Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Veterans Day and VA health care

The best to all veterans today. 

Even though I was in Army National Guard and Army ROTC, I never considered myself a veteran, because I neither served long-term nor overseas. But I was active for five months and wore green uniforms for 3 1/2 years, including on the U of Washington campus during the Vietnam war. Doesn't that count? 

President Obama today says that at VA medical facilities the waiting lists are much shorter. Where did he get his data? The whole VA scandal was about VA officials building false waiting lists and throuwing those who waited long off the list to make the data look better. Who is Obama believing?

In Phoenix, where deaths of those waiting broke open the mess, veterans are protesting today. They say that Skye McDougall, who was appointed in October to serve as the new director of the Southwest Health Care Network, lied to Congress on wait times in So. California. Putting her in charge won't help any.

USA Today tells more about the unacceptable situation.

Killing NAFTA would hurt US companies and consumers

Donald Trump would kill NAFTA, North American Free-Trade Agreement in order to save US jobs. But doing so would make things worse, not better.

Our exports are up since NAFTA. Our economies are integrated - Manufacturers allocate different tasks to firms in the US, Canada and/or Mexico, using the comparative strengths of each. Cars being manufactured cross between the US and Canada, sometimes more than once!

Putting up Donald Trump's wall would break those relationships that have been developed and refined over decades. That would raise costs to the producers - and to us consumers.

See Mary Anastasia O'Grady at Wall Street Journal. (Might require subscription.)

Aat Wharton School of Business at U of Pennsylvania they go into all the pluses and minues. Their mesure of loss/benefit is closer, but still positive for the US. The authors are more worried about Mexico damaging its economic ties with US and Canada. Wharton

Friday, October 16, 2015

If your city/town is dying then move!

If your city/town is failing then MOVE. It’s the best thing you can do. If you stay to live among the ruins you and your sons and daughters will have fewer and fewer opportunities.

Kevin Williamson at NRO

The town where my parents grew up and where my grandparents lived no longer exists. Phillips, Texas, is a ghost town. Before that it was a company town, a more or less wholly owned subsidiary of the Phillips Petroleum Company. Phillips had already lost a great deal of its population as highway improvements sent residents off to the relative urban sophistication of Borger, and there were fewer than 2,000 people living there in 1980 when an explosion at the refinery destroyed practically all of the town’s economic infrastructure, along with a fair number of houses.

Phillips, Inc., in the end decided it had no need for Phillips, Texas, and the town was scrubbed right off the map. The local homeowners owned their houses but not the land they sat on, which belonged to the company. (These sorts of arrangements were, and are, more common than you’d think, as in the case of the many Californians in the Coachella Valley who own their houses but lease their land from the Agua Caliente band of Cahuilla Indians.) Many of the residents of Phillips were uneager to be evicted from their homes, and they sued the company with the help of the famously theatrical Texas trial lawyer Racehorse Haynes, who informed the good people of Phillips: “They might whup us fair and square, but they better bring lunch.” Lunch was served, and Phillips is just gone. 
It was the right thing to do. Some towns are better off dead.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Recycling is expensive!! says John Tierney

Recycling is a waste. Expect for only paper, cardboard, steel and aluminum for greenhouse gas emission reduction. The very respected science reporter John Tierney for the establishment NY Times says so after full research.

... In 1996, I wrote a long article for The New York Times Magazine arguing that the recycling process as we carried it out was wasteful. I presented plenty of evidence that recycling was costly and ineffectual, but its defenders said that it was unfair to rush to judgment. Noting that the modern recycling movement had really just begun just a few years earlier, they predicted it would flourish as the industry matured and the public learned how to recycle properly.

So, what’s happened since then? While it’s true that the recycling message has reached more people than ever, when it comes to the bottom line, both economically and environmentally, not much has changed at all.

Despite decades of exhortations and mandates, it’s still typically more expensive for municipalities to recycle household waste than to send it to a landfill. ...

Slow blogging

Blogger stopped accepting posts from both my blogging applications a couple months ago. Haven't figured out why. I am going to attrmpt more posts via Bloggers adequate, but less friendly web interface. I see news and analysis crying out to be emphasized on my very popular Economic Freedom blog.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Jimmy Carter rushes for photos with dictators

Jimmy Carter rushed to get his photo with dictators while worlds leaders were in NYC for United Nations meetings.

See his big smile with Nicolas Maduro the “elected” dictator who has made Venezuela and absolute mess - very high inflation, shortages of basics including toilet paper and armed soldiers at grocery stores to control the lines of frantic shoppers. Here is a post on lack of rule of law and good currency, comparing Venezuela to Ecuador.

From 2011 there are photos of President Jimmy sharing his biggest smile with Raul Castro, who with his brother Fidel ruined and enslaved Cuba. Gateway Pundit

Pres. Carter with Maduro photo at Yahoo

For my practice: En Espanol at NTN24

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Prison this week for vote fraud in Alabama

The Democrats repeatedly say that vote fraud is very, very rare. Well, here it is today. A woman in Alabama was found guilty on 24 felony counts of vote fraud. A local race was flipped due to many absentee votes for the candidate who lost at the polls. Dothan Eagle newspaper
A Houston County jury found Olivia Reynolds guilty Wednesday afternoon for her role in a voter fraud case.
Assistant District Attorney Banks Smith said the jury found 66-year-old Olivia Reynolds guilty of 24 felony counts of absentee ballot fraud. Smith said the jury deliberated for less than an hour before returning with the guilty verdicts. 
Houston County Sheriff’s investigators arrested Reynolds in May 2014. She was one of three women charged who worked on the 2013 campaign for District 2 City Commissioner Amos Newsome.
In the August election, Newsome beat challenger Lamesa Danzey by 14 votes. Newsome received 119 of the 124 absentee votes that were cast. Danzey received more votes than Newsome at the polls. 
Reynolds is the third suspect in the election fraud investigation to go to trial.
Smith argued to jurors during his closing Wednesday morning that investigators with the Houston County Sheriff’s Office found evidence of widespread voter fraud during the District 2 race for the City of Dothan election in the summer of 2013. 
Smith said some of the voters testified at trial how they never wanted to vote for Newsome yet their ballot was cast for Newsome anyway.
“This case is about the sanctity of the ballot,” Smith said.
Via Thomas Lifson at American Thinker.

Sunday, August 02, 2015

US Navy will charge office who defended against Islamist murders in Chattanooga

Unbelievable. An Islamist attacked personnel in a recruiting center in Chattanooga, TN a couple of weeks ago and killed four active duty Marines and on Navy reservist. The facility commander returned fire with his personal weapon -  Navy Lt. Cmdr Timothy White. He is a hero.

But not to Obama’s military. The Navy is bringing criminal charges against him who defended his comrades. Navy Lt. Cmdr Timothy White will be charged with possessing and/or discharging a weapon on federal property.

Unbelievable. Who is in charge of our military? 

But rather than being celebrated as a hero, Lt. Commander White may be charged for discharging a firearm on federal property. 
Allen West reported this week: 
Ladies and gents, resulting from the text message I received yesterday, I can confirm that the United States Navy is bringing charges against Lt. Cmdr Timothy White for illegally discharging a firearm on federal property.
The text message asked if it would be possible for Lt.Cmdr White to reach out to me. To wit I replied, affirmative. 
What kind of freaking idiots are in charge of our Armed Forces — pardon me, our “unArmed Forces”? What would they prefer that Abdulazeez had been able to kill all the Marines and Sailors at the Naval Support Reserve Center? Let me draw an interesting contrast: Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus is more concerned about lifting the ban on transgendered Sailors. Mabus has a problem in that for the first time since 2007 the US Navy will not have a Carrier Battle Group operating in the Persian Gulf. But this knucklehead has no problem with the Navy seeking to destroy the career of a Sailor, a commander of an installation, returning fire against an Islamic jihadist attack. I do not care if it was his personal weapon, he deserves a medal for facing the enemy. 
Folks, this has become the Obama military that will not implement policies for our men and women in uniform to be protected — but will punish them if they do protect themselves. What ever happened to the Navy of John Paul Jones, Farragut, Halsey, and Nimitz? What has happened in our America where we believe that our men and women in uniform — especially the commanders — are just targets for these damn Islamic jihadists

Friday, July 17, 2015

Seattle is a more expensive area

Seattle is a more expensive area, but not one of the worst. If $100 is worth $100 on average, what does it buy in Seattle? Less: $93.37. In San Francisco-Oakland? $83.13. In Rapid City, South Dakota? More: $106.95

See the interactive map at:

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Obama's Iran nuclear deal in plain English

We are hearing this and that about President Obama’s historic agreement with Iran then ends sanctions and allows Iran to return to polite society.

But don’t take my word for it. Read it yourself at Vox. I quote the intro below, but read the whole thing; it’s not very long.

International negotiators assembled in Austria have announced the final terms of the Iranian nuclear deal. The purpose of the deal is to limit Iran's nuclear program to something that is small, safe, and peaceful — and to impose lots of invasive inspections to make sure Iran is keeping to its end of the deal. In exchange, Iran gets relief from some of the economic sanctions that have crippled its economy. Both sides, the thinking goes, also get to avert a war. 
You can really see how that plays out, how the deal works, and what it means when you look into its details. But those details can get awfully technical. So what follows are the most important provisions of the deal, along with a simple translation of each into plain English and a brief description of why it matters: ...

Friday, July 10, 2015

Moving low-income people did not improve their lives. Repeat it???

Obama has a new initiative to move racial-minority people to the suburbs to improve their living conditions, incomes and school results. But this was tried by Pres. Clinton, called MTO, “Move to Opportunity," and it didn’t work. People did not go off welfare; indeed, use of food stamps went up. School results did not improve. And crime followed them to the suburbs! We know because the results I am citing were carefully collected by the Dept of HUD over fifteen years in a 187-page 2011 report.

Why is Obama repeating an experiment that failed? It will not benefit the low-income people. That has been proven. So why is He doing the same thing again? The Hill

Social Engineering: President Obama's new suburban integration plan won't just harm the middle class by reducing safety and property values. It won't even provide the economic benefits it promises to relocated minorities.

We know this because HUD already tried a similar experiment under President Clinton of resettling urban poor in the suburbs. It failed, as a HUD study reveals.
From 1994 to 2008, HUD moved thousands of mostly African-American families from government projects to higher-quality homes in safer and less racially segregated neighborhoods. The 15-year experiment, dubbed "Moving to Opportunity Initiative," or MTO, was based on the well-intentioned notion that relocating inner-city minorities to better neighborhoods would boost their employment and education prospects.

But adults for the most part did not get better jobs or get off welfare. In fact, more went on food stamps. And their children did not do better in their new schools.
The 287-page study sponsored by HUD found that adults who relocated outside the inner city using Section 8 housing vouchers did not avail themselves of better job opportunities in their new neighborhoods, and saw a "sizable negative impact on annual earnings."

"Moving to lower-poverty neighborhoods does not appear to improve education outcomes, employment or earnings," the study concluded.Even then-senior HUD official Raphael Bostic, a black Obama appointee, admitted in a foreword to the 2011 study that families enrolled in the program had "no better educational, employment and income outcomes."

Worse, crime simply followed them to their safer neighborhoods. "Males ... were arrested more often than those in the control group, primarily for property crimes," the study found.

Thursday, July 09, 2015

Buying votes in Texas

Voting fraud. Real vote fraud in Texas.

In Rio Grande Valley campaign workers are paid to harvest votes. This is not get-out-the-vote. This is pay to vote for my candidate - the Democrat.
A new FBI anti-corruption task force is trying to clean up the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. According to the Justice Department, in 2013, more public officials were convicted for corruption in South Texas than in any other region of the country. One of the practices the task force is looking at is vote-stealing. 
They're called politiqueras — a word unique to the border that means campaign worker. It's a time-honored tradition down in the land of grapefruit orchards and Border Patrol checkpoints. If a local candidate needs dependable votes, he or she goes to a politiquera. 
In recent years, losing candidates in local elections began to challenge vote harvesting by politiqueras in the Rio Grande Valley, and they shared their investigations with authorities. After the 2012 election cycle, the Justice Department and the Texas attorney general's office filed charges.
"Yes, there is a concern in which the politiqueras are being paid to then go and essentially round up voters and have them vote a certain way," says James Sturgis, assistant U.S. attorney in McAllen.
In the town of Donna, five politiqueras pleaded guilty to election fraud. Voters were bribed with cigarettes, beer or dime bags of cocaine. In neighboring Cameron County, nine politiqueras were charged with manipulating mail-in ballots.
Via Hot Air

The pic. Texas A&M University beauties. Source forgotten.

Saturday, July 04, 2015

Independence Day

Today, July 4, we celebrate the birth of the United States of America. The Declaration of Independence was signed on July 2, 1776, but was not announced until July 4, 1776. So that is the day we celebrate.

The Declaration says that King George III of Great Britain was violating the rights of his subjects in American; to the point that their differences were irreconcilable. So it was necessary to break the bond of the 13 colonies to Great Britain and to form a new nation.

American leaders in the Continental Congress who signed risked everything - their lives, their land and homes, their possessions, their families and their own lives.

Images: the Betsy Ross 13-star flag is from Below is Memorial Day at National Cemetary of the Pacific aka Punchbowl in Honolulu from American Battle Memorials.

Friday, July 03, 2015

James Jamerson originated much of the bass guitar style we are all familiar with. He did it without credit in the studio band called the Funk Brothers for Motown records for 15 years in the 1960s to 70s. Before Jamerson the bass did “1-2-3-4”. He took a new approach and carried it to incredible heights.

Instapundit featured him recently.

He died in his early 50s and got little recognition. But “Dr Licks” Allan Slutsky put together a film in 2002 on his life and music: Standing in the Shadows of Motown. Ed Driscoll tells about Jamerson at Blog Critics with interview of the book author and film producer “Dr Licks” Allan Slutsky. The movie at Amazon.

The book came out in 1989 - Standing in the Shadows of Motown: The Life and Music of Legendary Bassist James Jamerson, at Amazon.
Review: While at one time he was simply known as "The Motown Bassist" to thousands of aspiring bass players around the world, including more famous and world class bass players than you can imagine, James Jamerson is now a legend of immense proportions. If you don't know who Jamerson is by now then you simply must get this book. 
If you do know who James Jamerson is, then this book is a no brainer. Quite possibly the most influential musician of the past 50 years. If it weren't for him, the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, and countless of others in the rock and r&b genres wouldn't sound the way they do. 
The biography is compelling and I read it straight through over a several hour period when I first received this book. The lessons are difficult, and definately not for the beginner. 
For a beginner who wants to learn classic R&B style bass playing I'd reccomend the Duck Dunn book (What Duck Done) ... When you get through that book you can go on to Funkmasters and learn some classic James Brown grooves.
Finally, when you've graduated from those books you can take a crack at the Jamerson book, though I think it should be on your shelf from day 1 to give you inspiration, and so you can listen to the tracks with the bass prominently mixed. Just to get it into your ears, so to speak. You might also hear a Motown tune you think you can pick up and will want to reference this book. 
James Jamerson, legend, towering genius of Bass, has challenged countless bass players exposed to his playing. This book will challenge you, it will push you, and it will humble you. ...


My blog software stopped working with my blog host, so it is awkward to post. Took a break. (Still not fixed.)

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Flag Day June 14

Today, June 14, we honor the flag of the United States of America. The flag was comissioned in 1777. One hundred years later the first Flag Day was held.

National Constitution Center at Yahoo News tells about Flag Day, authored by Betsy Ross House.

Friday, June 12, 2015

ObamaCare is more expensive and is unpopular

President Obama is divorced from reality. Monday June 8 he was boasting about the success of his ObamaCare. 

Costs: He claims:

● “Health care inflation overall has continued to be at some of the lowest levels in 50 years.”

Popularity: He claims:

● “The overwhelming majority of people are satisfied” with the new law.

But he is not telling the truth. Costs are up and it is unpopular in polls.

Costs: the data:

Oh really. The costs to Americans for health insurance in the new ObamaCare era are soaring across the country. The latest numbers for premium increases show the following dismal news for families. In California, approved rate increases going into effect this year are running up an average of about 10%, or five times the rate of inflation (which actually turned negative in the most recent 12 months - BLS). In Florida, 33 of 36 approved rate hikes were greater than 10%.

Next year might be even worse. In Ohio, the average rate increase request for 2016 is 17.8% as of June 9, 2015. In Virginia, the AETNA Life Insurance Company small group plan proposed an increase of 59.71%. In Texas, more than half of the rate hike request are greater than 20%. In Illinois, the popular Blue Cross Blue Shield Preferred Individual plan wants a 38% rate hike. Numerous other plans costs will rise by 50%.

Popularity: the data:

Real Clear Politics has reviewed the major polling results on ObamaCare over the last two months. It finds that the average result is that 43% of Americans support the law and 53% oppose it.

A May Gallup poll found more than twice as many respondents (24%) say the law has hurt their families than say it has helped them (10%). Most say it has made no difference. This sounds a lot more like dissatisfaction with the new law.

Source: Stephen Moore  of Heritage Foundation at Forbes