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Monday, January 27, 2014

Readings Strategies to fix the funk

I hear so much gloom and doom among the Republicans, especially among the older folks.  So often what they rant about is that the party establishment doesn’t listen to them and Hillary is inevitable.  I suspect they worry that USA will all be a bunch of marijuana-toking gay couples who came illegally from Mexico before long.  Baloney.  They are listening to too much TV.  TV journalists use a standard filler for their shows which is to put guests pro and con on a subject.  He said, she said.  And so they go round and round and you learn little from two party hacks with little new to say.  What you need is astute analysis and fresh looks at things.  So at the risk of showing my own meager resources, I would like to recommend some reading.  Yes, reading.  Stop looking at all those stupid unverifiable videos somebody forwards you on the internet.  Read from good insights on the internet, books and papers. 

First are some classic websites. will catch you up on Rush’s latest insights.  He is an astute observer most of the time and almost always right about politics.  His Friday program contained 2 terrific pieces about the Walker Revolution in Wisconsin which has not been covered much and another “If the Tea Party is so powerful, what happened in 2012?” is also superb although the multitude of opinionists often concentrate on the current BS in the news.  A couple of guys who don’t do this are Walter Williams and Thomas Sowell.  They are hard core intellectuals who analyze problems instead of writing in the heat of the moment.  Dennis Prager and Jonah Goldberg also share this ability.  But if you like to be entertained with the current snit, Ann Coulter and Doug Giles are slam bam in your face writers full of quips.  Daniel Mitchell is a great economist who works for CATO Institute. 

Speaking of being entertained, has Pookie’s Toons, a daily collection of conservative political cartoons.  I find this addictively funny.

If you want facts, Real Clear Politics and Heritage Foundation are good suppliers.  If you are wanting to watch the news, Drudge Report and Newsmax are good.  Drudge is very offbeat and up-to-the-miinute.  If you want Christian news try  Supplement this with the magazine by American Family Association.  For political races, Real Clear Politics gives mainstream views and gives conservative views of these.  For Oklahoma news the old standard is (The Oklahoman) and Oklahoma Constitution paper.  McCarville Report is also a good source. 

Despite all of this reading, I find it often skips basic understandings, long term views and hard knowledge that you need to know.  So here are a list of books that are great.  Some aren’t new.

Ann Coulter’s   Slander and Glenn Beck’s Arguing with Idiots are the best insights into liberal tactics and mindsets with suggestions about how to counter them. ( If you like to revisit old history, Coulter’s Treason is stunning documented truth about McCarthyism’s myths that everyone thinks are true.)  Mark Levin’s Liberty and Tyranny  is absolutely superb treatise on what conservatism is and how it operates so much better than anything else man has tried.  Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism shows what we are up against and how the modern Democrat party has swerved into National Socialism. Tom Coburn’s Debt Bomb and Glenn Beck’s Broke will scare you to death and make you rethink your investments.  

So what can we do about progressivism? Newt Gingrich’s two books with the same sounding titles, Restoring America and Real Change have a lot of solutions.  I know Newt is idea-a-minuteman, but his books are a huge collection of food for thought. Another one is Mitch Daniel’s Keeping the Republic which Tom Sowell is a huge fan of.  Daniels is kind of a moderate and can’t speak eloquently but is a big problem solver.

But before we get to problem solving in politics I think it is important to understand how politics works.  Catherine Shaw’s Campaign Manager is very in depth about campaigns and I find her Democrat perspective neutral enough to be educational.  

Although this book was written long before 2009, she unlocks the problem Republicans are having with the Establishment/Tea Party controversy.  Let me share two insights.  First, to win in politics takes both money and grassroots efforts.   A local race it takes grassroots—door knocking, calls, candidate in front of small groups of 10-30 people.  A state-wide race takes money for TV and radio time ads, newspaper ads, big speech events, etc.  Yet a local race  needs ads, direct mail and door hangers, which cost a lot of money..  And having grassroots for state and national races gives an important counterpoint to all the media blitz.  Dems use union slave labor as grassroots.  Republicans in big state and national races, have yet to discover the seniors and tea partiers as this resource.  Alas, they fit the Tea Party hand in glove. But “establishment” guys in Washington are R’s who have won with big money in the past races and they listen to that big money.  They relied on money because ordinary Republicans didn’t do much work in years past.  The county Republican party was often a group of about 6 people.  So who has money? Groups like Chamber of Commerce, NFIB, Farm Bureau, and businesses—they usually are conservative in charter but will sometimes violate this in order to get on the government gravy train with pet programs.  Meanwhile Tea Partiers came into the game as rank amateurs, sometimes spouting unguarded insults and promoting rigid stances that offend the vast majority of voters.  Just being right won't get you anywhere in politics.  It has to be acceptable.

But the smart candidates recognize their affinity with the grassroots.  I watch Tom Coburn walk around his audience at a town hall and talk about government like a wisened doc telling his patient both the bad and good news.  He gets 70% of the vote.  If he wanted a mammoth grass roots organization, he could command this.  He speaks the language of conservative values and beliefs that few will disagree with.  So the answer to bringing establishment and grassroots together is simple.  Have plain-spoken and faithful candidates.  Get the grassroots active. 

And here’s why Shaw tells why this is so vital in politics, actually more vital to R’s than D’s.  Independents aren’t the holy grail.  They are a diverse group, some with wild beliefs that no party will satisfy.  And they vote half as often as partisans.  It is better to turn out your base than to chase for a few percentage points more among independents.  Indeed, if your policies and philosophy are coherent and seem right, independents will be drawn to your party.  This is pure Reagan.  Now here’s the thing.  Conservatives are about 40% of the electorate while liberals are roughly 20%.  If you are promoting conservatism, getting out the base is the premier tactic.  On the other hand, if you are promoting liberalism, you not only have to get out the base but win over a lot of moderates and independents. Hence they promote identity politics. That’s why so many of the political adivisers, operatives, and journalists who dominate the news media, drone-on about appealing to moderation and getting the independent vote.

But what the R’s need to do is replay 2010!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Mary Jane and Facebook

            I’ve been looking around for a retirement business opportunity and found a cigarette distributorship available.  The brand is Cemetery Fillers, the same brand Hitler tried to give to the Jews for free.  It has some side effects and I don’t know if people would buy it so I am soliciting your input. 

            First, it cuts sperm count drastically.  90% loss of fertility in males is typical, with heavy users becoming impotent.  But it has a great calming effect on ones nerves and those who smoke this brand seem to like it very well.  Secondly, it is a non-tobacco cig and twice as carcinogenic as tobacco.  Lung cancer is one of the worst ways to die.  The patient dies fighting for a breath with lungs that will not function—rather like crucifixion.  But most smokers don’t seem to be that worried about cancer, I have found.   Third side effect is that people have used the raw plant leaves as an additive in foods and children have died by eating sweets laced with the substance. 

            I dunno.  Maybe people will be loathe to partake in something that has been proven to kill children and sperm.  I guess that is why the Food & Drug Administration won’t okay these smokes and probably never will.  Their charter says that if a substance is harmful they can’t approve it. So the only recourse is for a vote of the people to okay usage. 

            If I distribute the cigs, I will probably change the name back to marijuana as it is usually referred to.  Or maybe make up something like Beefier Reefer since the buds have been bred to produce 7-12 times the tetrahydrocannibinal that marijuana did in the sixties.


            I have to tell one on Steve.  He had a terrible article in the newspaper recently concerning his bird dogging of a gas leak problem in south Ponca City.  The family who have a gas lead under their house is understandably frustrated.  Once gas is detected, ONG has to shut off service.  Phillips 66 was not sure of their involvement since they have pipelines that run under the area.  They paid for hotel lodging.  Oklahoma Corporation Commission are not required to dig in city locations, but found money to do some testing.  The newspaper  wrote an article quoting the wife of the family lambasting everyone, including the state representative for not boarding their dog and saying the Corporation Commission was run by monkeys.  They gave Steve a chance to respond.  It caught him offguard and he said, “Well, I didn’t help them personally but exchanged about 20 emails and phone calls with OCC.”  The paparazzi decided to use only the comment, “I didn’t help them personally.”  The OCC showed up the day the article came out and we both watched the tests take place.  They would get gas readings in some places around the house and not others.  It was spurious and concentrations were low.  OCC had done some prior testing and determined that it wasn’t ONG’s dry gas but formation gas from the deep earth.  They said they would file a report that concludes “indeterminate”. And the family will have to come up with some sort of abatement on their own before they can get ONG back on. 

            Now here’s the catch.  The newspaper reporter did not ask the wife for statements or do an interview.  Comments were taken off the woman’s facebook page where she ranted about their troubles.  The husband came to Steve apologetically and said he valued their friendship and the help Steve had done on the project. Evidently Steve had offered to board their dog and they missed connections over Christmas when he was gone to see relatives.  Vaughan is more kindly than I.  I wouldn't even have offered to keep their darned pit bull with my grandchildren around the house. 

            But who thinks facebook is a news source?  The following Sunday the newspaper had an article about how First Lutheran Church was starting a High School.  I read it and it made my eyebrows go up.  I hadn’t heard a thing at church. These kind of ponderous decisions take a big vote at a voters meeting. Turns out they are toying with the idea of interactive 9th grade classes using an online source.  And the school had put out a feeler survey on facebook asking how many parents would be interested in this, even up through grades 12. Newspaper picked it up and interpreted it in their own way and ran with a big lead article about how we were starting a high school.

            Moral of the story, be careful what you post on facebook.  
Finally, let me add this which appeared on my email.

Who said it?

       1) "We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the  
common good."

        A. Karl Marx

        B. Adolph Hitler

        C. Joseph Stalin

        D. Barack Obama


        2) "It's time for a new beginning, for an end to government
of the few, by the few, and for the few ...  and to replace it with  
responsibility, for shared prosperity."

        A. Lenin

        B. Mussolini

        C. Idi Amin

        D. Barack Obama


        3) "(We) .... can't just let business as usual go on, and
that means something has to be taken away from some people."

        A.  Nikita  Khrushev

        B. Josef Goebbels

        C. Boris Yeltsin

        D. Barack Obama


        4) "We have to build a political consensus and that requires
people to give up a little bit of their own ...  in order to create this
common ground."

        A. Mao Tse Dung

        B. Hugo Chavez

        C. Kim Jong Il

        D. Barack Obama


        5) "I certainly think the free-market has failed."

        A.  Karl Marx

        B. Lenin

        C. Molotov

        D. Barack Obama


        6) "I think it's time to send a clear message to what has
become the most profitable sector in (the) entire economy that they are
being watched."

        A. Pinochet

        B. Milosevic

        C. Saddam Hussein

        D. Barack Obama



        Scroll down for answers    





        (1) D. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary
Clinton ... 6/29/2004

        (2) D. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary
Clinton ... 5/29/2007

        (3) D. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary
Clinton ... 6/4/2007

        (4) D. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary
Clinton ... 6/4/2007

        (5) D. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary
Clinton ... 6/4/2007

        (6) D. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary
Clinton ... 9/2/2005


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Unknown significant events in American History

Limbaugh’s character Rush Revere with his time machine seems destined to make a sequel.  So what would a character intent on informing about young folks about significant political events which are un-taught by public education do?  Here’s my offer of suggestions.

  1. Have him travel back in time to the Great Awakening to revisit George Whitefield. Show how the Awakening gave America a different way of thinking about destiny.  Then show how the US Declaration and Constitution were born of Christianity and its belief in each person’s sacred role in following a unique relationship with God.  Along the way visit with and reintroduce some of the great founding fathers who were once well-known but are now unknown because of their strong religious beliefs—Benjamin Rush, Charles Carrollton, Roger Sherman,etc.  You know, guys who signed everything from Declaration and Articles of Confederation to Constitution and have statues in Capital Hall but no one seems able to identify them nowadays.
  2. Visit the birth of a young girl to a mother of African descent in Ohio in the 19th century.  The child was illegitimate and the father quietly slipped the girl into his rural family.  Two generations later, a boy was born, the future President, Warren Gameliel Harding.  1/8 Afro-American, he is secretly the first ‘black’ President.
  3. Go along with soldiers of the Civil War at Chattanooga. Talk to 18-yr-old Colonel Arthur MacArthur of Wisconsin who led green troops up a mountain to defeat the undefeatable Confederate defense.  Then travel with soldiers who found that Confederate General Johnson’s army had forgotten to guard a railroad terminal just south of town.  That railroad capture allowed the Union to quickly mount an insurgency into Atlanta in August 1864.  The unpopular war of an unpopular President, Abraham Lincoln, turned into a tremendous victory and Lincoln escaped sure defeat at the ballot box, winning a squeaker over Democrat McClellan who had vowed to sign a truce with the Confederacy that would have left the nation split and unlikely to have ever blossomed economically, but destined to become like Republic of South Africa or Argentina.    
  4. Visit Alexis De Tocqueville and Milton Friedman and learn what makes America work where other countries don’t. Along the way show how Hoover and FDR’s intervention in business in the 30’s turned an otherwise normal recession into the Great Depression, an unusual jobless, recoveryless event that was unique in US history until 2009 when Barack Obama made it happen again in a very similar way.    There, that ought to be a start.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Income and employment statistics

I love statistics. Not only do they tell a story but often they help you perceive BS when you hear it simply by doing a small calculation in your head.  Here’s a few statistics I gathered this last year concerning this income inequality discussion and a few more on employment.

            Median family income for 2013 was $51,404.  Ponca City compares with $49,566.  That’s about $2K higher than median household income and is over double the per capita income. So you have to watch out what is quoted. What do different taxpayers pay?  Here’s a table.

                        Make    % of all taxes    %of their income

Bottom 20%      <15k span="" style="mso-tab-count: 2;">                0.3%                 1%

Middle Quintile   31-58K              9.4%                 11.1%

Top Quintile       >77K               67.9%               23.2%

Top 5%             >145K               59.7%               23.6%

Top 1%             >371K               38.9%               28.9%

And so we see that the rich don’t pay less, they pay the largest % of their own income and a giant amount of all income taxes.  This table doesn’t count payroll taxes and the income amounts refer to “taxable income”, i.e. after deductions and exemptions, not AGI.  Now this table may not square with stuff you have read about how 47% don’t pay taxes.  That figure refers to Net taxes. They receive tax benefits like earned income credit or welfare funds that move their net to below zero. And please note that even among the bottom 20%, they pay income taxes.  There are individuals who are farmers and small businessmen who can’t get earned income credits or any welfare during a bad business year. 

            So what class of people makes the most?   My vote goes to federal workers. They make an average of $81,258 and when you add the generous benefits, it grows to $121,600.  Seniors are the best off age group, but they also show large contrast.  Some have nothing but Soc. Sec. and others have savings.  75% of 50-64 year olds have less than 30K saved (average is $120,000).  Half of people make it to 65.   Of those who do, 80% have net worth of <35k avg.="340K).<span" style="mso-spacerun: yes;">  Only 40% have pensions.

            54% of all people in lowest quintile move to a higher group within 10 yrs.  20% of households are on food stamps.  If you define ‘the rich’ as the upper 20%, then 2/3 of them are small business owners.  That’s about 15% of all taxpayers.  Small businessmen comprise 27% of all taxpayers and create 70% of new jobs.  So if you tax the upper quintile, you damage small businesses and jobs considerably.  By the way, small business owners work 67 hrs a week on average, so these aren’t leisurely folks living off inheritance. 

            I did a study of what poor people have to live on since I wanted to know if they had enough to afford my houses and apartments.  If a single mom with two kids (SM2K) makes nothing, she qualifies for TANF, WIC, food stamps, Sect. 8 housing, and Medicaid.  This varies by state but in OK is about $22K.  However inequalities in households mean that 18-20K of assistance is most likely.  If the recipient starts making money, at about $5K income they lose TANF but start getting EITC.  As income grows to 23K the SM2K continues to net about 20K all the way.

            Only 1% of income earners makes minimum wage but 26% make less than twice minimum wage.  As of this last fall, there were 145.1 million people employed, full and part-time.  There were 133.6 M employed full time or had 40 hours per week on multiple jobs.  There were another 12.1M unemployed and looking for a job, which gave 7.7% unemployment at that time.  There were 88.5 M adults who weren’t working out of 245.7M adults over age 16.  In the crudest sense, “unemployed” means the percent of people with don’t have jobs, so the above statistics yield 36% unemployment.  Of course some are retired, some go to college, some don’t give a fig about having a job that doesn’t pay cash, etc.  But here’s the crazy thing. In NV 2009 there were 232M adults, 80.0M not working, and 144.5M employed.  So in essence employment has gained practically nothing, but they quoted 10.2% unemployment.  People have really revamped their lives and aren’t looking anymore.  Social Security disability has grown from 8.5 M to 14.0M in this time and costs the federal gov’t  $260B which works out to about $18K per recipient (They actually make about 11,200.  Rest is “overhead” which includes about 20% estimated fraud).

            Finally those 133.6M who had full-time employment consist of 112.6M in private enterprise and 21.0M in government jobs. That leaves out agriculture.  There are another 1.5M farmers and farm workers who make wages and another .6M family helpers on farms. So anyway, you have about 114M who work in the private sector and support the 315M with mouths to feed.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Know your lib friends IV

            Ever daydream about paradise?  I know, if you work hard this is not common, because your nose is so close to the grindstone. Maybe you dream more about meeting your goals and what to get the grandkids for Christmas.  But liberals are very much into dreaming about the world.  An idyllic pristine mother nature, untrodden by man, is one of those daydreams. Never mind that reality is dog-eat-dog.  Just watch the nature shows.  Who kills most of the cute little baby seals?  It is not fur-hunting humans.  It’s polar bears.  For someone who grew up on a farm and ranch, the idyllic environmental model of environmentalists confused me for a long time.  Were all these environmentalists talking about the dust and droughts, the chinch bugs and grasshoppers devastating crops, the dead animals you find unexpectedly just about every week?  I guess I grew up too close to nature to think about it being so benevolent and benign. 

            But libs are found (tellingly) in urban areas.  They miss the wilds from their concrete jungle.  And so they developed the theory that human greed ruined nature, and absent government restraint, we will kill our environment and die.  Of course, when we are all dead, it goes back to nature, doesn’t it? Ah, but they weep for the animals and have to rescue nature from those evil people who are still work the land, like farmers who vote 90% Republican. (convenient enemy, hunh.)  It’s very simple to a lib.  If you want to protect the elephants, ban elephant hunting.  Oh, wait.  They tried that in Africa.  All the big game preserves saw terrible decimation of animals because of poachers.  Then Zimbabwe decided to give the tribes ownership of the elephants.  Since the tribes could farm the animals for tusks, charge tourists and safaris, they took darned good care of the elephants and the population thrived.  It’s the old lesson, “the tragedy of the commons”, that when something’s public, nobody respects it and everyone abuses it.  And so what happened to Zimbabwe’s poaching problem?   The tribes caught ‘em, beat the bejabbers out of them, and they went home to their villages never to return. (Quick justice.  Same reason that ‘bloody Kansas’ logged about 1/10 the murders per capita in the 1870s as modern Chicago does today.) This private ownership solution has been played out many times in many parts of the world in wildlife conservation.

            So why don’t libs believe it?  It violates two issues they hold close to their heart—evils of capitalism and dreamy theorizing about remaking the world via big government.  Environmental issues seem like a choice between cute animals living the way God intended and greedy capitalists destroying them.  Government only gets judged by libs on motive, not performance.  If the motive is ‘nice’ then the liberal identifies with it and feels good about himself.  And so governments around the world banned DDT based on Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring”.  Many scientists were quite disturbed by Carson’s radicalism, but evidently couldn’t write as well.  DDT was banned. As a result, tens of millions of people died in tropical climates. Did this mass murder bother rich environmentalists in their penthouses?  Not in the least.  They reflexively condemned the use of chemicals, amid diatribes against development of the rainforests. 

            And the guys in the rainforest probably said, “Rats! What happened to my job?  My family’s health?” Green cloaks itself in lots of compassionate moral and frugal sanctimoniousness.  In reality it kills. 

            The fact that libs are such theorizers about an imaginary world is why environmentalism is so faddish and superficial yet is held by seemingly brainy people.  That is because theorizing is their hobby.  The demand to remake the world is why they say stuff like, “America needs a national energy policy!” Gosh, I thought we already had one called the free market.  When gasoline gets too high in price, the incentive to drill gets better and we find more oil.  But unlike conservatives who see the world as a sinful mess where one must do one’s best, libs live in their dream world where they are all-powerful to change things.  (Alas, physics and human nature always ruin their policies!)  It also explains why they hang onto things like global warming when scientific evidence suggests climate change may be due to a variety of causes.  Libs hold onto the CO2-alone model because all the other causes are natural and can’t be changed by big government schemes. 

            That clinging to a failed theory leads to an almost cult-religious fervor by some liberals.  If you believe in something you can’t see and can’t even demonstrate as effective in your life, your leader makes boo-koos of bucks, while followers fervently try to proselytize converts and attack all else—is that not a cult?

            So here’s my suggestions when talking to an environmentalist.  Be prepared for anger. Use terms like ‘the real world’ where appropriate.   If global warming comes up, say, “What about the sun? Isn’t that what caused past eras of climate change?”  If politically correct energy comes up (they want solar, wind, ethanol, not wood, oil, and coal) say, “Yeah the laws of thermodynamics often mug our ideas.  Oil and coal contain so darned many btu’s per pound that hardly anything else can compete in the real world.” They use expressions like ‘there is a scientific consensus’ or ‘all scientists agree’ as a mantra.  Ask them, “if all scientists agreed, then wouldn’t all scientists be out of work?”       

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Know your lib friends III

            Libs hate the rich.  The ones at church make me really nervous when they voice this.  Isn’t that a sin against the last commandment?  “Well, the rich don’t pay their fair share!  They got their money by crooked means!”  Somehow that is supposed to excuse covetousness. And to be fair, I guess a government-adoring liberal only notices the unfairness of some having what they don’t.  But if it’s unfair to have something, we need to move back into the huts and give everything to the people of Malawi.

            It gets even worse with Christians who are liberal.  Their concept of the American Dream to is to get money and have security like those evil rich people do. Uh, whatever happened to having a Christian walk with God?  The ability to honor the Almighty by following your dreams and talents?  Nope.  The Lib Dream is to just have security and means. (Notice this next time the topic comes up on television with some pundits.  Most will not be able to articulate the American Dream beyond having a cushy life.) So where did they get this? 

            I trace it to Nobilesse Oblige.  “Obligation of the nobles”. In the medieval world, it was taught that there were subhuman ignobles (95% if population) and nobles (2%).  Nobility thought themselves genetically superior in all aspects—morality, intellectually, cleanliness, etc.  They were the original “superior Aryan race” guys.  But then came the gun which negated the lifetime of training to be a noble knight.  Then peasants became merchants and if they played their business cards just right, they had a new means of wealth aside from land control.  Suddenly too, there were peasant revolts, nationalism and worried nobles.  Those serfs were doing some nasty things with the guillotine.  Conclusion of the superior-believing nobles was nobilesse oblige. If they were truly superior humans and had resources, why,  then they could share a bit of that wealth and opportunity with those lesser dogs of humanity.  Do this and it not only may save yoru neck, it gives you one-upmanship on your fellow nobles. Rich guy with common touch. Thus the Kennedys were born.

            As the power of nobles declined and egalitarianism gained, the obligation changed to include all rich people.  They became obligated to “give back” to the society which made their riches possible.  Or as Obama puts it, “You didn’t build that.”  Never mind that the barbaric medieval notions of a super race of nobles was diametrically against the Christian gospel of Jesus who taught that ALL had sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. And that God respects no man. (Nobles compartmentalized this as pertaining only to spiritual matters).  And He taught that giving must not be “liberalitus” (giving out of obligation) but “charitus” (free gift, no strings attached—as God gives us salvation—as in the parable of the hirelings). 

            The Roman Catholic church allied itself to kings.  But they kept kings in their place by a theology of evil rich/venerated poor.  When kings fell, it reflected badly on the church. So Leo in 1891 wrote Rerum Novarum, in which a “new kingdom” of social justice was to take place.  Now, extend the commands of Jesus to government and you get Robin Hood politics—take from the rich and give to the poor. Never mind that it violates that rich person’s stewardship of property concerning his own walk with God.  Compassion is now determined by which voting lever you pull. Voting levers really make a loving person! This is why libs give so little to charity compared to conservatives.  They feel they have already achieved charity by voting for big government entitlements. 

But Jesus answered, “And who is my neighbor?” by telling a story about “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho and fell among thieves…” Charity begins at home—and in your own heart, not with someone else’s money. 

What then shall we say to someone we meet who has all kinds of vituperation inside concerning the rich? I usually tell them that some guy in Paraguay wants their car.  Some guy in Mozambique thinks we are evil and unfair since we have 3 meals a day.  And Starbucks! Gosh, you should go home and make barley coffee like they did in the Depression. People in America on welfare have an average of 1.7 TV’s per person, a cell phone, and 96% have refrigerators.  Can you match that? Doesn’t that make you one of the Evil Rich? The lib will probably accuse you of changing the subject from the Rich in America. 

Okay, so say we soak the rich with taxes.  Government becomes dependent on getting a big chunk from the Rich.  Doesn’t that put the Rich and the Powerful of Government in Cahoots?  Co-dependents?  Is this why 9 or the 11 richest Senators are Democrats?  And doesn’t that old song go, “the rich get richer and the poor get children.”  So why do liberal women have 1.6 children while conservatives have 2.8? You don’t see Hillary with a raft of young'uns even if she did come from Arkansas.

And maybe all those high-dollar athletes and entertainers should play for minimum wage. After all, unlike corporate CEOs they don’t create jobs and have thousands of people working for them and dependent on their salaries.

Hey, didn't we try everyone making the same salary?  It was called USSR.  The workers there had a saying, "We pretend to work and they pretend to pay us."  Is that an economic system?

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Know your lib friends II


Know your adversary Part II

What you have to realize is that liberals come in many stripes.  But most share this common trait. Libs just know they are smarter.  They are so smart that often they don’t even have to engage a conservative in disagreement.  Many don’t have an argument.  They just buy into whatever part of liberalism they choose.  And when someone wants to engage them they just pass them off as an ignoramous.  “You’re stupid!” the pundits on television say.  Isn’t that how a six-yr.-old argues?  Unable to advance a cogent and convincing case, they just holler about stupidity.  Or they come up with little buzz phrases and repeat them numerous times as if that somehow proves the point.

            Don’t laugh.  The power of repetition in brainwashing is proven.  Clarence Thomas was supported by 69% of women after his testimony, but a year later after Hill was lauded and magnified innumerable times, Thomas had slipped to 44%.  Repetition of a slogan is not the only tactic.  Semantic bedlam, where the lib argues over fine points to try to throw the other guy off, is also common.  “It depends on what your definition of IS is.”

            It gets kinda stretched.  Eisenhower was “dumb”.  Nixon was dumber and Ford dumber still.  Reagan was really dumb and the two Bushes were dumbest of all.  Keeps getting worse.  So why then have the R’s won 7 out of the last 11 elections?  What amazes most of us is that Ike put together the largest allied military in history, pulled of the Normandy invasion and served two highly successful terms.  Think what he could have done if he’d have been smart!  So why, I must ask, do the R’s keep running dumb guys?  Isn’t this a dumb strategy?  But of course the libs think no one comes close to the IQ of FDR.  You know, the guy who passed all those unconstitutional New Deal laws.  The guy who so threatened business that his two recession recoveries were, up until Obama, the only two recessions in US history that lasted longer than 24 months. The guy who couldn’t figure out the Japanese were going to take us to war and bomb Pearl Harbor.  Smart guy.

            Reagan “was so dumb he couldn’t tie his shoes,” according to the NY Times. John Kerry said Bush 41 was even dumber than Dan Quayle. Everybody from Letterman to the Washington Post thought Reagan was stupid. Hmm.  Only President since the civil war who had a college degree in economics and understood monetarism and supply side econ. Used it to put together the longest 4.5% growth era in modern American history.  Ended the cold war by economically competing with USSR and they realized they couldn’t win.  Gore Vidal said “President Reagan’s library burned down.  Both books.” Al Gore said Reagan’s ideas were “unfathomably dumb”.   The blabocracy kept harping on his lack of mental acumen.  Turned out, 49 states re-elected him.  Katie Couric called him an “airhead.”  That must make her a Helium Head.

            Okay, I shouldn’t have picked on Gore. We know he got Ds at Yale.  He said, “A zebra cannot change its spots.”  Obama, of course is the smartest man in history.  IRS targeting? “I didn’t know.” Benghazi? “I wasn’t clear on what happened.” Website? “didn’t know about the glitches.” NSA? “Had no idea.” Fast & Furious? “didn’t know until I saw it in the newspaper.”

            So what do we do about smarty Dems piping slogans and sound bites?  Find the self-incriminating part of their logic and turn it back on them.  But don’t do it in a threatening way.  Just ask as a dumb and humble person.   Like “If US citizens must have their phone records monitored against terrorists, why did we put the border fence on hold?” They smile and say you are glad we both agree in principle.  Let them off easily.  You won't convince them.  Just leave them with a friendly doubt.  And remember this.  The goal of a campaign is not to activate the opposition voters, so the closer you get to the election, the more Aw shucks, friendly you should be.

Know your lib friends

Campaign year. Sun Tzu said, “One must completely understand his adversary.”  So I begin by thinking about who liberals/progressives are and how they think.  This is very useful knowledge when you are walking house to house in a campaign.  We target Republicans and Independents, but sometimes come face to face with strident Dems who just purchased the house leaving the voter list outdated.  I rather relish these discussions. Being in the hotel business leaves you with a taste to converse with absolute strangers, agreeable or not, and try to make them agreeable.  Small talk.  Prince Charles is a master of this art of becoming instantly familiar and pleasantly affecting the person you speak with. But it has a political twist as well. Polls show that most partisans don’t bring up issues in mixed company.  They only talk to their comrades.  Too bad.  Some people need to be made to think.

            Above all else, libs think they are superior to the rest of humanity. Rich libs are unbelievably snobbish.  They promote immorality, endorse criminals, espouse taxation, and make a religion out of environmentalism just to show their power and aristocracy.  They know their seaside villa will still be there as the country is fundamentally transformed, so they giddily fool with the little people’s lives.  The middle class, beset by the tempest of life, have only one sure defense, their abiding belief in God who is over all things.  That’s why religious people drive libs crazy. 

            Trying to counter people of faith, libs promote casual sex relentlessly.  Hollywood has many stories of single women happily having casual sex and children out of wedlock.  Lots of movie sex but not many venereal diseases, depression over abortions, and bitter divorces--the usual outcome of such behavior.  And just to show the law is beneath their omnipotence, (if you have enough money you can hire the best lawyers and often get off)  they adopt truly demented criminals and predators.  It’s just the police they hate. And merely to feel superior to people with less money, they enjoy pitying the poor.  The Middle Class has rules of conduct and thrift as a way of getting ahead.  Rich libs disdain such petty things.  Why, they enjoy paying taxes!  It separates them from the coupon clippers.  It shows how loaded they are that they don’t even worry about high taxes.  How superior!  And most of all they are environmentalists.  Environmentalism is a way to push back against the acquisitive middle class and their new money.  Don’t obstruct our view.  Don’t drill Alaska; we are so rich we don’t care what the fuel bill is.  The Dems rake in enormous donations from trial lawyers and Hollywood moguls while the R’s get most of their donations from successful small businessmen and evangelicals--$25 to $500 at a time. 

            What the jet set is most insecure about is their ability to love.  And so compassion consists of pulling a voting lever for some candidate with some nonsensical scheme of taking money from the middle class (who are termed “rich”) and giving it to the poor (who are often the mismanagers of their own lives).  People who are secure in their beliefs and purposes, find a snob misguided or insufferable, such as when snobs sneer at the inferiority of others.  Conservatives are anti-elitist.  Ask yourself, who is more likely to have a beer with a truck driver, Chris Christy or Barbara Streishand?

            It is extremely important for libs to demean anyone they oppose.  Name-calling substitutes for a cogent argument.  Anyone, whether rich or poor or whatever can apply for membership in the ranks of liberalism.  You just have to think yourself superior—smarter, more artistic, more global, etc.-- than that band of dumb hick Republicans. Doesn’t matter if you can make a solid argument.  Libs don’t bother with logical persuasion as long as they can prey on emotions and people’s sense of weakness.  This is how the libs use the race scare card on minorities, the heartless card on single mothers. And my do they think a conservative is dumb!  Reagan was dismissed so vociferously, I swear it created a new medium of conservative talk radio when the dominant mainstream media did nothing to defend the most popular president since TR against the onslaught of bile.  Amusingly, the only R who isn’t a dope, according to a Lib, is a failed candidate.  Reagan and W. are the most hated men by the Left.  On the other hand Bob Dole, failed campaigner from the start, is remembered somewhat paternalistically and so is John McCain.  McCain was 5th from the bottom of his bachelor’s degree class at Anapolis. George W. Bush was in the upper third of both undergraduate Yale and graduate Harvard.  But Bush was called an idiot and McCain is at least worth listening to, the libs tell us.

            This is getting long.  Will write more tomorrow.  First thing to remember when you campaign and find a holier-than-thou, smarter-than-thou liberal, is to be humble and aw-shucks.  Then what becomes a fun game is to listen and ask questions like Colombo. Suddenly they realize you see right through their diatribe and have driven home a major point.  Then just stay pleasant and give them some information and leave them to sort out their thoughts. 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Another look at income inequality

Since Obama is bringing up income inequality, The Economist (JA 4, “Free Exchange”, pg. 60) points out that a landmark study of just this topic has been done by Thomas Piketty of Paris School of Economics.   Before you say, “so who believes some guy from France?” just understand that his analysis fits the data of 200 years of capitalism in USA, Europe, and Japan.  In a nutshell, he points out that societies with large divergences of incomes have capital of over 600% of GDP, that is capital (wealth) is greater than 6 times national income.  All that wealth is locked up by a few rich.  USA has had about capital of about 400% GDP for most of its history. Most countries in Europe had about 700% prior to WW I, when the upper ten percent of households controlled 90% of wealth.  After the wars, they declined to the 400% territory but now have reverted to higher numbers.

What makes a country have lower capital? The author found amazingly that a country’s capital tends strongly to follow the ratio of Savings Rate / Growth Rate.  Savings rate of USA is about 8% and long term growth is about 2%. SR/GR= 400%= capital GDP.  But what if our growth rate were to decline to 1%?  Then capital would be pushed to about 800% and income inequality would become more pronounced. So growing the economy is highly important if you want people to be more equal. Indeed, the growing inequality of the last few years is due to USA’s growth falling from 3+%  of the nineties to 2013’s recovery level of 1.7%.  And what makes growth?  Piketty found that increased population often drives growth as well as an unregulated free market and encouragement of business.  If you are business unfriendly and demographically non-growing in population, then you have the current problems of Italy or Japan.

There’s more to the theory than I have shared.  Piketty links total capital to capital’s (investment’s) share of national income (as opposed to wages share of national income).  Thus the wealthy investors suck up most of the national income (in wealth heavy states), and the poor are poorer. 

So as we observe Obama’s seeming lack of concern over economic growth—every year he says he will focus like a laser on the economy and then has no proposals—it becomes obvious that he is really focused on the political angle.  If the economy falters, it is so much the better for him.  He bountifully gives out “benefits” to the have-nots.  He seizes the imperative to transform America from what it has been, to what his vision for a redistributive state looks like.  But even if he wins the politics, he is creating the very thing he swears he wants to correct, income inequality.  The way to significantly make the life of the poor better is with a booming economy and a good job. Unemployment benefits are just a cosmetic to cover the inequality.

Booming in spite of Obama

You hear Dems argue that Bush caused the recession and that Obama inherited this terrible economy.  Here’s proof that it ain’t so. In 37 recessions and recoveries since the country began, there are only 3 where the drop in employment didn’t come back just as fast as it fell--1931, 1937 and 2007.  What caused the refusal to recover?   It was government intervention that scared the socks off of businesses. That’s what the debt engorgement, regulation war on business and Obamacare have done to the recovery.  Here’s another proof.  After a recession, there is a surge of growth for awhile until the recovery gets tired and slows down, then is susceptible to another recession when a bubble occurs.  2007 was a world-wide recession with world GDP sliding by -0.8% as late as 2009.  But then in 2010, the exploding recovery sent world GDP to +5.0%.  It has since settled back to +3.1%.  But, despite the growth worldwide, USA has languished at about 1.5-2.0% as frightened businesses found it hard to expand and refused to rehire.  Non-working adults has risen from 80 million to almost 92 million.  It is a jobless, anemic recovery. And so the world whispers that America is sliding into oblivion and doing all the wrong things. 

            Then last year came a resurgence.  By mid-year growth had topped 3% for the first time since 2006.  The stock market, anticipating better times grew by almost 30%.  That’s the sort of thing you usually see right after a recession.  What happened?  The economy grew despite Obama.  Politicians are always quick to claim credit for good times, especially Democrats.  But here’s what The Economist said, “First household and corporate balance sheets are in good shape. Americans have put the hangover from the financial crisis behind them.  The revival in house prices is a testament to that.”  So how did Obama get millions of corporations and individuals to clean up their debts?  The article continues, “Second, thanks to cheap energy, years of wage restraint and a relatively weak dollar, America is competitive.” Are we going to credit Obama with cheap energy, he who has dug in his heels over drilling on federal lands and tried to shut down offshore exploration until a court made him re-open it?  Or maybe he can polish his nails over wage restraint, the guy who demands higher minimum wages?  About the only thing we can give him credit for is the cheap dollar due to the dysentery of debt and government spending. Keep reading, “Finally, the fiscal squeeze (British talk.  They mean “deficit”)  is abating.  The recently agreed budget deal will cut the fiscal squeeze to 0.5% of GDP this year.” Shall we then credit Obama with reducing spending? Instead, he held increased spending over the Republican’s heads in the October shutdown.   Bottom line, almost all that USA has done to rectify our recovery has been done outside Washington and all has been done outside the White House.

            So if he says, “You didn’t build that” again, we need to say, “The heck we didn’t!”