GLEANINGS FROM THE PASING SCENE … (Politically Uncorrected)

Alfred_E__NeumannHighs and lows from another riotous week, sampled here just for you:

JP Morgan Chase Bank wrote customers that cash is no longer allowed in safe deposit boxes. More will follow; anonymous cash is too hard for government to follow or shut off when desired …

Russia is slashing space funding to meet the economic crisis resulting from its invasion of Ukraine and the Oily Arabs’ flood of cheap, anti-U.S. fracking product. (Will the economic pincers weaken or reinforce Russia’s attacks on its neighbors?)

In Philadelphia, the Transit Agency paid $2.8 M to consultants on how to save money. (Send the city managers with the Mars Expedition?)

Puerto Rico is broke, joining places like Illinois and California. Maybe it’s becoming serious about becoming the first Spanish-speaking state? (Before Florida or California?)

The Feds are recruiting 9M present green card residents to acquire citizenship before the 2016 election. (Mainly we assume, those who aren’t presently voting?)

The Federal Treasury report of the amount of national debt remained unchanged at last report, for 41 days. We guess that it’s the reporting, not the spending, that is frozen. (Well, the Big Boss was trained in Chicago, wasn’t he? And shutting down government reports is easier than shutting down government.)

Some  Professor got print space saying that Christianity is a “white supremacist patriarchy.” (Yeah, like Judaism, Islam, the Mormons and others with Biblical and other ancient roots. Funny too how only the Judeo-Christians produced our modern world …)

U.S. Special Operations troops operated last year in 81 different countries. (What are taxpayers receiving for all the money they owe on account of it?)

A Surgical Robot: Hacked. (Yes, hackers got to a robot used for surgery.) We guess that “If you build it, they will come.” And some of them will be burglars! Or maybe, just cutups?

The “7 Yr. Switch” is a new TV series on order. Couples married for 7 years trade mates for two weeks and report on the show … (Yeah, it’s real wife-swapping on TV). (We’re waiting for “Sexting With The Stars.)

Global Warming has finally hit reality: The world scientific body sitting on top has been forced to appoint a bigshot panel of scientists to investigate the no longer ignorable charges of fiddled temperature data. It appears that earlier temperatures were reduced and later ones raised to provide the desired “warming” evidence. (You hadn’t heard this, right?)

Hillary Clinton  said that that religious objections to reproductive health imposed by government will have to be changed. (Recorded, too.) (She’ll show God who’s in charge …)

Some 30% of  Eurozone Government Debt now trades at negative interest rates. (Yes, it means lenders are paying borrowers to take the money.) We are advised to expect a historic default. This is so ridiculous as to be unbelievable … but it’s happening!

In 25% of US Families, no one works. (Hmnn … Wonder what percentage of households with workers include a marriage?) What kind of living standard can be expected when 25% are freeloading on the others?

Tattoos may stop an Apple Watch? (A tattoo may interfere with the watch, per Apple.)

At the Kentucky Derby: Dozens of winning horses proved to have been drugged. (Duh!) We already know about professional bike riders and ball players, c’mon!

Two black Women brawled over a mall parking place as their kids watched.

Disney replaced American IT department workers with H-1B visa foreigners. (Cheaper, betcha!)

The New Black Panthers leader: “We are willing to kill for the Black Nation.” (Yeah; kill the whites and then, who’s gonna support you?)

Obamacare: Nearly half of state exchanges are financially troubled. (Because “Affordable Care” is unaffordable?)

A naked woman was arrested after chasing her boyfriend with a knife. (Actually, one might say that she was sharply dressed …)

And so expires another week’s dose of surreality …

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The Political Price For Progress … And The Scams It Generates

CURES THE ECONOMY!

CURES THE ECONOMY!

In China, governments have long been concerned ( and in China, “long” is really long.) with “the mandate of heaven.” By this is meant sufficient acceptance by a sufficient number of those ruled that the government may continue to rule. A fundamental truth of government is that no matter how armed, a few cannot rule many without some degree of acceptance. Currently, consider the “Arab Spring” in the Middle East. This political truth underlies the ongoing Chinese antcorruption pogrom. Some unusually high heads are falling; an indication of the degree of concern among Chines rulers. The Chinese economy is slowing and with so much history available, the Chinese leadership knows well what to expect.

In the United States, a much younger place, the economy is slowing too. A much younger but no less politically aware government must cope. And that government is no monolithic ex-Communist dictatorship; it still must provide at least the appearance of democracy, in a place where restive natives still own firearms of their own.

From the Founders’ days until the continent was subdued, American government promoted growth and enrichment as its way forward; since then, those have developed into competing power centers threatening government. They have been brought to heel by a mix of suppression and  accommodation, resulting in our present “crony capitalism.” In this uncomfortable amalgam, the economic interests tend toward conservatism, having much to lose by change; the political elements tend toward overreaching, trying to keep the political winds directed as desired.

It has become a mice test of political skills under economic tension. The politicians of the West have pushed the price of labor above the world price, driving their economic interests to invest offshore where labor labor is cheaper. And not only labor left the West; much capital in search of better returns followed. A result was the germination of foreign competition on a world level.

Of course; that is Economics 101: Competition. But no Western politician can afford to say that to unemployed constituents.

Now, numbers of those unemployed constituents having multiplied, they have stopped buying so much of the cheap foreign production and as a result, everybody is buying less from everybody, government is forced to print money it cannot gouge from more impoverished citizens and the entire Jerry-built scam is headed into collapse. And no politician can admit such a thing.

Arab oil sheiks toss cheap oil onto this economic fire to hold off competition from fracking, thereby impoverishimg other oil producers like Russia, Iran, Venezuela and Mexico.

In turn, Russia and Iran distract their citizens with military adventures against neighbors. (So does the U.S.)

In the United States, the once wealth-oriented government has reversed into managing the equalization of planetary wealth, encouraged by development of truly world-wide economic interests no longer desirous of U.S. or European ascendancy in economic matters.

The economic elephant in this shrinking room is of course, that we are describing a limited economic space: the earth. Within such a constrained space, the ultimate economic gains of one segment must sooner or later, proceed from the economic losses of the other. It is seen as a zero-sum game; one for which a winner requires a loser. That is the underlying political premise behind Western economic polities at present. That is why the worlds’ historic anomalies, the middle classes. are melting into the historical norm: impoverishment. The beneficiaries are the political class imposing the trend and its financial pimps in large economic enterprises; the Middle Ages redux.

Most unfortunate in all this is its false premise. The Malthusians promoted their versions of this, pointing to the inadequacy of agriculture to feed multiplying humanity. Their gloomy predictions of doom were washed away by the reality of the “green revolution” in agricultural technology that now has a much larger population castigated for wasting food.

Human technical progress has opened horizons on earth; it has yet to open the enormity of the universe. Nobel Laureate Professor Stephen Hawking points out regularly that our species must progress into space or die out on earth, planets are transient inhabitants of the universe. That and other as yet undiscovered realities will offer opportunities if we pursue them,

If we do not pursue them, Professor Hawking’s warning will find us unprepared, enduring self-imposed impoverishment upon a dying earth as reality ultimately arrives. It is our choice. At the moment, we are allowing our politicians to choose on our behalf; the choice that best lines their own pockets.They will die satisfied and rich; their descendants will at some point, pay a high price for that.

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Election 2016: A Lose – Lose Proposition? (Flipping A Two Headed Coin)

Coin Flip2015 first quarter data just published show the US Economy slowing toward near stasis. The new second quarter does not look improved and world trade data are similar as we have reported recently. Reality is once again following its own guide rather than the orders of politicians or media. Q1 GDP “growth:” if one wishes to call it so, was less than 1%. That may be ‘recovery’ to the President, a millionaire, but hardly to those too many living from paycheck to paycheck, watching unacknowledged inflation hollow their earnings.

The Fed is in shock; hell-bent as it has been upon restoring interest rates toward normal, now it has removed all the prospective dates from its previously announced plans to do so. It also says that the slowdown is temporary. Knowing as we do that international trade has slowed significantly around the world with freight shipping rates in near collapse, we wonder who the Fed is fooling …

Its unpalatable choice has all along been between raising rates and thereby perpetrating defaults, asset collapse as the air leaks out of overvalued assets and enormous losses for banks and other investors or alternatively, continued inflation of values via money and credit expansion, devaluing currencies until they collapse.We recall an old quotation: “The coward dies a thousand deaths, the brave man dies but once.” We are beginning to see which the Janet Yellen Fed fits …

We estimate (A writer’s euphemism for guessing) that U.S. real estate and assets in general may be worth perhaps 50% to 60% of what they list in dollars now, post collapse. If as it appears, the Fed is shrinking from its avowed restoration of market interest rates, that will postpone while augmenting this difference between underlying real and surface published values for assets. The longer we await the letting out of the air in asset values, the greater will be the shrinkage when the leak occurs. Inflation is followed at some point by deflation, that bane of governments. Balloons that rise full of air, sink again when the air leaks out. So too with economies.

Politicians’ “this time is different” and “We will save you” are speaking in tongues; what they mean in reality is: “Apres moi, le deluge!” But this is ever a form of musical chairs; someone is always left when the music stops. Now, Democrats and Republicans are throwing up suckers risking that sacrifice. They are both torn between allowing the other control of the reins of power on the one hand, and electing the next Herbert Hoover on the other.

One of them will win and the other will lose in any case; the American taxpayer will lose either way. It’s “Flip a coin: Heads, I win; tails, you lose.”

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Black Rioters And Moslem Terrorists Impose Their Wills By Destruction

Baltimore RiotIn troubled Baltimore to date, we have seen: 144 cars/15 buildings burned, 235 rioters arrested and now clogging the local criminal processing system. Those are not the most informative data. We heard that the Baltimore rioters who burned and trashed, were bussed in from elsewhere and that they included many of the same folk who trashed Ferguson.

We heard that Baltimore’s  Mayor ordered the police to provide space for rioters to destroy property, something she denied even after a recording of her statement was played on news shows. We heard of a  Shopkeeper who called police 50 times, with no response.We heard of  at least 9 journalists attacked; some robbed and beaten. The City Council Prez apologized to rioters. (For calling them thugs).

What is going on? In Florida, George Zimmerman was found to have been defending himself from a young black thug, Trayvon Martin. Michael Brown attacked the police officer who shot him. in Ferguson. We don’t know what happened in Baltimore, but that a black man died in police custody. The blacks who run the city are not releasing the details of that death. Yet all have been grounds for black riots provided by paid, imported hired guns as much or more than by locals. It appears less genuine citizen outrage and and more, political theater.

Some other things are notable, too. Elsewhere, a TV producer (a woman) was attacked and robbed by a pack of black Teens. In Charleston, a Teen gang of at least 15 mixed boys and girls attacked and robbed people on the street. New York City was told to expect spillover Baltimore riots. A Kafkaesque   Orioles/White Sox baseball game took place in an empty stadium; Baltimore would not trust a gathered audience after the unrest. And reprising the Mayor and City Council President, Salon magazine said that the rioters were right; trashing police cars is legitimate political action. Some things are changing.

Back at the ranch, the U.S. military is practicing moving into and taking control of U.S. cities come June and the Department of Justice is proceeding with its program for Federalizing Police.

Assembling all of this into one provides some food for thought. We note that the only genuine beneficiaries of government largess lavished upon blacks to date, has been government, politicians particularly. Some blacks have done well; more have done less well. Nor is it a result of white racism; it is a result of government programs replacing black peoples’s willingness to do for themselves as whites have done. And most successfully, Asians too. It has naught to do with race; much to do with economics and attitudes. The same bill of goods is now on sale to homosexuals.

There appears at this point, little doubt that the black ‘riots’ are planned, funded and stage managed by the far Left. We have seen photos of the rows of bussess parked and awaiting the imported thugs to return them to their homes. The horde of Ferguson Department of Justice organizers has been reported. And the pattern is continuing. The similar “Occupy Wall Street using unemployed young whites, fizzled. The re-casting with blacks seems so far, more effective.

Next we will see whether the black fallback attempt to destabilize U.S. cities will succeed as “Occupy” failed. We suspect that the Left is again overreaching. The viral video of an outraged black mother chastising her son for joining the riots may be telling. We will see. One thing we can take for granted: the far Left will not give up its program and given human nature, it will always be there to push it.

Black Americans, Asian Americans, white Americans, male Americans and female Americans (and increasingly Latin American Americans) share one thing: They are all Americans. And in the ancient words: “United, we stand; divided, we fall.” It is a test that we have elected leaders who foment and suborn for division rather than reinforce unity.

Posted in Blacks, Government, Riots | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

What Is Gay Marriage About?

Obama Snake OilGay marriage went to the Supreme Court today. Two questions will be answered: First, is it required of states by the Constitution? Second, if granted by one state, must it be recognized legally by the others, whether they allow it or not?

We have no idea what the Supremes may do. Well, we have some idea: We note that the Supremes in 1803 (Marbury vs. Madison) appointed themselves in lieu of the Constitution, and we note that since then, the Court has been regularly accused without refutation, o following the election returns.

Ignoring that momentarily, what are the legalities? First, marriage is above all a contract. Historically, human society decided that since kids take years to mature and males like to flit from flower to flower, that said males had to be pinned down to raise those kids properly because it was too much to expect of a woman alone. Simple enough. Women are biologically stuck with responsibility; males are not. So for the sake of the species, males had to be stuck legally to their responsibilities for the good of all. We’ve said it twice; that ought to be enough.

Regardless, there’s one more reinforcement: The Church reinforced the  contract, attaching sacramental values on top of the legal ones. (Or perhaps it was the other way around; we’re not sure. It was a long time ago.)

Homosexuals we note, have no children; when a partner bails out, there results no parent stuck with years of responsibility for new generations. This being so, society has no stake in the severed relationship; all that is lost is private, all being consenting adults, not helpless, innocent children. The future of the species is at no risk.

Consider: What does a homosexual gain from a marriage contract? They already live together at will and break up at will. What is gained is only the legal status of marriage. And notably, the financial incentives that society has attached to that. For instance, community property, joint filing status for taxes and a right to a spouse’s Social Security pension. (All funded by taxpayers.)

But joint tenancy does not require marriage. Tax and Social Security benefits, do require marriage. And these various financial goodies are the only things homosexuals cannot have, unmarried. All else that they claim to want is already available, one way or another. The only significant benefits of marriage to a homosexual couple not presently available sans marriage, are financial. It seems telling that only these issues are not mentioned in the ongoing public debate. Not very honest, mind, but telling.

Note too that the cost of those financial benefits when homosexual marriage is granted, remains ignored. It is ignored for the sound reason that it is very high for taxpayers, particularly the Social Security spousal rights. What it amounts to is that, once homosexual marriage exists, the accumulated subsidies for encouraging having children are no longer related to raising children. Kids in other words, are no longer subsidized. Homosexuals are subsidized instead.

Ask this: Is society better repaid by subsidizing children, or by subsidizing homosexuals?  For these reasons, homosexual marriage seems to us, a costly and anti-social notion. Nor, as homosexuals have already access to all but those child subsidies without marriage, does “Fair” have ought to do with it.

It is true that Christian (and Jewish and Moslem and other) religious precepts have demonized homosexuality. We see no homosexuals who would freely have chosen their condition; it is no ‘free choice.’ as some want to have it. On the other hand, their condition cannot grant them rights not also enjoyed by all other humans. “Gay rights” do not exist, only human rights that are the same for all. That leads to some results uncomfortable for some.

If a homosexual is wrong to try to force his or her preferred behavior onto you in a democratic state, are you right in forcing your pattern onto him or her? That is not an easy question at times.

Whether landlord or baker of wedding cakes, you should provide your public business offerings to all who share human rights to them, regardless of their agreement or disagreement with your private concerns. A law-abiding homosexual has as much right to a baker’s wedding cake as anyone else, provided he or she pays for it. Its use is not the baker’s business.

In court, we must separate the marriage legal contract from the very human institution of marriage. And again from the religious sacrament of marriage. The State has authority over contract enforcement and definition. The Church governs sacraments. And human society controls mores. (“Render unto Ceasar …”)

We see nothing in the Constitution on marriage; but government is in charge of legal contracts. Including the marriage contract. Including as well, the existing subsidies of child-bearing in law. Government therefore has the power to alter the terms thereof, unpleasant as that may be for some. It exercises that as a right so long as it does so within the constraints of its bindings, constitutional or other.

Presently, the Western social trend is post-religious and amoral. Deplorable for the religious, a trend nevertheless. Glancing back at Obamacare, we expect the Supremes to legitimize gay marriage over the objections of religious folk. That is the trend that we see.

This will add but one more straw to a social camel’s back already loaded with single mothers, declining education, moral relativism and increasing poverty. And all that is also the trend. Trends must work themselves out; none of us can redirect them alone. We go under trying. We go under not trying, too …

We believe the game was lost by the arrival of female contraception and the very related legitimization of convenience abortion. Others may find their own signposts. Whatever your chosen indicator, the trend is clear enough.

A final note: The dissolute Roaring 20’s gave us in the 1930’s a much less acknowledged return to rectitude along with the Great Depression. It may, along with our new and greater depression yet unfinished, also occur again. Or not …

When all is said and done, homosexual spouses and the larger society will see on ly ashes in their hands. Both are being swindled by the politicians. Those wishing to doubt this have but to examine what the similar political approach has done for American black citizens since the Civil War.

Posted in Government, Marriage, Politics | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

Speaking Of things That We Are Not Supposed To Mention …

Elephant“The time has come, the Walrus said, to speak of many things.

Of shoes and ships and sealing wax; of  cabbages and kings.” 

And of sometime Olympian hero and now ‘transgengered’ Bruce Jenner. Mr.Ms. Jenner has leaped from post-Olympian shadows into a second life in the spotlight by announcing his/her sexual transition just as such things served the political Left in its war on Christianity and related social and moral values. Loath to waste a crisis or a headline, the Lefty media salivated and reflexively spotlighted Mr./Ms. Jenner. He/she/it became instant media darlings, illustrating the doctrine of Progress.

But Mr./Ms. Jenner spotlighted, proclaimed that he/she/it is a Republican. A conservative Republican.  We predict without fear that:

1. Many will never know that Jenner is a registered Republican,

2. That his/her news value has shifted from high to zilch overnight, and

3. That some hapless newswriters who got this going before the uncomfortable party affiliation was discovered will be serving burgers at McDonald’s. (Politics trumps gender.) Any bets?

Then we note that the USA turned Iran, a friend under its Shah, into an enemy Islamic state with help from the CIA disposing of said Shah, that Bushes Pere et Fils destabilized Iraq, creating ISIS and softened the ground under Libya and Syria as well. And further that this has poured a river of desperate Moslem refugees into Europe, that is gagging at digesting such an overload.  The E.U. will no doubt send the Ul.S. a polite “Thank you very much” note.

For those fond of irony, note that the U.S. is not leaving Europe to drown in its flood of unlettered and alien migrants holding to quite different values; it is instead, working hard to import its own equivalent Latin Americans en masse’, lest it be accused of perpetrating that which it will not itself suffer. Noble, no?

Finally, U.S. Democrats have lined up Mrs. Clinton as willing cannon fodder to emasculate a mass of GOP would-be candidates early on. She and they will disappear as the real choices take shape, later. When the remaining time precludes tiring of or knowing too much about the surviving real candidates.  That is to say that what we are now watching is only the warm-up intended to excite us while distracting from such issues as Ukraine, the economy and the declining wealth of the erstwhile ‘middle’ class in the West.

We note as well, the ongoing failure of Obamacare to be solvent or fully functional. We need to note it as no one else seems to, our Democratic and Republican ‘representatives’ in Congress particularly. We live in a declining reality, a direct result of human government; our governors live in a virtual reality instead, … at our expense. And we seem happy with that. For now.

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They Say We Are What We Eat; (What Does That Make Of Us?)

321207-002We are no experts in food, nevertheless having consumed a great deal of it over years on earth, we have opinions. Who of us does not? It seems to us that food and our mealtimes have changed as time has slipped by and we wonder what to make of those changes, many of which we attribute to government.

In support of our feelings on the matter, we have read of our Diet Shift: We are eating more meat, dairy and sugar than our predecessors did; unfortunately, we are also drinking more booze. And this has come at the expense (excepting the booze) of eating grains. Wheat, rice, corn oats etc. were once the staple diets, merely flavored with those meats, cheese and sugar items we now take for granted.

An accompanying result: we are larger, stronger and healthier than before. We should note as well that back when we were living on grains, the elite of those days ate meat, dairy and sugar as the less wealthy did not; they were costly. We have enriched our diets in more than one sense. Economically, an accompaniement of the creation of a historically unique middle class. Even today, as one leaves The West, it is a return to surviving upon grains but for the wealthy.

We note two possibly significant trends underway:  In one, we see that after the feminist victory of forcing housewives back to work, increasing amounts of supermarket food are packaged, processed products that are designed to be heated and served, saving the working spouse the preparation once required in feeding a family. And next, the proportion of meat, dairy and (shudder) sugar are reduced, the resulting vacancy being filled by (one guess) grains.

We note that the addition of preparation, packaging and refrigerated storage raise the prices of these products; dilution by using more grains helps deal with that. This is being reinforced by government dietary advice to reduce consumption of meat, dairy and sugar, “for our health.”

Conveniently, we see rising resistance to GMO Food. Bringing meat and dairy to the masses has required the industrialization of livestock production; one result being that Old Time Food tasted better. Looking at say, chickens, it was much better. Nothing in this world is free, right? If one fails to have noticed the chicken, consider strawberries …

Those of us with an appropriately dark sense of humor may appreciate some irony here: The serfs flavored their bread, pasta or rice with toothsome scraps of meat and with good cheese, if only in tiny bits. Today’s New Serfs will ‘flavor’ their processed grains with factory grown, processed bits of meat and cheese that have been robbed of their one time flavor by industrialization and chemical preservatives. We call this (Or our masters do) “Progress.”

We begin to suspect one reason for the increase in alcohol consumption.

Restaurants cannot make up for these changes; they must buy food from the same suppliers. They too, with central kitchens putting out flash-frozen food, are constrained. They are falling into two patterns: A few, costly purveyors of high labor content meals, will be out of reach; most will automate labor and compete with the supermarkets, in essence. Affordable, no taste to speak of. One may as well stay home and open a frozen dinner.

We note that neighborhood specialty butchers are springing up, places where one can buy “Barred Rock” free range chickens and genuinely smoke cured bacon. If one can afford it, of course. Add too, if one has the time and energy and knowledge to prepare it in now obsolescent procedures.

It all seems undeniably “Progress” but in an unfortunate direction. The industrialized, beakless, confined chickens being force fed flavorless meal to fatten them for market in the least possible time … seem increasingly to resemble those who are consuming them for sustenance.

Posted in Food, Government, Industrial Agriculture | Tagged , , | 4 Comments