Can you fix stupid?

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So, with a quick morning scan of news stories on Labor Day morning, I seestrikers2 http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/fast-food-workers-plan-acts-of-peaceful-civil-disobedience/2014/09/01/acf4f38e-3228-11e4-a723-fa3895a25d02_story.html?tid=pm_business_pop a piece about quick-service restaurant workers demanding a raise in the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour.

Then, I hear a snippet of President Barack Obama at a rally both speaking of obama6blanket amnesty for illegal immigrants and suggesting that if he were a foodservice worker, he’d join a union to secure higher wages and job protections.

Finally, I read and contemplate http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-09-02/softbank-to-sell-robot-in-u-s-stores-within-12-months.html a robot named “Pepper” which could replace 90 million jobs with 30 million Peppers, each selling for about $1,900. Just FYI, Pepper can ask “Do you want fries with that?”Pepper

Three takeaways for me: (1) Be careful what you ask for. (2) Behaviors have consequences. (3) You can’t fix stupid.

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California Crazies

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So-called “environmentalists” are equally smug and stupid. They require special health insurance which provides orthopedic care for injuries sustained while patting their own backs. how-smart-is-the-smart-car-imageThey drive Smart cars with smug facial expressions because they are more-righteous than you.

They enter grocery stores carrying their cotton reusable shopping bags cotton bag proudlywhile looking down their noses at you if you’re not carrying a bag in because they know you’re gonna make that “paper or plastic” choice, thus ending Planet Earth. California is as we speak proceeding to follow in SanFran’s footsteps – as opposed to tire tracks – in banning both paper and plastic.

Reality – facts are such pesky things – is that in descending order of eco-friendliness plastic bags are five times better than paper and forty timesplastic bags better than cloth reusables. All three ultimately end up in a landfill. Cloth on average are used forty-two times before disposal. They’d have to be reused more than one hundred times to be even competitive.papwer bags Paper bags have more than five times the mass of their plastic counterparts.

If you reuse, even just once, your plastic bag, say, lining a trash can, even, say, in your car, you’ve now outdone the eco-friendliness of the paper bag by ten times and the cloth by seven-dozen times. Oh, and I’ve not even hinted until now at the cross-contamination ills of the cloth reusable. Between shopping trips those bags are viral and bacterial wonder-generators, and a growing major producer of e-coli.

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Just some observations and thoughts

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We know – or should know – that Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson had just left another call when he encountered 18-year-old Michael Brown and another young man walking in the middle of a road, a road also trafficked by motor vehicles, including the police cruiser. The officer’s narrative is that he instructed the two to move from the road to the sidewalk to get out of the way of traffic.

We know – or should know – that after the confrontation played out Officer Wilson was taken by the assistant police chief to a local hospital emergency room near-unconscious and suffering what turned out to be a severely bruised and swollen face and an orbital fracture of an eye socket. Autopsy results, confirmed by a second, reconfirmed by a third report that the six gunshot wounds suffered by Brown were all to his front, none to his back. A reasonable person, it seems to me, would, based on just that, discount eyewitness statements that Brown was shot in the back while fleeing Wilson.

When Dorian Johnson, the other young man who was walking with Brown, during police interrogation confirmed both that he was with Brown when they committed a strong-arm robbery of a convenience store moments before encountering Officer Wilson and that Brown had assaulted Officer Wilson at the driver-side door of the police cruiser before any shots were fired, reasonable and thinking persons, it seems to me, begin to see more clearly the sequence of events.

Officer Wilson, I think, was self-defending and fearful. He was also visually-impaired and in great pain. That can help explain the six shots, not all that accurate at the range. There is also that Brown is something like 6’8” and almost 300 pounds.

Why did Michael Brown react so violently to a police instruction to move to the sidewalk? I don’t and cannot know. Motive can only be inferred, and that with due caution. Brown knew that he had just robbed the convenience store, but couldn’t have known whether or not Officer Wilson even knew that the crime had occurred. A toxscreen revealed later that Brown was also under influence of marijuana.

Many in America are invested heavily in a template, one that includes that blacks are oppressed by whites and that whenever there is a conflict between a white person and a black person, the cause is not only racism, but white-on-black racism. This template also holds that blacks shouldn’t be held to the same standards of behavior as whites. When more blacks are arrested percentagewise than whites, when black school students are disciplined more percentagewise, when a smaller percentage of blacks graduate from high school than whites, the conclusion is, de facto, racism. When on standard tests blacks score in the aggregate much much lower than their white counterparts, the conclusion is that the tests are racially- biased.

Before almost anyone in Ferguson, Missouri had any knowledge, any evidence of what had happened between Policeman Darren Wilson and young Michael Brown, what everyone knew – because so-called “news” media made certain they did – was that Wilson was white and Brown black. Uh-oh. Template in. Jesse Jackson in. Al Sharpton in. Eric Holder maneuvering to assert the template while burying evidence against said. President Obama appearing disengaged while moving the puzzle pieces from behind the curtain. Self-anointed race victims and race pimps from all over Missouri and well-beyond come to rally, to protest, to sloganeer, and to loot.

Why has Ferguson, Missouri been rioting and looting? Why is Detroit a ghost town? Why is it more-dangerous on the streets of Chicago than Baghdad? Why were there riots in Los Angeles and New Orleans? The combination of both federal AND local progressivism/liberalism in government.

In countries with the most economic freedom (the 10%) — so minimum government intrusion, regulation, and taxation — the poorest of the poor (bottom 10%) are five times as wealthy as their counterparts in the countries with the least economic freedom. Economic freedom in America has been plummeting.

My top-3 big-government intrusions devastating Americans: (1) Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society”. (2) Any and all “minimum wage” laws. (3) All federal involvement in so-called “healthcare”, from Medicare, Medicaid, SCHIP, and last, but not least, the new “Affordable Care Act”, aka “Obamacare”. The more that libertarians/constitutional conservatives populate government, the better off ALL Americans will be, and especially the poorest of the poor.

So, what about law-enforcement’s handling of the easily-anticipated rallying, sloganeering, protesting, and looting. Military clothing, guns, missiles, tanks, etc. have funneled from the U.S. Department of Defense to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and from DHS via grants to local police forces in towns large and small, all to “fight terrorism”. What rallyers and protesters and looters all encountered the first night was an armed force dressed in Middle-East dessert camouflage, bulletproof vests, helmets with face shields, and automatic weapons.

The DHS grant gear is to intimidate. Intimidate whom? “Terrorists”, you know, Tea Partiers, FreedomWorks, Heritage Action, and all Americans who contemplate how to overcome the #1 enemy of We the People, namely the U.S. Government. And if you’re thinking this is how enemy #1 is planning to bypass Posse Comitatus, no even that’s underestimating. In April the U.S. Army issued a paper on how to deploy to counter “civil unrest”. And what has occurred to me – and evidence is ample – is that while I was concluding who my enemy#1 was, that U.S. Government was concluding who its enemy#1 was, and I believe I made their list in early 2008.

Okay, so meanwhile, the police didn’t look like the neighborhood boys and girls in blue, the folks who speak to young kids in school. They looked and acted like an outsider military invasion force. Rather than control, mitigate, and de-escalate, the “police” escalated and exacerbated big-time. Make no mistake, 1st amendment rights were squashed under hobnail boots, not just infringed. And not by mistake in the field and under stress. No, by plan, under orders.

So-called “news” media – There’s no such thing, hasn’t been for quite a while – have been committed to the template, burying or ignoring evidence against, while even fabricating “evidence” supporting it. But, they’ve been confused and taken off their game by the militarized police. While Missouri Highway Patrol replaced Ferguson Police at behest of Governor Jeremiah Wilson “Jay” Nixon (D), and with a black face both at the mic and leading on the street all singing Kumbaya, violence and looting lessened . . . for one night. Then, the MHP was overwhelmed by the New Black Panthers from Oakland, California, et al the next. Next came the Missouri National Guard.

I wonder a little what the responses will be from all of those committed to the template when, despite all underhanded, even illegal, efforts to obfuscate, a grand jury refuses to indict Officer Wilson, having determined that his shooting of Brown was righteous and legal. My wondering is long over on the war between the U.S. Government and We the People. We lose.

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Those pesky-but-ubiquitous “unintended consequences”

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Zimbabwe’s (in southern Africa) farmers at the turn of the millennium (2000), produced so much that the country was a net food exporter. Government officials, feeling that grocery prices were too high for the poorest in the country, mandated price controls on farm output.

Most of Zimbabwe’s farmers were unable to continue as costs greatly exceeded the new prices. Most abandoned both their farms and residency in Zimbabwe. Agricultural demand grew while supply plummeted. Price remained artificially – and contrary to the laws of economics – low.

Millions of Zimbabweans starved to death . . . and the disaster continues now a decade later. Ignorant/stupid government policy intrusion in the marketplace causing the rationally/logically predictable “unintended consequences”.

So how do you expect the so-called “Affordable Care Act” aka “Obamacare” to work out? Understanding of Economics 101 makes the so-called “unintended” consequences predictable with absolute certainty.

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on the road with . . . thedrpete

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So I thought we should get out ahead of Congress, so we left home at the PGA Golf Club in southern Florida, and went to spend the weekend-plus at Hilton Head and surrounds.

After family fun and a couple of rounds of golf, we decided to take a peek at the home of the enemy#1, so I-95ed our way to the Nation’s Capitol, actually McLean VA. Great old friends, excellent scotch and wine, and cuisine. Walked in a park and was told one could walk or bike within it all the way to West Virginia or south to Charlottesville, presumably without ever having to encounter reality. Hence my last essay here, “Shut ‘em down”.

From there we auto’d northeast to the “city that never sleeps”, NYC, staying with offspring in the “fashionable-upper-eastside” of Manhattan. Love “the city”. Heck, it’s where I was born.

Feeling guilty about having too much fun, and knowing that, like money, happiness is a fixed commodity, and I was hogging more than my “fair share”, I decided to redistribute some by driving out to the very-tip of the North Fork of Long Island to our son’s “weekend house”. Five days here with great scotch (even their dog is named “Scotch”), great wine (it’s wall-to-wall wineries out here), great seaside eateries, ferrying to Shelter Island and even Sag Harbor over on Long Island’s South Fork, playing with our dogs – bailey and Scotch – on the beach and in the surf, I’m afraid I must admit that that redistribute thingy didn’t work. I’ve been having “more fun than a human being should be allowed.” There oughta be a law.

In a few hours we’ll head back to the City, there to spend a night and get a three-hour jump start on tomorrow’s drive westbound to Lake Erie in northeastern Ohio near Cleveland. Heck, if GOP Leadership thought they oughta go there, I’ve gotta check it out. It’ll be a one-nighter there with friends – Are you seeing the waterside theme here? — enroute to a couple of days at Duck Lake in southern Michigan, boating, more golfing, revisiting our former life of a quarter-century ago. Might pause while passing Detroit to offer paying some water bills to those who promise to vote GOP in November. It’s a play on the PETA play.

From there it’ll be a weekend-plus-plus on Lake Michigan visiting with lots of family, followed by five days in East Tennessee, our former home base of twenty years. Yes, we’ll be staying on the main channel of the Tennessee River to continue our water theme. My foci each day are (a) taking all of my scheduled meds, (b) seeing that everything we packed for the trip gets back to the car before moving on, and (c) keeping my left elbow from “flying” during my backswing. It’s mentally-exhausting, so justifies my other focus (d?) on scotch consumption.

From there we’ll route ourselves back through the Hilton Head Area of South Carolina for another weekend of golf – following a round on Long Island, another at Duck Lake, and one in East Tennessee – on our return home to PGA. Twenty-four days on the road in toto It’s tough being me.

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Shut ‘em down . . .

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All so-called “National Parks” and “National Forests” in the United States should (a) be closed, then (b) deeded to the states in which each is located. No money should accrue to the federal government since it stole the land illegally and unconstitutionally in the first place.

Each state should then decide legislatively whether to own and operate those parks, etc. or sell the properties to people in the private sector. Individual Americans may then decide whether to live and work in states with excessive so-called “public lands” or not, choosing with their feet so to speak.

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Give me liberty or give me . . . poverty!

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Give me liberty or give me . . . poverty! Not death, poverty.

Contrary to what a majority of Americans just know for sure to be true, the greater the economic freedom in a country and the less government intrusion and regulation there is, the greater is the wealth . . . of the poorest of the poor. Indeed, in countries ranked in the top 10% on an index of economic freedom, the poorest 10% of their people are five times as wealthy as their counterparts in the countries ranked in the bottom 10%.

So if you’re poor (in your own mind) or if you really actually want to help “the poor”, you should flip your thinking as to for whom to vote this fall. You should vote for those who’ll shrink government, not those who’ll grow it. The USA has gone from #1 in economic freedom at its founding to barely top 10 as of 2008 to now #17.

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