A vast number of "environmentalists" are clamoring for greater use of solar energy to meet our energy needs. The trouble with environmentalists and many other liberals is that they never bother to think things through to the unintended consequences, and then it is much more difficult cleaning up their messes.
The same is true with solar energy - unless we can collect it from space.
Our climate is what it is because of the amount of solar energy that warms the Earth. If the Earth were to get less solar gain, even a small amount of loss could cause cooling that spirals into an ice age. We have seen this in action - in the 1800's we had a year without a summer - snow in July and August - because just one volcano - Krakatoa - threw enough ash into the atmosphere to block enough sun to cause a cooling of the entire planet.
Now fast foward to a future where "environmentalists" have succeeded in depriving the planet of solar energy by diverting it into electricity. Sure, now we have electricity, but the Earth, itself, no longer receives and absorbs all the warmth it requires to keep the climate stable. This would cause the Earth to cool - we already know it doesn't take much. And, unlike the volcano, this subtraction of solar gain is not a one-time event - it is permanent, soaking up solar energy every day of every year.
If we were to siphon off enough solar gain to provide even 1/4 of the world's energy needs, it would cool our planet by as much as 4 degrees over the course of a decade. And that is all it takes to cause an irreversible ice age that would virtually destroy civilization.
The same is true with their idea to take the energy created by the ebb and flow of the tide - do they really believe they can take that energy without having a huge environmental impact? We have no idea of the unintended consequences of taking the energy from the tidal flow. How would it affect the ocean currents? What about the ocean life that lives and dies by tidal events?
But don't try to tell that to an environmentalist - they are not concerned with facts, but only with their ill-thought out theories. Just once I wish liberal thinkers would think PAST the present and consider the likely unintended consequences before jumping into something.
Our economy would go into warp speed if America were to end its dependency on foreign oil and produce most, if not all of its own cheap energy. And we do not need expensive pie-in-the-sky "green energy", either.
The Bakken oil reserve in the western United States has enough oil to fill America's needs for 2,000 years! This is a fact, attested to by the U.S. government and the U.S. Geological Survey. There is enough oil at Bakken to bring the domestic price of oil down to $16 per barrel, as opposed to the current price of nearly $90 per barrel.
The ONLY reason we are not tapping this reserve is the same reason we are not tapping the huge reserves in Alaska - environmentalists who would rather destroy us all than to endanger their own warped agenda. Although environmentalists were proven wrong with the Alaska pipeline, they still insist recovery of oil will harm the habitat of wildlife. They said the pipeline would destroy the caribou herds, preventing them from migrating. In fact, the herds have proliferated. The environmentalists are wrong, and they know it. But our politicians cave in to their powerful lobbying in order to get re-elected. We, the People need to put a stop to that and force our politicians to act in the best interests of America, not environmental special interests.
First, we need to insist the Bakken be tapped, along with the reserves in Alaska.
Second, we need to provide the oil companies with the rights to recover the oil only if they also triple or quadruple refining capacities. It is a lack of refineries more than a shortage of oil that makes gasoline so expensive.
Third, we must make it a law that as long as America depends upon even one drop of foreign oil, no American oil will be sold outside the U.S.. Only if and when America produces all its own power can oil companies put any excess on the open market.
If you understand nothing else, understand this --- any nation that does not have a ready and secure supply of energy will find themselves at the mercy of those who do. Currently, America is dependent upon both enemy nations and unstable nations for its supply of energy. And that is a recipe that assures our destruction.
If we are to survive as a nation, we absolutely must secure our own energy sources right here in the U.S. - then guard them as though they were nuclear weapons, because our enemies would stop at nothing to cripple us.
Now, with Egypt in crisis, more than ever we need to become less dependent upon foreign oil. And we can be...
According to the U.S. Geological Survey and other government reports, the "Bakken" which stretches from northern Montana , through North Dakota and into Canada has the largest oil reserves in the world. For years, U. S. oil exploration has been considered a dead end. Even the "Big Oil" companies gave up searching for major oil wells decades ago. However, a recent technological breakthrough has opened up the Bakken's massive reserves ... and we now have access of up to 500 billion barrels. And because this is light, sweet oil, those billions of barrels will cost Americans just $16 PER BARREL!
That's enough crude to fully fuel the American economy for 167 years straight. And if THAT didn't throw you on the floor, then this next one should - because it's from 2006!
Hidden 1,000 feet beneath the surface of the Rocky Mountains lies the largest untapped oil reserve in the world. It is more than 2 TRILLION barrels. On August 8, 2005, President Bush mandated its extraction. In the years of high oil prices since, none has been extracted. With this motherload of oil why are we still fighting over off-shore drilling?
They reported this stunning news: We have more oil inside our borders than all the other proven reserves on earth. Here are the official estimates:
- 8-times as much oil as Saudi Arabia - 18-times as much oil as Iraq - 21-times as much oil as Kuwait - 22-times as much oil as Iran - 500-times as much oil as Yemen - and it's all right here in the western United States .
HOW can this BE? HOW can we NOT BE extracting this? Because the environmentalists and others have blocked all efforts to help America become independent of foreign oil! Again, we are letting a small group of people dictate our lives and our economy. WHY?
James Bartis, lead researcher with the study, says we've got more oil in this very compact area than the entire Middle East - more than 2 TRILLION barrels untapped. "That's more than all the proven oil reserves of crude oil in the world today," reports The Denver Post.
Don't think for a minute that "OPEC" will drop its price - even with this find UNLESS we make a concerted effort to recover this oil. Then watch OPEC drop its price. It's all about the competitive marketplace. Think OPEC just might be funding the environmentalists?
True, there has been some drilling of the Bakken for years, but in the 50+ years of minor drilling operations, only 105 billion barrels have been recovered - 2 billion barrels per year. America currently uses 6.6 billion barrels per year (of which 51% is imported from foreign countries). Additional drilling on a larger scale is being prevented by environmental groups and lobbies. And of the oil being recovered, it is unsure whether it is used in the U.S. or exported for greater profits.
Between ANWR in Alaska and Bakken in the western states, the figures for recoverable oil are estimated between 500 billion and 2 trillion barrels. Even at the lowest estimate, 500 billion barrels would replace the 3 billion a year we now import for up to 167 years of import-free petroleum. And even at a fair rate of increase in usage over the years, it would still keep us free of foreign dependency for a century - plenty of time to develop newer, better technologies.
Got your attention yet? Now, while you're thinking about it, do this:
Pass this along. If you don't take a little time to do this, then you should stifle yourself the next time you complain about gas prices - by doing NOTHING, you forfeit your right to complain. By the way .... this is all true. See the U.S. Government's own report on this by clicking here. It will blow your mind.
Any hope for peace in the Middle East is now gone forever. FOREVER! And any hope of keeping Egypt as an ally - even an uneasy ally - is pretty much gone. And that is a big problem.
No matter how things turn out in Egypt, or who ends up in control, it is highly unlikely that any new government will have a friendly attitude toward America, simply because America supported Egyptian dictators for half a century.
And it is primarily muslim, meaning that any new government is unlikely to be willing to continue to protect the border to Israel. And the dominoes begin to fall...
We have needed Egypt as an ally for several reasons. For example, we need them to help control the border to Israel to prevent the flow of illicit arms. And we have need of the flyover space - it is unlikely any new government will allow us to use their airspace, and that airspace is crucial. And Egypt also virtually controls the crucial Suez Canal, through which most Middle Eastern oil is transported.
And bear this in mind - no matter what happens in Egypt, you can expect its problems to result in a substantial price increase for oil.
I certainly hope I am wrong - but that is unlikely, unless Mubarak can keep control of Egypt - which is also unlikely.
The global implications of a fallen Egptian government are huge.
Well, it's official - I am now working on my SECOND million. I gave up on the first. My brother Bobby told me I should have married for money. I reminded him that I did, with my first marriage, but as soon as her $36.42 was gone, so was I.
I started out with nothing, and I'm proud to say I have most of it left. And I agree with Ben Stein, that I should give Uncle Sam 10% more of my income. What the Hell - 10% of nuthin' doesn't come to very much, anyway. In fact, I'm willing to offer twice that much. If someone needier than me can make good use of it, I say "go for it".
But my generosity doesn't stop there - I'm going to give you twice as much this Christmas as I gave you last Christmas. But not my ex-wife. She's not gonna get anything else from me until she uses what I gave her last Christmas. That burial plot cost me too much to want to see it go to waste.
Seriously though, my ex wasn't that bad. And that was the problem. If she had put a little more effort into being BAD, we might still be together. But it still wouldn't have worked - $36.42 can go just so far.
My wife dyed her hair blonde, and now her brain is like teflon. She forgets everything in 2.3 seconds flat. I know it's not a precursor to alzheimers because she has no problem remembering every little mistake I have made in our 20 years together. She just can't remember why the car keys were in the fridge.
The other day, as I was snow-blowing all that global warming residue out of the driveway, my wife came out to help, shovel in hand. But no boots on her feet! I sent her back into the house to get boots on, and when she reappeared, the shovel was gone. She couldn't remember where she put it, but at least she had boots on. I kissed her, then finished plowing.
Some of you have asked why gold has been tanking these last couple of weeks. I thought I had cleared that up previously, but I guess I need to get a bit deeper into the explanation.
Investors invest according to their faith in government, the economy etc. When they lack faith & confidence, they sell stocks and buy gold, which increases the price of gold. When investors regain faith and confidence, they sell their gold and buy stocks.
Over the last two years gold rocketed upward because investors lost faith in the government and its ability to control the deficit, debt and economy.
In November, voters placed control of the House of Representatives into the hands of the GOP and Tea Partiers. Investors understood that the new House has promised to reduce the deficit and debt, and strengthen the economy. And gold stabilized somewhat, as investors waited to see if the government would actually start working to make things better.
In December, the GOP controlled House forced the Senate and the President to moderate. Investors saw this as a positive sign, but were still unsure just how much headway would be made. And gold began stumbling as investors raised their hopes of better times ahead.
Over the last couple of weeks, the consensus is that the GOP will actually push to make things better for business and the economy. The message got through not so much because of the GOP promises, but because the White House has become more centrist - less liberal - because of the GOP hold on the House. This signals to investors that the GOP stands to actually make some progress.
All in all, investors are regaining faith and confidence. And the stock market has jumped as gold slumped.
And that is why gold is losing some of its luster.
But don't be too quick to sell - if the government does not follow through on its promises, investors will again look to gold. And then there are those who, upon seeing gold prices relatively low, will decide to buy in the hopes it will only go up again. And both of those can trigger a new "buying" spree.
But for now, I'm taking a 'wait and see" attitude. I reaped my profits and cashed in on them (though I still own some gold). If the GOP stumbles and investors again lose faith, I will then dump those profits back into gold for the next wild ride.
The Illinois court has ruled that Rahm Emanuel cannot be on the ballot for mayor of Chicago because he was not a Chicago resident for the prior year. As much as I dislike the man, this will go to the Illinois Supreme Court, where I am confident Emanuel will win. And here's why...
Under the law there are three types of residency. The first is "transient", which is the type residency you have as you pass through, or vacation. The second is "temporary", the type that involves living somewhere for more than 6 months, regardless of how long you actually stay (Emanuel in D.C.). You can live somewhere for 50 years and still be a temporary resident under the law, because of the third, and most important type of residency - "permanent".
A person's permanent residency is not determined by where you are (transient) or where you live (temporary). Instead, it is determined by "declaration and intent". If you declare your residency to be a certain place, and you can show an intent to return to that place at some future point, then that is your permanent residence.
Here is an example --- I currently reside in Maine. I have been here for 6 years, having come from New Hampshire. I have always made it known that I intend to someday return to New Hampshire. Under the law, I am a temporary resident of Maine, but a permanent resident of New Hampshire.
The reason for these variants is simple - here is another example that explains:
A young man is born in New York. Lives there all his life. Gets married and has a family. He joins the military and gets stationed in California for 4 years or gets shipped to Afghanistan. But he does not plan on staying on the military base after his hitch is up, and plans on returning to his family in New York. And that is one reason why "permanent" residency does not have anything to do with where you are at the moment, or for how long. A person does not forfeit permanent residency just because he leaves for awhile.
But this also creates a legal problem for people when they die. If you lived for years in one state, like New York and then move to Arizona when you retire, and then you die, BOTH states can hit your estate for an inheritance tax! That is because you are legally a resident of both, unless your estate can PROVE you had no intention of returning to the previous state.
So, if you move, do yourself and your heirs a favor:
1) Put it in writing that it is your intent to make your new home your permanent residence and have no intention of returning to the previous state
2) Make sure to incur proof of residency - bills in your name for your new address, etc.
3) PROVE intent by cutting ties with the previous state. Do not use a lawyer, accountant or other professional from your "old" state. Do not hold property there, or anything that may incur any state tax. In other words, divorce yourself from your old state.
That said, I hope the courts are honest enough to allow Emanel to be on the ballot. And then I hope, for the sake of Chicago, that he loses.
There are two very distinct methods of becoming a success in life. Both have the same result. But they take two very separate paths.
In trying to figure a way to describe the two methods I decided to look upon my own life, which I feel has been a great success, as I have everything I set out to achieve. So please bear with me for a moment, if you will.
One of my favorite hobbies is woodworking. I revel at being able to take a piece of raw wood and turn it into wonderful pieces, from small toys to large, wall-sized hutches. Because of my love for the hobby, I eventually outfitted my shop with every piece of modern equipment capable of turning out perfect pieces in a matter of hours.
But it wasn't long before I realized that, although the results were what I set out to achieve, getting there was not as enjoyable as it was when I only had basic hand tools - a hand plane instead of a power planer. A hand saw instead of a radial arm saw.
Sure, I could now turn out 20 pieces in the time it used to take to turn out one, but the fun was gone. More important, the personal satisfaction was absent. After all, with all the modern tooling, any idiot could turn out perfect pieces. But only a craftsman can turn out an heirloom built with loving care and hand craftsmanship.
So now, when I need something in a hurry I fire up the electronic tools and "git 'er done." But when I want to feel satisfaction, and create an heirloom, I shut down the power tools and break out the hand plane, the sanding blocks and the coping saw. And for that real heirloom quality, I give the piece a hand-rubbed oil finish.
Life is, or at least should be like that. When something needs to get done ASAP, go for it with every tool at your command. But when you seek something special, such as a marriage, or friendship; something that fills you with satisfaction at the end of the day - do what a craftsman does - put away the power and put your muscle into it. Lovingly, and with care. I think you will find you can achieve even greater success, and find it to be more fulfilling.
Sometimes as we walk - or more appropriately, stumble - through life, we wonder how the Good Lord could be so cruel as to fill our lives with trials and tribulations, and then add insult to injury by making us get old and fall apart.
So, Bentley, the new governor of Alabama told the crowd, "If you are a non-Christian, you are not my brother, you are not my sister."
And judging from the screams from the left and non-Christians, you would think he had just committed a heinous crime. A spokesperson for a non-Christian group stated that Bentley's words were "repulsive and showed intolerance."
Being a Christian, Bentley is familiar with the Book of Matthew. The last few verses of Matthew 12 are as follows:
"46 While Jesus was still talking to the people, his mother and brothers stood outside. They wanted to talk to him. 47 Someone told him, `Your mother and your brothers are standing outside. They want to talk to you.'
48 But to the man who told him, he said, `Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?'
49 He pointed to his disciples and said, `These people are my mother and my brothers!
50 Anyone who obeys my Father in heaven is my brother, my sister, and my mother.'
In other words, Bentley was reciting the very words of Jesus. So, when non-Christians say the words of Bentley were "repulsive and show intolerance," they were saying the words of Jesus are "repulsive and show intolerance." So, just WHO is being repulsive and intolerant?
Seems to me that too many folks have no clue what "tolerance" is. Tolerance is letting people believe what they choose, without recrimination. The non-Christians who feel Bentley's (and Jesus') words are "repulsive" are being as intolerant as can be. Had Bentley insulted the words of another religion, THAT would have shown intolerance. But that is not what Bentley did. But it IS what the non-Christian groups - and the lamestream media - did.
At no time did Bentley express acrimony toward any other religion, or even atheism. So it appears Bentley was the one who showed tolerance. And his critics show their own intolerance.
If you would like to save money and make money at the same time, this is a neat little strategy I came up with years ago.
Assuming you qualify for contributing to an IRA and you have not already done so, try this:
Borrow the $5,000 from a bank for one year at, say, 8% and invest it in your IRA. If you are in the 28% tax bracket you immediately save $1400 on your taxes. But you will only pay the bank $191.60 in interest. You have popped $5,000 into your retirement and saved a total of $1208.40
Are you married? You can double the savings by investing in an IRA for your spouse, as long as he/she qualifies.
It seems the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) believes Maine's new Republican governor, LePage, is racist because he won't be attending Martin Luther King celebrations today.
A couple of things...
1) Governor LePage has a colored son, Devon, a young Jamaican that LePage adopted. Somehow that does not seem to relate to LePage being racist in any way. In fact, it would appear to be the other way around - the NAACP is racist for labeling LePage as racist.
2) As Governor, LePage is scheduled to attend the funeral of a Maine State Trooper today, which is of greater importance than celebrating MLK day. But again, the NAACP does not care about that - all they care about is labeling people as racist if they do not bow to the special interests of the NAACP
Here's my take, if you haven't already guessed it - there is no place in our society for those who earn their livings by playing the race card, keeping racism alive and well. This includes race-baiters like Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and Jeremiah Wright. It also includes any organization dedicated SOLELY to one ethnic group, since setting oneself up to be separate only actually creates division. This includes the Black Caucus, black church, and the NAACP. America will be better off without those who insist on divisions rather than coming together. It also includes any organization dedicated solely to any one race, whether black, latino, white, Indian or Asian. If someone's concern is for one race over all others, then that person is a racist. Period.
After all, think about it - what do you suppose would be the public outcry from those same people and organizations if someone were to create a WHITE church, a WHITE caucus or the National Association for the Advancement of WHITE People" They would srceam "racism" all day long. But when they do it, suddenly it is not racist.
Well, it IS racist. Anything that sets one race apart from another; anything or anyone who inserts a wedge between races; anyone or any organization that treats one race better than another - all of them are racist. The Ku Klux Klan is racist, and so is the NAACP. We do not need any of them.
And the sooner that all good Americans rise up and insist on tearing down these walls and ridding ourselves of race-baiting organizations - only then will America become color blind.
But the NAACP, Sharpton, Jackson and the Black Caucus and Black Churches do not WANT the walls torn down, as that would result in them losing their power over people, and they would need to find a legitimate way of earning a living. As long as racism thrives, so will they.
If the man we honor on this day, Martin Luther King Jr., is the hero he is portrayed as, and if he were alive today, I strongly suspect he would be calling for the same thing - dissolution of anything that causes division and the shunning of those who earn their livings playing the race card.
We need to cut the crap. There should not be any "African-Americans", "Native Americans", "Irish-Americans", "Asian-Americans (Amer-Asians)" or any other type of "American." There should only be "AMERICANS". Period. If a person feels a need to set himself apart by adding an ethnicity, then that person is simply being racist. It has been said the racist is the person who brings race into any discussion that is not about race.
And being American is not about race.
As far as the NAACP, Sharpton or Jackson are concerned, it is up to us to take away their self-serving power and put an end to their racism and race-baiting once and for all.
This new year brings with it some bad news for consumers. The following are a few things that will be costing you more - and what you can do to help offset the added costs.
FOOD: The USDA forecasts a 2% to 3% hike in the cost of all foods in 2011. Higher corn and soybean prices are the main culprit. And lest you forget, higher corn prices, thanks to ethanol, means the feed for farm animals goes up, so you pay more for meat. Pork is forecast to rise between 3% and 4%. And almost all other foods rely on corn and/or soy to some degree. A fuel prices means it costs more to grow and transport food, increasing the cost to you.
SOLUTION: Use grocery coupons, including those found online. Shop the weekly sales and specials. Don't buy anything on impulse - stick to your list. Check to see if your community has a grocery co-op you can join. And even if you only have a postage stamp property, consider planting a vegetable garden, even if you have to join in with neighbors.
FUEL: A former Shell Oil President says gas will be $5 a gallon this year. That's about $2 more per gallon than the current average price of $3.05, says the Department of Energy. Blame it on the weather. In spite of the hype surrounding global warming, once again unexpectedly harsh winters here and in Europe have created a higher-than-usual demand for heating fuels.
SOLUTION: Use less. Carpool, combine errands, ride a bike, walk. At home, wear a sweater and keep your thermostat set low. Consider alternative fuels for at least part of your heat, such as solar panels or wood heat. Seal any cracks or leaks around your windows and insulate your water heater.
HEALTH INSURANCE/MEDICAL: Blue Cross said it was going to raise premiums by almost 60%. Other insurers have similar price hikes planned. Don't look for much help from the government here - it is the government that is responsible, by making higher and costlier demands on insurers with their "Affordable Health Care Act" (what a joke). Although the Obama administration wants individual and small-group insurers to justify when they raise rates by 10% or more, the Department of Health and Human Services wasn't given enforcement authority to do anything about it even if the hikes are deemed unreasonable.
SOLUTION: Insure only for the things you cannot afford yourself, like catastrophic (major medical) or use a high-deductible health plan. You might be able to handle $10,000 in medical bills, but not $100,000 -- hence a catastrophic plan could save you a lot in premiums. If you have dental insurance think about ditching it in favot of the Costco dental plan at $87-a-year.
CLOTHING: Cotton is now 80% more expensive than it was at the start of 2010. That means higher prices for clothing.
SOLUTION: Avoid buying new. GoodWill and other thrift stores often carry very good clothing, some new, or nearly new. Organize a kids' clothing swap at your school or a clothing swap party among your friends. Of course, if you are handing with the sewing machine, consider making some of your own clothing.
SECONDARY EDUCATION: Overall, college tuitions are upby almost 8% at public, four-year colleges and 4.5% at private colleges. Reductions in alumni giving and state funding will cause costs to keep increasing.
SOLUTION: Consider enrolling in a community college for the first two years, to get the basic courses under your belt, or at least taking some of your courses there over the summer or in evening classes. Community colleges are cheaper. Also, look into CLEP - getting credits for what you already know.
CHILDREN: Kids often require babysitters, tutors and summer camp, among other costly things. Babysitters charge as much as $12 to $15 an hour these days - twice what flipping burgers pays.
SOLUTION: Swap parenting services with other parents - you help my kid learn math, and I'll help yours with history. I'll take yours to soccer with mine, if you take mine to baseball practice with yours. Organize homework clubs instead of hiring tutors and babysitting co-ops instead of hiring a sitters.
BANK FEES: You can thank Congress and the administration for the extreme hike in banking fees. But forcing banks to stop certain practices that cost customers money, banks have chosen to add or increase other fees, so now instead of the deadbeats paying for overdrawing, everybody pays. Checking fees, ATM fees, safety deposit box fees - even fees for talking to a teller!. New banking laws have meant new banking fees - as I have blogged before, every new regulation is money out of YOUR pocket.
SOLUTION: Shop around and find out exactly what fees a bank charges. Some banks are better than others; credit unions are usually better than banks. Avoid using ATM's altogether except in emergencies, and whe you do use one, choose one that allows you to withdraw the maximum amount and do just that. A $5.00 ATM fee on $300 is just 1.7%. But that same $5.00 fee on $60 comes to a whopping 8.3%.
An Iraq war veteran, a Marine, put up a flag in his own yard. The "community leaders" are ordering him to take it down because it violates someone else's sensibilities.
A high school senior who has a strong faith in God chose to be thankful to Him for her life. The school said she could not do that.
A middle school child rode his bike to school with a flag on it. The school says he must remove the flag.
A homeowner is fined because he gives away food he grows on his own property.
A homeowner applies to build a sunroom on his home, but is forbidden to do so because one of his neighbors objects.
Everywhere you look, there are controlling people who seem to derive their pleasure by making life difficult or miserable for others. They believe that somehow they have the right to dictate to others, and impose their own values on other people.
My question is this --- WHY do we allow them to get away with it?
In America, the founders dream was for a country where the citizens could do whatever they wanted as long as it did not do any substantial harm to anyone, and did not prevent others from doing what they wanted. But somewhere along the way we began to allow little despots to dictate to us - passing absurd laws and regulations that infringe on personal rights; zoning laws that go far beyond the original purpose of guaranteeing public safety and health; and generally imposing their will on others to give themselves a sense of power.
They need to be stopped. We the people need to band together and require public officials to reverse regulations and other impositions unless they can prove the regulation has a substantial effect on the general health and welfare of the community at large. If Joe's sunroom is not going to endanger anyone because it is built to acceptable safety standards, then he should be able to build it whether his neighbor likes it or not. And if raising the flag cannot be shown to be a threat to the community, the Marine should be able to fly his banner.
Some people pass these stupid regulations in the false belief it will make the world more perfect, by eliminating anything that might cause controversy. But in doing so, they actually add to the controversy by trampling upon our freedoms.
The world is not perfect, and it never will be. The control freaks need to learn that, and if they do not learn it, we need to remove them from any position of power and replace them with people who understand the true meaning of diversity - that we cannot and will not all be "alike". Nor should we be. Instead of trying to make everything the same, we should be celebrating our differences. After all, a rainbow that consists of just one color would not be very awe inspiring.
Our Creator tried hard to show us the value of diversity. Imagine if ever human had the same face and body, same color hair? Or all the trees looked the same, and all turned the same color in fall.
It's way past time to force our leaders - local, state and federal - to stop passing restrictions on human activity unless that activity poses a real threat, and to reverse those restrictions already passed.
And maybe, just maybe we will once again be a country of free people, with the freedoms to do those things that made this country great in the first place.
Success depends, in large part, in preparation. We all understand the need for preparation in tasks we tackle, or in our careers. For purposes of this post, we will discuss the kinds of prep that most people never think about.
If your home catches fire in the middle of the coldest night of the year, are you prepared to go immediately out into the cold? Prepared to stay in another place, perhaps for days, or weeks? In our home, we keep a folding chain-style ladder beneath each second story windowsill, just in case we cannot make it to the door. And each person has a "go bag" beside their bed at all times. The go-bag includes all the basic necessities - everything from a change of clothes to a toothbrush, flashlight, jackknife etc. Anything that might be needed in an emergency. And in the winter months, they also keep a spare coat near the bed. In Maine, it would not do to be caught out in 20 below zero weather wearing nothing but PJ's. You would escape the heat to die from the cold.
If the weather is bad and you run off the road where no one can see you, are you prepared? For the cold? Hunger? First Aid? Do you even have flares in your vehicle? Each of our vehicles maintains a full first aid kit, flashlight, road flares, dried food snacks and a space blanket. Just in case the cellphone battery dies...it happens.
I wear a belt pack on a daily basis that helps me cope with unforeseen emergencies. A "Leatherman" tool, jackknife, short-handled screwdriver set, strong twine (or monofilament), spare Bic lighter etc. It feels great to be able to stop and help some kid fix his bike, or to just not have to run back to the house every time I find need of a screwdriver. It sure simplifies life, and adds peace of mind.
What if an epidemic, or pandemic comes around? Will you be a victim simply because you were not prepared? We have a set of rules we go by when disease hits our area - things like not accepting change back at a store, swiping your own card, handling incoming mail with latex gloves and a little lysol. And shop at the least busiest times, to avoid contact. But we also have a tub full of face masks, latex gloves, extra lysol, some bleach, clorox wipes etc., just to be on the safer side, should the epidemic be a deadly one.
And today in the news, the high probability of a food shortage and food price shock. Are you prepared for a disruption in the availability of sustenance? In our house we have a 6 month supply of MRE's (meals ready to eat) for each family member, a 3 month supply of canned goods, a tub of flour, vac-packed, a tub of dried beans, vac-packed, and a six month supply of veggies canned from our own garden. I even have a few large cans of coffee set aside, and bottled water. I also maintain a supply of "heirloom" seeds so we can grow a new garden every year. Store bought seeds will not produce a harvest that can be used to reseed the next year - those seeds are hydrids, and will not reproduce properly in the second year. Heirloom seeds are the old-time, non-hybrids that produce the next years' supply of good seed, for a perpetual garden.
The point is this: the more "emergencies" you are prepared for, the greater you chances of long-term success and full-time peace of mind.
On MSNBC, Keith Olbermann, left-wing bommb-throwing idiot called on Republicans to repudiate Palin, and he made references to targeting political opponents with "bull's-eyes over their faces." This comment in spite of the fact the Palin graphic did no such thing. It targeted DISTRICTS, not people. And like others on the left, Olbermann, struggling against all odds to be relevant coincidentally ignored the very same map on the Democrate Leadership Council website, targeting Republican districts.
This sort of "military rhetoric" has been part and parcel of the American political scene since George Washington left office. In the case of Hamilton vs. Burr in 1804, it actually came to a duel in which Burr was killed. But for the most part, rhetoric is just that - mere words. And words do not kill - people kill.
If words can cause a demented mind to act in violence, then there is no preventing that violence because the words, themselves, really do not matter. Hinckley tried to assassinate President Reagan because of Jodie Foster. And the man who murdered John Lennon was acting on Lennon's own songs. Short of making it illegal to speak at all, crazy people will commit violence. It is their intent - they only seek an excuse.
Every expert on the scene in Tucson has stated the same thing - Loughner was not motivated by any political agenda or rhetoric. Yet people on the left are spewing their lies in an attempt to do even more harm by using their own brand of political hate-mongering.
Whenever clowns like Olbermann, Huffington, Senators Durbin and Sanders use any violent act to further their own political agenda by blaming the right, or vice versa, that is, itself, the very hate-mongering that they say they condemn. It's like saying, "I deplore violence, and I'll beat the crap out of anyone who resorts to it." Do they not realize that by inflaming people about the rhetoric that they are, themselves, inflaming people?
I wonder what Olbermann, or Krugman of the NYT would have to say if some deranged person on the left assassinates a Republican because he believes the incendiary rhetoric of Olbermann and Krugman, and believes the Republicans are "evil hate mongerers"? I would bet my entire net worth they would not say a word except to try and blame it on the right somehow. They would find some way to blame either Bush or Palin. Any takers on that bet?
And I am sick and tired of the BS coming from the media. The media is SUPPOSED to be objective. But they are the farthest thing from it. Their bias shines through like lightning on a dark night.
All I ask is for honest, unbiased dialogue from the media so I can make up my own mind based on the facts from all sides. And I watch and read most of the media, if only to understand all sides of issues. And I don't mind telling you that the only one I have found that is - for the most part - honest and balanced is Fox News. No, they aren't perfect. Fox News is not ALL news programs. They also have opinion programs like Hannity and Beck which are one-sided. But the NEWS programs are fair and balanced. And O'Reilly comes down on both sides equally hard, so I find him to be worth watching. The only other media that comes close to Fox is CNN, though they do tend to veer left more than any news outlet should.
MSNBC, NBC, the New York Times, Wshington Post and any Time/Warner outlets are so incredibly biased in favor of liberalism that they no longer have any credibility or relevance except in the eyes of the Ivory Tower elitists that subscribe to far-left beliefs. But I still read them, because if I am to speak on such matters, I need to know all sides.
As Americans we should all be contacting the media and insist they get back to being the objective watchdogs they were intended to be, and stop taking sides. Present BOTH sides, then let us decide where we want to stand. And then when we chose our stand, do not denegrate us for the one we choose. We are under no obligation to agree. Anything less is nothing more than imposing tyranny through censorship.
As I watch the news these last few days I cannot help but chuckle when all the pundits hype up how bad this is. "Huge storm stalls country." "Those poor folks in the Northeast". And while I do appreciate that much of the country simply is not used to this sort of weather, here in Maine we have a word for it - "typical".
In fact, this little bit of precipitation is actually quite minor. 8-12 inches is not even a storm by Maine standards. We live for snow. Snowmobiling, snow-shoeing, sled dog races, skiing, winter carnivals - the things we live for would be gone if not for the promise of lots and lots of snow.
I recall one winter we awoke and my father told me it had snowed and to go out and shovel. I opened the back door and was faced with a wall of white. I could not even see the outside. My older brother climbed out the second story window to dig down while I had a great time just tunneling out. It took all day to clear a 60 foot driveway. I remember wondering why, since no one could go anywhere, anyway.
I know, that sounds like a tall story, but it is true.
I do feel badly for those who get slammed with a snowfall like this and are not prepared for it. I guess that's the real key to it all - preparation. Each of us has an obligation to ourselves and our families to try and be prepared for the unexpected, because sooner or later the unexpected can be expected to occur.
And that is why I have included this post in a blog devoted to successful living. The most successful people in the long run are those who are adequately prepared.
Imagine a solar flare as big as the one in 1998 that knocked out the entire power grid in Eastern Canada. As bad as that was, that flare was not as large as some, but those others had simply not been in our direction. It is estimated that a large solar flare the size of the one that shut down all communications in the 1860's would, if it hit today, wipe out all satellites, and the entire electrical grids of an entire hemisphere.
Bear in mind - that means all transformers would overload and be blown. And transformers are difficult to replace because a) it requires electricity to produce them, and b) only two nations make transformers - China and Brazil. Neither is particularly friendly with us. The point is, if such a flare hit on our hemisphere, it could take from 3-10 years to get our country powered back up.
Can you survive in a world without electricity? Without communications? Remember, no electricity means gas cannot be pumped and goods - including food - cannot be delivered to stores. It takes electricity to pump water to drink and to flush toilets.
One guy told me "No sweat - I heat with wood and I have a generator." It really hurt to remind him that without access to gas, he has no way of getting in a wood supply. And without access to gas, once his generator hits "empty" he is out in the cold like most others.
I'm not saying that scenario will happen in our lifetime, but I can guarantee that a similar scenario will happen eventually. And it is a wise person who takes steps to prepare at least for the less dramatic disasters. Can you survive two weeks without power in the winter? That happened in NH in 1998. Can you be comfortable if an unexpected storm hits your area?
Think sbout it - just how well prepared are you for life's little surprises?
David Nelson, who co-starred with his parents and little brother Rick on the popular television show 'The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet,' has died after battling complications of colon cancer.
"Ozzie & Harriet" was one of the most popular television shows of the '50's and '60's, running from 1952-1966. David was the older brother of another icon, in the music industry - Ricky Nelson, who died in an airplane crash in 1985.
For those of us who grew up with the Nelson boys, David will be sorely missed. His family helped usher in a wonderful era. His passing leaves us with a void that can not be easily filled.
The tragedy in Tucson set us back on our heels a bit. It hurts. But what hurts almost as much are those who attempt to use the tragedy to push their own ideological agendas. Some, like Klugman of the New York Times are using it to push for laws that would infringe on free speech, particularly any sppech he disagrees with. Some are using it to profit - Bernie Sanders, the socialist Senator from Vermont is using the tragedy to solicit campaign donations. Reprehensible. Some, like Senator Durbin are using it to score political points.
And some, as could be expected, are using it to push for more gun control.
One person said that violent crimes are rampant in Arizona because of the state's lack of gun control. But what he failed to say was that violent crime rate in Arizona is less than 1/3 of the violent crime rate in the citry with the strictest gun laws. The violent crime rate in Arizona was 482.7 per 100,000. In Washington DC, with the strictest gun laws, it was 1,414.3 per 100,000 - more than three times higher.
Criminals do not like to take as many chances when they know their "prey" may be well-armed. They don't want to be shot any more than you do.
But here is a point to ponder - the people who want stricter gun laws because Loughner shot 16 people, killing 6 would never, ever push to outlaw vehicles if someone like Loughner had driven his SUV into the crowd, killing 30 people. So it appears they are hypocrites - they are not concerned with the killing or the killers. They are only concerned with disarming the public, making us "prey", with no way to defend ourselves.
There have been countless instances where armed citizens were able to prevent murders and other violent crimes. But the gun control crowd are not interested in that. Why is that?
George Washington was very clear in his strong stance that every American should have firearms. And at first, they did. And until the 1980's there was not a single instance where a child brought a gun to school to kill other kids. In spite of the fact that, until the 1960's, children were often permitted to bring guns to school, because they had to hunt for food as soon as school was out. I brought my own rifle to school every day of hunting season throughout my school years, through 1965.
If Loughner had not used a gun, he would have made a bomb, or used a fast-moving vehicle. Either would have been more devastating than the gun. He is deranged. Not having access to a gun would not have stopped him. Gun laws would not have stopped him. In DC they have strict guns laws - all the criminals still have guns, but the innocent citizens do not. Hence, the highest violent crime rate in the nation. Why not? Who is going to stop the criminal in DC? Certainly not the police, where there is only one officer for every several thousand citizens.
Gun laws are not the answer. I'm not sure what the answer is, but I strongly suspect that raising our young with a greater respect for life and property, and a strong moral background would go a long way. And devising a wise and sensible way of dealing with people who show serious signs of mental issues would help. Currently, we are not allowed to commit anyone for mental evaluation until they have already slipped off the edge. And until they commit a crime, they cannot be held against their will in an asylum. I understand that - it is a violation of their rights. But the rest of the citizenry also have rights, including the right to not be murdered by deranged persons. So we need to come up with a fair way to identify and deal with persons exhibiting signs of derangement.
I was on AOL today and they were running a story about gun laws because of the shooting in Tuscon. As many of you know, readers can post comments on stories at both AOL and Yahoo.
I have always known AOL and its parent company, Time-Warner are pretty far left in their ideology. But I never dreamed they were so far left as to be unAmerican.
At the end of the story I simply posted a quote by George Washington. The quote is, "The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference - they deserve a place of honor with all that's good. --- George Washington"
AOL promptly declined posting it as being "too controversial." When anyone says George Washington is too controversial, then you know that person is unAmerican at the core. But even if it were controversial, by preventing it from being posted they were engaging in censorship and the squelching of free speech and honest debate. And that is also inherently unAmerican.
It truly is a shame that the once esteemed Time-Warner company has become so lacking in value and credibility. Much like the Gray Lady (New York Times). Their extyreme ideology has rendered them irrelevant and of little consequence. Too bad.
Every so often I will post some of the comments I find from bloggers and others posting on the internet, to show the mentality of some, and provide responses that point out the flaws in their posts. These particular ones are from - you guessed it - the liberal AOL (a Time/Warner company). Here are a few to start this ball rolling...
Margie 2:47 AM Jan 10, 2011 I only have one thing to say about this planned shooting (Congresswoman Giffords)....Sarah Palin and her gun site targets over Giffords district, that has been quickly taken down since the shooting. Sarah Palin is a pathetic and dangerous individual. I expect to probably see more of these shootings from these right wing nut cases.
[REPLY] It appears Margie uses her personal and unfounded bias in jumping to conclusions. The DNC also put up a map with gunsights on REPUBLICAN districts. And the founder of the far-left Daily Kos called upon his readers to "target" Giffords because she was far too moderate. Margie, I think YOU are the dangerous one.
pfpf040408 1:17 PM Jan 10, 2011 Sarah Palin's online poster of members of Congress she targeted for political attack and placed in literal crosshairs – including Gifford. Plus her use of inflammatory words and phrases like RELOAD proves Palin is an out of control, lacking any decency, and who is intent on creating fear, hatred, intolerance, violence and mayhem.
[REPLY] Another liberal nutcase who is all to quick to point out one person's use of normal rhetoric (these same phrases have been used since the Civil War, by both sides) while conveniently ignoring the same behavior from those on his own side of the fence. This EXACT same rhetoric has been used by both sides. But more important, rhetoric is not responsible for the actions of any unstable person, either right or left. People like this guy and the previous poster are a big part of what is wrong today - purposely using invective to divide the country further. Yes, America is dangerously divided - and it is people like these posters that help divide us further by pushing their own hate. They use their own hate to call others "haters".
Spiritwarrior51 11:59 AM Jan 10, 2011 The reason a nut job like Jared Loughner could purchase a gun is because Arizona has one of the worst gun laws in the U.S. That's a fact.
[REPLY] Well, SpiritWarrior, you seem intent on showing only ONE fact. Here is another - the violent crime rate in Arizona with lax gun laws was 482.7 per 100,000. In Washington DC, with the strictest gun laws, it was 1,414.3 per 100,000 - three times higher where gun laws are strictest. Get a clue - if guns are responsible for killing people, then spoons and forks are responsible for making people obese.
jsmith3244 4:05 PM Jan 10, 2011 In Arizona, under Arizona laws, this assassin will likely become a Tea Bag Hero and run for office. Based upon Sarah Palin's suggestions deserving 'cross hairs' and her comment........ "Don't compromise, reload", he very possibly could become Palin's running mate for 2012. Arizona has already embarrassed itself with its anti-immigrant policies, it death panel headed by their governor and now, by handing out and licensing a 'ding-dong' who couldn't manage his affairs on a community campus. Arizona, the State that we all wish wasn't!
[REPLY] Anyone who resorts to slurs like "tea bag" or other insults has no opinion worth listening to. But this particular loser not only joins the ranks of the other two, above, for his mindless comments on rhetoric, but also insults the entire state of Arizona. Like many of his ilk, he seems to think HIS beliefs are the only ones that are important. And for him to make libelous statements behind his anonymity only proves he is also a coward.
Scott 11:27 AM Jan 10, 2011 Say what you want and regardless of what went on in this boys' adled brain, there's no denying the right-wingers have been inviting this for a long time. They even published the home addresses for Dem representatives and their childrens's names, etc! It's interesting it's the right who want to act like they're just shocked at this 'generic' attack now! The left have been calling for a toning down of rhetoric for over two years!
[REPLY] Scott seems to have missed a lot - most of the "violence" rhetoric comes from the left. Here are just a few examples just from President Obama, alone that incites anger and hate ---
Obama: "They Bring a Knife? We Bring a Gun" Obama: "Get in Their Faces!" Obama: "I don't want to quell anger. I think people are right to be angry! I'm angry!" Obama on the private sector: "We talk to these folks... so I know whose ass to kick." Obama to voters: Republican victory would mean "hand to hand combat" Obama to liberal supporters: "It's time to Fight for it." Obama to Latino supporters: "Punish your enemies." Obama to democrats: "I'm itching for a fight." Obama on BP: "Well put our boots on their neck"
The point, of course, is that rhetoric is just that - WORDS. If a person is so unstable that they take rhetoric as a call to violence, then it is their instability, and not the words that are at fault. If you come at me with a gun, I'll blow a hole in you that Amtrak could run through. But if you come at me with words, I'll just laugh.
The tragedy in Tucson is, indeed, a troubling event. But it is not all that unusual. The only difference here is the involvement of a Congressperson as the victim. Other than that, unstable people do harm to others on a daily basis.
But it is in the reaction of some that is cause for real concern. One Democrat congresswoman immediately began calling for stricter gun laws - in spite of the fact that research has proven over and over that the cities and states with the most stringent gun laws have the highest crime rates, and the ones with the most lenient, or no gun laws have the lowest crime rates. The reason for this is one of logic - if you disarm the citizenry, you only turn them into easier prey for criminals.
And now representative Robert Brady (D-PA) is calling for a law that infringes on free speech, in a blind attempt to give greater protections only to congresspersons (not to you or me - just him and his cronies). If his law passes, every citizen will have to exercise great care in their choice of words, for fear of going to prison if you say something the government feels is engaging in unacceptable rhetoric.
And the worst part of Brady's bill is that he never even waits to find out if rhetoric was even the cause of the Tucson tragedy. In fact, all evidence to date indicates that Loughner (the shooter) was neither on the right nor the left. He was simply a delusional, deranged person. And in a free country the law cannot protect us from such people. So Brady's bill would make certain rhetoric illegal even though it was not the known cause of any violence. This is over-reaction, which is typical from liberals who already believe government regulation should be the answer for everything.
And now for the reactionary fear of others --- every news media is being swamped with emails from ordinary folks who are suddenly instilled with irrational fear. And it is that sort of fear that will cause another unnecessary tragedy. For example, because of all the media hype about Loughner, one college student wrote that there is a person in his class that has similar traits, and now the student is afraid he will become a victim of a crazy person. He now wants to take pro-active action to prevent that. In other words, irrational vigilantism based solely on fear - get him before he gets me.
Get a grip, folks. Mentally unstable people are one of life's uncertainties, and in a free country there really is nothing we can do about it. You cannot protect yourself from them through legislation, nor through reactionary fear. All you can do is what you should be doing, anyway - be vigilant in your surroundings, and try to live your own life without unnecessarily provoking others.
But what we definitely should not be doing is react out of fear, as several democrat politicians now want to do in order to push their anti-gun agenda. That is the one wrong move to make. Because Loughner would still have been able to procure a gun. And if a bystander had also been legally armed, he just might have been able to reduce the carnage by taking down the shooter before killing six innocent people. We have seen many instances where the armed public has done just that.
"The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference - they deserve a place of honor with all that's good." George Washington
When I was a young lad, Americans were proud to proclaim their self-reliance. Independence and self-sufficiency was a thing to be proud of. I had to build my first bicycle from random parts from around town. I had to barter, trade, and even work to get what I wanted.
When Dad needed to build a new addition because of yet another brother coming into the world. he simply built it. No permission or permits were necessary.
There were no mandatory laws that forced people to be safe - if we wanted to risk ourselves, being a free people we could do so. There were no laws to determine what we ate, nor regulations on how high the grass in our lawns could grow.
In the first 150 years, Americans were actually FREE. And it was that freedom and the strength it nurtures that made this the greatest, strongest, wealthiest nation the Earth has ever known. But that is all gone. No longer are Americans free to be strong, self-reliant and independent. Where once those traits were considered good, we are now penalized for them, as a liberal "progressivism" started by Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson and pushed by FDR, LBJ and now Obama are making this a country where the weak are in charge. Those who are self-reliant and play by the rules are forced to pay the way of those who are weak, lazy and unwilling to play by the rules.
That which made America strong and great is now outlawed, and the very traits that are destroying the European nations are being adopted here.
It reminds me of the weak little geek who, in school, never had a hot muscle car or a hot girlfriend, and hated the people who did. And now those geeks have taken control, and are punishing those with the muscle cars and pretty women, and are passing regulations and laws that make muscle cars obsolete.
Our nation, once built by the strong to protect the weak is now a nation being run by the weak we protected. And from their envy and jealousy they are now penalizing the strong for being strong.
When America was born, the People were king, and the government served us. We were free to grow, expand, build, innovate. Now the government is our tyrant, and we are forced to serve it. No longer are we permitted to grow, individually. Only collectively. And that, my friend, whether you like it or not is the very basis of communism.
Where once we were like the crew of the Starship Enterprise, we are, unfortunately, being forced to become more like the Borg collective.
This is a microcosm of how wealth is created, and how it is destroyed Since wealth is created by business, we start with the formula a business must use:
A = gross income (or price you pay for products/services) B = cost of business (inventory, salaries, marketing etc.) C = taxes D = union perks and costs (pensions, insurance etc.) E = regulations (federal and state) F = profits
The basic business formula, therefore, is as follows:
A - (B+C+D+E) = F
The only way to add jobs is by increasing F (profits), to allow for more salaries
The only way F (profits) can increase is if either A (gross income) increases, or (B+C+D+E) decreases
If any part of (B+C+D+E) should increase, then F decreases (unless A is increased accordingly)
The sole purpose of any business is to maintain, or increase, F
Therefore, whenever any part of (B+C+D+E) is increased, then A must also be increased, or profits go down and jobs are lost
And the only way to increase A is to increase the prices of the products/services
Ergo, any increase in (B+C+D+E) is paid for by the consumer in the form of higher prices or fees.
There is no other way. None. Every time the government increases taxes, or unions get another perk, or the government passes another regulation, it causes prices to go up, profits to go down, and people losing jobs. Every time. So do not blame the corporations, or the rich - they are not the problem. The problem is those who attack the corporations and the rich - attacking the very people who provide the things we need - jobs, products, services.
This is why I have always said that EVERY tax is paid by the poor, because every cost gets passed down the line until it hits bottom - and that is where the poor reside.
Every union benefit is a tax on the poor. Every government regulation (which always incurs a cost) is a tax on the poor. Every tax increase on anyone is a tax on the poor. Because costs must get passed on; because businesses do not have the power to print money like the Fed
And now you know WHY the poor get poorer.
If we, as Americans want to improve the economy in this country, the only way we can effect that is by reducing any or all of (B+C+D+E). By doing so...
1) F (profits) go up, allowing the business to expand and hire people
2) Taxes go down, allowing more earned income to be passed on through the economy via spending or investing
3) Some of the burden is lifted from the poor
4) All the increased activity and prosperity will result in more tax revenues into the treasury even though the tax rates have been reduced, as more people pay into the system and business earns more taxable profits
Taxes hurt the economy. It's simple math...
I pay you one dollar. Of that, you pay 15 cents in taxes, leaving only 85 cents to put back into the economy. When you put that 85 cents into the economy at Joe's Market, Joe pays 13 cents taxes on it, leaving only 72 cents to be floated back into the economy. When Joe spends that 72 cents, someone pays 11 cents taxes on it, leaving only 61 cents for economic growth. Eventually, there is no part of that dollar left to put back into the economy.
They call our tax system "progressive taxation", when in fact it is regressive. Certainly, much of that tax money makes its way back into the economy via government spending, but government spending does not create jobs and has a neutral effect on economic growth since you are taking the money out of one pocket and putting it into another without actually creating products. There is no true net gain. Nothing is created; nothing added to the GDP.
Now take another look at the formula. If you think about it, you will discover the simple reason why businesses and jobs go overseas. (B+C+D+E) is much lower in India and China. This allows F to increase, and allows A to decrease. This is why products made in China are so inexpensive - because in China, (B+C+D+E) is low. And that is why everything in a WalMart store - except for the employees - is imported from China.
If you want the jobs to stay in America, and if you want to pay less for American products, then America - that means YOU - must force cuts in (B+C+D+E).
But we do not do that because too many people have been bamboozeled by progressives and socialists into believing the opposite is true - that somehow businesses go overseas only so they can take advantage of cheap labor. But if that were the case, businesses would have left our shores 70 years ago.
Business goes where it is welcome, and where they can profit most. And most of the largest drains on profits are taxes (35%), unions (20%) and government regulations (8%) - the very same things that progressives and liberals keep pushing.
Now tell me - if you could run your business for 63% less cost by moving to another town, would you not do it? Or, conversely, if your town were to impose 63% more cost onto your business, would you not move?
If you are truly interested in knowing what you are talking about when you talk about economics, consider reading "Basic Economics" by Thomas Sowell, or any of the writings of Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Freidman. It won't take a Masters Degree to discover the progressive liberals have it all wrong.
Actually, the true liberals don't have it wrong - they know how money works, but the progressives want socialism. In order to turn America to socialism, they must force capitalism to fail. If capitalism fails, the people will accept any alternative offered - even socialism. And that is why progressives keep trying to con everyone into believing class warfare is good - that "the rich" must be cut down to size. But a thinking man understands that if jobs are to be created and prosperity is to rule, it can only come at the hands of the rich. They create the products that create the jobs that create the salaries that create ecnomic prosperity for all.
Think of all the jobs, salaries and wealth created by the Ford Motor Company in its first 50 years. In 1950 Detroit was the most prosperous city in the country. Then think about how many jobs, salaries and how much wealth disappeared as union pensions and demands, higher taxes and increasing government regulations strangled the auto industry over the last 50 years. And now Detroit is the poorest city in the nation.
Again, in a nutshell, that is a microcosm of how wealth is created, and how it is destroyed.
Today's job numbers indicate that 103,000 people got hired in December and the unemployment rate dropped from 9.8% to 9.4%. And every pundit has their own take on this.
Democrats say this proves their strategy is working, that they are creating jobs
Republicans say it is very telling that job growth did not occur until after Republicans rode into Congress in a landslide.
Working stiffs say the hiring was for seasonal workers who have since been given a pink slip.
Objective observers note that while the 9.4% number seems to be a good sign, the reality is that many people have simply stopped collecting and have stopped looking for jobs.
Now I'm pretty sure you knew when you started reading this post that yours truly has his own unique take. So I will end the suspense and just spit it out.
Seasonal help is usually hired from October-November, so that argument does not hold weight. And Democrats had 3 years to create jobs without success, so giving them credit for any small uptick at this point is probably a mistake.
There may be some truth in businesses having more faith in the future because Republicans got elected and tax cuts were extended, allowing them to hire. Maybe. I know it made a difference for me and my business. But I think it goes beyond that...
It was in November that unemployed people were told their benefits were going to end in December (even though it turned out later that Congress did extend benefits). In November, the outlook for people collecting unemployment appeared bleak. And suddenly, many of those people miraculously found jobs in December. Imagine that.
As I have written before, I know several unemployed people, and most of them do not bother looking for work until their benefits are cut off. The reason is one of logic - you can bust your butt for 40-60 hours a week to earn $500 and pay $150 for child care and $50 for commuting expenses, leaving you with $300 a week, or you can collect that same $300 a week from taxpayers and just go fishin'. People are, after all, technically animals. And as any hunter can tell you, animals normally take the path of least resistance unless pursued or driven.
When benefits were threatened, many chose not to gamble the welfare of their families and went back to work.
There are jobs out there. Unfilled jobs. The Department of Labor suggests there are over 400,000 available, but unfilled jobs right now.
I wonder how many of those would get filled if all unemployment benefits were cut off...
I think the Republican takeover of the House and the subsequent tax cuts for businesses has resulted in businesses being more amenable to hiring - after all, every business wants to grow. But I also think many unemployed people whose benefits were threatened chose to nail down the first available job that presented itself.
It may be too late to do any good for the taxes due on April 15th, but if you begin implementing these two powerful strategies now, you can save thousands off next year's tax bite.
Strategy #1: Start a business - don't worry if it doesn't make you any money. Any citizen can start any business and deduct a multitude of otherwise undeductible costs, even if no income is earned from the business. Your business only needs to make a profit in year 4 and 5 to remain qualified. The first three years you get the tax deductions even if you never make a dime. What deductions? Among any costs for the business, you can also write off part or all of the cost of equipment, vehicles etc. if used for the business. But you can also deduct home office expenses - if, for example you use 20% of your square footage for exclusive business use, you can write off 20% of home electricity costs, heating costs etc. Also, much of your car insurance and certain other costs. So, start running a hobby as your business. Or grow a veggie garden and write off the costs. You can even become an author and write off more expenses than you could ever dream of, as authoring books or articles requires research - like traveling. Start a business as a treasure hunter and write off the cost of metal detectors. Woodworking? Write off all those great new tools you always wanted.
Strategy #2: Do you have children under the age of 18 who do not already have income? If you run your business as a sole proprietorship, you can "pay" each of your minor children more than $5000 per year. Because the amount is under $6,000 neither you nor the child needs to file taxes on it. And you get to write it off as salaries.
For example, let's say you have two minor children. You figure you ordinarily spend$3,000 a year providing each with clothing, computers and other stuff. You also figure you put about $2,000 a year into their college fund. Normally, all that money - $5,000 a year each - is not tax deductible. But as a sole proprietor you can pay that same money to your child then let the child pay for their own stuff and college fund. Same $5,000, but now you can deduct it from your taxes and because it is less than the personal exemption, the child does not get taxed, either. If you are in the 28% tax bracket, you can save $1400 in taxes. Two children? You save $2800 a year - enough to fund your IRA.
. Liberals seem to believe that the part of the Constitution that counted slaves as 3/5 of a person meant that the founding fathers believed blacks were inferior to whites. But the opposite is actually true.
If you read the papers of the founders as they crafted the Constitution, it is made exceedingly clear that they chose to count slaves as 3/5 only so the day could come when slavery could be abolished. They realized something that today's liberals either fail to understand, or they undertsand and choose to spin it. For those with an open, inquiring mind, here are the facts:
The vast majority of slaves were in the south. If slaves were counted as a full person, the southern states would have extra representatives in the house (the number of representatives is based on the census number of people in the state). With such a lopsided congress favoring the south, and therefore favoring slavery, there would never be any opportunity to end slavery. Had the slaves been counted as "whole" people, slavery might still exist in America, as congress would still be ruled by the southern states.
Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, Madison and Jay all wrote that they disagreed with slavery and would like to see the day when it would end. To make that possible, they needed to discount the "census value" of slaves so the south would not rule Congress forever.
As a side note, had slaves been counted as full measure and the majority of Congress were representative of southern states, the south would have been allowed to secede from the union. America could never have become a superpower. And had we not had that power, it is highly unlikely we would have been able to win either of the world wars.
So, the new House Representatives have been sworn into office. And in their first official act they plan to read the United States Constitution aloud, in a move to show respect for the document and remind House members what it is they have sworn to uphold. After all, it is the law of the land. And during the last two years there were numerous instances where senators and representatives stated in public that they never read the document they swore to uphold, and some, including Ms. Pelosi, scoffed at it. So, Republicans decided it would be a good thing to read it aloud.
But one representative, Gerald Nadler (D-NY) calls that "total nonsense" and refers to it as "propaganda".
I could understand Ahmadinijad to call it propagana. And Hugo Chavez. But no American should ever refer to the law of the land as "propaganda."
I certainly hope the good people of Nadler's district remember this when the election rolls around again, and use their votes to tell Mr. Nadler that the U.S. Constitution is anything but "propaganda".