Sunday, May 22, 2016

Sunday Ramblings

Today's post covers a wide range of topics:

Oil, the Election, and the Economy

The always-great Chicago Bois has a LONG post dealing with - among other things - oil, and how the Fracking Revolution will ALSO change our politics.
President Ronald Reagan colluded with the Saudis to collapse the Soviet Union through low oil prices. This extended fracking technique means, given the political will, the USA doesn’t need the Saudis to do the same to Russia, Iran, Venezuela… and the Saudis!

(Long term, the Saudis need $100/barrel oil to support their current population.)

One of my email contacts made this Schadenfreude-rich statement: Prince Mohammad bin Salman is reported to have placed a great emphasis on Saudi domestic non-oil economic development last fall, after having been appointed as the country’s Gorbachev earlier in the year. “

The domestic and geopolitical implications of an energy-independent USA are huge and profound. Since I’ve already touched on the foreign policy implications, I’ll start here with the domestic implications for “Big Green”, AKA the environmental movement.

LOTS more at the link - it draws together the interlocking interests of Mideast Oil, the Environmental Movement, and Kleptocrats in government - ours and others, and WHY Fracking is so hated by all of them.

Keep in mind the consequences of the next election - I think Trump is vulgar, a braggart, and given to bombastic pronouncements.

HOWEVER, he will likely NOT hold up the Fracking/LNG (Liquid Natural gas) permits to soothe the Environment Control Freaks.

And, that ALONE is worth voting for him.

PS - read the comments in the post, as well - very perceptive, for the most part.

Interested in Politics?

Here is an analysis that will interest you.

I am recommending this video to EVERYONE.

Based on reading her blog, I'm going to recommend this book - Elizabeth Scalia is a gem.

BTW, although I do love me my Kindle, and it's GREAT for trips, I'm going to suggest buying this in hard copy - it makes it easier to pass along.

The Whole Trans-Thing

Why might opposing the Trans-Rights (Really, Trans-Bullying) thing be Anti-Woman?

That All For Today - I'm going to church, and, then, to spend some time with my husband.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

At Last!

First, a little Etta James!

And, now - the moment I've been waiting for!

The House on Wednesday passed a bill that would make it easier to fire employees at the Veterans Affairs Department.

Despite a veto threat from the White House and widespread opposition from federal employee advocates, lawmakers approved in a 256-170 vote the 2015 VA Accountability Act, which would give the VA secretary much more flexibility to demote and fire corrupt or poor-performing employees, not just top officials.

The bill essentially would expand to the entire VA workforce the authority of the 2014 Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act, which made it easier to get rid of senior executives engaged in wrongdoing at the department.

But WAIT!  That's not ALL!

Something I've LONG said should be done:
The chairman of the top House investigative panel introduced a measure Wednesday to censure IRS Commissioner John Koskinen -- and remove him from office without a pension -- in the latest bid by Republicans to pressure him into being more cooperative in their probe of the 2013 IRS targeting scandal.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, head of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, is seeking Koskinen’s resignation or removal for what he calls an alleged “pattern of conduct inconsistent with the trust and confidence placed in him as an officer of the United States.”

If censured, Koskinen, who became commissioner in 2013, would also forfeit his government pension and other federal benefits.

'Bout time the FedElite started learnin' that THEY work for US!

Or should.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Stay Off Facebook Day

In my previous post, I mentioned that a one-day boycott of Facebook might be useful to prod them into realizing the numbers of people that they are dismissing through their biased pushing of Leftist News.

I decided to start the action myself.  Therefore, No FB is a word doc.  Feel free to copy, turn into a picture format, whatever.



And, So It Begins

Actually, it started a long time ago, with the fringe monthlies that didn't kowtow to the Established Thinking.  There have always been those, largely mimeographed sheets of paper staples together, circulated by the convicted.

Don't know what a mimeograph is?  Ask your granny - maybe your great-grandpappy.

Or, just Google it.

The Samizdats did it, even earlier, with their revolutionary documents re-typed, from one to another.  Think of the work it would take to reproduce a book by re-typing it, or copying the book into longhand.

I teach American kids for whom cut-and-paste is too much work.

The trend accelerated with the introduction of fax machines.  What, they're lame technology?  Tell that to the Chinese youth that spearheaded the Tiananmen Square revolution.  They did that armed largely with fax machines to spread the word.

Oh, sorry, you probably CAN'T tell them - they are dead, in prison, or cowed into submission.  A few are still under house arrest or living abroad.

Fast-forward to recent times.

Today's kids use their cell phones to organize their social and political activity.  There is a downside to their method.  It is ephermal - lasting but a short time, and with no quick way to archive the conversation.

However, the videos/Vimeo/Snapchat means they most like to use have been mastered, and used to spread the memes of the Left.

Where does this leave blogs?

You are unlikely to make a financial killing with political blogs.  Sorry, that's just the way it is.  If money is your prime motivator, get a sales job.

The real effect of the political/cultural blogs is to Spread the Learning.  To provoke thought, to educate younger people about historical events that they have MIS-learned, and to build coalitions.

Alternative Ways to Spread the Learning:

  • Pass on videos - on Facebook, on Google+, on your and others' blogs.  They should be SHORT, memorable, and educate the viewer.  Think of Andrew Klavan, Bill Whittle, and other Conservatives who currently dominate the media.  You could try producing your own, if you are inclined.  If so, send me a message, and I'll respond.

  • Circulate static media - someecards, LiberalLogic101, photos with captions, etc.  To the above places to circulate, try SnapChat - the under 21 crowd ALL use it.  Your objective is simply to provide an alternative voice/meme for people to pass on.  Remember, the goal is to Spread the Learning.

  • Read HARD copies of political/cultural books, and pass them on to your friends/library/school.  By doing so, you will maximize the effect of your buying dollar.

  • Continue to educate yourself.  Read, discuss, take notes.  Try meeting with others in a book club, if you can.  If that's not possible, try the Ace of Spades online book club.  It's primarily for fiction, but you can also look around to find a like-minded group of readers for political/cultural discussions.  Try Joining Conservative Mentors, or another group - they exist in a wide range of philosophies.  I've also joined the Bible-a-Thon, which is set up to complete reading the entire Old and New Testament in a year.

  • Right now, Facebook is experiencing a pushback from those on the Right who are concerned about its evident Leftist bias.  But, let's get real - Conservatives skew older, and FB serves to keep up with the kids and grandkids.  There have been rumblings about an alternative FB, but I haven't seen it happening yet.  There are some things we could try:

    • Migrate to Google+

    • Try to set up a No Facebook Day - pick a date at least 2 months in the future, and publicize it via - I love this - Facebook.  For 24 hours, set your picture to the logo, and refuse to use FB.

    • If successful, try setting one day a week - Sunday would be appropriate - to NOT use FB.  Again, make your reason clear with a picture logo, and a statement about your decision.

Feel free to add any further idea to this list.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Random Catholic Thoughts

I'm living in SC, surrounded by "Bible Christians" and an ever-increasing number of pagans - those who were never baptized nor exposed to Christian ideas.

As a Catholic, I do spend some time explaining that:

  • Yes, Catholics ARE Christians

  • No, we don't "worship" Mary - we do hold her under higher regard than most people, as befits her life on Earth

  • No, we don't blindly follow whatever the Pope and the priests tell us to do - I imagine that Fr. Fabio and Fr. Paul in my church would laugh hysterically at that concept

  • We do believe in knowing Jesus Christ - and God and the Holy Spirit - on a personal basis, but we haven't said the MAGIC words that allow Fundamentalists to accept that

  • We DO read the Bible - not only the many, including me, that are currently on a journey through the entire Bible, but also - because in a 3-year cycle, we hear during Mass just about the entire Bible (well, except for the litany of the Begats)

  • Yes, we are forgiven through the sacrament of Reconciliation - No, it doesn't mean that we can SAY we're sorry and go right out and do it again - we actually have to BE sorry, and work to stop doing the same sins over and over again

There are other misunderstandings, but those are the major ones.

Lent is one of those misunderstood concepts - Mark Shea does a good job of explaining it.

Explaining Catholicism to Protestants.

The BIG secret of Christians.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Saturday Randomness

I was reading Fred on Everything (he is interesting - an ex-cop with a jaundiced view of some of them, an expatriate living in Mexico, who contradicts many of the stereotypes about Mexicans, etc.), and he posted on a hot topic - police presence in Black neighborhoods.  His take is - refreshing.

Another column of his that is worth reading is his analysis of how America is already in the dumps - BEFORE Trump.  We've already been taken over by special interests, and no longer live in a democracy (or republic).

If, like me, you want to return to a time of more freedom, pre-Federal-government-runs-everything, we might want to start planning how to take the Feds down - NOT with warfare, but with resistance, tactical refusal to give them our money, and state-by-state resistance.  I'm NOT talking revolution - that's a dead idea.  Instead, let's work incrementally, to chip away at Leftist strongholds.

Some starting points:

  • Stop sending them money.  Find work that can be done under-the-table.  No taxes, no Social Security.  That last part would be difficult, but COULD be made up by the local authorities, who could collect at that level what is needed by people with no other resources.  The fact is, most people have other resources (and, when they don't have to pay Federal taxes, they have more).  Stick your extra money under the mattress - you don't want to leave it in banks, where it is vulnerable to being confiscated.

  • Refuse to give ONE penny to any college for worthless degrees.  Tell your kids - "I'll pay for you to get a trade".  That's likely to be the best thing you'll ever do for that kid - it's a way of earning a living that is less likely to be outsourced.

  • Maine is one of the states that reduced its welfare rolls by insisting on able-bodied people actually looking for work, enrolling in job programs, or working at part-time unpaid activities.  Surprise, surprise, as Gomer Pyle would say - almost all said, "Not worth it", and dropped off the rolls.  Other states could do this.

  • Return the Federal lands to the people.  In several states, this could be a new Settlement Rush.  If there are FEMA-type trailers stored in the state, let them be re-purposed (NO complaints about their condition - the receivers fix them up themselves, and Caveat Emptor).

  • Take back the schools - clear out much of the administration, turn them over to local organizations, who are responsible for finding the funding.  Except in the poorest sections of town, schools should be fully funded by the LOCAL neighborhood.  Yes, I'm talking breaking up the big city schools.  With the administration gone, costs should drop, while STILL allowing the teachers to get paid reasonably.  Replace the assistant principals with recently retired military - the AP's are mostly used for muscle to control the students, so let's get in people who know how to keep people in line.  Actually TEACH reading - anyone who cannot read at grade level should spend 1/2 their day in disciplined phonics-based reading programs - reading content-rich practical text, or NON-dystopian literature.  Anyone who cannot do math at grade level should be spending the class time on old-fashioned programs, like Saxon Math.  What little time remains should be spend on civics education that actually teaches about the Constitution and other foundational documents and principles, and practical science.

This is a link to a VERY pessimistic column.  I'm not so sure they are right - while the young seem to embrace the Socialist Revolution, at this point, it's theoretical, and their "enlightened" attitudes don't cost them.  Once the impact of the price exacted comes home, I doubt they will continue their "yeah, let's spread money around" thinking.

One MAJOR reason that the country has changed is that there are a whole lot of women who are supported by government, whether directly, with welfare or government employment, or indirectly, in nonprofits and niches like Human Resources, which are required to be so bloated because of governmental regulations.  Take away the regs, and many women in these staff positions will find themselves on the street.  At that point, they MAY come to their senses.  Either way, citizens will no longer be funding their hectoring.

I'm thinking divide & conquer:

  • Use legal means to reduce government.  Fewer regulations, liberation of federal lands (with encouragement to settle on them, we might reduce the numbers in the cities), reduction of administrative bloat in government.

  • Write GOOD curriculum for all ages, to explain what good government looks like, and what limitations on the federal government already exist.  Offer it, free, to schools, along with e-books telling stories that reinforce those ideas.

Lastly, here is a link to someone who, like me, supported Cruz.  Now, she has to decide which candidate will do the LEAST damage to the USA.

I've been getting rosy economic stories from Liberal/Progressive friends.  Apparently, thinking that Obama's disastrous economic policies have created a hollowed-out economy is blatant racism.

Mea culpa.

Of course, there is this, and this.  BTW, that last stat?  Straight from the Labor Dept.

Labor Stats


Apparently, no matter how you massage numbers, the damned things just keep adding up to the same conclusion.