Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Hillary and Obama's "High Quality" Universal Pre-K

In 2007 and 2008, the Health and Human Services Department conducted a Head Start education Impact Study. The results were available sometime in 2011.

Even though the report was dated October 2012, it wasn't released to the public until after the elections and in December when the American public was consumed with holiday activities. The reason for the delay was that the report did not provide the glowing results  this pre-kindergarten program was supposed to produce.  Essentially, 3rd Graders who had participated in Head Start only had marginally better education scores.  What was more disturbing is the fact that teachers and parents were reporting higher social problems with these students.  Things like aggressiveness and higher rates of conflict with teachers.

We must also understand that these measurements were of 3rd Graders.  Other studies have shown that there is a definite problem with something called "Head Start Fade" whereby  Pre-K students continually lose their Head Start advantage each year until it is completely gone by high school. 

In the President's 2013 State of the Union Address, just four months after the report's release, and knowing full well the results, Obama called for something called "high quality" universal Pre-K.  He could have just requested an "expansion" of Head Start, but, the report made any mention of Head Start toxic.  Now, we have Hillary Clinton also calling for "high quality" Pre-K for 8.1 million 3-to-5-year-old's within the next 10 years.

So, what is the "high quality" Pre-K that Obama and Hillary are referring to?

Well, obviously, it is not an $8 billion a year Head Start Program that wastes $8,000 for each of its 1 million disadvantaged students.  What they are referring to is a program once called the Perry Preschool Project and Study.  At risk, low income, African American students were enrolled in a "high quality" preschool that only remained operational from the years 1962 to 1967.  Then, the study part of the project kicked in and 123 children were followed through ages 27 and 40 to see what impact, if any, the Pre-K had on their lives; with almost half of the study group having attended Perry and the rest not having any Pre-K.

By age 40, the Perry group had much lower rates of imprisonment, violent crimes; and out-of-wedlock births.  The Perry group also earned more money; had higher rates of home ownership; higher high school graduation rates; and, higher rates of advanced education.

What made Perry so successful when Head Start wasn't?

Perry had fully accredited teachers with bachelor degrees, where Head Start only requires one associate degreed (not accredited) teacher and a non-degreed assistant.  Perry's class sizes were about 6 students.  Head Start allows a maximum class size of 20 where there is at least one teacher and one assistant.  A maximum class size for a teacher-only class is 10.  The class day for Perry was just 2.5 hours in the morning; thus not depriving children of also valuable play time and exploration on their own.  Head Start is half-day.  Additionally, Perry teachers were required to spend 1-1/2 hours a week with each student's parents at their homes to discuss and provide suggestions on how to improve at-home education.  That's nowhere to be seen with Head Start.

Lastly, the Perry project was expensive, with a cost of just under $13,000 per student in today's dollars. 62% higher that the $8,000 per student for Head Start. Thus, if we were to spend $13,000 per student today for 8.1 million Pre-K'ers, the cost would be an astounding $104 billion in additional tax payer dollars each year. More than that, Democrats see it as hiring 1.3 million new union teachers that would support them at election time with both money and getting out the vote.  Believe me, your kids aren't in their best interest.  If they were, we'd have a better overall educational system in this country. We already rank number one in the world in per-student spending.  Yet, we rank 36th in overall education when our kids are pitted against students of 65 other countries.  Maybe we should work on that problem before committing to another new layer of education that will probably be as broken as the one we already have?


Another Study Confirms: Head Start Doesn’t Work: http://dailysignal.com/2013/01/13/another-study-confirms-head-start-doesnt-work/

Head Start Impact Evaluation Report Finally Released: http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2013/01/head-start-impact-evaluation-report-finally-released

HHS: Third Grade Follow - up to the Head Start Impact Study: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/opre/head_start_report.pdf

Head Start Program: go to fade: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Head_Start_Program#Head_Start_.22fade.22

Head Start Advantages Mostly Gone by 3rd Grade, Study Finds: http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/early_years/2012/12/head_start_advantages_mostly_gone_by_third_grade_study_finds.html

Fact Sheet President Obama’s Plan for Early Education for all Americans: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/02/13/fact-sheet-president-obama-s-plan-early-education-all-americans

Fact Sheet: Hillary Clinton Calls For Universal Preschool for America's Children: https://www.hillaryclinton.com/the-briefing/fact-sheet-universal-pre-school/

Perry Preschool Project: http://evidencebasedprograms.org/1366-2/65-2

Lifetime Effects: The HighScope Perry Preschool Study Through Age 40 (2005): http://www.highscope.org/content.asp?contentid=219

HighScope: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HighScope

Head Start Facts: https://www.naeyc.org/policy/federal/headstart

Head Start Centers and Use of Space: http://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/hslc/tta-system/teaching/eecd/Learning%20Environments/Planning%20and%20Arranging%20Spaces/edudev_art_00059_051606.html

U.S. education spending tops global list, study shows: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/us-education-spending-tops-global-list-study-shows/

New survey ranks U.S. students 36th in the world: http://www.cnycentral.com/news/story.aspx?id=978874

Monday, June 29, 2015

Why Charleston Shouldn't Have Happened and Why It Did

Whenever there is a mass killing of innocents by some deranged person,  America tries to search its soul as to why it happened.

In the case of Dylann Roof, it appears that all the signs were there. Many things in his life were pointing to what ultimately culminated in the senseless slaughter of 9 people at worship. So why were we unable to do anything about it? Because, in America, you can't involuntarily commit someone for mental illness unless they have already demonstrated that they are a danger to either themselves or others.  Nor, can you imprison someone solely on the basis of what they say or how they dress or what symbols or tattoos they adorn themselves with.  The courts have ruled that even the display of one of the most vile symbols, the swastika, is protected by free speech. For these reasons, Roof was free to roam the streets.

As far as the gun control issue, it probably wouldn't have stopped Dylann from doing what he did.  Statistics have shown that 89% of the juveniles in our correctional systems owned a gun or guns at some point before prison. All of which were illegally obtained.  Only 15% of inmates in our Federal prisons said they purchased guns legally. Also, we can't legislate a moron father who hands his mentally ill, druggy son, a weapon for his birthday. Stupidity in this country -- as bad as this was -- is still not a crime.  Perhaps, however, we should consider finding adults guilty of associated murder charges when a gun, they knowingly give their child, is used in a murder.

Like it or not, there are more Charlestons in this country's future.  Gun control or not. The weapon could have just as easily been a pressure cooker bomb and not a gun. Going all the way back to the killing of Abel by Cain, the kind of hate that was exhibited in that Charleston church has been and will always be with us.  Jews, like Blacks, have been killed out of hatred.  Christians are being slain by the hundreds by radical Muslims.  Gays, too, especially by Muslims, have been the target of slaughter, and even Arabs slaughter each other because one might be a Sunni versus a Shiite.

I believe that the increase in the kind of Charleston-like crimes is because of the breakdown of the family unit. Too many single-parent families and the increasing rejection of religion.  But, too, we are a country that has been desensitized to violence by violent video games, movies, and TV shows. 


Committing a mentally ill adult is complex: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/01/07/mental-illness-civil-commitment/1814301/

The Constitutional Protection of the Swastika: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1142331?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

The legal loophole that allowed Dylann Roof to get a gun: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/govbeat/wp/2015/06/18/the-legal-loophole-that-allowed-dylann-roof-to-get-a-gun/

Charleston Massacre: Mental Illness Common Thread for Mass Shootings: http://www.newsweek.com/charleston-massacre-mental-illness-common-thread-mass-shootings-344789

Illegal Guns Statistics Overview: http://gun.laws.com/illegal-guns/illegal-guns-statistics

Friday, June 26, 2015

Why the Supreme Court Decision on Gay Marriage Was Inevitable

In our union of states, reciprocity is paramount.  Each state recognizes educational degrees received in other states.  Each state recognizes and accepts the validity of marriages in other states.  So, when there are just 13 left that don't recognize gay marriage, the reciprocity of the union has to be preserved making same sex marriage universally acceptable and recognizable in all 50 states.

My concern is that, if gay marriage is now the law of the land, will any religious objection to it be voided?  Will the refusal of preforming a gay marriage by a Church be overridden by what the Supreme Court just did?  My guess is that we will have nothing but one court battle after another in which gays fight any and all objections to their marriages.  Mark my words.


Supreme Court rules in favor of same-sex marriage nationwide: http://www.cnn.com/2015/06/26/politics/supreme-court-same-sex-marriage-ruling/

Supreme Court's Missed Opportunity On ObamaCare

ObamaCare is a broken and bad law and most people know it.

In the latest NBC/Wall Street Journal poll conducted from 6/14 to 6/18, only 8% thought that the President's healthcare program was working well; the rest said it either needed to be changed or repealed. Similarly, a 6/10 to 6/14 poll by CBS/New York Times found that only 9% thought that the law should be kept as is. In a May 29-31 poll by CNN and ORC, only 11% thought ObamaCare was a success.

However, with the latest Supreme Court's decision on subsidies, it will continue as is for at least another year and a half that Obama has left in office.

Had the high court ruled otherwise, Congress would have been forced to do something about it because the loss of subsidies would have been the leverage that the GOP needed to make major changes.  Changes that the President would have to accept, and not veto, because the lack of subsidies would gut the law's major attractiveness for low income enrollees.  The vast majority of those enrolled (86%) have only signed up because they were getting subsidies which cut their monthly premiums by an average of 72%. Yet, we still have 35 million Americans who are uninsured because they can't get subsidies, and therefore can't afford insurance under, laughably, the Affordable Care Act . Compare that to the only 10.2 million who have signed up for ObamaCare over the last two years with only 1.4 million (14%) of them paying full-price.


Supreme Court saves Obamacare: http://www.cnn.com/2015/06/25/politics/supreme-court-ruling-obamacare/

Polling Report: Summary of Health Policy Polls: http://www.pollingreport.com/health.htm

86 Percent of Health Law Enrollees Receive Subsidies: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/11/us/11-7-million-americans-have-insurance-under-health-act.html?_r=0

Meet the Health-Law Holdouts: Americans Who Prefer to Go Uninsured: https://www.google.com/search?q=Meet+the+Health-Law+Holdouts%3A+Americans+Who+Prefer+to+Go+Uninsured&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8

ObamaCare sign-ups officially beat 2015 goal: http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/243771-obamacare-sign-ups-officially-beat-goal

Obamacare subsidies cut premiums by average of 72 percent: HHS: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/feb/9/obamacare-subsidies-cut-premiums-average-72-pct/?page=all

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Hillary's Shrinking Coronation Crown

Well before Hillary Clinton announced she was officially a candidate for the Presidency, it was assumed that the political contest would be more of a coronation, culminating in her  adornement with a perfectly fitting crown.  Now however, after the revelations about her private emails, the focus on problems with the Clinton Foundation, and her exposed backdoor dealings with Sidney Blumenthal, it appears her crown may be withering away as her chances fade away.

In a recent CNN poll, nearly 60% thought she was untrustworthy.  Less than half said she cared about people like themselves; and, half said she was not inspiring; with some of these numbers slipping in just the last 3 months.

If Hillary Clinton's standing among the electorate continues to fall apart, it his highly unlikely that she will be the nominee of the Democratic party in much the same way she was pushed aside by Barack Obama in 2008.


CNN: Poll: New speed bumps for Clinton: http://www.cnn.com/2015/06/02/politics/hillary-clinton-2016-poll-gop-field-close/index.html

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Myth That Wind and Solar Will Replace 80% Of Our Energy

In his 2011 State of the Union speech, President Obama said this "By 2035, 80 percent of America's electricity will come from clean energy sources."  As a result of that comment, many people, mostly liberals, claim that wind and solar could replace most of our current power production.  But believing Obama's comment, reveals an infantile understanding of the capabilities of these two technologies.

Most people see a wind turbine's blades revolving and they think its producing power.

Not so.  Wind turbines will start turning at about 4 mph but won't start producing power until they reach what is called the cut-in speed of 7 to 9 mph; and, they don't reach maximum power or its rated power until the wind reaches around 25 mph.  From, that point forward, the turbine blades are actually feathered to insure a constant power production without damaging the turbine itself.  At winds of 55 mph or above, it shuts itself down by completely feathering its blades in order to keep itself from literally self-destructing.  Typically, the average wind turbine resumes power production after several minutes of wind speed below 45 mph.  As a result of all of these conditions, the average turbine only produces power 40% of the time in any given year. Not, exactly a clean source of energy that is capable of providing 80% of this nation's electricity.

Then, there's those clean energy solar panels.

Most people wrongly assume that a solar panel will generate power throughout the day and as long as the sun is shining, but, like wind, that is a wrong assumption. As a practical matter, solar panels, on average, only produce 5 hours of power a day. A solar panel not only needs the sun to shine but the sun's radiance must be at a minimum angle to the panel in order to produce electricity.  In the winter months, when sun is low in the sky, solar panels produce less power.  In the summer with sun high in the sky, solar panels hit maximum output as long as the sun's rays are as close to 90 degrees of the panels as possible.  However, like wind power, 5 hours of 24 hours is only an average of 21% power production in a day.  Also, consider this. Solar power's peak production is at a time when most people are at work or school.  On top of that, peak demand for electrical usage usually occurs after 5 PM and lasts through the evening until people go to bed; at times when solar panels aren't producing power. 

These two technologies are nowhere near providing 80% of our nation's energy needs and they are costing each of us a lot of money.

First, wind and solar are both subsidized by both federal and state tax breaks or by direct federal and state funding.  In other words, the taxpayer is paying for all or some of the cost for your neighbor to go green.  Without tax incentives, I doubt most people would install either of these two systems, because of the cost.

The average person also gets hit in the pocketbook when paying for their electricity usage. By law, in 44 states, the electric utility must buy any excess power produced by a private wind or solar system at the retail price that they are charging for electricity in that local area.  But, paying solar users retail for their excess power is sheer madness.  An electrical utility's retail price is not on;y based on the simple cost of producing electricity, but also the expense of maintaining the power facilities and the electrical grid; including bringing power to a person's house when their solar power doesn't produce squat. Thus, every time a utility must pay someone for their excess solar power, the utility is losing the money it needs to maintain the electrical system in that area.  As result, the utility has no other choice but to raise rates higher than they would otherwise. With that in mind, think about this hypothetical. Assume that half of all power in a given area is excess solar power.  If that should happen, every dollar that an electric utility receives from its non-solar customers would have to be handed over to the solar power producers.  How, then, would a utility even stay in business?

The plain and simple fact is that wind and solar will never be able to cost effectively replace fossil fuel electricity production because for every watt of solar or wind power, an additional 79% of fossil fuel power will be needed to cover the 19 hours a day when wind and solar are unavailable.  Ultimately costs will skyrocket by relying on two unreliable forms of power.


In his 2011 State of the Union Address, President Obama called for a goal, "By 2035, 80 percent of America's electricity will come from clean energy sources." [13]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_policy_of_the_Obama_administration

 Wind Power FAQ's: https://www.wind-watch.org/faq-technology.php

Solar & Wind Energy Calculations: The (very) Basics: http://www.solar-estimate.org/?page=solar-calculations

Peak Electricity Demand: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peak_demand

The Hole in the Rooftop Solar-Panel Craze: https://www.google.com/search?q=The+Hole+in+the+Rooftop+Solar-Panel+Craze&oq=The+Hole+in+the+Rooftop+Solar-Panel+Craze&aqs=chrome..69i57.63j0j7&sourceid=chrome&es_sm=122&ie=UTF-8

U.S. electricity prices may be going up for good: http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-power-prices-20140426-story.html#page=1 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

My Opinion on the Confederate Flag at the South Carolina Capital Building

In the wake of the Charleston massacre of 9 blacks, several activists are calling for the Confederate flag to be removed from South Carolina's state capital; as if that flag was the cause of what happened and its removal would prevent anything like that happening again.

I can understand that the Confederate flag is a symbol of some of the darkest days in America.  But, perhaps changing the way it is displayed can serve as a positive reminder of what the country went through to end black slavery; the bloody war that primarily pitted white Americans against each other.

Let's not fly it in front of the Capital.  Encase it in plastic in the guest rotunda with a plaque that tells the sad history of how that flag came to be and how it was brought down by war so that slavery could be ended in this country "completely".

To me personally, it symbolizes something that doesn't square with modern day politics and the relationship of blacks and the Democratic Party.  The Confederacy was primarily born out of white Democrats whose party was founded by Andrew Jackson.  It was those Jacksonian Democrats who vehemently defended slavery prior to the Civil War.  Following the war, it was those same Democrats who helped enact Jim Crow laws that were designed to segregate black society and bar them from voting.  Then, in 1964, it was the very descendents of those white Southern Democrats who attempted to block civil rights bills in Congress. Maybe this is why, today, Democrats are so eager to remove that flag from sight.


After Charleston killings, SC debates taking down Confederate flag: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2015/06/22/south-carolina-confederate-flag/29109939/

Southern Democrats: After the election of Abraham Lincoln, Southern Democrats led the charge to secede from the Union and form the Confederate States of America.: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_Democrats

Jim Crow Laws: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Crow_laws]

Monday, June 22, 2015

Pope Francis' Catholic Problem On Global Warming

Some people refer to Catholics as a flock shepherded by its Pope.  But, when it comes to Pope Francis' stand on global warming, the flock may need some extra herding to come around.

Just a day before the Pope released his encyclical on climate change and global warming, Pew Research released the results of a poll asking Democrat, Republican, and Independent Catholics about their stands on the issue.

When asked if the earth is getting warmer, 71% of all Catholics said "yes". This is higher than the general population where only 68% believe that warming exists, but below that 71%, the breakdown between political affiliations of Catholics tells a varied story.  The primary reason that the number of Catholics believing in the earth's warming is higher then the general public is because 85% of Catholic Democrats say it's so.  On the other hand, only 51% of Catholic Republicans believe it to be the case.  72% of Independents sided more closely with the Democrats by saying 'yes' on warming.

Where Catholics really go off the rails against the Pope is on the question as to whether global warming is man-made and whether its a serious problem.

As far as whether global warming is man-made, 62% of Democrats, 48% of Independents, and 24% of Republicans agree.  Overall, only 47% of Catholics believe the warming of the earth is due to man's activities.  At the same time, considering it to be a serious problems had almost identical results.  Again, it was the Democrats that showed the most concern (64%).

These numbers wouldn't be so bad if most Catholics were Democrats, but, here too, the Pope loses. As this chart from Pew shows, white Catholic political affiliations have become increasingly more Republican while, I assume, Blacks and Hispanics have remained more solidly Democrats:

The bottom line is that Catholics as a whole aren't buying the whole global warming thing because, like the general population, the climate change alarmists have over predicted the impending disasters, and the Pope's encyclical is just more of the same. Because of this, I don't think its going to move the needle very much as far as how many Catholics are embracing climate change.


PewResearch: Catholics Divided Over Global Warming: http://www.pewforum.org/2015/06/16/catholics-divided-over-global-warming/

PewResearch: Politics by Religious Affiliation: http://www.pewforum.org/2012/02/02/trends-in-party-identification-of-religious-groups-affiliation/

Pope Francis, in Sweeping Encyclical, Calls for Swift Action on Climate Change: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/19/world/europe/pope-francis-in-sweeping-encyclical-calls-for-swift-action-on-climate-change.html

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Obama's Record on Mass Shootings

As the following FBI data shows, mass shooting incidents have been on the rise since 2000.

In addition, these incidents have more than doubled under his Presidency (2009-2103) when compared to years prior.  From 2000-2008, this country averaged about 8.4 mass shootings per year.  Under Obama's watch, we have 18.6 incidents annually.

On the heels of the Charleston shooting, Obama calls for gun control. Despite this country having more guns than ever, the actual number of murders has fallen from approximately  23,000 to 24,000 in the 1990's to just over 14,000 by 2013.

Obviously, there are some cross-currents in our society. During Obama's presidency we have  seen the highest incidence of mass shootings and the lowest number of murders since 1969. 

The continued decline in the number of murders is something that Obama inherited. Some say that tougher drug laws were the reason. Others believe that increased stop-and-frisk and traffic stops is resulting in more and more illegal firearms being taken off the streets.  Others believe that increased gun ownership makes the criminal element think twice about using a gun in robberies or other crimes.  But, one thing is known, incarcerations have doubled since the 1990's while the murder rate is down 42%.

So, this brings us to President Obama and the three-fold increase in mass killings. I am not going to speculate why, like a light switch, this has happened.  But, it has.  And, all I can say is this kind of problematic killing by primarily young people has some psychological and sociological foundation and has less to do with gun control; given that murders, in general, are down.  I will say this.  Constantly, Obama and other Democrats such as Hillary Clinton downplay the good about America only to focus on its faults regarding race, the police, gay rights etc.  Someone on the edge mentally, can easily amplify this talk and decide to take action on their own; resulting in a mass shooting.  But, this is just my opinion.


Chart Source: New York Magazine: http://nymag.com/scienceofus/2014/09/why-you-shouldnt-fear-the-mass-shooting-rise.html

United States Crime Rates 1960 - 2013: http://www.disastercenter.com/crime/uscrime.htm

The Many Causes of America’s Decline in Crime: http://www.theatlantic.com/features/archive/2015/02/the-many-causes-of-americas-decline-in-crime/385364/

Friday, June 19, 2015

Obama's Social Engineering Of Housing Diversity Is Doomed To Fail

Apparently, Barack Obama has advised his Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to withhold low-income housing grants unless it can be demonstrated that they  would be used to build islands of affordable housing for low-income families in upscale neighborhoods.  Thus, low income families would be able to escape their typically beaten-down neighborhoods with poor schools, poor shopping, poor transportation, and crime.

From a purely economic standpoint, this makes no sense.

Upscale neighborhoods have upscale prices and little, if any, low-cost stores such as  Wal-Mart that low-income families need to survive.  Even with food stamps, grocery bills will be too high. Typically a store in an upscale neighborhood carries costlier cuts of meat and higher quality fruits and vegetables that demand higher prices. I also doubt that any local doctors and hospitals will be willing to accept low-income Medicaid patients.  At the same time, working locations may be miles away from what are typically pure residential neighborhoods.  Thus, this idea will fail for economic reasons because the low-income family will have to travel miles to see a doctor, buy food and clothing, and get to work.  Also, there are far fewer municipal buses that operate in suburbs as opposed to the urban areas that these families left.

However, the biggest problem with Obama's plan will probably be the social and psychological impact of trying to mix the "have nots" with the "haves". Especially, when it comes to schooling.  Low-income students may find it harder to compete for good grades because of the higher standards of the upper scale schools vs the inner city schools.  There, will also be obvious class disparities on the basis of how people dress, talk, or in the possessions they have.  For this reason, poorer students might be shunned by the greater population, creating all kinds of unhealthy feelings.

Like everything that President Obama sanctions, it's his way or else.  Before pushing this concept onto society, it should be tested on a small scale to see if it is even viable.  Otherwise, billions will be spent on another failed social experiment like the original housing projects that now have been mostly torn down or lay in ruin.

Reference:  Obama making bid to diversify wealthy neighborhoods: http://thehill.com/regulation/244620-obamas-bid-to-diversify-wealthy-neighborhoods


Thursday, June 18, 2015

Caution: The Catholic Church Has A History of Getting Science Wrong

Apparently, a copy of Pope Francis' upcoming encyclical (a letter to all bishops) on climate change has been leaked to the press.  In it, he condemns mankind for not being good stewards of the God-given earth.  He also blames the rich and rich countries for much of the destruction due to global warming. For that reason, the rich countries should compensate the poorer countries for any injuries they have or will have as a result of global warming and climate change.

Of course, the political left -- a group that is normally at odds with the Catholic Church because of its stand on gays and lesbians, birth control, and abortion -- is going to politically use this to push their climate change agenda.

But, we shouldn't necessarily believe the Pope on climate change.

There have been many noted scientists whose published works were placed on the Church's list of prohibited books (Index Librorum Prohibitorum) as being heresy.  That is, until, as much as century has passed in proving those works to be valid.  For example, the works of a Franciscan Friar, Giordano Bruno, were on that list and he was tried by the Church for heresy and burned at the stake.  This was truly a case of throwing the baby out with the bath water.  While his execution was as a result of his theological teachings, the Church also banned his scientific preachings.  Preachings such as the stars are actual suns with planets revolving around them; just as is the case with our own solar system.

However, the biggest miss in scientific terms, was that of heliocentrism.  The Church found that believing that that the earth rotated around the sun was also heresy.  For that reason, Galileo was found guilty of heresy in 1633 for promoting such an idea.  This "crime" resulted in his house arrest of 9 years until his death 1642.  It wasn't until 1758 that the Church reversed its position on the earth being at the center of all our planets and the sun, and took Galileo's book off the prohibited list.  Today, we celebrate Galileo as one of the world's greatest astronomers.

Personally, I don't believe the Pope should get involved with anything associated with climate change.  His support of it sounds more like a socialist condemning capitalism and wealth rather than a true supporter of a scientific issue.  Like Darwin's 'Origin of Species', which was never formally condemned by the Church or placed on its prohibited list, silence on climate change would have been the better position of the Church and this Pope. Let's not repeat the problematic support of false science that has plagued the Catholic Church in the past.

One last thing. If the world does buy into global warming, then the cost of energy to light and heat homes will only rise.  This will impact the poor and poorer countries more than anyone else.  As a man who did so much good for the poor of Argentina, doesn't he now have his priorities all wrong?


Pope urges changes to avoid 'unprecedented damage' from climate change in leaked encyclical document: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/pope-warns-of-unprecedented-damage-from-climate-change-in-leaked-encyclical-document-10322156.html

Galileo affair: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galileo_affair

Catholic Church and evolution: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_Church_and_evolution

Index Librorum Prohibitorum: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Index_Librorum_Prohibitorum

Giordano Bruno: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giordano_Bruno

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

New York Times Shocker: Marco Rubio Is A Murderer!

Recently, the New York Times, after talking with Marco Rubio's pest control person, discovered that Marco authorized the execution of untold numbers of Palmetto bugs (roaches) in and around his Florida home. Horror of horrors! Marco the murderer!  Marco the killer!

Of course, this is just a tongue-in-cheek piece of fiction on my part.  But, it could very well have happened with the way that the New York Times has been treating Rubio in print these days.

Two weeks in a row, Marco has been the target of a hit piece by this nation's best known and liberal newspaper.

First, there was the story of the "lead foot" Rubio's with 17 traffic violations between them in the last 10 years. Four of which were by Marco and 13 by his more "criminal" wife. Unfortunately, the "Times" could catch him using his influence to fix those tickets but, the fact that he even got them was criminal enough.  By contrast, Hillary is a saint when it comes to driving. Maybe, because, she hasn't driven a car since 1996, and, my guess is that she thinks a chauffeur, who opens the door for her, comes standard on all cars.

Then, the "Times" went after him for his management of his expenses.  A crime that all of us are probably guilty of.

But, they found his truly "capital felony" was the purchase of a sport fishing boat for $80,000 which the "Times" called a speed boat as to infer that Rubio was racing around Florida harbors; tipping over other boats in his wake with his lead hand on the gas.  Obviously, if you have a lead foot on land, you're sure to have one on the water.  The truth is  that he modestly lavished himself with a recreational boat after receiving an $800,000 advance to write about his life growing up as a son of Cuban immigrants. Has anyone watched 'Dexter'?  I think if a murdering blood splatter specialist working for Miami-Dade can afford a Rubio-like boat named the "Slice of Life" then, too, should a U.S. Senator by the name of Rubio.  Of course, this is not to imply that Rubio, like Dexter, is a murderer who dumps Palmetto bug bodies off the coast of  Florida.

I think Rubio should wear those NYT stories as badges of honor.  It shows he is a threat to liberals as being the next President.  Even though, the stories themselves are trivial when compared to others who have run for President.  But, don't underestimate the tenacity of the "Times" to catch Rubio doing something bigger.  Right now, they probably have operatives counting the number of flushes in his home.  Seeing if he or his wife calls for paper or plastic when they're checking out at the grocery store, or if he environmentally drinks tap water or selfishly drinks bottled water.  Even, worst yet, does he pickup after his dog poops. And, the dog being another mystery that media is infatuated with. Maybe he stole it? Is it still alive? These are deep questions that need to be asked and answered.

So much to do and so little time before Rubio might get the nomination as the GOP presidential candidate.


Rubio and wife received 17 traffic tickets: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/kyle-drennen/2015/06/08/ny-times-reporter-rubio-traffic-ticket-story-why-people-dont-run

Rubio's 'luxury speedboat' is a fishing boat - POLITICO: https://www.google.com/search?q=rubio+speed+boat&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8

NYT: Marco Rubio Is Totally Irresponsible Because He Bought a Fishing Boat in Florida:  http://townhall.com/tipsheet/katiepavlich/2015/06/09/nyt-the-rubios-were-totally-broke-when-they-were-younger-guys-n2010147

The 'Slice of Life': Dexter's Boat:  http://dexter.wikia.com/wiki/The_Slice_of_Life

Hillary Clinton Hasn't Driven a Car Since 1996 - The Atlantic: http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2014/01/hillary-clinton-hasnt-driven-a-car-since-1996/283375/

Who Is the Mystery Dog in Sen. Marco Rubio's House?: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ryan-nickum/mystery-dog-marco-rubio_b_2686769.html

Monday, June 15, 2015

To Hillary, Bill was the King of Income Inequality

On June 13, Hillary Clinton was about to relaunch her presidential campaign after its horrible launch weeks ago, that came amid all the Clinton Foundation scandals.  But, prior to her appearance, a close campaign confidant leaked an excerpt of the speech she was about to give in the Business Insider magazine. It concerned income inequality. The text follows:
Republicans think it’s time to go back to the old top-down playbook that failed us before.  They think it’s time for lower taxes for the super-rich and fewer rules for the biggest corporations. We’ve seen this before.  And we can’t let it happen again.
Really? Failed us?  This from a woman who makes more money giving a one hour speech than nearly 4,000 minimum wage workers would make in a year working 40 hours a week with no vacation or sick days?  Not exactly an "I really feel your pain moment"!

That aside, one measure of income inequality is how the top 10% of the nation's income earners fare against the rest of us.  To that point, let me thank two liberal (actually socialist) French economists for the following chart:

As you can clearly see, in 1928 (a year prior to the Crash of '29), the top 10% were almost earning 50% of what all the rest of the country earned.  Then came the market crash, the Great Depression, World War II, and the Korean war, so that by 1953, the super rich had only controlled a little more than 32% of all incomes.  Until Democrat Jimmy Carter became President, the richest incomes meandered sideways from 32-1/2 percent to 35% with the years under Republicans Nixon/Ford being the most stable.  Then, in 1979, under Democrat Jimmy Carter, the current increase in super rich wealth began. From that point forward, the rich not only regained their high percentage of income earning power they enjoyed from pre-1929 levels, but exceeded it by now earning in excess of 50% of all incomes in 2012 and under Democrat Barack Obama's watch.  Further, under Obama, we have historically high levels of poverty. 

Interestingly, the steepest and least interrupted growth in income inequality occurred during the years that Hillary's husband, Democrat Bill Clinton was in office from 1993 to 2001.  During those years -- starting in 1995 -- the super rich grew from 41% of incomes to nearly 47% by 2000.  A gain of nearly 15% in just 4 years.

Once again, Hillary is making a campaign issue out of a lie.  More often than not, gains in the rich's earning power increase under Democrats because the super wealthy feed off higher government spending, policies, and regulation. For example, right now, the rich are making money hand-over-fist in the stock market which is reaching record highs because interest rates have been so low.  At the same time, those who are lucky enough to have some money in the bank are seeing interest rates that are less than inflation; meaning that they are losing money on every penny of savings they have.

Hillary may talk like "Robin Hood" regarding the rich, but she's not going to do anything about it. Hillary and Bill love the rich.  That's who pays them for all those speaking engagements and that's who supports the Clinton Foundation.  These are also the very people who will give Hillary enough money to run her billion dollar campaign. 


Hillary Clinton, in Roosevelt Island Speech, Pledges to Close Income Gap: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/14/us/hillary-clinton-attacks-republican-economic-policies-in-roosevelt-island-speech.html

Hillary Clinton's 'talking points' for 'friends and allies' just leaked: http://www.businessinsider.com/hillary-clintons-talking-points-for-friends-and-allies-just-leaked-2015-6

Chart source: How do we know income inequality is getting worse?: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/dreaming-of-a-better-gini/

That's rich: Poverty level under Obama breaks 50-year record: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/jan/7/obamas-rhetoric-on-fighting-poverty-doesnt-match-h/?page=all

How Did the Clintons Become So Rich? [and help their rich friends at the same time]: http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/how-did-clintons-become-so-rich


Saturday, June 13, 2015

Strong Retail Sales Does Not Mean A Growing Economy

Last Thursday, the retail sales numbers saw a surge; prompting the news agency Reuters to state this:
U.S. retail sales surged in May as households boosted purchases of automobiles and a range of other goods even as they paid a bit more for gasoline, the latest sign economic growth is finally gathering steam.
What I take issue with is the "finally gathering steam" statement.  Quite simply, a retailer can have stronger sales, not just because of more foot traffic to their store, but also because they may have been forced to raise prices.  If a retailer doesn't have enough sales to pay the bills, it will have no other choice but to close its doors.  This is a reality that is growing in strength, and which, belies the "gathering steam" comment.

The fact is, that American national retailers are suffering. Dozens of them are announcing store closures.  CNBC predicted this a year-and-a-half ago with their story titled  "A 'tsunami' of store closings expected to hit retail".  Since that story was run, Radio Shack has announced the closure of 1784 stores due to bankruptcy.  McDonald's is shuttering 700. The combined Office Depot/Office Max operation is closing 650 retail operations, and their chief competitor Staples, 225. Others include 200 Walgreens; 338 Wet Seal; 77 Sears; 100 Pier One's, 300 Deb Shops; 40 J. C. Penney's; and on and on with a list too long to enumerate (See References). 

In addition, shopping malls are also shuttering their doors.  Forbes is predicting 300 Mall closures in the next 10 years, mostly because they are losing their "anchor" stores like J.C. Penney,  Sears, and Macy's.  But, when a mall closes its doors, so do the dozens of small retail stores that probably won't survive without the large amount of foot traffic a mall provides.

We're six years passed the end of the Great Recession and we are seeing national chain store closures as if we were still in the midst of it; leaving us to question whether or not small local retailers are also closing at that same high rate.

I personally believe that "retail" is hitting the proverbial "brick wall".  You have a consumer who has so little money to spend after necessities, that you would have to go back 20 years to see the real median household incomes this low.

Then, retail prices are being driven higher by a variety of factors.  For starters, this is the first year that the employer mandate of ObamaCare kicked in.  Thus large national chains are being forced to provide health care insurance or pay a fine of between $2000 and $3000 for each employee not properly covered.  On top of that, liberal state legislators and city councils are raising the minimum wage.  For example, California's minimum wage was raised to $9 this year; and will go to $10 as of January 1st.  Additionally, President Obama, through executive order, is expected to force any employer, whose salaried workers make less than $52,000 a year, to pay overtime (time-and-a-half) when they work more than 40 hrs/wk..

The increase in retail sales is more about higher prices and not increased sales. Simply, the consumer is cash strapped and marginal retail operations are being forced to close their doors due to declining foot traffic.  


Strong U.S. retail sales boost growth outlook: http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/06/11/us-usa-economy-idUSKBN0OR1H720150611

A 'tsunami' of store closings expected to hit retail: http://www.cnbc.com/id/101353168

Store Closings Index 2015 of Largest US Brick-and-Mortar Retail Chains: http://retailindustry.about.com/od/USRetailStoreClosingInfoFAQs/fl/All-2015-Store-Closings-Stores-Closed-by-US-Retail-Industry-Chains_4.htm

Some 300 malls should close in the next decade: http://fortune.com/2015/01/28/2015-mall-outlook/

Real Median Household Income in the United States - FRED: https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/MEHOINUSA672N

ObamaCare Employer Mandate - ObamaCare Facts: http://obamacarefacts.com/obamacare-employer-mandate/

State Minimum Wages | 2015 Minimum Wage by State: http://www.ncsl.org/research/labor-and-employment/state-minimum-wage-chart.aspx

White House plans to force business to pay more overtime: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/white-house-plans-to-force-business-to-pay-more-overtime/article/2556692

Friday, June 12, 2015

A Disturbing Trend: Increasing Numbers of Job Openings Go Unfilled

Every month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics generates a report called the "Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey" (JOLTS).  Unlike the monthly employment report which looks at job creation and the unemployment rate, JOLTS addresses numbers from the employer's perspective.  In it, we see how many job openings go unfilled each month, as well as how many workers lose their jobs and how many are hired.

This month, the number of job openings hit a record 5.4 million by the end of April.  This is the highest number since this report was initiated in December of 2000, and it follows a rather disturbing trend of a growing number of unfilled jobs since the beginning of 2014.
This is despite the fact that we have 17 million workers who are either unemployed; working part time in lieu of getting a full time job; underemployed based on experience or education; or, simply frustrated with the job market and have given up looking for work (data derived from Table A-15, U-6 of last month's employment report).

As such, why aren't the jobs being filled?

The simple fact is that we have too many people out of the 17 million, that are unqualified to take those 5.4 million jobs.  According to the report, 1/5 of those openings are for Business and Professional Services.  Another fifth is in Education and Health Services.  All of these are higher paying jobs that require specialized experience and/or education. In addition,the balance in manufacturing, transport, leisure services, etc. with limited experience and education needed, are also going unfilled.

With a 3-to-1 ratio of unemployed/underemployed/discouraged workers for every job opening, we have a serious problem; leaving many employers to look overseas to fill those positions through work visa applications or, simply moving those jobs overseas.  Either way, this is bad news for the American worker.


April JOLTS Report: http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/jolts.pdf

May Employment Report: http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf


Thursday, June 11, 2015

The Latest Re-Write Of History: Bush and Hawkish GOP Created ISIS

In the latest attempt to "cleanse" Obama's legacy of any blame, the political left is perpetuating a lie that George W. Bush created ISIS.  The genesis of this current untruth is an accusatory commentary that was aired by the left-wing MSNBC host Chris Matthews on September 10, 2014. In that commentary, he claimed that the success of ISIS on the battlefield was a direct result of the Bush administration's disbanding of Iraqi army leaders who eventually joined ISIS. The problem with this theory is that, never once, has either Chris Matthews or MSNBC been able to substantiate any of their so-called facts. See fact check below which gives him a big fat "mostly false" for the claim.

Now, here's the truth. 

ISIS was founded under the name Jama'at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad in 1999 by a Jordanian by the name of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi with the intent of establishing a Sunni Caliphate in the ancient area known as the Levant.  This was 2 years before Bush came to office and 5 years before we went to war in Iraq.  The group which was headquartered in Fallujah, Iraq had set up operations and was growing in size hoping to eventually take over Jordan.  Once done, Jordan would become the base of operations from which the rest of the Levant could be seized and forced to join the Caliphate.  However, once Fallujah fell to U.S. forces, they were forced to flee to Syria.  They reconstituted themselves with the new name ISIL in the vacuum of the civil war that was then raging.  After growing in size and taking more and more territory in Syria, they used the removal of U.S. forces in Iraq as an opportunity to move back across the border and overtake Fallujah as part of the Islamic State.  Obama ignored them and called them a JayVee team.    Now, just how does Bush fit into that whole scenario?

Still, the lie lives on.  Recently, a 19 year old girl verbally attacked Jeb Bush at a campaign event challenging him on the fact that his brother created ISIS.  That video then went viral; spreading to millions.  Something that the source, Chris Matthews couldn't do, because of his small audience. 

The saddest fact about all of this is that this fabricated story is also being perpetuated by an idiot Senator by the name of Rand Paul who is attempting to win the GOP nomination. While not mentioning Bush's name directly, he claimed that ISIS was a product of a "hawkish GOP".  A statement that he is now trying to walk back.  It's bad enough that the political left is perpetuating the lie.  Now, we have a republican Presidential candidate fueling it with his own rewrite of history.  That is irresponsible and another reason why Rand Paul should never be a candidate for the Presidency.


Matthews: [Bush and] Cheney's post-Saddam tactic created ISIS: http://www.politifact.com/punditfact/statements/2014/sep/15/chris-matthews/matthews-cheneys-post-saddam-tactic-created-isis/

Jama'at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad [ISIL]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jama%27at_al-Tawhid_wal-Jihad

Video Exclusive: Student who confronted Jeb on ISIS | MSNBC: http://www.msnbc.com/the-last-word/watch/exclusive--student-who-confronted-jeb-on-isis-445900867908

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) backtracked on his recent comments that hawkish Republicans were responsible for creating the Islamic State: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/06/02/rand-paul-isis_n_7492994.html

FLASHBACK to January: Obama Calls ISIS 'JV Team': http://www.tpnn.com/2014/08/22/flashback-to-january-obama-calls-isis-jv-team/

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The Rapidly Evolving Living (Minimum) Wage

In 2007, Congress incrementally raised the $5.15 an hour minimum wage by 40% making it $7.25, effective July of 2009. At that time we were told that $7.25 an hour was a "fair" wage; or, in other words: a "living wage".  In fact, the law responsible for the increase was called the "Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007". Now, if that $7.25 wage was truly a "fair wage" in 2009 and, if it had been automatically adjusted for inflation each year, then the "fair wage" of today should be about $8.

Instead, in 2013, President Obama kicked off a national debate on what is a "fair wage" by campaigning around the country promoting a 24% increase to $9 an hour.  A year later, he  was pushing a 40% increase to $10.10; or, more than $2 above a supposed fair wage if that $7.25 had been inflation-adjusted all these years.  Meanwhile, unions, who don't have a single minimum wage earner as part of their membership, have decided $15 is a living wage and picketed company stores like those of McDonald's and Walmart to give their cause public attention.

As a result of all this, the public is left with the impression that millions of Americans earn the minimum wage and are, literally, living in poverty.  Believing all this, 63% of those surveyed in a recent Hart Research poll support a $15 minimum by the year 2020.

The truth about the $15 minimum wage was exposed when the unions in Los Angeles asked the city council to provide an exception to the law for unionized operations in the City.  This, after those very same unions had pushed hard by picketing and lobbying to pass the $15 wage in that city.

Suddenly, they realized that a bunch of inexperienced 16-year olds, working part time at cash registers at fast food restaurants, would earn as much or more than their supposed experienced union members.  This is because 71% of the 1.25 million workers earning the minimum wage in this country are part-timers.  In Los Angeles,  union members can make as little as $12/hour.  That apparently was a good enough "living wage" for their union members.  Let's hear it for the brash hypocrisy of the union living wage argument.


Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_Minimum_Wage_Act_of_2007

Feb 12, 2013 · President Obama wants to raise the minimum wage to $9 an hour, the first increase since 2009: http://money.cnn.com/2013/02/12/news/economy/obama-minimum-wage/index.html

March 5, 2014: Obama pushes for $10.10 minimum wage: http://wtnh.com/2014/03/05/obamas-minimum-wage-campaign-comes-conn/

Unions and the $15 Minimum Wage: http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/418936/unions-and-15-minimum-wage-kevin-d-williamson

Hart Research Poll on Minimum Wage: http://www.nelp.org/content/uploads/2015/03/PR-Federal-Minimum-Wage-Poll-Jan-2015.pdf

Bureau of Labor Statistics: Characteristics of a Minimum Wage Worker for 2014: http://www.bls.gov/opub/reports/cps/characteristics-of-minimum-wage-workers-2014.pdf

Hypocrisy Thy Name Is Union; Unions Demand Exemption From LA's $15 Minimum Wage: http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2015/05/27/hypocrisy-they-name-is-union-unions-demand-exemption-from-las-15-minimum-wage/

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Airport Security: "Beware of Dog" Without the Dog

Over the years, I have known people who, rather than pay a high monthly fee for a home security system, simply buy a "Protected by" sign and plunk it down in their front yard. The hope is that the sign alone, will deter burglars and vandals.  This assumes, of course, that the idiot burglar can even read the sign or even cares.  Others,  put up "Beware of Dog" signs for a non-existent dog, hoping for the same effect.

In that same vein, it seems we are spending $7 billion a year for the appearance of airport security without a system to really back it up.  In a recent testing of the Transportation Security Agency, U.S. airports had a failure rate of 95% in testing that security. Realistic looking guns and bombs were used and passed through security undetected. Apparently, while the TSA agents were checking out a body scan of some great looking babe, testers were shoving guns and bombs through checkpoints like water through holes in a dam.

On top of that miserable result, we are apparently so proud that we discovered the major flaw that we published the results.  So, now, not only does every American know it, so do terrorists.  Does anyone think that ISIS let this little item slip by them unnoticed?


Why are we spending $7 billion on TSA?: http://www.cnn.com/2015/06/05/opinions/schneier-tsa-security/

Monday, June 8, 2015

Hillary's Claim of Voter Suppression by GOP is Just Political

In a recent speech, and with no proof whatsoever, Hillary Clinton claimed that GOP-controlled state legislatures with Republican governors are suppressing the vote for millions of mostly young and minority citizens.

If that were true, we would be seeing a decline in overall registration, but as this chart from the Census Bureau shows, U.S. voter registration has been fairly constant with totals actually up slightly in 2012 from the 1996 presidential election when voter I.D's were not required in any state:

In typical fashion, Hillary has cherry-picked some left-leaning study as the source for her "millions" claim.  But, as Wikipedia has noted, claims of this nature are inconclusive and have been shown to have no or only minimal impact.  In fact, a Census Bureau report on voter registration, showed that only 11% of black citizens remained unregistered in 2012 as compared to 14% of the white population.  In 2000, the Census Bureau recorded that 32.5% of blacks were not registered to vote.  If black registrations are being "systematically" suppressed, why then was there a 65% improvement from 2000 to 2012?

The simple fact is that Hillary is desperately worried that blacks won't turnout to vote for her in the same numbers they did for Barack Obama, and it could cost her the election.  So, she is now trying to use voting rights as a wedge issue; both in the primaries and the general election in 2016.  This whole voter suppression claim is a canard and a false portrayal for political reasons.  The same holds true for the youth vote, but Obama himself has poisoned the well on high registration and turnout.

Lastly, while Hillary's tack to the left on Voter I.D. laws might sit well with her supporters for the nomination, it won't do the same for the general electorate.  In a Fox poll last year, 70% of those registered voters who were polled, supported I.D.'s.  A similar Rasmussen poll, in that same year, found the percentage even higher at 78% and not just for voter I.D.'s but for proof of citizenship to get one.


Hillary: "Republicans Are Systematically And Deliberately Trying To Stop Millions Of American Citizens To Vote": http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2015/06/05/hillary_republicans_are_systematically_and_deliberately_trying_to_stop_millions_of_american_citizens_to_vote.html

Voter ID laws in the United States: https://www.google.com/search?q=voter+i.d.&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8

Census Bureau: Voter Registration and Voting 2012: http://thedataweb.rm.census.gov/TheDataWeb_HotReport2/voting/voting.hrml

Census Bureau: Voter Data 2000: https://www.census.gov/prod/2002pubs/p20-542.pdf

Younger Millennials Have Soured On Obama: http://www.forbes.com/sites/realspin/2014/09/10/younger-millennials-have-soured-on-obama-will-republicans-capitalize/

Why young people don’t vote: http://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2014/10/economist-explains-24

Poll: 70 percent support voter ID laws: http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/206300-poll-70-percent-support-voter-id-laws

78% Favor Proof of Citizenship Before Being Allowed to Vote: http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/general_politics/march_2014/78_favor_proof_of_citizenship_before_being_allowed_to_vote

Saturday, June 6, 2015

A Rise to a 5.5% Unemployment Rate Is a Good Thing?

Since the latest jobs report was released yesterday morning, more than a few economists are touting a strengthening jobs market because the unemployment rate rose from 5.4% to 5.5%. Oddly enough, this would normally be true since the official and publicly announced unemployment rate is calculated without including workers who have given up looking for a job but still want to work.  Sensing a better chance of employment, many of those are once again attempting a job search. Add some of those people back into the workforce and it is natural for the unemployment rate to go up.  That is as long as the number of workers rejoining the workforce is greater than the number of jobs being created.  Superficially that was the case.  The size of the workforce grew by 397,000 and 280,000 jobs were created; resulting in an increase of unemployed by 125,000 and an increased unemployment rate.

However, if this was really true, we should have seen a corresponding reduction in the number of people not looking for work.  We didn't.  Instead the U-6 number of Table A-15 -- the Alternative measures of labor underutilization -- stayed the same at 10.8%.

Also, if the job market was truly improving, the number of people who are long term unemployed should be going down.  But, again from Table A-15, the U-1 percent for those people out of work for more than 15 weeks rose from 2.3% (in the prior month) to 2.4%. At the same time, job losers (the U-2 report of the same table) rose from 2.6% to 2.7%; month-over-month.

I guess I'm tired of economists simply looking at the top line numbers and ignoring the details and coming up with the false conclusion that this report shows a strengthening job market.


THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION—MAY 2015 - Bureau of Labor Statistics:  http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf

Economists agree that the May jobs report was good all around: http://www.businessinsider.com/why-the-unemployment-rate-rose-2015-6


Friday, June 5, 2015

On ISIS, is History Repeating Itself?

Europe and Russia should thank God for Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, because without it, a war weary America, might never have joined the fight against Hitler in Europe.  Essentially, before Pearl Harbor, America was willing to sit it out on the belief that it was their war to win.  Not ours.  As a consequence, Hitler's domination of all of Europe, including Russia, may have come to pass. But, because Hitler had a verbal agreement with Japan to defend them in the event that the United States attacked, he was forced to declare war on the U.S. just 4 days after the attack on Pearl Harbor.  Certainly, Hitler never thought that an attack on Japan would ever occur, or that it would be the result of them attacking the U.S.

Today, the United States is in a similar position as in the years prior to Pearl Harbor.  We, like then, are war weary following the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  When Presidential Press Secretary Josh Earnest was asked about the possibility of our increasing involvement in fighting against ISIS, his response was:
“The United States is not going to be responsible for securing the security situation inside of Iraq

Read More: Chad’s Morning Brief: The White House Says ISIS is Iraq’s Problem and Other Top Stories | http://kfyo.com/chads-morning-brief-the-white-house-says-isis-is-iraqs-problem-and-other-top-stories/?trackback=tsmclip
“The United States is not going to be responsible for securing the security situation inside of Iraq

Read More: Chad’s Morning Brief: The White House Says ISIS is Iraq’s Problem and Other Top Stories | http://kfyo.com/chads-morning-brief-the-white-house-says-isis-is-iraqs-problem-and-other-top-stories/?trackback=tsmclip
“The United States is not going to be responsible for securing the security situation inside of Iraq

Read More: Chad’s Morning Brief: The White House Says ISIS is Iraq’s Problem and Other Top Stories | http://kfyo.com/chads-morning-brief-the-white-house-says-isis-is-iraqs-problem-and-other-top-stories/?trackback=tsmclip
“The United States is not going to be responsible for securing the security situation inside of Iraq..."
So, essentially, like the war in Europe prior to World War II, ISIS in Iraq is their problem and not ours.  Similarly, by extension, ISIS in Syria is a Syrian problem; which explains why we have done nothing in that country to support the free-Syrian rebels.  I suppose if ISIS takes both Iraq and Syria, and then sets its sights on Jordan or Saudi Arabia, we will continue to ignore it all until, and unless, we have another Pearl Harbor or an ISIS version of 9/11.  Do we ever learn?


Germany declares war on the United States: http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/germany-declares-war-on-the-united-states

U.S. and Iraq vs. ISIS: http://kfyo.com/chads-morning-brief-the-white-house-says-isis-is-iraqs-problem-and-other-top-stories/

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Obama: Because of Him, the U.S. Is The Most Respected Country In the World

In a recent Gallup poll, respondents around the world ranked the United States number one in leadership. It wasn't but seconds later, that Obama took credit for it:

The problem with the President's self-serving pat on the back is that, if you actually look at the internal details of that Gallup poll, you would see that respect for U.S. leadership has fallen every year since Obama has been in office.  This after having an unrealistic jump in 2009 when he had nothing to show for his leadership except empty words, false promises, and no action.

However, Obama knows that hardly anyone is going to fact-check the details behind his "I-did-it" proclamation. A better and more accurate poll would reflect the opinion of world leaders towards the U.S.  I think those results may be quite different; especially among our supposed allies.  Still, this is more about the approval of Obama as a man and not his policies. Just as was the case in 2009.

Though President Obama sees himself as respected throughout the world, he may want to check out a recent CNN/ORC poll where he comes in dead last for job approval when compared to the two Bushes, Jimmy Carter, and Bill Clinton.  He only receives a 49% approval when his predecessor, George W. Bush, gets 52%.   Apparently, Americans don't seem to agree with the constant blaming of Bush the "W" for every problem that exists in the country today.


Gallup: Although the leadership of the U.S. earned the highest approval ratings of any major world power asked about in 2014, approval of U.S. leadership dropped to a new low in Africa last year, and tumbling support in Central Asia erased the big gains in the larger Asia region in 2013: http://www.gallup.com/poll/183122/leadership-loses-ground-africa-asia.aspx?utm_source=position3&utm_medium=related&utm_campaign=tiles

CNN/ORC poll (page 10): http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2015/images/06/02/obama,.economy.poll.pdf

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The Decline of Small Business Employment in America

Starting a new business has always been a risky endeavor.  Today, 25% of all new businesses fail in the first year. 50% in the first 4 years, and by year 10, only about 29% are left standing.  With odds like that it's no wonder that business creation is in decline in America.  What person or lender is going to be willing to risk everything by funding something that could easily fail in the first year, and increasingly, every year thereafter?
Still -- except for recessions -- this country has always been able to create more new jobs from startup companies than job losses due to failed ones, as noted by this chart from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Business Employment Report from 2009:

Most notably from the above chart, employment from new businesses has been steadily declining since 1999 when new business job creation peaked in America at 1.95 million.  Then, at the worst point of the Great Recession, it fell to a twenty-year low of just 1.15 million.

Following the end of that recession, and except for a single-quarter aberration in 2012, job creation somewhat rebounded and has been pretty much moving sideways at around 1.3 million jobs; with losses mostly remaining lower than those being created.

Whether or not this is a trend or merely a pause in pre-recession declines is anyone's guess.  It could be that the pause is a result of the reopening of once-profitable businesses that had failed previously during the recession.

Even so, job creation from new businesses is nowhere near the high of the 1990's; or, for that matter, 2004 levels.  Some say the decline is due to the high cost of compliance with local, state, and federal rules governing businesses and their operations.  Others say the high failure rate has made less money available for new ventures.  Another might be the rise of the "big box" stores like Walmart and Target that are crowding out small retail businesses. Still, many think the pool of new ideas is just logically shrinking.  Whatever the case, small businesses and their share of jobs are on the wane:

As this graph shows, small businesses -- businesses under 250 workers -- have declined from providing 51% of all jobs in the U.S, to just a little over 47%.  The simple reality is that big companies have become the engine for job growth.  The era of small businesses being the job creators is over.  The American Dream may have become just that -- a dream.


Startup and Business Failure Statistics: http://www.statisticbrain.com/startup-failure-by-industry/

Entrepreneurship and the U.S. Economy: http://www.bls.gov/bdm/entrepreneurship/entrepreneurship.htm

BUSINESS  EMPLOYMENT  DYNAMICS  – THIRD  QUARTER  2009: http://www.bls.gov/news.release/archives/cewbd_05202010.pdf

BUSINESS  EMPLOYMENT  DYNAMICS  – THIRD  QUARTER  2014: http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/cewbd.pdf

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Will Socialism Be The Only Answer In A World Run By Robots?

We already have cars being tested that drive themselves.  So, when they are finally perfected and approved, why would we need cab drivers?  What about bus drivers and truck drivers?  In Nevada, German truck manufacturer Daimler is already testing a self-driving truck. Microsoft has replaced its human security guards patrolling it's Silicon Valley campus with 5 foot tall robots that use artificial intelligence to navigate and detect security problems.  There's even a robot capable of sorting items at recycling centers.

The reality is, that an increasing number of jobs are being replaced by intelligent machines.  So rapidly, in fact, that some experts believe that 30% of all jobs will be replaced by 2025.

The 30% of workers that do lose their jobs will no longer be paying into Social Security and Medicare to support the millions already living off of those two programs. They'll pay no taxes that typically support welfare and wards of the state. So, how is society going to take care of the millions of workers forced into unemployment by these machines?  I think initially, the politicians will try to stop robot takeover through a tax on every one being deployed; arguing the taxes will be needed to pay for all those people who lost their jobs.   Eventually, though, the only answer will be to allow robot takeover and dump capitalism in favor of socialism with everyone being paid by the state and allotted certain necessities for free.  And, in the irony of all ironies, capitalism, the chief driver of innovation in the world, will die by its own hands.


Self-driving Cars Are No Longer a Thing of the Future | TIME: http://time.com/3661446/self-driving-driverless-cars-ces/

The World’s First Self-Driving Semi-Truck Hits the Road: The World’s First Self-Driving Semi-Truck Hits the Road

Microsoft's Silicon Valley campus is protected by robots:http://www.dailydot.com/technology/microsoft-robot-security-guards/

Green machine: Intelligent robot system recycles waste: http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/07/tech/zenrobotics-recycling-robot/

Monday, June 1, 2015

Handcuffing Our Police Is Killing More Americans Than Terrorism

According to the latest State Department accounting, out of 17,891 terrorist murders around the world in 2013, 19 were Americans.

In Baltimore, May was the first full month since the Freddie Gray riots. 38 homicides were committed; an increase of 20 from the previous four months that averaged a total of 18 murders a month.  More than all the Americans killed by terrorists in all of 2013.

And, Baltimore is not alone.  This year, after seeing two decades of decline in gun violence, many cities like New York, Chicago, Atlanta, and St. Louis, are experiencing double-digit increases in murders in just the first 5 months of the year.   In Milwaukee, homicides are up 180% over last year. 

This is what happens when you have a President and his current and past Attorney's General, Mayors like De Blasio in New York City, and activists like Al Sharpton all condemning the police over the deaths of 3 unarmed black men: Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and Freddie Gray.  The police are now in a position where they believe that no one has their backs.  Especially, their President and the Department of Justice. As a result, arrests and traffic stops are down. There is fear that a single stop could result in their own deaths, because they are now more likely to hesitate to protect themselves. A split-second hesitation that could be deadly. Any altercation with a suspect could end in their own arrests or even a charge of murder. Without the preventive policing of stopping suspicious  people, countless illegal guns are not being confiscated that ultimately end up killing someone.

Hundreds more black lives are being lost every month, and innocent black women and children are being killed in the process.  If black lives really do matter, the new policies towards (really, against) policing are not working.

The media is always talking about President Obama's legacies such as Cuba and the possibility of a nuke deal with Iran.  Well, here's one that he now owns.  Killing more people through restrictive policing than terrorists like ISIS could ever hope to accomplish since 9/11. Americans now have more to fear from this President's handcuffing of police than any terrorist group.  The facts prove it.

One last thing.  Obama is readying a number of gun control laws aimed at keeping them out of the hands of dangerous people.  Really? His policing restrictions have actually managed to allow dangerous people to keep guns and increasingly use them.  Violent offenders will always find ways to buy weapons outside the law.  Just as drug addicts can always find drugs,  Please, for the sake of all too many lives, let the cops do their jobs.

Update: The final tally of homicides in Baltimore for May is 43; meaning a 25 murder increase from the first four months of the year: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2015/05/31/baltimore-homicides-worst-in-40-years/28284839/


The New Nationwide Crime Rate: https://www.google.com/search?q=The+New+Nationwide+Crime+Wave&oq=The+New+Nationwide+Crime+Wave&aqs=chrome..69i57j69i60.96j0j7&sourceid=chrome&es_sm=122&ie=UTF-8#q=The+New+Nationwide+Crime+Wave&tbm=nws

Of the 17,891 Deaths from Terrorism Last Year, 19 Were American. Let Iraqis Fight ISIS: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/h-a-goodman/of-the-17891-deaths-from_b_5818082.html

The double murder Thursday of a young mother and her 7-year-old boy brought Baltimore's bloody monthly homicide tally to 38, a figure that dwarfs that of similar-sized cities and even exceeds the total for the same period in New York: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2015/05/30/murder-capital-baltimores-homicide-explosion-in-wake-freddie-gray-case-dwarfs/

Baltimore boy, 8, murdered [shot in the head] as city's bloody May continues: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/baltimore-boy-8-murdered-city-bloody-continues-article-1.2238941

You’re [now] 45% more likely to be murdered in de Blasio’s Manhattan: http://nypost.com/2015/05/26/youre-45-more-likely-to-be-murdered-in-de-blasios-manhattan/

Summer 2015 Starts Off With Staggering Gun Violence in Chicago, NY, Baltimore: http://americamagazine.org/content/dispatches/summer-2015-starts-staggering-gun-violence-chicago-ny-baltimore

Administration preps new gun regulations: http://thehill.com/regulation/243520-administration-preps-new-gun-regulations