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Do you want to know more about the guy who's on the other side of your screen, saying all this stuff?

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These are my Mission Statements.

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These are my longer "deep-dive" articles on specific subjects so they don't get lost.

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The fun stuff that doesn't fit elsewhere.

Curing Healthcare

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I put this in my category of Economics rather the Obamacare because this is more of an economic plan than a plan to repeal/replace the ACA (although that clusterfuck should be taken out into the woods and buried alive).

This is a relatively simple plan, however it will be far from an easy plan to bring to life. There will be pain for many in the short term. But, like resetting a dislocated joint without anesthesia, once the initial great pain is over, the relief will be great and lead to a better quality of life. This is also not the exact or final version. However the overall concept needs to happen this way or it will fail.

I believe every person has the right to choose whom they want for all of the products and services they use every day. I believe they have the right to not necessarily act in their own best interests as well. Mistakes are how we learn and improve ourselves. Government should exercise restraint so it does not interfere with that process.

The free market and its incentive to drive costs down and quality up will be the major lever in every aspect of this plan. Insurance companies, drug companies, medical device providers and healthcare providers will have a constant pressure on them to keep prices and premiums down and services up.

The first step is to get government all the way out of healthcare. Medicare, Medicaid and the VA can be just like (and compete with) the private insurance companies. Every time the government gets involved with a private industry and starts subsidizing this or that aspect, the prices go through the roof because it becomes a third party-payer. There is you, the company that provides the good or service you seek, then the government. When the government pays for you, it does not care about the price or the quality of the good or service rendered to you. When that happens, prices skyrocket and quality tanks.

The second step is to get employers out of healthcare as well. Employers only started offering healthcare as a job benefit when there were wage freezes during WWII. This extra benefit helped companies lure talent to them. So, if the employer no longer has to subsidize the health insurance plan, they can just raise the pay rate of the employees commensurate with what they contribute now, or just pay it to the employees as a line on their paycheck for income.

Step three, healthcare ought to be available nationally. Because right now, if you change jobs or move to another area, your healthcare plan may not service that area.

Before I get into my idea, let’s talk about the present system so you know how things are done now. I worked for UnitedHealthcare for 5 years and was acquaintances with the two people who negotiated the contracts with providers. I also interacted frequently with the admin staff who handled the paperwork.

A healthcare provider (HCP), if they want to accept insurance from one or more insurance companies (IC) has to negotiate a contract with each insurance company. Each IC will charge different rates for the same service. IC A will pay the HCP $100 for a service 1 and $80 for service 2. IC B will pay $92 for service 1 and $98 for service 2. Each IC also has their own paperwork and procedures to submit charges. For medium-to-large HCP’s this requires at least one full-time administrative person per IC to process and track the claims to make sure they are filled out properly, correct any errors and make sure the HCP gets paid. The IC likewise has a veritable army of staff to process the HCP paperwork.

Hospitals in particular have multiple price structures. A few years ago I got to spend 5 days in the ICU and 7 days in a regular room because I choked on my own cooking and the ER doctor almost killed me trying to get it out. The “book” price (i.e. list price) for my stay was just over $125,000. Because I had insurance, $102,000 of that “disappeared” due to negotiated prices with my IC. My IC paid about $21,000 and I paid the balance.

The present system is a purposefully confusing mish-mash of prices, most of which are hidden from the consumer/patient. Even if you pay your HCP cash up front, what you pay is not necessarily what the IC pays.

So here is my idea. It’s so simple it’s actually frightening, mostly for the people who like to overcharge you.

The first step is IC’s tell you plainly and up front when and how much they will pay for services. Think a menu board at McDonald’s. The services are already detailed using the ICD-10 codes currently used to bill goods and services. Prices could be indexed according to the cost of living by zip code.

The second step is the HCP will also have a menu board for how much they charge for services.

First of all, all of this applies to non-emergency care. Emergency care, believe it or not, only accounts for 6% of medical spending. While it would be similar, I haven’t thought through the particulars for that side yet.

The actual execution of this new system goes like this:

1. You discover you have a need for medical services.
2. You select a HCP to perform those services. You consider your choices based on your priorities and criteria, using the variables of cost, quality and accessibility. You shouldn’t have to choose based on if they are “in network” or not.
3. You visit said HCP and have those services performed.
4. At the end of the visit you are handed a bill, detailed by ICD-10 codes.
5. Depending on your financial situation, you can pay it now or later.
6. You send said bill to the IC, who then reimburses you according to the plan you have purchased (deductibles, co-pays, etc.).

That’s it! What are your advantages? You choose your HCP, based on your priorities of price vs. quality, not a bureaucrat of either the IC or governmental kind.

Let’s say you need a regular office visit. The IC will reimburse you $90 for the visit. You have narrowed your options to HCP A or HCP B. A is a mediocre doctor skills-wise, but is very communicative and friendly. He charges $100 for this visit. B is a great doctor in the skills department, however his bedside manner is lacking at best. Your questions are either ignored or answered tersely. You get more information from his nurse than you do from the doctor. He charges $80 for his services.

Your choice (and not someone else’s) is which doctor you partake the services from. You can choose a great doctor who treats you as your symptoms, confident that he is methodical in his methods, complete in his diagnosis and treatment regimen, or go with a less-capable doctor who does good (but not outstanding) diagnosis and treatment and treats you as a person rather than your symptoms. This is your choice to either pay an extra $10 with HCP A, or pocket $10 and see HCP B.

But where do the market forces come in? Before you walk in the door.

Because the doctor has one set price for each service, they save on payroll by not having extra staff to deal with the IC’s. This lowers the HCP’s payroll costs and their prices can come down accordingly from less overhead. They also have market forces holding their costs down because no business wants to be on the high end of a price range of standardized services without offering additional services to make the higher price justifiable. If you have three gas stations relatively close to each other (physically and price-wise) and one of them sells gas for 20 cents a gallon less than the other two, which one will you stop at? Probably the cheaper one, unless you know it is a low-quality fuel that gives your vehicle trouble. Of course, if one offers a full-service experience (pumps the fuel for you, wash your windows, check the air in the tires, check the oil, etc.) they could probably charge 20 cents more a gallon than the others and people would pay the higher price for the services.

The same concept will apply to the IC’s and other medical-related industries, such as pharmaceuticals and medical devices. They will have to deal with market forces. If pharmaceutical company decides to overcharge on a product (e.g. the 1,000% price hike of epi-pens), they will suddenly find themselves with a lot less customers, who will seek cheaper alternatives, or use it less often. Our seniors on Medicare are faced with these choices today when they fall into that “donut hole” of coverage. There would also be new companies which would have the incentive to bring a new product to market that is just as effective and a lot cheaper.

These market forces foster competition in providing goods and services with more value and quality for the same or lower price. We see that every day right now. HCP's who are of poor quality, overcharge for their services and all that bad stuff would be quickly run out of business because word gets around quickly today on various referral sites and social media on both good and bad companies.

Here is an example of how the free market delivers better products or services for the same or lower price. My first car was a base 1963 Dodge Dart. It was a “slant-6”-cylinder motor, manual “three on the tree” transmission, hand-crank windows, no A/C, no airbags and lap belts. The base model cost $2,385 back then, which in today’s dollars works out to be $19,136. A base 2016 Dodge Dart costs about $22,190, with a V-6 engine, automatic transmission, electric windows, A/C, three-point seat belts, airbags, and a whole bunch of other features that in 1963 would be considered luxury features, if they were available in any vehicle at all. Not to mention the 2016 Dart is a lot more comfortable. Yes, today’s Dart is more expensive than the older one, but not by a large margin, which is more than offset by improvements in safety, comfort and convenience.

But, you ask, what if the patient doesn’t pay the bill and pockets all the money? Then their physical pain will translate to a legal pain. The amount of medical bills covered by insurance, reimbursed to the patient but not paid to the doctor would be like student loans, not able to be discharged under bankruptcy.

Do I have any evidence that this model will work? I sure do! The Surgery Center of Oklahoma is one of several practices that accept cash only. The Ocean Surgery Center is another. SCO has one facility and performs over 25 surgeries a day, using a "cash, one payment, up front and no insurance accepted" model. Their prices are published on their website, are soup-to-nuts (all pre-operation consulting/testing, the surgery itself, overnight post-op stay and followup care) and their prices are 50% and more off hospital prices for the same services. Time has an article on SCO and "direct primary care" where you pay a monthly fee to your PCP for all your care offered there. Business Insider has separate articles on SCO and Direct Primary Care. I think DPC is a great start, however what do you do when you need services outside your PCP's office? Hence, my idea above.

This will not be an overnight process. In all actions economic, once the change happens there will be a 6-18 month period of “fluctuation” while the market adjusts to the new conditions and everyone sorts out the changes and their ramifications. Prices and components of services will jump and fall in price. But like that dislocated shoulder, once that initial pain and the echoes of resetting the dislocation have passed, the healing can truly begin.

 

The lynching of the law

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A lynching is defined as, “to put to death, especially by hanging, by mob action and without legal authority.”

A mob gathers and conducts a lynching when and because they are incensed over an event. Emmitt Till and Matthew Shepard are two events where young men died horrible and brutal deaths because someone lied about being offended.

In the light of the recent Mandalay Bay Massacre, as with all high-profile events like this, people who are misguided or with ill intentions exploit the events to advance a political agenda. It took only nine hours after the shooting started for Hillary Clinton to Tweet this:

hillary tweet

The process of making laws is supposed to be a cold, calculating, exacting and boringly dull process. Watching paint dry is supposed to be more exciting. It was made to be as hard as possible by our Founding Fathers because they understood human behavior when it wields power. The laws were supposed to be as few and simple as possible as to be easily understood “while running.” Imagine yourself trying to read and understand a complex concept while running down the road wearing one-buckle shoes.

In the current federal government, it takes 218 Representatives, 51 Senators and the President to agree to create a law. If the president doesn't agree and vetoes the bill, it then needs 291 Representatives and 67 Senators to agree. To amend the Constitution, it takes the 291/67 in Congress to propose and then the legislatures of 38 States have to agree.

The Constitution had one foray into codifying a social issue into law, namely the Eighteenth Amendment, which was enforced by the Volstead Act. For those of you who don’t know, this Amendment created Prohibition, which outlawed the production, transportation and sale of intoxicating liquors. In other words, no alcohol. It went from Congressional proposal to ratified by the States in just over a year, which is bullet-train fast when speaking legislatively.

Of course, this social endeavor into law worked out so well we enacted the Twenty-First Amendment almost 15 years later to repeal it. This effort only showed that the majority of people did not want prohibition and it gave rise to “organized crime” which was all too happy to operate outside the law and provide a good that was in demand by the people.

Of course, the thousands of deaths from gang violence, bad product and all that stuff is inconsequential to protecting the people from themselves because they make bad choices when left without adult supervision, right?

We have our own modern version of legislation that was passed in the heat of the moment after 9/11, and we have had years to regret its passage, namely the PATRIOT Act which has led to the explosion of the surveillance state we have today.

In conclusion, making law immediately after an event such as Las Vegas as a knee-jerk reaction to "do something about the problem" 99% of the time does not solve the problem and often makes the problem worse, plus other aspects of our lives are negatively affected due to the Law of Unintended Consequences. As my High School Drafting Teacher Mr. Scully drilled into me, "Check your work. Check it again. And again. And then, check it one more time."

 

Free State to Police State

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As Nancy Pelosi said, “Mr. and Mrs. America, turn ‘em all in.”

I am going to explain in a very detailed way what will happen if Congress engages in a gun-controller’s wet dream of banning and confiscating firearms, it doesn’t matter if we are talking about all firearms or just a single type.

Step 1: Repeal the Second Amendment. You know, that pesky Constitutional limitation, “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed” part. So now you have the Twenty-Eighth Amendment, “Section. 1. The second article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hearby repealed.”

We can get the guns now, right? No, not yet. Calm down Skippy.

Step 2: Like in Australia, enact a “mandatory gun buy back program.” Which I am sure a few people will partake in such a system. Let’s just say the government will pay you $100 per weapon. Hm, with an estimated 300 million firearms in the US, that would work out to be $30 Billion. I’m sure the government has that kind of cash just laying around.

Now? How about now?? Skippy, not yet.

When the buyback fails (believe me, it will fail), the government will have to move to the next step.

Step 3: Nationalization of the police force. There are not enough federal law-enforcement officers to perform the confiscation on a national level within any reasonable length of time. You could add in the military and it won’t make a dent. The result is your local Chief of Police or Sheriff will no longer answer to your city or county government, they will answer to Washington.

Now? Now?? Now??? Almost there, Skippy. Just one more step.

Step 4: Repeal of the Fourth and Fifth Amendments. There might not be an actual Amendment to repeal these Amendments, it might be just a functional ignoring, like those in power are want to do so often. Why? Because to enforce such a ban judges would have to either issue a warrant without cause for every property, or the police would be granted the power to just go door-to-door and search every building, every piece of furniture and run a metal detector over every square foot of grass. Because, you know, us Americans are an inventive and sneaky lot in hiding stuff we don’t want found. Plus, to confiscate life, liberty or property without due process is a tenet of the Fifth. Of course, considering the current scale of “asset forfeiture” we have today, that part of the Fifth is already annulled.

The gun buyback program would most likely not apply in cases where the National Police forcefully come into your home and smash your home looking for firearms. They would, however, most likely follow the Russian execution method of shooting you in the back of the head, then billing your family for the cost of the bullet. Instead of leaving a $100 bill for every firearm they found on your bed like you’re a prostitute after they raid your home, they will leave a bill for the time and materials it took to kick down your door, ransack your house and leave your family in shambles, no matter if they found anything or not.

Now comes the bloody part. The first time a gun owner kills a police officer come to take their firearms, it will quickly escalate, maybe to the point where any resistance, any cross word or cross look will result in a maximum response by the police.

Yay! We have a police state now!!! Yes we do Skippy, yes we do.

So now you have a national police force, able to enter any building at any time for any reason. This means no property rights. A secret police will probably also be formed to entrap those who manage to evade the confiscation, as well as the “home machinists” who can manufacture weapons out of any machine shop.

The police will also brook no resistance. Brutal beatings and street executions by the police to any kind of resistance will become the norm. This kind of public example cows the populace into submission.

You say, “This can’t happen here.” I don’t have enough fingers to point at examples where exactly this very thing has happened, and I don’t have to go very far back in history to do so either. After all, Hitler, Mao, Stalin, Pol Pot and their ilk stand upon the summit of 140 million bodies of their own people whom they killed in the prior century alone. All those dead were made that way because basically our killers didn’t like them for one reason or the other.

In fact, we only have to go back to the hours before the Mandalay Bay Massacre. In case you didn’t hear about this because of the coverage of Las Vegas, a small, independent section of Spain called Catalan held a referendum on if they should separate from Spain or not. The response of the Spain government (who is a big fan of severely restricting civilian ownership of firearms) mobilized their police force to fire tear gas and rubber bullets into crowds, then wading in with truncheons to beat the crap out of people and seized ballot boxes in an attempt to disrupt the referendum. NY Times, LA Times.

If those in power believe that they can disarm the citizens of this country, this is exactly what will happen. All of this is human nature, which the Founding Fathers understood and sought to fight by how they structured the Constitution.

Governments (and the people whom comprise them) universally seek to expand their power and scope of control. This should be a given that is just as universal that the sun comes up in the East and water is wet. This is why the Constitution was written the way it was, with clear delineations on which branch has what power and that if it isn’t in the Constitution, the government doesn’t have that authority.

Just remember things like this when you clamor to surrender Rights in the name of safety.

 

Reasonable restrictions

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So, those I have spoken with about “preventing the next mass shooting” after the Mandalay Bay Massacre speak in very open-ended terms about “more licensing” and “better storage requirements” to help cut down on mass shootings.

It won’t help, and will hurt. Let me tell you why. First of all, there is that “[T]he right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed” part of the Constitution. But all of these people have spoken about “reasonable government restrictions.” That is an oxymoron if I ever heard one.

It is an extremely subjective term, as what one person would consider “reasonable” another could easily consider the same criteria as “restrictive enough to choke a person.”

For the first example of “reasonable government restrictions” we only have to look as far as the Department of Education. In October 2010, Russlynn Ali, the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, without authority, approval from her superiors or using proper channels, in her “Dear Colleague” letter (read it, please) she used Title IX to set up in Universities, for lack of a better term, “Sexual Assault Star Chambers” where hundreds of men have been accused and convicted of sexual assault. These are not courts of law, but rather chambers where guilt is presupposed and exculpatory evidence is laughed at. The standards of evidence and testimony held by these star chambers that would be laughed out of a criminal or civil court. These convictions often come without any evidence or witnesses other than the accuser and her word. In fact, in one case the young woman supposedly assaulted, loudly and vigorously defended her boyfriend. She was shushed and threatened with expulsion from the school. These “convictions” ruin a young mans’ future and it happens dozens of times a year. Here is one example. When the Huffington Post weighs in on the guys’ side, you know something is up. Part 1 and Part 2.

While I lived in California back in the 80's, I rode a motorcycle as my primary transportation. One day, someone made an off-hand semi-sarcastic remark to the head of CDOT (California Department of Transportation) that, "Motorcycles need to have seat belts, because the riders keep falling off." If you ever have ridden (and/or went down) on a motorcycle, you know you want to get as far away as possible from that machine if it (and you) go down. Well, the head of CDOT took that remark seriously and came within a gnat's ass of requiring seat belts on motorcycles.

In my own experience, the BATF as part of the Organized Crime Control Act of 1970, decided to regulate a material known as Ammonium Perchlorate Composite Propellant, or APCP. This is basically rubber infused with a salt of Ammonia. Like the DOE above, the BATF just decided one day APCP was an explosive (more precisely, a "low explosive") and claimed jurisdiction over its storage and use. They never followed their own testing procedures to determine if it was an explosive or not. By the way, this is the fuel used in the Solid Rocket Boosters on the Space Shuttle. This material is so safe, it is the only solid rocket fuel that is "man-rated," meaning it is safe and reliable enough to use with humans in the payload. To tell you the truth, typing paper burns faster than this stuff in the tests used when you are assessing if something is an explosive or not.

In the 80’s, model rocketeers discovered the handy aspects of this as high-powered rocket fuel for launching large rockets. But, in order to purchase, store and use APCP, you had to have a “Low Explosives Users Permit.” This meant you could only have so much of APCP, stored in a box with specific requirements, surrender your 4th Amendment rights because a BATF agent could make “unannounced inspections” and on, and on, and on. And on some more, and more, and more still.

It took the two national model rocketry organizations (National Association of Rocketry and Tripoli Rocketry Association) over 20 years and $3-4 Million in lawyers’ fees to get a judge to vacate this rule.

Shall I go on?

Now I am sure you and I and a few of our friends could come up with reasonable restrictions. But you see, we don't get to decide, as I have illustrated in the three above instances, the bureaucrats are the ones to decide what the "reasonable restrictions" are going to be. All it takes is one bureaucrat who doesn’t believe in civilian ownership of firearms to set regulations like in the video and below (or worse). WARNING, Graphic violence:

We would also see a bureaucratic maze like gun ownership in Japan, coupled with storage requirements like “[T]he safe weight shall be in excess of 1,000 pounds empty, to be secured to a concrete foundation with four (4) 1.5” diameter threaded bolts extending through 14” of concrete. Access to the contents shall require three different combinations, of which no one person can hold more than one combination.”

Now, I’m sure you can see the absurdness of these requirements, which would prevent anybody living in an apartment from having such a safe, plus if you did own your home, the cost of tearing up your foundation to mount those bolts would be extraordinarily expensive, on top of the cost of the safe, the weapons, the permits and so on.

This is why pro-RKBA people fight so hard against any regulation, because once the nose of this camel gets into the tent, his big ass is not too far behind.

 

Let's talk about Las Vegas

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Here we are, eight days after the Mandalay Bay Massacre. We have had time to treat the wounded, grieve the dead and learn things about the shooter. Now that things have calmed down, let’s have a rational discussion about this and other mass shootings.

First of all, the shooter (who will not be named because I don’t want to contribute to the perpetuation of his name) was an older White male. He had no contacts with the police other than a traffic ticket some years prior. He was reasonably affluent and outside of a currently unconfirmed picture of him wearing a “pussy hat” at some kind of anti-Trump rally and a voter registration card showing a Democrat Party affiliation, we do not know about his politics. He had no online social media accounts. He is, for all accounts and purposes, “a grey man.” The term “grey man” means a person who is present, but not noticed.

We will most likely never know the reasons behind why the shooter performed his heinous act. The shooter left no online manifesto, no note, he never voiced his thoughts or intentions to anyone, which means forensic investigators have little to nothing to work with and reconstruct.

Which leaves the door open for all kind of crazy conspiracy theories, like that he was a patsy for Operators (I’m talking Special Forces, not the telephone type) who actually did the shooting and all the like.

We do know he purchased all of his weapons legally. Since he had no criminal history or documented mental illness, all the background checks came back clean and there was no reason under the current laws he could not purchase firearms.

The shooter also purchased legal aftermarket modifications to enable a semi-automatic rifle to fire as fast as a fully-automatic weapon. No laws were broken by the shooter as he built his collection.

We also know he rented rooms near other large gatherings, but did not check in. This shooter was doing research and took the time to thoroughly research how to cause maximum carnage.

This presents us with the most terrifying and unstoppable threat we face today: A person on a mission who is willing to trade his life to accomplish his mission and knows his life is forfeit going in.

Now, what I want to know from all the people who read this little missive of mine, outside of a total ban on the civilian ownership of firearms, what laws would stop a person like this? I can truthfully say, zero. Because a person committed to this path would do whatever was needed to acquire weapons legally, or just go to the black market and purchase them illegally.

And I am not just talking about firearms. For those of you who might have forgotten about Oklahoma City on 4/19/95, one hundred and sixty-eight people died when that killer detonated a 5,000 pound ANFO bomb in front of the Alfred P. Murrah federal building. Then there was also a pipe-bomb attack during the 1996 Olympics that killed 1 (a news cameraman also died from a heart attack running to cover it) and injured 111 people. This number was thankfully low because a guard was ordering people out of the area when it detonated.

The bad news is, this is the new normal. Just like when nuclear weapons were first developed, the concept of mass shootings is already out there and like the nuclear genie, this cannot be put back into its bottle and “uninvented.”

Today, any moderately competent grad student in Physics can engineer a nuclear device. The only major hurdles are getting him enough Plutonium and krytron switches. Any precision machine shop can engineer the Plutonium to the necessary tolerances.

I bring this up to illustrate a point. If somehow all of the nuclear weapons on the planet disappeared this coming Friday, By Wednesday of next week every country that had a nuclear capability would be making new weapons.

All it takes for the next “mass death” event is a person who has lost their regard for innocent human life and has the means to acquire the tools necessary to carry out the desired operation, be it by gun, bomb, poison or gas.

 

Why I no longer watch the NFL

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I believe in the freedom of speech. I believe it is one of the unalienable Rights given to us by our Creator. Especially when that speech says something I don't like or want to hear. I served this country for over 13 years so people could say what they sincerely believed without the fear of the government coming for them in the middle of the night.

I fully support every NFL player, coach and owner who decided to take a knee, in the past and in the future. No "if's, and's or but's" about it. They did and do a brave thing. Kind of similar when I forced the Grand Lodge of Tennessee to expel me as a Mason because I spoke out publicly about their mistreatment of two fine Men and Masons, for the sole crime of them loving each other.

So if I support these players, why am I never watching football again? I'm glad you asked.

A message, especially a message trying to invoke social change needs to be clear, concise and repeatable. It must meet all three criteria to prevent it from becoming distorted by numerous reiterations. If you make a copy of a copy of a copy, some of the information will be distorted or lost because of the corruption by the constant reiteration. If there are many voices, they must be united in and for that message. It also needs to be delivered the correct way to a given audience. To communicate any message or call to action, it has to be delivered within the paradigm of your listeners. If I would deliver a given message, I would deliver it differently to a local Ladies Auxiliary of the Kiwanis Club than I would to a national NAMI convention. Same message, different delivery because the way each group sees the world is slightly different.

In this case there is a political shotgun approach. Many speakers, many messages. The core message (if there ever was one) has become diluted and lost. The end result is the many messages are blurred and diluted against the whole. When your audience cannot discern the central message out of the many messages, it will turn away in search of something else to hold its' attention.

Here's the important part: The venue of the delivery is critical. Your audience needs to be open to your message.

These protests are causing severe damage to the sport of Football and the NFL. The protests are driving viewers away by the thousands. The answer why is very simple.

Today, right now, there is very little you can do in your life that there is not a political undertone. We are relentlessly bombarded with political opinions from our news, our entertainment, even our personal interactions, online or face-to-face. Social Media is awash with opinions. There are no rules, there are no referees, it's a constant knock-down-drag-out knife fight. We used to watch sports as an escape. We would emotionally invest ourselves in the conflict between teams. We did this to forget about all of the hate-filled politics in the rest of our lives for a measly three hours. And these protesting players took this last bastion of a non-political arena away from us.

The people who watch(ed) these games are second in their patriotism only to NASCAR. They subscribe not to a political party, but to the belief and ideals that this country represents. As a country we are not perfect, we've made lots of big mistakes. All that being said, we as a nation have always tried to do the right and moral thing.

"Taking a knee" is a sign of submission. By performing this act, you are signalling that you are admitting that to whom (or what) you are kneeling for is superior to you and you surrender control of yourself to them. This is why a serviceman presenting the flag that draped the coffin of a fallen soldier kneels before the family they are presenting to. The kneeling soldier humbles himself to the sacrifice of the family. I do not see this here. The NFL payers are not kneeling in submission, but not standing in protest.

There is a time-honored tradition of recognition when ships on the high seas come close aboard (nautical parlance for near each other) the sailors on the side of the ships facing each other come to attention. On warships the sailors actually salute at the appropriate moment. One ship initiates the recognition, saluting the other by briefly dipping their national flag to half-staff, then returning their flag to full staff. The other ship responds by likewise dipping their flag the same way. US ships never initiate, we only respond.

The National Ensign (the proper term for the US flag) is never to be dipped, as in leaned forward when other flags are nearby. Among other flags, it is the first to be raised and the last to be lowered. If it touches the ground, it is to be torn into strips and burned, without ceremony. These rules (and more besides them) are meant to treat the symbol that represents this country with respect.

We kneel before our Creator, as citizens we are supposed to stand tall. You are asked (never required) to stand during the national anthem, when the flag passes close by or when colors are rendered. Some job functions where the National Anthem is played, the employer can require you to stand, the government can never require you to.

The power of this country comes not from the government, but from the people. The National Ensign represents all citizens. We are a nation of equals. The President is subject to the same laws as we are, thus equal to the rest of us. If you "submit to the flag" (a ploy by the Left to sell the rest of us a bogus bill of goods), you admit that you are not a citizen but a subject. The people of Great Britain are known as subjects because they are "subject to the Crown." Before the Magna Carta (the first document that actually alluded to human rights), Kings had pretty much free reign (sorry, couldn't resist the pun) and could do whatever he wanted. You lived or died by the benevolence of the King.

So, ask yourself this question: are you a subject, or a Citizen?

 

Always improving

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I have heard multiple FB posts and meme's about how "We put 'In God We Trust' on our money and 'Under God' in the Pledge of Allegiance in the 50's to separate us from 'Godless Communists.' " And how Baseball players didn't stand for the Anthem until WWII and NFL players didn't come out for the Anthem until 2009.

Think about this: Very, very rarely is something done right the first time. The Constitution is one of those things and we still have "improved" it 17 times (the Bill of Rights was 10 at once and the 21st Amendment repealed the 18th Amendment).

Think about plastic sandwich bags. they were invented in the late 50's, the kind where you had a "flip-over" top. It took about 15 years for the Ziploc bags to become sandwich bags. It took 25 years after that for someone to come up with the idea we have now, which is to make one side of the bag taller than the other, making those bags easier to open.

Besides, "We've always done it this way/We've never done it that way" are two of the seven signs of stagnation. Doing things a certain way because we've "always done it that way" without a good reason why we are still doing it "that way" is stupid.

If you can't articulate a good, sensible reason why we do things a certain way, find out why. Once you can explain why things are done this way now, then and only then you can articulate why it should be changed.

Change for the sake of change is never good, Change for the better should always be encouraged.

Why big government is bad

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One of my core values is that people should live as they please with a minimum intrusion from government. The People should be able to act in their affairs as they please, even to their own detriment as long as the actions do not hurt others. The laws should be as few as possible and they should (in our Founding Fathers words) "be understandable while running."

Milton Friedman, in his case against big government, says this (paraphrased): "Big business and big government are friends. Big business can lobby to the government for laws that favor them and hurt their competitors. Big government would have that power, while a limited government would not. " So, all y'all who want government in every aspect of people's lives are helping the mega-corporations all y'all rail against.

Case in point: Thanks To Lobbying, It's Illegal To Power Your Home With Solar Panels In Florida.

I bet you didn't know it, in many areas, especially urban areas, it is actually against the law for your home to not be connected to the electrical grid. Let me explain why.

A former supervisor and good friend of mine lost her house in the Nashville Floods some years back. She lived on the shore of a river that was flooded to prevent the breach of a dam. She rebuilt her home, literally 12 feet higher. She had a cinderblock foundation 12 feet high (that is now a garage and storage area) built, then her house was built on top of that. The thing of it was, when the house was finished, she couldn't move in until a "Certificate of Occupancy" was issued by the local building inspector giving her permission to live in her house.

Back in the 1930's, during the early days of the Tennessee Valley Authority, many homes in remote areas that wanted electricity in their homes used gasoline generators or private (small) hydroelectric dams to power them. Then the TVA came along and "insisted" that these remote homes connect to the electrical grid (and pay to plant poles and run the wires up there). Those people who were resistant to the insistent sometimes would find a bullet hole in their generator, or their dam exploded, ruining their power production.

I bring up those stories because if someone finds out that you have disconnected from the utilities, the utility company can get the government to revoke the Certificate of Occupancy for your home. It won't matter that you have a Tesla roof and power wall, the government will force you to vacate your home until you restore utilities. Don't think so? Call your local power monopoly and ask them what would happen if you told them to pull their electric meter.

Give this some serious thought. Citizens in states with prevalent sunshine (Hawaii, Florida, Texas, etc.) would have a great opportunity to live on their own terms, generating and storing their own electricity. Big, controlling governments and power monopolies however don't like that. They can't control you as easily, nor take your money willy-nilly.

Just remember shit like this when you demand a controlling, Socialist nanny-state to run your life for you. The end result will be you won't have the ability to act in your own best interest without prior permission from government. Yeah, good luck with that.

 

But at what cost?

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Since Obamacare became the laws of the land, I have been saying "Obamacare was designed from the start to be a clusterfuck of Biblical proportions. It is so bad, once it is fully in place and people see just how bad it truly is, they will clamor for anything that's not Obamacare. And that's when Single-Payer will be rolled out."

We are now at that point.

Today, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) will introduce this bill to the Senate, "The Medicare for All Act." The good news is, 2/3rds of Democrats realize that they are dead politically if the co-sponsor this bill. Those who are on the record as co-sponsors are Tammy BALDWIN (D-WI),Richard BLUMENTHAL (D-CT), Cory BOOKER (D-NJ), Al FRANKEN (D-MI), Kirsten GILLIBRAND (D-NY), Kamala HARRIS (D-CA), Martin HEINRICH (D-NM), Mazie HIRONO (D-HI), Patrick LEAHY (D-VT), Mr. Edward MARKEY (D-MA), Jeff MERKLEY (D-OR), Brian SCHATZ (D-HI), Tom UDALL (D-NM), Elizabeth WARREN (D-MA), Sheldon WHITEHOUSE (D-RI).

Would you like to know the unfortunate truth? You know, those pesky things called facts about what will most likely be the consequences if this (or some version) becomes law? We only have to look as far as Senator Sanders home state of Vermont and his own words.

From Sanders' own mouth,

“But I think what we understand,” Sanders said. “Is that unless we change the funding system and the control mechanism in this country to do that. For example, if we expanded Medicaid [to] everybody. Give everybody a Medicaid card – we would be spending such an astronomical sum of money that, you know, we would bankrupt the nation.” [emphasis mine]

From the Wall Street Journal article, The Single-Payer Siren Song (it's behind a paywall, but the important part is right there) where Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin was actively looking at a Single-payer system for his state. He abandoned the idea in 2014 when he realized there would have to be an additional 11.5% payroll tax, plus raising the income tax by up to 9.5%.

In my personal case, if my income was divested of my healthcare deductions, then the payroll tax and income taxes were added, my bi-weekly take-home pay would probably drop about $125 a check because the taxes are more than what I'm paying now. Someone making say $15/hour without benefits, their paycheck would DROP at least $350 a paycheck. Considering they were only bringing home $2,185 before, that just got cut to $1,817 for two weeks at your "living wage."

And, of course, costs and prices would skyrocket because Medicaid only pays providers 80% of what private insurance pays them. Just as an economic survival factor, providers will have to raise their prices to Medicaid by 20% to not take a pay cut. Or, no longer accept Medicaid insurance.

Just as a thought exercise, what do you think would happen if "BernieCare" became law of the land and everyone got a Medicaid card, but no doctors would accept it?

Every time you disconnect the cost of a good or service from the price paid by the consumer for that good or service, prices go up because nobody really cares what the prices are because they don't have to pay for it. It's "free" to them.

Prices come down when the consumer has a choice and price shops. Why should I pay $100 for a service at Dr. A when Dr. B offers the same service and quality for $80? We see that every day because millions of people go to Amazon to buy stuff and not the store down the street because the price of goods on Amazon are cheaper and delivered to your door.

What we need are prices at a doctor's office up on the wall like they are at McDonald's. You walk in and see what an office visit costs, how much for lab testing, and all the way down the line. We can then look on the insurance company's website and see how much they pay for those services. You go to the provider, get the service, get the bill to show what services you received. You then send it off to the insurance company and they reimburse you. Because you price shopped, you can either pay or pocket the difference.

It would take 18-24 months for everything to stabilize, but I can be reasonably sure that prices will come down. Why? Because the consumer can decide if the price is worth the cost. Remember, the cost is what you pay in cash, the price is what you have to do (work overtime, sell things, skimp on other things, etc.) to acquire that amount of cash. If a family member comes down with cancer or other serious condition, the family makes the decision on how much care (if any) the member gets. If the treatment for a cancer diagnosis will cost the family $20,000 (Because it will cost $100,000 and the insurance will only pay $80,000), which would grant the sick member with a 20% to live more than a year, what would you do? The choices are simple, destroy the families finances and more than likely die in a year or two, or pass on sooner.

Yes, choices like that are upsetting. They are not easy and you will live with regret either way. Today we see cases where people will demand insurance companies pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to extend the life of someone by a few weeks or months. Is this cost-effective? Say we have a finite pool of money (because, you know, we do). We can use this money to either extend the life of person A by 6 months, or extend the life of person B 20 years. Or, how about extending the lives of 20 people (B through U) by one year? If you were a family member of A, what would you choose?

What upsets me is Liberals screaming "PEOPLE WILL DIE WITHOUT HEALTHCARE!!!!1!!!!!111" I hate to tell them this, people die every day, sometimes with the best healthcare on the planet. Medicine can only delay what is inevitable for all of us. In fact, medical errors in the US account for over 250,000 deaths annually, third in number after heart disease and cancer.

Think about it. Most of the time, medical care only treats the symptoms of the illness until the body itself can repair the damage. If you get a cold, the doctor tells you to buy stuff that will stop the runny nose, body aches, diarrhea, vomiting and so on so you can not feel so bad and can function until your body kills off whatever is making you sick. For emergency care, say you gash your arm or get a compound fracture on your leg, the medical professionals who treat you will only stop the bleeding, keep you breathing and prevent infection until your body can repair itself. People die only because the body cannot repair the damage or illness happening to it.

I know this stuff is hard. No one wants to make these kind of choices. That being said, we all make choices daily that have lasting effects. They have to be made because we can't have "everything all the time." To think so is to not live in reality.

Taking a break

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I have been having fun (off and on) posting to a twice-a-week schedule. I was hoping to get noticed by one of the Conservative Media and possibly asked to do some paid work. I am sorry to say that didn't happen and other factors have become a higher priority that I must suspend regular postings for the foreseeable future.

The classic phrase is "Gone Fishin'," however I never developed an appreciation for the hobby, despite spending my teenage years living on the shore of a lake considered to be a Trout-fishing Mecca. So, I think the term "Gone Gaming" is more appropriate.

This is not "Good-Bye," but rather in the pre-Internet days when our connections were via dialup, electrons were at a premium and baud rates were 300 8N1, "TTFN."

gonegaming

 

History is very messy

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History is a very messy affair. No person of historical significance (other than Jesus) has ever been perfectly good or perfectly bad because we are all flawed beings. We all make conscious choices that we know when we make that choice are good or evil, sometimes the choices we make and think are good turn out later to have disastrous consequences and vice versa.

My lesson here is "Never take the condensed version of history at face value."

Case in point: The Cuban Missile Crisis. History is full of stories about how JFK "Faced down the Soviets aggression and made them blink under the threat of a nuclear war." History is not as compelled to tell you why the Soviets put those missiles in Cuba. You see, in 1961, Kennedy deployed Jupiter IRBMs (Intermediate Range Ballistic Missiles, ICBM's baby brother) in Turkey and Italy. Which for the Soviets, was their equivalent of them planting missiles in Cuba was for us. Had Kennedy not deployed IRBMs to Europe, the Soviet Union would not have deployed IRBMs to Cuba.

Second case in point: Have you ever owned or ridden in a Volkswagon Beetle? This iconic vehicle, of which over 21 million were made, was the brainchild of... Wait for it... Adolph Hitler. In German, "Volkswagon" literally means "People's car" or "A car for the people." Please, tell your local Antifa member who owns one of this fact. Does that excuse his brutal extermination of 20 million "undesirables" plus the 83 million war dead? Of course not.

So now let's get to my main point, the Civil War.

Robert E. Lee was initially offered the position of Commander of the Union Army when the Southern States started seceding. At that time, many Citizens of the United States regarded themselves as Citizens of the State first, then as a Citizen of the United States. Lee declined the offer when Virginia seceded because his loyalties were with Virginia, not the Union. Technically, he did not own slaves. His wife (a granddaughter of Martha Washington, her father was adopted by Washington) inherited 57 slaves and the land that now comprises Arlington Cemetery when her father died in 1857. George Washington Parke Custis (Lee's father-in-law)  stipulated in his will that the slaves be freed within five years of his death. Lee, one of the executors of his father-in-law's estate, freed the slaves five years and two months after Custis' passing. Lee had not owned slaves prior to this, nor afterwards.

Abraham Lincoln, that "savior of the Union," tromped on the Constitution so hard and so many times that it is astounding. Too bad history does not cover very well that he suspended habeas corpus so that Lincoln could jail state and federal lawmakers who opposed him. His violations are too numerous to mentionin the scope of this article. Suffice it to say, Lincoln's presidency could be best described only by words from a hundred years later, "We had to destroy the village to save it."

Then you have that old devil, Nathan Bedford Forrest.Yes, that "founding member and Grand Wizard of the KKK." The facts state otherwise. He was an early member, not a founding member, there is a difference. The evidence he was a "Grand Wizard" of the KKK seems to be that the position was invented for him.

Yet, he turned away from the KKK. As Grand Wizard, in January 1869 he issued KKK General Order Number One: "It is therefore ordered and decreed, that the masks and costumes of this Order be entirely abolished and destroyed."

His last public appearance, at a July 1875 meeting of the Independent Order of Pole-Bearers Association, an organization of black Southerners advocating racial reconciliation, Forrest made these remarks:

Ladies and Gentlemen I accept the flowers as a memento of reconciliation between the white and colored races of the southern states. I accept it more particularly as it comes from a colored lady, for if there is any one on God's earth who loves the ladies I believe it is myself. (Immense applause and laughter.) This day is a day that is proud to me, having occupied the position that I did for the past twelve years, and been misunderstood by your race. This is the first opportunity I have had during that time to say that I am your friend. I am here a representative of the southern people, one more slandered and maligned than any man in the nation.

I will say to you and to the colored race that men who bore arms and followed the flag of the Confederacy are, with very few exceptions, your friends. I have an opportunity of saying what I have always felt – that I am your friend, for my interests are your interests, and your interests are my interests. We were born on the same soil, breathe the same air, and live in the same land. Why, then, can we not live as brothers? I will say that when the war broke out I felt it my duty to stand by my people. When the time came I did the best I could, and I don't believe I flickered. I came here with the jeers of some white people, who think that I am doing wrong. I believe that I can exert some influence, and do much to assist the people in strengthening fraternal relations, and shall do all in my power to bring about peace. It has always been my motto to elevate every man- to depress none. (Applause.) I want to elevate you to take positions in law offices, in stores, on farms, and wherever you are capable of going.

I have not said anything about politics today. I don't propose to say anything about politics. You have a right to elect whom you please; vote for the man you think best, and I think, when that is done, that you and I are freemen. Do as you consider right and honest in electing men for office. I did not come here to make you a long speech, although invited to do so by you. I am not much of a speaker, and my business prevented me from preparing myself. I came to meet you as friends, and welcome you to the white people. I want you to come nearer to us. When I can serve you I will do so. We have but one flag, one country; let us stand together. We may differ in color, but not in sentiment. Use your best judgment in selecting men for office and vote as you think right.

Many things have been said about me which are wrong, and which white and black persons here, who stood by me through the war, can contradict. I have been in the heat of battle when colored men, asked me to protect them. I have placed myself between them and the bullets of my men, and told them they should be kept unharmed. Go to work, be industrious, live honestly and act truly, and when you are oppressed I'll come to your relief. I thank you, ladies and gentlemen, for this opportunity you have afforded me to be with you, and to assure you that I am with you in heart and in hand" (Prolonged applause.)

I don't know about you, but that sounds like someone who made a mistake and was trying to do the right thing. Did I mention that in August 1874, Forrest wrote to Tennessee Governor Brown, offering "to exterminate the white marauders who disgrace their race by this cowardly murder of Negroes"? Does this sound like a man who he is currently painted to be?

Don't paint people in absolutes, because we aren't.

Switching Sides

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I have been hearing lately about “sure, the KKK used to be Democrats, but now they’re Republicans.” This has caused some confusion in my mind, so I’ve been doing some research off and on, while letting my subconscious mull it over. A couple of days ago, I got the message from my subconscious saying that a conclusion has been reached, so here it is:

First of all, history is unequivocal in the facts that Democrats were the party that supported slavery. After the Civil War, it was Democrats that formed the Klu Klux Klan, and forced Jim Crow laws on Blacks in the South.

In the 1950’s, it was Democrats that fought integration of the schools. George Wallace, the Democrat Governor of Alabama himself stood at the doors of the school that was the first to be integrated. The Civil Rights Act of 1957, which was to support the SCOTUS decision Brown v. Board of Education. Senator Strom Thurmond (D-SC) filibustered the bill in the Senate for 24 hours and 18 minutes by himself. By the way, 107 House Democrats and 18 Senate Democrats voted against this bill. 19 House Republicans also voted against it.

When the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was being debated, Senator Thurmond again led the filibuster effort, blocking all work in the Senate for 57 working days (the Senate is only “in session” three days a week). Senators Richard Russell (D-GA), Robert Byrd (D-WV), William Fulbright (D-AR) and Sam Ervin (D-NC) filled out the filibuster team.

According to people who have told me “Klukkers are now Republicans” it was about this time that the “racist Democrats” heard the “Republican Dog Whistle” that the GOP was going to be the “party of racists” and invited them to switch sides. Never mind that the Republican Party was formed specifically to end slavery. Please, forget that most of the integration and equality efforts were by Republicans.

I will admit, that this is when the Republican Party started its ascent to prominence in the politics of the South, but it was not because of a “Republican Dog Whistle.” It was for another, more basic reason.

President John F. Kennedy, who is still by-and-large revered by Democrats, would have been a Republican today. A Roman Catholic, he would probably have been against Roe v. Wade. I can be as sure as anyone can be today because Kennedy appointed one Justice to SCOTUS, Byron White, who voted against the decision. Kennedy was also pro-RKBA, pro-tax cuts and anti-affirmative action. Kennedy’s positions on these subjects were considered the ideological base of the Democrat Party in 1960.

It was in 1962 that Reagan switched from being a Democrat to a Republican, saying that famous line, “I didn’t leave the Democrat Party, the Democrat Party left me.”

That the Democrat Party has stood for higher taxes, anti-gun, pro-affirmative action and pro-abortion (because, you know we have to force pro-life clinics to talk about abortions) since about 1968 until today, only says that the people who have run the Democrat Party have moved very far Left in their political views.
Coupled with the “toe-the-line-or-lose-your-toes” stance Liberals have (remember my post on Liberals eating their own?), it is no wonder that some Democrats have switched sides. They remained where they were ideologically, however the Democrats run to the Far-Left meant that some of these people found their ideological beliefs now aligned more with Republicans than Democrats.

How about that. Occam's Razor still applies.

Baby in the house!

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Baby chick, that is.

I have owned a pair of Sun Conures since 2001, which means they predate this blog which was started in 2003. Rocket was the first one I bought, whom I took pity on. Rocket shared a tree perch with a Macaw at the breeders home and the Macaw didn't like Rocket, so the Macaw nipped 3 of 4 toes off one foot. Corky, short for Corkscrew (a type of model rocket) followed a couple of months later.

rocketcorky

They are about half way through their life span, and I never bothered to have their sex determined, which involves plucking a blood feather and sending it off for DNA analysis. If you have ever talked with me on the phone while I was home, you have heard them. They are loud, squawk a lot, and are very affectionate.

Almost a year ago, they discovered that they are a pair and started having sex. Corky is male, Rocket is the female. Eggs followed shortly there after. I built them a nest box, which they have chewed the lip (to keep things from rolling out) and the top off of it. I wasn't too concerned about egg viability because they were probably not fertile because of their age.

Probably.

Thursday night, we started hearing a very soft "peep, peep" coming from their cage. Lo and behold, a little baby Conure chick was there, freshly hatched. Panic mode ensues, hay was added to the cage and chick supplies were quickly researched and to be purchased in the morning.

Hoist by their own petard

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Before I start this, let me be unequivocal: I do not want to write this. The suggestions I will make later are detestable, especially to me. That being said, Liberals opened a door I have repeatedly warned them about. You made your bed, now lie in it.

I HATE klukkers and supremacists of any color. I hate them more than the Blues Brothers put together and multiplied by several orders of magnitude. If you believe that one person or group is better than another person or group based on skin color or genetic heritage, you are a fucking idiot and I give you fair warning, do not try your shit with me. If you do, I will be all up on you to a scale that will have R. Lee Ermey giving me a slow clap. If I find a supremacist (no matter the color) on fire, I will not throw gasoline on him. I will throw kerosene on him, because it burns slower and at a lower temperature, thus it would be a longer and more painful experience.

As a young man of 14, I first heard and took to heart the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to judge people by the content of their character rather than their skin color. I have never regretted that decision. As a young man, I had a KKK member try to recruit me. The event was so sickening to me that almost 40 years later, I still remember where I was, his face and what the business card he gave me said.

That being said, I am going to say something that upsets me. You see, in the wake of the recent events in Charlottesville, GoDaddy kicked a white supremacist website, The Daily Stormer, off their servers. Let me tell you why I am against that.

The MSM has always employed a trick to play up (or down) crowd size in order to advance their agenda. When 200 people showed up to a Hillary rally, the MSM implied 2,000 showed up, while when 2,000 showed up at a Trump rally, the MSM made it seem like only 200 showed up. They are doing the same with these white supremacists.

If you rounded up every white supremacist in the United States (no, we are NOT going to shoot them) and dropped them all in the same congressional district, they could put up one of their own for Congress and not win. There is not enough of them to be the majority in a single Congressional District. While they do exist, the numbers are few, bordering on insignificant.

The supremacists, with the help of the MSM, are following the first rule of Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals: Power is not only what you have but what the enemy thinks you have. The supremacists want to appear bigger than they are (to imply they have more power than they actually have) and the MSM wants them to appear bigger than they are so the MSM looks more powerful than they are when the MSM “takes down the alt-Right.”

Now, in case you missed it in the SCOTUS case Metal v. Tam, the Supreme Court ruled (split decision 4-4, but both sides basically agreed) that:

A law found to discriminate based on viewpoint is an “egregious form of content discrimination,” which is “presumptively unconstitutional.” … A law that can be directed against speech found offensive to some portion of the public can be turned against minority and dissenting views to the detriment of all. The First Amendment does not entrust that power to the government’s benevolence. Instead, our reliance must be on the substantial safeguards of free and open discussion in a democratic society.

So there can be no “hate speech” standard, because a) the government would have to define it and b) the government is restricted in every way, shape or form from touching that subject. There are very special and specific restrictions, namely Obscenity, Child Pornography and “Fighting Words and True Threats.” You can read about it here.

A supremacist website can legally say “We’re better than you!” all they want. They will and should run afoul of legal entanglements if they start calling for “All [insert color of choice here] people need to band together and eradicate all those who [insert nonsensical criteria here] tomorrow!”

Why would I want this kind of hateful spewing of ignorance available to everyone? Because if we as a society can restrict their speech, then eventually society might get around to restricting mine.

Just like Maximilien Robesperre who fanned the flames of the French Revolution’s Reign of Terror. As a member of the Committee of Public Safety, he sent thousands to “the National Razor” (i.e., the Guillotine). Because you cannot control a large monster like this once created, Robesperre himself eventually earned a place in that line that ended with his head in a basket. The lesson here is, if I call for “off with his head!” at someone today, others might call “off with his head!” at me tomorrow.

So I want these idiots on the Internet. That way, we know what they are saying and what they are doing. We fight ignorance and hate with truth and love. If we silence any group we don’t agree with, we force them into the darkness, where they and their ideas can fester, leading to long-term problems.

By the way, I do not condone doxing, because if done improperly, innocent people get hurt. Case in point, this image:

doxing

While these two men have a passing resemblance and the guy on the right works at the place the guy on the left has on his shirt, these are not the same person. I have a deep-dive article on this in progress.

Now we get to the part I do not want to write. That being said, I also don’t want myself or this website silenced or threatened with silence because someone decided the words on here constitute that ambiguous “hate speech.”

I stand up to protect the unrestricted voicing of opinions, no matter who says them. I will equally support Planned Parenthood, Black Lives Matter, supremacists of all colors and creeds, all religions, the NRA, Hillary Clinton, Slate, Salon, Fox News, the New Black Panthers, the Huffington Post, Breitbart and a thousand more organizations. They should be allowed to voice their opinions as they see fit.

Now, if I think their views and opinions are stupid, I’m going to say that as well. I think they have to right to embarrass themselves in public however they want to.

I have said many times in many places (unfortunately I have not codified it on this website) that a business should have the right to refuse any transaction with a customer for any reason. However, in their rush for social justice, Liberals went the other way, thus forcing the door open for my following suggestion.

And just to prove that we are a nation of laws and not feelings (and the laws work equally for all), I offer this advice to the person who owns The Daily Stormer:

Just like the case of David Mullins and Charlie Craig sued Masterpiece Cakeshop and won because the bakery refused to produce a product for their same-sex marriage celebration, you can sue GoDaddy. Masterpiece Cakeshop ended up not producing cakes for anybody because of this situation.

You might not get your hosting back, however it would probably be easier and cheaper to capitulate and furnish your hosting than have the government force GoDaddy to provide “comprehensive staff training,” rewrite company policies and provide reports for the foreseeable future to make sure they aren’t violating the rights of anyone else.

In both Ohio, the state in which you reside, and Arizona where GoDaddy is located, there are public accommodation laws that prevent discrimination on the basis of religion or creed.

Mr. Daily Stormer, I’m sure you attend a church that makes the postulations on a regular basis that “Whites are the Superior Race.*” Using that as a basis, you can argue that since that is part of your religious belief system, your expressions of hate and derision for non-whites are religious in base and nature, thus protected by those same accommodation laws that same-sex couples can use to force a business to provide them a product or service against the will of the business owners.

I’m not a lawyer and I didn’t stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night, however I think if you use that argument, you have a fair chance to force GoDaddy to accommodate you.

As a final thought, both radical left- and right-wing groups can use the same strategy and reasoning to prevent Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, snapchat and all of the other Social Media companies to likewise restrict their views.

This is why I advocate for government staying out of peoples’ lives as much as possible. Because when you set the precedent for government to force a business to do (or not do) something that the government shouldn’t be regulating in the first place, don’t be shocked when that tactic and reasoning are used against you to force you to do something that is reprehensible to you. Be careful what you wish for. You just might get it.

* Of course, I’m reasonably sure if you attend church, it is probably some form of Christianity. A lot of supremacist people who are “God-fearing people” might be horrified to learn that Jesus was a Semitic Jew, dark-skinned and dark-haired. Not the blond haired, blue-eyed handsome guy you see in the drawings today.

North Korea Update

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As a follow up to my North Korea Brief, did you notice in the past two days that the prospect of North Korea launching missiles at Guam very suddenly evaporated? Kim Jong Un Backs Down In Nuclear Showdown With Trump.

This is what I consider to be a rather wonderful application of B. H. Liddel Hart’s indirect approach to diplomacy. Remember, if the US had to actually invade North Korea, China was going to intervene on the side of NK.

All Trump had to do was talk about opening an investigation into China’s trade practices concerning Intellectual Property and Patent thefts from US companies doing business in China to China’s President Xi Jinping. That happened on Friday, August 11th. Mind you, nothing as of this moment that I write this has actually started beyond a memorandum to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to look into the matter.

On Tuesday, August 15th, Dear Leader Kim Jong-un decided to not fire missiles at Guam, reserving the right to change his mind, if “blah, blah, blah.”

Let me spell this out. The US market is China’s biggest customer. If we suddenly start “finding discrepancies” if how China deals with our companies, we might have to do something about it, like halting Chinese imports. This would be a bad thing for China.

The best visual I can use to describe how economics works is, imagine a person walking back and forth on a gymnastics balance beam, which is only 4” wide. This beam is suspended above a pit of hungry crocodiles. While walking back and forth on this balance beam and trying not to become crocodile lunch, this person has to juggle 15 running chainsaws. That are on fire. Any mistake, slip or mis-timed move and things rapidly go from bad to horrific.

There would be no winners in this. If we halt Chinese imports, their economy would quickly collapse. Which by consequence seriously hurt the US as well, since China is using the profits from what they sell to us to buy our Treasury bonds and keep our government overspending. Our government would then crash like Greg Biffle and Kasey Kahne trading paint and causing a twenty-six car pileup at Daytona in 2014. No one wants this to happen. Not the Chinese and certainly not us.

So I can only conclude that between when Trump spoke with Xi on Friday and Kim trying to back down gracefully on Tuesday, I can only infer that there were a lot of talking between Xi and Kim, along the lines of Xi saying, “Listen to me very carefully, you short, fat, petulant child, if you launch your missiles, after Trump bombs your sorry ass back to before the stone age I will send my troops into North Korea. My troops will find you and they will drag you face down behind a truck all the way to Beijing where I will personally drill a hole in your sorry bowl-cut forehead and I will scramble your grey matter with an egg beater to solve this problem I have with you. HAVE I MADE MYSELF ABUNDANTLY CLEAR!!!?!?!?!” (Not a direct quote. Probably.)

So by using the indirect method of threatening the entire Chinese economy, Trump forced China’s hand to do Trumps dirty work and bring Kim to heel. I fully anticipate that if this trade investigation gets anywhere, it might find a few minor violations which will be swiftly dealt with and it will be quickly back to business between the US and China. Was this Trump's idea, or did this come from one of his economic advisors? Don't know, don't care. I still don't like him, nor trust him. But I have to admit, this is an elegant solution to this crisis.

Look for China to retaliate in some way, probably in 6 months to a year. They do not like being made fools of, nor to do the work of their enemy. They are also patient. Let's hope Trump will be prepared and can apply a deft Judo move and thwart whatever the Chinese try.