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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Free To Choose Tuesday: Part 10 - How To Stay Free

I wanted to put these up again, one because it's been three years since I ran them before, and two, Dr. Friedman's lessons on economics designed for the ordinary American ring just as true today as they did in 1980. This will give a basic understanding of Friedman's Nobel Prize winning work for any who are willing to spend an hour each week to watch. It consists of 10 half hour long documentaries, followed by 10 half hour long debates, in which Friedman and friends clash with the leading Socialists of the time.

Monday, July 21, 2014

The IRS Has Openly Flipped Us The Bird America. What Should We Do Now?

Political Cartoons by Steve Kelley


I was all set to do something on Fauxcahontas' Eleven Commandments for America's future today, and then I saw this one. So now it seems as though 19 IRS computers magically crashed, obscuring incriminating emails and other proofs of nefarious communication betwixt Lois Lerner, and basically everyone she communicated with.

From the Daily Caller article linked to above:

IRS Deputy Associate Chief Counsel Thomas Kane said in transcribed congressional testimony that more IRS officials experienced computer crashes, bringing the total number of crash victims to “less than 20,” and also said that the agency does not know if the lost emails are still backed up somewhere.

The new round of computer crash victims includes David Fish, who routinely corresponded with Lois Lerner, as well as Lerner subordinate Andy Megosh, Lerner’s technical adviser Justin Lowe, and Cincinnati-based agent Kimberly Kitchens.

For those of you keeping score at home, this now raises the odds against to an astounding 1 in 10^57. We're talking about a number so large, it actually eclipses the number of stars in the known Universe, all of it. Yet, equally as astounding, this has received no credible coverage on the alphabet media circuit. Thank goodness for outlets like the Daily Caller to actually report on this stuff.

Let me add something here. With a failure rate of 3.5% per year, per computer, the odds of any specific drive failing during a specific week, are 1 in 1000. The analysis of the odds used are the result of a simple calculation based on the manufacturer's published parameters. For each computer added, the exponent increases by one. So, when the second specific computer needed went down at the precise moment it was needed, the odds of those two melting down in the manner described by Congressional testimony became 1 in 1000 squared. That's how we get to where we are, with 19 computers, that's 1000 raised to the Nineteenth power, enjoy!

I'm positive that on tonight's or tomorrow's episode of, "The Five," either Bob Beckel or Juan Williams will repeat that tired old mantra, "there's no evidence of any wrongdoing here, computers crash and that doesn't mean they're hiding anything." Talk about a statement that makes me want to literally jump through my television and choke somebody. What more do any of us need.

To put the number 1 followed by 57 zeros in perspective, I'm going to propose the following thought experiment. Let's pretend, just for the moment, that you have a super dexterous tongue. Your tongue, and jawbone for that matter are capable of counting digits at the same rate that subatomic particles vibrate, which would be 10^20 digits per second. putting aside for the moment the happiness extended to your spouse or significant other, let us further pretend that you've been counting since the proverbial big bang, some 20 Billion years ago. No breaks or vacations, no meals, and no sleeping, only counting has filled your time. You still, as of today would not have reached a number as large as 10^57. In fact, you would need to replicate your effort to date another 317 Quintillion times in order to reach your target. (If you wish to see this expressed in exponential form, it is 3.17 x 10^20.) Those are the odds that the IRS has claimed happened in a completely random manner.

At some point in time, we as a people must call Bullshit. Our Internal Revenue Service has told us in very clear language that we are their subjects, and they are not accountable to the laws inflicted on we mere mortals. If ever there were a group of people worthy of torch and pitch fork, these guys are it.

Actual testimony of an IRS Official



Anger no longer covers this, but please liberals, continue to tell me how George W. Bush was an imperial President, just be sure to defend that sentiment within this context, I need a good laugh.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Saturday At The Movies: Bill Whittle's, "What We Believe," Full Version

So, here's this weeks submission for a replacement hour of network television over your weekend. Think of it as an alternative to that hour long conservative bash fest that all Hollywood produced crime dramas seem to have become. It's all seven of the excellent Bill Whittle, "What We Believe," videos put together in one shot. Personally, I'd not seen all seven previously, as I missed one or two of them. As the sunspot activity this week is actually something that's been labeled an, "All Quiet Event," you may have noticed that the weather in much of the country will not match the typical hot sunny out doorsy model we're used to seeing this time of year.

Friday, July 18, 2014

"You Can't Go Home Again," Now Extends Itself To Climate What Now, Thomas Wolfe Weeps In His Grave

Alternate Headline: Is the world really this stupid, collectively speaking?

This is a statement so stupid, it could only have come from someone with a college education.

- Dennis Prager

When Thomas Wolfe wrote those oft repeated words, "you can't go home again," he was referring to the fact that his hometown did not remain static after he'd left as a youth, seeking his fortune in the world. His home town did not turn itself into a shrine, awaiting his triumphant return, progress continued to happen, new businesses opened up, new houses were built, and the town did not remain just the way he'd left it. His point was that we should all just get over ourselves, and accept that the world is a bigger place than our mere self centered perceptions of it. People will not stop living their lives simply because you're somewhere else. If he could have foreseen today's idiotic debate about the weather, I would hope that he would have included that in his description of the human condition as well. The wind will not stop blowing, the Earth will not stop wobbling, nor will the sun's solar cycle cease due to your desire that every day's temperature be the exact same temperature as it was during the previous year, for ever and ever.

I'll admit, I had a hard time deciding where to start this one. I don't quite know what to do with it. On the one hand, it's so terribly heart wrenching that many people are actually going through the Kubler-Ross five stages of grief due to fears over what they believe is happening to the Earth's climate. On the other, I find it incredibly hard not to laugh at people this idiotic. When my children were three, I took a can of aerosol potpourri air freshener, and labeled it Monster Spray. When tales of being frightened of monsters became the nightly reason to not sleep, I instructed them to guide me to all of the various hiding places for monsters in their rooms, (making a fake spraying sound is much better than actually spraying the stuff, since the number of scary places can grow voluminous indeed.) We protected ourselves against all manner of beasts which did not exist. Scared children at three years of age can be terribly difficult to reason with. Adults should be a different matter entirely.

Any way, you'll get a kick out of this one. This is beautiful in its appeal to the logically challenged. The crux of this argument is that we should just stop debating whether man made global climate something or other is real, and just focus on preventing a massive national catastrophe due to global anxiety. Honestly, I don't know whether to laugh or laugh even harder.

Ms. Preston also cites Steve Running, an ecology professor who delivered a popular talk called “The Five Stages of Climate Grief” in 2007. Channeling Elisabeth K├╝bler-Ross, he argued that policy makers needed to move beyond the stages of denial and depression into something more productive:

“We really need most of our political, business and intellectual leaders to reach Stage 5 ACCEPTANCE in order to move forward, as a nation, and as a global citizenry. There is no guarantee that we can successfully stop global warming, but doing nothing given our present knowledge is unconscionable. How otherwise can we look into our grandchildren’s eyes?”

You see, it doesn't really matter if this thing is real or not, we just need to accept it as real, in order to make people feel better about their world and Mother Earth, sniff. In order to help with this lunacy, that admittedly, you might be having a hard time swallowing, here's a helpful interactive map. Don't bother typing your city in, just point and click near where you live, and it'll draw a helpful line to some other city that may resemble what your climate could be like in the year 2100. No actual evidence mind you, it's all hypothetical at this point, but hey since when does scare mongering need any actual evidence or data to back it up?

Chicken Little deserves to win, because children and moronic adults are anxious. If you are a denier, then you're just a big meanie head!

I know that in the middle of this cooler than I can ever remember summer that it may be hard for some of us to remember that winter that we all just endured. You know, the one that our President and his minions actually blamed for a massive first quarter dip in GDP. We were all of us whining about the amount of snow and the unbelievable cold, (somehow caused by global warming,) and the seemingly endless length. This map actually gives me hope though. I mean, living near Lorain, Ohio, I see that if I make it to 2100, my community will be warm like Lehigh Acres, Florida. Please Global Warming, come faster. I'm freezing my ass off here in Ohio, where on July 18, 2014, it's only a freakishly cool 75 degrees. I'd like to go swimming some time this summer, like I used to as a kid, before the Earth warmed so much that it got too cool to swim in July.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

I Have A Solution Which By The Way Will Save 18 Billion Bones.



So, remember one or two crises ago, when collectively, we all had our panties in a bunch over the VA Scandal. (I hate to sound flippant or sarcastic over something that really does deserve to be scrutinized. It's just that this one left the collective front burner, and it deserves to be placed back there, along with Benghazi, Pigford, Fast and Furious, Solyndra, the Green Fairy, IRS Targeting Scandal, NSA Domestic Spying Scandal, the Bergdahl Swap, Arab Spring, and any of the myriad other Obama disasters I've failed to mention.) Well, after the Bamster's most sincere promise, that he was even angrier than the rest of the American People that some great evil happened on his watch, and that he, Barack Hussein Obama, would use his vast talents of analytical thinking to get to the bottom of things and report back to us why he, Barack Hussein Obama, was let down by the very people he appointed, it seems like this one's been forgotten after all. While we may still be waiting on his keen observations, as we are with each and every other item on the aforementioned list of scandals, he did in the mean time appoint someone else to fulfil one of his main campaign promises, which was to fix, once and for all, the problems at the VA.

Sloan Gibson is the acting chief of the VA, and he's managed to put his finger on what the beleagured agency needs. If your money was on giving them more money, then you've won the wager in this part of our show and will advance to the next round. Just a cool $18 Billion more over the next 3 years, which for budgetary purposes in Washington speak means a line item of $59.4 Billion this year (since budgetary line items are figured for ten year time frames,) which will then inflate at a nice 7% compounded, each and every year, (thanks to the magic that is baseline budgeting.) That estimate by the way is what's being asked for now, even before the Armed Forces layoffs start bringing an even greater burden upon an already taxed system.

From the Town Hall article linked to above:

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs needs $17.6 billion in additional funding over the next three years to eliminate long waiting times for veterans’ health care appointments, the embattled agency's acting chief said Wednesday.

Acting VA Secretary Sloan Gibson told the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee that the $17.6 billion request would only last through the 2017 fiscal year.

But to keep ahead of the rising population of veterans needing VA care, even more money will be needed in the future, Mr. Gibson said.

Now, let's put that issue aside for just a moment. I don't believe any of us could find, if asked, a group of five Americans who would vote to deny veterans the health care they needed at any time. The money is not the issue here, the economics of what is driving this outlandish expense is. Let me explain that concept.

This current problem at the VA is nothing new, in fact, the reason there is a VA is due to the same exact problem at the predecessor version, known as the Veterans Bureau. This same exact problem caused our government to scuttle that agency in 1930 and created the current iteration, which has experienced this same exact crisis and scandal like clock work, every eight years or so. If you remember, this exact scandal was one of the things Barack Obama used to convince Americans that George W. Bush was some sort of demon in President's clothing while campaigning for his current job. Bill Clinton faced this as one of his political pitfalls, as did Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter, Dick Nixon, Lyndon Johnson, Dwight Eisenhower, Harry Truman, and even Franklin Roosevelt.

What has happened at the VA, since the implementation of this model for government run health care way back in 1920, is the only possible conclusion to following this path. It doesn't matter how many directors we fire and then chase from town via torch and pitch fork, this will be the result. Any system that depends upon the, "right people," to run it, is doomed to failure. Corruption will find its way in, and bureaucrats consolidating power and lining their pockets is the only end ever achieved by any bureaucracy that's ever been established.

Also from the Town Hall article linked to above:

An “outlandish bonus culture" pervades the Department of Veterans Affairs, with no senior manager receiving less than a fully satisfactory performance review last year despite problems, including long waits for patient care and cost overruns for construction projects, the chairman of the House Veterans' Affairs Committee said at a Capitol Hill hearing Friday.

The VA paid out more than $2.8 million in "performance awards" in the last fiscal year to executives, some of whom are now under scrutiny for misrepresenting veterans’ wait times for healthcare.

The moment a bureaucracy is introduced to act as a go between medical patients and those providing medical services, you've introduced the self interests of those who are not paid to provide that service, nor are in need of that service. The system has been skewed to include the self interests of those managing the exchange, and eventually, their interests, since they control the funding of all of it, will reign supreme. Not only does the agency's director need to be the only truly altruistic person ever born in our world, but every one pushing paper throughout the entire agency needs to fulfil that vision as well. This is an impossibility, even before the first case of PTSD is released from his or her service to the nation.

There is a solution to all of this however, and here it is:

Step 1) Close the VA.

Step 2) Fire everyone who works for the VA.

Step 3) Resolve to never allow a former employee of the VA a job in government again.

Step 4) Grant an insurance card to every member and former member of our armed services. Include their spouses and eligible children for coverage.

Step 5) Have the bill for any treatment with any doctor that they wish to purchase sent straight to the same insurance plan that covers members of Congress.

Step 6) Sell all of the VA equipment and buildings for as much as can be obtained.

Not only would that $18 Billion not be necessary, but this plan wouldn't even come close to the same costs as the VA currently swallows, each and every year. What's more, we'd no longer have to worry about bureaucrats adding the line item of fraud, theft, and waste, to the VA tab.

Now as for the solution to the impending mess called Obamacare, which by the way is modeled after the VA system that's achieved scandal status every 8 years like the work of some evil clock, I'm not sure. I know one thing, issuing everyone an insurance card like I've proposed for veterans will not work, as that bill would bankrupt the country. My personal belief is that we should return to the free market system that actually created the greatest health care system in the world. But that's just me talkin.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Whittle Says It Better Than Most: Mark Zuckerberg, Where Do You Live?



I can't think of much to add to this, except that this crisis was created from nothing, by a President who seems hell bent on destroying the fabric of this nation. I am for immigration reform, but my version of it I guarantee you is vastly different than what our President's version is. It's most certainly different that Harry Reid's or Nancy Pelosi's. It's probably not even close to what most of the Republican leaders envision inflicting as a law upon the rest of us. My version includes securing the borders period, and closing off the spigot of immigration from Arabic Nations which are sending us a constant stream of jihadists who wish to set our nation ablaze. Personally, I would love to increase the flow of immigrants escaping the perils of Socialism found in Latin American Nations. These are people who want to assimilate into our culture and become part of American Exceptionalism, but that's just a dream.

The one caveat to all of this of course is allowing them to participate in the Welfare System, which changes the equation entirely. Immigration to work is a vastly different matter than immigration to free crap from public largess.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Free To Choose Tuesday Part 9 - How To Cure Inflation

I wanted to put these up again, one because it's been three years since I ran them before, and two, Dr. Friedman's lessons on economics designed for the ordinary American ring just as true today as they did in 1980. This will give a basic understanding of Friedman's Nobel Prize winning work for any who are willing to spend an hour each week to watch. It consists of 10 half hour long documentaries, followed by 10 half hour long debates, in which Friedman and friends clash with the leading Socialists of the time.

Thanks to the magic of Quantitative Easing, Inflation will one day soon be a hot topic, so this one is even more timely.