Sunday, February 18, 2018

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Shutting down free speech

I comment on many boards and Internet forums. I have been making many comments in support of arming teachers and opposing gun control schemes these past few days. An anti gun teacher from a nearby school district just tried to find out where I work so that they could contact my employer in an attempt to have me fired. Those who opposed to the right to keep and bear arms are opposed to all rights that do not align with their own. 

This is why I keep my personal details private. However, if my employer ever did fire me because I express my political views, being that my employer is the government, it would be a violation of my right to free speech.

Here, here

Tip of the cap to Chris Byrne:

First, there will never be any meaningful gun control passed on the federal level in this country, ever again, no matter what lies the Democratic leadership tell you, because they know that gun control is their abortion... it's electoral suicide, but it's great to raise money by lying to the gullible about.

Next... anyone who knows a single damn thing about guns, law, and crime, knows that there is no law that will keep guns put of the hands of criminals, and there is no law that will stop criminals and crazy people, from killing others... in fact there's no law that can even substantively reduce those things.

Laws don't prevent crime... They just set the punishment if the criminal gets caught... and in case you missed it, criminals mostly don't much care about the law while theyre actually doing the crimes... otherwise they wouldn't be doing them... but criminals mostly don't think that much about consequences... that's pretty much why they're criminals.

It's been studied by the FBI, DOJ, and NIJ for about 100 years now, and there is absolutely zero correlation between lawful gun ownership, and crime with firearms, or violent crime of any kind... more lawfully owned guns actually means slightly less crime in most cases.

Lawful gun owners commit violent crimes at a rate appx 1/10th that of POLICE OFFICERS... never mind the general public... and because guns are expensive, most lawful gun owners take very good care of their guns, and store them quite securely.

It's comparatively rare that lawfully owned guns are actually stolen... but it's funny... no matter how strict the gun control, and no matter how severe the penalties for firearms possession are, criminals always get guns easily, whenever they want them. Because they're criminals, who already don't obey the law, and there are already literally billions of guns on this planet, with at least 50 million more made every single year...

...and contrary to what those ignorant about guns believe, well made guns don't just wear out or break... they can easily last for over 100 years of frequent use.

... and it's not like you can make murder, or felon in posession of a gun, double secret illegal...

Gun control is what you do, instead of actually doing something. It's what you yell and scream about, and politicians raise money for, but never actual,y do, because it's electorally harmful, and doesn't work.

Even if you could somehow ban and confiscate all appx. 1 billion guns in this country...

Oh... yes thats right, it's over 1 billion and has been for years and years... The 300-350 million number was already out of date when it was first published in 1994, and the U.S. has manufactured and imported between 12 million, and 24 million guns a year, every year since then... appx. 10-15% of which alone, are AR15s by the way... so it's not 1 million, or 2 or 3 or even 8 million ARs out there... there have been more than 2 million ARs made every year since 2004 alone, and it would shock me if there weren't at least 35, if not 50 million ARs in public hands.

... so really, its physcially, logistically, and legally impossible....

...but, even if you could...

Here's the kicker... Anyone with basic mechanical skill, can build a working firearm, and working ammunition, in their garage or bedroom, with basic power and hand tools. If you actually want to spend a little money.. as in about $1500 in homebrew CNC milling gear, and another $1500 for a comparable lathe and homebrew rifling machine... anyone can make their own illegal, but fully functional and entirely untraceable machine guns, by the hundreds if they feel like doing so, in a small garage, with no way of ever being caught or tracked, without all that much more difficulty. You can make an AR15 with $1500 worth of CBC gear... and another one, and another one, and another one.. as many as you want, forever.

So... are you going to ban or tightly control all machine tools, CNC gear, casting supplies, welders, 3d printers, p drill presses, and all sales of aluminum and steel.

I will repeat for those of you who are exceptionally stupid, or exceptionally self deluding... IT IS NOT ACTUALLY POSSIBLE to "control guns".

I can literally go into a home depot with a couple hundred bucks, and buy the tools and materials to build functioning repeating handguns in an hour or so, then go home and make a half dozen of them in a day. I can build a functioning shotgun, while I'm actually still in the store, using stuff lying around on the shelves.

Since guns can't actually be banned and confiscated... and we wouldn't let you do so even if they could be... then what's your idea?

... and how exactly would it reduce or eliminate crime, without trampling on the rights of others?

Or... How would it ever possibly work in any way, at all?

You see, I have had this discussion, literally thousands of times, with thousands of people like you. I've had every idea you have had, and I know how bad they all are, and how they will all fail, because the fundamental concept of gun control, is impossible, and imbecillic. It's a childish fantasy.

There are no new ideas, there are no good ideas, because the fundamental concept is itself impossible, and stupid.

If you don't get that by now, it's because you don't care about reality, and insist on living in a fantasy world... you just don't like guns, and you don't like people who like guns, and you want big daddy government to make you feel better, and reality doesn't matter because the feelz and because you said so, so there...

No.

The approximately half of all households in this country who own guns say NO.

Reality says NO.

You don't get more gun control... The 20,000 plus laws you've already tried didn't work, and you've already trampled over enough rights, and ruined enough lives with your patently stupid and evil laws... and you don't get any more.

We refuse to submit to your childish emotionalist stupidity.

No...

So... now what?

If your answer is "We send men with guns to come take your guns" then you've just admitted your failure and your hypocrisy ...

Because now you have admitted that it's not that you want "reasonable gun control"... it's that you want only people you personally approve of having guns, and you're perfectly willing to kill your fellow americans...

....well, no, you're too much of a moral and physical coward to get your own hands dirty doing so..

..but you're willing to send out another armed man to do so on your behalf.... after all, you're morally superior, and he's just a paid thug with a badge right?

Because that is what you say you think all American cops are, down at your fashionable protest meeting of upper middle class overeducated but otherwise fundamentally useless white people, crusading for the rights of those poor... other people you dont actually have to mingle with in your social circles... right?

The thing is... we have the constitution AND the law on our side... and we own the guns... so...

...What exactly do you think you're going to do?

Do you think that outside of a few major urban areas the police or military are on your side?

I've got news for you... those men and women you detest, who you think are the bottom of the barrel, and only serve because they don't have any better options? Those cops you think are bigots and jackbooted thugs, and civil rights abusers?

Yeah... they're US.. not you... in fact, they mostly hold you in contempt at best.... fitting since thats how you feel about and treat them... and no, they are not on your side.

... You couldn't even beat Donald Trump, no matter how hard you cheated for God's sake... I mean... how much does the country have to hate you and your candidates, that DONALD TRUMP IS THE PRESIDENT?

And guess what... You mostly live in metropolitan enclaves, serviced by just in time inventories of the basic needs of life.... with supply lines that are ridiculously easily cut. We live on more than 90% of the land, and actually know what to do with it.

... Major metropolitan areas become deathzones if water and power get shut off for 3 or 4 days... or food deliveries cut off for a week.

So... that "reckoning"... The "final solution for my kind of people"... yeah, no...

What would actually happen if you actually came after us, or our guns , is that you'd be personally shitting yourself and begging for mercy in about oh... 72 hours? Maybe 96 on the outside? And we wouldn't have to do a damn thing, because you would be murdering each other in the streets for canned food within days...

However, there's a big difference between our side, and your side...

We aren't OK with sending other people to kill you, just because you're delusional proto NAZIs...

We actually believe in the constitution, and the fundamental radical experiment that is our country.. and that everyone has fundamental, inherent, and preexisting rights... even the people we don't like...

And were not... you know... The actual evil protoNAZI fuckwits that you have shown yourself to be.

Unlike you, we wouldn't be happy to destroy our country in exchange for a tyranny of the bien pensant.... modern day democidal Robespierres wrapped in the mantle of social justice, and mass murder of "deplorables" "for the good of the children, and of society as a whole"..

So, it would never get that far...

Because, you see, inside your bubble, you believe that you represent the majority of right thinking americans...after all, nobody you know voted for trump... or any Republican, right? And you're sure that there's going to be a huge left landslide in 2018... everyone you know says so... msnbc and Newsweek are positive...

You're so damn sure that you've already won... that you've let the mask slip, and shown the world what you really are...

You are the embodiment of banal and petty tyrannical and totalitarian evil...

.. and... as it turns out...

...while only about 37% of the country actually likes Trump...

...about 80% of the country REALLY HATES EVIL PETTY TYRANTS LIKE YOU...

....and since you're picking the Democratic nominees this time around, and making sure theyre all as close to exactly like you as possible... and youre going to self righteously sanctimoniously and oh so very smugly shove it in everyones face from now til November...

...Yeah... there's going to be a landslide, and a "reckoning" alright...

.. it's just not going to be in the direction you were so certain about...

... Just ask Pauline Kael about how Nixon got elected, and reelected, in a massive landslide... after all, she didn't know a single person who voted for him.

Let's have a conversation

We keep hearing from people about how we should have a discussion about guns, especially in light of the recent shooting in South Florida. Here are my thoughts:

Whenever we wish to address a hazardous situation, there are two categories of response: Prevention of an even that has not yet happened, and mitigation of an event that is occurring or has occurred.

Prevention:

1 The FBI had multiple warnings that this particular individual was about to carry out an attack. At least two people had contacted the FBI's "If you see something, say something" tip line, and the FBI admits that they dropped the ball. The FBI made the same mistake with respect to the Boston Marathon bombers. Any time a shooting or other event like this occurs, there should be an independent investigation. If it is found that a government employee failed to follow procedures in chasing down or investigating a tip lead, or other evidence that would have prevented the event, and that failure results in a loss of life should be terminated and lose all retirement benefits. If it turns out that the procedures themselves were deficient, then the head of that government agency should be forced to resign.

2 Government agencies that fail to add prohibited persons to the NICS database should be terminated. Let's enforce the laws as written. If we aren't going to do that, we might as well repeal them.

3 Ever since we closed the mental hospitals, we have had problems dealing with the people who have problems: they are now filling our jails, our emergency rooms, and our homeless camps. We need to address the mentally ill people. Simply ignoring them is not solving the problem. This will likely cost gobs of money, so is not likely to happen.

4 Gun Control: There are between 400 and 600 million firearms in the US. Making guns illegal is not going to happen. Even if it did, you are never going to get even a sizable fraction of them. Additionally, in order to confiscate them, you will need to compensate the people you take them from for the fair value of the weapon, because of the takings clause of the 5th Amendment.

5 Banning so-called "assault weapons:" This is not going to happen, either. The AR15 is the most popular rifle in America, making up a quarter of all long gun sales in the US. Americans have been buying over one million of these rifles each year since 2007. It is estimated that more than 40 million of them are in American homes.

6 Access control: Every school needs to have a fence that would require would be entrants to pass through a control point. If you cannot control who enters the school, you are asking for trouble. Shooters, kidnappers, pedophiles, all of them want access to your kids. Why make it easy for them?

7 Magnetometers and xray machines: I have heard people ask for these, but I don't think it is practical for a number of reasons. There are 1800 students and another 150 staff members at my school. In order to get everyone through the line in a reasonable amount of time, you would need 2 or 3 of them, with people to staff them. Those people would need to be armed. In Florida, that means they have to be cops, because no one but cops can be armed in Florida schools. The cost for three magnetometers plus the cops to staff them would be about $12,000 for the machines, plus about $600,000 in staffing costs. Per school. My county has 63 schools, meaning a cost of about $38.5 million for the first year. Will taxpayers want to pay an additional $1,000 a year in property taxes?

Mitigation:

1 Shooters select schools because they know that all of the people inside are unarmed and schools have no access control.
For starters, put a fence around the school so that no one can enter or exit during the school day without going through the office.

My school has only one police officer on duty. We cannot afford to have more, we can barely afford to buy textbooks. Instead, a low cost solution is to change state law to allow teachers to be armed if they meet certain criteria:
1 They volunteer to take a class on the proper use of force to protect the school. We as teachers train on everything else, why not something useful?
2 pass the same marksmanship test as police officers.
3 They carry their weapon in a retention holster, to prevent a student from grabbing the weapon

Of the 18 staff members in my building, there are three teachers who are either former military or former public safety. One is a retired cop. In fact, more than 15% of our staff are either veterans or former emergency responders. Why not let us protect your children as we educate them?

The law as it stands does not allow anyone but police to carry guns at schools, not even security guards. This ensures that a killer will likely be facing defenseless victims. What we have been doing, trying to create gun free zones and telling kids to hide as a shooter enters campus without so much as a fence preventing him from entering the classroom isn't working. Let's try something different.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Armed in non-permissive environments

For the past two years, I have been testing the security theater of non-permissive environments. That is, the theme parks and other venues that prohibit firearms, even licensed weapons carriers. What I found is that most places don't do a very good job at finding weapons, legal or illegal. I have entered Disney while armed, even though they have metal detectors and bag searches, dozens of times. Likewise, the Central Florida theme parks of Universal Studios, Sea World, Discovery Cove, Lego Land, and Busch Gardens. 

I was going to begin a new round of testing theme parks, but today's announcement of increased prices has placed this on the back, back burner. Now that it costs the same as buying a handgun for a family to enter a theme park for a single day, coupled with the high profile that these places have from a terrorism perspective, theme parks are no longer on the list of places I wish to be. Four people entering the park for a day, eating lunch, and leaving now costs over $600, including parking.

I will continue to enter non-permissive environments, but theme parks have simply become too expensive to continue testing them.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

An open letter to the auto industry

The entire auto industry follows a sales model that is as unpleasant as possible, and is exceeded in discomfort only by root canals and colonoscopy. You take what should be fun, buying a car, and make it into a high pressure pin in the ass.

I have been thinking about getting a new truck since December. I began my search by going to the websites of Toyota and Nissan. In order to search for the vehicle you want, you must enter your contact information. I give them an email address reserved for businesses, and my google voice number. Since that time, several dealers will not leave me alone. One of them has called my voice number over 50 times and sent me 35 emails. This dealer doesn't even have the vehicle I want, and are trying to sell me one that I don't want. 

I searched for a particular vehicle because that is the one I want. Trying to pressure me into buying something I don't want doesn't make me want to buy from you, it just pisses me off. I came looking for a particular vehicle. I came to you. You don't have to pressure me to buy, but if you don't have what I want, I am not buying from you. I know what I want. You either have it, or you don't.

Biased reporting

The report is that a police officer 'slammed'  a student to the ground, and it is caught on film.  The news report is worded in such a way to make you believe that the student was an innocent child and the victim of excessive force by the cop. What they don't do is tell you the entire story. Here is the rest of the story:

The incident began in the gym where one of the students, the 15-year-old, was arguing with his girlfriend and it was during that argument that the girlfriend made threats toward him and the 16-year-old, the report stated. Staff tried to simmer down the 15-year-old, but he refused to listen and kept causing a disruption, deputies said.
Moments later, [the SRO] was called to the gym because the 16-year-old was acting aggressively, he wrote in the report. The student mouthed off to Assistant Principal Ryan Mahaney and threw down his backpack, according to the report...
 [The SRO stated] that moments before he responded to the gym, the 16-year-old student had taken a “fighting stance” toward [the vice principal] several times and ignored [the vice principal's] orders to go to the office... [The vice principal] also told [the SRO] that [the student] repeatedly told the vice principal, “I am going to (expletive deleted) you up!” 

This is what high schools look like now. Violence, drugs, sex. There are students in school with convictions for selling drugs, armed robbery, rape, and a host of other crimes. They are violent criminals, and your kids are forced to attend school with them. The adults who try to manage it and protect the remaining students from the criminal few are the ones who are blamed. Just like in the case of  Trayvon "Saint Skittles" Martin, the press tries to paint a picture of innocent black teens who are attacked by cops and citizens for no reason at all, because racism. 

The truth is far different, and most people know that. This is why the press is not trusted, and why the term "fake  news" has become so popular. 

I began the school year with 130 students. Some have entered, some have left. I have students who have been expelled for dealing drugs, sexual battery, possession of a firearm on campus, theft of mover $300, burglary, aggravated battery, and armed robbery. More than once. They simply wait out the rest of the school year, and return the next fall. We have high school students with criminal records on campus, some of them as old as 21. Last year, there was a 20 year old convicted rapist sitting in class with 14 year old girls, because he was a freshman. The school was finally able to kick him out on his 21st birthday.


Tuesday, February 6, 2018

The opioid epidemic is Obama's fault

The title of this post seems a bit over the top. How could Obama and the Democrats possibly be blamed for the epidemic of drug overdoses that is sweeping the nation?

The roots of this problem lie with Obamacare- the Affordable Care Act and a company called Press Ganey. The little known company sends surveys out to patients of medical providers, and uses the patient's satisfaction to rate doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers. Over the past decade, the government has fully embraced the "patient is always right" model--these surveys focus on areas like waiting times, pain management and communication skills--betting that increased customer satisfaction will improve the quality of care and reduce costs.  I have seen patients lower a hospital's scores because they didn't have HBO on the televisions in the Emergency Room.

The government, due to Obamacare, has tied reimbursement of facilities to their Press Ganey scores. As a result, the focus in healthcare is in making the patient happy, but not necessarily on making the patient healthy. So doctors prescribe narcotics because patients want them, not because they need them. As they become addicted to these painkillers, the patients return again and again for their fix, all the while improving the doctor's satisfaction scores.

But giving patients exactly what they want, versus what the doctor thinks is right, can be very bad medicine. Researchers using data from nearly 52,000 adults found that the most satisfied patients spent the most on health care and prescription drugs. They were 12% more likely to be admitted to the hospital and accounted for 9% more in total health care costs. They were also the ones more likely to die.

All of those facts mean nothing. All that matters is making the patient happy. Thanks Democrats, the plan you voted for is killing America.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

This doesn't count

A Canadian serial killer has killed at least five people, and perhaps dozens more. This doesn't count though, according to US anti-gun advocates, because they were not gun deaths. It isn't even due to "privilege" because the killer is gay.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Neighborhood watch

Our neighborhood has 99 homes in it. The neighborhood is mostly upper middle class people in their 30's through their 50's. Many of the people who live here have children. Professionally, the people here have ordinary jobs: Cops, teachers, real estate sales, a couple of business owners.

A couple of years ago, my neighborhood started a neighborhood watch, complete with a page on the book of faces. The watch is not an official one with police involvement, it is being run by the Homeowners' Association. When I was asked to join, I declined with visions of George Zimmerman and the "wannabe" label attached to him because he was part of the neighborhood watch dancing in my head. My wife joined the social media page because it is good to be informed.

The neighborhood is just about 2,000 feet from a school. This means that, being more than 1,000 feet from a school, our neighborhood is also a place where sex offenders can live. Of those 99 homes, there were two of them. Until last week.

One of the police officers who lives here posted a link to an FDLE sexual predator flyer for a third offender who moved into our neighborhood. Nearly ll of the people who responded were thanking the cop for letting everyone know. Except one woman, who said that the people posting should avoid spreading rumors, and further said that since we didn't have all of the facts, we remember that it isn't our place to judge.

She apparently complained to the HOA, because the entire thread was deleted because, in the words of the HOA, the neighborhood watch FB page is not the place to engage in hurtful gossip. She also said  that since his crime was more than 20 years ago, we should give him a second chance.

I disagree in multiple ways. This is not gossip, nor is it a rumor. Verdict is a word meaning "truth" and once a person has been convicted of a crime, including molesting a child, it is a legal fact that the person is a convicted child molester. Letting your neighbors know that a convicted child molester is living in your neighborhood is not spreading rumors, it is spreading factual information about a convicted felon who is living in your neighborhood. This is the very reason why you have a neighborhood watch. If the board of the HOA wants to give him a second chance, perhaps they should hire him to be their baby sitter.

Incidentally, convicted sex criminal number two, who was convicted of molesting a child under 16 10 years ago while he was 30 years old, was arrested last night for talking to small children at a local big box store.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Impossible

The powers that be cannot keep guns, drugs, and other contraband out of prisons, they can't even prevent inmates from using contraband cell phones to transmit a 49 minute live video diatribe, and the anti-gunners are trying to convince us that that they can keep criminals from getting guns.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

This is what I am working with

Teachers get rated on whether or not they are teaching their students anything, as determined by the students' scores on standardized tests in that subject. How can I teach you biology, chemistry, or physics if you are functionally illiterate? Here is a sample of a handwritten homework assignment that one of my students turned in. The student who wrote this is 15 years old and in the 10th grade:


Saturday, January 27, 2018

The Chorus Line

This year's anti gun chorus is singing. The tune this time? They are claiming that 2018, even though it is only 26 days old, has seen 11 school shootings. They are lying. The lie is being repeated by news outlets all over the nation. It's almost like this is an organized disinformation campaign.

Here are the 11 shootings that are being claimed:

First, the ones that resulted in no injuries:

1 A bus in Iowa was hit by a BB gun on January 6th.

2 The window of a college building on the San Bernardino campus of Cal State was hit by a bullet believed to have come from the foothills of the city- more than half a mile away.

3 A bullet hit a window at a Seattle high school. No one was hit, no shooter was seen, no shots were heard.

4 A student in a criminal justice class fired a shot through the wall of a simulated firing range after the instructor left a live firearm inside a simulated firing range.

5 Unknown people traded gunfire in a COLLEGE parking lot. One bullet hit a nearby dorm. No one was injured by the gunfire.

6 One high school was injured while diving for cover when a group of students he was with exchanged gunfire with unknown parties. Appears to be gang related. No one was injured by the gunfire. The high school is an "alternative" school for so-called "at risk" youth. (Meaning criminals in training and gang members)


Then there were the suicides where the only person injured was the shooter:

7 A 14 year old boy shot himself in a Tuscon school's bathroom.

8 A 31 year old man pulled into a school parking lot and committed suicide in his car.


There are the ones involving someone other than the shooter being shot:

9 A student at Wake Forest COLLEGE was killed after being shot during a fight at a sorority party. Alcohol was involved. Some of those involved were minors, not students of the college, and IMO there was some gang affiliation here.

10 Two were killed and 18 wounded when a 15 year old fired shots at Marshall County High school in Kentucky. Two were killed and 14 wounded by bullets, the rest of the people injured were injured trying to escape.

11 A 15 year old with a troubled history shot and killed a girl in the cafeteria before school. The boy had a troubled past. It seems that he had previously made threats, and the school did exactly nothing.

So there you have it: 11 so called school shootings. One of them involved a BB gun, not a firearm. One didn't involve a school at all, as it had been closed permanently months before. One involved a police training accident. In all, no one was shot in six of the incidents. Many of the incidents were colleges not schools. 
A further two of them were suicides.

In fact, only two of the shootings involved actual "schools" and actual shootings. Of those two, one of them was carried out by a student who had a troubled past and probably should have been in jail. When you have to lie or mislead to make your point, your point probably isn't worth making.


Monday, January 22, 2018

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Goose, gander

With all of the talk about Trump's crude remarks, I want to bring back a few of Obama's own crude language:
Thanking Ellen DeGeneres for being a good sport about her televised push-up contest against the First Lady in February of 2012, Obama said Ellen "is a gay friend who accepts a little bit of teasing about Michelle beating her in push-ups. I think she claims Michelle didn't go all the way down." Obama let the line hang naughtily, provoking laughter from the crowd.
Then there is the article about a few more of Obama's gaffes:

"No, no. I have been practicing...I bowled a 129. It's like -- it was like Special Olympics, or something."
"I don't want the folks who created the mess to do a lot of talking. I want them to get out of the way so we can clean up the mess. I don't mind cleaning up after them, but don't do a lot of talking."
"The point I was making was not that Grandmother harbors any racial animosity. She doesn't. But she is a typical white person..."
"That's just how white folks will do you. It wasn't merely the cruelty involved; I was learning that black people could be mean and then some. It was a particular brand of arrogance, an obtuseness in otherwise sane people that brought forth our bitter laughter. It was as if whites didn't know that they were being cruel in the first place. Or at least thought you deserving of their scorn."
Draw your own conclusions as to why Trump is facing more criticism.

Cracks widen

Thirty states have legalized the use of marijuana in some way, despite Federal laws and regulations to the contrary. The Federal government is doing nothing. No will to change the law, no power to enforce it.

The list of cities, states, and counties that have declared themselves to be sanctuaries for people who have entered the US in violation of US immigration laws continues to grow. The Federal government appears powerless. President Trump has tried different tactics, but has been opposed by the courts and the jurisdictions that have already been overrun.

Now Tennessee is attempting to declare itself a sanctuary state from Federal gun laws.

A protected class is running around the country, exempted from the laws that the rest of us must follow.

The cracks are growing. It is apparent that the Federal government can no longer enforce its own laws.

What comes next? Does the government fall? When? What government replaces it?

The second civil war looms nearer.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Inefficiency, corruption, and anger over the Trump tax cuts

From the American Thinker comes a story about how workers on the New York subway system are making $400 an hour. That is likely not true. Let me explain by beginning with a quote from the article:
An accountant discovered the discrepancy while reviewing the budget for new train platforms under Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan.
The budget showed that 900 workers were being paid to dig caverns for the platforms as part of a 3.5-mile tunnel connecting the historic station to the Long Island Rail Road.  But the accountant could ... identify [only] about 700 jobs that needed to be done, according to three project supervisors.  Officials could not find any reason for the other 200 people to be there.
The likely explanation is that there are managers who have hired people that exist only on paper, and are redirecting the pay for those virtual employees to their own bank accounts. The Unions in New York guarantee that there will be employment for plenty of union workers, even if there are no jobs:

The estimated cost of the Long Island Rail Road project, known as "East Side Access," has ballooned to $12 billion, or nearly $3.5 billion for each new mile of track – seven times the average elsewhere in the world.
Along with interviews with contractors, the documents reveal a dizzying maze of jobs, many of which do not exist on projects elsewhere.
There are "nippers" to watch material being moved around and "hog house tenders" to supervise the break room.  Each crane must have an "oiler," a relic of a time when they needed frequent lubrication.  Generators and elevators must have their own operators, even though they are automatic....One part of Local 147's deal entitles the union to $450,000 for each tunnel-boring machine used.  That is to make up for job losses from "technological advancement," even though equipment has been standard for decades.
Then there are the token clerks in the ticket booths who earn an average of about $112,000 a year, even though 83% of all subway fares are sold by machines and workers in ticket booths have nothing to do most of the time and are prevented, by union rules, from helping out in any other part of the station. You see, the ticket booths are run by the station department, and the platforms and trains are run by the transit department. Employees of one department are not permitted to work in another department's area.

The state of New York pays some of the highest taxes in the United States. They then were able, under the previous tax rules, to write off those taxes and reduce their Federal tax burden. In other words, you pay more in Federal taxes so that New Yorkers can pay people six figures to sit on their asses and do nothing all day. Now people in New York are upset at the Trump tax plan, because they say it is unfair to them.

I had problems with the Trump tax plan, because the original plan added tens of thousands of dollars to my tax bill. That appears to have been fixed in the final plan, with the final plan appearing to cut my taxes by about $15,000. We will see next year when it is time to file.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Militia that the MSM loves

For years, we have been told how dangerous militias are, and how the founders never intended militias to be armed groups of citizens who were outside of government control.

Until Donald Trump was elected.

Now the mainstream media loves them some armed citizens. Now MSM outlets like the New York daily news and the Independent are busy extolling the virtues of armed citizens forming militias. We are setting ourselves up for Civil War, part 2.

The part that concerns me is that the leftist militias are better at winning the hearts and minds of the people because they are out doing things for the community by feeding the poor and doing more PR activity.

Wars are won by convincing the people of a nation to see your side as the good guys. When all you are doing is complaining and shooting, you lose the people, and you lose the war. Something that the right should keep in mind.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Lock em up

A 12 year old boy was shot in the face by another 12 year old, because they were playing with a gun.

If your guns are not on your person, they need to be locked up. When it is just my wife and I, guns can be unsecured in the house (they are secured by the house itself). If anyone else is staying with us, the guns that aren't being carried are locked in the safe.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Tax season

Today is the beginning of my least favorite time of year: I begin working on my taxes. I have an upcoming appointment with my accountant to discuss my 2017 filings, and plan ahead for 2018. I will spend the day putting away Christmas decorations, gathering receipts, and preparing for tax season.

The wife has learned to avoid me while I am doing this, as planning to send large amounts of cash to the government always puts me in a foul mood, especially once I add up all of the money that I have had to pay to the government in the past year while thinking about how much of it has been wasted.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Why us?

Every treaty that has to do with controlling pollution seems to require that the US limit emissions, pay money, or some other economic penalty. It turns out that the US is responsible for a tiny fraction of the world's pollution.

For example, the LA Times did a piece earlier this year where the US and Europe were blamed for plastic polluting the North Atlantic and Arctic oceans. The only problem is that plastic polluting the world's oceans aren't coming from the Americas or from Europe. In fact, there are ten rivers in the word that are responsible for 90% of the plastic that winds up in the world's oceans. Eight of those rivers are in Asia. Two are in Africa.

Of the estimated 13 million tons of plastic that winds up in the ocean each year, the US is responsible for only 280,000 tons of it. That is about 2 percent of the world's total. So why is the US always the nation that has to pay through the nose for these pollution accords?

The large push by Liberals to punish the west for pollution that they aren't generating has nothing to do with ecology and everything to do with destroying the US and replacing it with a communist nation. These pollution treaties are designed to punish the US for daring to be successful.