Monthly Archives: February 2013

White House to Woodward in Video Form

The emailed content of you’ll regret this the WH sent to Bob Woodward is now available in video form.

The Life and Times of George Zimmerman

The George Zimmerman – Trayvon Marton trial is set to begin.

I don’t know what the verdict is going to be, but my guess is he’ll be proven innocent.

However, what I think is most interesting is what his life will be like if he is indeed found innocent.

Here’s a man who was public enemy number one last year. Despite doing his best to avoid any extra attention everyone knows who he is and always will. He’ll have a heck of a time getting a job anywhere without a stigma being attached to him. Even if he’s found innocent he’ll carry a bad name that people will want to distance themselves from.

It’s possible for an innocent Zimmerman to end up like Rodney King who had numerous addiction problems through the 90’s to his death last year.

Unfortunate as it is, it will be interesting to see how this mans life ends up.

Democracy In Action In Detroit

Previously I wrote about the possibility of a state appointed Emergency Manager taking over in the city of Detroit to fix the cities horrible financial condition.

No decision has yet been made by Gov. Rick Snyder. Indications are that he is weighing the situation carefully, I might say politically.

Today however we have a story from the Detroit News titled, Opposition to possible Detroit emergency manager grows louder. No surprise there.

However it is a bit ironic to see what the basis of their complaints are. Apparently some people in the city of Detroit don’t think an EM respects democracy. Though since they vote for the governor and the governor makes that decision they do.

But the irony is that these same people have no problem giving up their democracy to the Democrat party that runs the federal government. I’m willing to bet they’d be rather excited to have President Obama offer them an EM, just like they had no problem giving up their democracy with the Affordable Care Act.

It’s not so much that they oppose losing their democracy, it’s that they oppose losing it to someone who isn’t buying them off.

An interesting thing to think about is how the people react. Though the decision would likely pass without any resistance, it would be interesting to see if the people of Detroit did resist the effort to insert an EM. Riots and resistance would prevent any EM from being able to do anything. I don’t think the people care enough to do that, but it would make a good showing for what happens when the people feel the government has overstepped the line.

What Other Amendments Do We Not Need?

Nobody needs a gun, so they say. You don’t need it to hunt and the police are there to defend you. What else would you need it for? Besides they don’t want to take away everybody’s guns, they just want to restrict them with “commonsense” laws.

But here’s the squeeze, if you regulate something so much as to make it impossible, it’s the same thing as a ban. Sure, sure, technically speaking it’s not a ban, it just happens to have the same effect. It’s why we have laws against assault and not against punching people. Punching people is covered in assault, it’s not specifically banned but still a crime by falling under regulations.

How is legal suffocation different from a ban? It’s not.
They tell us the Second Amendment is outdated, that it applied to different times and doesn’t have a place in our modern society. That’s it’s use is unnecessary. The government takes care of us anyway. So might there be other Amendments from the Bill of Rights do we not need anymore?

Not many would doubt the First so we’ll leave that one intact for now, though that establishing a religion thing might need a reworking in the future. We’ve already crossed off the Second, so on to the Third.

III. No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

We haven’t had to deal with that in a while, let’s get rid of it. Most people probably don’t even know what quartering is. Obviously then we can get rid of it. Besides surely the government wouldn’t violate the sanctity of our homes to quarter soldiers anyway, they have bases for that stuff. Gone.

IV.

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

If you don’t have anything to hide, you have no reason to object to random searches on you and your belongings. It’s the safety of everyone we’re worried about. Anyone who objects to being searched is clearly hiding something. Gone.

V. No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation.

We can probably get rid of this one too. Like the Fourth Amendment, if you have nothing to hide you shouldn’t be opposed. The government can do no wrong. If they have reason to suspect you know something they should be able to force you to talk, and if you don’t, well that’s an admission of guilt isn’t it? Gone.

VI. In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.

We can probably keep this one. Not because government prosecutors would ever get anything wrong but because a civilian making a charge might get something wrong. Because civilians are the only people who ever make mistakes.

VII. In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

Surely the government is unbiased in its judgements and could never be corrupted. Plus it would have the benefit of nobody ever having to go to jury duty again. Gone.

VIII. Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

This is kind of a silly law. Obviously anyone the government brings to court is guilty, I mean why else would they be suspected? Again its important to remember the government never makes mistakes or does anything wrong. Gone.

IX. The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Of course not! We’ll keep it cause it seems pretty useless not that we’ve cut out most of the rest anyway. Gone.

X. The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

No, no, no this just won’t do. Let’s change the order so it says “the powers not delegated to the States, or the people, are reserved to the United States”.

Yeah that works much better. It’s important to remember we don’t want people or states getting in the way of the government doing what it knows is best for everyone. Altered.

There you have it we’ve cut out seven unneeded amendments from the Bill of Rights. We’ve left number one(for now) and the sixth as well, while altering the tenth.

How much easier it will be to govern now that those pesky and unneeded rules are out of the way. Utopia here we come! Or should I say, workers paradise here we come!

Women Are Yahoos

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer is taking heat for calling the companies work from home employees back into the office. Not surprisingly the feminists are rather upset by this.

How dare a woman do something that undercuts the benefits feminists have fought for. The work at home mom is a hero, she can have it all, a family and a career.

Except when that mom has to handle the responsibilities of both. Then she can’t really make it work. Having to actually show up at work poses a problem. They can only have it all, so long as we suspend the rules and allow them to play in their own ‘womens only’ league. Why should they have to compete against men, they’re women, they’re allowed to have it all without the responsibilities, scores are calculated differently based on gender.

Feminists aside, if you work for a struggling company that has hired a CEO to turn things around ant that CEO says everyones butt belongs in a seat in the offices then that’s what you do. There’s nothing wrong with telecommuting if you can guarantee the effort and results of the employees but if you suspect you’re not getting the most out of them, then call them in and make them act like professionals. Dress like a professional, go to work like a professional, and you might just start producing like a professional.

 

From History: Gun Control or People Control

Currently I’m reading The First American, the life and times of Benjamin Franklin, by H.W. Brands and came across this in a chapter just after it is described how Franklin established a Pennsylvania militia(a struggle in the Quaker state), and led efforts to establish defenses against French and Indian frontier attacks in 1756.

Governor Morris, and Thomas Penn at a distance, could only shudder at the swelling enthusiasm for their chief adversary. For a decade Penn has suspected Franklin of designs  against the established government of the province. During most of that period Frnaklin has challenged ths  staus quo by political means, but briefly in the days of the Association(ed. Franklins previous militia efforts), and now again as colonel of the Philadelphia regiment, he appeared capable of leading a military revolt.

The Governor and essestial owner of Pennsylvania were threatened by Franklin not simply because of his politics, but because he had the means to enforce those politics by force. Of course it was completely false for them to think that because Franklins only concern was in fact securing the frontier areas of Pennsylvania as common sense would lead anyone concerned for their own safety and success would.

Two pages later we then have this when Penn tries to strip Franklins power by going to the crown;

Franklin’s Militia Act had not challenged not merely proprietary control of Pennsylvania politics but some of the basic principles of imperial rule, among these the selection of officers. As Penn explained to Morris, “The militia is taken out of the hands of the Crown, and the appointment of officers given to the people, which can never be allowed”.

Penn was successful in having Franklin’s Militia Act thrown out by the Crown. That the colonials could arm and serve themselves was not simply an  affront to the empire and the Crown it represented, but a threat. People who are able to exercise control over their own matters don’t need others to make decisions for them.

So again we have to ask again. Why are we trying to ban guns? When you realize the answer, it’s like hearing bells ringing.

Speed Kills

I generally disdain watching television. The biggest exception I grant for myself is auto racing. I’m a fan of motorcycle and Formula 1 racing and a casual fan of other series’ as well.

One of the better programs for a race fan to watch is Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain on SpeedTV. The show runs on Sunday evenings and provides a recap of everything recent in racing from motocross to NASCAR.

On Saturdays NASCAR race in Daytona Florida there was an accident in which a car flew into the catch fence on the front straightaway and a tire flew over and injured some people.

On Wind Tunnel, Despain talked about such accidents. Years ago NASCAR put restrictor plates on the cars to slow them down on the large speedways, the idea being that the faster they are the easier they will take flight.

Their is logic to this argument. Faster planes take off easier. However Mr. Despains argument is that the speeds have not been reduced enough by the restrictor plates and that they should be further altered to bring speeds down to ~180 MPH. Following the logic of increased speed leading to increased lift this would make sense.

Except there is this matter to consider. When the cars are restricted as the superspeedways like Daytona they are almost all equal and run in very large groups. Large groups of cars traveling alongside each other are more prone to have accidents than small groups or individual cars.

I bring this up as a demonstration in thinking because there are two theories to consider. Are the cars more dangerous, for both drivers and spectators, when faster but spaced apart, or when slower and in large groups that are guaranteed to cause a massive wreck.

No doubt the extra speed makes them riskier, but risk means a possibility not a certainty, however the slower speeds almost certainly guarantee a large wreck.

It would be interesting to see someone conduct a study on this. Traffic: Why we drive the way we do, is a book by Tom Vanderbilt that challenges many assumptions about the way we think about traffic and how we drive in real life that would be comparable in a way.

Speed or Traffic, what is worse?

Why Sequester Talk Is Pointless

The sequester talk is ridiculous. The amount it cuts is miniscule anyway. You could audit the government and probably find average cuts between 20 and 30 percent, yet you’d think the world was ending. What was supposed to be cuts for dealing with the debt is now an economic issue.

Even if you could get liberals to concede to massive spending cuts to reduce the deficit it wouldn’t matter.

The economy/GDP would shrink immediately. Cutting b/trillions of dollars in government spending  from the budget would hurt. The GDP would shrink because it’s that much less business being done.  Even though government money is often wasted and useless it still counts as GDP and somebody is depositing those checks. However if you cut the money it won’t go back into the hands of the taxpayers, it will just simply fade away. If it doesn’t go in, it doesn’t exist.

Eliminate the money and the economy shrinks. As that money leaves the market everything else will have to adjust and that will come with quite a bit of initial suffering.

Of course that’s the idea, that’s a good thing. It’s what we need. Cut the money that doesn’t actually exist because of overspending and allow the market to take the appearance of its actual size and not the inflated bubble it currently is. We have an economic bubble, not limited to just the housing or credit sectors, but the entire economy is a bubble due to the high debts we have to prop it up.

Following the first quarter of GDP shrinkage of this hypothetical cut, progressives would howl and shriek like never before. Austerity doesn’t work they’d say, you cut a trillion dollars and the economy is shrinking they’d point out. They already claim this about Europe, despite its not actually having gone through austerity, and they’re already starting to blame the last quarters shrinkage here on it as well.

The economy can’t and won’t be fixed quickly. It’s a bubble overinflated by immense government spending. $16 trillion dollars doesn’t get repaired quickly.

The reality is that the economy is not as big as we think. The numbers are not as important as the value that those numbers carry. The higher the debt, the less value our dollars have, and the higher the percentage of GDP that is government spending, the less value/strength you have in the actual private market economy.

There’s no doubt that the US economy needs a serious diet. Anyone who is in good shape knows that you can’t expect immediate results. They also know that trying to lose 20 lbs. for your wedding in three months is not as effective as trying to lose that 20 lbs. for the rest of your life. One of those goals is a gimmick that will end up reversing itself and one requires commitment and effort in order to become the standard of living.

If we got the austerity needed to correct the debt  and deficit issues, the result would be proof to enough people that it doesn’t work. These are the low information voters. They somehow think we can fix this mess without having to make any sacrifices or giving anything up. That or they think if the rich alone make sacrifices, that’ll be enough. These people will believe anything and they’re more likely to believe a person who’s full of shit so long as it’s easy to understand. A soundbite is more appealing than research to them.

Correct spending, let the economy resize itself to market reality, and then you’ll have growth. That’s the way to fix it, and the growth we would see would be incredible. Unfortunately it would several quarters to get to that point and the idea would probably be hijacked by then.

We can control when and how we face the pain by taking control and doing it now, or ignore it, let it grow worse and then take an even greater amount of pain at some unexpected moment in the future that we won’t be able to control.