Monday, October 12, 2015

Don't believe anything

With a presidential election coming, you should max out your skepticism.
No matter how good a politician's promises sound, he -- or she -- probably is lying.
The classic example of this is St. Franklin of Roosevelt, the liberal icon.
When he ran for president in 1932, he lambasted Herbert Hoover, saying that he was making the Depression worse by heavy-handed government intervention.
He was right!
Hoover and Congress, primarily through the disastrous Smoot-Hawley tariffs, turned a recession into a depression.
It was not the fall of the stock market because of speculation that caused the Depression, as most liberal history books teach.
There was not much speculation, and stupid Fed policy was the main cause of the market crash of 1929.
But, back to FDR. Not only did he correctly characterize Hoover's actions, he promised the correct remedies, vowing to slash taxes and spending.
Immediately after being elected on this sound platform, he began increasing government intervention, raising taxes and increasing spending.
The Depression worsened and continued until World War II began, Even though FDR had abandoned most of his first-term programs, during his second term he replaced them with equally bad policy.
In short, vote for someone you can believe and hope for the best.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Sears and robot

Sears once was a great American company.
I don't know what happened. Competition has beat them down although they still sell some good merchandise.
But, as I learned the hard way this week, you should not rely on them for repairs.
I have an old Kenmore vacuum. It still works well, but it needed a filer, light bulb and new wheels. So I ordered them online from Sears.
Those few small parts cost $100. I should have known right then I was in trouble.
Light bulb and filter were no problem.
But when I looked at the two plastic wheels I discovered they didn't have any recognizable way to remove them.
The vacuum manual, which I had, was no help.
Calls to Sears for repair instructions were fruitless. A series of emails resulted in them telling me to take a hammer and smash the old wheels then "snap the new ones on." Ridiculous. They don't snap on. They slide onto an axle, but something has to hold them on the axle.
They didn't tell me that, nor had they sent me the two little nuts or washers to hold the wheels.
Every time I asked, they kept hinting that I should take it to a Sears repair shop.
So I called the local Sears repair.
I got a phone robot, which switched me to some guy in New Jersey. He gave me the phone number for the local shop that I had just called.
I called back, the bot switched me again. This time to Texas.
She got someone at the local store on the line and connected me. It was the wrong place. After being switched twice, I got a repair guy.
He told me that if I brought in the vacuum, they should ship it to Orlando. Two weeks later, at a cost of $125, I would have it back.
So replacing two little wheels, a bulb and a filter would wind up costing me about $250 -- more than the entire damn machine did when I bought it new.
All because they couldn't send me 25 cents worth of nuts and washers with the parts and simple instructions to replace the wheels.
When I bitched, the guy says if I would bring the vacuum and wheels in, he would "try" to help me.
I finally went to Lowe's, found two little lock nuts for $1.86 and got them on by myself, saving two weeks and $123.14.
No wonder we now live in a throwaway society.

Monday, March 2, 2015

The harm they do

I don't buy or read the morning paper but someone sent me a clipping of a piece by someone named Frank Denton. It was so purely, hopelessly, mindlessly, liberal that it provokes response.
Because the paper is now behind a paywall, I won't link to it, and no one should take the time too look it up. Trust me when I say it is the same drivel you read every day in the liberal media and see on network news.
The idea is that black Americans are the victims of racist white America -- including Jacksonville residents, of course. One neat refinement is that white Americans don't even realize they are being racist.
The only proof of the alleged racism is disparity in outcomes. This is so preposterous that I'm amazed anyone would try to perpetrate it.
Liberalism demands victims because the whole philosophy is that America is unfair and only bigger, more expensive, more intrusive government can level the playing field.
(Note that the only solution Denton offers to the "problem" is more "public investment.")
I will link to this because it refutes the idea better than I can. Having recently read the author's book, which is referenced in the article, I can attest it is spot on point, and demolishes Denton's fantasy.
But it does reflect the thinking of the majority of those in the newsroom at the paper, believe me. All of the "news" stories reflect the Denton-led editorial opinions as well. That is one reason the paper's circulation has plummeted.
As Riley explained, liberals may be well intended, but that does not excuse the harm they do, or the resentment they cause among Americans whose skin is black and who are fed up with the condescending treatment by liberals.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

What next

After a devastating repudiation of Barack Obama and his policies, Republicans need to get to work in January, repairing America.
First, put America back to work.
Get the Keystone pipeline built. There is substantial Democrat agreement. Pass the bill out of Congress and throw it on Obama's desk and see if he has the audacity to veto it.
Get the IRS under control. Also the EPA. Repeal the unconstitutional delegation of legislative authority to agencies in the executive branch.
Repeal the corporate income tax. There is no point in having corporations collect taxes for the government.
Repeal the capital gains tax. This would produce investment, jobs and wealth.
Repeal the marginal income tax rates and place a 10 percent flat tax on everyone who is employed.
Everyone should be able to participate in funding the government, since everyone benefits from the things government does that it is supposed to do.
When everyone is participating, everyone has a stake. Those with lower incomes than average may suddenly discover that they can with less government spending.
Finally, repeal the withholding tax. This was a pernicious development, devised during World War II as taxes soared in an effort to mask the impact.
The ideal way to pay taxes would be the way it was done in the military until fairly recently. A soldier would be paid in cash, then move to the next table where he would fork over his tax payment, in cash. What he had left in his hand was his "share" of what he had earned.
Let people pay their taxes the way they pay for other things like rent and groceries, and there would be more awareness and interest in what the politicians in Washington are doing.
There is plenty more to do after that, such as health care reform and saving entitlement programs from bankruptcy.
If you want hope and change for the better instead of the worse, these are ways to make it happen.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

The trade

If he were a Major League Baseball team owner, Obama would have traded Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Joe Dimaggio for Bob Uecker, (one of the worst players ever).
This is what we know about the latest Obama scandal:
He traded five of the most dangerous Muslim terrorists in the world for an American soldier, against the recommendations of the military and intelligence community.
The guy he "rescued" left behind his rifle, climbed under a barbed wire fence and departed his post in Afghanistan without leave. According to one report he left a letter saying he wanted to join the Taliban.
He was captured and kept for five years. He now speaks Pashto. He has made a number of statements derogatory about America and the army.
Members of his unit say he was a weirdo and a deserter.
They also say at least six soldiers were killed searching for the captured soldier because the Taliban knew they would search and set up ambushes for them.
His father wants to free all Gitmo prisoners and praised Allah in Pashto when he spoke at the White House.
We don't know yet whether Obama also paid cash ransom.
But we do know that the White House sent its designated liar, Susan Rice, out to the Sunday talk shows -- where she had lied about Benghazi -- and she said the soldier had served "with honor and distinction."
This was done by a president who was raised in Muslim countries, educated in Muslim schools and speaks reverently about "the holy Qu-uran." He also has pledged to close Gitmo.
This is either the worst-reported story in history or it cries out for a special prosecutor.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Don't argue; vote

There is no point in conservatives having  “dialogues” with liberals over public policy.
A recent exchange with a liberal on Facebook over education policy has reinforced this conclusion.
In a long tirade, he ranted about school choice, and asserted that charter schools and vouchers were a terrible blow to education.
After weeding through the inaccuracy, irrelevancy and illogic, it appeared his solution was two-fold: “fair wages” for those in the public schools and convening liberals and conservatives to sit down, examine the problems in the public schools and “fix them.”
Sheer genius!
In 1983 a bipartisan blue-ribbon commission examined the public schools at the national level and concluded that it was being swamped by “a rising tide of mediocrity.”
That was more than 30 years ago so we didn’t wake up yesterday and discover a problem no one had noticed before – one easily fixed if we just talked it over.
The commission didn’t find a lack of “resources” to be the cause of the problems. It suggested higher standards and more accountability.
Florida began on that course in the late 1990s, combining it with choice, and this commonsense approach has produced improvement in the public schools.
Even liberals who fought the reforms are beginning to buy into the program, realizing that they are in an untenable position by opposing an education for poor children. Not all have gotten the memo, unfortunately.
Vouchers – first suggested in the mid-1950s by Nobel prize-winning economist Milton Friedman – allow poor students in failing schools to escape to a good school and get a good education, and a route out of poverty as well.
The liberal who condemned choice could not explain why it was evil to save money for taxpayers, improve the public schools and help poor children get an education.
Apparently it never occurred to him that if they could be “fixed” some brilliant minds would have found a way to fix them. Nor did it occur to him that choice may be part of the solution.
Not all liberals are this obtuse, but enough are, so the best course is to elect conservatives to government. Then, when problems that government is capable of solving or improving present themselves, the  elected representatives will do something that makes sense, rather than assuming that throwing more money at the problem is the only solution.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Science marches on

When I was in high school I recall being bombarded with health information about diet.
Each day's menu should include juicy steak, eggs, milk, butter, cream and the like, we were told.
In the interim I was shocked to learn that all those things would kill you, according to the newest, latest, up-to-date, most scientific information.
Now: the scientific consensus is that those things do no harm.
That's fine. I'm just wondering if all the "deniers" who doubted that they were in mortal peril from eating at the nearest steakhouse will be exonerated.
I'm also wondering if all those who have survived for decades on nuts and berries still feel morally superior and consider themselves healthier than the rest of us.
Lastly, I'm wondering what will happen to the alarmist community if science finds that -- for certain, according to their latest Excel spreadsheet -- that a new Ice Age is coming and we desperately need more CO2 to warm up the planet.