Thursday, April 28, 2016

Good bye, Denny Hastert

As I write this, former Speaker of the House Denny Hastert (R-Il) is preparing to start serving his federal banking beef (structuring) sentence of 15 months in The Big House.

I do not write this with relish.  It is yet another black eye for the conservative movement, much like the day that Richard Nixon resigned.  

Denny, my former congressman whom I voted for several times as the representative to the U.S. Congress from the 14th district in Illinois (my home) has not only let me down, he has let down all of us conservatives with his felonious activities.  I don't want to get into those, as they are all heinous and deserving of punishment of the highest order.  If you ask me, Denny got off with a rap on the knuckles.

His biggest failure, however, was as Speaker of the House in 2005, during the Mark Foley scandal.  He knew of this scumbag's malfeasance for years, and chose to do nothing.  Accordingly, Nancy Pelosi used the Mark Foley scandal to beat the Republicans over the head, and rightly so painting the GOP as running a 'culture of corruption.'  And this successful campaign by Pelosi resulted in the loss of the House in 2006.  A direct result of Denny's failures.

And why did Denny not purge Mark Foley?  Likely because HE HIMSELF had identical skeletons in his own closet, and allowed the country to suffer incalculable damage at the hands of the Democrat majority in Congress for the next 10 years, rather than act to clean up the GOP's act.

I never want to hear of this pathetic scumbag again.  A pox on him and his house.  

Monday, April 18, 2016

Jacking up the minimum wage to $15/hour is just plain dumb

"A living wage" is only fair, right?  Everyone should make a 'living wage.'  It's what employers everywhere in every industry should pay, gosh darn it.  It's only fair.  And $15/hour is the minimum anybody should be paid to do anything in the land of the Free and the home of the Brave.  Period.

Right?

So wrong.  Such a dumb mistake on oh so many levels.

I sincerely wish that we would teach just basic "Economics for Dummies" in high school, or perhaps even start in grade school.  The curriculum in, say, 5th grade should include instructional techniques as to how to start up and run a lemonade stand.  Going through the basics would underscore the nature of how things work in a capitalistic, market based economy.

And it would in the most simple terms underscore that everything has a price, and that when the price of virtually anything goes up (and we shall leave out the concept of price elasticity and in-elasticity for  now), demand for whatever that is will go down. Simple economics.  Simple display of human behavior.

Wages are nothing more and nothing less than the price of labor.  And as sure as the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, if mandated minimum wages are arbitrarily set higher, then the demand for them (or employment) will fall.  Unemployment will be the guaranteed result of raising the minimum wage to $15/hour.

In a true, correctly operating market driven economy, the inarguable minimum wage is $0.00 per hour.  That is the going wage for somebody with absolutely no skills whatsoever.  Now, once you train this no-skilled person, then their value goes up accordingly.  But up to a $15/hour level?  This is only true if their output makes their employer at least $25/hour in value.  If not, then the employer is losing money, since they have to pay FICA, Medicaid, healthcare, etc. in addition to the $15.00 basic wage.  And employers are not in business to lose money.

Human behavior is such that if this mandated minimum wage is raised to $15/hour, employers will not just sit back and eat this cut in their profit margins.  They will either fire people, close businesses and simply leave the money they had invested in the business in their bank, or find other ways around the cost increase in their labor, perhaps through automation.  

There is basic data available now from a decision made last year to jack up the minimum wage to $15/hr in Seattle, Washington: unemployment is up considerably in the 18-25 year old segment of the population. 

But telling this to the $15/hour or 'living wage' crowd falls on deaf ears.  Much to the detriment of their constituents.   

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Word to the wise: 'never volunteer, son...'

I was just reading the latest news about guns from a reliable source: Virtual Mirage (http://symbolic-mirage.blogspot.com/) and had to add my own gun experience which is profoundly different than the erstwhile author LL's.

I grew up in suburban Eugene, Oregon in the early 1960's; significantly before the place was transformed into a poor man's Berkeley, where everybody is offended nowadays at the drop of a hat.  "Fredd, how dare you say 'at the drop of a hat'??!!  You pathetic neanderthal, don't you get it that hats are a male thing, and that you sound like a sexist pig spewing that hate?"  Yes, I am just a lousy hater, I've come to accept that.

My household was a gun-free zone back then.  Sure, as a little kid I was always playing cowboys and Indians (which went the way of the dinosaur decades ago as a racially intolerant activity), and us little kids emulated Vic Morrow and Rip Torn as WWII combat weary veterans in the black and while TV series "Combat."  But real guns were just not in my life.

Then I went and joined the U.S. Army at age 19.  All of a sudden, I was able to field strip and re-assemble an M-16 military combat rifle blindfolded, and was qualified as an expert marksman with this weapon.  

My dad, a WWII veteran, had warned me before I shipped out to boot camp: 'when you're in the army, son, never volunteer for anything.  Just don't do it, volunteering to anything, no matter what it is, it just never turns out good for you.'

Well, of course I volunteered as an E-6 staff sergeant to supervise an ordinance disposal detail.  Because our battalion had such bad leadership, our annual TO&E allotment of ammunition for the battalion was never used up in gunnery range training, because our leaders always had other priorities than keeping the troops' weaponry skills in order.  Then came the end of September, and thus the end of the fiscal year.  If we still had ammo left over, the brass would get less the next year since we had not used what was issued in the prior year and we all know that officers simply cannot do with less of anything, under any circumstances.

I was assigned to supervise 5 enlisted men to take a 2.5 ton truck (lovingly referred to as a 'deuce and a half') loaded with our unused ammo out to the range: box upon box of 5.56 ball ammo for M-16's, box upon box of M-60 light machine gun ammo (with tracers every 5th round), a goodly amount of M-203 grenades, a ton of .45 rounds for the M-1911 Colt pistols issued to senior NCO's and officers.  Since we were an intelligence unit, this was the extent of our ordinance, and no .50 cal rounds, fragmentation hand grenades, Claymore mines, or any of the fun stuff was issued to us 'REMF's'.  

Still, this was a ton of ammo, and I was directed to bring back the spent brass casings so that it could be accounted for.  I could hardly wait to go and blow off all of this, it was a detail that would only happen in my dreams.  

Not so fast, there, Fredd.  The first 15 minutes of popping off the M-60 rounds was great.  Changing the red hot barrels every 200 rounds or so was tedious, but still, very cool.  The next hour or two, things became pretty repetitive, and the fun of all of this was quickly disappearing.

Then we started on the bulk of our ordinance, the M-16 rounds.  Those had to be loaded into the magazines (we had banana clips which held 30 rounds), and this was also incredibly tedious.  After 5 or 6 hours of this, all of our hands were raw and blistered, holding onto and firing these weapons with no gloves.  We started wrapping our hands in 100 mph tape (duct tape in the civilian world), and it helped some, but soon nothing really helped.  We were all in agony.

Towards the end of this nightmare detail, one of the privates asked me 'sarge, I'm dyin' here, can't we just bury the rest of this shit, and get out of here?'  As good as that sounded to me at the time, I had to account for the brass and was not inclined to get busted for not coming back with the correct number of casings, so this was not going to work, either.

In the end, this was perhaps the most miserable experience I ever had in the army.  Our hands were dripping with blood, and not even the 100 mph tape kept it from flowing like water.  We were to a man completely miserable to the bone.  And to drive a stake through our hearts, we then got to the M-203 grenades.  Although there were only a few boxes of those, they had to be fired from an M-16 mount, and those rounds kicked like a mule.  It was hell trying to hold onto those weapons with bloody, blistered aching hands.  I was convince I was in hell.  I had never been more miserable.  Ever.  And this detail was supposed to be fun.  

"Never volunteer for anything, no matter how good it sounds at the time"....I still remember to this day my dad telling me that, and how I blew off this sound advice much to my detriment.

I now own a .357 magnum caliber revolver, and this gun is for home protection only, and will only get fired at somebody who is intent on doing me or my family harm.  And so far, the gun has never been fired.  God willing, it never will be fired.

I will be a happy man if I meet my Maker, never having fired another weapon as long as I live.  I've probably put more rounds down range than anyone else on the planet.  Well, other than those other five guys on that detail from hell.  


Monday, April 4, 2016

Voting with your middle finger

I've heard it said lately that voting for either Donald Trump or Ted Cruz in the presidential primaries in 2016 is done with the middle finger.

On the Republican side, voters have been betrayed by the Establishment GOP one too many times: their deal with the voters the last four elections or so is that if we hand them the gavels (committee chairmanships gained with a majority), they will:




  • Repeal Obamacare
  • Defund Obamacare
  • Roll back/restrict Obama's executive orders
  • Get control of the out of control government spending
  • (fill in whatever other promise these weasels made here)
And what are the results of these promises that the Establishment GOP made, now that we the voters have empowered both the Senate and the House with GOP majorities, and handed them their gavels?   The results are the following:

.................(crickets chirping here)...............................

In essence, the Establishment GOP broke its promises to the voters on too many occasions to count.  They simply lie to their constituents while on the stump.  Flat out bald-faced lies.  

I just wonder what would happen to these GOP liars if they had made such promises to the Mafia?  To the Medillan or Sinaloa drug cartels?  Promises such as those made by the GOP Establishment to groups such as these and then wantonly and openly broken/ignored would be dealt with harshly.  Very harshly.

We now are seeing what it looks like when voters get tired of being lied to: defections to 'undesirable' candidates.  You know, the kind of candidates that Karl Rove and Reinz Preibus don't like.  Those kind of 'undesirables.'  And yet Karl Rove and Reinz Preibus to this very day don't understand why their chosen 'Establishment' candidates are getting no traction whatsoever.

We voters understand it perfectly.  And we are doing something about the Establishment's having taken the American conservative vote for granted for so long.  We are enmasse voting for 'undesirables.'

Now we are all waiting for the GOP convention in Cleveland, which is governed by the Establishment GOP.  The majority of delegates earned during the primaries have gone to such aforementioned 'undesirables,' such as Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.  When the convention gets underay, we will see what kind of destruction the GOP can render to their already tattered credibility.  

The GOP Establishment will have to make a choice: go with the general mood of their pissed off constituency and nominate an 'undesirable,' thereby losing control of the Republican Party.  Or, alternatively, they can hand pick one of their guys, an Establishment candidate that Karl Rove calls a 'fresh face' to head up the Republican ticket.  And then they can watch as the conservative voters completely and totally wash their hands of these GOP Establishment morons, in essence relegating the Republican Party to another 40 years of wandering in the wilderness.

If the Establishment GOP chooses the latter, it looks like Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, or even a Democrat interloper like Joe Biden or John Kerry will get elected to a third term of Obama.  

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

'The Heckler's Veto:' favorite tool in the liberal toolbox

We are all at this point in time thoroughly familiar with the left's favorite tactic to shut everybody up who does not agree with them or think like they do: scream, yell, disrupt, fight, throw pies and now punches, and violently suppress dissent.

The Founding Fathers are rolling over in their graves as they watch what is happening to their great experiment in human history.  Freedom of speech, the very 1st Amendment in the Bill of Rights, is under full frontal assault by leftists, communists, Marxists, socialists and all manner of pinkos in the American landscape today.

It is clear that their socialist philosophy simply can't stand up to rational debate.  They lose when they even try to articulate the nonsense and Utopian fantasy of their socialist ideas.  Ideas which have failed utterly in every society that has mistakenly implemented them, and yet the pinko will persist.  They think that if we just do it with different leaders this time, it will create a Heaven on Earth.  

Nobody on the left can explain how it is possible that taking resources from one group and giving them to another via the ham fisted power of government can create a thriving, creative and beneficial society: not through debate, not through education and clearly not through failed implementation of hare brained liberal policies.

Liberalism just doesn't work at any level at all in human endeavors. The folk whose goodies are taken from them and given to others who have clearly not earned this forced largess will not simply acquiesce in perpetuity to this inequity: they will find ways around this social theft.  It has always been this way, and it will always be this way.  Humans don't like tyrants taking their stuff away without just compensation.  They just don't. It's an integral part of human nature. Duh.

But human nature has no place in the calculus of the left, no siree Bob.  We are now witnessing the latest method of ramming socialism down all of our throats: violence.  Throwing pies in the faces of conservatives, drowning out voices on the right, and now throwing punches at supporters of Donald Trump at his political rallies - this is now the tactic of choice on the left.  

The so-called 'Heckler's Veto' where using any and all means to simply drown out any dissenting voice is now the tool-du-jour of American pinkos and leftists.  

It appears to have worked in Chicago last Friday.  But will this always work going forward?  It is clearly not a constitutional method of forwarding one's philosophy.  Silencing the opposition's voice is not the American way of governance.  

It is the way of things in tyrannical dictatorships and totalitarian regimes, but these brutish tactics have no place in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Sometimes, you just have to hold your nose

These self righteous zealots, whether they be evangelicals, the anti-abortion crowd, the stronger defense folk or the economic conservatives, have to consider what they are doing when they categorically state they won't vote for Donald Trump under any circumstances.

What they are doing is providing de-facto support to the candidacy of Hillary Clinton.  That's what Democrats do, they support Hillary Clinton.  And that's what these pouting, whining zealots that are supposedly conservatives wind up being: Democrats.

With conservatives like these, who needs Democrat votes, anyway?  This same thing happened in the 2012 general election, when 5,000,000 of these same self righteous conservatives decided that for whatever reason they would not vote for Mitt Romney, even though they voted for John McCain 4 years earlier.  They all slept like babies after sitting out the election and watched as Barack Obama, the most awful president in the last century (or possibly ever), get re-elected owing to their lack of patriotism.

Those of you who take this position, for whatever reason, have to think about the consequences of your 'principled' stand.  If you are an evangelical, and are not going to vote for Trump, just remember that you are not voting for a Pastor in Chief.  By sitting out, you are guaranteeing that one of the most anti-Christian women in the country will win the White House.  Is that your choice?

Many of you are pro-life, and are concerned that The Donald, who now says he is solidly pro-life but in the past said he is pro-choice, will revert to his old evil ways.  Accordingly, you pro-life zealots will never vote for the guy, and will settle for Hillary Clinton, who will make sure that any one who wants an abortion will get one at any time for any reason.  Is that what you want?

If you are a strong-defense conservative, and think that Donald Trump doesn't have what it takes to make America strong and plan to sit out the election, then you are guaranteeing that the Bitch of Benghazi, the woman who practically murdered those four Americans at the embassy by ordering their rescuers to stand down, you will ensure that the biggest pacifist since Neville Chamberlain will occupy the Oval Office.  Will this result benefit your 'principled stand?'

Buck up, you big cry babies.  Sometimes you just have to hold your nose and vote for the lesser of two evils.  I myself could not stand the idea of George H.W. Bush becoming president in 1992, you know, the guy who called Reaganomics 'voodoo economics.'  Yeah, that guy.  I held my nose and voted for him anyway, instead of the God awful uber-liberal candidate Michael Dukakis.  I voted for Bob Dole (I really had to hold my nose on that one) over Bill Clinon.  I had to hold my nose again and vote for Dubya, twice, he was much preferable to either Al Gore or John Kerry.   Ditto with my votes for John McCain and Mitt Romney over Barack Obama.

My nose is getting awfully sore from constantly holding it when voting for the eventual conservative candidate.  But the liberal alternative gains essentially half a vote when you self righteous zealots sit home and pout.

Get over yourselves.  Think of the country, you whining cry babies.  Just hold your nose, put your pathetic one-issue concerns to the side and do the right thing.  Support Donald Trump.  True, he's not perfect, but he is 1000% better than Hillary Clinton.

Or, if you want to sit this one out, put up with President Hillary Clinton.  You choose.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Donald Trump and equities markets

For the past 16 years, the stock market has been essentially flat and has moved primarily sideways.  This is markedly a different looking graph over a 16 year period than other similar stretches of time since the stock market came into existence (other than the Great Depression).

Interest rates are near zero, which has virtually never been the case over our country's economic history: when use of other people's assets costs nothing.  And now the federal reserve chairman Janet Yellen is not ruling out NEGATIVE interest rates: charging people to use their money. How is that even possible?

In the big picture, it's not possible.  The artificially low rates right now are a political creation cobbled together by collaboration between governments and banks.  How long this will hold, nobody is certain, but most reasonable folk tend to think that interest rates simply have to go up at some point.

Enter Donald J. Trump.  The general election is less than a year away, and so is the inauguration of the next president.  Recall that when Barry was inaugurated, both in 2009 and 2013, the stock market fell hundreds of points each time.  Stock markets do not like socialists, for obvious reasons.

And the stock markets started to tank once it became clear that Barry was likely to win the White House: stock markets are forward-looking, and the Big Money didn't like what it was seeing in a young man taking control of our nation who had not a lick of business experience, nor any inclination whatsoever towards solid fiscal discipline.  The Big Money saw a tax and spend liberal from a mile away, and the stock market has been in the tank pretty much ever since.

The moment it becomes clear that The Donald is favored to occupy the Oval Office, just watch what the stock market does at that point: it will be a month or so prior to the election, as polls tend to get things right regarding winners and losers (but not always), and the Big Money will make its move at that point, perhaps late summer, 2016.

If you are so inclined to catch the coat tails of Big Money, simply buy equity index ETF's (exchange traded funds) that mirror the S&P 500 and Nasdaq - ticker symbols SPY and QQQ.  After the first 9 months in office, 'The Donald Effect' on Wall Street should take the Dow Jones 30 Industrial average from its current 16,500 level to perhaps 22,500 - a swing of a positive 36%.

Accordingly an investment of $10,000 in either or both of these equities should yield a profit (also called a capital gain, something liberals consider evil) of $3,600 in a year.  Of course, when the Donald takes office, he will propose cutting capital gains tax to zero, and that money becomes free and clear.

Try getting that kind of return out of a CD, there, grampa.  Of course, that eye-popping return is predicated upon the election of Donald J. Trump to the presidency of the United States of America.

Take that to the bank.