Wednesday, April 29, 2015

SCOTUS Gay Marriage Rights

I still don't understand the argument that the right to Gay Marriage should be constitutionally protected, so I will be interested to see how SCOTUS rules and what their rationale is.

My view is that if everyone has a right to be married to who ever they want.  How can states stop siblings from getting married?  How can they stop polygamy and polyandry?

CNN Coverage
NYT Coverage
WP Coverage
DB Coverage
MinnPost Scalia's comment

Monday, April 27, 2015

Benefits Do Not Equal Income

Rachel added a comment that is so confusing to me that I thought if anyone here can translate.  MinnPost Avoid a Shutdown
"Economists typically calculate that for every dollar we pay our in taxes for instance we get $2-$3 back in benefits."

Based on this we should be paying in 100% of our personal earnings, though I am still looking for the $90K check back from the government to make up for that $30,000 I sent them. The reality is that you have no tax/spend goal, you simply are happy to keep letting government control grow and taxing people with money to cover the costs incurred. I don't think that counts as a plan or goal." G2A

"Not Rational: Benefits does not equal income. The benefits you get back are increased in value because your individual purchasing power does not come even remotely close to comparing to the pooled dollars of a tax base. It's like buying in bulk, but a lot more money efficient.

It makes me chuckle that individuals who espouse "efficient" spending believe that their individual dollar is efficient. Egad. Even billionaires' dollars are pretty inefficient because they simply don't buy enough to get bulk savings. But, as individuals, they don't care because their money gets them money gets them money gets them money at that point, so they can be as inefficient as they want (get a yacht! It's the most inefficient way to spend it!) If, in fact, you want dollars to be efficient, you would be logically opposed to the uber rich. Oddly, as a liberal, I don't give a rip if the uber rich exist as long as they contribute appropriately to the society that has allowed them to be so inefficient with so much wealth. Money that isn't used drags the economy, so more of the money should be put back into circulation." Rachel

Friday, April 24, 2015

MN Estate Tax Proposal

I know it is unlikely that the DFL and Dayton will bless this common sense change  MPR MN Estate Tax  I especially like this view.
"House Tax Chair Greg Davids, who describes Minnesota as an expensive place to die, supports raising Minnesota's estate tax exemption to match the federal tax code. Davids said he doesn't want people moving to other states to protect their assets.

"To me the estate tax is a very, very unfair tax," said Davids, R-Preston. "People have already paid taxes on this money. Now after they pass, the government comes and says, 'Okay you're dead, but we're going to get some more money from you.' That's just wrong. That's not Minnesota nice. A lot of states don't even have an estate tax."

Thursday, April 23, 2015

MN: Budget Deal or Shutdown

Cyndy Brucato wrote an interesting piece.  MinnPost: Forge a budget deal and avoid a shutdown.  The comments from Curt Johnson regarding the current situation seem relevant and balanced.  And of course Hiram and myself have different views as usual.


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Poverty and Policy

Well I am finally back from China and Mexico, and I feel miserable...  I caught a head cold on the way back from China that made my Mexico trip very exhausting.  On the upside, everything went well overall.

Matt took the MP Dayton Unbound discussion in an interesting direction and I finally replied to him.
"As the GOP has been such a ringing success on any level it gets to govern... Just say what you mean, you think poor people are inferior to you and yours, you believe poor people vote Democratic because they are stupid and like free stuff ergo any sane rational person HAS to be conservative. Never in all that supposition does the thought cross your mind that maybe, MAYBE people vote for liberal candidates because they believe the fundamental premise of conservatism is wrong. That by voting conservative all they would accomplish is to harm themselves and others so that a few can live free of any care in the world. But then that is the fundamental nature of belief, still holding something true even in the face of contradictory evidence." Matt

"I think both the far Left and far Right both doom poor people to stay poor.

The far Left wants to give them free stuff without expecting effort / improvements from them. The far Left prevents the Public School System, Government Bureaucrats and Union Employees from being held accountable for generations of academic failure and high costs that trap unlucky people in generational poverty.

The far Right denies that Unlucky people need a lot of help from the Lucky folk. They deny the difficulties of escaping poverty. They fight against birth control, abortion rights and other things that can save poor people from getting poorer when they do something irresponsible.

As for me thinking poor people are "inferior"... I disagree, some of my best friends are working poor. If anything I feel empathy for them after watching them starting to get ahead, then they will do something stupid that gets them fired, bankrupt, etc." G2A
I was going to expand on this, but I think I will see where this goes.  Thoughts?

G2A Why are Poor People Poor
G2A Responsible Parents

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Mexico: The King of Free Trade

By the way, I am in lovely Puebla MX.  Another ~3 million person metro area I had not heard of...

I wonder how the Liberal "Minimum Wage / Union Supporting" Honda, Toyota, Nissan, VW, etc car buyers will rationalize their purchases if the USA content drops even further.  Thoughts?
Made in Mexico
Honda and Audi in MX
Small Cars Migrate to Mexico

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Illegals and How People Respond

This story triggered an interesting thought while I was travelling.  South Africa: Don't Take My Job

It was interesting that these SA citizens understand something that most folks who vote DFL don't seem to.  Illegal aliens take jobs and deprress the wages for America's working poor.

Australia Managing Asylum Seekers
AT Europe Concerns
Social Europe

Hillary is in the Race

I know nothing about this, however I thought some of you may have some thoughts to share.

MinnPost Hillary's Announcement

Dayton: Free to Tax, Spend and Over Regulate

I am thankful that the GOP controls the House, imagine how much trouble we would be in if the Governor and DFL had free rein right now...  MinnPost: Dayton Unbound 


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Twin Cities Low Income Housing

A new topic that I know little about...  Thoughts?
MinnPost Civil Rights Complaint

By the way, I am in Beijing now.  Air quality = Poor Today.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Linking Your Sources

Since I am headed over to China again...  That country that limits my access to this google supported software and site.  Here are 2 reminders of how to link to web sites.
EchoEcho How to make link    How to make a hyperlink

I'll try to check in when the censors let me.  This time I will make it to Shanghai, Nanjing, Beijing, and Tianjin... Lots of planes, trains and automobiles.  Have a great week !!!

MN Leads Nation Towards Tax Fairness?

 More on Tax Fairness
MP MN Leads the Nations in Progress Towards Tax Fairness

Here are some comments:
1.Fair would be if we took the total cost of government, divided it by the number of adult able bodied citizens. And each adult then paid their fair share of the bill. (ie Dues concept)

2.Fair would be if total cost of government was divided by the total income of every adult able bodied citizen. And each citizen paid their fair share of the bill. (ie Percent of Winnings to the House Concept)

3.Fair would be if total cost of government was divided by the total income - some base living cost (~$25,000?) of every adult able bodied citizen. And each citizen paid their fair share of the bill for every $ they make above the base living. (ie Percent of Winnings above Base Cost to the House Concept)

4.Fair would be if taxes and credits/programs were set to reduce the net income and wealth gap between the adult able bodied citizens. This means high income and wealthy people pay significantly higher rates than other citizens in attempt to attain a fair society.(ie Equalization concept)" G2A

"That appears to be what this entire discussion is about "What is fair" looking back to 40s, 50's, 60''s,70's

Reference 1.  " Incomes grew rapidly and at roughly the same rate up and down the income ladder, roughly doubling in inflation-adjusted terms between the late 1940s and early 1970s.  The income gap between those high up the income ladder and those on the middle and lower rungs — while substantial — did not change much during this period.

Beginning in the 1970s, economic growth slowed and the income gap widened. Income growth for households in the middle and lower parts of the distribution slowed sharply, while incomes at the top continued to grow strongly. The concentration of income at the very top of the distribution rose to levels last seen more than 80 years ago (during the “Roaring Twenties”)." Source: Center on Budget & Policy priorities 

Reference 2: Preamble to the constitution: (The "why" it was written)
We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Conclusion: When the balance of wealth gets too far out of balance that part in the preamble called "insure domestic tranquility" & "promote the general welfare" comes into play, interpreted from this end it means we don't want to repeat history, storming of the Bastille, Insurrection, street riots, labor riots at the turn of the last century like in the middle east.  WIKI Civil Unrest

However it appears that the conservative position is, dam the objectives full speed ahead lets rip this country apart from end-to end, regardless the price. We will look just like Somali at this pace. (Great place no taxes no government and lots of guns). 

Yep we are all sure that would never happen here! Kind of like 911? " Dennis

 "The "40s, 50's, 60''s,70's" are some what pointless today. Most of the countries in the world were recovering from WWI and WWII which meant American products and services were in high demand worldwide, American's believed strongly in "Buy American" and were willing to pay more for the product and service which supported higher wages and unions, etc.

Then came the late 70's when the other countries were fully recovered and ready to compete aggressively, and the American citizens gave up "Buy American" and aggressively pursued "Buy High Value/Low Cost" no matter which American jobs were sacrificed. To make this worse: global shipping, communication, logistics, etc costs and delays plummeted which made off shoring and foreign companies more competitive.

 Regarding your "Keep the Peace" rationale, I agree that it is pragmatic however I don't think it describes FAIR. It is somewhat like paying the "mob for protection". The mob isn't really doing anything to justify the payment, they just insist that you pay or else. From what I see here, it looks like you support option 4. Use taxes as needed to keep the wealth differential at an arbitrarily chosen FAIR level." G2A
"Not my keep the peace point :The "founders/framers" keep the peace point. The preamble is near on 250 years old!. Don't agree with it, don't think it describes fair, are we picking and choosing what we should and should not abide by that the framers/founders laid out?

Arbitrary? Tax code is written into law by the wealthy protectors. Back at you, the rich have the wealth, you are arguing that poor folks have the upper hand on rich folks? If so why do the rich folks have all the $? Who is screwing who? Scoreboard 100-0 and the complaint is the 0 folks are cheating!

Yes very familiar with history and economics. We can start another complete dialogue on cause and effect. Blame the greed of the unions or the greed of the capitalists, environmental policy, special tax laws for the capitalists, regardless, the capitalists won!

A reference point 50.60,70's was provided, don't like it, provide a new one. that supports the position that rich folks are getting screwed on taxes.

Mob for protection? They are called political contributions, and the rich mob is getting great protection from their political "Congressional" enforcers. See the allowable usury rates lately? 228% +++++, right to the point of special tax exemption treatment for the wealthy. The focus of the discussion "What is fair"

Fact: Poor people are poor because they have little-no wealth, rich people are rich because they have lots to unbelievable wealth. Sorry its not the other way around. Is there agreement on the definition of poor and rich?"" Dennis
"As I said, it seems you think the Option 4 is FAIR. You would set rates even more progressive than they are today on those who are successful / wealthy so that more money can be given to those who are unsuccessful/ poor. Personally I think that is punishing good behavior even more and rewarding bad behavior even more is going to yield bad results for the future of America, but I have been wrong before. I think the founding Fathers were more Capitalistic than you think."

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Sexual Lust and Choices

In G2A So Much for Tolerance and Freedom we got to the same old positions...
  1. We are Homosexual People, Bi-sexual People, Heterosexual People, Transexual People?
  2. We are all just People who engage in different sexual behaviors and relationships?
I think that Joel and Sean are fully commited to position 1, and I lean there. Though there is little to no science supporting this position, an increasing number of American's are growing to support it. As they become de-sensitized to many sexual interactions that used to be taboo.

Regarding position 2: I noted that many committed long term husbands, including myself, can feel lust towards women who are not our spouse and choose to not act on it.  And as Jerry often mentions, there are many examples of couples with kids that broke apart when one of the "heterosexual" spouses decided that they wanted to pursue "homosexual" relationships.  And Lord knows that Bi-sexual by definition seems like a choice, not a type of "People".

So Joel posed the following comments:
"If your sexuality is not innate, how do you know to find those other women attractive? What thought process do you go through to make such a determination? Or is it immediate and visceral?

I'm trying my best to understand what seems to be a huge disconnect between the way you experience sexuality and the way you seem to perceive other people, particularly homosexuals, experience their own sexuality."
Unfortunately I am going to give a terrible answer.  I don't know how much is innate and how much is environmentally conditioned...  Is our society, publications, etc responsible for my preferences and behavior?  Our is it something innate that I was born with?  The world and I may never know.

The reality is though that as a human, I always have a choice to give in to my lusts or give in to them.  In fact every Spring I get an over powering urge to buy a new shiny vehicle, and for the last 10 years I have chosen to keep my 2002 Suburban.  Does this mean that I am one of the "New Car People", or one of the "People who likes to drive new cars"?


Monday, April 6, 2015

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Education Discussions Continued

Lynnell is stirring up the Liberal pot over at Minnpost again.  Below is the first comment I left there.

And here are some Links that Laurie proposed after telling us that she urges her children to not become Teachers.  The irony is that we are visiting colleges for child #2 ... And Elementary Ed is one of the paths she is looking into.
The Deconstruction of the K-12 Teacher
When kids can get their lessons from the Internet, what's left for classroom instructors to do?

"Your comment seems the most rational so far, so I will hop in here:

1) Currently the Ed MN lobby has ensured that the highest paid Teachers do not work in the schools who need them most. Hopefully this can be changed, yet the Liberals keep demanding that the Teacher wants be placed above the student needs.

2) I agree that parents and students just want the best Teachers in their schools. Yet Ed MN and their Liberal supporters are fighting hard to ensure that Teacher Performance is not measured and/or used in staffing, lay off or compensation decisions.

Politicians who want to put the students first are working to stream line Teacher licensing in MN and ensure it is EASY for great Teachers from other states to come and work here. Ed MN etal of course are fighting this because it puts downward pressure on wages, etc. Personally I think the poor families would like to have more equally capable Teachers in their schools, even if it meant those Teachers were paid a bit less.

3) Recently I heard of a poor elementary Black child who threatened to slit the throat of another student for verbally challenging them. The Parents asked what would be done about the incident. The Principal said that nothing would happen since the bully was Black and the district was working to curb detention, suspension, expulsion statistics for minorities.

Let me repeat, almost all parents want their child in a safe learning environment. The idea that children are not being equally punished based on behavior is not going to get us there.

4) I am adding one. This is the worst causation statement in the history of Liberal scape goating. "Educational “success” has historically been defined and predicted most accurately by the socioeconomic status of the parents. " While this is true, it is terribly misleading since it implies that if we gave these Parents more money their children would do better, which is not necessarily the case.

The reality is that the causes for the Parents being POOR, lead to their children not being academically successful. Some key causes would include the parents are likely to be academically challenged, have poor communication skills, single parent household, believe in entitlement vs work, poor parenting skills, had more children than they can afford, possible substance abuse issue, confront main stream American culture, etc. All of these negatively impact the kids, and many of these can not be fixed through money or schools/Teachers. However there are many improvements that can occur in a our schools to help more of the kids more often." G2A

So Much for Tolerance and Freedom

To Continue our previous discussion.

So Indiana has caved to social and economic pressures and is forcing private Religious Right business owners to serve those that they consider "sinners". Worse yet the law will force them to decide if they want to stay in business, or support a lifestyle they see as sinful.

CNN Indiana Religious Freedom Law Fixed?
"The changes prohibit businesses from using the law as a defense in court for refusing "to offer or provide services, facilities, use of public accommodations, goods, employment, or housing" to any customers based on "race, color, religion, ancestry, age, national origin, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or United States military service." "

Here is an excellent example of a small family business that did not want to sacrifice their beliefs, and how those who say they support freedom and tolerance responded.
CNN Memories Pizza at Center of Religious Freedom Debate
""Who's going to Walkerton with me to burn down Memories Pizza?" Jessica Dooley of Goshen tweeted, according to the Walkerton Police Department. The account has been deleted since the tweet was posted.  Detectives who investigated have recommended charges of harassment, intimidation and threats, according to Charles Kulp, assistant police chief."
Now I am fine with LGBT folks making their choices and living their life the way they choose.  I do strongly believe in tolerance and freedom.  The problem with the current situation is that tolerance and freedom is not a one way street, it only really works if everyone practices it.

In this case we have a bunch of intolerant LGBT Bullies picking on anyone who believes differently than themselves.  These bullies are working to pass morality laws that force everyone to accept, support and sanction the LGBT lifestyle, sodomy, cunnilingus, fellatio, etc.  Now I know it sounds much prettier when you say the right to love who you choose...  But the reality is that a lot of sexual acts that were/are taboo to many Americans come along with not having the normal interconnecting parts.

I keep hoping that some scientist is going to solve the mystery once and for all whether LGBT is like race, sex. age, etc, or if it is a lifestyle choice like clothing, volunteerism, criminality, alcoholism, etc.  And I do understand that the LGBT Bullies are already convinced that it is not a lifestyle, but a physiological state of being.  But the reality is that I so far have not found one study that can determine who is/will be LGBT and why.  If you have data that proves LGBT is physiological and pre-determined, please share it with me.

Without this proof, American people should be free to see LGBT as pre-determined or a lifestyle choice.  However the LGBT bullies want to use the rule of law to force their beliefs upon others. They want to force devout Religious people to forsake their religious beliefs and aid in activities that they see as sinful.

This seems very hypocritical for a group of people who preach tolerance and freedom...