horace Greeley's head. I can't imagine what they could have been talking about, but I have a feeling that you may know. Do your best and there may be a prize...but probably not.

End notes:
If you want to learn more about Horace Greeley, read this - LINK

If you want to learn more about pigeons, read this - LINK

If you want to learn anything, read a book...
[+] Read More...