Monthly Archives: October 2011

Does crucifix at Catholic U violate Muslim Stu Rights?

You need to decide.

Muslim students at Catholic University get their feelings hurt by the presence of the cross.

http://radio.foxnews.com/toddstarnes/top-stories/muslims-want-catholic-school-to-provide-room-without-crosses.html

Because this is where we are going. You need to decide what the U.S. is , what civil rights are, and the degree thast you are willing to blindly follow Karl Marx’ ungrateful hatred of Christianity. And what it means to be a “democrat” in this country.

Because we eventually will get to the point where, yes, you, indivudually and specifically, will need to have an answer.

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The 99%. Who are not in Congress.

The 99%. Who are not in congress.

We have a society with a government and laws not because we are so wise or noble, but because we are human. We are always scheming, and will get away with whatever we can, given the opportunity.

Same goes for business.

What to do? Govern the fairness and ethicality of business. If I pretend to sell you a chunk of gold, and you later find out it was a spray-painted rock, what happens? Do I just laugh, and say, “Sorry, good to see ya, wouldn’t want to be ya?” No. I cheated you. Who do you turn to for fairness?

The government. Police, the courts, and so on.

There will always be someone somewhere trying an unethical, dishonest, dangerous business idea. And there ought to always be government to go to for fairness.

So, Wall Street and the greedy 1% have treated us badly. And we have no one to go to. Who has failed? Big business? Capitalism? Or the government?

The government has failed to look out for us.

Why?

Because they have sold out to the 1%. They don’t care about us.

Here in America, we have figured out that something is majorly wrong. And we are rioting in the streets. The problem is we are so dumb, we cannot figure out who to get mad at, and riot at.

It is the government. Big business, and Wall Street, are behaving as we have known them to be have, and expect them to behave, and as they have always behaved, and always will. Unless properly governed by government.

How have we failed to see this?

Well, it is easy to figure out how the republicans have failed: they are buddies with Wall Street. They see the positives: Wall Street helps businesses thrive, and that is where our jobs come from. Cool. Liberty. But there is liberty and justice, too.

How about the democrats? Where are they? Having lunch with Wall Street. You have been sold down the river. How will they keep you from figuring out you have been the chump? They won’t blame themselves. They are having the steak dinner. If they can distract you, then they can carry on.

Who to blame? “Greed.” A made-up enemy called “the one percent.”

Will we buy it?

Apparently, it has worked like a charm. The democratic legislators eat steak and swear they are for the little man.

And you believe this. You have not figured out: The 1% is Congress.

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Tear Down Capitalism, or Scaffolding?

We keep hearing how many more times some CEO earns compared to his or her front-line employee. Or hear how many more times the average income the wealthiest person’s income is.

And that this is growing.

This is good.

For two reasons.

First, it indicates that our economy keeps growing. On Wall Street, this is what the liberal arts grads declare that they want: an economy that grows, not shrinks away from them.

Second: it indicates efficiency. Again, at the intersection of Occupy and Wall Street, the public-pee-ers keep claiming that they want things to be efficient. Well, they are.

What is efficiency? In economics, this is when the cost to produce some unit of good-or-service drops, or the cost drops for the buyer to find and make a deal with the the seller. This is “transaction cost.”

Some of us remember the County Fair. At the County Fair, along with the winning pig, you could look over tractors, and get a phone number for a tractor salesperson. Or two.

You might figure out that a new tractor attachment would make you able to bring in your crops with less time. At some point, the money you spend to get the tractor attachment is “paid off” by “return on investment.” This is the money you made, having spent some money. You have become more efficient.

If this goes well, you can either bring in more crops with the same number of laborers, or bring in the same amount of crops with fewer people.

This is efficiency. And job loss. The laborers picking the crops will not be needed.

Now, consider: you can lift up that new contraption they call a “telephone,” and call the tractor company. You ask a salesperson about specs. You call a couple competitirs. You make a decision and place an order. Well before the fall’s county fair. The salesperson devotes no travel time, and does not have to pay the County Fair host an exhibition fee.

Consider that the tractor has about the same sales tag either way. The tractor company has made more money on that tractor sale. The phone made the transaction, the seller and buyer meeting each other, more efficient: same work/result at lower cost.

Someone else is out of work. But whoever it is that sold the phone has a job. Laying phone line. Etc.

This is how an economy works. A zillion things change all at once. Some markets grow, some disappear. Whatever it is, it is not static.

You get a college degree in “Fall County Fair Hosting,” then the county fairs disappear.

You get a degree in tractor sales, and the telephone takes its value away, by letting neighbors use the phone to take away the uniqueness of the info.

To have more jobs, and more decent-paying jobs, we could get less efficient. Unions have figured this out.

Sadly, while this leads us to “full employment,” it leads our neighboring countries to trounce us.

Some farmer somewhere will buy a Kuboto. Some guy somewhere will even buy a Mitsubishi car, even though their Zeroes attacked us.

Price-for-performance will win the day.

The economy keeps developing opportunities for people to make money in new ways. Both by innovation, or by making more simple, mundane jobs.

A single-family farmer might have several family members doing all jobs. When that deal gets more efficient, a family member or two are free to go do something else. or nothing. Optimally, they find something where they are more productive for the same effort.

If the free family member actually works, the family can save up money. If they save a tenth of teir income each year, after ten years, they have enough money in hand to buy a farm of equal value. How do they do this? Decline the invitation of their neighbor to hang out and enjoy some corn whiskey once or twice a week.

What have they done wrong?

I cannot figure it out, yet.

Now, consider that the value of the neighbor’s farm is the same. After these ten years, the farmer can walk down the lane, and offer the neighbor full price for his farm. And offer that cash money and to hire a couple of the family members to work the farm.

Now, the neighbors look at the cash and consider how easy it would b e to simply buy the whiskey instead of waiting on the corn in the silo to turn. Plus send their one promising kid to college.

There ya go.

More crops coming out of those two farms, and fewer people doing the work, and the money going to one family, not two.

And a doctor in a few years, with no student loan.

And now, the greatest income earner is bringing nearly twice as much per year, while the lowest income earner, the college student, is lower.

Now, that farmer has a neighbor. Either one will buy out the other, or the other will buy out the one. Whomever ends up as the employee, that person is free to work for wages at that form, or walk down the road and sell tractors, or use those farming skills, or whatever.

That is the scaffolding. As an economy grows, the layers of employees increases. Management. Middle management. A millionaire. A billionaire.

The top “earner” gains from each successive level of scaffolding, below. The idea of a pyramid scheme helps to see this, but that is a limted analogy: here, someone is actually selling something to someone only if they voluntarily come around to buy. In fact, they are happy to buy, since the unit cost, or the transaction cost, keep dropping.

I just bought an $8 gismo from China with $4 shippping to the U.S. instead of paying $11 with $2 shipping from someone here in the U.S.

On Ebay. 24-7. Way better than the twice-a-year county festival.

So, as time goes by, we absolutely should expect the ratio of the highest-earner to the median earner to grow. The top earner is scaffolded on the many levels below, that keep getting differentiated and refined by developments in efficiency.

That means that, as time goes by, the poor can get things much more easily and much lower price than evar.

Are things worse, or better, for the poor?

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More Liberal Censorship at Federal Level

Well, eventually, you may not have to decide whether you are an American, Constitution-supporting democrat, or an oppressive liberal totalitarian.

You may eventually be so utterly misinformed that you cannot even recognize the difference. I still recognize a difference, but that’s just me, the last democrat.

More censorship. Long story short, we liberals have decided that “birth control” (taking birth control pills) is not just a “good idea” as a lifestyle choice, but is a “clinical preventive service.”

What disease does “birth control pills” prevent?

[crickets.]

No, birth control pills are not taken to prevent disease. They are taken to prevent pregnancy. People engage in this medical service or medical intervention to support a desired or preferred lifestyle plan – a plan of no children now, but maybe later.

“Timing of children” is not a cure, or a treatment, or a palliative intevention. I don’t even know how to make this obvious point. it is that obvious. But that does not stop us, we elitist totalitarians. We know how you should live your life. If you don’t we will “educate” you and pay the way for you. That is how sure we are.

So, here we go again. Long story short, the “Institute of Medicine,” a high level panel of supposedly independent medical people, reviewed a set of preventive medical care procedures to seem which should be “paid for” fully, by tax dolalrs. Included was “birth control.” Mainly, tax dollars from all of us being pooled and redistributed to allow anyone with the inclination to have their sexual lifestyle preference supported at the expense of the rest of us.

OK: I am not surprised by our elistist totalitarian efforts at top-down social engineering. But the kicker is this: the govt looked to the IOM report as a guide for what health care reform should and should not pay for. So, the govt simply adopted the totalitarian view of the IOM. At least we everyday, average “comrades” were able to “comment” on a government website.

Until we were censored. FOR OUR OWN GOOD, AS DECIDED BY SOME POLITICAL FUNCTIONARY.

http://www.lifenews.com/2011/10/21/obama-admin-hides-public-comments-against-obamacare-mandate/

Te link may eventually die, so here is a quote with the heart of the matter:

“On September 30th, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) received thousands of negative comments related to the interim final rule published on August 3rd where all insurance plans were informed that they must cover the full range of FDA-approved contraceptives with no co-pay,” Monahan explains. “A very narrowly defined conscience exemption for religious organizations was included which, in essence, covers only places of worship and was originally drafted by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) for a bill in California.”

“Curious to read some of the comments and get a sense of volume, this week I perused the official regulatory website of the government, regulations.gov,” she continues. “Recall that the language from the rule indicated that comments would be posted publicly: ‘All comments are posted on the Internet exactly as received, and can be retrieved by most Internet search engines.’”

“Much to my surprise, my search led me to only a very small number of comments — under 100,” Monahan says. “Knowing that FRC constituents alone submitted close to 12000 comments, and that USCCB constituents filed close to 60,000 comments, I was surprised and assumed I was searching incorrectly.”

Monahan called the regulations.gov helpline and had a customer service representative walk her through the process to assure her she was accessing the web site correctly.

“At the end of that conversation together we located only 58 comments,” Monahan says. “I then asked the customer service representative if HHS may withhold certain comments. The representative ironically began by telling me that the ‘Obama Administration is committed to transparency’ but then told me that HHS has control over what they post.”

 

 

 

“On September 30th, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) received thousands of negative comments related to the interim final rule published on August 3rd where all insurance plans were informed that they must cover the full range of FDA-approved contraceptives with no co-pay,” Monahan explains. “A very narrowly defined conscience exemption for religious organizations was included which, in essence, covers only places of worship and was originally drafted by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) for a bill in California.”

“Curious to read some of the comments and get a sense of volume, this week I perused the official regulatory website of the government, regulations.gov,” she continues. “Recall that the language from the rule indicated that comments would be posted publicly: ‘All comments are posted on the Internet exactly as received, and can be retrieved by most Internet search engines.’”

“Much to my surprise, my search led me to only a very small number of comments — under 100,” Monahan says. “Knowing that FRC constituents alone submitted close to 12000 comments, and that USCCB constituents filed close to 60,000 comments, I was surprised and assumed I was searching incorrectly.”

Monahan called the regulations.gov helpline and had a customer service representative walk her through the process to assure her she was accessing the web site correctly.

“At the end of that conversation together we located only 58 comments,” Monahan says. “I then asked the customer service representative if HHS may withhold certain comments. The representative ironically began by telling me that the ‘Obama Administration is committed to transparency’ but then told me that HHS has control over what they post.”

“On September 30th, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) received thousands of negative comments related to the interim final rule published on August 3rd where all insurance plans were informed that they must cover the full range of FDA-approved contraceptives with no co-pay,” Monahan explains. “A very narrowly defined conscience exemption for religious organizations was included which, in essence, covers only places of worship and was originally drafted by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) for a bill in California.”

“Curious to read some of the comments and get a sense of volume, this week I perused the official regulatory website of the government, regulations.gov,” she continues. “Recall that the language from the rule indicated that comments would be posted publicly: ‘All comments are posted on the Internet exactly as received, and can be retrieved by most Internet search engines.’”

“Much to my surprise, my search led me to only a very small number of comments — under 100,” Monahan says. “Knowing that FRC constituents alone submitted close to 12000 comments, and that USCCB constituents filed close to 60,000 comments, I was surprised and assumed I was searching incorrectly.”

Monahan called the regulations.gov helpline and had a customer service representative walk her through the process to assure her she was accessing the web site correctly.

“At the end of that conversation together we located only 58 comments,” Monahan says. “I then asked the customer service representative if HHS may withhold certain comments. The representative ironically began by telling me that the ‘Obama Administration is committed to transparency’ but then told me that HHS has control over what they post.”

 

“On September 30th, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) received thousands of negative comments related to the interim final rule published on August 3rd where all insurance plans were informed that they must cover the full range of FDA-approved contraceptives with no co-pay,” Monahan explains. “A very narrowly defined conscience exemption for religious organizations was included which, in essence, covers only places of worship and was originally drafted by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) for a bill in California.”

“Curious to read some of the comments and get a sense of volume, this week I perused the official regulatory website of the government, regulations.gov,” she continues. “Recall that the language from the rule indicated that comments would be posted publicly: ‘All comments are posted on the Internet exactly as received, and can be retrieved by most Internet search engines.’”

“Much to my surprise, my search led me to only a very small number of comments — under 100,” Monahan says. “Knowing that FRC constituents alone submitted close to 12000 comments, and that USCCB constituents filed close to 60,000 comments, I was surprised and assumed I was searching incorrectly.”

Monahan called the regulations.gov helpline and had a customer service representative walk her through the process to assure her she was accessing the web site correctly.

“At the end of that conversation together we located only 58 comments,” Monahan says. “I then asked the customer service representative if HHS may withhold certain comments. The representative ironically began by telling me that the ‘Obama Administration is committed to transparency’ but then told me that HHS has control over what they post.”

Enjoy.

 

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Black President Either Way?

Well over a year ago, I noted that Sarah Pailin remained popular, and the Hilary was looking presidential as Sec of State.

So, I threw out the comment that we could have a woman-versus-woman race for the presidency.

https://thelastdemocrat.wordpress.com/2010/02/08/femalepresidenteitherway2012/

Now, it is feasible that we could have a Black candidate versus Black candidate for the presidency.

While neither of these may emerge, it is true that both are feasible, and worth noting for the historicity as far as the demography of the presidency is concerned.

Herman Cain has been receiving a great deal of airtime. The republicans have no leading, strong candidate – each has his or her faults. But the party will have to nominate someone. Could be Cain.

Obama has a bunch of brewing troubles. Solyndra, or the birth certificate dealio, could be a time bomb. The many disenchanted constituencies also are a brewing problem. It is very plausible that Obama could step down, or be run out, and the heir apparent would be Hilary. If Obama does not run, it sure would be hard to figure out who would complete otherwise.

Many dems are beginning to think that running Obama is a sure way to lose, but an easy fix is to have him step down, if aspects of his reign “become distractions,” as they say.

But if he carries on, and Cain can overcome a few key limits,  such as being painted as part of the bad bankers by his support of TARP, he may get the nomination.

So, for one presidential election, it has been reasonable to speculate whether we might have either a female-candidate choice, or a Black-candidate choice.

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The Real Problem With Solyndra

The real problem with Solyndra

Yes, this whole Solyndra is quite predictable. A govt program to help this our that. It fails miserably to achieve anything close to what it was heralded to achieve. It is discovered that cronysim is rampant.

Nothing new. Both dems and republican wit the hand in the cookie jar,. Nothing new.

If you have not yet come to expect this from every off-track govt program, wake up.

If you believe the democrats are the magnanimous virtuous advocates of the little guy, and would never partake in suhc shenanigans, you have really been sold.

If you have not paid attention because we democrats keep foaming at the mouth about the evil republicans, or the evil Christians, or the evil home-schoolers, or the evil low-tax advocates, or the evil conservatives, or the evil business-leaders, then the dem strategy has succeeded: the elected dems can so whatever they want because you have no intimation to be critical of your own party.

Mission accomplished.

Sure, Solyndra is a tired story: govt fails, cronies get rich, and the campaign war chests are re-stocked.

But here is the real problem with Solyndra: they deprived someone of their civil rights. The essense of civil liberties is the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

I get to do what I want, until I move into the range of interfering with your civil rights.

I can play my stereo loud until it interferes with the ability of my neighbor to enjoy their peaceful home. Then, the law can step in to make things work for both of us.

I can set up a hamburger stand if I want. As long as iti is in some parameters, such as not being a health hazard, fire hazard, and so long as I turn over my business taxes.

OK. Fine.

Here is the probvlem with solyndra: the govt, in loaning half a billion dollars into an apparently propsepctive investment, stole the opportunity for some private individual or group to invest in Solydra.

Me opening my burger stand is what I get to do simply because I am here on Planet Earth, and get to do what I want. An investor investing in Solyndra for a billion dollars is simply that investor, or investor group, doing what they want to do simply because they are here on Planet Earth.

we get to do what we want for our livelihood, and with our money, that we choose.

This is freedom, and liberty. If you don’t like it, move to Cuba.

The govt scouted around and found an opportunity to make an emotional, persuasive statement about energy. The govt invested in Solyndra as a way to be a cheerleader. Simply for the promotional value.

The govt was not in it to get a return on their investment. That is not their business. They wanted Solyndra to work so that 1 solar energy could be promoted, and 2 so that the govt could get tax revenue from yet another indivudual enterprise.

Somewhere, there is an investor or investor group who lost the ability to invest in Solyndra. That opportunity was stolen by a competitor. Not another group of investors, but the long arm of the law.

That private investor, or investor group, had the chance to win or lose. Instead, I lost. I lost the tax dollars the govt took from me to give to Solyndra. So, I am complicit in stealing the freedom of the investors to invest in a seemingly promising business opportunity.

Each of us taxpayers lost about $3. (Divide the 500 million by how many taxpayers.)

The counter-argument is that the govt was playing its proper role: governments need to do things where the “market” fails, and markets need to do things where the government fails.

The “market” cannot provide thorough fire department coverage. Too many ppl would decide they were not at risk, and would never contribute regularly, no matter how reasonable the fee. So, we get taxed, and the fire dept gets set up by the govt.

So, a reason to give govt support to Solyndra is because it needs to be done, but the “market” is not workign to provide the capital for them to go create 1,000 (temporary contruction) jobs and 80 permanent jobs.

But that is not the case: Solyndra had maybe a billion in private investment lined up. That just shows that, yes, people would have been at liberty to invest, if only the opportunity were not stolen by the govt.

What next? WE need more healthy fast food, so the govt invests in the nation’s biggest chain of fast food, and undercuts price on competing restaurants?

Whether the invetment pays off or not?

Why not?

Why not is because 1 they would be stealing business from us indivuduals, and so depriving us of our liberty, and 2 running businesses is not the business of the govt.

What could the govt have done? Well, through higher ed, the govt does support research in technologies. That system helps, although an argument can be made that those efforts eventually steal opportunities unfairly.

This might be the coolest thing: line up Solyndra with potential investors. Rent a floor of a hotel and a conference room for a week. Let investors come visit for free, and watch a sales pitch in the conference room.

Like Shark Tank: be the tank, not the shark.

This is a huge problem in our govt nowadays. It rarely gets talked-about. The technical term for this is “crowd-out:” the govt takes over some area of the free market, and with its bully-like abilities and powers, crowds out regular business opportunity that would provide jobs and tax revenue, and most importantly provide liberty.

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