Thursday, June 30, 2016

Fool's errand...

"And how about that handshake? That was about as goofy as Obama's new energy plan."

What is wrong with this guy? Is he trying to kill us economically? Has he not done the math? He has that goofy guy as his Energy Czar. And that egghead should know better. Now he is up in Canada, trying to sell this new whiz kid, as well as the President of Mexico, on his hair brained idea. But what does Obama care? After this term ends, Obama is on easy street. He will never, ever have to pay an electric bill again - so long as he lives.

And how about that handshake once he got to Canada? That was about as goofy as his new energy plan. 50% of our electricity coming from renewable energy by 2025? Are you kidding me Pyle? There is no way on this green Earth that is going to happen!

If Obama would look to Great Britain, he would see wind energy cost twice as much as coal. In Germany and Denmark, people are now paying a King's ransom for energy because their leaders drank the renewable kool aid.

Here is the long and the short of it. I learned this while working on technology programs back in the day. Until we come up with a "go to market" capacitor, this is nothing but a fool's errand.

Solar works well when the sun shines. Wind works just "okay" when the wind blows. On a still night, you are screwed for power. Capacitors will store that extra electricity when the sun is not shining and the wind is not blowing. But until the capacitor technology catches up with current demand and pricing, we will still need coal, natural gas or nuclear. 

So what about Mexico? The land where it can be blistering hot in the summer time? Where many of the people are not of means? Will this agreement make them pay double on their electric bill also? Please, give me a break. That ain't gonna happen.

So I will tell you what is going to happen. Obama will promise Mexico and Canada "help from the USA" if they cannot cut make it with these new, expensive electric bills. And Hillary (should she be our next President), will also promise the minions in America that she will help with them with their electric bills also. You know - kind of like food stamps. And the money to pay for this? Heck, put it on the card!

So here you have it. Our future. Obama has already lowered our standard of living by a decade or so. Hillary will put us back to the 1950's. As we would say in the Navy, we are screwed, blued and tattooed. All for a myth about climate change. We are on a fool's errand. 

Too many Democrats...

"So what does all this mean? Unless things change in a hurry, bad news in November."

I was listening to a pundit on one of the news shows the other day, and he brought up an interesting point. It was about Trump's path to victory (if any). If every registered Republican voted for Trump, every registered Democrat voted for Clinton, and they split the independents right down the middle, Clinton would win. Why? Too many Democrats.

According to a CBS News poll from about a year ago, 46% of all people polled identified as Democrats and 41% identified as Republicans. And that was long before Donald J. Trump became the presumptive nominee of the Republican Party. 

What I find the most disturbing about this year's election is when the demographics are broken down. For example, as of April of this year, seven out of ten women have negative feelings towards Trump. Even married women. Why is this bad? First the sheer numbers of women voters. Seven out of ten women in a national election is a big, big number. And to lose married women is particularly worrisome. In the last election, more married women voted for Mitt Romney than Obama. 

With non-while voters, the news for Mr. Trump is not good either. He is viewed unfavorably by 86% of black voters and 77% of Latino voters. And the population of blacks and Latinos continue to grow faster than the population of whites in this country - which means that voting block continues to grow. So what does all this mean? Unless things change in a hurry, bad news for the red team in November.

Reagan was able to amass a huge victory over both Carter and Mondale because he was likable. Not just with some people, but huge chunks of some vital demographics. Even voters who hated his policies, liked Ronald Reagan. Plus (and this is a big one), he was able to steal some Democratic voters. Yes, I am talking about Reagan Democrats.

I observe Trump quite a bit. I find him to be an enigma. Many times it looks like the race is between Trump vs. Trump, with Trump losing. Donald Trump continues to blister people on his side of the fence - people which he is really going to need in November. To overcome the number advantage that the Democrats will have, Trump is going to really have to be crafty, nimble and smart. And most of all - controlled.

Like many on my side, I have a sense of dread right now. Hillary Clinton is the most flawed candidate the Democrats have put forward in many a year. And how do we counter that? With our own candidate who is equally or more flawed. With that thought, I am going back to bed.  

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The $15/hour robot

"The median household income in Minneapolis is just a hair under $70,000 annually. A $15/hour salary will give a family $30,000. In my book, that is still dirt poor." 

John Marty, one of our favorite long term progressives in our fair city, penned an article this morning making his point why we need to have the $15/hour minimum wage. First in Minneapolis and then all across Minnesota. Marty goes on to say how hard it is to live on the current minimum wage. On this I agree. That is why the minimum wage was NEVER meant to be a "livable wage".

I remember years ago, the Mayor of Garage Logic made a very good point. Back in the day when $20 really meant something, the Mayor thought we should raise the minimum wage to that level. It was all tongue in cheek of course. But his point was valid. If you want to really give people a livable wage, make it a livable wage. Going from $5/hour up to $6.50/hour certainly was not "livable". $20/hour on the other hand, now we are talking.

The median household income in Minneapolis is just a hair under $70,000 annually. A $15/hour salary will give a family $30,000. In my book, that is still dirt poor. Considering the average rent for a one bedroom apartment in Minneapolis is close to $1,000/month, where in the world can you live on that little? So Marty's argument is now and always has been, a canard.

The best way not to work for a low wage is to make yourself more valuable to an employer. I was told years ago that with any job, you make a trade. You trade the best you can offer for the highest wage your employer is willing to pay you. Period. I have worked for minimum wage when I was very young. So did many of my friends. We ALL figured out how to make enough money to live life on. 

One of the unintended consequences of make the unskilled labor force too expensive is to accelerate automation. That is right - robots. And robots do not have to look like the robot in Lost in Space. It can be any type of automation. So more and more of unskilled positions will be replaced by non-humans. And then this issue will really become moot.

Nice try Senator Marty. Government mandates are not the answer. The answer is allowing people to maximize their own potential. Then higher wages will follow. Period.  

Benghazi, again, one more time...

"Even though the Democrats on the panel continued to call the purpose of the panel a 'Waste of taxpayer money and a witch hunt', the number of people who dropped the ball that fateful night was deep and wide." 

I was beginning to think that Trey Gowdy went on vacation. Either that or the Obama Administration had some embarrassing pictures of him. However yesterday at long last, the Benghazi report was released. The Republicans were quick to point out failures all across the board. The Democrats however, said "Move along - nothing to see here."

I have said this many times before - one of the biggest differences between Republicans and Democrats is accountability. Republicans are tougher on their own than anyone else. Democrats on the other hand, circle the wagon no matter how grievous the offense.

On to the report. There were two reports issued. One was huge, so large that very few will probably read it. Then there was a "Reader's Digest" version. Much shorter and some might read it. Listening to the radio yesterday, I heard some commentary by a few folks who had read the shortened version. It was damning. Even though the Democrats on the panel continue to call the purpose of the panel a "Waste of taxpayer money and a witch hunt", the number of people who dropped the ball that fateful night was deep and wide.

The panel had found out revealing after interviewing just about everyone who was on duty within a large radius that night. There really was nobody in the Administration who knew how to "answer that 3 am phone call." Or to be slightly more crass and use a military term, it was a total "cluster ****".

The "smartest people in the room" decided to use the rapidly developing events of that night as a debate stage. The deep, cerebral thinkers of the Administration wiled away the night talking and debating, while four brave Americans begged for help and then died all alone. 

Those of us who have studied this Administration know what the real truth is. And we knew it before the report came out. This Administration wanted to be the "anti-Bush" administration. In every sense of the word. Instead of having a screwed up mess like Iraq, Obama and Clinton were going to show the world the proper way to conduct regime change. And Libya was going to be the showcase. 

To have the wheels come off in Benghazi, was not in the script. So much so, they not only did nothing that night, they also tried to cover their tracks by releasing a cock and bull story about a video causing the mayhem. The bottom line is this - could this have been prevented by using just an ounce of prevention on a 9/11 anniversary? Absolutely. And after the attack began, could our military have arrived in time to save some of the lives? Very probably yes.

What is the long and the short of this going to be? A whole bunch of people who should be punished to some degree or another for their part in either the lack of response that night, or the subsequent cover up, are going to skate. Hard to believe, but true. 

During the Presidential debates, when the Democratic candidate stands up, looks directly into the camera, and promises to handle any 3 am phone call, yell BULLSHIT! as loud as you can. Because that is all that it is. Four innocent and brave Americans died and one of the perps who allowed it to happen is probably going to be rewarded by becoming our next President. Go figure...   

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The debt nobody cares about

"Now as Speaker of the House, debt has become just another four letter word which nobody seems to mention. That nobody seems to care about."

It really does not seem like that many years ago. Paul Ryan was considered to be a hero of the fiscally concerned. A true budget hawk. When asked about the Simpson-Bowles budget plan from years ago, Ryan thought it was a "good start". Then he was selected to be a part of Romney's ticket. And the debt issue became muted. Now as Speaker of the House, debt has become just another four letter word which nobody seems to mention. That nobody seems to care about.

As of this morning, our national debt stands at $19,291,393,700,000 (and growing). Our unfunded liabilities in this country stand at $102,632,090,000,000 (and growing). And our student loan debt (which the Democrats would like to see go away) stands at $1,37T (and growing).

Now for the life of me, I don't understand the why and how of our debt. I would think that out of the midst of 300 million people, a champion would rise up. Someone who sees the toxic nature of having this much debt and unfunded liabilities. That this issue would be a MAJOR talking point in the upcoming election. Sadly, nary a word. That is except for Donald Trump saying not too long ago, "I like debt", or "I understand debt", or something like that.

And Hillary, for crying in the beer! She is doing her latest Bernie Sanders imitation. Free everything for everyone at every time. Not a peep about how all this good stuff would be paid for. Except maybe just putting it "on the card" like all the other stuff we have charged. And why not? Nobody cares about the size of our debt. Not our problem. It is our kid's problem. Sucks being them. 

To be fair, our growing debt is the only bipartisan effort Washington seems to work well at. To mention cutting anything from any budget is like destroying a holy grail. So we keep mum. We talk about transgender issues. Or gun control for the terrorists. Or massive trade agreements which few understand. 

A budget champion right now might be a welcomed as the dreaded "turd in the punch bowl". Why is that? That person would have to be a truth teller. And as we know, truth tellers are as scarce as hen's teeth these days.

In Mr. Robot, during one of the final scenes, was a huge group of people, wearing masks and celebrating the take down of the world economy. The protagonist was on the sidelines of the group. He began a soliloquy by saying, "For many years our economy has been built on nothing but smoke and mirrors. It has been nothing but a pile of bullshit!"

Amen to that. With this massive debt in the background which we are bequeathing to our kids and grand kids, our economy is built on bullshit. The day traders love it, but the folks on main street continue to suffer. 

So we will enjoy the party while it lasts. We will worry about tomorrow, tomorrow. Or should I say, our kids will.  

Monday, June 27, 2016

The plight of the unborn...

I have never been pro-choice. Not even close. Not even before I had kids or a grandson of my own. 

Of everyone who is protected by our Constitution, one very important group has been left out. Yes, I am talking about the unborn. If I lived to be 1,000, I will never understand the Roe v. Wage decision. The SCOTUS decision handed down today is a prime example of just that. What shocked me is this - the decision was 5-3 against Texas. If Justice Scalia was still alive, it would have been still been 5-4. And Texas still would still have lost.

I have never been pro-choice. Not even close. Not even before I had kids nor a grandson of my own. Whenever I look at a newborn baby, all I can see is the miracle of life. Every baby is a gift. To have a doctor violate where the baby is developing (in the mother's womb), crush the baby's skull and then suck the broken body out of the womb, is barbaric beyond description. 

So once again, we have a bunch of politically appointed old farts superseding the will of the people. And I can just imagine what this court will look like if Hillary Clinton becomes our next President. It scares me to death. This is not how our Founders imagined the Republic. Not at all. We seem to have buried State's Rights in the middle of this dung heap that SCOTUS keeps putting out every year. It makes me want to puke.

Where do we go from here? Are the unborn babies always going to be unprotected in our country? Is this how it was supposed to be? I do not believe it. The folks who want to re-write our Constitution might have a covert. I would like some words included to protect the unborn. To protect all innocent life. Then we could scrap this Roe v. Wade crapola. It would be illegal. And unconstitutional to boot.

To the people of Texas, I am sorry. To the unborn, I am even sorrier. You deserve better. We have killed so many of you and have never even batted an eye. Our society has become corrupt and evil. True fact. We kill the most defenseless. We eat our seed corn. One day there will be an accounting for this. Trust me - there will be.      

Mr. Robot and BREXIT

"It is ironic to watch this at the same time as the BREXIT happened. Although they deal with two different events, the impact on world wide markets is devastating."

I just finished my first binge watching in quite a while. It is a show that has been out for months now, but I just watched it based on what others have been saying about it. I would be lying if I said this was not gritty - it is. The acting is suburb. Not just a little suburb - a lot suburb. The writing is excellent, and according to my techie son-in-law, the script writers did a whole lot of research and attention to detail.

I will not be a spoiler for season one of Mr. Robot. However, I say this much. It is ironic to watch this show at the same time as the BREXIT happened. Although they deal with two different events, the impact on world wide markets had some similarities. And the thing that Glenn Beck talked about after seeing season one, proper hacking, along with the help of a nation state with truculent interests, can bring down corporations and maybe even some countries.

The movement which flourished after the "big hack" was called fsociety. Similar to the Anonymous group who in real life wear Guy Fawkes masks, fsociety members wear masks that look like the character in the Monopoly game. With most of the major corporations losing their financial data, companies had no clue on who owed them money. Everything was gone. People world wide who were enslaved to debt, were now free. That was the premise of season one.

One of the best lines in the final episode of season one was when one of the members of the group who carried out the hack asked a very simple question after the hack. "What about tomorrow?" One of the other members answered, "Who cares? Party for tonight. We won!"

I immediately thought about BREXIT. The day after the vote. All the celebration. But what about tomorrow? What is the plan? It is reported that many who voted for BREXIT are amazed and shocked that the vote passed. Maybe they were just hoping to send a message, not to have this and unchartered massive change.

It did also remind me of something else which hit closer to home. The election of Jesse Ventura as our Governor. For many (myself included) I voted for the guy as a protest. Never in a million years did I think Jesse would win. Maybe he did not expect it either. But then he did win, and the same question came up - "What about tomorrow?" As we can remember, the "tomorrows" under the Ventura Administration became very murky. And lots and lots of buyer's remorse.

How did Mr. Robot end up? Don't know. Season two comes out in July. But it is just a show. BREXIT is real life. And the tomorrows will have to count. It is like we learned in the Iraq War. Not having a plan for all the tomorrows ended up a huge mess.

Stay tuned folks. History is being made every day now.  


Sunday, June 26, 2016

Deadlocking negotiations

"The negotiations during the legislative session were especially bad. There was enough blame to pass out on all sides."

Today is the last day of the current strike the Allina nurses are conducting. Why are they on strike? Because the negotiation talks deadlocked. On another note, the editorial board in the paper cannot understand why our state government cannot get back together and finish the unfinished business from this years session. And why was it unfinished? Because the negotiations became deadlocked. 

When I first entered the land of contact administration and negotiation in the late 1970's, it was up to my first boss to mold this young bean counter into a negotiator. I will never forget his first sage words of wisdom - "We are being paid to craft deals. Anyone can go into a negotiation and deadlock. Professionals go into a tough situation, and walk out with a deal everyone can live with." In my entire career, I never forgot that.

The negotiations during the legislative session were especially bad. There was enough blame to pass out on all sides. But I will say this - the Governor gets the lion's share of it. To throw a "deal breaker" like SWLRT on the table at the last minute was two degrees past stupid. Why? The constituents who sent many of the non-metro representatives to St. Paul were very clear with them - NO MORE LIGHT RAIL! So the Speaker was correct when he said he did not have the votes to pass LRT.

However I will say this - there are times when getting together to negotiate something is futile if a deal is not possible. Back to the nurses for a minute. They don't want to pay high health care costs like the rest of us do. Well guess what? Join the club nurses! This is the future. The "less for more" ObamaCare is going to hit every sector of the country. I feel for you, just like I feel for the rest of us. Sorry to say it, but your strike was for naught. In other words, get back to work and suck it up. Next time, don't vote for the Pied Piper and his empty promises.

As far as our state government is concerned, so long as we have Progressives residing in the Governor's mansion, negotiations might not be in our best interest. Prior to the next session, have some cornerstone issues agreed to in advance. If there is no hope for resolution on these key issues, it makes no sense to meet. In other words, it is a waste of everyone's time and money.

One final thought about the next session. My cornerstone issue is the Social Security fix. If the Governor has no interest in taking this big screw out of the each and every senior who lives in this state, then why meet? If he insists we cannot afford it, then I would suggest he retire the Northstar choo-choo immediately since it cost us $44 in subsidy for each and every round trip ride. End of story.

My first boss was right. Pros craft deals, armatures deadlock deals. But pros also understand one more thing. A no deal is better than a bad deal. Sometimes it is better just not to negotiate the un-negotiable. Instead of walking away from the table, don't sit down in the first place.   

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Severe Weather Coming!

"Here are some facts on severe weather. First off, in the 1930's we had the dust bowl. Can you imagine if that happened today?"

For the first time this season, we have a chance of some severe weather. Why? Hmm.. - call it summer? However, the global whatever fans will say that this weather was caused by - you and me. Mostly me, as I don't drive a Prius and I get my electricity off the grid which is powered by coal. In any event, that is the issue.

Here are some facts on severe weather. First off, in the 1930's we had the dust bowl. Can you imagine if that happened today? Trucks and SUVs would be banned forever. And in 1969 when Hurricane Camille hit. Some say it was the strongest storm ever to hit the US mainland. But they don't know for sure. Why? When the wind got over 205 mph, the anemometer broke. So they never will know just how strong the wind was. I was in the back winds of it, and it was strong!

The day before we got married in 1974, the day before summer solstice, we had the storm or storms. It hit at noon, and the street lights came on. It was a black as night. Keep in mind, this was noon, a day before the sun is at the highest peak over Minnesota. The storm came and left, knocked out some power and took down some branches. But it was a storm. A Minnesota thunderstorm in June.

So no matter what happens tonight, remember this - it is weather, not climate. This stuff has been going on forever, and will continue to do so. If you have stuff that can be affected by severe weather, bring it in. If you have plants that could be damaged, good luck. In any event, it is a storm. If it gets ugly, we will go downstairs. If it just passes with welcomed rain, then thank you!

Well the radar says it is getting close. Time to bring in the bird. He has cooked long enough. For the rest of us - good luck tonight. 

Telecommuting woes

"The bottom line is this - to have everyone working in a metro area punch out at 5:00 pm and then hop into their cars is insanity."

It seems like every week now, there is some letter to the editor carping about the traffic in the Twin Cities. How it seems to get worse every year. Of course, the Loony Left blames the Republicans for not passing a gas tax or license tab increase. The Right on the other hand, believes the issue is the Met Council. How they REFUSE to build more highways in the metro area. How they spend copious amounts of money on trains to nowhere instead of roads.

The irony is simply this - there are another choices. I have addressed this many, many times before. And these choices are simple and free to implement. Flexing work for as many people as possible.

Here are some ways to do it:

  • Four ten hour days instead of five eight hour days. Every employee would be assigned a day off, so it would not be everyone working the same hours and commuting at the same time.
  • If the five day work week is maintained, flex the work day where employees could come in as early as six or work as late as six.
  • The granddaddy of them all would be telecommuting. For some jobs, working from home is absolutely an option. For other jobs it is not. And some jobs would work just fine with a combination of working within an office surrounding and other days working from home. I have done that in my career, and it worked out just fine.
The bottom line is this - to have everyone working in a metro area punch out at 5:00 pm and then hop into their cars is insanity. And year after year, we keep doing it to ourselves. With an additional 750,000 people expected in the metro area in the next 20 years, we are screwed. That is, unless we do thinks which are smart. And building expensive trains is NOT one of those things.

My opinion - we need more roads and more lanes on existing roads. We have enough money in our budget to do it. We also need to encourage more employers to practice flex hours, flex days, and telecommuting. Failure to act now will only cause our children and grandchildren to resent us even more when they are stuck in traffic.  

Xenophobic Proud!

"And what in the world could have possibly gotten into those Brits to make such a huge mistake?"

Oh, I love it when the Loony Left pours through their Webster's dictionary to find a new, hard to pronounce name to call conservatives. I really thought being called a misogynist took the cake - but no longer. Now we are not only haters of women, we are also are haters of people from other countries. And to be fair, let's not forget we have also been called Islamophobic.

I made the huge mistake last night of accidentally watching a couple of wackos on MSNBC. The subject? BREXIT, of course. And what in the world could have possibly gotten into those Brits to make such a huge mistake? That was the question being debated. And that is when one of the wackos said it had to have been the dreaded xenophobia! I mean the globalists and the open borders crowd just cannot figure this out! Maybe the extremists on the right in this country could have make sure a huge mistake, but the Brits?

I guess there is no middle ground here. If you live in a country and desire some semblance of normalcy on your borders, the wackos think you are xenophobic. And by the way, the border situation in Europe is even more chaotic than our southern border. In Europe, the EU is totally to blame for the chaos and confusion. The people on this island nation looked across the channel and said "no thanks" and "no more". 

Do I think the majority of people in Britain either hate or fear people from other countries? Not a bit. I do however, think they are concerned about a wave of immigrants who refuse to assimilate. I also think they are concerned about bad apples who (by their own admission) are using the other immigrants as cover to sneak into a country. And once terrorists become embedded, they are very, very hard to root out.

So to my "friends" on the far, far left, go ahead and name call. Maybe you can find a name which a composite of xenophobia, misogynistic and Islamophobic. Sticks and stones. All I way say is this - there are a great many of us who still believe in the rule of law. We have an orderly immigration system. It just needs to be followed. If you come here without following the lawful system, by definition that make one an outlaw.

Be proud Britain! You did the right thing! Even thought the wackos on the Loony Left think you are now as heartless as Donald Trump.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Alien Invasion!!!

"So as the aliens were laying waste once again to our Terra Firma, I had this nagging thought. What happened to the warm and cuddly aliens in ET or Close Encounters?" 

I just got home from seeing the aliens lay waste to the Earth once again. This time in Independence Day (Two), they came back with a vengeance. On a ship about the size of our great republic. I am not big on spoilers, so that is about as much as I will say about the plot. Except for one thing - boy, oh boy, have the CG (Computer Graphics) improved in the past 20 years. It came out in HD and 3D. I saw the HD version and am glad I did. If I had seen this in 3D, I might have puked.

So as the aliens were laying waste once again to our Terra Firma, I had this nagging thought. What happened to the warm and cuddly aliens in the movies ET or Close Encounters? Now we seem to get nothing but the scuz of the galaxy who want to come to out planet, kill us, and strip our resources bare. And of course, they are always a few thousand years of evolution ahead of us.

There actually is a program called The Disclosure Project. It is run by a guy who at one time was an emergency room physician from North Carolina. And this Disclosure Project really believes our government has known about "ET" for some time now, and this year (or next), our government is really going to come clean.

How clean? Roswell clean. Some think even before Roswell. Back to what happened in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Some say even earlier than that. In any event, none of the "ET" type aliens were truculent. They may not have been as warm and cuddly as in the movie ET, but they were not exterminators either.

So this question remains a question. Are we alone in the Universe? According to the Drake Equation, there are more stars in the Universe than grains of sand in the desert. And that be a bunch. According to our Kepler "planet hunter" telescope, we have already discovered 1,000 new planets. And guess what? Many astronomers, many more intelligent than I, believe the number of planets in the Universe might number in the trillions. Now that is a lot of cheese! 

So please Hollywood - no more movies like The Fourth Kind, Independence Day, or whatever - give us some mellow visitors. If we are not alone in the Universe, let it be a Close Encounter of the nice kind. Please?  

Our King, Checkmated!

"King Obama thought he could do an end around on both Congress and the Constitution by a decree - or executive order."

That silly ancient Constitution! Man, oh man - does he ever wish he could get rid of that thing! Or if he can't get rid of it, if he could just put another socialist on the Supreme Court. Like the "wise Latino", who voted to give our President extra Constitutional powers. Fortunately, the vote ended in a 4-4 tie, which upheld the lower court's ruling. The President cannot make laws in lieu of Congress.

The ruling was to allow the deportation of up to four million illegal youth living in this country. King Obama thought he could do an end around on both Congress and the Constitution by a decree - or executive order. That of course was challenged by Texas as well as some other states. And now it is history - over. Our immigration laws can continue on as written.

There is a very important lesson to be learned from this decision. One that might even eclipse the unconstitutional nature of the King's executive order. We came within a whisker of losing this most important ruling. The four socialist picks on the court all voted for the monarchy. The other four voted for the Constitution. If Scalia had died earlier in Obama's term, there is no doubt he (Obama) would have picked another socialist. And then the monarchy would have won this case.

Where does this leave us? Really, in nowhere land. If Hillary becomes our next President, the vacancy for the ninth spot of the court will be front and center. And she will pick someone similar to who Obama would have picked. And then the court will be packed. That is, until there is another vacancy. And then Clinton will pack it some more. 

So for now, we will take it. I am just hoping the celebration is not short lived. We have to remember the Democrats are always into the long game. Always.

Globalist Nightmare

"Well quaff a pint and choke down an English breakfast! Who could have seen this one coming? The damn thing passed!"  

Earlier in the week, a very respected local economist was on a radio station discussing the chances of a BREXIT (Britain leaving the EU). He said the "odds makers", the ones who really knew what they were talking about, now gave the vote to leave a slim chance of success - like about 15%. In fact, our Commander-in-Chief even weighed in. He was strongly against it. As a globalist, he wanted more of a one world government - not less.

Well quaff a pint and choke down an English breakfast! Who could have seen this one coming? The damn thing passed! And here some reasons why. Terrorism. Immigration. Open borders. Weak economies. Nationalism. In short, the great experiment, of making the European continent homogeneous in so many ways, has not worked out so well.

One of the things that has really bothered the more successful Northern European countries are the PIGS. And PIGS is a very appropriate acronym for Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain. All of these countries have huge debt problems, with Greece being the worse. This has caused huge concern and consternation within the Euro Zone. That being said, according to reports this morning, PIGS was not the primary reason for the vote.

According to some of the reports I saw and read about this morning, the main culprits were the growing threat of terrorism, immigration and open borders. The Brits have seen what has been happening on the main continent, and want no part of it. And who can blame them?

When the markets open this morning, hold on to your britches. Right after the vote was announced last night, the Dow futures fell almost 800 points. Global markets could need a reset by the time the dust settles. Also there is now speculation that other EU countries might want out. Like  I say, hold on to your britches.

I have always told my kids to be aware of history when it is being made. The good, the bad and sometimes the ugly. Right now we are living in a historical moment. No matter if you are a globalist or favor an independence solution, this is history.

Sorry Mr. President, sorry world globalists - this time the people have spoken loud and clear. Freedom for Britain, once again!  

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Water, again...

"This wonderful lake which supplies so much of the southwest with water and recreation is almost a thing of the past. And the irony? It does not have to be like this. Not at all." 

I hate to keep bringing this point up, but the issue never seems to go away. After a brief reprieve in the West Coast drought, the hot and dry weather is back. And whether you think this is a man made political drought, a climate caused drought, or just a periodic drought, it continues to be a big problem.

Lake Meade in Nevada is one of the crown jewels of places to visit in these United States. Or should I say it once was. It is now at its lowest level is has been at since the Hoover Dam was built in 1935. This wonderful lake which supplies so much of the southwest with water and recreation is almost a thing of the past. And the irony? It does not have to be like this. Not at all.

In California, right next door to Nevada, Governor Moonbeam (aka, the Village Idiot) is more concerned about building bird killing windmills and trains to nowhere than to face reality. His state, with over 800 miles of coastline, is prime territory for the manufacture of fresh and/or potable water. And according to President "Gloom and Doom", because of "Man Made "Global Warming", our oceans are going to rise and flood out the coast line. Hint: There ain't going to be any shortage of ocean water that can be manufactured for domestic use.

Not only could California manufacture enough water to meet the needs of its citizens as well as the agribusiness in the San Joaquin Valley, it can also make some money be selling this water (as a commodity) to other states. And if we really want the desert southwest to continue to grow, and be immune for cyclical droughts, we need to get water to them from sources other than the sky or in the ground.

One of these days we will learn. Even though Mother Earth is covered by over 70% water, precious little of it is fresh (and a fraction of that is potable). And we have the technology to do something about it. I don't give a rat's butt if our weather (or climate) is affected by sunspots, driving my truck, or whatever. The point is simply this - we can do something about our water. We have had the "know how" for sometime now, and our technology just keeps on getting better.

So to my friends in California - I am sorry you have a burned out old hippie as a Governor. We have one also, only not quite as bad as yours. Next time, vote someone in who can read the stitching on a fastball. Not one who always gets caught looking on the third strike.    


"Only Democrats could turn a Islamic Terrorist attack into a gun issue aimed directly at the NRA and House Republicans."

First a bit of confession. I like and respect John Lewis. He truly was and still is, an American pioneer in civil rights issues. However, that respect went down a notch or two yesterday when I saw this ridiculous display of grandstanding in the well of the US House. Only Democrats could turn a Islamic Terrorist attack into a gun issue aimed directly at the NRA and House Republicans.

Actually, besides being so disruptive to House business, this is kind of funny. Or ironic. To hear them sing We shall overcome, discredits the history of that great song. For the Democrats to protest gun violence that was perpetrated by a terrorist when their own blue cities have turned into shooting galleries, was way beyond the pale of sanity. 

By now, we all know the story of Chicago. So I won't go into those stats again. Suffice it to say that the gun control laws in the Windy City could not be stronger. And to no avail. Young black men continue to die in record numbers. And not at the hands of NRA members.

Cleveland, the home of the 2016 Republican Convention, had 101 gun deaths in 2015. One of the highest numbers in over a decade. Last year in Baltimore, 344 people died from homicide, most of them shootings. Again, Baltimore has very tough gun control laws. And in our nation's capital, a staggering 119 homicides in 2015, up 54% over the previous year.

Instead of enforcing our current gun laws (of which there are many), using strong policing in cities which have out of control crime issues, Democrats would rather disarm law abiding citizens. Republicans on the other hand, first recognize their oath of office. To protect and defend the Constitution. And part of the Constitution is the Bill of Rights. Like our Second Amendment.

In addition, Republicans are able to call a spade a spade. There is ZERO correlation between terrorist attacks and gun control. Republicans do not call Islamic Terrorist attacks workplace violence or any other insane name like that. They call it what it is. And if we really want to get serious about cleaning up our blue cities again, we need to practice "stop and frisk" as well as "broken windows" policing. Period. 

The House protest is way beyond a canard. It is a violation of House rules. The House Sargent of Arms needs to remove these recalcitrant members from the House floor. Turn off the power if the Speaker needs to. 

If the Democrats really want to be taken seriously, have them clean up their own cities first. Then we can talk about what improvements (if any) to our gun laws would make sense.     

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Those Belicose NORKs

"Here is what the NORKs fail to realize. Even though we have President Bystander in charge right now, the wheels have been put in place long ago. Our allies have not been left defenseless." 

They are an odd lot they are. These North Koreans. They remind me of the James Dean movie, Rebel without a Cause. Why do I say that? Because they have no reason to rebel against anything. They would be welcomed into the community of nations if they just acted like grown ups. But when you keep threatening to beat the crap out of all the kids in the neighborhood, you will be shunned. And they are.

In the past couple of days, the NORKs made a surprise development. After some failures, they were able to get a rocket up to 600 miles. That got Japan's attention. This now shows the NORKs have a delivery system to deliver something bad and ugly to the neighborhood. 

Here is what the NORKs fail to realize. Even though we have President Bystander in charge right now, the wheels have been put in place long ago. Our allies have not been left defenseless. If a launch happened and was aimed at Japan, Japan has AEGIS ships in their self defense forces. The South Koreans have the Patriot missile system plus other things. AND (this is a big one), we have treaty obligations. An attack against any one of our friends in the WESTPAC will be considered an attack against us. I don't need to go into detail what the retaliatory response from us would look like.

One more thing which might bear repeating. It has been a commonly known fact for years the NORKs would love to send us back to the stone ages by delivering a EMP burst over the country. Two things. First, we have known about this threat for a long time and have been preparing for it. That being said, there is always a possibility a EMP launched bomb might do damage. Second. Our forces have equipment which is EMP certified. How do I know? I worked on some of it. Our forces would survive that attack and rain down holy hell on the NORKs. There would be nothing left of North Korea but glass.

It should not have to come to this. Like I said, most nations want to welcome the NORKs in - not exterminate them. But exterminate them we will, if they stay on their current course. It will lead to a conclusion they will not win at. In fact, they will lose everything. Nobody wants that conclusion - especially not us. 

We will never start this war - if it comes to that. But we will end it. Take that to the bank.


St. Paul's Classic Fail

"So in about a month, she is going to walk out of the door with a check for about 3/4 of a million dollars. And to earn that much, she needs to do .... nothing."

Oh boy. Did she ever just hit a home run. Fixed for life I would say. And what did she do to earn it? Two things really. First, she signed a contract with a bunch of rubes who didn't really care where the money would come from to pay her. And second, she under performed. So much so, the powers that be on the St. Paul School Board are cutting her loose.

So in about a month, she is going to walk out of the door with a check for about 3/4 of a million dollars. And to earn that much, she needs to do .... nothing. So in our state's second biggest school district, a district which has been plagued with budget and discipline issues (many due to the outgoing superintendent), someone needs to come up with all this jack to pay this lady. Wait - I know where they will find it! The taxpayers!

Oh and by the way, they will need an interim superintendent while the search goes on for a new highly overpaid educator. Of course, there will be dollars which will need to be spent on the search. Maybe hiring an overpaid search firm. You know - to ensure they get the right person who is the right fit. That is, until that person is under contract and then the Board discovers he or she is not.

Here is the bottom line. The problems in both the Minneapolis and St. Paul school districts go much deeper than one person can fix. Way deeper. The current and outgoing superintendent had some world class stupid ideas on discipline. Like let's not do any more of it. Let the inmates run the asylum. And the result was teachers being assaulted by thugs in their own classrooms. 

Good luck St. Paul. Minneapolis has just hired a guy from Alaska to come in and fix that mess. The first thing he will find waiting for him are a couple of shot out windows in the Minneapolis district admin building. And there is already criticism mounting from the community as the new superintendent is "too white". 

The bottom line is something that I and many others have been saying for years now. Our education system is broken in Minnesota. It needs a reboot - a makeover. There is no magician they can hire to come in and fix this broken system. The system needs to fix itself by becoming "unbroken".

Until that happens, the good taxpayers of Minnesota will continue to dig deep in their pockets to pay for ... nothing.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Minnesota Military Pensions

"If the article had not been so ridiculously funny, I might have puked."

Oh oh. I am in trouble this morning. So are the other 18,000 people in this state who receive military pensions. It seems like the editorial board for the Star and Sickle has finally found out the 600 page spending bill had a sweetener in it. Finally, after year after year of trying, military pay is now exempt from state tax.

If the article had not been so ridiculously funny, I might have puked. Selfish vets like myself are robbing the state coffers of $23M/year. We excuse me! Or as the kids would say, "that is tough toenails!" 

Am I satisfied with this "bonanza" that I will now be receiving? Not really. Not that I am not grateful for my crafty and dedicated friends in the legislature who made this happen. I am very grateful. But the big banana was left unpeeled. And that would be Social Security. And I will now tell you the difference.

Working within the DEERS system (the federal system that vets use for benefits), I was able to get some money escrowed from my military pay to cover both federal and states taxes. So I was able to protect myself from taxes at the end of the year on that portion of my pay. HOWEVER, that is IMPOSSIBLE to do with Social Security. Because so few states tax Social Security benefits, it was not set up for state tax escrow. So each year, every year, seniors in Minnesota get hammered at tax time. At the same time, seniors in other states (like Wisconsin) are living the good life as their Social Security benefits are NOT TAXED.

So yes, we did gain a bit of parity with Wisconsin as well as many other states with the military retirement pay not being taxed. Once we fix Social Security, we will be much closer. We still have the business tax and inheritance tax issue to fix also. Until then, we will just be considered to be a high tax state, unfriendly to seniors, high income earners and businesses. 

At least now we can tell veterans they are appreciated and wanted to stay and retire in this state.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Global Perfect!

"Mr. Gloom and Doom (that be our President), would like us all to think the sea levels are rising and we are on the verge of another dust bowl."

Yesterday, before our Father's Day festivities started, my bride and I took a ride up to a state park. It was not real far, but not real close either (about 45 miles away). On the drive up there, we were looking at the field after field of corn and soybeans. The corn was almost knee high (not even close to the 4th of July yet), and the soybeans looked so very good, they almost looked artificial.

Last night most of the state escaped the damaging weather and just received some more welcoming rain. And this week looks awesome! Mr. Gloom and Doom (that be our President), would like us all to think the sea levels are rising and we are on the verge of another dust bowl. Sorry Charlie - not saying that the cycles of weather cannot change and we could get into another dust bowl at some time, but it ain't because of me driving my Chevy truck down to the store! 

Here is the bottom line. The weather I am experiencing today is basically the same weather I can remember as a lad. But due to hybrid technology, and (yes, also GMO), our crops have never looked better. We continue to not only feed our country, but many other poor countries throughout the planet.

Tomorrow a brief trip to Duluth for our anniversary. I am thinking the crops we will see on the road going up there are look pretty much the same as we saw on Father's Day.

Time to cut this one short. I am going to sit and enjoy our global climate change. The breeze is refreshing and the air smells wonderful! If our climate changes any more, I will think that I am in Nirvana (as some say)!    

Delicious Irony

"The only ones who escape by shoulder to cry on are union types who supported ObamaCare when it was first being hatched." 

This is a bad week to get sick if you live in the Twin Cities. It seems one of our major health care providers, Allina, is being struck by its nurses union. For working conditions? For patient safety? For better wages? Nope. The skyrocketing cost of health care.

Normally, I am very sympathetic to anyone who is affected by the treachery and deceit of ObamaCare. The only ones who escape by shoulder to cry on are union types who supported ObamaCare when it was first being hatched. Since most unions are Democratic strongholds, the nurses union all supported ObamaCare. To put it in old west terms - they now know what it is like to be shot with their own gun.

Here are the facts about ObamaCare, the "getting more for less program" of our wonderful President. Rates have skyrocketed since this thing was inked. Last year rates went up an average of 8%. Now specific increases are hard to define because of all the variables. But 8% seems to be a common average people are using. 2017 is the big year however - most insurers are projecting double digit increases.

What I find totally fascinating is how so many people, especially those who voted for this guy (twice), are letting him off the hook. Letting him off the hook for all the sophism, propaganda, and out and out lies that were told when this was being sold. We were all going to save on the average of $2,500/family. Where is it? Is the check in the mail? If we like our insurer, we can keep that insurer. Tell that to the customers of United Healthcare and other providers who have pulled out of the exchanges. 

It seems the doomsday soothsayers of a few years ago might prove to be correct. The stage has been set for a massive collapse of how our health care system is now structured. That has been the plan. Because of the unsustainable nature of ObamaCare, the Feds will swoop in to rescue it. By "pulling it up by it roots" as Donald Trump has said? No. Replacing it will a European type single payer system. Hello rationing.

So, I am sorry nurses. You don't deserve to get hosed on your premiums. You are kind of like kids who made a bad choice and now the parent needs to ask, "Have you learned your lesson?" As staunch union types, probably not. The kool aide at Club Obama is just too sweet.