Friday, July 31, 2015

The Robots are Coming

In this PBS News Hour piece they discuss how things will be going from bad to worse for low skill low academic capability citizens. And how this will continue to drive the wealth distribution gap even wider.  The people with investments and/or hard to replace skills will make more, and the people with minimal investments who work in "robot jobs" will make less.

We have already seen the strife caused by American consumers turning their backs on American workers and choosing to buy many of their products and Services from low cost countries.

The question of course will be what to do about this?  Are Americans going to be willing to pay more to support higher paid American Human labor, or will they seek out the highest value goods no matter the consequences to the low skilled workers?

CSM What Role
HBR What Happens to Society

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Obama Wants to Undo Sequester and Increase Spending

In the comments near the end of page 1, Sean and I are discussing Obama wanting to undo the sequester and start spending again. Sean stated that "He (Obama) offered a way to pay for the restored spending, so it would be deficit-neutral." Well that post became old and the comments slowed, so I thought we should continue it here.

Fox News End Sequester
Politico Spend and Tax
NT Post Deal Breaking Budget
Daily Kos Senate to Block Spending Bills

Based on these links, it looks like Sean is correct.  And it seems that Obama is proposing what any typical Democrat would...  Spend more and Tax more...

Personally I am looking for spend less tax more until we start decreasing the size of the national debt.  I mean if we can not do it "when times are good"...  When should we be doing it? Thoughts?

Monday, July 27, 2015

Fraud in Disabled Worker System

CNN Fraud in Disabled Worker System

Thoughts on this?

Dayton Says Keep Walking Nothing Bad Here

This is classic... I wonder if Dayton had taken "their word" if it was a bank, pipeline company, mining company, etc?  MinnPost PP MN Politics

“As far as I’m concerned there’s no basis for an investigation at taxpayer expense into a private nonprofit organization that has stated they don’t engage in those practices here in Minnesota,” Dayton said. BMTN Dayton

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Trump and Obama: Bringers of Hope

MinnPost Trump
"People who feel powerless and angry are looking for someone powerFUL and angry to be their champion. DT (I refuse to utter his full name, even in writing!) has power by virtue of his money. This group of voters is looking for someone to "kick butt and take names" on their behalf. DT fills the bill, at least for now.

It is anomalous that super-wealthy individuals somehow portray themselves as friends of the common man and get away with it. I think poorer voters identify with these people on an aspirational basis. Voting with the rich is the closest these citizens are ever going to get to belonging to the same clubs. Financial success is part of the American dream, and we are taught to admire it. On the other hand, distrust of elites based on education or intelligence runs deep in the American character.

I don't think DT will last, but his current surge is nevertheless disturbing. There are too many historical parallels where an increasingly disaffected and economically struggling population followed a demagogue down the road to dictatorship. We used to think that "it can't happen here" because of broadly shared prosperity and a strong, optimistic middle class. Sadly, that is no longer true." Ann

"Even though I do not support Trump and hope he disappears again soon, I have to wonder. Is this what you think encourages people to vote for the Democrats like Obama? They so desperately want to get ahead that they are willing to give up personal freedoms. You might be on to something.

"There are too many historical parallels where an increasingly disaffected and economically struggling population followed a demagogue down the road to dictatorship."

Remember these goodies: “Hope” and “Change We Can Believe In”" G2A

CPC and the Tea Party

From MinnPost Congressional Progressive Caucus
"Good Point. I think the Congressional Progressive Caucus is to the Democrats what the Tea Party is to the Republicans. In simple terms... A group of relative extremists that drive partisanship, and try to stop collaboration and the function of government. Since people here vent often about the Tea Party, I wonder if they will feel the same way when the CPC stops middle ground decisions from being reached." G2A

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Fetus Parts for Sale?

Thoughts regarding the article? CNN Dems push for investigation into group targeting Planned Parenthood 

I find this view amazing...

"This is a new low, even for anti-abortion activists who will stop at nothing in their effort to undermine a woman's right to choose," Schakowsky said in a statement. "I believe the Center for Medical Progress may have broken the law in developing and executing this unbelievably elaborate and troubling scheme, and all Americans should have concerns about that."

The PP folks get caught in a sting talking about selling/donating fetus tissues and this person goes after the people who are making this apparently standard process visible to the public.  I suppose based on the Pro Life logic, they are not really selling parts of a human body since it is only a fetus.  Somewhat like a tumor that just happens to have a heart, brain, arms, legs, etc.

The TP article does point out that the mother did apparently need to sign of a donor card.


TP No PP is not Selling
Fox News Second Video Released

Monday, July 20, 2015

Waste in Social Service Spending

At the end of MinnPost Obama Numbers comments. Jay, Jason, RB and myself got side tracked about government waste and being on the dole. Jay wanted to explain how "well to do" couples get more than they pay in a very specific situation, I noted that there is a small percentage of free loading citizens milking the welfare and medicaid systems (1% to 2% of citizens, less than 10 percent of those receiving benefits), and Jason wanted to change subjects to military waste.

"How would YOU prove waste in social spending? 
People say they need money. Bureaucrats who are paid to hand out benefits give them money. 
The Tax Payer pays to raise and send a girl to school. The single mother who is given the funds does a poor job of raising the daughter, the daughter fails academically and ends up a single mother at 17. And the cycle begins again... 
Is this waste or something else? Is more money going to break the cycle or encourage it? These are all important concepts worthy of discussion." G2A 

Merriam Webster defines waste as "loss of something valuable that occurs because too much of it is being used or because it is being used in a way that is not necessary or effective".

With this in mind, if the total Local, State, and Federal Social Services / Healthcare spend for the poor is nearly $1 Trillion / year... (~17% of Total Spend)  How would one determine how much is wasted each year? What is the "GOAL"? What is effective in reaching it? What is not? Thoughts?

US Spend Welfare
US Total Spend

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Pro Con of Iran Nuclear Deal

"I don't think there is interest but if people still want to consider the merits of the Iran deal here is a good article" Laurie

Laurie, I think this our favorite kind of topic. One with no sure answer. We can discuss those time and again...

Is There a Viable Alternative to the Iran Deal?

Friday, July 17, 2015

MN Conservative Think Tank

Here was an interesting article/comments that I had not cross linked.  Who would have thought we have a conservative think tank in this Liberal state...  Thoughts?

MP MN Conservative Think Tank

Thursday, July 16, 2015

MN Buffer Strips

MP MN Buffer Strips

The comments here are pretty good and mixed.  Thoughts?

Criminal Justice in America

"If people are tired of discussing the Iran deal we could move on to Obama's next project, reform in the criminal justice system, which I think is quite likely to be another win for him." Laurie

President Obama Is Right: Americans of All Stripes Strongly Support Reducing the Country's Prison Population

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Presidential Candidates

Laurie, Always willing to please, where do you want to go with this? I am waiting about another 14 months before giving this much thought.  :-)

Presidential Candidates
NYT Who is Running
CNN 2016
FOX News 2016

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Looking Down On or Looking Out For

Here is a post to help folks consider another perspective.

I had a born again Christian friend who told me that he was very very worried for his children.  Though overall they were good kids, they apparently were not attending Church and were somewhat sinful in their ways.  And he was truly worried that they would not get into Heaven, and would end up tormented in Hell...

Imagine what goes through the head of Religious Right person when they are asked to participate in an activity that they truly believe will doom a fellow human to ever lasting torment in Hell?

The LGBT supporters keep thinking that the Religious Right is looking down on the "Sinners".  Where as in reality many of them are likely very very worried for the souls of their fellow citizens and humans.  It is one of those things us Christians think about, especially the more devout ones.

If you "knew" that someone's action was going to doom them to eternal damnation, would you be  excited to help them? Would you resist helping them?

Or... Would you help drive someone so they could buy meth?  What if a law forced you to?  Would you resist?

Just a thought...

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Moral Arbiters: Who is more Righteous?

This post just keeps giving... MinnPost SCOTUS Ruling
"I think most people are somewhat fiscally Conservative, so if the GOP can stop the anti-LGBT rhetoric and contain their pro-Life comments, I think the 2016 election cycle could be really good for the GOP." G2A

"Conservatives have no qualms about spending money, so lets dispense with that myth right there. The fact is that the GOP has positioned itself as the moral arbiter of this country and I don't see them abandoning that tactic anytime soon. I think the GOP loses and loses BIG in 2016." Jason

"I think both the Left and Right enjoy using the government to force their morals on others. 
The Left seeks to rob from the rich and middle class to give to the poor. They have decided that it is okay for a Mother to stop their baby's heart beat for most any reason. They have decided that the Teacher's wants are more important than the needs of the unlucky students. 
The Right seeks to stifle LGBT behavior and abortions. The right deems that personal property rights are more important than societal property rights. 
It will be interesting to see what happens in ~17 months." G2A

Monday, July 6, 2015

Hearts Stopped Each Year

We got a bit off topic here and again the MP moderators are blocking a facts and data response. MinnPost Who is harmed?  I will never understand their criteria.
"I am more interested in the number of human hearts that have been stopped since Roe V Wade. Though it may have been for the best of the child and society since the woman did not want the child, I think harm is still committed." G2A

 "I assume that you're asking how many third term abortions have taken place since Roe v Wade.  Most estimates are that the actual number of abortions have not increased -- they simply take place in clinics where they are recorded rather than in back alleys where they kill the mother as well (do you think that that's an improvement? It is the likely effect of appealing Roe v Wade).

From the (conservative) Washington Times: "This population is small — about 15,000 abortions, or about 1.5 percent of the annual U.S. number, are performed after 20 weeks, wrote Diana Greene Foster and Katrina Kimport, authors of the study in Guttmacher Institute’s new Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health." Welcome to the real world." Paul
Now learning that ~15,000 abortions occur each year in the third trimester was bad enough, especially since Paul seemed to think that was a small number. What was even more disturbing to read upon further research was that there ~1,060,000 abortions each year in the USA and that ~10% occur in the 2nd and 3rd trimesters. That means >106,000 hearts are being stopped each year.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Apparently Tolerance Only Goes One Way

The comments in this MinnPost article are a gift that just keep giving.  Thoughts? Would you stand up for your beliefs like this gentleman or would you cave to the pressure?
"An East Tennessee hardware store owner decided to express his beliefs following the Supreme Court's ruling allowing same-sex marriage by putting up a sign that reads, "No Gays Allowed." Jeff Amyx, who owns Amyx Hardware & Roofing Supplies in Grainger County, Tennessee., about an hour outside of Knoxville, added the "No Gays Allowed" sign on Monday, because gay and lesbian couples are against his religion. 
Amyx, who is also a baptist minister, said he realized Monday morning that LGBT people are not afraid to stand for what they believe in. He said it showed him that Christian people should be brave enough to stand for what they believe in. 
"They gladly stand for what they believe in, why can't I? They believe their way is right, I believe it's wrong. But yet I'm going to take more persecution than them because I'm standing for what I believe in," Amyx said. 
On Tuesday, Amyx removed the "No Gays allowed" sign and replaced it with a sign that says: "We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone who would violate our rights of freedom of speech & freedom of religion."" Jason

"Persecution. It sounds like he did it to raise the issue, not to stop selling shovels to gay people. "They gladly stand for what they believe in, why can't I? They believe their way is right, I believe it's wrong. But yet I'm going to take more persecution than them because I'm standing for what I believe in," Amyx said." 
His point being that the "tolerant" LGBT supporters would persecute him into bankruptcy while demanding that people should have the right to live as they wish. Which is the same point I have been making." G2A 
"That's what it "sounds like" to you? "No gays allowed" is pretty self explanatory. That means don't come in, you're not welcome. He was in no danger of being persecuted into bankruptcy before he put up that sign. All he had to do was to extend goods and services to everyone which is why he went into business in the first place. Now, he just painted a very large target on his back, and I look forward to reading about the closing of his business in the weeks to come. I'm sure that if he has any kids, they'll be very forgiving of the fact that he'll no longer be able to send them to college because he decided that a segment of society was beneath him." Jason

"So do LGBT Supporters see this gentleman as beneath them because he does not wish to associate with people who possibly practice sodomy, oral sex and other behaviors that he finds objectionable.

I guess I don't see disapproving of someone's choices. beliefs and behaviors as seeing them "beneath themselves". Or do PETA folks see farmers as "beneath them"? Do Liberals see Conservatives as "beneath them"? Do Greenpeace folks see timber jacks as "beneath them"?" G2A

Thursday, July 2, 2015

What is Success and Who Attains It

Jason helped me come up with an idea for a comment / post, and the MinnPost moderators forced me to put it here after trying 3 different rewordings and having them rejected.
"Here's a news flash for you, John. Conservatives don't have a monopoly on being successful in life." Jason  MinnPost SCOTUS Rules

My response went something like this.  I think anyone can be successful if they can learn from and live by Hal Urban's Lifes Greatest Lessons and from Jim Stovall's The Ultimate Gift.

Based on my own history I have found the fiscal Conservatives are more likely to sanction these valuable lessons and philosophies, where as more Liberals seem to want to wait around for or insist that someone help them "be successful".  Now I know that this is not always the case, but it does seem to be true more often than not.