Side Splitting Humor on NPR NEWS!

I use to listen to NPR going and coming from work, back before I retired.  So today, on the way to CVS, since the radio station I normally listen to was covering college football, I thought I’d give NPR a try.  The 5 PM news show started, and let me tell you…. it was a barrel full of LAUGHS!

First, the reporter started with the story of the day, about how Romney was (breathlessly) attempting to recover from a “disastrous week”!  …say what?  He’s the challenger and as of this morning, still even in the polls!  He should be down by 15 points, but HIS situation is “disastrous”?

Hasn’t the President spent the last 10 days telling us the unrest in the Middle East was due to a movie that turns out to only be a amateur movie trailer less than 15 minutes long?  Why did he do this?  …in a desperate attempt to make 9/11 go away!

Not the 9/11 of 11 years ago, but the 9/11 of 11 DAYS ago when our Ambassador to Libya was obviously (as ultimately confirmed) murdered in a well organized attack by terrorists connected to Al Qaeda and probably led by a released GITMO detainee!   …all too embarrassing for a President so close to the election, he can’t simply admit THAT!

Now, we all know there has been a “reset” in our Middle East policy: Muslim outreach, Arab Spring, etc.  We all know we’re out of Iraq, Bin Laden is dead, our surge forces are out of Afghanistan, etc. and the “war on terror” should never have happened, so how is it that the Ambassador is dead over a cheap movie?  …but it turns out to be a planned terrorist attack?

Oh, and by the way, at least a half dozen soldiers have died in Afghanistan these 10 days, we’ve had to suspend training programs for safety (our only reason for still being there) a Squadron Commander is dead, and a half dozen American aircraft in their hangers destroyed (over $8M in damages) in the most secure facility in Afghanistan by a Taliban terrorist attack also triggered in response to 9/11.

And Romney had a hard couple of weeks ????  …if it wasn’t so deranged, the NPR “top story”, neglecting the deaths and the disasters and the collapse of the President’s primary foreign policy initiative would have brought tears of grief and anger, but it is really, really hard to get mad at NPR when they are this childishly out of touch with reality!

So what was the “disastrous” event causing such harm to Romney?  Well last week it was his claim that it was inappropriate for the State Department through the Egyptian embassy to have justified violent attacks by sympathizing about how insulting that dumb movie was!  Ok… wasn’t that proven to be true by the fact that the administration just hours later disavowed that statement?  So Obama and Romney agreed on that point but Romney is the only one suffering for it?

Ok. He shot pretty quick from the hip, yep… but hit the target!

Oh, and then there was the 47% statement!  A video, conveniently held back from May until the President’s foreign policy began to collapse, presented Romney pointing out that some 47% of the voters will never vote for him, some because they are dependent upon government (e.g. the recently announced 47% number) and others because they simply believe in the President and the Democratic party.

And this is news?  Do you see Obama spending millions in campaign funds plastering videos all over Texas?  No… you spend where you have a chance and conserve where you don’t.  So isn’t Obama the President of Texans too?  …well apparently not given the uproar we hear from the media about the 47% remark.

By the way:  economist George Gilder points out that Romney was wrong!  If you add in crony capitalist companies and all the lawyers and bureaucrats involved in writing, fighting, enforcing, advising with regard to, all the government regulations, the proper number dependent to some degree on the government is closer to 70% !!!

So I guess our jolly NPR reporter is correct!  …how can Romney ever expect to be elected?

Yes, she asked that question to a campaign consultant she interviewed!  …it was so obvious to her that Obama was a shoe-in that … well, there simply was no other news this week to report!

Well maybe those theories of “alternate universes” really, really are true!  Maybe we can have a sky rocketing stock market and a collapsing economy at the same time!   …oh wait, that is obviously true since it only requires we devalue the dollar, like in QE2 and QE3.  Bad example.  Well maybe terrorists can be appeased into peaceful coexistence!  …oh wait, didn’t seem to happen over the last 3.5 years of playing nice, and of course it didn’t happen with Germany and Japan back between the wars.

Ok, ok.  I’ll let it go.  Let’s just give BO another chance, even if he seems to be a W on steroids as far as spending goes… Surely we couldn’t have a future life as bad as Romney had this week.  Could we?

Seriously:  denial of reality is one of the best honed talents of liberals. As painful as it will be for the poor and middle class (including me and my children) the surprised look on their face when reality can no longer be ignored just may be worth 4 more years of disastrous decline.   …eh, not really.

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Seems automation makes billing easier… and more of it!

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/22/business/medicare-billing-rises-at-hospitals-with-electronic-records.html

Precisely what would happen if a 3rd party paid for burgers at a fast food store.

When the consumer is not responsible for the bill, no one is. If we had NO profits involved, i.e. pure single payer, someone somewhere is still being paid a salary, and if the patient is not in some way holding the providers responsible, we have waste up until there is no more money to waste, then we will have service delays, quality will drop, and people will die.

Pay people directly what they earn throughout their life-time…. no tax gimmicks, no hiring the employer to do be a tax collector for the government or a health care adviser for the employee. The employer is lousy at both… it is deceptive to pretend otherwise.

Then have the people purchase the insurance and buy the health care they choose, forcing them to be responsible for their lives …novel idea, eh?

Force doctors and hospitals to compete for their customers, just like the rest of us! It will be surprising to all how quality, service, outcomes and prices will all improve!

Keep pretending that bureaucratic hospitals dealing with bureaucratic insurances companies under the faulty oversight of a bureaucratic government will cure people, and the longest lived people on earth will be bureaucrats.

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Think, Live, Vote Independently … How to Fix Political Parties

I was recently invited to join an anti-political party group.
Here’s the comment that got me invited:

“John, anyone puts their party ahead of their country is an idiot. We have two parties so the idiot vote cancels out! Elections are decided by the thinking people who support people based on the candidate’s principles, not party ideology.
Think independently, live independently, vote independently and Independence thrives. Independents decide elections; independents RULE!”

 
The sponsor of this group seems to have formed it to sooth his decision to not support the candidate of his party, but still support the “philosophy” he thinks his party represents.  I went on to explain my opinion:

So you see, I’m somewhat beyond supporting “my party’s philosophy” and actually believe the ideal is 2 parties with only one ideology, and that one limited to the Constitution of the United States. The beliefs, philosophies, strategies, goals (and unfortunately, biases and weaknesses) of individual candidates are why I would choose one over another. “Party” affiliation should be irrelevant.

There is the natural human desire to form “gangs” so as to offer each other support, feeling of community, team membership, etc. One could think the equivalent of this in the sphere of politics is the “political party” and thus be tempted to create lots of parties to capture all the diverse philosophies and interests we each may have. Unfortunately, this does not work for two major reasons:

1) (practical) our state voting laws so bias elections in favor of the two party system as to make minor parties powerless,
2) (game theory) the objective in an election is to establish a majority consensus …achieve majority voter buy-in… around a candidate who will represent us. Simply put, having only 2 parties guarantees the winner has buy-in from the majority of voters.

Thus I feel we are stuck with 2 parties, and out of pragmatism choose to move on to the question of how we get these 2 parties to represent our diverse philosophies:

1st) In my ideal world, each party would be a training ground and support group raising, educating and testing candidates for office, independent of philosophy EXCEPT the common ground defined by the Constitution as to the limits of government, duties of officers/candidates, and the organization of government. This common ground evolves only through the formal amendment process.

2nd) We promote our view by interactions within and across parties as we prepare ourselves as candidates and support each other based on our philosophies, beliefs, etc. We do not endow either party as the sole home for any one of our personal philosophies, ideologies, biases, etc. No litmus tests!

3rd) We maintain balance of power between the two parties by shifting our allegiance between parties to achieve the key advantages of competition: a) checks and balance to assure efficiency and integrity, and b) having a viable leadership team to switch to when the current team fails through exhaustion, corruption, disaster, or whatever else would lead to loss of trust among the voters.

How we achieve this “balance” between the parties?
Precisely by being, thinking, funding and voting independent of party label.

Can’t be done? …look who decides elections! The independent vote is very often the deciding vote. The knee jerk voters cancel each other out, empowering those of us who vote for the individual, not the party label.

Think for a moment how much more effective we and our government could become if we act this way deliberately, consciously, and regularly. We have the power in our grasp to punish the party that most recently lied to us (abused their power.) Rock the boat! Shift the center of gravity back and forth until both parties are shaken out of their ideological straight jackets and return to the ideals of our founding fathers!

It can’t happen quickly, requiring multiple election cycles, but it CAN happen! In fact, I believe our country can only survive as our founding fathers intended IF we break the back of the ideologically biased party system we have today.

What say you? With me in this bottom up independent voter revolution?

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Flying Squirrels and Freedom

When I was 10 …55 years ago… my uncle “tamed” a flying squirrel I captured by gassing it with cigarette smoke in a paper bag, shaking the bag to further disorient the poor creature. “Once you let him out, he’ll be so grateful he’ll be your friend.”

This is the Obama administration, deliberately destroying independence in the heart of the American people, expecting them to be grateful for handouts once that “troublesome independent streak” is snuffed out.

I lost all respect for my uncle that day. I released the poor squirrel, but it seemed to have lost all zest for life and just clung to the tree where I left him. He probably died not long after that.
Joy and excitement at having built a working trap with my own hands was replaced with deep shame for what we did to this once free and vibrant neighbor.

I tell this true story as a warning to all those supporters of this president who think it would be neat to have wide-eyed creatures “lovingly” dependent upon them. We Americans are like that flying squirrel before I helped ruin it. Fiercely independent, risking everything on great leaps of faith and self confidence. It had a wonderful life: capable, self assured, confident and slave to no one. When one of our leaps fall short, we face the risks on the ground until we pull ourselves up to new heights.

Do not destroy a good thing when you’ve got it. Especially not when driven by a selfish desire to force “friendship” upon the subject. Respect and friendship can only be won, not forced. The slave may be polite and submissive, but without freedom and independence, it is all a tragically sad lie.

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Analysis & Projections – U.S. Energy Information Administration EIA – U.S. Energy Information Administration EIA

Analysis & Projections – U.S. Energy Information Administration EIA – U.S. Energy Information Administration EIA.

Definitive evidence that President Obama has NOT increased the production of oil or gas from Federal lands since becoming President.  Other sources put the production in the Gulf of Mexico down 30%, partially compensated for oil produced by “fracking” on indian reservations (i.e. not technology or territory under the direct control of the administration.)

The discovery of oil production as a side effect of “fracking” (designed to recover natural gas from rock formations) has been a boon to the industry, vastly expanding the amount of recoverable oil in the United States.  Private land is being exploited across the nation, with the biggest boon state being North Dakota and Pennsylvania.  The new gas reserves found in Pennsylvania has been sufficient to lead to investments in new iron mills, once thought lost forever due to the high price of fuel before the discovery of  “fracking”.

This technology has the potential to provide over 100 years of fuel for our nation, freeing us from dependence on foreign oil, reversing the balance of payments problem, deflating the National Debt via an influx of royaltee money and taxes on oil profits, employing millions of people in revitalized manufacturing made possible through cheaper fuel prices, leading to a reversal of the American decline!

Why are we not fracking, drilling, piping, refining and exporting everywhere we can? Much of the richest reserves are on government land and environmental concerns are currently blocking exploitation.  Note:  horizontal drilling as used in fracking means that very little of the surface area is disturbed while exploiting huge areas of reserves.  This is NOT true of wind or solar farms that require very large surface areas dedicated to the production of energy.

Natural Gas (CH4) is very nearly as clean burning as the environmental ideal “hydrogen” economy, producing only one CO2 molecule for every 2 H2O molecules when burned. All other fossile fuels produce more CO2 and many complex hydrocarbons as byproducts. Due to the mercury and other minerals disolved in oil and coal, that are NOT present in Natural Gas, even when ignoring the CO2, the enviromental impact of CH4 is vastly superior.

Let’s take full advantage of what our nation has been blessed with…. Frack away!

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How can we widen the gap between rich and poor?

Let’s do a little “thought experiment”:

Assume we ONLY tax people who earn over a MILLION.  Treat corporations as people and only tax those who have incomes over a million also.

All government would be paid for by people or corporations who bring in a million dollars or more through sales of their services or goods.  Now it takes a LOT of money to run the government, so they will have to be heavily taxed.

Where will they get the money to pay these taxes?

They already pay about 18% of their income in taxes, let’s assume this new tax regime will raise that to 90%.  Where will they get the money they pay their taxes with?  …think really, really hard!

Yep, they get it that taxable money from the prices they charge for their performances at the theater, their performance on the golf course, tennis court, NFL or NBA game, in court, in the operating room, etc.  …from their building designs, their ship or chip or tablet design, etc.  …from their process design, management or execution on the production line.

They collect the money we are going to tax away from the price of goods and services they sell.   …the price YOU pay.

Pretty soon every productive person will be required to earn 4 or 5 or much more than they were paid before in order to maintain the same standard of living!

TADA!  We’ve vastly increased the gap between the poor and the rich.

Simple concept, isn’t it.

So why do so many in this country think making the rich  “pay their fair share”  will not rebound upon the poor in the form of HIGHER prices and a WIDER gap between the “classes”.

Our politicians LOVE to tell us lies about the rich/poor divide:  It wins votes for the Dems when the poor think they are being cheated by the rich.  It wins votes for the Repubs when the rich (or want to be rich) think that they are being so charitable by paying the lions share of the tax bill, and that the Repubs will somehow protect them from even a higher tax burden.

Both are telling lies because, frankly, they are more interested in growing political power and contributions to their life-style than the welfare of the rich OR the poor.

I’m for a “classless” society.  I want everyone to earn as much as they can with their gifts but not a dime they don’t deserve.  I don’t want their salary distorted by the government to the detriment of a competitive and opportunity-filled marketplace.

Please… Help me stomp out the stupidity that suggests that “raising taxes on the rich” will somehow reduce the gap between the rich and the poor.

I think this idea flows from the assumption that prices are somehow regulated by the government “regulators”.  This is not the case.  The McDonald’s Resturant chain does not have prices set by Uncle Sam.  Competition from competing fast food outlets keep their prices down far more effectively than any easily corrupted bureaucrat could.

The problem with the really big banks (and other conglomerates) is not that the government doesn’t regulate them enough.  It is that their very size and importance to the politicians mean that they are largely “protected” from the competition that would force them to operate efficiently… they are “enabled” in their criminality by the government.  Simply looking at the history of the last decade proves this over and over again.  There is no serious difference between sole-source contracts to Halliburton (supposedly because they were so big as to be the only company able to satisfy the requirements) or the bail-outs of the banks and states and unions etc that has followed TARP into the new administration.

Wall Street demonstrators are right about the questionable behavior of the biggest banks and investors.  But they are very wrong to think that somehow government is the solution.  It was government that enabled the bad behavior, and sometimes dictated it (e.g. the issuance of home loans without proper documentation of income).

What will cure the problem of the widening gap in income?  What will cure the crony capitalism corrupting both government and the business community, and provide for JOBS?  The solution is starring us in the face:  competition in an honest marketplace.

Well over 30% of the dollars we pay for things ends up as tax revenues.  Yet we pretend only the person the money is collected from is suffering from taxation.

The corporations and the “rich” are effectively secret IRS agents, collecting hidden taxes from all of us.  Why does Buffet and others say “raise taxes on the rich”?  Because the larger the share of the governments revenues that flows through their bank accounts, the more power and influence over government they have.

This was the original reason the independents left the Republicans and voted for Obama.  This same reason is why the independents ran away from Obama and the Democrats in 2010 upon discovering that the Dems were worse than the Repubs at resisting the temptations of crony capitalism and pandering politics.

We know better.  Why do we allow our politicians to manipulate us into hateful rage with lies that are this transparent???

Don’t listen to me.  Think for yourself.  Formulate your own “thought experiments” and analyze what happens to the economy and your standard of living.  Do not let crowds of demonstrators or politicians feed you answers.  Think independently.  Don’t let the “Party” or the “Union” or your “Employer” do the thinking for you.

Smaller government, smaller corporations, and more local control is the only way to bring “power to the people”.  And this smallness comes when the ranks of competitors swell and the power is distributed widely and deeply throughout the society.  We are all empowered when competition is increased.

This has been the objective of the independents when we voted Democratic in 2008, when we voted Republican in 2010, and when we vote in 2012.  We will use the power of political party X to clobber Y when Y is in power and lies… And the other way around once X takes power and lies.  Eventually they will be force to follow the will of the independent thinking people of the nation.

Think independently, vote independently, promote Independence!  We are the swing vote that decides elections and makes parties obey the voters.

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I’ve seen the lies from “Both Sides Now”

I’ve been stunned by how happy both the left and right have been, totally blinded by their ideology on the critical issue of “taxing the rich”.  I was reminded of that song “Both Sides Now” which explains how one can go through life and love, and “still not know life at all.”

Reminder:  Judy Collins 1967 hit:  “Both Sides Now”

(Aside: this would make a great parody “re-election theme song” for the President!)

So what “lies” am I talking about?  What ideology driven deceptions have blinded the Left AND the Right?   …is it not clear that the “rich” are too rich and should have their taxes raised?

Well, let’s start with the Conservative canard first:

“The so-called ‘rich’ already pay most of the taxes in this country!”

Well, if you focus only on Federal Income taxes, this seems to be true.  And since that is all the Leftist care about increasing we’ll stick with that restriction.  But to sort out if it is true, I ask the following question:

Where do the “rich” get the money they pay their taxes with?  I mean, “income” taxes only apply to income.  So where do they get that from?  Yep… You knew it all along!  They get it from the goods and services they sell us:  the ticket prices for their concerts, their DVDs and movies, the cost of watching their games on TV or in the stadiums, the fancy electronics they pay the Chinese to make and sell to us, the medicines they produce, the cars and bridges and roads they build, the very bread we eat.   ….WE give it to them embedded in the price we pay for the goods and services we buy from them.

We give them the money with which they pay their income tax.

Oh, there are cheaters who use monopolistic practices to multiply their income, e.g. player strikes, employee lock-outs, crony capitalism, “subsidies”, “stimulus”, etc.  But by and large, the vast majority of the things we buy are bought in a somewhat competitive marketplace from sellers we choose to support.

So, the “rich” may well like to stroke their egos by pretending they “pay the lions share” of federal income taxes (‘roar!’) but they pay those taxes with our hard earned money that we choose to give them because we …by and large… like what they do.

So I wish the Right would get off it’s high horse and quit the argument “we pay the most”.

Now, let’s return to the Left’s blatant deception:

“If only the ‘rich’ would pay their ‘fair share’ we wouldn’t be in this mess!”

Oh, this reeks of misunderstanding at best and outright deception at worse!  As already shown above, the “rich” pay their share (fair or not) by acting as an invisible IRS collecting the money to fund the government hidden …yes, hidden… in the prices of everything the rest of us buy.

Raise the income tax rates on the rich, as so many of the Left insist, and in a few short years all the prices will go up to pay for those increased taxes …and WE will be ones paying.

The only way to make “the man” suffer is to undercut his/her (or the corporation’s) price for the services or products and quite literally “eat their lunch!”  Don’t like what they charge, go into competition and run them into the ground!  …but no, the Left wants to raise taxes, not competition!

Raising taxes is PRECISELY what the rich cats like!  THEY don’t pay taxes, passing them on to us in higher prices, AND because as the tax laws become more and more “progressive”, they become more and more powerful and competitors become weaker and fewer.

Why start a business if before you get started hiring your first worker you need to hire a tax lawyer and an accountant and try to figure out how to follow all the laws and pay all the various fees and taxes more efficiently than the “rich guy”….   You become discouraged before you make your first widget, so you sell the patent of the new widget to the “rich guy” who locks out even more competitors by threatening to sue if they make cheaper widgets using your process!

So I wish the Left would take off it’s ash-covered “victim” suit and quit the class warfare!

Both sides now  …both sides… benefit with their constituents by promoting these lies and building entire ideologies around them.  It is ignorant, selfish, hateful, and clearly counter productive.  Stop it!

At this point I’d normally start preaching about the value of being an independent thinker, independent voter and the goal of true Independence.  But I’ll spare you that IF you promise to go back and digest what I’ve just written.  Take it in.  Make it part of your thinking.  And the next time you hear a debate between Right and Left, listen for these foolish ideologies and how they obscure for the audience and both sides the reality they must come to understand before they can possibly find a solution to our nation’s economic problems.

Thank YOU for paying the bulk of my taxes  …all you, rich and poor alike!

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