Thursday, December 22, 2016

We're A Stew, Not A Smoothie

From the very beginning of the 2016 election cycle, the ultimate winner was labeled and continually ridiculed by progressives and conservatives alike as a clown, someone ideologically, historically, and temperamentally unfit to hold the office. It is unclear at this writing if he has any reverence for the office of the President at all.

And once again we get lessons in civics about how the political parties and our elections are supposed to work, and how they actually work. We learn again all about the Electoral College. We have to learn the lessons again, because it’s sort of boring and geeky, and we weren’t really paying attention the last time. It has to be told to us again how a candidate can receive the most Electoral votes and win the presidency in spite of not receiving more popular votes nation-wide.

Here, a distinction must be drawn between receiving more votes when all of the state election results are combined, and “winning” the popular vote. There IS no national popular vote to win or lose. There are only 51 state and district elections. Each of those state elections is assigned an Electoral value based on the number of legislative representatives (except for the pity case of the District of Columbia) and the winner of the combination of state elections that garners the majority of Electoral votes wins the presidency. It’s not that hard to understand. Many of us learned it in junior high school. Most no longer do.

This year a new twist has been added. A racist twist. Never heard before. The Electoral College, some now say, was created to increase and perpetuate the influence of the Southern, slave states. Reference is made in passing to the inhumanity of the 3/5ths rule as if this is somehow evidence of something. Of course no thought is given to the fact that the 3/5ths rule actually decreased the influence held by Southern, slave states, but this is of no matter, as it doesn’t help to advance the narrative.

And so the familiar lament rises on the howling wind…… “God damn it’s cold out here”…. No wait… that’s in North Dakota. And so the familiar lament rises again, “why doesn’t the United States have a democratic popular national election to select the chief executive like all of the other countries”? The answers that one receives to this question are varied, but most land on the fact that the writers of the Constitution didn’t trust pure democracy. This seems to hold up to scrutiny as there are several references in the literature to opposing the “tyranny of the majority”, and of the susceptibility of the general public to the con, and each time it is noted that we are MUCH more sophisticated now.

But the truth is simpler and can be summarized in that rebellious fraternal mantra “you can’t choose your family, but you get to pick your friends”. Bear with me on this.

The United States is unique among nations (truly unique) in that before its current government was formed, the country didn’t exist. The governments of virtually every other “developed” nation that has “democratic” elections existed before their current incarnation and variation on democracy as a monarchy, dictatorship, or oligarchy of some sort. Most of the Western democracies are smaller than the State of Texas. In those nations, the governmental bureaucracies already existed. To form them, it was only a matter of choosing how the bureaucracies would be staffed, and how representatives to legislative bodies would be selected. In the case of the United States, the task wasn’t to determine how the existing government would be operated, but how bring together the several sovereign former colonial governments that were to become the states in such a manner that would equitable and would not result in the domination of the small by the large.
(The tyranny of the majority). Large states versus small states. Could the small states trust that they would not be dominated by larger more populous states if they were to enter into this confederation? In the end, the compromise variously referred to as the “Great Compromise of 1787”, the “Connecticut Compromise”, or the “Sherman Compromise” provided for proportional representation to the House of Representatives for the general population, and equal representation in the upper house… the Senate, to provide for representation of the states to the federal government. This compromise carried over to the selection of the Chief Executive. An “Electoral College” was created where one elector is allowed for each member of a state’s legislative contingent. This simple method mirrors the way that the legislature is constituted.

We do not have national popular elections because we are not a homogeneous people. We are the small state and large. We are coastal and plain. We are desert and lake. We are bayou and prairie. We are Rocky Mountain and vast forests. We are farm and factory, urban and rural. We are light and dark, Asian, African and Euro. We are, and hopefully will remain the United States of America.

But that's just what an average guy thinks.






Monday, December 19, 2016

A Little Election Fun

Having a bit of mental fun with the Clinton loss. It’s a situation rife with irony and contradiction. The Electoral College has now voted and the results are a step closer to being official. It has to be admitted that Trump’s victory was not the “landslide” that he has claimed. A point not lost on Bill Clinton, or Barack 0bama who truly did have landslide victories. But given the expectations, given the fact that the Clinton campaign outspent the Trump campaign by a factor of two, given the perceived existence of the Big Blue Electoral Wall across the rust belt, given the 240 Electoral vote starting advantage that Clinton supposedly had, and given the fact that Clinton campaign staff were opening celebratory Champagne early in the afternoon of the election it is understandable why someone might call it a “landslide” victory. The seemingly solid foundation that Clinton was resting on did liquefy and quickly moved downhill. That’s a pretty good description of what actually happens in a geographical landslide so I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch.

And now the cleanup and post mortem. But it’s hardly necessary. Everyone knows already why Hillary Clinton lost. She lost because she wasn’t Barack 0bama and it’s just about as simple as that. Nearly 57% of Americans polled will tell you that the country is on the “wrong track” and all Hillary had to offer was more of the same only with more taxes, more regulation, more free stuff, more national debt, more corruption, and more economic stagnation.

An irony here is that during the mess that has been this election cycle, Barack 0bama has been able to keep his job approval ratings so high while support for his policies has been so low. It’s as if people are unable to actually make the connection between the smooth, black guy hurling awesome snark at his detractors and their opposition to the policies that vex them. The ever increasing insurance costs in the place of that two hundred and forty dollar per month savings they were promised. The Constant stories out of the executive agencies; the tragedy of the VA; the snarling disrespect and contempt from the IRS commissioner; the menacingly smooth demeanor of the EPA director as she promises and justifies increased regulation while dodging any responsibility for Gold King; the bald faced lies coming from the Director of National Intelligence; the relentless pursuit of a nuclear deal with Iran regardless of the cost or result, and the obvious corruption of the former Secretary of State. All of these things may help to explain why during his eight years as president Barack 0balma has presided over the loss by his party of eleven Senate seats, 63 seats in the House of Representatives, 12 state Governorships, and over 800 state legislative seats leaving republicans in a dominant governing position not seen since the nineteen twenties. Apparently America LUVs it some Barack 0bama, but not enough to vote in support of any of his policies.

Maybe America loves Barack 0bama for the glam parties he throws at the white house, for the avant guarde way he decked out the White House in an all-inclusive rainbow, for the edgy way he supported all comers against the “stupid” police, the endearing way he mocks the traditions of his office, the easy way the 77% of women, or the 97% of scientists lies flow from his lips. Maybe it’s the easy way he lays down a red line, or issues an ultimatum, or the clever way he spent $11.2 Billion in taxpayer money to “save” GM without actually helping the company in the long term, or the seemingly coincidental way the unemployment numbers seem to go down at about the same rate as the Labor Participation Rate. Or perhaps it’s the sum of all of those things.

Whatever it was, at least three things will be true come January 20th; 1) Hillary Clinton will never be President Of The United States; 2) Barack 0bama will never again be President Of The United States, 3) Bill Clinton has tapped his last piece of strange in the White House and one has to expect that’s what’s eating him.

But that’s just what an average guy thinks.


Sunday, October 23, 2016

The Sonata

The fog of sleep began to lift with the opening notes. A few moments later he became aware that he was hearing a piano and vaguely remembered passing one the night before in the darkness. Then his eyes opened and he found himself in a room flooded with the low morning sun. He squinted against the light. The walls were white as were the bed linens which were in a state of considerable disarray and now, he noticed with some perverse amusement, in need of laundering. But she was not there.

And the music continued, melancholy and full of yearning.

He rolled over, slid his legs over the edge of the bed and sat up, vigorously rubbing his eyes, face and hair. Reflexively he reached down, picked up and slipped on his underwear making a mental note of how the bright cranberry stood out against the white everything. Then he stood and strode to the door, smiling to himself again in remembrance as he stepped over the clothing strewn here and there.

The next room was just like the one from which he had just come. White, tastefully decorated walls, light wood flooring, and nothing but windows on the East wall through which the sun was now pouring to magnificent effect. Everything white, or nearly so except for the black baby grand piano at which she now sat playing. The door where he was standing was behind her and just out of her field of view so that his watching went unnoticed. He had never seen a naked pianist before and he found the experience to be a bit disorienting. She sat there in her physical perfection with her long dark hair still plainly tousled by the night as if she had woken with a need that only this music could satisfy.

Eventually the tempo slowed and he thought she would finish. He raised his hand and nearly spoke but she continued. It was the most marvelous thing he had ever seen. Here was concentration and control the like of which he had never seen. She began a series of runs up and down the keyboard which he thought must end at any moment but which continued on and on, each different but all connected, sometimes ending with sharp percussion and sometimes a clever interlude. How on earth was it possible for a person with only the normal compliment of fingers to make such sounds?

And then it was over. She sat still for a moment, her head bowed, catching her breath as the vibrations died away. He quietly clapped his hands. Her head snapped around and she feigned a frown and said “oh, did I wake you?” “Wonderfully” he said and suddenly her face exploded in a laughing smile as if she had just told a marvelously funny story. “Did you like it?” She asked, beaming. His mind raced in confusion as he stood there in front of this incredibly beautiful naked woman and was unable to look away from her eyes. In a half second she was in his arms and they were spinning around. She put her lips to his ear and said softly, earnestly “God, I love that Sonata in the morning”, and then the laughter returned and she said “Come. What shall we do today?” to which he replied “after that? I have no idea.”

Saturday, October 22, 2016

The 77% Is A Lie, And They Know It

Some data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics recently came to my attention. For the year 2011 there were 7.4 million men over the age of 16 engaged in the work force and 6.5 million women. Do you see where I'm going with this? Allow me. What this means is that if EVERYONE currently in the workforce (everyone who wants to work) were paid exactly the same amount of money regardless of what work they did, education, construction, healthcare, international espionage, entertainment, blogging.... whatever....EVERYONE is paid exactly the same..... you could honestly say that women in the year 2011 earned only 88% of what their male counterparts were paid. It's absolutely true, but also absolutely meaningless. INDIVIDUAL women would have earned EXACTLY the same amount as the INDIVIDUAL men, but taken as a group it is also possible and accurate to say that they earned less. Now why on earth would anyone want to deceive you???

The moral of the story is that when you hear that some group or other earns less than some other group you need to ask a question: What is being compared here, in what way, and does the way the way the data is being presented support some broader narrative that the presenter may be trying to promote?

But that’s just what an average guy thinks

Friday, October 7, 2016

Colin's Anthem

I have resisted my urges to write a knee jerk response to Colin Kaepernick’s refusal to stand for the national anthem as I wanted to at least try and have my feelings on the issue well thought out first.

To begin. I only vaguely knew who Colin Kaepernick was to begin with, not watching any NFL to speak of. It seems that what I know now is that he is a second team quarterback of questionable value who may in the foreseeable future be looking for new career options and so all of this may have been a public relations ploy to make his name a household word, much the same as Ted Cruz and his Green Eggs and Ham filibuster. But this is of no matter to me as I don’t really care what an over paid undereducated entertainer thinks. However, there are many many thousands of young people and adults who look to entertainers for social cues. This is unfortunate when our nation has such a rich history and many leaders with stories to tell, but I suppose that it is what it is. But back to Colin.

He has said that he cannot, in good conscience, show or feign respect for the national anthem when there is so much social injustice in the country. One presumes that he is primarily referring to the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement and the lie begun when the drug addled strong arm criminal Michael Brown attacked and tried to disarm and kill a police officer and was himself killed in the process. Of course he was portrayed by media, race hustling elements in our own government and the racist Department of Justice as being nothing more than a carefree impetuous teen ager out for an afternoon walk with a friend when he was accosted and then brutally executed in the middle of the street by a bigoted, racist police officer. He was on his knees with his hands up begging “don’t shoot” when he was shot (execution style). Of course this was the meme until the investigation was complete and it was shown to the satisfaction of all law enforcement agencies involved to have been a lie. But by that time the damage was done and the truth was swept away by the race hustlers. They said that the facts of this particular case didn’t matter as much as the overall “fact” that young black men were being systematically killed by white police officers. Only even this has been shown not to be factual here (http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/12/upshot/surprising-new-evidence-shows-bias-in-police-use-of-force-but-not-in-shootings.html?_r=0) and here (https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/07/18/analysis-of-washington-post-police-shootings-data-reveals-surprising-result/). So there are lies being circulated intentionally, and through ignorance.

And now to the flag and the anthem. The flag of our nation is a powerful symbol. It shows the voluntary association of independent states, our reverence for the purity of and the firm belief in the rightness of the ideals put forward in our founding documents, and the blood that we have spent and that we are willing to spend in the effort to achieve those ideals. During the War Of 1812, a mere twenty years after the ratification of the Constitution, the British were trying to destroy our nation and to re-subjugate the people. When, on September 14, 1814, after a cruel bombardment of Fort McHenry, Francis Scott Key saw the flag still flying over the fortress he was moved to write those words “our flag was still there”. They have beaten us bloody, but our country, and the purity and the righteousness of our ideals remain and we will fight on. That is what the national anthem is. It’s not a statement of, or song about how great, or perfect America is. It’s a reaffirmation that we will continue to work toward achieving our ideals, and that we will not have our ideals taken from us and those of others substituted in their place.

In an average guy's opinion, what Kaepernick has done may have started out as a moment of genuinely felt compassion (even if incompletely informed or thought out) and almost instantaneously turned into something that he couldn't step away from without appearing to be fickle, or a hypocrite. A more cynical view would be that he was simply working the press for name recognition.

Colin Kaepernick and everyone who is blindly following his lead in protest of how they perceive things to be don't understand the symbology of the flag or the national anthem. They should, instead, be leaping to their feet at the first notes of the anthem to proclaim to the world, and to solemnly promise themselves that no matter how difficult the struggle, they will fight on. It's the country that flag represents that gives them the right to do that.

But that’s just what an average guy thinks.



Monday, September 26, 2016

Searching Where The Light Is Better

When I was a young, we had a children’s magazine with several stories and cartoons in its pages. This Mutt & Jeff strip may have been one, but my memory isn’t that sharp. The upshot of the strip is, of course, how wrong headed and funny it is for someone to be knowingly looking in the wrong place for some lost item simply because the light is better there. As children, my sister and I and millions of others like us knew that this was funny. Fast forward sixty years and it’s not so commonly recognized as funny anymore.

Even though no woman over the age of fifty has ever been known to commit an act of transportation terrorism we still search them as if they had. We do this in the name of fairness. Because if we start to exclude one group or another from scrutiny then pretty soon we’re looking for things where we’re most likely to find them and we call that “profiling”. We’re looking for something were we are most likely to find it and not where the light is the best.

Almost every day, if you listen, you will hear someone who should know better say that we have a huge problem with race in American and that it is manifested by the obvious, extraordinary and unacceptable levels of police brutality toward the black community. There is indeed a problem, but it isn’t one of police misconduct, or even racism, at least not the classic hateful kind that everyone thinks of. And so, not knowing or acknowledging what the problem is we fumble around where the looking is easy trying to find something that isn’t there.

Commentators on recent events like to mention the “obvious fact” that more blacks are killed by police than whites without offering anything besides the echo chamber harmonies of all of the race hustling choir and their back up band The Main Stream Media. Of course there are detailed statistical analysis like the one done by the black Harvard economist Roland G. Fryer Jr. and published in the New York Times. (http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/12/upshot/surprising-new-evidence-shows-bias-in-police-use-of-force-but-not-in-shootings.html?_r=0). And another analysis of Washington Post police shooting data that appeared surprisingly here (https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/07/18/analysis-of-washington-post-police-shootings-data-reveals-surprising-result/) , but not too surprisingly, people don’t seem to be interested in those articles because the light is better and the looking is easier somewhere else.

The simple stats seem compelling. You hear that blacks make up 40% of the prison population while they make up only 16% of the general population. What else besides racism could possible explain this discrepancy? It must be systemic, societal racism. But what about men and women? Men make up roughly 50% of the general population and yet account for roughly 94% of the prison population. Does that then indicate systemic sexism targeting men? Of course the answer is “no” in both cases.

So now, in order to correctly position our search for our solution to the problem at hand we must face the problem at hand and say it. Black men commit crime at a higher rate than do white men. They aren’t being unfairly targeted. They commit more crime.

And now that we’ve said it out loud and admitted to ourselves that it’s true we can start to look for the reasons for its being true and for a solution to that problem.

It seems to me to be a rather simple matter. There are those that claim that it’s the economy, that jobs have been taken from the black community and this is true, but while it’s true that corporate taxes, and business regulation have been increased along with the minimum wage without a single thought given to what the effects would be in black communities, poor people aren’t necessarily criminals. Crime is not born of poverty, crime is born out of a lack of respect. Criminals have no respect for the physical property of others, for their rights as individuals, or for any authority outside themselves. Rahm Emmanuel, the Mayor of Chicago, has recognized this. He says that “The deck has been stacked against the kids,” and is putting forward a multimillion dollar program that will include “mentoring” for young people. Mentoring. Giving young people responsible adults to look up to, to emulate and to take advice from. Mayor Emanuel has touched on the problem here, but blew right past it on his way to a government solution that costs millions of dollars and is doomed to failure.

Sixty seven percent of black children grow up in single parent (read mother) households. In other words they grow up in an environment without a strong authority figure. They grow up without learning to respect authority. That’s the problem right there. It seems that even many law abiding members of the black community who don’t engage in criminal behavior are still insulted by the reality that police have authority over us all that has to be recognized.

So what’s the cause of this? Are blacks simply more promiscuous and fertile than other ethnic groups? It hardly seems likely. My feeling is that it traces back to the well-meaning but ill- considered socio economic policies enacted by the federal government during the middle of the 20th Century that made poverty less uncomfortable and in many cases made it economically advantageous for women with small children to remain single. Add to that a culture that was trying to remove the negative social stigma from virtually everything short of axe murder and cannibalism, allow to incubate for fifty years and here we are.

We now live in a society where increasing numbers of people rely on the federal government for more and more services. Free breakfast for school children; free lunch for school children; free dinner and after school programs for children; proposed free preschool (child care) and now we have a proposed program in Chicago for free mentoring. All of these are parental responsibilities. We are told that children who live in households where families eat together turn out to be happier and better balanced, but the government sponsors programs that take fathers and children out of the home. What we are witnessing is the government’s gradual takeover of all family function. Virtually all of the major problems we see in our culture today that are blamed on race can be traced back to well meant, but poorly thought through programs or unnecessary authoritarian meddling.

But back to the problem at hand. It seems clear to me that the government created and continues to create the conditions that lead to our current situation and now people in government are promoting and implying that a government solution is necessry. When you find out that your doctor has been poisoning you for over fifty years it seems foolhardy to return to that doctor for an antidote to the poison.

It’s time for America and Americans to throw off the yoke and break free.

But that’s just what an average guy thinks.






Friday, July 29, 2016

Do you believe?

Do you believe that blacks are more frequently killed by police than whites?
Police brutality and violence against minorities has become a topic of almost constant discussion. Most often reduced to the binary of black and white. No one seems to care much about police behavior toward Hispanics (it’s just assumed that they’re equally as barbaric in their actions), and Asians interact so infrequently with the police that there are no usable statistics. So we’re binary then, black and white.

And so the question remains: Do you believe that blacks are more frequently killed by police than whites? And the answer is: Of course you do. You believe it because it’s all over the news. You believe it for the same reason that you believe that 97% of scientists believe that human activity is the cause of “climate change” and that the result will be catastrophic. You believe it for the same reason that you believe that women make seventy seven cents for every dollar that a man makes. You believe it for the same reason that you believe that the “gun show loophole” or “on line” gun purchases allow terrorists to buy guns with no background checks. For the same reason you think the use of “black rifles” is driving the crime rate up. You believe it because there are people who have a vested interest in you believing it and the news media is on their side.

Joseph Goebbels, the noted NAZI propagandist and quotarian said this: “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.” So, the secret, passed on to us by a very experienced and successful shaper of public opinion, is to tell a “BIG LIE” and “TELL IT OFTEN”.
So what has Joseph Goebbels to do with potentially race related shootings in the 21st Century? It’s about the lie. The BIG lie. The OFT REPEATED big lie.

Recently Roland G. Fryer, Jr, a Harvard economist (economists are well known for collecting, analyzing, and explaining statistics) published a paper titled “An Empirical Analysis of Racial Differences in Police Use of Force (a pdf can be had here: http://www.nber.org/papers/w22399) in the abstract of which it was stated that:

“On the most extreme use of force – officer involved shootings we find no racial differences in either the raw data or when contextual factors are taken into account. We argue that the patterns in the data are consistent with a model in which police officers are utility maximizers, a fraction of which have a preference for discrimination, who incur relatively high expected costs of officer-involved shootings.”

In an essay titled “When Arrests Go Bad”, Willis Eschenbach, using information compiled by the Washington Post (available here: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/07/18/analysis-of-washington-post-police-shootings-data-reveals-surprising-result/ also shows that there is no racial bias in police shootings, but what we have come to be informed by are uninvestigated press reports and dramatic cell phone video.

We were told by Dorian Johnson (Brown’s companion) immediately after the shooting, that Michael Brown was a gentle person who would never hurt anyone and that he died on his knees with his hands up begging for his life, at the feet of a murderous racist police officer. The Black Lives Matter movement was born. Professional athletes politicians, and celebrities of all kinds hitched their wagons to the story and even Eric Holder's Department of Justice took a seat at the table to make sure that things turned out the way they “should”. Justice for Michael Brown would surely be done. It was almost foregone. There was an eye witness standing right there. Only after weeks of other eye witness testimony and an analysis of all of the forensic evidence, the Grand Jury determined that there wasn’t probable cause to believe that Officer Darren Wilson had committed a crime in the shooting, and the Justice Department didn’t see enough evidence of civil rights violation to bring an action against the officer.

And you will still hear athletes, celebrities, politicians, academics and their students cling to the lie. The best, people you had respected as voices of moderation in the past will say “we may never know what really happened”. The worst will tell you that the facts don’t matter, and call you a racist possessor of white privilege for believing that anything other than a brutal murder took place. That brutal murders of minorities just like it are common place all over the country. And the politicians, race hustlers, and news media feed that for their own gain.

In a recent column, Thomas Sowell, another well-known economist and social commentator wrote:

“Black votes matter to many politicians — more so than black lives. That is why such politicians must try to keep black voters fearful, angry and resentful. Racial harmony would be a political disaster for such politicians.
Racial polarization makes both the black population and the white population worse off, but it makes politicians who depend on black votes better off.
Hillary Clinton desperately needs black votes in this year’s close election. Promoting fear, anger and resentments among blacks — and, if possible, paranoia — serves her political interest. Barack Obama has mastered the art of keeping black voters aroused while keeping white voters soothed — thanks in part to the gullibility of much of the public, who mistake geniality and glib rhetoric for honesty and good will.
Obama has repeatedly put the weight and prestige of the presidency on the side of those who denounce the police before any facts are verified — and even after facts have come out, exposing the fraudulence of such claims as the claim that the “gentle giant” Michael Brown said, “Hands up, don’t shoot.”
When a career race hustler like Al Sharpton, with a history of hoaxes, is a regular visitor and adviser to the White House, that is a reality that whites and blacks alike ignore at their peril.”

We have, in this country today, cultural problems, many if not all of which were brought about or facilitated by the experimental socioeconomic policies instituted a half century ago by a mixture or well-meaning and cynical politicians. The minority community is in a shambles but lying about the men and women who have sworn to try and protect us isn’t helping.

But that’s just what an average guy thinks.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

IT's A BAD IDEA

All of this nonsense started sixty years or more ago. First came the idea that little boys needed to be feminized to keep them from growing into brutish louts. I never thought of my parents as being particularly trendy, but none the less they bought me a doll, a little farmer doll with blond hair and blue bib overalls, so that I could explore my nurturing side. I guess my cursing and beating my older sister WAS getting a little out of hand. In any case I suppose they wanted to give me at least the chance to grow into a normal genteel person. It seems as though I may have fooled them.

Then in the early to mid-60s you started to read that there was really no difference at all between boys and girls, that any apparent differences were simply a matter of socialization. Never mind the fact that boys eventually grew up to have broad shoulders, beards and penises while women seemed to almost always prefer broader hips and vaginas. I’m still a little bit amazed that people didn’t put their feet down and call this out as the hogwash that it was. I suppose it was easier to ignore the evolutionary niche that each sex had developed over millions of years to occupy than to struggle against the pipe smoking intellectual elites. After all, one doesn’t want to actually seek out situations where one can be mocked for being uneducated and made to look foolish for the offense of pointing out the obvious. It happens often enough as it is.

And later came the studies that showed that when confronted with a seemingly insurmountable barrier that small boys were more apt to seek a way over, around or through while young girls were more apt to stand at the barrier and cry for help, or if in groups to have a meeting and discuss a course of action. This was presented as evidence of the difference between boys and girls and men and women. It was used to illustrate women’s superior reasoning abilities. I always just let it go, because my doll had helped me to be genteel.

Then the “Women’s” movement seemed to overtake all rational discussion. Soon women could do anything men could do, which of course they can’t, not because of any mental short coming, but because of the size of their muscles and bones. Men and women have evolved over millions of years to perform different functions. This is an undeniable statement. Men evolved to hunt, fight, protect, and move furniture for their former spouses, women to gather, make the nest, and to care for the children. It’s evident in the way our brains are wired.

Now, in our modern world (try not to use clich├ęs), where we are not so far removed time wise from our evolutionary predecessors as we might like to think, of course women can do most of the things that men are required daily to do. Even men have it pretty easy these days. There are professions of course where very few women are physically up to the task. And studies have shown time and time again that women have a tendency to choose jobs that allow them more time to nest build and care for children.

Which brings me back around to current events. The United States Senate, apparently, has approved a defense appropriations bill that includes an amendment that will require women, of a certain age, to register with the selective service which would expose them to military conscription should it ever come to that. This, of course, is the direct result of the Obama administration’s pushing for all military roles to be opened to women which has been pushed by women’s rights groups in the name of fairness and equality.

Perhaps the hardest, the most physically and mentally demanding of all professions is being a combat soldier. Can some women do this job? Certainly, but precious few. Are there women who WANT to do this job? Again, certainly, but precious few and it seems like most of those are mostly concerned with requirements that they serve in combat units in order to advance their careers. Should they be allowed to serve, and to advance? The knee jerk reaction is that it seems unfair not to allow it. But the result is this: If the military draft is ever reinstated, there can be no choice. The names become numbers and the numbers are used to fill military units. And it’s a hard fact that a combat company composed of 50% women cannot be as effective as one composed of all men. It’s like claiming that an average man and an average woman can lift together as much weight as two average men. It has nothing to do with desire, or dedication. It all comes down to the fact that boys grow up to be bigger and physically stronger than do girls.

Selective service registration for women is a bad idea that grew out of flawed thought processes 60 years ago, and that train has already left the station. May as well sit back, rest easy, and wait for the bad things to start happening.

But that’s just what an average guy thinks.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Outrage At Correctness

We have once again had our constitutionally guaranteed rights to free speech limited by political correctness. We mustn't say anything that would offend ANYONE. Our children play in sports leagues where there are no winners or losers and go to school where there are no grades lest we damage their little psyches with reality. Our award shows no longer have winners, only recipients lest the people who entertain us think that they are less beloved than some other. People who are in the country in violation of the law are no longer illegal aliens, but must be referred to as "undocumented persons" so as not to stigmatize them. And now.... now we are being told that we may no longer refer to convicted criminals as convicted criminals, we must now refer to them as “justice involved individuals”.

A nation of 300 million people has been required again and again to give up bits of our guaranteed freedoms in exchange for what? What do we get for a "cooler", more compassionate tone in our political discussions, one where no one is "whipped up" by language? I can tell you what we get: We get a 20 TRILLION dollar national debt; we get an ever expanding and unaffordable entitlement society; we get an America that is neither a trusted ally nor a feared enemy in the world community; we get an America that finances and facilitates the United Nations and it's globalist shenanigans, and we get an America where the disregard for the rule of law is accepted with a resigned nod because we don't want to offend anyone with an argument or to appear (rightly or wrongly) to be bigoted, xenophobic, transphobic, homophobic, misogynistic, or racist in any way. We also get a slowly growing sense of frustration and powerlessness to effect the insanity which leaves us vulnerable to demagoguery of all sorts. Well I call "Bullshit!!" This is Bullshit, and I'm not having any thanks just the same.

President Barack Obama used warm, glowing rhetoric and spoke of the "forces" that divide and unite us. Bullshit! What separates us whether most people understand it or not is the ideological divide between Federalists and Progressives. Federalists are FOR the Constitution and a smaller government with limited power OF, BY, and FOR the people. Progressives favor an all-powerful government OF the people BY the educated elite. As early as 1838 Abraham Lincoln complained about what he called "the silent artillery of time" destroying the pillars of the temple of liberty and called for a reverence for the Constitution. Its progressive detractors claim, and have for over 150 years, that it's an antique, a quaint historical document that has little bearing on the events of the current day. But the beauty of the Constitution is that it was designed for change and adaptation, but that change is not easy. It was designed to be the foundation and framework of a government BY the people and changes have to be approved both at the federal and state levels. The people have to WANT the change. But the people are not smart. Not educated. Not enlightened and so we don't change the constitution. We don't change what were agreed to as the rules at the beginning, we don't add to the official rules in the agreed to manner. Instead, men and women in expensive suits with expensive educations meet behind closed doors and speak in amicable terms, change the meanings of the words, then explain to use “what the founders REALLY meant”, and decide for us what the new rules will be. I call Bullshit!!

Federalists want to conserve, refurbish and reaffirm our constitutional form of government. Progressives by definition want to move away from that. ANY compromise with Progressives means that a little of the birthright of our freedom has been sacrificed.

But that's just what an average guy thinks.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Personalizing The Costs Of Gun Violence

So I remember some discussion a while back where someone was accusing someone else of wanting to privatize gains while socializing risks. I’m pretty sure it was about banks, but it holds for what I was thinking about recently.

A lot of the discussion lately has been of gun violence, and how to stop it. Chicago is often held up as a good example of how very restrictive gun laws don’t have their intended effect. Of course progressive control minded types like to say that the guns are coming in from out of state, which I suppose they must be, but I have to wonder: since it’s so much easier to buy guns in other states, why isn’t the murder rate high there? Why isn’t the gun homicide rate universally high? Why is it only in the large metro areas? Gangs? Drugs? Gangsta Rap? Welfare mentality? Single moms? Absent dads? Chem trails? Who knows, but here we are. We don’t know why it happens, but the statistical proof is almost beyond denying that the more you restrict lawful gun ownership (which is the only gun ownership that you CAN restrict) the more helpless common citizens are. Criminals may be dumb, but on the whole, they know how and when to exploit an advantage.

The framers of the Constitution, which is the blueprint for our government, the authors of our very way of life, were distrustful governmental power, some of them so much so that that they insisted on the inclusion of the first ten amendments (the Bill of Rights) so as to make it very clear what the rights of citizens were and what the government could not take away unless the citizenry got together and OFFICIALLY took a right away from themselves. The 18th amendment is a perfect example of this procedure. 1) Stern, bossy woman gets people all riled up. 2) Convinces them that they themselves are not to be trusted. 3) Convinces them to amend the Constitution and deny themselves the right to self determination. 4) People sober up and realize they made a terrible mistake. 5) They again amend the Constitution reinstating the very right that they had taken from themselves previously. It’s not hard to do. But it’s like the Hokey Pokey….. there are rules. There’s a procedure. You just can’t start shaking your right hand all about. There’s an order of operations that has to be followed.

So what do we do about gun violence? There ARE laws but certain types of people (criminals mainly) don’t seem to be obeying them. So let’s use speeding as an example. What works there? Let’s say there’s a stretch of road and the speed limit on that road is…… oh, say 70 mph. But a certain percentage of the people don’t want to drive 70, they want to drive 80. Does it make sense to change the speed limit to 60 mph? The same bunch of people are still going to want to drive 80, so the only people really effected are the law abiders. Okay change the speed limit to 50 miles per hour. But the 80 club is still going to be prone to drive 80 and the rest of the people have now become law breakers because they don’t want to and won’t drive 50.

So the question is: why don’t we simply enforce the laws we already have on the books? Or strengthen them? Increase the fines for speeding to the point where the 80s club just can’t justify the risk or the cost of the fines any longer?

It’s the same with guns. By not adequately enforcing, or strengthening current gun laws, the government and the courts are subsidizing gun violence, and in so doing are socializing the costs of that criminal behavior when what they should be doing is PERSONALIZING the costs. Instead of illegally restricting rights guaranteed by the Second Amendment they should be strengthening and enforcing gun laws to the point where criminals would know, and FEEL the true cost. “Use a gun to commit a crime, go to jail for a long time”. “Do it again and you’ll live to wish you hadn’t”. And of course then you have to make prison a place to be avoided with some earnestness. Difficult, but doable.

And of course you can’t stop crazy. About the first time someone drives through a fence wreaks havoc on a crowded playground there’ll be an attempt to outlaw four wheel drive trucks because no responsible driver really needs one.

But that’s just what an average guy thinks.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Horrific

Dear Mr. 0bama:

Yes, on a cloudless morning in August of 1945 “death” as you said “fell from the sky”. We know this because we dropped it from the sky, on purpose. Hundreds of thousands of people died almost instantaneously, some “vaporized” as people are wont to say in mock empathy. However, I’m not sure these deaths were any more or less horrific than those caused by the fire bombings of Tokyo and the other major cities of Japan that took place that summer. Actually I think I might have preferred sudden death to being sucked into a raging inferno. Tough call. And weighing the deaths caused by the U.S. bombing of the Japanese mainland against those perpetrated in Asia by the Empire of Japan pre 1945 may, or may not be arithmetically possible, but the moral comparison is unnecessary, and it is frivolous and juvenile for you to suggest that it is.

Japanese soldiers bayoneted, beheaded, shot and raped over 300,000 men women and children in Nanjing, China in about four weeks at the end of 1937. This action was not an anomaly. Well documented atrocities committed by the Empire of Japan were the norm all over South East Asia. It wasn’t just the unprovoked, sneak attack on the United States Naval base at Pearl Harbor that the United States and its allies were fighting against.

But the guilt or innocence of Japan or the Japanese people for their murderous and cruel aggressions against their neighbors is not at issue here. We’ve long since let bygones be bygones. Because of our actions, Japan is now a trusted and valued ally. What’s at issue here is the guilt or innocence of the United States for having done what was necessary to stop that aggression. Now we all know that you were taught, when you were young, by your family and mentors that the United States is the cause of everything bad on earth that has happened in the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries, but you should be aware that there is another school of thought.

You seem to imply that the United States should bear some guilt for having developed nuclear weapons, but I have a news flash for you: We only did it first, and it’s a damned good thing we did. Physics isn’t only a Western science and there is no way to put a lid on knowledge, or to stop its advance If it hadn’t been the United States that first developed nuclear weapons technology, then it would have been the Soviet Union. And so nuclear weapons gave the United States the means with which to quickly end the war with Japan and to convince the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics that they had best ignore their appetite for real estate both in Asia and in Europe.

And so now it appears that, by your calculus, the United States is to be faulted for developing a better weapon for the attainment and maintenance of peace. Of course you’re not against using weapons. In fact, it wasn't it you, the recipient of a Nobel Peace Prize, who admonished your acolytes to be sure to take their guns to the knife fight? Your way doesn’t seem very sportsman like.
Socialism, Maoism, and fascism were responsible for the deaths of over one hundred million people in the 20th century alone and there was always one nation that stood athwart the path to even further carnage. That nation was always the United States of America. The same United States that you want to “fundamentally transform” into the Marxist utopia that your parents and grandparents spoke of in such glowing terms, the nation you want to stand idly by as the brutal dictators of the world butcher the innocents and laugh at your concept of history having sides and an arc.

Dear Mr. 0bama. Enjoy your last months in office.

But that's just what an average guy thinks

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

SPENDING

There are, it is said, four ways of spending money:

1) Spending one’s own money on one’s self.
2) Spending one’s own money on others.
3) Spending the money of other’s on one’s self.
4) Spending the money of other’s on still yet others.

We will here consider them separately.

When spending one’s own money on one’s self a prudent person is always very careful. The money was not easily earned and will not replace itself once it has exited the wallet. The value of the goods or services purchased is carefully considered for this very reason. A goal, is to maximize the quality or quantity of the goods received while minimizing the cost. A person is careful not to squander their scarce resources.

When spending one’s own money on others, as one might while involved in charitable giving, frugality is again a major consideration. One wants to be sure that value is being had for the money expended, that the hard earned money is being well spent.

But while spending the money of other’s on oneself the logic of a transaction breaks down. Frugality is no longer a concern. What does one care if the good or service costs twice, three, or four times what they would personally pay? The expense belongs to unknown “others”.

Spending the money of unknown other’s on others still is the most perverse way to spend as there is no concern for the cost or quality either of the goods and services involved, or the eventual consequences of those expenditures. Those that provide the money receive no benefit for that provision, and those that receive are often saddled with goods and services which are inadequate, inappropriate, or unneeded at all. But there is no mechanism by which the services can be improved because the people who provide the funding, and who receive them have no say in the transaction, and the only people to benefit are those who have taken money from one group and given it to another.

But that’s just what an average guy thinks.