Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Today's Heroes: Hans Trefousse

On 18 December, 1921, Hans Trefousse was born. Dr. Trefousse was an Army Intelligence Officer in World War II, with a unique and very effective method for getting captured German soldiers to talk.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

No Silver Bullets in Medicine Either

Stopping Overtreatment Sounds Easy, Until It's Your Heart Attack

A Versatile Tool

Woodmans Pal 284 Military Premium | I can use this to work on the garden.

My Kind of Garden?

Growing a hidden survival garden | "“With perennials, you plant once and harvest for a lifetime,” he said, adding that he spends only about an hour per day in the garden. Now in its fourth season, the garden yields more than the couple can possibly consume. Since they grow most of their own food, this is quite an accomplishment. "

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Thought of the Day: Learn How to Recognize a Jew-Hater

Three months have passed since Helen Thomas died, so now it's safe to speak ill of her, I think.  Helen Thomas was an ignorant, vicious, spiteful, Jew-Hater.    Thomas was a typical Jew-Hater of the massive Jewish conspiracy which runs the world variety.  That's poisonous.  That's vicious.  That's illiberal.  That's bigoted.  That's racist. That's anti-progressive.  That's anti-Democratic.  Need I say more?

In her defense, she was of Arab ancestry, so you could say she has the same reason to hate Jews as the English had to hate the French - there is no tribe so hated as as a closely related neighbor.  But Helen was born here and claimed herself not an Arab-American,  but an American, period.  In America we don't go for Jew-Hating.  It's  ... un-American.

Rest in peace, Helen Thomas.  I hope you are learning to love the Jews and Israel.  As for those of you who admire her - learn how to recognize a Jew-Hater.  Here's a hint - there were a group of socialists who hated Jews as much as Thomas.  They called themselves Nazis.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Today's Heroes: Cher Ami, homing pigeon

On this day, October 3, 1918, Cher Ami, a homing pigeon, flying through withering fire, delivered a message which saved 194 Americans despite losing an eye, a leg and being wounded in the breast. She was awarded the Croix de Guerre Medal with a palm Oak Leaf Cluster. Eventually she died of her wounds. See also Cher Ami (Dear Friend) (does play continuous background music).

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Today's Heroes: Lewis Cass

Today 9 October 1782, Lewis Cass was born.  He served in battle and searched for the source of the Mississippi, but I believe his most heroic act was resigning in protest as Secretary of State when President James Buchanan failed to mobilize the military and protect federal interests in the South.  Cass believed Buchanan could have prevented secession by a firmer hand.  Cass County, across the Missouri State line from here, is named after Lewis Cass.  See also this Strategy Page short.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Today's Heroes: Sir Donald Coleman Bailey, OBE

Sir Donald Coleman Bailey, OBE, born 15 September 1901, invented the Bailey bridge, a portable, repairable, prefab bridge, which helped the U.S.A. and the U.K. beat the Axis faster, saving many lives. They are still in use today.  Mr. Bailey invented it by fooling around with bridge models as a hobby. I wish surfing the Internet would save lives.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Today's Heroes: John Stark

Today, August 28, in 1728, John Stark was born.  He was the Hero of Bennington, because he knew the limitations of untrained militia at the crucial Battle of Bennington.  If you have seen a license plate from his home state of New Hampshire you might recognize his saying, "Live free or die: Death is not the worst of evils."  When a teenager, forced to run the gauntlet by an Indian band, he seized the club of the first Indian and fought so fiercely he was made honorary chief.  Teenagers should Do Hard Things.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Of Interest 2013-08-21 (Mendacity for Power XV)

Academe is the Klu Klux Klan when Academe turns people (like George Zimmerman) into racists. People form Klu Klux Klans for power, often mendaciously.  The Academe did this, mendaciously, in some cases, to scam people into granting them moral authority, but mostly I suspect it was mendacity in support of wishful thinking. In this case the wishful thought was, "I am righteous." That is Klan all the way. Academe is often very like the Pharisies and Puritans in a bad way, and seldom like them in a good way.

I have good reasons for my strong dislike of American colleges and universities.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Friday, August 16, 2013

2013-08-16 (Freedom Vs. Intellectual Property II)

In the first case study in their book Boldrin and Levine point out that Watt's patent on his steam engine prevented innovation until it expired. Boldrin and Levine: Against Intellectual Monopoly.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Thought of the Day: Money Is A Tool

Without money we'd all be poor. A convenient, storage medium of exchange is the basis of the many wonderful experiences we have that other animals can't. Money is merely technology - a tool. Good tools are what the tool using animal uses to create wealth.

Of Interest 2013-08-11 (Mendacity for Power XIII)

Our government run schools are being raided for cash by corrupt politicians. Mendacity for power - to steal. It's time to separate school and state.

Sunday, August 04, 2013

Of Interest 2013-08-04 (Mendacity for Power XI)

The Democratic Party and the Republican Party, in bipartisan fashion, are all about power.  Since they are political parties, that's OK. In the letter dissected at the link the Democrats lie to their supporters to drum up some cash. They lie about Paul Ryan being in hiding. They lie about his budget, calling it full of "crippling and indiscriminate cuts". In truth, it just cuts the rate of increase. A careful liar adds some truth. It correctly points out that the Republicans do want to defund Obamacare. But they then go back to mendacity by acting like they aren't the party of the rich (as are the Republicans - it's another bipartisan initiative).

All this mendacity for cash, votes and power.

Saturday, August 03, 2013

Of Interest 2013-08-03 (What Romney Did Wrong)

The Republican establishment needs to learn this stuff.  I myself may have to buy this short e-book by Gabe Schoenfeld: A Bad Day on the Romney Campaign

First Interview: A Few Minutes with Gabriel Schoenfeld

Second Interview: A Few More Minutes with Gabe Schoenfeld

We needed Romney to be a leader.  We got a public relations manager.

Friday, August 02, 2013

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Of Interest 2013-08-01 (Mendacity for Power IX)

Right now, because they want the power to take away guns and to fire up those they agree with for other political ends people are mendaciously quoting juror B29 that Zimmerman got away with murder without noting the following:
Asked if the case should have gone to trial, Maddy responded "I don't think so." She added, "I felt like this was a publicity stunt. This whole court service thing to me was publicity."

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Of Interest 2013-07-31 (Bureaucracy Grows)

Bureaucracy is growing past it's optimal size.  The Federal Government should not be regulating the bunnies which magicians put from hats.  Period.  The Department of Agriculture should be abolished by sending all it's people to the states, block granting all it's funding to the states, and then letting the states reshape the laws governing it and the regulations it produced.  If they wish to increase funding they can tax their own people, and it they wish to decrease funding the difference should be automatically rebated to them.  This should, if done well, allow for the states to completely take over without drastic immediate changes in the law.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Of Interest 2013-07-30 (Mendacity for Power VIII)

Fidel Castro lied about wanting to help the people of Cuba.  He lied about being a brave freedom fighter. His lust for power killed thousands and destroyed Cuba's prosperity.  It was an island paradise where people wanted to live.  More Americans used to immigrate to Cuba than Cubans immigrated to America! Now people want to flee Cuba. Says a lot. How can I trust the judgement of those who praise the Castros, Che and the Cuban government?

Monday, July 29, 2013

Of Interest 2013-07-29 (Mendacity for Power VII)

The Republican Party is, properly as a political party, all about power. It doesn't mean it has to be dishonest about it.  You can't claim to be all about the Constitution and color-blind politics if you collude with racist leftists to heard black voters into gerrymandered districts to create safe black (leftist Democratic) seats, scratching your own itch to create safe Republican seats. Well, you could, but then how do you explain that you have made the House less accountable to the voters (contra the Founders) and that gerrymandering districts by color is rather the opposite of color blind.

Can you say mendacity for power? I knew you could. Thanks for dividing the country by empowering racists. Thanks for crippling the ability of the Republican bench to attract black votes by carefully separating them from so many potential black constituents. And thanks for sacrificing principles which benefit the powerless many in order benefit the powerful few.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Of Interest 2013-07-28 (Mendacity for Power VI)

A public relations firm, a pack of lawyers, the progressive media and the usual race hustlers sought political power by twisting and distorting the truth till it was all lies in the Zimmerman case.  And the cost is that the justice system and social reforms we need so badly aren't going to happen.  But corrupt and deluded politicians will keep turning out their base.  Thanks, guys.

A Book We Might Want: Reaching Your Potential

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Thought of the Day: Empathy Serves Dialog

Of Interest 2013-07-27 (Mendacity for Power V)

The Soviet Union, like all Marxist regimes, was the soul of mendacity for power. Their agents lied, cheated, stole and shaped America in horrible unknown ways all through the twenties, thirties, forties and beyond. This had very nasty long term side effects. Sorry, liberals and progressives.  Tail gunner Joe was right. And frankly, he was much nicer and more ethical than many current pols now, although not nice and ethical enough.  He never tried to get an innocent man jailed in spite of the facts and in service of a poetic "truth" like some have been doing with Zimmerman.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Thought of the Day: Good Writing

Good writing is a conversation across time, space and culture, with all those who write and speak now, all those who speak and write here, all those who spoke and wrote then and all those who speak and write there.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Thought of the Day: It is Good to Have Goals For the After Life

My wife has recently been taught an amazing method combining sewing and careful geometric fabric cutting to make quilts.  If her quilts are not passed down as heirloom works of art, my (saved) descendants (or not saved, depending on whether I am saved) may expect a lecture from me in the after life, which ever place I end up.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Thought of the Day: Free People Cooperate

Our super markets are pulling in all kinds of shops. Sandwich shops. Coffee shops. Banks. Flower shops.  Even bars. It's how the original department stores were run. My former employer Waldenbooks started as a subcontracted department in a department store.  A friend of mine pointed out, "Even grocery stores are moving to having many of their vendors stock shelves and give kickbacks to the store for shelf location. That is kind of like bringing in the business."

If you are not bringing in the business you are failing.  Cooperation among entities without hierarchical control is the essence of free processes, free societies and the free market.  Truth is free markets are far, far, far, far, far more cooperative than competitive.  And government run organizations are far more competitive than people think - it's the only way to move up.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Of Interest 2013-07-23 (Mendacity for Power IV)

Jeralyn E. Merritt, a defense lawyer, criticizes Obama's remarks on the Zimmerman trial at TalkLeft.  What mendacity did Obama pursue, and why?

The first mendacity I notice is Obama's divisive comparison of himself to Trayvon.  Quite frankly, Obama seems much more like Zimmerman than Trayvon.  Was Obama engaging in mixed-martial-arts fighting?  Did he state he wanted a rematch because his opponent wasn't bloody enough? Was there evidence that he was a burglar?  Did Obama appear to be casing homes in the rain?  No, Obama wasn't much like Trayvon.  Obama went to a snazzy private school.  Obama was cared for by well-to-do people.  Obama was smart and articulate.  Why did Obama compare himself to Trayvon?  He was dog-whistling to black folk that white folk are the source of all their problems. Red meat to his base.  Mendacity for power.

The second mendacity I notice is Obama's words about Stand Your Ground Laws.  The Stand Your Ground Law had NOTHING to do with Trayvon and Obama knows it.  He says so.  So why does he bring it up?  Did he check to see who benefits from it?  In Florida, the proportion of black defendants who succeed in staying out of jail because of Stand Your Ground is twice the proportion of other defendants who succeed in staying out of jail because of Stand Your Ground.  Perhaps he does not know this. I think this is Obama's reflexive bigotry against weapons and self-defense, but it also is red meat to his base and more mendacity for power.

Thought of the Day: Weird Laws Result In Weird Behavior

My oldest daughter is working part time as a sandwich maker at the new HyVee.  It has a restaurant and bar upstairs.  Strange but brilliant.  That bar will ALWAYS met the 50% of revenue from food requirement.

Trivia: People Used to Pay to be in the Army

It took Winston Churchill six years to pay for his uniforms and equipment after joining the 4th Hussars.  Via StrategyPage.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Of Interest 2013-07-22 (Mendacity for Power III)

Bill Whittle has an excellent video on the media's mendacious behavior surrounding the Trayvon Martin case. It will take ten minutes. Watch it. It's quite good. What power did this mendacity buy the media? The power to shape the narrative in order to "change the world".  Guys, that's editorial, not news, and you are not supposed to distort the facts (by carefully editing audio to make Zimmerman sound racist, for example). But hey, it's good to be King, right?

Thought of the Day: Why Goats Beat Weed Whackers

My friend Marlin has three billy goats. He got them to eat brush and weeds, since his property is large and was neglected. They eat everything but the grass and the trees.  They are cheaper than one of those big weed whackers, and they produce fertilizer and meat.

Trivia: Stupidest Reasons For Sick Call

A shortage of cannon balls led to a cash reward for salvaged enemy balls, which led to a rash of broken ankles and smashed feet, which lead George Washington to order the troops to wait until the balls had stopped moving.  Via StrategyPage.

Today's Heroes: Alexander Calder

Today, 22 July 1898, sculptor Alexander "Sandy" Calder was born.  He originated the mobile, enabling millions of otherwise artistically untalented boys and girls to enjoy a nice art project in class.  Modern kinetic sculpture is some of the most enjoyable modern art to me.  Thanks, Sandy!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Of Interest 2013-07-21 (Mendacity for Power II)

Obama said this:
Here is a guarantee that I've made. If you have insurance that you like, then you will be able to keep that insurance. If you've got a doctor that you like, you will be able to keep your doctor. Nobody is trying to change what works in the system. We are trying to change what doesn't work in the system.
We knew Obama would not be able to keep this promise.  Obama is not a detail oriented person like me, so maybe he didn't know, in which case he isn't competent, since I knew, and I'm nobody.  On the other hand he claims to believe his own B.S., which perversely means he knows it is B.S.  So maybe he knew, in which case he was lying.  Mendacity for power.  Either way, someone voted for that bill knew and someone in the policy wing of the White House knew.  Why didn't they speak up?  Mendacity for power.

Now Obama's department of Health and Human Services admits what we already knew to be true.  We may not be able to keep our insurance or our doctor that we like.  (Aside: I am ashamed that Kathleen Sibelius is from my state and even my country. Sibelius and Obama are birds of a feather, mendacity about who they are to gain power.)  Here is the key thing Health and Human Services said about your doctor:
Depending on the plan you choose in the Marketplace, you may be able to keep your current doctor.
If your plan changed or was instituted after 23 March, 2010, you are out of luck.  My plan changed just this year.

Here is how most guarantees work with those so-called evil profit motive corporations.  If I don't like the product I return it for a full refund.

It's time for Obama and the Democrats in the House and Senate to fulfill their guarantee.  Take the deceitfully named Affordable Care Act back.  Return our money and let the other big company (the Republicans) have their shot.

Thought of the Day: Everyone (But God) Is Ignorant About Nearly Everything

You could prove this mathematically.  There are about eight billion people and an amazing number of other living creatures alive right now, plus a staggering number of creatures who were once alive.  If you are one of eight billion, that means you have only one eight billionth of the total human experience at present.  Not very much.  Now add in all the other living things.  Now add in all the dead humans, and the dead living things.  Now consider this is one planet in a huge galaxy within an even huger universe.

I don't know squat.  Neither do you.

Trivia: Whisky is Running in the Streets

During World War I a German Zeppelin bombed a Scottish distillery and whisky literally ran in the streets leading to scores of people drinking themselves senseless.  Via StrategyPage.

Today's Heroes: Ernest Hemingway

Today, 21 July in 1899, Ernest Hemingway, reporter (for the Kansas City Star), ambulance driver in World War I, war correspondent in the Spanish Civil War, fisherman, hunter, boxer and novelist, was born.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Thought of the Day: Everyone Is Smart About Something

And so are most living creatures.  So have some respect.

Trivia: Why We Get Neckties For Father's Day

Undressing after a battle during which he had gathered nary a scratch, King Charles XII of Sweden found a musket ball lodged in his necktie.  Via StrategyPage.

Of Interest 2013-07-20 (Mendacity for Power I)

I have a friend who is very worried about the profit motive as a corrupting influence, but not about the power motive.  Hasn't he noticed how how the desire for power consistently leads to mendacity?  As the article notes Robert Bork was the last nominee to tell the truth and we know what happened to him.  Our current disgustingly dishonest and corrupt Vice President had something to do with that.  Why?  Biden wanted power.  What a creep.

Today's Heroes: Gregor Mendel

Today, 20 July in 1822, Gregor Mendel, "father of modern genetics" was born. 

Friday, July 19, 2013

Thought of the Day: There are Good Reasons To Change Your Name

Sometimes legal name changes are a very good idea.  (Everyone named George Zimmerman, call your lawyer.)  My grandma changed her name from Martha Cinderella (Cinderella Johnson was one of her ancestors) to Martha Jane by the simpler expedient of always signing her name that way.  If she had not done this, or if my Mom had found this out sooner, my sister might be Cinderella Anne instead of Jane Anne.

Of Interest 2013-07-19 (The FBI is Corrupt)

While the President is uttering useless banalities about Trayvon Martin, and the Justice Department is wasting resources, including the Attorney Generals precious speech making minutes, he and the Attorney General are completely silent about the way a corrupt FBI let Whitey Bulger murder dozens.  I guess that puts the lie to Obama's oft repeated deceit that we can trust the government.  Will that man ever make a speech that is anything other than useless, banal and trival?

Microsoft Lync Doesn't

Microsoft marketing wanted to call it Microsoft Link, but legal said that was false advertising.

Trivia: Buckling On a 600 Year Old Sword

In 1909 the last Ottoman sultan was the first to be filmed being girded with the Sword of Osman. Osman was the first Ottoman sultan, who founded the dynasty in 1299.  Via StrategyPage.

Today's Heroes: Paolo Borsellino and his security team

Today, 19 July in 1992, anti-mafia magistrate Paolo Borsellino and his security team were killed by a bomb planted by the Italian Mafia with the assistance of Italian civil intelligence.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Thought of the Day: Common Sense Starved To Death

Not from lack of sense, but from lack of commonality.

Cottage Grove, Oregon

A friend of mine moved from the KC area to Cottage Grove.  Looks and sounds beautiful, with a mild climate.  I find Kansas beautiful, but it is not a spectacular beauty. Few humans consider Kansas to have a mild climate, although perhaps there are other species who find it ideal. Oregon has too many liberals/progressives/Democrats for me.  Once they get to around 51% of the voting population the laws you have to live under get worse and worse.  Kansas is much better about this.

Trivia: Pose At Your Own Risk

Napolean's sister happily posed as Venus for a famous nude statue.  The same famous sculptor, Antonio Canova had Napolean pose nude as a heroic Mars.  Napolean was so embarrassed by the result that he kept the statue in the closet.  The Duke of Wellington, when he was given the statue, was not so embarrassed, and you can still see it as his house.  Via StrategyPage.

Today's Heroes: Nadia Comăneci

Today, 18 July 1976, Nadia Comăneci scored the first perfect ten in the history of gymnastics.  She won three gold medals that year and two in 1980.  Her first name means hope.

Of Interest 2013-07-18 (How To Cook With Stainless Steel)

This link has some really good tips on How To Cook With Stainless Steel.  Not too hot, preheat before oiling and oil before cooking, let the meat release before you flip it, save the tasty brown bits, avoid extreme temperature changes, and don't scour when washing.  There are some good links for buying, too!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Of Interest 2013-07-17 (Jane The Actuary)

Jane The Actuary has an interesting blog.  Zimmerman, minimum wage, dialects, unpaid interns, Obamacare - looks like quite a feast!  I am not just saying this because my wife's name is Jane.

The Zimmerman Case Was Going To Produce Heartache

According to a Politico headline Hillary Clinton said the George Zimmerman verdict brought ‘deep heartache’. The text of the story does not have a direct quote. The quotes from the Hill do not directly refer to the verdict. I wish she had said that no matter what the verdict was, it would have brought deep heartache. Zimmerman and his family and many others, including me, were convinced he was innocent, and any guilty verdict would have given us deep heartache. I am sorry Trayvon died and for his family and friends. I am also sorry for all the bigots who thought Zimmerman was guilty, for their anger, their sadness, their ignorance and their bigotry.

Eugene Robinson is one of those ignorant bigots.  Here is his key paragraph:
Our society considers young black men to be dangerous, interchangeable, expendable, guilty until proven innocent. This is the conversation about race that we desperately need to have but probably, as in the past, will try our best to avoid.
Ann Althouse shows how not to be ignorant and bigoted in her reply.  Here is her key paragraph:
Here's my response to what you just said. I think our society demonstrated great care toward Trayvon Martin, even to the point of putting Zimmerman through a trial that should not have happened. That is, it was an excess of care for Martin, a bending-over-backwards to show that we care about Martin and all the young men he was seen to represent. And now, after an extensive, careful trial, and a jury verdict that clearly hewed to well-honed instructions about evidence and burden of proof, you still want to use it to assert that we don't care. If that's the kind of conversation we get when we try to respond to the invitation to have a conversation, can you see why it's something we avoid?
I am not sorry at all for the President, who either should have kept his mouth shut or should have said that Zimmerman looked like a relative also. Zimmerman's great grandfather was black after all. From what I can tell, Zimmerman was blacker than Homer Plessy, plantiff in the separate but equal case, Plessy v. Ferguson.  I am not sorry for the Holder, Perez and the other Justice Department hacks who should resign from the bar and politics. I am not sorry for Sharpton, Jackson and the not-always hoodless members of the black KKK who need to take up missionary work overseas and stay out of race issues in America.  Zimmerman took a black girl to prom. He tutored black kids.  And he worked hard defending a black man from bad police work and bad prosecution.

I am also not sorry for the prosecution, who should be disbarred and subject to criminal prosecution and civil suit for violating people's rights.

Today's Heroes: The Martyrs of Compiègne

Today, 17 July 1794, the sixteen Martyrs of Compiègne were guillotined days before the Reign of Terror ended.  They refused to give up their nunnery as mandated by the government.  They renewed their vows to God at the foot of the scaffold and together sang the Veni Creator Spiritus as they were murdered.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Monday, July 15, 2013

Today's Heroes: Zebulon Pike

On July 15, 1806, Captain Zebulon Pike, 27, began his expedition to explore the southern and western parts of the Louisiana Purchase.

My Problem Solving Ability

My last name, DeGisi, is not a common name in the U.S.  It is more common in the vicinity of Mount Vesuvius, which is why there were suddenly DeGisis in the U.S. and Brazil after the 1906 eruption. Apparently it took us millennia to figure out how to flee volcanic eruptions. We get faster at problem solving as we go.  That's what I tell my boss anyway.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Today's Heroes: Rawya Ateya

Today, 14 July 1957, Rawya Ateya, a pro-American pioneer of Arab feminism, an Army officer, a journalist, a nurse, a teacher, and more became the first female legislator in the Arab World.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Today's Heroes: The Carabinieri

Today, 13 July 1814,  King Victor Emmanuel I created the Carabinieri, the national police of Italy.  We commemorate the many heroic officers of the Carabinieri, especially those who fought the Nazis.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Social Justice Is A Conservative Idea

Hands off, progressives! Social justice is a conservative idea!  It means, "the common good".  To do what is right for the common good, skip the progressive ideas. Embrace the conservative ones.

What is Social Justice? | Online Library of Law and Liberty

Today's Heroes: Hieromartyr Cindeus the Presbyter of Pamphylia

On 11 July the Eastern Orthodox Church celebrates the life of Hieromartyr Cindeus the Presbyter of Pamphylia.  Cindeus paid the wood-cutter for the wood used to burn him, rather than having the man be unpaid by the soldiers who had confiscated it.

Of Interest 2013-07-11 (God and Family)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Anti-Zionists: The Truest Islamophobes

Speaking of Anti-Zionists: "They are the true Islamophobes — afraid to criticize Islam, eager to join in its chorus of hatred."  We need to "make Muslim civility towards Jews the shibboleth of assimilation to a free and democratic culture".

Today's Heroes: The Vichy Eighty

On this day, 10 July 1940, the Vichy Eighty voted against the constitutional amendment which transformed the Third Republic into Vichy France.  569 voted for the amendment.  Twenty voluntarily abstained. Twenty-seven had fled to Algeria.  149 abstained in other ways.  One did not vote.

Of Interest 2013-07-10 (Science!)

Thursday, July 04, 2013

An Independence Day Sesquicentennial Meditation

Of Interest 2013-07-04 (Topic: Schools)

Fighting education fanatics: Column

Suffolk Schools: Pencils For Math, Not Murder

"We’ve reached a startling level of brainlessness when distinguishing pencils from pistols requires an ordinance."

Instead of School: Why Our Schools Do Not--And Cannot--Work

Natural Born -- Bureaucrats

In France people celebrate Bastille Day, which was a battle they won.  In Mexico people celebrate Cinco de Mayo, which was a battle they won at great cost.  In the U.S. people celebrate Independence Day, where we produced a document.  In Brazil people celebrate Independence Day and Republic Day, where they produced documents both times.  Hmmm.

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Of Interest 2013-07-03 (Topic: Islam)

A Fair Immigration Law

The current immigration bill passed by the Senate is not even close to fair. It will bring 30 million new legal immigrants, nearly all from Mexico. That is a third of Mexico's population. Depopulating Mexico is not fair to the Mexican people. The potato famine caused so many people to flee Ireland, and Ireland still has not recovered. Bringing 30 million mostly unskilled immigrants is not fair to poor people in this country. How will poor African-Americans, poor Hispanic-Americans, poor Native Americans, poor Asian-Americans and even poor white Americans manage to get jobs with 30 million more people completing for those jobs?

The only people who benefit from this bill are rich people.

How is this bill fair to people who followed the rules when they came here?

The only way to have a fair bill is for illegal immigrants to have significant disadvantages as they are legalized, so that we do not create perverse incentives.  Here is a somewhat brain-stormed proposal:
  • The bill will be no more than ninety pages long.
  • The bill will be debated using normal rules.
  • All non-criminal illegal immigrants will be placed on the amnestied registry as soon as they apply, or if they are caught.  We aren't going to deport people.  It's too heartless.
  • The amnestied registry will include bio-metric identification, including DNA.
  • Any employer who knowingly employs an illegal immigrant will be fined.  Use of E-Verify will be a positive defense against such fines.  Once an illegal immigrant has been amnestied, no further fines will apply.
  • The minimum wage for amnestied immigrants shall be twenty-five percent higher than it is for other immigrants and American citizens.  This will encourage businesses to hire other immigrants and American citizens.
  • Any children of illegal immigrants or amnestied immigrants shall not be citizens of the United States even if they are born here.  The children will automatically be amnestied immigrants.
  • Amnestied immigrants will not have a path to citizenship while they continue to live in the U.S.  In order to obtain a green card they must legally migrate to a third country (not their country of origin) and hold a job there for five years if they were born in another country, or two years if they were born in the U.S   After that they can apply for a green card here, and if they get one, apply for citizenship in the normal manner.  This gives the amnestied immigrant a proper appreciation of what legal immigrants have gone through.
  • Amnestied immigrants may not vote in any U.S. elections.
  • Amnestied immigrants may not receive benefits paid by tax money, including tax subsidies, such as the earned income credit. Minor amnestied immigrants may receive primary and secondary education, and may attend state schools while paying in state tuition, provided the state agrees.
  • U.S. citizens may sue public officials for damages if the public officials are not enforcing these rules.  This means public officials must actually try to catch people breaking the law.