Saturday, June 4, 2016

Choosing evil

I must be really stupid because I just can’t grasp the arguments some pretty smart conservatives are making to justify either voting for Hillary Clinton or not voting at all.
Let’s stipulate that these probably are the two worst candidates for president in history, and also that neither is officially a nominee, yet.
But if it happens, why would a conservative not do whatever is necessary to stop Hillary from winning?
One argument is that “the lesser of two evils is still evil.”
Well, yes. But that also means that the alternative is more evil.
Since one is going to win, wouldn’t the prudent move be to vote for the lesser evil and thus try to prevent the more evil from winning?
Aside from Clinton's meanness, total lack of honesty and far, far left philosophy, there is one argument that seals the deal for me, as far as choosing one of these two.
There is 100 percent chance that Clinton would nominate an ultra-liberal justice or justices for the Supreme Court.
Trump is a wild man but it appears that there is less than a 100 percent chance that he would do so.
Another unconvincing argument is that Trump’s candidacy will somehow cause the GOP to lose a majority In the Senate.
If that is going to happen it is already a done deal. His winning won’t change a vote that already has taken place. But he could still nominate a conservative justice and get it through a Democratic Senate. Democrats constantly make the argument that a president is entitled to have his nominee approved, and I don’t think they would dare leave a seat open for four years if Trump stuck to his guns.
The process is deeply flawed as shown by the fact that we have these two presumptive nominees. But that is no reason to drop out of voting.
Every vote cast for Trump negates one cast for Clinton.
The old saying is true: If you don’t vote, they will.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

This is THE election

Every four years, someone pronounces the upcoming presidential election "the most important election in recent years."
The one this year actually fits that bill, and then some.
What's at stake:
Tilting by appointment the direction of the U.S. Supreme Court for many years ahead, at a time when it is facing critical issues.
Action on illegal immigration. This is an issue simmering among the silent majority and is a major explanation for the ascension of Donald Trump, the only one vowing to take corrective action.
Getting a grip on government spending and debt.
Leadership. This is a critical issue in foreign policy. With the United States in retreat, tyrants around the world are encouraged toward aggression.
There are other issues, but these are the ones that will make or break this nation.
Elections have consequences. Never more than in 2016.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Social Security is misunderstood

There are any number of Facebook posts from people complaining about Social Security. But they are complaining about the wrong things.
Social Security is a Ponzi scheme and will go bankrupt unless something is done.
But the whining about calling it an "entitlement" is pointless. It is an entitlement, just like your paycheck is an entitlement. If you are in the program you are entitled to collect a pension after you retire.
Entitlement is not a synonym for welfare, which apparently is what some of these people think.
The problem with the program is the same as with any Ponzi scheme. At first many people were contributing and only a few were drawing money.
Today it is just the opposite. Where there were once 15 people paying in for every retiree, today there are two people contributing for every retiree. Making it even worse is the fact that people live much longer.
The other complaint is that the government "borrowed" the money.
When SS ran a surplus, what were they supposed to do? Invest it? Do you really want politicians playing the market with your money?
They could have let the cash pile up in a vault, I suppose, but I'm not sure what that would have accomplished. They were still spending more than they were taking in overall, and the deficit would have to come from somewhere or the debt would have gone up even more.
The problem can be fixed. What is lacking is the political will.
But people need to understand how the system works in order to fix it.
The easiest and most obvious fix is to raise the retirement age. It is unrealistic, given the rise in life expectancy.
If you want to retire earlier, save your own money and retire when you want.
Liberals deserve the blame, not necessarily for beginning the program but for greatly expanding it without bothering to make it sound, and for refusing to act now.

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.