Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Enough with the Phony Calls for Gun Control from the Democrats

It seems like every time a gun violence incident reaches the national media, a bunch of Democrats take to the nation's airways to decry the number and easy access of guns in this country.  And, every time, there are calls for stricter gun control laws they blame the National Rifle Association and the Republicans for blocking additional control.

Of course, this was the case after the killing of a Roanoke, Virginia TV reporter and her cameraman. Now, just days after, presidential-candidate Hillary Clinton vows to be this nation's gun-control president.  Bernie Sanders, the other Democrat running, says that he too is strong on gun control.

But here's the problem with Democrats and gun control.  They could have done something about it in 2009 and 2010 when they controlled both houses of Congress and the Presidency, but they did nothing, and sometimes I think they "do nothing" on certain things, like gun control, so they can keep it alive as another key election issue.  Yet, they know that America backs gun ownership and that if they actually blocked it, they could lose votes.

References:

Hillary Clinton vows to be gun-control president: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/aug/26/hillary-clinton-vows-be-gun-control-president/

Bernie Sanders says he's 'strong' on gun control: http://www.cnn.com/2015/08/30/politics/bernie-sanders-gun-control-2016/



Monday, August 31, 2015

Terrorists from Gitmo: Not in My Backyard!

There's that old saying: "One rotten apple will spoil the whole barrel".  So, what happens when you have a whole bunch of rotten apples.

Apparently, in a last ditch effort to fulfill President Obama's long overdue promise to close Guantanamo Bay, the Pentagon is now engaged in a desperate attempt to find one or more U.S. prisons that could "securely" hold the remaining 127 "worst-of-the-worst" prisoners that no country will take.

But, here's the problem, and why Gitmo should not be closed.

We already have a radicalization problem in our U.S. prisons.  Segments of the population are becoming gang members and joining groups like the Aryan Nation.  More importantly, inmates are being converted to radical Islam at an astonishing rate.  In the U.S., Muslims make up less than one percent of the population at 2.4 million.  Yet, in prison, the number has reached 15%; mostly through conversion.

Do we really want to accelerate this process by adding 127 fully radicalized terrorists to our existing prison population?  This gives home-grown terrorism a whole new meaning.

References:

"One rotten apple spoils the whole barrel”: http://journal.frontiersin.org/researchtopic/2319/one-rotten-apple-spoils-the-whole-barrel-the-plant-hormone-ethylene-the-small-molecule-and-its-compl

Pentagon is on the hunt in U.S. for Guantanamo replacement: http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-defense-guantanamo-20150818-story.html

Prisons are breeding grounds for jihadists: http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2014/12/prisons_are_breeding_grounds_for_jihadists.html

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Hillary: When It Comes To Abortion, GOP are Terrorists


Last I heard, terrorists kill people.  So, it is interesting that Hillary Clinton would have said the following at a recent campaign rally:
"Now, extreme views about women, we expect that from some of the terrorist groups, we expect that from people who don't want to live in the modern world, but it's a little hard to take from Republicans who want to be the president of the United States."
Only in Hillary's upside-down world are the Republicans (the GOP) all a bunch of terrorists for wanting to protect the lives of the unborn; and the practice of killing defenseless babies is the norm that we should all somehow protect, encourage, and even celebrate.  But, who are the real terrorists?  Is it the doctors that perform an estimated 1+ million abortions each year; and the 58+ million since the Row v. Wade Supreme Court decision?  Or is it Planned Parenthood that commits a full one third of all abortions?  Or is it Hillary, who is just fine with the prior three facts?

Finally, I would like to remind her that there are a lot of women -- 46% according to Gallup -- who are against abortion.  In that same polling, Gallup only found 47% being self-ascribed pro choice; mostly (80%) who don't practice any religion.  Let's stop trying to make this a widely held belief among women as a normal health issue that's on the level of, say, having a mammogram.

References:

On women's health, Clinton compares Republicans to 'terrorist groups': http://www.cnn.com/2015/08/27/politics/hillary-clinton-republicans-terrorist-groups/


Planned Parenthood Abortion Facts: http://www.sba-list.org/sites/default/files/content/shared/12.31.14fact_sheet_pp_2013_2014_annual_report.pdf

US Abortion Clock: http://www.numberofabortions.com/

57762169 Abortions in America Since Roe vs. Wade in 1973: http://www.lifenews.com/2015/01/21/57762169-abortions-in-america-since-roe-vs-wade-in-1973/

Gallup:  Americans Misjudge U.S. Abortion Views: http://www.gallup.com/poll/162548/americans-misjudge-abortion-views.aspx



Friday, August 28, 2015

Really? White House: "Shooting an all too common' example of gun violence"

Following the recent live-televised shooting of a TV reporter and her cameraman in Virginia, the White House Press Secretary repeated the lie that gun violence is becoming "all too common".

Well, you can file the headline to this blog under "If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it".  A quote that is attributed to Hitler's propagandist Joseph Goebbels.

The fact is that gun violence has become substantially less common in this country. As National Public Radio (NPR) reported, the Obama's Bureau of Justice noted:
"Firearm-related homicides dropped from 18,253 homicides in 1993 to 11,101 in 2011 and nonfatal firearm crimes dropped from 1.5 million victimizations in 1993 to 467,300 in 2011."

This only shows that the White House will lie through its teeth to promote their gun control agenda.  Or, for that matter, every agenda they have ever put forward.

References:

Vester Lee Flanagan II, aka Bryce Williams, Named as Suspect in Live TV Shooting in Virginia: http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/vester-lee-flanagan-ii-named-suspect-live-tv-shootings-virginia-n416331

White House: Shooting an 'all too common' example of gun violence:  http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/252005-white-house-va-shooting-an-all-too-common-example-of-gun-violence

Joseph Goebbels Quotes: http://thinkexist.com/quotation/-if_you_tell_a_lie_big_enough_and_keep_repeating/345877.html

Rate Of U.S. Gun Violence Has Fallen Since 1993, Study Says: http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2013/05/07/181998015/rate-of-u-s-gun-violence-has-fallen-since-1993-study-says



Thursday, August 27, 2015

The Death of Cable and Satellite TV?

For decades, subscriber TV services such as cable and satellite had a simple business model. They created "packages" of bundled local and subscriber-only TV stations. The entry level was the version of "basic" TV with on-air local stations and a variety of other subscriber-only stations like CNN, CNBC, USA, and TBS.  But, "basic" never included all the stations you and others might really want to watch.  The same with other more premium packages. As a result, you were forced to buy the next higher package in order to fulfill your desired entertainment experience.

As a result, the Nielson reports that the cable/satellite subscriber pays for an average of 189 channels.  Now, here's the kicker.  Nielson also found that the average subscriber only regularly watches 17 channels, and for that privilege, they pay approximately $64 a month.  Satellite subscribers pay even more. For example, the average DirecTV bill is $107 a month.  On top of that, you still get bombarded with constant commercial interruptions.

Starting in 2007, the rise in cable/satellite subscribers began to slow. In the first quarter of 2007, year-over-year growth peaked at 2.7%.  By the second quarter of 2011, it actually went negative.  This year, subscriber declines are accelerating with a negative five-tenths of a percent growth in the first quarter; and, a negative seven-tenths of a percent in quarter two.  Tenths-of-a-percent might not seem like a lot, until you consider the fact that this is a compounding of declines.

Even so, cable/satellite companies keep raising prices at rates that far exceed wage growth in America.  Last year, real wages -- wages after inflation -- only grew by six-tenths of a percent. Yet, early in this year, DirecTV nailed its customers with an average 5.7% increase in prices. This stupidity in pricing increases ignores the fact that, by doing so, subscribers are forced to seek other choices.  Today, viewers have many more optioms to choose from when they cut the cable cord or rip the dish off the roof.

For less than a third of the cost of DirecTV, people can sign up for these three services -- Netflix, Hulu Plus, and Amazon Prime -- and use an antenna for local stations and probably get 90% of the programming they're interested in.  What they won't get is access to live news services and sports.  But, for that there are options. In addition, they can rent DVD movies from the ubiquitously-located RedBox at a cost that is at least a third of what satellite/cable companies will charge for their video on demand.

But, the ability to cut the cord doesn't stop there.  Take for example SlingTV.  Accessible on devices like Roku, your smart TV or, as an app on your smart phone or tablet, SlingTV provides access to ESPN, Espn2, AMC, the Food Network, A&E, History Channel, TNT, CNN, Lifetime, The Cartoon Network, IFC, and so much more.  For just $20/month you currently can get 23 cable channels; and in addition, you can add packages for HBO, sports, kids, lifestyle, and Spanish language programming. (note: SlingTV doesn't allow multiple simultaneous access using a single account number.). There are also services like USTVNow which might have an even more desirable lineup of 25 channels for $29/month.  In 2016, Apple is expected to introduce its own AppleTV with an expected 25 channel lineup.  Currently, a less than $100 on-time Roku set-top box offers over 3,000 channels for your viewing pleasure. 99.9% free of charge.

The bottom line is that the business model of cable/satellite has been broken by the Internet.  To survive, they will have to make changes; with either ala carte services or smaller, user-tailored, low cost packages.  I also think its just a matter of time that popular cable networks go it alone by offering Internet access at a cost of $2 to $5 a month, and provide their own advertising for additional revenue.  Premium HBO service is now available without cable or satellite with its $14.95/month HBO Now service.  All you need is the internet and a supported device.

Right now, America is standing at the precipice of extraordinary choices in television viewing; both for cost and viewing options.  Say "bye-bye" to cable and satellite! 

References:

Chart: Decline in Cable/Satellite Subscribers: http://recode.net/2015/08/10/the-beginning-of-the-end-of-the-tv-industrial-complex/

Why Your Cable Bill Is Going Up Again in 2015 -- Sports: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-01-07/why-your-cable-bill-is-going-up-again-in-2015-sports

Changing Channels: Americans only view 17 channels despite a record number to choose from: http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/news/2014/changing-channels-americans-view-just-17-channels-despite-record-number-to-choose-from.html

On average, Americans get 189 cable TV channels and only watch 17: http://arstechnica.com/business/2014/05/on-average-americans-get-189-cable-tv-channels-and-only-watch-17/

SlingTV: https://www.sling.com/package

USTVNow: https://www.ustvnow.com/

Apple Said to Delay TV Service to 2016 as Negotiations Stall: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-08-13/apple-said-to-delay-tv-service-to-2016-as-negotiations-stall

HBO Now: https://order.hbonow.com/?camp=NOWM185&gclid=CjwKEAjwxruuBRC9lLGslqjs-HISJAAkq21sVbHces88vatOVlz9S9aLyEI8cFgpMWa0xyGvwxTY8RoC1K_w_wcB

Roku: https://channelstore.roku.com/browse/movies-and-tv/popularity

Hulu Plus Channels: http://www.hulu.com/start/content

Instant Watcher: Netflix and Amazon Movie and TV Content and Ratings for over 50,000 offerings: http://instantwatcher.com/search?content_type=3%201%202&sort=available_from%20desc 








Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Record Heat? Where Are the Records Being Broken?

By presenting the following map, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA) claims that the first 6 months of this year continued the earth's record setting warming trend:

Of course, this follows a similar map that claims 2014 was the hottest year on record:


In both of these maps, the darker pink is where temperatures are much warmer than normal and the red is where record heat has occurred.  For the U.S., the only area on these two maps where there was record heat was on the West Coast.  Most consistently, in the cities on California's coast line.

Logically, it would follow that if records are being set, previous records would have to fall.  So, I went to the weather site Intellicast and found the current weather data for the following California cities: San Diego, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.  Once there, I clicked on the "Historical Averages" section which brought me to a webpage where you not only get average temperatures, rainfall, etc., you also can look at record highs for each day of the year and in what year that record was set.  Checking all 365 days of weather records for those three cities, not one record high temperature was broken in either 2014 or 2015.  In fact, many of the record highs for any given day go back decades.  For example, the hottest single-day record for the month of July was set in 1930.

Is this proof that global warming and NOAA (including NASA) are all frauds?  Perhaps the greatest scientific fraud ever perpetrated on mankind (see link below).

References:

The First Half of 2015 Was the Hottest Ever: http://time.com/3966587/2015-climate-change-heat/

NASA, NOAA Find 2014 Warmest Year in Modern Record: https://www.nasa.gov/press/2015/january/nasa-determines-2014-warmest-year-in-modern-record

Intellicast Historical Data for San Diego: http://www.intellicast.com/Local/History.aspx?location=USCA0982

Intellicast Historical Data for Los Angeles: http://www.intellicast.com/Local/History.aspx?location=USCA0638

Intellicast Historical Data for San Fransisco: http://www.intellicast.com/Local/History.aspx?location=USCA0987

The Greatest Scientific Fraud of All Time--Part VI:  http://manhattancontrarian.com/blog/2015/7/21/the-greatest-scientific-fraud-of-all-time-part-v



Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Ashley Madison: 39 Million Divorces?

On the morning that the Ashley Madison hook-up-and-cheat-on-a-spouse website was hacked, and the data of 39 million of its subscribers was posted, I took the following screen shot:





It is amazing to me that they are still portraying themselves as protectors of people's privacy. Subscribers have a lot more than just a little digital "lipstick on their collars". Their user data and private "kinky" thoughts are out on the Internet for all to see. A little treasure trove of information for any divorce proceeding. If I had to bet on who hacked into Ashley Madison in the first place, I'd say it was a consortium of international divorce lawyers. Ya think?

References:

Hackers Finally Post Stolen Ashley Madison Data: http://www.wired.com/2015/08/happened-hackers-posted-stolen-ashley-madison-data/

Ashley Madison International Website: https://www.ashleymadison.com/?c=1&lang=en_US&age_gate=0&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=%2Bashley+dating+sites&utm_content=b&utm_campaign=Ashley+Madison+-+US+-+Brand&utm_logged=1

pb