Monday, October 20, 2014

Seventeen trillion, eight hundred ninety-nine billion, three hundred sixteen million, eighty-four thousand five hundred fifty-three dollars and thirty-seven cents.

As of today, our national debt is $17,899,316,084,553.37.

Roughly $145,000 for every maker in the US. That's right. Not only do you lucky 123 million Americans have to support the other  124 million American adults that are not producing anything, (and the 70 million children), you also have to pay interest only payments on this very large loan you don't get to spend!

Yay for big government!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

It's Constitution Day

If you've never read it, you should. You should also read the arguments for and against its ratification. To get a more full understanding of how it came to be, you may also want to read the Articles of Confederation.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

How do you get around the Posse Comitatus Act?

Easy: first you transform all agencies into law enforcement agencies, then you equip these new law enforcement agencies with military gear, and finally, you gather them up under the control of the executive branch
We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we've set. We've got to have a civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded. 
- Barack Obama 
If not Obama, then the next president, or the next. It's coming, folks. Be ready.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Has the economy recovered?

Last year I took a look at employment.  I watched the unemployment numbers fall with skepticism, and wondered what was really going on.  Here's a brief recap of that analysis:
I took a look at St. Louis Fed data today, both the civilian employment to population ratio and the working age civilian population.  I then combined the data into a chart of deltas with their initial values pegged to Dec-2007.  The result is the following:

What does this chart mean?  It means that whilethere are about 2.5 million fewer people employed than in 2007, but that we've also got 12.5 million more people of working age - that is, 15 million more unemployed today than we did five and a half years ago.  This is due to an increasing population that has completely given up trying to find work.  It means, that though the recession destroyed something like eight million jobs and the post recession has created around five million jobs, we've added more than twelve million non-working civilians in the same time. 

That's staggering - utterly and completely staggering.  That means - follow me here - that means that not a single working age person added to our population since 2007 is working.  We've added twelve million takers but not one new producer.  Not one.
Today I decided to revisit this.  Using the same methodology, but extending out a year further. Take a look at the updated chart.  We can unequivocally say that the number of employed people has improved.  In June, (a year after my previous analysis), we finally caught up to, and passed, Dec-07 employment.  It took 6 and a half years to recover the jobs lost in the recession.

Yet as you know that does not tell the full story, not by a long shot. This simple graph here also shows how many more people have joined us who are of working age, but not working. In fact that number has barely changed at all. 14,800,000 new takers - adults who aren't working but should be.

Here's a chart that shows this.  Virtually unchanged from a year ago. About 4% of the working aged population has simply removed itself from the pool.  BLS verifies this for us again, with 13.5 million more Americans "Not in Labor Pool" now than in 2007.

Where did they go?  Probably to their living rooms, waiting on a government check. The rest of us are, on average, making due with close to 10% lower income and substantially higher than reported inflation. (I like to use a few real items that I purchase, such as chewing gum or fast food.  Prices for Big Macs, for example, have risen about 24% since 2007.) 

More takers, less income, and less for your money. That's the real economic situation. When politicians start to pat themselves on the back over the official inflation rate or employment numbers, keep in mind how far from reality Washington DC is.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014


Yeah. This is the same guy who offered $100,000 for nude photos of hunter Kendall Jones because he wanted to destroy her life. Despicable.

Oh, he claims to have a regular spot on a radio show. This may be an opportunity to cause an effect.
Tell the radio station to drop him, if he truly is a regular.

Tell them you will be contacting their advertising supporters as well:

Monday, August 18, 2014

Unintended Consequences: solar plants scorch birds in mid-air

No matter how often you point it out, no matter how hard you try to beat them over the head with it, they just won't see the unseen. Crusaders, one and all, are blind, deaf, and stupid. One can only wish they were dumb too, but unfortunately not. When the consequences they never saw before they started on their pet projects finally arrive, they're shocked, shocked I tell you!

IVANPAH DRY LAKE, Calif. – Workers at a state-of-the-art solar plant in the Mojave Desert have a name for birds that fly through the plant's concentrated sun rays — "streamers," for the smoke plume that comes from birds that ignite in midair.  
Federal wildlife investigators who visited the BrightSource Energy plant last year and watched as birds burned and fell, reporting an average of one "streamer" every two minutes, are urging California officials to halt the operator's application to build a still-bigger version.  
The investigators want the halt until the full extent of the deaths can be assessed. Estimates per year now range from a low of about a thousand by BrightSource to 28,000 by an expert for the Center for Biological Diversity environmental group.  
The deaths are "alarming. It's hard to say whether that's the location or the technology," said Garry George, renewable-energy director for the California chapter of the Audubon Society. "There needs to be some caution."  
The bird kills mark the latest instance in which the quest for clean energy sometimes has inadvertent environmental harm. Solar farms have been criticized for their impacts on desert tortoises, and wind farms have killed birds, including numerous raptors.
Federal wildlife officials said Ivanpah might act as a "mega-trap" for wildlife, with the bright light of the plant attracting insects, which in turn attract insect-eating birds that fly to their death in the intensely focused light rays. 
Federal and state biologists call the number of deaths significant, based on sightings of birds getting singed and falling, and on retrieval of carcasses with feathers charred too severely for flight. 

Saturday, August 9, 2014

The separation of church and state?

Some statements are so clearly correct you just have to repeat them, and spread them as far and wide as you can.  GeekWithA.45 lays down god's honest truth, that the separation of church and state is just more smoke and mirrors when the state is their church! via The Smallest Minority: Quote of the Day - GeekWithA.45 Edition

The separation of church and state is an awesome idea... 
until you meet folks whose church IS the state.  
With high minds, noble virtues and the very best of intentions, they dance around their altars like neolithic savages, gathering followers to help them implore their $DEITY to accept their sacrifice and to provide for them; to organize their economies, to calm their storms, to heal their sick, to teach their children, to pave their streets, to collect their trash, and above all, to punish their enemies.  
The saddest thing is that most of these folks deem themselves to be evolved, and recognize no part of their atavism.  
Yep, separation of church and state is an awesome idea until you meet the folks whose church is the state.  
Then it's irrelevant.