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The Tipping Point – a continuation…

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Progressivism (read, Liberalism/Socialism) in a nutshell (although not inclusive)::

Poverty vs welfare: They go hand in hand. What Socialists don’t see is that while welfare doesn’t create poverty, in its current state in our country, it does in fact perpetuate it. This has led to generational dependency and poverty. The way to lift our fellow man out of this perpetual state is to allow the private sector to provide jobs and limit the assistance (at either the State level or via private charity) to a minimal timeframe thereby creating the requirement to accept the work that private sector provides. Considering it is ALWAYS better than the poverty level subsistence provided by the Federal government, why would you NOT take it. Oh yeah, you’d actually have to GET A JOB!
I am not alone in this, the Manhattan Institute, came to this conclusion when it studied the notion of income inequality: “The central problem facing the economy is that income growth over the past few years has been modest to nonexistent, as a result of the financial crisis, the subsequent recession, and an extremely modest recovery. Moreover, policies that aim only to redistribute wealth—rather than generate real economic growth and opportunity—are unlikely to solve, or even meaningfully address, the slow growth trajectory for wages.”

Tax rate vs government income: Proven over and over again, lowering the tax rates creates more income for the government. Makes no sense on the surface (which is as far as the Socialists look because any further would not satisfy their plan of dependency and thereby ensuring its continued power base). However, the reason it works is simple. Less money taken from the private sector by the government allows more money to be spent by individuals and companies. Money spent creates jobs. More jobs equals more income. More income creates more income tax (yes, EVEN at lower tax rates). It is NOT rocket science.
This is not only a solution for our debt, it is a solution for unemployment. It is a solution for pulling anyone and everyone that takes advantage up in social status. As the old saying goes, a rising tide lifts ALL boats. As well, any job created by the government is a cost to all taxpayers, whether you want or need the product/service. Any job created by the private sector is a cost only to those that choose to spend money on that product or service. That said, since profit is the life or death of a company, job creation is required. Without employment, there is no profit. Therefore, the private sector is much better at creating and pricing jobs. Need proof, look at history.

Debt: See comments reference Greece in previous blog (07/05/2015 – The Tipping Point).

Morality: It is a good thing we have a Supreme Court (more on this next week) to dictate morality and create laws to ensure it. I suspect if we keep going down this path (which I see no indication we won’t) we will be able to get rid of Congress (and therefore the will of the people) and just have a dictator as president (later to be renamed monarch since it is more politically correct) and a court to rubber stamp his/her prescriptions. As well, by dictating away Judeo-Christian morals, on which this country was founded and most of our overriding laws (including the Constitution itself) are based, they can ensure their voting base and therefore their power. Keep in mind however that at some point voters will no longer be needed. Subjects on the other hand will be important.

Our national borders: While I fully understand from an individual perspective the desire to improve their standard of living, entering a sovereign nation without permission is not right. From the other side of the border, helping other countries improve the standards of their people is much preferable than taking on their poverty stricken citizens. And undoubtedly less costly in the long run. Not that I am advocating the US as the banker to the world anymore than the police force of the world (although we already supply significant portions of direct and indirect “lending” to nations throughout the world). Nor do I suggest that it is easy to go into a country and presuppose we know better than them how to provide for their people. However, it is without a doubt that we have proven our past philosophies are quite able to ensure a prosperous society. That said, allowing illegal immigration is not the solution to any country’s problems. When we allow the destitute with no means of support (thereby becoming an additional drain on a society already sucked dry), criminals and terrorists to cross into our country unabated, it can only lead to a further decline and eventual destruction of our ability to help ourselves, much less that rest of the world. And it is in direct conflict with the prime raison d’être of government, its reason for existence – to protect (not PROVIDE FOR) its people. Our current policies and level of enforcement is detrimental to our national existence.

Being forced to buy what we may not want (or already have in the form we want): Yes, SCOTUS Care (not interested in using our current POTUS’s name at any time – but aka The Affordable [what a joke] Care Act – as the current major example. The Oligarchy has spoken. The Federal government, or in this case, the Dictator in Chief and his cohorts in Congress, has/have no Constitutional authority to FORCE us to purchase not only something we don’t want, but exactly what and how much it will be. Apparently individual liberty (as in Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness) and the 1st Amendment no longer apply. A solution looking for a problem. Instead of allowing the private sector to solve the problem of the few, the Dictator in Chief has solved the “problem” even for those of us that didn’t have one. As well, we now have pretty much as many or more without coverage than the problem was to address and has shown no lowering in costs for those that are forced to get a new version of something they already had. The numbers for 2012 (prior to “Affordable” Care Act (ACA)) show an uninsured rate of 16.7% with an average family annual premium of $15,745. In 2013 the uninsured rate was 20.8%. Today the uninsured rate is approximately 15.5% with an average family annual premium of $16,800. These numbers are of course from the government that brought you the product you did not need. Honesty? – I don’t think so. In addition, other than forcing people to purchase something they may or may not want, from somewhere they may or may not want purchase it, what has it accomplished? Since, contrary to what was portrayed, there is no indication that the ACA was the cause of the minimal reduction (a theoretical 1.2%) in number of insured. All that said, and contrary to the ruling of the SCOTUS (now a political body vice the intended legal one), there is nothing Constitutionally allowing the Federal government to get involved in health care.

Another long one. The wife hates that. But it needs to be said. And luckily I’m not the only one saying it. If you believe this country needs to get back to prosperity and the moral values upon which it was based, it is time to standup and in whatever way available to you (within the context of those values) do SOMETHING to turn it around.

Again, welcome to the New Dark Ages…

Maybe I’ll try some less depressing topics in the near future.

>>> The day is at a close, the night is drawing in and my cigar awaits – ’til next time…

The Tipping Point

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I’m back.
A lot has happened during my hiatus.
In that time I believe we – our country specifically, but the world in general – reached the Tipping Point. We are now on an inevitable march into the New Dark Ages.
Don’t get me wrong. It is not the ABILITY to get back on track that is lacking. It’s not that nothing CAN be done. It is that, as in the past, the DESIRE of those that have the power and authority is to continue down this path toward darkness. Why you may ask? Easy, it is also the desire of those that put them in power and the fear of losing that power. The “receivers” outnumber the “providers” and refuse to give up their spoils. Those in power must continue to provide those spoils or lose everything. In relation to physical spoils, they will of course be forced to do so. The problem for them, and us, is too many are now dependent on too few and it can not be sustained. The providers, not having an endless supply or being given the time and freedom to obtain more, will soon be sucked dry.
That said, these “spoils” come not only in physical (read: financial) support but psychological and moral as well. As with the Dark Ages of old, people want to do what they want to do regardless of any ethical or moral consequences. Regardless of any detriment to society. Regardless of any ill affect on their (our) progeny. They have convinced themselves, and others of equally weak minds, that there are in fact no such consequences. Everybody, as well as any thought, idea, lifestyle – any choice whatsoever – is as valid as the next. The valid, individual worth of the person has transformed into invalid worth of ideas. “I’m as good as you, therefore my ideas are as valid as yours.” Consequences and history be damned. Yes, you ARE as good as me as relates to our worth as human beings. No, your ideas have been shown throughout the ups and downs of history to be based on erroneous information and unsound reasoning and are unquestionably invalid (which is one reason they are not questioned). The acceptance of these ideas is what has led to the collapse of civilizations time and time again.

As one of many examples, let us consider modern day Greece. More and more borrowing over the last 7 years or so. Understating its deficit and debt. Now shut out from borrowing in the world financial markets.
Socialism at its best. The path of the United States. Since much of the issue with Greece is due to the interconnectedness of the world financial markets and the implosion of Wall Street in 2008, many other countries – including the US with $18+ Trillion in debt & no end in sight – will follow shortly. Much of the money lent to Greece by the way was from the US contributions to the international funds. SO… the US going further into debt to bail out a country going further into debt. Some actually considered this a good deal? And finally, in order to obtain the latest in its borrowing, Greece was required to make deep budget cuts (we’ll see how that plays out) and steep tax increases. While it obviously didn’t help – taking money from those that generate the money never does – does this sound familiar?
[note: the day of this original post the Greeks voted in a referendum to reject their creditors’ austerity terms for aid. They rejected the budget cuts. They will have their spoils!]

Not to get to hung up on the financial issues of our march…

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”
Anonymous [yes I know, that quote has been attributed to many people. But since there is no hard evidence of the true author, I give credit to Anonymous (he has many great quotes)]

And have no doubt. It IS evil that is on the move. Evil in the form of Socialism (Progressive, Democrat, call it what you want). Making slaves – or at best, indentured servants – of so many. More and more, good men are no longer allowed to do anything. Those that have been lured into and convinced of the benefits of this evil are growing in number by the day. They don’t connect their “gifts” of public assistance to their becoming dependent on it (psychologically if nothing else). They don’t connect their “gifts” of public assistance to the taxes of their neighbor. They don’t connect their “gifts” of public assistance to the absurdly high and still growing National debt. Or they just don’t care. But they DO vote.

Previously a great nation assisting around the world to defend, provide humanitarian relief and fund the necessities of the persecuted of other countries (often times, entire countries), we, the US, no longer have the leadership to do so. In addition, our ability to do so has never been so minimal or so strained.
While our fellow man is being brutally tortured and murdered throughout the Middle East and around the world, our leaders (our dictator) has decided to do nothing.

What is leading us to this state of affairs. Why liberalism of course. Progressivism. Socialism. The Scourge. However you wish to refer to it. It is the epitome of evil. It is Lucifer at work. Subtle. Taking what he can, when he can, where he can, how he can. Bringing us the apple in the garden, Sodom and Gomorrah, the Dark Ages, the Holocaust, (yes, I could go on) and most recently – the new, politically correct, way of Socialism.
We will look at some specific aspects of this next time.

In the mean time, to sum up the current state of our government::

Our POTUS is behaving like a Dictator espousing and forcing socialism on his subjects. The dictator commands his branch from an ivory tower and the cabinet members and their many departments decree more and more how we are allowed to live.

Our SCOTUS is run as an Oligarchy ignoring the Constitutional limits of its own power and either rubber-stamping progressive views or legislating liberal ideals from the bench. This oligarchy, with no regard for the will of the people or the law of the land, ignores the duly elected representatives (not to mention the Constitution) and legislates from the bench.

Our Congress is overrun by liberals on both sides of the aisle. We now have but one party split in name only. As well, based on the 17th Amendment, we have but one chamber separated in name only (ok, rules too) and we are suffering the consequences of ignoring the wisdom of our Founding Fathers and changing the original system. When it is not furthering the cause of Socialism, this Congress sits back and, well, sits back.

Because each of the branches has decided to act individually – without any regard for the Constitution, historic precedence, or common sense – the ideal, an institution of checks and balances as intended and prescribed by the Constitution, is no longer existent.

Unfortunately for President Lincoln & the rest of us, the “Government of the people, by the people, for the people…” has perished from the Earth.

As well, our perfect Union, Justice, domestic Tranquility, common defence, general Welfare, and the Blessings of Liberty have all been relegated to the ash bins of history.

We had a good run.
Prepare for the New Dark Ages…

-to be continued-

>>> The day is at a close, the night is drawing in and my cigar awaits – ’til next time…

Government spending brought to the personal level

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Ok … Let me boil this down to the simple and bring it home (literally).

The current US Federal government’s annual income in taxes/fees/etc. (i.e., what the IRS takes into the General Fund with which it can pay expenses) is $2 Trillion.
The current US debt is $17 Trillion.
That is a debt to income ratio of approximately 8.5:1.

Let’s compare that to the average family of four.
The average annual income for a family of four in the US is approximately $50,000.
The equivalent debt would be $425,000.

You tell me… would you lend that family any more money? Would you even lend them THAT much?
I’m guessing there’s not a banker in the country that would take that risk.

Keep in mind, this is unsecured debt. This would not include such items as the family’s mortgage (house), car loan, etc. It would be the equivalent of credit card debt. $425,000 in credit card debt on a $50,000 income!
I’m presuming most of you readers are relatively intelligent and answered no to both those questions. So why then was it ok for our representatives in Congress (and approved by the President) to increase the US debt limit and allow the federal government to borrow additional money?! How many more times are we going to allow our elected representatives to do this before we say “ENOUGH”?!

btw:
A) that is YOUR debt if you are a US citizen
B) that is only the federal debt. It does not include state and local debt.

A Day Late… Can he sustain it?

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Ok… I have decided that it is virtually impossible to do a credible job of copiously detailing the topics of my major posts with a full time (and then some) job and my desire to ensure the expressed opinion is completely supported.

So, while I fully intend to complete major essays when time is available, I will do my best to present each week a less flushed out, but still worthwhile topic.

With luck, this will meet with my readers’ approval.

That said, a few discoveries I’ve made of late:

1)      The current national debt is: $16,962,383,900,000 (keeping in mind that by the time I was done typing that it had already increased at the rate of $1M every three (3) minutes).  Put simply, the U.S. government is spending approximately $20 million more than it takes in each and every hour of the day!  That is just under $500,000,000 each day (that’s ½ BILLION for those that need help reading it).  Not just spending that amount.  Spending that amount OVER and ABOVE what it takes in.  This is NOT a good thing.  Try running your own household on that accounting model.  This isn’t actually a new discovery, just thought I’d mention it.

2)      Regardless of what I said above, the Federal Government is taking in far more than the necessary resources to ensure it does not default on any of our debt even without an increase in the debt limit.  Said another way, regardless of what the liberals are saying, the sky will not fall without an increase in the debt limit.  We currently are taking in 10 times the necessary funding each month to pay the interest on the debt.  It is also a federal law that the president MUST pay this interest regardless of other funding requirements.  Meaning, for the sake of our children (if not ourselves), we should immediately cut spending to 90% of the current tax collected and we will be fine for the time being.  Next, conduct a Constitutional baseline of the allowed activities and cut expenses to match (this would of course leave millions of government dependent leaches out in the cold (literally since winter is on the way)).  Finally, cut taxes to match REQUIRED spending.  Sounds simple doesn’t it.  It is.  Should anyone try to tell you otherwise, think (don’t say) “clueless”.  I was going to go with “moron” or “idiot” but that might sound negative.

3)      The USDA (yes, that is the United States Department of Agriculture) guarantees home loans.  Yes, you heard (read) me right.  The USDA guarantees residential home loans.  Now you may think that would be for maybe a farmer’s dwelling in which he needs to house himself and his family while he grows crops to feed us.  NOPE!  Anyone that lives in a rural area (defined as 20,000 people or fewer) that meets income requirements (<$73,601 per year for a family of four) qualifies (FICO score etc notwithstanding).  The USDA is in the business of guaranteeing home loans!  How screwed up is our government?!

That’s it for today.  I look forward to expanded commentary in the future but for now, commentary of a limited nature will have to do.

The current national debt is: $16,962,388,400,000.  Your homework is to calculate how long it took me to write and post this article…

>>> The day is at a close, the night is drawing in and my cigar awaits – ’til next time…

Value of Silence

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It is very humbling when my concerns are reinforced by Pope Francis.

His Prayer Intention for the month of September 2013 is:

“That people today, often overwhelmed by noise, may rediscover the value of silence and listen to the voice of God and their brothers and sisters.”   [emphasis mine]

I promise we did not coordinate this ahead of time.

The day is at a close, the night is drawing in and my cigar awaits – ’til next time…

Change

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Some words concerning change.  Few of which are mine…

I cannot say whether things will get better if we change; what I can say is they must change if they are to get better.   –Georg C. Lichtenberg

On the other hand…

All change is not growth, as all movement is not forward.   –Ellen Glasgow

And…

Just because everything is different doesn’t mean anything has changed.   –Irene Peter

If you want to change attitudes, start with a change in behavior.   –William Glasser

[Often times, your own would be the first place to look.  Are YOU doing your best to better the world?  Are you doing ANYTHING?!]

Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have.   –Margaret Mead

[That one I found one of the most enlightening.  Just think about it for a moment…]

For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.   –Steve Jobs

Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.   –Leo Tolstoy

If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.   –Lao Tzu

[And this is not necessarily a good thing.]

Always remember that the future comes one day at a time.   –Dean Acheson

[So it can only be changed at that pace.  However, each day that goes by could very well be a lost opportunity.  Was your yesterday lost?]

If you’re in a bad situation, don’t worry it’ll change. If you’re in a good situation, don’t worry it’ll change.   –John A. Simone, Sr.

Only the wisest and stupidest of men never change.   –Confucius

[And of those that never change, I’m going to suggest that the majority are the stupidest]

And the best of the best:

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.  –Reinhold Niebuhr

[No insult intended to the author but keep in mind: that you CAN does not always mean that you SHOULD.  Even if you know the difference.]

>>> The day is at a close, the night is drawing in and my cigar awaits – ’til next time…

Noise, Noise Everywhere!

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It is becoming more and more noticeable to me of late just how noisy society is.  Noise is EVERYWHERE!

Virtually from the moment we wake (to that ever annoying alarm), or head out into society in the morning if we are lucky enough to have a quiet home, until we fall back asleep at night we are bombarded with noise.  Radios, traffic, emergency sirens, other people talking (often, usually, at a volume far higher than is really necessary), bells ringing (I have the “honor” of working at a high school), aircraft, and loud speakers.  Even elevators and call waiting have to have music or annoying advertisements/messages.

Why are we so afraid of quiet?  Not even silence (but that is for later).  Just quiet.  My wife and I were out for a nice dinner a few evenings ago.  The restaurant was quite upscale (it was her anniversary – don’t get the idea we are wealthy and do that all the time) so one might expect a certain level of soft ambience fitting the setting.  One might even expect a piano in the corner playing soft music by which diners could have peaceful conversation (yeah, I get the irony of suggesting a piano making noise in a rant about too much noise – just go with me on this).  However, not so.  While the first hour or so was quiet by comparison, the people around us still didn’t seem to understand the concept of hushed conversation around a table.  Yet another sign of the oh so prevalent apathy about which we (ok, I) have spoken in the past (and about which I am finding a great need to launch into a tirade again!).  However, later in the evening, the “lounge” next to (and part of) the restaurant became excessively loud.  A live band was playing.  There is no barrier between the lounge and the restaurant.  It was not a soft jazz band.  We may as well have been in the front row of a live Rock concert.  And of course those in the lounge had no choice but to “yell” at each other to be heard above the music.  Conversation in the restaurant became virtually impossible.  Luckily we were just a few minutes from leaving.  However, we ate quite early that evening.  For many, the time we were leaving was the normal time to begin an evening out.  My question, where does one find a peaceful evening out?

Although I think I was born old in that I have never been a “let’s go hang out in a bar and yell at each other over the music” kind of guy, I actually have no problem with that kind of club.  But when EVERYWHERE becomes that kind of club I’ve got to wonder about the mind frame of society.  Why, why, why are we so afraid of quiet?!

These are just a few examples.  Bottom line: it is virtually impossible to find a quite spot in society.  I challenge, no I DEFY, anyone to actually find a quiet spot in public.  I, unfortunately, do not have the means to purchase a 1000 acre ranch in Montana.  I think that might be what it takes.  Even in one’s own home (and my wife’s is quite insulated) you will hear the noise of cars driving by, planes over head, lawn mowers, etc.  If not so much inside, having a peaceful drink on one’s patio is impossible.  There, one isn’t even insulated to a limited extent.  When I visit many other neighborhoods (thankfully not ours of yet), I hear all that above as well as neighbor’s loud “discussions”, music blaring, kids riding their motorized mini-cars or small motorbikes, dogs barking (which I understand dogs are want to do, but owners COULD be cognizant of their neighbors and limit the animals) and all sorts of other non-silence about.

I read a letter to the editor the other day (don’t ask me why – it is a rare occurrence since they tend to annoy me – hold that thought (yes, I DO know what you are thinking)).  It matters not the subject or the periodical but this person states emphatically that “Silence is deafening and unfriendly.”  Silence is not deafening.  Silence is not unfriendly.  How absurd!  Where do people come up with such nonsense?  In fact, based on the definition from Webster “himself”, silence is “forbearance from speech or noise” or the “absence of sound or noise”.  So, since it is NOISE that tends to be deafening, silence would be the exact opposite of deafening!  For those that may have been contemplating asking why letters to the editor tend to annoy me, you now know.  I contend that to suggest silence is deafening is to suggest someone afraid of their own thoughts.  Maybe they are afraid of evil demons living inside their head that are only silenced by noise from outside.

Don’t think this is just a problem in the U.S. either.  I have traveled the world.  Noise is everywhere!  In fact, noise has gotten so bad around the globe that the World Health Organization in Geneva has even published a document entitled Guidelines for Community Noise.  It begins by stating, “Noise has always been an important environmental problem for man. In ancient Rome, rules existed as to the noise emitted from the ironed wheels of wagons which battered the stones on the pavement, causing disruption of sleep and annoyance to the Romans. In Medieval Europe, horse carriages and horse back [sic] riding were not allowed during night time in certain cities to ensure a peaceful sleep for the inhabitants. However, the noise problems of the past are incomparable with those of modern society.”  It goes on to provide disturbing data on just how bad the noise problem in society is.  As well, according to the Health Promotion International group, “Noise pollution is an ever-increasing problem in modern technological society. It is well documented that repeated exposure to even moderate levels of noise can be injurious to health, but often unappreciated are the more pervasive physiological and psychological effects.”   The group further discusses the relationship of noise “to chronic sleep disorders and to cardiovascular problems”.  Even according to National Wind Watch, “there is overwhelming evidence that [the noise from] wind turbines cause serious health problems in nearby residents, usually stress-disorder-type diseases, at a nontrivial rate.”  Wind turbines!  They are not only dangerous to birds (yeah, I really don’t care) but cause stress disorders in humans that live nearby.  Is it any wonder that this society is going postal?

It is therefore not our parent’s fault that we have issues. Nor is it our own.  I contend EVERY human ailment is due to noise.  Until we can get it under control we should forgive those poor people in prison and release them all.  How can we hold them responsible for what is clearly the cause of noise created by society as a whole?!  Oh quit having a heart attack.  That was hyperbole (look it up).

I could go on and on.  I think you get the picture.  The REAL question is:  who is willing to buy me a ranch in Montana?!

>>> The day is at a close, the night is drawing in and my cigar awaits – ’til next time…

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