Monsters and Logic and Guns

Monsters and Logic and Guns

            Back in the 70’s when there were only few channels on TV, one would end up watching stuff that you wouldn’t even consider watching today.  That’s not to say that we use our time any more wisely now, but back in the day, what better way was there to avoid doing something constructive than to invest two hours in viewing “The Return of the Blood Monster from Mars”?
            The great thing about those monster movies was that they were so bad.  The same plot each time, just a different monster, and sometimes, not even that.  Often the monster was impervious to bullets, but that never stopped people from shooting at it, even if they had tried that several times before.  This of course, was to show the monster’s invulnerability and the futility of the people’s resistance.  In the end, someone would always discover the monster’s weakness and then, the good people of earth would exploit that to defeat their sinister foe.
            As corny and unrealistic as those awful monster movies were, we could draw some parallels between them and issues that we are actually dealing with today.  Instead of some monster that is unaffected by firearms, we are facing a force that is trying to take away our gun ownership rights.  If it is successful, real life monsters (street criminals and home intruders) will take on at least some of the power of the bulletproof monsters in the movies.  How will a law-abiding citizen be able stop them?
            Although I’m going to focus on gun ownership rights and the people who oppose them, much of this applies to other issues that are just as important, so even gun rights are not a top priority issue for you, I assure you that this is worth the read.
            Just as the people in the monster movies would make a futile attempt to defend themselves with gunfire, we try to use logic to defend gun ownership and the second amendment.  The problem is that our opponents are just as impervious to logic as the movie monsters were to bullets.  It makes no difference to them that crime rates are lower in areas that have concealed carry and higher where possessing a firearm is illegal.  Even if there were twice as much evidence to support legal gun ownership as there is now, they would still be against it.  Why?
            Our opposition is a coalition of people who usually have at least one of these characteristics; they have a low amount of information, they are resentful, and/or they are destroyers.
            Many of the people in the anti-gun crowd are simply Low Information People who get their news from the Mainstream Media.  It’s easy to understand how someone who has never made a habit of analyzing what they see and hear could fall for the traditional media’s take on guns.  Low Information People often don’t voice their opinions but they do vote, so they should not be discounted.  They often base their opinions upon emotion so using logic has little effect on them.  They are best described as people who don’t know any better.
            Resentful people include your typical “Occupy Wall Street” types and loud-mouthed liberal celebrities.  They are quick to protest but slow to come up with fact-based arguments. Many of them were unpopular as children and often still carry grudges that they have been harboring since then.  If they have anything, often it’s through inheritance, or easily won fame.  They resent traditional American morality because they don’t like people criticizing the way they behave and they resent traditional American culture because they don’t fit in.  At least part of them fears that they could never measure up to a traditional American (think cowboy, hunter, farmer, etc.), so they hate everything associated with him like gun ownership.
Many of the Resentful are actually intelligent, but they have been backed into a corner trying to defend illogical positions so they avoid using or listening to logic.  They are left only with anger so they argue with insults and hyperbole. The Resentful are people who should know better.
            Last of all we have the Destroyers.  This group includes hardcore lefties, left-leaning high-level politicians, mainstream media big wigs, and lefty millionaires and billionaires like George Soros.  This group is the most dangerous because they are the leaders of the left and set the agenda.  They tend to let the Resentful do their talking for them on their most controversial positions and try to appear to be above the fray.  They often try to pass themselves off as moderates in order to appeal to the Low Information People.  They claim to have solidarity with the Low Information People and the Resentful, but they really just consider them useful idiots.  They don’t care about the things they claim to support and they don’t want their true intentions to be known, so they are never going to engage in any logical discussion about things like gun ownership rights.
What many of them really want is to replace our current form of government with a totalitarian regime with them and their friends in charge.  Traditional American values and an armed citizenry are the biggest obstacles to them in achieving this.  Destroyers are people who do know better but don’t care.
            Now I’m sure many of you reading this are thinking that I have gone way over the top here, but don’t just take my word.  See for yourself.  I’d like to ask you to do two things.  First, do a web search for pro-gun and anti-gun celebrities.
You might be thinking, “Who cares what celebrities think?” but there is a reason I’m mentioning them here.  I need to use people that you are familiar with for examples.  Celebrities, by definition are well known and there are plenty stories on them on the Internet so it is easy to learn their positions on various issues.
Anyway, look at lists of pro-gun versus anti-gun celebrities.  Do you notice anything?  Some on the anti-gun list may surprise you, but in general, do you see what I see?  The ones on the pro-gun ownership rights side tend to be (or at least appear to be) levelheaded, likeable people, while the ones on the anti-gun side tend to be obnoxious loudmouths like the Resentful People that I described earlier.
            Second, as long as your using the internet, go to some popular left wing sites and compare these to ones lefties love to condemn like “The Blaze” or “Brietbart”.   You will find the foulest language imaginable on these leftie sites (especially in the comment sections).  Now I’m not claiming that you will not find anything objectionable on right wing sites, all I’m asking is that you compare them to the leftie sites.  The left loves to accuse conservatives of being filled with hatred.  Do a little web surfing, and you tell me who the real haters are.
You might not want to spend your time reading articles that you disagree with and often insult you, but it will be worth your time. On these sites, lefties often let their guard down and show their true colors.  You will see and read about the people (and there are many that you’d recognize) whom I classified as Destroyers, and they often describe themselves and their ambitions the same way as I have done here.
What I’m trying to say here is that I’m not just making this stuff up.  I formed my opinion of these people by listening to what they say and watching what they do.  Once again, if you don’t believe me, all I ask of you is to check it out for yourself.
Now that we’re all clear as to what we’re up against, what can we do about it?  Just like in the monster movies, we must find a weakness in our opposition in order to defeat it.  Our opposition consists of a coalition of several different types of people that don’t necessarily know much about, or even like each other.  I would like to see our side put forth some effort in exposing each group’s intentions to the other.  What do I mean?
Of all the types of anti-gun people, the Low Information Person is the type that you are most likely to have contact with.  I have mentioned several times before in previous posts that these people can be our most valuable resource.  Many of them are like you and me except they don’t have the time and/or interest to get too involved in political matters.  They do have values though, and if they clearly see that something threatens their own interests, they will usually oppose it.  Most of them are average Americans and do not support things like the “Occupy Wall Street” movement.  If we can show them how little they have in common with other types anti-gun people, they will become much more receptive to a logical argument in favor of gun ownership rights.
Since the Resentful are what they are, we can use that to our advantage.  Many of them are really just jealous of people who are more successful than they are.  We need them to focus some of their resentment on the Destroyers.  The Resentful envision having a society similar to countries in Western Europe (only without their problems) most of them do not want to emulate North Korea.  Even they value having the ability to pursue their dreams.  If the Resentful understood the true intentions of the Destroyers, most would likely withdraw their support.  They still would not be in favor of gun ownership rights, but the anti-gun coalition would be weakened to the point where it was no longer such a threat.
The Destroyers are unreachable, but if we could make them lose a significant number of supporters, our second amendment rights and the future of our country would be much more secure.



See, I told you that they are not smarter than you!

See, I told you that they are not smarter than you!

            Elizabeth Warren, the Democrat Senator from Massachusetts, recently asked during a hearing of the Senate Committee of Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions why the current federal minimum wage is only $7.25 and not $22 an hour.  Her reasoning was if increases in wages since 1960 had kept pace with increases in worker productivity, that’s what the minimum wage should be.
            My question is, Elizabeth, if you are asking questions that are that stupid and use that type of reasoning, how come you are a senator and I’m just some factory worker who has a blog?  It’s tempting to say “Well you sure can tell that she never took a course in economics”, but I bet that she has, and I bet that she did pretty well in it too.  Liberals say stupid things like this every day and it shows not only their lack of knowledge, but also the quality of education our colleges and universities are providing.  It really irritates me how the mainstream media gets all over a conservative for using a word incorrectly or fumbling with an analogy, but they will skip right over liberals who blatantly illustrate their lack of knowledge in subjects.
            Well Betty, let me explain it to you.  I will try not to use words that are too big and make it as simple as possible, so maybe even you can understand it.  First of all, you must understand that businesses do not exist as charity organizations with the purpose of providing people with jobs at the highest possible wage.  They exist for the purpose of making their owners money.  I know that you don’t like that, but it’s true.
            Second, if everything else remains constant, increases in worker productivity do not tend to increase wages.  If anything this will put downward pressure on wages.  Why?  Imagine you had a business that made and sold a product.  Because of existing conditions in your locality, you are able to sell 200 units per week.  When you started you hired five employees to produce your product.  Eventually, a machine is invented that can produce 200 units per week and requires only one person to operate it.  The cost of the machine is less that the yearly salary of one employee. 
What are you going to do?  I know, I know, being a good liberal, your answer is, “I’m not some greedy capitalist, and I care about my employees.  I make enough money doing things the way I have been, so I won’t buy the machine and I’ll save my employee’s jobs.”  Well, that’s very noble of you, but guess what?  All of your competitors purchased the machines and can produce the same product as you do for one quarter the price.  They will now sell the product for one half your price and get rich while you go broke.  They maintained 20% of their workforces and you maintained zero percent of yours, but worker productivity at each of your competitors increased over 400%.
Now what happens?  Each of the displaced workers must find new jobs. They may have been skilled workers, but their skills are not readily transferrable to other local industries, and they may be forced to take jobs that might not necessarily pay as much as they had been making before.  Similar increases in worker productivity may have also occurred in other industries as well, leading to more unemployment.  Furthermore, it may not take as much skill to operate the machine as it did to produce the product by hand, so even that position pays less.  Increased unemployment including the displacement of skilled workers due to increased worker productivity can’t help but put downward pressure on wages.  So what do you have to say about that, Betty?
“My competitors are evil.”
No, your competitors are trying to survive. If they didn’t purchase the machines, other competitors in neighboring localities who did, could afford to ship their product to your area, and still sell it for less.
“Machines are evil.”
Strike two.  Machines are inanimate objects and therefore, cannot be evil.  Besides, we could outlaw the use of the machines in this country and competitors in foreign countries who used them could export their product to our country and sell it for less.
“Foreign countries are evil.”
Now you’re just contradicting yourself.  People on your side always say it’s America that is evil.  Anyway if you had any knowledge of how the free market system works, you would understand that it is the consumer, shopping for and demanding goods at the lowest prices that drives all of this.
“The free market is evil.”
Now we’re getting somewhere.  You have just demonstrated to everyone else how liberals’ lack of understanding is the basis of their contempt for our American free enterprise system and the success that it has allowed more people to achieve than anywhere else during any other period on our planet.
Even if one is to take machines out of the equation, increased worker productivity can still put downward pressure on wages.  How?  Imagine you have the same situation as described before, only no machines that could displace workers are invented.  At first, your five workers make your 200 units per week and everything’s fine.  Over the course of time, your workers get better at their jobs and can produce the 200 units in half the time.  You still cannot sell more than 200 units per week, so your workers spend 20 hours per week working, and the rest of the time just goofing off.  You personally, may not have any problem with this as long as you can sell your 200 units per week at a profit.
Here’s where you can start having trouble.  It’s your evil competitors again.  They realize that they can produce the same amount of product with just three workers.  They either lay off two workers or they just don’t rehire workers when two either quit or retire.  You end up having a situation similar our first one with the machines.
The only time increases in worker productivity leads to higher worker compensation is when workers are in competition with each other and are compensated according to their output.  This of course, leads to the most ambitious workers being much more successful than others and the least ambitious workers are weeded out, and that’s a situation that liberals like least of all.


Misplaced Resentment Part 5 - Health Care

Misplaced Resentment Part 5 – Health Care

            Often after years of hearing the mainstream media’s versions of stories on a particular subject, many people begin to accept what has been presented to them as fact, even if it conflicts with their core beliefs and gut instincts.  They stop trying to evaluate things themselves and even forget that they may have once had a different opinion on the subject.
            How can this happen?  For years the average person has been sent all types of messages that other people (Professionals, professors, journalists, politicians, etc.) are smarter than he is.  (Farmers and small business owners tend to be immune to this, and is one of the chief reasons that we should insure their survival.)  Just as I mentioned in the first paragraph, unending repetition of a message can wear people down to the point where they begin to accept it. (Think of advertising.)  The danger here is that this can cause people take sides on issues and support causes that they never would have if they relied only upon their own intellect, and they end up being in favor of things that threaten their own interests.  This is one of the reasons that Obama care has become a reality.
            The health care situation in the United States is a complicated issue, so complicated that most people tend to just back away and hope others will take care of it.  It is complicated, but it’s the details that are complicated and the details are not as important as the whole, and that can be addressed with a little gut instinct and common sense.
            First of all, let’s address the insurance issue.  A lot of people want to use the health insurance companies as the scapegoat for our health care woes.  The problem we are facing is the cost of health care.  Insurance companies have no interest in raising costs.  One of the biggest challenges for an insurance company is trying to calculate future costs.  If an insurance company had it’s way, no costs would ever change and their job would be much easier.
            The problem with high health insurance cost was not caused the insurance companies.  During World War II, the federal government froze wages so companies started using benefits as a means to attract employees.  This helped make health insurance benefits an important part of worker compensation and they soon became commonplace.
            This may have solved the problem companies had in attracting employees, but it created another problem that is much worse.  Since more and more employees were no longer purchasing health insurance directly, fewer and fewer of the end users of health care cared about its cost, and at first no one else cared either.  The employer didn’t care because costs were relatively low, the insurance companies didn’t care because no one was complaining, and the hospitals cared least of all because they benefited from raising costs.  Costs always increase whenever the consumers’ concern about them is removed.  That is one of the reasons that luxury items and government assistance programs are so expensive. 
As long as one has a good driving record, auto insurance is a bargain when you consider the potential liability the insurance company is covering.  The reason is because the consumer is in totally in charge of shopping and paying for auto insurance.  There is a big difference in the costs of auto versus health insurance, but in neither case do the insurance companies themselves, solely determine the cost.
In addition, government mandating that insurance companies cover various items that affect only certain groups of people, increases costs for everyone else including the people that would choose not to have such coverage if they had the option.  I plow snow for additional income and must pay extra for my truck insurance because of it.  Demanding that insurance companies pay for the cost of contraception is as ridiculous as demanding that my auto insurance company (and ultimately, all of my insurance companies policyholders) pay for the additional cost of covering my potential liability involved with snowplowing.
A lot of people are tempted to blame the number of uninsured (47 million is often used) for high health care costs.  Some claim it adds $1000 per year per family in insurance premiums.  First of all both of these numbers have just been pulled out of a hat and have no legitimate factual basis.  Don’t believe me?  Check this out:    
The numbers stated in the previous paragraph are used to try to sell people on the idea of nationalized universal healthcare but even if you were to accept them, simply giving the uninsured access to universal health care would do nothing to reduce costs.  Most people who do not have health insurance are in that situation because they cannot afford it.  They’re not paying into the current system and they would be the people who would receive subsidized (read: not paying for) insurance with a universal system.
Many folks want to blame the drug companies, and they do deserve some of the blame, but only for being a contributing factor in high drug prices, which are only part of problem of high health care costs.
Lawyers deserve some of the blame for contributing to higher costs because of medical malpractice suits and lawsuits against drug companies.  In addition to the costs of defending themselves against and sometimes losing lawsuits, drug companies and health care providers have the additional costs of trying to avoid future lawsuits.  Hospitals often run additional tests on patents not because they are medical necessity, but to try to shield themselves from potential legal liabilities.
Now lets get down to what really makes health insurance so expensive.  Here’s where I appeal to your gut instinct.  The biggest problem is the hospitals.  Why?  Let’s start with the most obvious.  We have been in a recession for more than four years.   By definition, during a recession economic activity slows down.  One of the most noticeable things is that construction activity decreases.  Many people with construction and construction related jobs have been out of work.  During this time however the building of new hospitals and medical centers has been going full speed ahead in cities all across the country and they’re doing nothing to economize on the construction either. 
Like I said in my earlier post “An Education in Education”, buildings are expensive, fancy buildings are more expensive.  Go inside a newer hospital (Is there any other kind?) take a look, and refer to what I call “The High Ceiling Rule”.  The higher the ceiling, the better the chances are that someone’s getting screwed, whether it’s health care consumers, property taxpayers, bar patrons, or auto repair customers.  The entrance and hallways in some hospitals have ceilings that appear to be four stories above ground level.
All this during a “health care crisis”.  It can’t help but make an inquisitive mind just a little bit suspicious.  We saw a farm crisis in the 1980’s (Remember “Farm Aid’?) and just recently had an auto industry crisis.  During those times, does anyone remember the majority of farmers splurging on extravagant new barns?  Were the car manufacturers going crazy building new plants in 2009? 
Our nation’s government and its people are suffering from this health care crisis, but so many of the health care organizations appear to be doing just fine.  If they’re so in our faces with their Taj Mahal style buildings, imagine what they’re executives and top employees are squirreling away hoping no one will notice?  Do you think anyone involved is going to do anything voluntarily to bring costs down?  Never!  It’s their gravy train.
In the past few years, companies independent from hospitals have began to offer medical services such as MRI’s for substantially less than what hospitals charge.  Did you ever notice that you can often do things (home maintenance and repairs for example) for less money as your experience increases?  With their greater amount of experience, you would think that the hospitals could offer MRI’s for a lower cost than some new start-up company and… they probably can.
Now someone representing the interests of hospitals and health care organizations could give you some long-winded complicated explanation as to why things are the way they are, but beware.  (And this applies to everyone not just health care organization representatives.) Long and complicated explanations are often just smokescreens.  Don’t be satisfied to just accept their explanations at face value.  You have the ability to check their validity with the device you are using right now.  Any explanation coming from the health care organizations is sure to involve them saying something like, “We must do things certain ways because of laws, rules and regulations.”  There is certainly some amount of truth to that, but don’t expect them to lobby for any changes that will benefit you.  As a group, health care organizations are interested in changing rules that will save them (or allow them to make more) money, not lower your health care costs.
All of this might tempt some people to think that more government regulation is needed in order solve our health care cost problem, but what is needed is just the opposite.  If new companies can offer MRI’s for substantially less than what hospitals charge, it’s a safe bet that other companies could provide many other health care services for less too.  The reason, we don’t see more is because of government regulations in place to “protect us” but what they’re really doing is protecting the hospitals.
A free market provides the consumer with the lowest prices and the highest quality product, but the free market cannot function properly in the health care industry because of regulation and the fact that consumer (the end user of health care) is so often, not responsible for making the purchase decisions.   
A lot of people like to gripe about oil companies.  Many working people, aside from maybe having a physical, go years without needing any health care.  They use their cars every day, yet they’re spending more on health insurance than they do on gas.  Maybe we should be less critical of “Big Oil” and redirect some of that resentment towards “Big Hospital”. 

Destroyers - The True Nature of the Left

Destroyers – The True Nature of the Left

            Since its inception, there have always been threats to this country.  The British tried to prevent this country from ever even existing, and fought us again in the War of 1812.  Less than one hundred years later the British had become an ally, but they were replaced by other threats, which have often led to war.  The type and number of threats may change, but we can be assured that we will always have to face them.
Today we face a wide variety of threats but the most serious of all is from within.  If it is not neutralized, we will be weakened to the point where we will no longer be able to deal effectively with external threats.  We have faced internal threats before.  Our nation was split in two during the Civil War, but it can be argued that it was caused by an external threat, since the Confederacy considered themselves to be an independent nation. The issues then were relatively easy to understand and which side someone was on, largely depended upon where they lived and their position on slavery.
In the twentieth century, we faced the threat of communism within our own boarders, but the number of American communist sympathizers was always relatively small.  The largest threats we faced during that century, led us into World War II and after that, we faced the Soviet Union, the spread of communism, and the possibility of nuclear war.
In the past, most serious threats to our country have been external.  External threats are usually relatively easy for the public to identify and understand.  A populace will be more readily united in resisting the aggression of a foreign nation than it would be in demanding it’s own government act fiscally responsible.  It is harder for people to see a threat that comes from people working within their own government.
What we are dealing with here today is a big convoluted mess that is almost impossible for the average person to fully comprehend.  Unfortunately, this works to the advantage of the left.  They have built a large coalition of many groups of people by using a sales pitch that usually goes something like this.  “You have been unfairly treated and people have gotten rich at your expense.  Vote for us and we will see to it that you will get your fair share.”
The average liberal voter is not stupid or evil.  Rush Limbaugh uses a good term to describe them – “low information voters”.  Like most people, their time and energy is consumed by dealing with everyday life and they most are concerned with issues that affect them directly.  The problem is that they have never stepped back and taken a look at the big picture.  The sales pitch of the left sounds pretty good if nothing else is considered.
The problem for us is that type of thinking undermines what has made this country successful and the problem for the low information voter is that the interests of other groups in the left’s coalition conflict with their own.  You would think that these things would be problems for the left, but they’re not.  They couldn’t care less.   They are overtly opposed to conservative interests and the closest they come to promoting the interests of average liberals is paying lip service to them.
The left loves to accuse conservatives of hypocrisy, and since all human beings have weaknesses, there have been many opportunities for them to do it.  They act as if hypocrisy is the utmost crime and committing it automatically erases any credibility a person may have ever had, and sentences him to never being able to comment on anyone’s behavior.  If one adheres strictly to the left’s definition of hypocrisy, a parent could never discipline his or her children, no police officer could ever arrest anyone, convicted drunk drivers could not perform community service by speaking about its dangers, and of course we would never hear any of the “heroic” stories from some celebrity who overcame drug addiction.  There are however, different levels of hypocrisy and also there are other, more serious offenses.
In order to have their favored candidates receive enough votes to win elections, the left has tried to be all things to all people (except of course conservatives who they want to pound out of existence).  This has inevitably led them to have all sorts of conflicting positions and they appear to be contradicting themselves.  For example, they claim to be for the poor and middle class but they oppose measures that would help these people the most, like increasing traditional forms of domestic energy production and easing the burden of government on private industry.  They say they are “pro-choice”, but people like Mayor Bloomberg want to limit people’s choice of food and beverage.  They are constantly worried about offending the Muslim world but have no problem attacking Christian beliefs here at home.  I could go on and on about these contradictions and the list of them could contain as many pages as the Chicago phone book or the old Sears catalog.  If you were to use any of the ideals stated by the left as a template to explain all their positions, you would just end up getting frustrated because of all the contradictions.
All of this would lead one to believe that the leaders of the left are hypocritical, but they’re not.  They’re something much worse.  In order to understand someone, you must find some consistency in his or her thinking.  Most people (even criminals) act and think with consistency.  If you cannot understand what makes people do or think what they do, it is because you don’t know the common denominator that drives their thought process. 
Since the left so often accuses conservatives of hypocrisy, it’s tempting to just throw that stone back at them and use it as the explanation for their apparently conflicting positions, but this would prevent us from understanding what drives them.  In order to understand, we must first be aware of a couple of things.  First of all, the average liberal voter has no idea of the true intentions of the leaders of the left, and in order to keep those voters, the leaders of the left don’t want this to change.  The stated positions of the left are just a smokescreen used to fool people into voting for candidates that they favor.  Second, and most important, the true intention of the actual leaders of the left is to destroy this country. (At least this country as we know it.)
This might seem harsh and over the top, but it is the only template that fits all of the positions of the left.  Think about.  All of their positions threaten to weaken the United States directly, limit the freedom of our citizens, or threaten to weaken the traditional power base of our country.  Try to come up with an exception.  The left has no plan for anything better than what we have now, and does not care about any devastation that they may cause.  They are so full of resentment that they are focused only upon the demise of the successful.  How could any of this help the poor and disadvantaged?  It can’t and it shows that the left does not really care about them.
With the exception of a few billionaires gone wild like George Soros, most hard-core lefties became that way because they were a failure at everything else. Have you ever had a little kid tell you that they want to be a community organizer when they grow up?  No!  Most people dream of being successful, and even though most don’t end up being millionaires, they never stop trying to get ahead.  Few people become so disenchanted with their lack of success that they focus the rest of their lives on sabotaging the lives of others.
Whenever some high school team goes to the state tournament any sport, almost the whole town is rooting for them.  Even neighboring rival schools will show their support.  Just about everyone gives their best wishes except maybe one or two kids that didn’t make the team.  They are harboring so much resentment that they hope their team loses, even though it would not benefit them in any way.  This explains the mindset of your average hard-core leftie.
Not all people on the left are like this, most aren’t, but the ones on top pulling the strings and the ones with the loudest mouths are.

Rock River Patriots Meeting

Rock River Patriots Meeting

            I attended a meeting of the Rock River Patriots last week.  A man named JC Rasoul was the guest speaker.  He is a Kurd who was born a Muslim in Iraq.  He attended a university in Iraq and majored in food science. There he learned to speak, read, and write Arabic.  Once he was literate in Arabic, he was able to read the Koran in its original form for the first time.  Seeing first hand what was written in Arabic made him begin to doubt his religion.  There were many things in the Arabic version that he questioned, even though he had grown up a Muslim.  He learned that there are no accurate translations of the Koran from Arabic into any other language.  During the Iraq war, he became a refugee and eventually immigrated to the U.S. where he converted to Christianity.
            He is now works as a public speaker and explains Islam and the Muslim mindset, his life story, and what led him to become a Christian.  I thought the talk he gave was very informative.  He gave me some insight that has given me some answers to questions I have had for years.  I now think that I (at least partially) understand the reason for the tensions between the Muslims and non-Muslims and why it seems like most of the tension is with Arab Muslims.  Only about 15% to 20% of Muslims are Arabs but the Arabic version of the Koran appears to have the harshest view of non-Muslims.
            Like I said last month, the Rock River Patriot meetings aren’t just reruns of Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity.  I learned things each time I have attended that I probably would have never learned if I did not attend.  Check out your local Tea Party organization and I’m sure you will find out that the mainstream media is not giving them a fair shake.

Misplaced Resentment - Part 4 Handicapped Parking

Misplaced Resentment – Part 4 Handicapped Parking

Imagine we’re in a car full of people trying to find a place to park and we see some person park in the last available handicapped-parking stall, get out, and run into a store.  It’s a guarantee that at least someone in the car is going to get all-indignant about that. 
You know what I’d say just to get a rise out of someone?  “Big deal.  So some fat slob has to waddle their way across the parking lot before they can go into Wal-Mart and block up the aisles on their stupid scooter.  That guy parking there has got some balls.  He knows what he’s risking.  You’re just mad because you’re too chicken to do it yourself.”  Suddenly all the anger would be redirected from the ballsy car parker towards me and I would be branded as some insensitive jerk that doesn’t give a crap about the disabled, but nothing could be further from the truth.  Let me explain why if my fellow passenger was truly concerned about the disabled he should redirect his anger from the illegal car parker towards a group of people who are much more sinister.
The world must have become a much more dangerous place since 1992.  A lot more people must be getting hurt.  Since then, the number of people receiving federal disability payments has grown from 3,334,000 to 8,707,000, a 261% increase.  I bet it’s from people getting shot by people who legally own firearms.  We better make guns illegal.
Something doesn’t seem right here.  The number of disabled people that I know doesn’t seem like it has gone up by that percentage.  Maybe I just haven’t been paying attention, but I’m sure I’d notice if the number of people out there in wheelchairs had increased by almost threefold.  There must be something else going on here.
At this point, I better make some clarifications.  First of all not every disabled person is in a wheelchair.  There are many types of disabilities including many that the average person could not identify by causally looking at someone.  Also, the definition of disability has been changed over the years to help make sure people who need assistance, receive it.  This is one of the reasons that I had a hard time finding any statistics that would be an apples to apples comparison of the number of disabled people in 1992 and today.  These numbers are important because if the percentage increase of disabled people is significantly less than the percentage increase of people receiving disability payments, we got a problem.
The closest I could get to finding any meaningful numbers were from which claims that the number of disabled people in the U.S. increased 25% from 1990 to 2000 when there were 49.7 million disabled people in the U.S.  Also reported that they were 56.7 million disabled people in the U.S. in 2010.  Nothing here parallels the percentage increase of people receiving disability payments during the same period.
Have you ever looked at the fines for parking in a handicapped-parking space?  It can be up to $1000 for a third offense.  Is there really $1000 worth of inconvenience for a disabled person if all the handicapped spaces are full?  No, but that’s not the reason for the fine.  It is to prevent able-bodied people from using the handicapped spaces.
If however, we are so strict on preventing handicapped parking space abuse, and if the percentage increase in disabled people is nowhere near as high as the percentage increase in people receiving disability payments, we must make sure that we are ever vigilant at preventing fraud.  After all, just a few people committing fraud over the long term will inconvenience the disabled more (by essentially stealing money meant for them) than all the unscrupulous car parkers put together.

My Case Against Big Government

My Case Against Big Government

            If you’re familiar with the U.S. Constitution, you are well aware that its writers favored a smaller federal government with limited powers.  There were many reasons for this. The United States was a new country whose people had just recently freed themselves from the overreaching control of the English government.  They feared a large central government’s ability to violate the rights of the people.  They did not want their own government to become just as intrusive as the King of England.  Also, people had much more allegiance to their states relative to the federal government than we do today.
            Some people say that the U.S. constitution has become outdated and the beliefs of its writers two hundred some odd years ago are not as relevant today.  Some suggest that we should radically change, ignore, or do away with the constitution all together.  These people all have one thing in common.  They’re all idiots and even worse, they are not aware of it, so they keep spouting off their garbage.  Many of them are academic elites that actually believe that they are smarter than our founding fathers.  Their arrogance sickens me.  You know the type.  They may have years of formal education in a particular field, but they can’t even jumpstart a car.  Any type of home maintenance or repair, they just hire out because not only do they not have the first clue about such things, they feel they are above such menial blue-collar tasks.  You might say that these things have nothing to do with an understanding of the validity of our constitution, but I am here to tell you that they do.
There are many parallels that can be drawn from two things that don’t necessarily have anything to do with each other.  Knowledge and experience in one area can give you insight in another.  Great teachers have used this method of explaining things for thousands of years.  If you don’t understand what I’m talking about, you either need to go to church more often, or start watching the 1970’s TV series, “Kung Fu”.
The framers of our constitution were not only well educated, but a high percentage of them could run a farm and could survive in the wilderness for days.  It’s safe to say that all of them had a much broader knowledge than anyone questioning the relevance of our constitution today, regardless of their level of formal education.  Anyone who suggests that they are smarter or know better than our founding fathers indicates that they probably do not understand just what type of men they were, which of course, brings such people’s own intelligence and credibility into question.
Okay, so far all I have done is run down people who question the relevance of our constitution, which needs to be done and I enjoy doing, but what about my case against big government?  I have several reasons people should favor a smaller federal government whether they’re liberal, conservative, or whatever.
This is a big country and people and conditions vary greatly from one part to another.  New York is not Texas and California is not Iowa.  Therefore, it makes sense that laws and policies that may be appropriate in one area might not be ideal in another, and the people from any state should have as much power to control their own affairs as possible.
One of the reasons the U.S.S.R. and other communist countries have done so poorly is because of their large centralized governments.  A totalitarian government demanding that everyone does things in the same manner stifles innovation.  A nation of free people on their own will solve many more problems, much more quickly than a public waiting for government to solve their problems for them.  This is one of the reasons why so many more items were invented in the U.S. than in communist nations.
It makes sense that individual people and lower forms of government can come up with solutions to most problems more efficiently than one large central government can.  The more people or groups of people there are independently trying to solve a problem, the greater the chances are that someone’s going to come up with a solution.  Not everyone who attempts to do so is going to solve a particular problem, but that gives others a chance to see what doesn’t work without having to try it themselves.  Once someone solves a problem however, everyone else can adopt that solution.
Fifty states can solve most problems more efficiently than our federal government and can present solutions that are tailor-made for the particular needs and conditions of each state.  Not everyone will agree on what is the best solution, but it is pretty arrogant for someone from Minnesota to claim that they know what’s best for the people of Arkansas.  Not every state is going to come up with the best solution to a particular problem and not every state will come up with legislation at the same time.  When any state does effectively solve a particular problem that can be a model for other states to adopt if they wish.  By the same token, states can avoid taken actions that have been demonstrated to be failures in other states.  Leaving individual states to take care of their own problems prevents ill-conceived solutions from being nation-wide problems.  It also gives everyone a chance to see various solutions at work (in as close as there would ever will be) in a side-by-side comparison.  Take Wisconsin’s verses Illinois’ approach to dealing with teacher and state employee unions for example.
An individual citizen has the most influence at the lowest levels of government and very little at the federal level.  For this reason alone, the lowest level of government as possible should deal with issues.  It not only gives the most power to the individual, but it frees up higher forms of government to more effectively deal with things that can only be handled at the state and federal level like highways and defense.  It would make choosing whom to vote for in federal elections easier because there would be fewer issues to consider and it would allow our president, senate, and congress to focus on issues of national security instead of wasting their time worrying about things that should be left to the states.
Finally the national debt would have never gotten out of hand if the federal government would have just left entitlement programs up to the states.  Even if all the states were forced to adopt them, each state’s management of them would have been compared to others, which certainly would have resulted in more fiscal responsibility.
In conclusion, centralized government infringes on freedom, stifles innovation, and wastes money.  Leaving things to the lowest levels of government possible insures the most power and freedom for the people, intelligent legislation for specific areas and the most efficient methods for solving problems.

Misplaced Resentment - Part 3 An Education in Education

Misplaced Resentment - Part 3
An Education in Education

            A lot of you reading this may feel you have some obligation to attend sporting events, band concerts, or whatever activities your child, or a child of one of your relatives is involved in.  Fulfilling this obligation is usually easiest with your own children and becomes increasingly more difficult as the relation becomes more distant.  If you didn’t have the backbone to tell your sister-in-law that you would not be able to attend your niece’s high school musical, go and take the opportunity to score some points with your family and get a firsthand look at your tax dollars at work at the same time.
            I graduated from high school in 1980, and once I got that diploma in my hand and walked out that door, I figured that there would never be a reason for me to walk back in that building again.  For a long time that was the case, but if you end up having a family of your own, or are even related to someone who does, you can’t avoid it forever.  Even if you don’t ever return to your alma mater, you end up visiting some high school, so it doesn’t matter; they’re all pretty much the same.
            Five years after I graduated from high school, I saw the movie “The Breakfast Club”, and the thing that struck me the most was how fancy the school, particularly the library was.  I grew up right on the Wisconsin state line, less than 70 miles from where that movie was supposed to take place.  I was well aware that it was a much more affluent area than where I lived, which explained to me why the school was so much more extravagant than the one I attended.
            About seven years later, a building frenzy started at the high school that I attended.  It would last over ten years and resulted in facilities that would put Shermer High School in the Breakfast Club to shame.  Even though enrollment is only about fifty percent higher than in 1980, the building appears to be about four times as large.  It’s not just the size that is so shocking, it’s the extravagance.  There is a vestibule that resembles the entrance to a museum and the athletic field has artificial turf.
The baseball team used to practice and play on a field at the county park.  This was a good example of cost saving, dual use of public facilities.  The only problem was that the park was about three miles away from the school.  The school now has its own baseball field, but the school has such sprawling property, that the field is still over half a mile away.  Once you load the team on the bus, how much difference does that two and one half miles make, enough to offset the cost of having their own field?  I don’t think so.
Proponents of these facilities have ready-made arguments in favor of them in order to quickly shoot down any objections.  For example, they will claim that the long term cost of the artificial turf is less than that of maintaining a natural grass field, and they are correct about that as long as you comparing it to maintaining a grass field at a certain level, a very high level.  It is not more cost effective than what they were spending on a grass field just a few decades ago.
One of the most common (and most lame) reasons given for extravagant school facilities is that “Other school districts are doing it.”  Poor decisions made by others should never be an excuse to make poor decisions ourselves.  This makes them self-perpetuating.  Others will use our poor decisions as an excuse to make their own.  By the same token, if we put our foot down, and demand fiscal responsibility, others may find the backbone to do the same.
Think of anytime you ever learned anything.  Did the construction type of the building you were in at the time have any positive effect on your ability to learn?  We all want nice schools, but wasn’t the style of buildings erected in the 1960’s good enough?  There are plenty of “experts” out there that will tell us “No”, but we need to trust them less and our common sense more.  Whether you own or rent, housing is probably your largest expense, so we all know that buildings are expensive and fancy buildings are more expensive.  If you want to save money on car repairs (or anything else for that matter), check out the difference in estimates from a shop with a fancy new building compared to shop run out of some place built before World War II.
After you’re done checking out the school during you’re niece’s musical, go look at some local business like a small trucking company.  Chances are you will find no extravagance there at all.  Quite the opposite, you will probably wonder how they get by with such minimal facilities; indoor room to service two or three trucks and an office the size of an ice fishing shanty.  Why the difference between here and the school?  Three things: 1) Unlike the school, the trucking company faces competition.  If they don’t keep their costs down, other companies will be able to haul loads less expensively and drive them out of business. 2) Unlike the trucking company, the school has an inexhaustible source of money.  If they need more, they simply raise property taxes. 3) Most importantly, the trucking company is in the control of people who understand the cost and benefits of various expenditures.  They aren’t going to spend any money unless they are reasonably confident that it will bring about a proper amount of tangible return on investment.  This is called “good management”.
School districts have freed themselves from the need of good management since the end of the Second World War.  With the exception of the Obama years, their revenues have steadily gone up with the rise in property values.  When this wasn’t enough for them, they would have tax referendums, and they still have always been whining that they didn’t have enough money.  Any business would love to have a revenue stream like the schools have enjoyed for the past 60 years.
All this and I haven’t even mentioned teachers’ salary and benefit packages, but at least here in Wisconsin, we have done something to bring that under control.
As bad as our public education system is with money, there are institutions that are worse, a lot worse.  The price of a college education has become the scam of the century, rivaled only by health care.  The reason I say that is because they got almost everyone fooled.  No one in government, liberals or conservatives, are seriously suggesting anything to bring costs down.  They only propose ways for students to attend college on the taxpayer’s dime.  My first semester’s tuition at the University of Wisconsin – Madison in the fall of 1980 was about $600.  Today it’s about $5000 per semester.  Adjusted for inflation it should only be about $1800.  Why the difference?  The answer is: “Who cares?”  I’m sure that if I did the research, I could come up with all sorts of “reasons” to explain the increase in costs, but I’m not going to, and I’m not going to listen to anyone who tries to explain it to me.  This might sound very closed-minded, and it is.  This is one of those occasions when one should ignore the “experts”, trust their gut instincts, and use some common sense.
There is no legitimate reason that tuition for undergraduate courses should outstrip inflation.  If anything they shouldn’t even keep pace with inflation.  Why?  Think of something that you do often, like mowing the lawn.  After you purchased the mower, and as long as nothing else changed, didn’t it get to be easier and less expensive as time passed?  Why? As with running a business, your fixed cost per unit go down as your production increases.  Usually, you only have to buy the machine that produces your product once, whether you produce one or ten thousand units, plus as you gain experience, you make fewer mistakes, and do things more efficiently.
The same buildings and facilities at our colleges and university are there year after year which means they have served an ever-growing number of students, thus the cost per student would logically come down over the years.  Also, (particularly with pure sciences) at the undergrad level, nothing much changes.  Two plus two has always been four, the periodic table has remained for the same for the most part, and an object that is in motion still tends to remain in motion.  Therefore, it would stand to reason, that the cost of providing these classes should not increase faster than the rate of inflation.
The fact that costs have risen so dramatically does not say much for the people running our colleges and universities.  They have not had the common sense to use their experience to make things more efficient and lower costs.
One thing that has changed however, is the advent of computers and electronic technology.  The odd thing is, everywhere else computers have brought costs down and made things easier and more efficient.  Somehow, our colleges and universities have managed to escape this trend. 
Even our government has managed to lower costs and make learning easier with computers.  I got my commercial driver’s license in 2007 and it was pretty cool.  I went to the DMV and got a book.  I studied any way I wanted for as long as I wanted.  I didn’t have to buy anything and when I was ready, I went the DMV, sat down at a computer, and took the tests.  I got my pesticide applicator’s license in much the same manner.  Why can’t college be like that?  A student could study on his own, and then go to a college campus and take a test on one of their computer terminals.  A student could take three tests for each course, and receive enough credits for a degree at a total cost of about $1000.  If a course required laboratory exercises, those could take place on campus for an additional fee.  Poorer people could get college degrees while they were working full time and it wouldn’t cost taxpayers a dime.
This seems like it would be a great solution to the problems of high tuition costs, helping poor people receiving a college education, and relieving some of the burden on taxpayers all at the same time, and it leads us to the true reason of the high cost of college tuition.  The people running our colleges and universities are not interested in lowering tuition costs.  Where do you think that tuition money goes?  A lot of it goes to funding their and their friend’s salaries.  If colleges put a priority on lowering costs and increasing efficiency, they would quickly find that many to those jobs are unnecessary or at least could be done by someone else for a lot less money.
Instead of getting upset about how much or how little the “rich” pay in taxes, try focusing on how the money you spend on taxes and tuition is used.

The Most Important Thiing You Will Ever Do

The Most Important Thing You Will Ever Do

            Imagine that you are treading water in the middle of the ocean.  You feel yourself becoming more and more exhausted, and you know the end is near.  Coincidently, I just happen to be cruising by in a boat.  I see you, pull up to within a few feet, and I…  offer you a sandwich.  You would probably curse me and my sandwich, even if you hadn’t eaten in days.  At that point, the only thing that would matter to you is getting on the boat.  Once on the boat however, the value of that sandwich would increase over one million fold.  Sometimes, the importance of things is determined solely by the situation that we are in.  A drowning man has no use for food, shelter, or all the riches in the world.
            These are the darkest days for our country in my memory.  We have reached a fork in the road, and choosing the wrong route, I fear will lead us to a terrible destination from which we can never return.  Right now, the Republicans control only the House of Representatives, and there is very little they can do except to try to slow the advance the left.  They are acting timid because many of them feel they’re in a precarious position.  They don’t want to risk losing reelection.  They are afraid of looking like obstructionists, and the mainstream media is going to do everything in their power to make them look bad.  I’d like you to slow down now, and read this next paragraph very carefully.  I do believe that it could be the most important thing I have ever written, or ever will write.
At this point, nothing else matters - not the issues being debated in Washington, not the stories in the news, not even the national debt.  If you believe in conservative principles, think this country is heading in a dangerous direction, and want to see it return to its former glory, you simply must convince others to actively support the conservative cause.  This will be the most important thing you have ever done, or ever will do.
Obama won the last election by about 51 to 47 percent in the popular vote, not a landslide by any means.  If things would have gone just right in four key swing states (New Hampshire, Florida, Ohio, and Virginia), Romney would have needed just 334,000 more votes to go his way to win the presidency.  It was that close.  Close obviously isn’t good enough, and now it seems that the left is running rampant, doing whatever they please.  They will continue to do so unless we get enough people in office to stop them, and if we want our people to act boldly, we must make sure that they win by large margins.  The 2014 elections will be here before you know it.  We must get people to vote for our candidates, and we must start now.  This will take time, and if we wait until campaign season, it will be too late.
You and others like you, hold the key to saving this country. People are more likely to be influenced by the opinion of someone they know and respect than any political ad, news story, or editorial comment.  You can speak directly to people you know, and focus on the issues that you know are important to them.  This will be more effective than any campaign contribution you could make, and won’t cost you a dime.  If each conservative would bring just one more person into the fold, we would virtually eliminate our competition.  If just a few percent of us converted just one person, we could take control of all three branches of government.  Think of how hard you work for what you have, and what you hope to have one day.  Think of what’s important to you and what you hold dear.  You could lose all of it if we lose our freedoms or our economy collapses.  Isn’t it worth talking to a friend and convincing him to join the fight on our side?  What are we going to tell the next generation if we fail to act – We were too busy?
 Too many of us are wasting our time and energy by focusing on particular issues, hoping our elected officials to vote a certain way on them.  There will always be important issues debated in Washington and our state capitals, but what really matters is not the issues themselves, but the outcomes.  The only way we can steer this country in the right direction is to get conservatives to have a majority in government, and the only way we can do that is to convince people we know to become true conservatives.  This will not only help get the candidates we favor elected, but if we can influence enough people, it will change a lot of those state and national public opinion poll numbers. This will have a positive effect on how our currently elected public officials will vote on particular issues.
We can promote particular candidates as elections draw near, and we can turn people into conservatives.  The second approach is the better of the two, because once you have convinced someone to join your side, they will most likely to vote for the conservative candidate in all elections.  You have a better chance of persuading a friend, family member, or coworker to become a conservative than you do getting a senator or congressman to vote your way on a particular issue.  If we all did this, we could have a government filled with representatives that had the courage to act in our best interests, and the issues would have the outcomes that we desire.  It would be like putting our government on autopilot.
In a way, we are lucky.  The opportunity to do what’s most important in one’s life passes most people by, without them even realizing it.  We know exactly what is most important and we know exactly what we have to do.  It’s relatively easy compared to other things you have already done, and costs you nothing.  Our success is all but guaranteed if we just act.  Years from now, we can each tell our grandchildren with pride how did our part to save this country, that we recognized what needed to be done and took action to make sure that it was accomplished.
P.S.  You can spread the word and help me out at the same time by letting, as many people know about this blog, as possible.