Days of Change

Long Night’s Journey Into Day

August 29, 2015
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The days are running together for me more than usual. It brings back to mind my teenage years when I would spend the summer sleeping almost the opposite hours that everyone else does. It also doesn’t help that the news has a certain, yet horrible, sameness. Hillary Clinton is still hiding stuff and sliding in the polls, but she’s still running for president. Black criminals are killing cops and yet White liberals bitch about an imagined authoritarian state.

I’ll miss these days in a couple of months when my time will be defined by dark and cold nights and bright and cold days.


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Boxcar Hilly

August 28, 2015
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When Mike Huckabee compared the administration to Nazi capitulators, pundits saw it as a desperate move to gain attention for a weak presidential bid. I wonder if they dare to say the same thing about Hillary Clinton. She evoked imagery of the Nazis rounding up Jews and others into boxcars when describing Republican immigration plans. The analogy would only work if being deported back to Mexico was like going to a concentration camp. I’m not sure how the Mexican government would feel about that comparison.

After 8 years nothing has really changed. Hillary may be able to push her way into the nomination this time, much like Romney did in 2012. Like Romney, she will not win the general election. The Democrats know that she can’t win an election outside of New York State. She can use all the red meat she wants, but if Obama anoints a different candidate (Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren) all his left-wing supporters will leave her, no matter her rhetoric.


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Too Much Work

August 27, 2015
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I haven’t seen much news today, except that Trump and Clinton are still at the top of their party’s polls, but neither of them has broken 50%. I have to admit, I’d like to see a debate between them. They’re both so self-absorbed it’s like a black hole of delusion.


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Black People are Murderers

August 26, 2015
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During a live broadcast on station WDBJ in Virginia, a Black former employee of the station murdered a reporter and camera operator on air. He got away and posted on social media sites his own video and a manifesto of his belief that racism was the reason for all his woes.

The people who call for a conversation on race do not believe that words can solve anything. They (and by “they” I mean the white people who run these groups) want White people to give up their freedom to the government and eventually to the kind of socialists who end up killing everyone who gave up their power.

They also want White people to give up their guns. Somehow, the ownership of guns by law-aiding citizens makes them appear in the hands of criminals who will never give up their guns willingly. If you think the media was for gun control before, see how it gets now that their own have been taken out by guns, even if it was another person in the media.


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Battle of the Poplular

August 25, 2015
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From what I understand, Megyn Kelly went on an unscheduled vacation for 11 days after the first Republican debate. Her moderation was criticized by leading candidate Donald Trump. She returned on Monday and spent some time interviewing Trump detractors. Trump, in his usual fashion, decided to re-ignite the flame war with Kelly to the dismay of programming head Roger Ailes.

I was going to talk about Trump’s economic populism. While people like Bernie Sanders like to include people by claiming they are all oppressed by the corporations and need to rise up, Trump is the example of how America is great, because people can be rich and famous. I think maybe fortune and fame isn’t as important as what Trump is most famous for. He does not suffer fools.

Even if you like Megyn Kelly, (I’m indifferent) there are people who are not kind or fair to you, even if it’s just a terrible server in a restaurant. There’s something really cathartic about being able to tell someone off once in a while. For Donald Trump, once is a while seems to be every single time.


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Digging an Economic Hole to China

August 24, 2015
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Currency started so that people didn’t have to carry around pieces of gold to do business. In the old days, money existed as a substitute for actual valuable tender, such as precious metals. This became difficult, as keeping metal in a vault made it unusable to make things. Most countries instead use the “full faith and credit” of their treasury. We call this fiat currency. It exists because we say it does.

China often finds that their currency inflates to the point where other countries (mostly the US) pay more for their products than they could spend domestically. China’s response is to change the value of their money once in a while. This works, but it takes a lot of the faith out of their fiat currency. This is part of what we saw in the stock market today.

Even if this is like 2008, we won’t avoid a recession. Pulling out of Chinese currency would lead to a depression immediately. 1000 points is a drop in the bucket by comparison. The long-term policy is to stabilize currency, but that fiscal soundness will always look dumb compared to traders riding high on financial speculation.

So buy bonds instead of stocks. Buy gold instead of bonds. Buy goods instead of gold. I suggest shotguns and toilet paper.


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Nothing Left to Lose

August 23, 2015
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There are two strongly connected questions about the Trump phenomenon. The first is why do people support Trump? The other is why is Donald Trump running for president? To some extent, it’s the same question.

On the night of the first debate, I was rambling on a podcast about Trump vs. Ted Cruz or Rand Paul. Cruz and Paul cover similar territory, aren’t afraid to buck the system and they also have some history behind them. My first stab at an answer was that Trump is defiant, much like the first leaders of the Tea Party movement. Cruz and Paul were Tea Party candidates, but they actually had to join the system once they won.

Rick Santelli kick started the idea of a Tea Party as an act of defiance, but the Republican Party was heading in that direction. Filibuster can be a political risk, but the Republicans were close to having that option taken away from them for over a year during the Obama administration. Republican leaders in Congress were emboldened because working in the system killed their party and they had nothing left to lose.

Having nothing to lose is a heady sensation for most people. Instead of all the things you usually worry about, survival mode kicks in. You become unafraid, decisive and bold. That feeling is usually short-lived. Like the Republican Party, bold action can give you back the things you lost, giving you something to lose and reasons to be afraid again.

Enter the man who can’t lose. Donald Trump is the very definition of F.U. money. He is so financially secure that bad business deals, high taxes and expensive divorces can’t destroy him. He crossed the point of having something to lose to a point of being too powerful to be taken down. I think that answers the second question. Donald Trump knows he has nothing that can be taken away by the American political system and he thinks that everyone else running does. He sees himself as the only one who can (or will) say the things that need to be said.

People are responding to that quality. Scott Walker, for example, may have the history of action, be he often has to watch his words because of politics. Voters can sense that trepidation in everyone but Trump. Trump may be the honey badger of politics, but the honey badger gets the honey.


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Overworked and Underbrained

August 22, 2015
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I had to go into work on a Saturday. In my case, I’ll just take off a few hours during the week. Then I came home and did some home improvement. Basically, I have nothing today. Although, I do have something planned about Trump and why he’s so big right now.


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The Wage Slaves

August 21, 2015
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I am a free market person. However, I think movements like unionization and socialism are the result of bad actions by participants in the free market. Only the last couple centuries of human civilization have seen people employed by corporations and large businesses. Since the beginning of those corporations, workers have been exploited in different ways. In the past, however, workers were also exploited by small merchants and employers as well.

Democratic governments, which have been around for a few more centuries, have decided they are the regulators. They use oversight to exercise control over the actions of businesses (as well as other parts of public life) as a form of social engineering. I see it differently. Businesses tend to exploit legal loop holes (and workers) until those workers start siding with socialist and anti-free market solutions. In effect, the imposition of anti-business rules are by themselves a part of the free market.

I’m dealing with a situation where I work involving the use of salaried employees as free labor. Certain salaried employees are “exempt” from the kind of overtime laws that would pay them for time worked beyond 40 hours. These exemptions were created for highly paid and uniquely skilled employees who would occasionally work odd hours because a project demanded it.

What often happens now is that businesses make certain people “managers” and other salaried positions to work them over 40 hours a week. The salary threshold is about $24,000 which is below the poverty line for a family. essentially, employers figured out that they could either pay someone $12 an hour and also overtime, or turn them into an exempt employee and get more work out of them,

Sadly, I am in the position of tacitly agreeing with the administration wanting to change the threshold from $24,000 to $47,000 so that a “professional” who gets no overtime pay at least makes close to the median income in the first place. I am in this boat because employers exploited the law (and people) to save a buck. Everyone in my family has had this happen at one time or other. They were paid a salary to get more hours out of them.

Of course, the free market is the exchange of goods and services and not the greed corporations who abuse it. Looking forward to the blunt instrument of government is the logical result of bad business practice. If Wall Street doesn’t like it, they should have not given so much money to the Obama campaign.


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The Secret Room

August 20, 2015
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In the continuing Hillary Clinton e-mail saga, we’ve learned that the small company that ran her server operations once had her server stored in the closet of a loft bathroom. No matter how secure the data was, anyone going Number 2 in that building could have filled up a flash drive with State Department e-mails, some of which were apparently Top Secret.

My theory is that Clinton had this server in the first place to keep her e-mails from Barack Obama. Whether it was a bathroom server or a government one, the Chinese or Russians were just as likely to get into it. I think this was all about an administration who watched everyone (James Rosen comes to mind) and trusted no one. Clinton probably knew she was working with the enemy from Day 1. For the same reasons she decided to work for Obama, she will never say Obama is the reason she hid her e-mails. She wants to be president that much.


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