me

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

Then come right in...

ribbons

These are my
Mission Statements.

rant

This is where I put the stuff that doesn't fall into the other categories.

Why Activist Judges are bad for us

A Judge of the law is someone who is supposed to "upon complaint" decide if a law or other legal document is appropriate. They are supposed to remain within the "four corners" of the law (i.e., what is written in the document). External factors not brought up by the plaintiff (the entity filing the complaint) are not supposed to be weighed or used in the decision. Activist Judges are judges who rule not on law, but rather political agendas.

When I was last called up for jury duty (a jury is basically a judge by committee) this story was told to us by the lawyer briefing the jury pool:

There was a lawsuit before the court, concerning damages related to a traffic accident. One of the jurors knew the intersection where the accident had happened. On his way home for the evening, this juror went through that intersection, then stopped his vehicle, got out and took pictures of the intersection. This juror then shared these pictures with the rest of the jury during their deliberations. The judge upon learning about this declared a mistrial because the juror presented evidence that neither the prosecution nor the defense wanted to present to the jury. The jury, because of this one juror going out and discovering facts on his own, had reached a bad (not necessarily wrong) conclusion. Their purpose was to decide based on the evidence presented them, not what they went out fining on their own.

There are also what are known as Plenary Powers in the Constitution. For example, the authority to declare war is a plenary power to Congress. The ability to introduce bills which spend or generate revenue is plenary to the House, while the power to ratify treaties is a plenary power to the Senate. These plenary powers belong entirely to the entity to which they are granted and are not subject to review or approval by another part of the government. The Senate cannot be first to introduce a spending bill, the House cannot ratify a treaty with a foreign government and the President nor the SCOTUS (Supreme Court of the Unites States) can declare war.

So when the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals gets a complaint about President Trumps "Muslim Ban" Executive Order (which I wrote earlier about here) plainly put, no judge has the authority to rule on it because that is a plenary power held by the president as stated in the Constitution, Article 2, Section 3, "...he shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed,...".

Just so everyone has all of the information so you can make your own informed judgement in the matter, here is the Executive Order.

The first paragraph of it reads:

"By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America, including the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq., and section 301 of title 3, United States Code..."

So the Immigration and Nationality Act has a provision, specifically Section 212(f) which says:

(f) Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate.

Title 3, Section 301 also clearly states:

The President of the United States is authorized to designate and empower the head of any department or agency in the executive branch, or any official thereof who is required to be appointed by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to perform without approval, ratification, or other action by the President (1) any function which is vested in the President by law, or (2) any function which such officer is required or authorized by law to perform only with or subject to the approval, ratification, or other action of the President: Provided, That nothing contained herein shall relieve the President of his responsibility in office for the acts of any such head or other official designated by him to perform such functions. Such designation and authorization shall be in writing, shall be published in the Federal Register, shall be subject to such terms, conditions, and limitations as the President may deem advisable, and shall be revocable at any time by the President in whole or in part.

So I have just spent all of this showing you that the president has the duty and authority under the Constitution and the INA to issue that Executive Order.

If you look at the 9th Circuit's ruling which denies the government's attempt to stop the stay, starting on page 13 (section IV. Reviewability of the Executive Order) does the 29 page document begin to address on if the Executive Branch has the power to exercise the EO. I won't quote it because it is five plus pages just on that point. I want to make clear that the law which gives the president this authority was never even brought up, by the government, which is a screwup on their part. If they had made this point and the 9th still ruled this way, that would have violated the "four corners" I spoke about at the beginning of this post.

I am taking note that a major point is the complaint that "there was no public warning on the ban." This is for the sole reason in real life that you never, ever tell bad guys what you're going to do. If you see people parked across the street from you watching your house, you do not walk over to their vehicle and tell them, "It looks like you might be wanting to break into my house. Just so you know, I have an armed security detail starting next week." The bad guys should find out about the armed guard when he rolls up on them.

If Liberals hate the fact that Trump did this, they should change the law, namely abolish section 212(f).

How the Radical Left have become Domestic Terrorists

You may think the title of this post is inflammatory, however if you read below you will see that it is, in fact, explanatory.

I was inspired to write this due to a couple of articles that came to my attention simultaneously: How to Defeat Weaponized Empathy and Now We Know: Those 'Spontaneous' Anti-Trump Airport Protests Weren't Spontaneous At All.

First of all, let's look at the dictionary term of Terrorism: The use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes. The follow on is the dictionary term for Terrorist: a person, usually a member of a group, who uses or advocates terrorism.The Radical Left has done this since the Civil War. The Klu Klux Klan have traditionally been Democrats, despite the Left's attempt to rebrand them as being on the Right. The Klan, through intimidation and violence, cowed the Blacks of the South for almost 100 years before the Civil Rights of the 60's.

Speaking of the 60's, it was groups on the Radical Left, movements like the SLA, the Weather Underground and other Radical Leftist groups which used terrorist methods to try and topple the government and the entire social order itself.

In the 80's and 90's when "Lone Wolf Right-Wingers" starting bombing abortion clinics and shooting doctors who performed abortions, the Right did something the Left will never do: We helped hunt those responsible down and brought them to justice. We loudly and unequivocally denounced them and their actions. The Left, in contrast blame massive riots and violent protests on "a few 'overenthusiastic' participants" with a wink and a nod.

The Radical Left have refined their terror-inducing tactics by including Social Media and memes propagating staged photos meant to maximize your feelings toward whatever they want you to feel. The MSM will relentlessly pursue of any hint of a possible Republican scandal, probing deeper and deeper until they can find an anthill they can inflate into Kilimanjaro, while any Democrat scandals that have legs like Usain Bolt are given a quick overview so the MSM can say "we covered it" and then let the news cycle quickly bury it. I understand the product they sell is salacious sensationalism, not accurate information. Respectable and honorable journalists with integrity who try to present all the facts of an issue without favor and keeping "reporting" stores separate from "opinion" articles are becoming few and far between because they are crushed by the ones who want to advance the Radical Left's agenda at all costs. More's the pity.

The Radical Left has weaponized the MSM, social media and the federal government (which was started by Bush 43 after 9/11). Which was great for them, as they could then socially guilt and by force of law coerce the populace into their Socialist Utopia.

And when the MSM fails to convince everyone, when the Social Media meme's don't guilt-trip everyone to the Left's side of the issue? The Radical Left's standard fallback method: VIOLENCE.

I support peaceful protests. Get loud and proud! Fill up the streets to get your message communicated to our leaders in no uncertain terms. But when protestors start destroying private property and assaulting the people on the other side, for the sole reason you don't like the other party's candidate, position or whatever, you lose whatever moral high ground you had to begin with. You alienate the hearts and minds of the people you were trying to win over to your side. You want to protest Trump, go right ahead, that's your right. You cross the line when you start hurting people and destroying personal property. 

If you don't want to be branded as domestic terrorists, I highly suggest that at your next rally when the first violent protester picks up a rock to send it through a window, or lights that Molotov Cocktail, the 20 nearest men jump on that bastard, disarm him and then beat him to within an inch of his life and put the results on social media with a tag line like "this guy was going to (fill in the blank). If you come to our rallies and expect to commit violence, this will happen to you!" When multiple stories like that hit the news, my respect for you as a movement will increase.

Until Liberals police your own by purging the Radical Left and denouncing them in no uncertain terms, until you are truly "peaceful protestors," Liberals will be in my view nothing more than domestic terrorists and should be treated as such.

Duties of the President

It seems to me that a lot of people need to learn about authority and duties of the President under the Constitution, because all y'all are more upset about not getting your way than anything else.

The President is sometimes referred to as the "Chief Executive" because he holds the highest point of power in the Executive Branch of the US Government. The duties he is tasked to perform and the authority to properly discharge those duties are plainly laid out in Article 2 of the Constitution.

He is charged with dutifully carrying out enforcement of all laws as passed by Congress. His only "no" vote is a Veto. If Congress overrides his Veto, guess what? The president has to execute enforcement of that law as vigorously as the laws he does like.

Just about every government worker works for him. Think of the President as CEO of "United States, Inc." If you worked for a large corporation and you screwed up bad enough that you caught the CEO's attention, he can fire you. The President has that authority as well. Every government worker in every agency that enforces the laws and regulations of this country (outside of Congress and the Judicial Branch) work for the President. Everyone, from the Vice-President on down "serves at the pleasure of the President."

So, when Sally Yates (interim Attorney General) decided to not carry out the orders of her boss, the President, she was fired. The CBS News article Acting U.S. attorney general directed Justice Dept. not to defend Trump travel ban described what she did and what she said.

The statement she released said:

[Yates] was “not convinced” the order is “lawful” and that the Justice Department would not defend it in court “until I become convinced that it is appropriate to do so.”

If you are in such a high-ranking place of authority in the government and you disagree with your boss (the President), you communicate with him privately (i.e. out of the earshot of the MSM) about why his decision is a bad one. Back up your position with facts on why it's a bad decision. Once you have done that, you have two options:

1) Carry out the orders of the President either way, no matter your personal thoughts or feelings on the matter, or

2) Resign.

To publicly disagree with (or worse, actively work against) your boss, the only logical end to that choice is getting fired. I was "fired" from the Masons because of my disagreement. I knew that was the inevitable result of my actions, and the Grand Lodge of Tennessee did not slow down in the slightest as it rolled over me. So all I can say is Sally must think losing her job and possibly her livelihood was worth it.

My personal thoughts on this matter are these: Let's say for a moment that Yates amassed even 5-10 legal arguments/precedents that supported her position and brought those with her, she might have won. I won't say her chances were very good to begin with, or that if she had double or triple that 5-10 cases that would have changed Trump's mind, but it could have. Instead, she used her personal beliefs and not the law to determine what her mouth said. Without a reasoned, documented case (which, as a lawyer she should know how to build) to support her position, she didn't have a legal leg to stand on.

Now that I've said all that, here is Part 2:

Most people have no idea what the function and purpose of Executive Orders (EO's) are nor their purpose. Let me inform you. First of all, there are several "flavors" of EOs, like "Presidential determination," "Presidential memorandum" and "Presidential notice." These have different levels of authority and different uses.

When the CEO of a company decides that the company is going to take a particular direction or action, the CEO releases what is commonly called a memorandum to his direct reports, who forward the information down the chain all the way to the newest employee. EO's are used for a variety of functions. They can draw demarcation lines between agencies where authority/responsibility may overlap, or the declaration of the policy for all who work for the President.

At no time should an EO be meant to craft law where no law exists, nor can it change the meaning of law already in its place, as Obama did on several occasions.

Don't worry about the number of EOs, that's a false flag. Look at what those EOs say.

Understand the duties of the President and the authority granted him under the Constitution.

Why #MuslimBan is BS

Let me be very plain here. If you base your positions on issues because of hashtags or only on what the MSM tells you, all I can say is you are willfully ignorant. Not stupid, as that implies that you can't learn. Ignorant means you don't know and that can be corrected. One of my Markisms is "Don't beat yourself up for not knowing what you didn't know before you knew it." Willfully ignorant means that you know that there is information out there relevant to what you are talking about, but you don't try to find it.

Here is a simple, plain explanation why DHS under Obama came up with the list of countries that Trump has temporarily banned all immigration from.

Let's say for a moment that I want to emigrate from the United States to Australia. I would need to visit the closest Australian Consulate, fill out their forms and then provide documentation to prove I am who I say I am. Things like my passport, drivers license, birth certificate and Social Security card. I would need things like bank statements, utility bills and whatnot to prove where I resided. I would have to attest if I did or did not have a criminal record, if I had a job waiting for me in Australia and other questions. The Consulate would then take this information and check it against US local, State and Federal databases to make sure I am telling the truth and I am who I said I am.

Would you consider these actions to be prudent and reasonable? If you were renting an apartment, obtaining a job or purchasing a weapon, would not some subset of these documents would be needed, correct?

The countries in question, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen are on that list for either one of two reasons: Either the National government is hostile to the United States ("Death To America!") or there is no significant National Government. This may seem like an insurmountable intellectual chasm to jump, but I have faith in you to comprehend this. If there is no governmental agency to regulate the identity papers their citizens use, there will be no databases for us to verify who these people say they are. That means we can't independently verify what they tell us.

The result is we have no way of determining if that male of fighting age is a true refugee fleeing the conflict, the poverty or the political/religious oppression he is enduring in that country, or if he is coming to the US to visit death upon us.

In countries with no (or very little) National government, it is a "cottage Industry" to create fake identity documents. With no functional National government to verify the documents against, why would you accept them at face value? In the countries that are actively hostile to us, those countries could just issue false documents and have the databases fixed to show the documents as good.

We are accepting Immigrants from Saudi Arabia and the rest of the countries that are predominantly Muslim because 1) They have a functional National government and 2) that government is not actively hostile to us. So your #MuslimBan hashtag is stupid and ludicrous on its face.

The travel ban is a temporary thing until better vetting procedures are developed. That's the reason in a nutshell. As in my prior post, I am not happy that US Green Card holders from those countries are/were being detained, however new immigrants need to wait and be verified until the US government is satisfied.

For all of you "No Borders" people out there, I tell you what. Travel to all the other countries and convince them to apply for Statehood in the United States. Convince them that they will be better off under the control of Washington DC and President Trump. If you succeed, then there will be no more immigration issues with those former countries.

Revetting the vetted?

I have learned today that with the signing of President Trump's Executive Order on "Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States" on January 27th, This affects immigration from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Homeland Security has halted all immigrant arrivals from these countries into the US. This includes people who have current Green Cards. Green Card (officially known as a "Permanent Resident Alien Card") holders are being turned away from entering the US during the Customs process.

THIS. IS. WRONG.

I understand why the suspension, because there will be a review of the vetting process during the suspension. I also know and understand that the program stems from Obama's administration. I know and understand that we have to gain control of every border of our country, not just the border with Mexico (more on that in another post).

If you depend on the MSM as your sole source of information and talking points, I hate to tell you this, but the MSM are lying to you in a major way. The seven countries I listed above (Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen) came from the Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015, not Trump's EO.

The wrong part is preventing Green Card holders entry. These are the people who took the proper path, the legal path that leads through a bureaucratic maze of regulations, requirements and tests that takes months and sometimes years before they even set foot on US soil. Being a Green Card holder means they are at the last step before full American Citizenship. The United States has made a commitment and a promise to these immigrants, this ban is violating the spirit of our agreement with them and the integrity of our country. I might be persuaded to have any immigrants who were "expedited" here in the last 12-18 months from those countries because Obama's policies significantly compromised the vetting process be re-investigated. But not denied entrance without some sort of evidence they have some terrorist ties or sympathies.

Trump the Magnificent

When I was going through High School, there was an acquaintance who was two years head of me. Johnny Palmer (Wikipedia Page) loved to do magic, specifically the close-up things where you are within arms reach. He could move each finger individually (try it, you probably can't), and he had a line where right before a sleight-of-hand trick he would say something like, "I want you to watch my hands carefully. At no time will my fingers leave my hands." Johnny taught me about misdirection. About how you have one hand over here doing something flashy and flamboyant to keep your attention, while the other hand does the work to complete the illusion.

The title of this post is meant to imply a Magician's title, not my personal appraisal of his performance to date.

President Trump is doing the same thing with the media. For months, Trump has been training the MSM to jump whenever he says something on his Twitter account. Now that he is the Chief Executive, Trump has the MSM fully distracted. Whenever Trump says something like "Massive Voter Fraud" the MSM does a "LOOK! SQUIRREL!!!" and expends hours of research and column-inches of space on unverifiable numbers, while Trump goes and does what he wants to do.

Trump is not stupid. He is manipulative, he may be bat-shit crazy, he also probably has a hidden agenda. But he's not stupid.

Liberals. I can smell them from here.

I can tell Liberals by what they say and write. I have been in numerous "conversations" with these far-Left people and all of them have a common method. A common method for them to bring about their Utopia, whatever that vision may be.

From the people who want a additional tax on certain foods, to the "Shared Responsibility" tax you had to pay if you didn't have health insurance, to contributions to those less fortunate all have one word in common: FORCE.

If/when Liberals get their way, you will be FORCED to pay extra if you want to purchase a Coke/Pop/Soda, etc. You will be FORCED to contribute to the pool of money that fed the Affordable Care Act. You will be FORCED to give up your wealth to help those less fortunate.

This concept of the government using force to achieve certain social goals is 180 degrees out of phase with how this country was founded (as in 1620 at Plymouth Rock, not 1776 or 1787) and how we have operated until the 1960's. This land, from the first European settlers until recent history has been about using the freedom of choice that enlightened self-interest generates to improve the lot of individuals. The idea that the individual have the choice on where they should live, what work they perform and whom they marry were concepts conceived in the hearts of those settlers before they left for the New World and given birth to on the American Continent.

In the past 25 years, we have seen the scope and hunger of the federal government grow enormously, culminating in the exploding debt and governmental powers incurred during the Obama administration. Which perfectly suited those who believe it is the job of the government to force the Citizens to do "what's good for them and society" and the beliefs of the titular head of this monstrosity aligned with their vision. They were happy to give up power to the government because it was doing what they wanted, which was sticking it to the people they didn't like.

Then Trump won. The penultimate EVIL, RACIST, HOMOPHOBE, PUSSY-GRABBING SEXIST, who now has full control of the power they happily surrendered.

Why do you think Conservatives have called and pushed for a smaller federal government for years? Not just when a Democrat is in office but a Republican as well. No single person or small group should have that kind of power, regardless of their politics.

Liberals need to remember not to give up their power to a position, because invariably someday a person they don't like will be in that position and have access to that power.

Anecdotal vs. Statistical

With the repeal of the Affordable Care Act currently in progress, I have seen over FB several people proclaiming the glorious advantages of the ACA and how they survived horrendous circumstances that they would not have otherwise survived without the services made available of said ACA. Or the inverse, family members facing death because they can't afford the costs to combat similar horrendous circumstances because of their lack of access to affordable healthcare.

These individual stories are called anecdotes. Anecdotes are a single data point and being an individual data point (in this example, "The ACA is good!") there is no context, which in statistics context means trend, thus pointing you to a conclusion. A good way to describe anecdotal evidence is, "when your neighbor loses their job, it's a recession. When you lose your job, it's a depression."

I, too, have my own anecdotal data point on the ACA. In my prior job I worked at a small non-profit agency and I made $15/hour. Because this job was a 30% pay cut from the job before that, my take-home pay was literally 95% of my expenses. That meant I ran out of money before the end of the month, every month. I fell very far behind in all of my bills. I got utility cut-off notices every month. I came within hours of having my car repossessed. The monthly expenses did not include health care. Just to make ends meet, I had to hustle side work and/or skipping meals. If someone in the family needed something not in the budget, I had to increase my hustle, go hungry even more, or they didn't get it. By the way, the side work wasn't very consistent, so a lot of days I got by with a breakfast shake in the morning and maybe a Cup O' Noodles for lunch, then a thin dinner. If I wanted to have insurance through my employer for my wife by herself (because she needed it a lot more than I did), my portion would have been $600 a month. That would have been 28% of my take-home pay, on par with my house note.

So, I researched getting insurance under the ACA. The best plan I could find would have cost me $60 a month (remember, I'm already coming up short about $100 every month) and the deductible was $4,000. According to my trusty calculator, that meant I would have to spend $330 a month on health care, every month before the health care plan would start paying anything. Now who on God's green Earth could "afford" health care like that?

Some people have told me, "The ACA would have kicked in if you would have something catastrophic." Let me say, because I couldn't come up with the first $4,000 an event like that would have bankrupted me regardless.

My opposition to the ACA is not based on jealousy on another getting health care, nor my own inability to catch that brass ring. I did not determine my position for this based on anecdotal evidence, but rather on statistical evidence. I looked at the country as a whole to see how the country fared under this crushing mandate. The proper term for this is Pareto maximized, or Pareto efficiency. Here is a basic description of this term:

Pareto improvement is defined to be a change to a different allocation that makes at least one individual better off without making any other individual worse off, given a certain initial allocation of goods among a set of individuals.

While we are seeing anecdotal evidence that the ACA helped people, we are seeing statistical evidence that millions of people lost health care and tens of thousands more were transitioned to part-time work. On top of that, because the number of paying enrollees were overestimated by several million, the anticipated income from those enrollees did not occur, thereby causing drastic deficits in the program, which added billions to the overall deficit and the debt.

In conclusion, the thousands of people who benefited from this law are outweighed by the millions of people who lost their healthcare by either their plan being canceled, or priced out of range. Then you have the tens of thousands who were cut to part-time work, plus our future generations slaving to repay the interest on the debts we incurred with this folly.

When the United States purchased the land now known as Alaska from Russia, it was known as Seward's Folly. Perhaps the debacle known as the Affordable Care Act should henceforth be known as "Obama's Folly."

Sounds good, not good

I happened across this article and even the side that would have immediately said, "EFF YEAH!!!" instead said, "Wait a minute." Rep. Sheila Butt files bill to prohibit unhealthy foods for food stamps.

This idea is definitely in the "sounds good" category, rather than the "good, sound" category where all laws belong. The major reason why many people in the lower income scales are overweight is not from ice cream, cookies and cake, rather due to the cheap, processed foods that are overstuffed with calories, salt and sugar. These "one-pot-add-water-and-it's-ready" meals are okay in moderation, not as a diet staple like they are now for low-income families.

Yet, that's what it is because many of the people on EBT don't know how to prepare a good, healthy meal. Thanks to the death of Home Economics in the 80's where young women were taught how to plan, shop, prepare and cook a balanced, healthy meal from natural (not processed) components, this gave rise to the "Hamburger Helper" et.al. type meals.

Of course, the low-income, working moms are hit hard by these kinds of food as well. They pick up their children from daycare, bring them home, cook a box meal, then ship the kids off to a relatives house or overnight care on their way to their night shift job. That is no way to feed or raise a family.

Restricting any food choices can only lead to worse things. Let's stick to the Conservative ideal of letting the Citizen make their own choices, not Nashville or Washington.

Cascading Economics

The next time someone flashes a #fightfor15 hashtag, hit them with this.

This is a very simplified and incomplete model of how a physical product is produced. I am using this model to show how a forced raising of the minimum wage will send ripples through the entire chain that goods are produced. Here is a link to a spreadsheet that I used to produce the numbers in this article.

A concept Liberals don’t (or won’t) comprehend is that the pay a worker receives for their part in producing the product or service has to add an equivalent value to what is being produced. Brain Surgeons and 747 Captains are paid very well for what they do. Anybody can be taught how to do brain surgery or how to pilot a 747 in ten easy lessons because 99% of what they do are basic rote actions. The reason why the surgeon and the pilot make way more than a McDonald’s worker is because they know what to do when the patient’s brain starts bleeding, or an engine falls off the aircraft. They are paid the “Big Bucks” so they are in the right place at the right time with the proper training and experience to prevent the catastrophe.

I had a manufacturing job for a short time, assembling 3-D printers, so I got a peek into the manufacturing world. Each printer was composed of six (different) panels for the case, an electronics board, a wiring harness, a heated bed, the actual print head and the various gears, motors and pulleys to move the head and bed to produce what you want it to. There were also screws and other miscellaneous hardware involved as well. All in all, I dealt with about 30 distinct parts, many were used 2 and 4 times (motors, gears, pulleys, etc.) in a single unit. Each part had a different cost from the others, making this a slightly complex product.

The “product” I am making in this example consists of three parts, each made from three different raw materials. In real life, there are more levels, more materials and more sub-assemblies.

Again, this is a very simple model. Please do not fuss over the numbers at all, outside of the labor cost itself. If you do, that makes you miss the point.

The labor for each step is what is necessary to produce enough materials/sub-assemblies for one unit. The same with the transportation. A tractor-trailer can transport hundreds of units, so the labor cost for each unit is very low.

Each raw material costs nothing for the materials (it’s being pulled from the ground) and it takes 15 minutes of work by one person to extract the amount of material necessary to produce 1 part. The overhead is your equipment costs, administration staff, office supplies, etc. All of the things that help the workers bring the materials in and send the finished good out the door. There is also profit to be made.

These raw materials are then transported to another company that uses the materials to make the sub-assemblies. So the sub-assembly companies have to pay for the companies to produce and transport the materials, their own overhead costs and profit. Once each sub-assembly is created, it is shipped to my company so I can use the sub-assemblies to create the final product. I will have my own overhead costs and profit as well.

To keep this simple, I am paying everybody $10 an hour. At $10/hour, each sub-assembly pays $42.00 for their inputs. After labor, overhead and profit, each subcontractor gets their product out their door for $58.50. I pay $64 for each sub-assembly delivered to my factory for a total of $192.00 for my inputs. After materials, labor, overhead and profit I sell one unit of my product for $234. The MSRP/RRP (Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price, or Recommended Retail Price in the UK and elsewhere) would actually be higher, as it would likely have to be shipped from my company to a store (Wal-Mart, Target, Brookstone, et.al.) to be sold to you. For this exercise, I’m only concerned about my out the door price.

If a rise in the labor costs is caused by a forced inflation of the minimum wage to $15/hour by legislative fiat, provided all other costs stay the same (they won’t; I’ll explain why in a moment) my sub-assemblies will now cost me $74.75 and my out the door price will jump to $281.25. That’s a $48.25 or a 16.8% increase in price.

In the real world, my price will actually go up more than what these “pure” numbers reflect. What will go up in addition to the labor price is the overhead. Remember, “overhead” is the labor costs of your administrative staff, office supplies and the equipment you use to produce your product. The companies who provide me with goods and services covered under that "overhead" banner will have to increase their prices to compensate for the new minimum wage. The price of everything I use, from reams of paper, staples and all the way up to million-dollar fabrication machines are going to be affected by just like I am. The company that makes the paper, staples or fabrication equipment has the same “tree” as I do. And if everyone has to get paid a minimum of $15, the price of paper, staples and fabrication machines will inevitably go up.

Now, one of the companies that produces my sub-assemblies may not have to buy a new fabrication machine for 5 years, however because the cost of labor is jumping now, that company has pressure to raise his prices now, not just to cover the additional labor but to help save up for the additional price of that new equipment down the road.

Labor also does not exist in isolation. All jobs are connected and dependent on others. In real life, some workers in this chain are paid less than $10, others are paid more. Just to make this clear, let’s look at two workers in this manufacturing chain. Worker A is paid $9/hour and Worker B is paid $19/hour, if/when the minimum wage raises worker A’s pay to $15, you would have to be on a different planet to not realize that worker B will push for more pay as well. Worker B has to fight for his pay to increase about $25/hour because by raising the pay of worker A, you devalue the knowledge and experience that justified worker B their $19/hour.

Because economics is an indirect art form, if we raise the labor costs on January 1st, we will start seeing prices increasing about June. Prices will increase, I promise you. You may not see it, but they will increase.

Real-world examples can be found in your local grocery store. Products contained in jars (peanut butter, jelly, mayonnaise, etc.) will decrease in quantity by increasing the arch under the jar to reduce the internal volume while charging the same price. So if you have a 24 ounce jar that costs $2.49 in March, it transforms into a 20.4 ounce jar that costs $2.49 in October, that is a price increase of 15% (it costs 10.375 cents/ounce before, 12.205 cents/ounce after). Boxed products (like breakfast cereals) will retain the same front dimensions (height and width) but make their boxes thinner (less depth) to reduce their volume.

My advice is to be very careful what you wish for. You may get it.

Truth vs. Narrative

Journalism is what used to be news reporting. People witnessing historic events or interviewing those who had seen it first hand, then transcribing it into such a form for all people to read and learn from. It is meant to be an account from a neutral viewpoint, all facts presented equally to let the reader decide on the matter.

The term "Yellow Journalism" was developed by Erwin Wardman who at the time was the Editor of the New York Press, and was meant to describe the fight between Pulitzer's New York World and Hearst's New York Journal. The "classic" Yellow Journalism ran at its heaviest from 1895-1898. While the concept or practice was not exclusive to New York or these two newspapers, this particular "feud" did not extend beyond New York, simply because the communications network did not exist.

After the turn of the 20th Century, reporting the news returned to being a serious business where reporters realized that there was a great level of trust bestowed upon them by the public who depended upon them for an accurate recounting of events. I remember watching men like Water Cronkite, Chet Huntley and David Brinkley give the evening news. My Dad was a Cronkite man all the way, but sometimes NBC came up on our TV tuner at 6:30pm.

It was in the 70's that some network executives wanted the news bureau to "make a profit." I think that's pretty much the start of the groundwork for our current news climate. It was the launch of CNN on June 1st, 1980 to start the 24-hour news cycle. Since then, that news network addiction of "being first" (not being correct, or truthful or accurate) let the drive to live and die by ratings. The MSM has also artfully blended actual news with opinion pieces since the 90's makeing them very difficult to tell one from the other. Since the concept and term of "clickbait", most of the news media in the United States has had a resurgence of Yellow Journalism and "fake news."

I bring all of this up because I hear the MSM and everyone who believes their narrative hook, link and sinker, is yelling about "THE RUSSIANS HACKED OUR ELECTION."

To which I say:

Inigo

The reason why I say this (and use that meme) is because when you use the term "Hacked the US election" (or some other derivative) this implies that somehow the Russians changed the outcome of the election by changing the vote totals. Just to dispel that notion, elections are conducted and certified at a county level in each state, which is transmitted to the appropriate State government and on to the MSM to provide "election coverage." Currently, there are 3,143 Counties (called Boroughs in Alaska, Parishes in Louisiana) in the US. The "Russians" (or whomever is to blame) would have had to penetrate at least 90+% of these counties and on demand votes. Not to add votes, but to record Hillary votes for Trump. Since "they" couldn't know which counties would go which way or how far, this could be pulled off only if the vast majority of systems were successfully penetrated.

What the hackers actually did was penetrate the email system of the Democrat National Committee and pass those emails to Wikileaks. These emails, private communications between high-ranking members of the DNC and their minions, show how they rigged the primary elections against Bernie Sanders so he never had a chance, and worked with major MSM players to provide as many pro-Hillary and anti-Trump "news" articles and opinion pieces disguised as news as possible. Enough of the information in these emails surfaced in the American Collective Consciousness through the truly neutral and Conservative-leaning media to make a difference in changing public opinion enough to put Trump in office.

The US would never, ever do that to another country, right? According to a L.A. Times story:

The U.S. has a long history of attempting to influence presidential elections in other countries – it’s done so as many as 81 times between 1946 and 2000, according to a database amassed by political scientist Dov Levin of Carnegie Mellon University.

[...]

Levin defines intervention as “a costly act which is designed to determine the election results [in favor of] one of the two sides.” These acts, carried out in secret two-thirds of the time, include funding the election campaigns of specific parties, disseminating misinformation or propaganda, training locals of only one side in various campaigning or get-out-the-vote techniques, helping one side design their campaign materials, making public pronouncements or threats in favor of or against a candidate, and providing or withdrawing foreign aid.

And of course, we see the US meddling in Israeli affairs and actively trying to oust Netanyahu, the current Israeli PM.

Goose, meet Gander.

Chasing bubbles

As a young man, I bruised my forehead rather severely. I inflicted this wound upon myself by repeatedly slapping my forhead over the plain-to-read common sense in the pamphlet Common Sense, written by Thomas Paine in 1776. I kept slapping my forehead because it made perfect, common sense to me when I read it over 200 years after it was first published.

This book, Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt has generated a similar self-inflicted wound.

Mr. Hazlitt wrote this in 1946, ten years after John Maynard Keynes wrote The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money, which is the bible for Keynesian Economics today. Economics in One Lesson lays out plainly yet with elegant prose concepts that explains economics as what I call a "delayed art form." I mean that in this way: In the age old Art vs. Science argument, if you can quantify the elements and reliably replicate action A producing result B, it's a science. Everything else is Art. In economics, action A will more than likely produce something approaching result B, but not always, six months to a year (sometimes even longer) after the initial action. This is because of Microeconomics, the thousands of transactions that occur daily in an economy. It takes time to make all of the transactions that culminates in a person purchasing a product from a business.

Think of putting a decorative cling on your window. Invariably, there will be some air bubbles trapped between the cling and the glass. Even if you are extremely careful, trying to "squeegee" the bubbles to the edge and get rid of them will result in those bubbles moving in almost any direction but where you want them to go.

When God created the Law of Unintended Consequences, He was thinking about economics. Mr. Hazlitt shows plainly using the "broken window" fallacy that when someone, a consumer or a business, is coerced in one way or another to buy a product (in this case, a Baker has to buy a new window because a miscreant broke the original) a great victory is proclaimed because the Glazer (the person who produces glass and windows) has business. But what about the Tailor, or the Plumber, or any other tradesman? Say the Baker was going to buy a new suit because his present clothes are tattered. Or, the plumbing is leaking in his home. The Baker is forced to spend his limited resources to replace the window and thus postpone getting new clothes or his pipes replaced. This story is repeated every time a choice is forced upon a consumer or a business.

Read this book, please. Then you can attend the free, online video course Economics 101 by Hillsdale College and grasp those concepts with a lot more understanding.

The scope of this operation

This is a "year start" disclaimer, just so all of my readers knows where I am coming from.

To tell you the truth, The Conservative Zone is a one man operation. Because I am working 40+ hours a week at my day job, spending time with my family, working on my home repairs and improvements, plus "me" time, I do not have the time I used to have to devote to generating content.

I refuse to sell advertising space to monetize this website because I do not want to have advertisers say to me, "We'd really like it if you would emphasize this or not cover that..." This content of this website is what is important to me. It's not everything that I want to say because I don't have the time to properly research and artfully craft everything I want to say. I would love it if I could spend my day generating quality and interesting content and make a good living at it. I also know that will never truly happen. I realize my voice is not that different from thousands of other Conservative websites.

I do what I can, when I can do it. And that's all I can do.

The reason why

A warship has many functions and purposes. Purposes like showing the flag, force projection, area denial and battlegroup defense are a few of what they do. In the end, it accomplishes all of these purposes by executing (or threatening to execute) its main function, that of delivering ordinance on target.

Every action the ship and crew do enable those weapon systems to be in the proper place at the proper time to accurately deliver that ordinance on target. Outside of the personal effects of the crew, every item on that ship is meant to operate the ship so the mission can be carried out, either undamaged or damaged. Every item on those ships has a function and purpose, as well as a place to stand ready until needed. They are maintained and inspected on a regular basis. The attention-to-detail sailors have to provide on a daily basis would make someone with severe OCD feel inadequate.

Every item and where it is stored on a ship have reasons written in blood from earlier ships taking damage.

Since I enlisted in 1979, six US Navy ships have been seriously damaged, five by enemy action and one by a "TFOA" (Things Falling Off Aircraft). Each of these ships, by their design, their redundant systems and the courage and training of their crew made it back to port to be repaired and return to the fleet.

The film below, Seven Sailors was filmed on the USS Lawrence (DDG-4), a Charles F. Addams Guided-Missile Destroyer. It was filmed in 1968 on 16mm film, which was probably later recorded on videotape and finally to digital format. This is why it is out of focus a bit.

This film illustrates the necessary attention-to-detail that every sailor needs to have in order to properly carry out their job. No job is too small or menial. When sailors don't do the proper thing, bad things do happen. A person who has never served on a ship will probably think these seven sailors made minor mistakes. As the film progresses you will see how those "minor mistakes" seriously hurt the ability of the ship to survive, let alone carry out its needed mission.

Controlled Burn

Here you go. Example upmtyzillion on how even with all of the facts, Liberals come to the wrong conclusion. Trump’s Chief Strategist Wants To ‘Destroy The State’.

Here’s the fear-inducing quote:

“I’m a Leninist,” Bannon proudly told Radosh in 2013.  “Lenin,” he continued, “wanted to destroy the state, and that’s my goal, too. I want to bring everything crashing down, and destroy all of today’s establishment.” Bannon’s fondness for the Russian revolutionary is telling in light of the the recent scrutiny over Russia’s pro-Trump interference in the 2016 election. Vladimir Lenin was the leader of Russia’s Bolshevik Party whose 1917 October Revolution threw a provisional government out of power, leading to the creation of the USSR.

If you read the sentence immediately preceding that quote, you’ll see what Bannon’s objective is:

…Bannon’s goal is to destroy the American system as we know it and replace it with a populist, Tea Party agenda.

I find it ironic that Liberals have since the 60’s have worshiped the bloody revolution that Lenin instigated to overthrow Tsar Nicholas II to bring about the Communist Party and the “workers paradise” that was the Soviet Union. If you’ve ever wondered why that pessimistic fatalism and a total “don’t give a shit” attitude is ingrained into the DNA of almost every Russian, look at their collective lives under the Tsars and Communism.

Also, “Radical Zero” (as opposed to “patient zero”) and Obama mentor Saul Alinsky in his book Rules for Radicals gives an “over-the-shoulder acknowledgement” to the original “burn-it-all down” guy, Lucifer (AKA Satan).

saul

The Liberals of the 60’s wanted to “burn down the Establishment” until they realized that if they could infiltrate the Establishment, they could gradually bend it to their objectives. We are coming to the end of eight years of having a Radical Leftist in the Oval Office.

IMG 1093

So “burning it down” can be a good thing, with controlled burns. Trumps Cabinet picks show hints of this. From the article:

Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt — Is a climate-change denier with deep ties to the fossil fuel industry. 

Does Mr. Pruitt deny any climate change, or that Man is the major contributing factor in climate change? Remember, Liberals were screaming “GLOBAL COOLING” in the 70’s, and “GLOBAL WARMING” after that up until they realized that no one is listening to them because their predictions were 100% wrong.

And of course the EPA needs SWAT teams to perform paperwork inspections, nor would one of their inspectors would actually cause an environmental disaster through incompetence.

Department of Energy Secretary, Rick Perry — In a 2011 GOP presidential debate, Perry listed the Department of Energy among the agencies he would completely eliminate as president. 

It seems like the functions of departments like the EPA, Department of Energy, Department of Education are to consolidate power in Washington and interfere with the daily lives of citizens. Severe pruning or amputation of these and other federal departments should be seriously considered.

Department of Labor, Andy Puzder —  A fast-food CEO who opposes the minimum wage and whose company has been fined multiple times for worker safety violations.

Forced elevation of wages hurts the people they were designed to help. Simple math and real-world effects clearly show this. Higher base wages than market value force employers to raise prices, lay off people in favor of forced automation and/or requiring the remaining workers to “do more with less people in the same amount of time.”

Concerning the safety violations, I have written before on forcing executives who make bad decisions to pay personally, not the company.

Department of Education, Betsy DeVos — She’s a leading advocate of school voucher programs. 

*GASP*!!!1! You mean parents shouldn’t have the power to choose where their children are indoctrinated taught?

Our history has seen businessmen and farmers temporarily putting their businesses and tools aside for a short period of time to go to Washington and serve the People. In my lifetime, we have seen a political ruling class install themselves in the seats of power and refuse to leave.

Maybe it’s time to divest Washington of the political rulers and restore people who want to improve the country and serve the people rather than line their own pockets.