Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Misconceptions Leading Up To National Equal Pay Day

With a standing "O" at the Oscars, award winner Patricia Arquette struck a chord with the overwhelmingly liberal Hollywood crowd when she said:
"To every woman who gave birth to every taxpayer and citizen of this nation, we have fought for everybody else's equal rights. It's our time to have wage equality once and for all, and equal rights for women in the United States of America."
Then, too, as noted in a commentary written for Reuters news by two of its journalists, Amanda Becker and Jonathan Allen, Hillary Clinton has been pushing this issue whenever she has spoken to women's groups.   But, these two journalists didn't just stop at talking about Hillary, they went on to reference the results of an online Reuters/Ipsos poll that supports Hillary's claims and then some:
"Fifty-one percent of respondents said the U.S. government should be doing more to encourage equal pay, the online poll of 2,348 adults from Feb. 27 to March 3 showed...Broken down by political party, 67 percent of Democrats and 36 percent of Republicans said the federal government should be playing a more active role, according to the poll."
Of course, they needed to point out that only 36% of Republicans supported government intervention to do more to equalize pay among the genders.  This, then, is a subtle reminder of the Democrat's theme that Republicans are conducting a war on women.  Obviously, implying that they would prefer women to be paid less.

The two writers went on to note that women only make 77 cents on the dollar when compared to men by saying: "The 77-cent figure comes from recent U.S. Census Bureau reports..."  Well, that is a complete lie.  The latest report (see link below) from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, resulting from Census Bureau surveys, says this:
"On average in 2013, women made 82 percent of the median weekly earnings of male full-time wage and salary workers ($860). In 1979, the first year for which comparable earnings data are available, women earned 62 percent of what men earned."
So, here you have two journalists for a mainstreams news outlet, Reuters, lying.  The current pay disparity is 82 cents; not 77.  Also, the writers and their fellow Democrats fail to note that great strides have been made since 1979 when women only made "62% of what men earned." That's a 32% improvement in pay inequality in 34 years; or, about a 1% improvement per year.

But, there's another comment from that report that explains why women tend to get paid less:
"Among the four age groupings of those 35 years and older, women’s earnings ranged from 74 percent to 80 percent of the earnings of their male counterparts. In the younger age groups [below age 35], the earnings differences between women and men were smaller, with women earning 89 to 90 percent of what men earned."
Basically, before women decide to raise a family, they have little wage disparity.  But, understand this.  Women who leave the workforce to start a family and, then decide to return, lose all their former seniority and any raises they might have accumulated in the years they were gone.  Essentially, they are starting over at the bottom rung of the income ladder.

Lastly, all the above statistics are just generalized.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics simply averages all women's salaries and compares that to what the average man makes.  It does not even attempt to address whether or not women are paid less by specific job title, experience, or education.  It is also flawed in that  men tend to gravitate towards the higher paying jobs like engineering, computer sciences, and scientific research while, too many women tend to work as lower-paid waitresses, child care, and secretarial workers.  The only true way to determine if a woman isn't getting equal pay for equal work is to determine it through a company by company evaluation of wages, education, experience, and seniority among the genders.  This report just doesn't do that.  However, the Federal government does have a watchdog in that regard called the Equal Employment and Opportunity Commission.  Everyday they work to insure that companies are fairly paying employees regardless of a "person's race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information."  So, it's a false argument that we need more government intervention to insure women get equal pay.

April 14th will be this year's National Equal Pay Day.  On that day, expect Obama and the Democrats to paint women as victims of widespread unfair pay practices. Thus proving that their party, alone, is working hard to equal the playing field.  But, all this will be lies.  Last year, the President made a big thing out of National Equal Pay Day.  But, following it, did he or anyone else submit legislation that was intended to close the gender gap on pay?  Did he use his pen to issue one of his patented executive orders?  The answer is no.  Simply, National Equal Pay Day is political theater or, better yet, a Democrat voter registration drive.  Also, we might question why Obama is so concerned about equal pay when he, himself, underpays the women in his administration $11,000 less than the men.


Clinton, Dems embrace Arquette's equal pay pitch - CNN.com: http://www.cnn.com/2015/02/24/politics/hillary-clinton-2016-patricia-arquette-equal-pay/

Hillary Clinton's focus on women's pay may resonate broadly: poll: http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/03/05/us-usa-politics-women-idUSKBN0M10F520150305

BLS Reports: December 2014: Highlights of women’s earnings in 2013: http://www.bls.gov/opub/reports/cps/highlights-of-womens-earnings-in-2013.pdf

Equal Employment and Opportunity Commission:  http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/

Women paid significantly less in Obama White House than their male counterpart: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2128513/Women-paid-significantly-Obama-White-House-male-counterparts.html

Saturday, March 28, 2015

68% Of Those Polled Aren't Really Worried About Climate Change

In a recent poll, Gallup respondents were read a list of 6 environmental issues and, in each case, they had to indicate how much and if they were worried about it.  The top issue turned out to be "Pollution of drinking water" with 55% expressing a great deal of worry.  At the bottom was "Global warming or climate change" with only 32% expressing a great deal of worry.  So, conversely, 68% don't see global warming as a very serious issue.

I personally think that all the climate change/global warming believers are themselves responsible for this. Their continual claims that every single weather event is a result of climate change only cheapens their story.  Saying Hurricane Sandy is proof of climate change is a little hard to swallow when, in fact, we have had years of quiet hurricane seasons.  The seas aren't rising as projected and the temperatures have remained flat.  The frozen Himalayas have not turned into a sunbather's paradise.  The fact is that many of the dire predictions of the climate alarmists aren't even close to happening; and, if people can't see it happening their not going to believe that it's a problem.


Gallup: In U.S., Concern About Environmental Threats Eases: http://www.gallup.com/poll/182105/concern-environmental-threats-eases.aspx?version=print

What's Up With All These Quiet Hurricane Seasons?:http://www.houstonpublicmedia.org/news/whats-up-with-all-these-quiet-hurricane-seasons/

New York Times: January 14, 2015: Researchers have reported that the ocean did not rise quite as much as previously believed:  http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/15/science/earth/new-research-may-solve-a-puzzle-in-sea-levels-rise.html?_r=0

Seas have been rising and falling for thousands of years – without help from the EPA or IPCC: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/12/02/history-falsifies-climate-alarmist-sea-level-claims/

Alarmists Are In Way Over Their Heads On Rising Ocean Claims: http://www.forbes.com/sites/larrybell/2013/09/24/alarmists-are-in-way-over-their-heads-on-rising-ocean-claims/

'Global warming has been on pause for 19 years': http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2740788/Global-warming-pause-19-years-Data-reveals-Earth-s-temperature-remained-CONSTANT-1995.html

Claims Himalayan glaciers could melt by 2035 were false: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2010/jan/20/himalayan-glaciers-melt-claims-false-ipcc


Friday, March 27, 2015

ObamaCare's Numbers Con

Last year, President Obama proudly declared that ObamaCare was a success with 8 million enrolled.  By November, the Obama Administration had to admit that only 6.7 million had actually signed up.
A near 20% overstatement.

Now, following the end of the extended enrollment period, the President's Health and Human Services (HHS) Dept. released a new document touting its success.  A screenshot of the key elements of the report are as follows:
Click on image to enlarge
As you can see, 14.1 million people have signed up for ObamaCare in the exchanges and this has caused the uninsured rate to fall from 20.3% to 13.2% in just two years.  The source of the data is the Gallup organization.  But, apparently, the people at HHS think we're so stupid that we will  just accept their "facts" as truth; even after last year's admitted deception. Sadly, once again, we're being lied to.

First, there's the actual Gallup data that the above chart was supposedly to be based on.

As you can see, the uninsured rate has dramatically fallen.  But, not from 20.3%.  Also, where that 13.2% came from in the first quarter of 2015 is anyone's guess.  Gallup hadn't yet polled the first quarter 2015 numbers because it hadn't yet ended by the time HHS generated their report.

What is really interesting about the HHS chart is that it only shows the data from a high of 20.3%; and, in doing so, they can claim a 35% reduction in the uninsured rate.  The real Gallup poll shows is that, the uninsured rate rose from  a low of 14.4% in 2008 to a high of 18% in 2013.  All under Obama's watch.  So, the actual reduction in the uninsured rate is from 14.4% to 12.9%; or, only a 10.4% improvement since Obama took office.  

Instead of percentages, lets talk about the people without insurance.  In 2008, the population was 304 million; meaning that the number of uninsured in that year was 43.8 million.  Today's population is 320 million and the uninsured rate is 12.9%.  This means that 41.8 million are uninsured.  So, since 2008, the real improvement is just 2 million. A claim of 14.1 million signups reducing the uninsured under ObamaCare is greatly mitigated.

Lastly, there's the issue of that 14.1 million number. It could very well be that, like last year, the number is 20% overstated.  I say this because the website that tracks signups has the total enrollment at 12 million as of March 23rd.  That's 2.1 million less than what HHS claimed as of a week earlier, and, as we found out last year, the actual numbers will only fall because some percentage of all the signups won't pay for the insurance they signed up for.

The fact remains that we still have nearly 42 million people uninsured in this country.  This after two years of active enrollment and after two years of penalties in effect for not participating.  That's the real number that matters and the real number that shows that ObamaCare is not a success.


Administration 'erroneously' over-counted ObamaCare Enrollees: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/11/20/administration-erroneously-overcounted-obamacare-enrollees/

HEALTH INSURANCE COVERAGE AND THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT March 16 , 2015: http://aspe.hhs.gov/health/reports/2015/uninsured_change/ib_uninsured_change.pdf

In U.S., Uninsured Rate Sinks to 12.9%: http://www.gallup.com/poll/180425/uninsured-rate-sinks.aspx

Population in 2008: https://www.google.com/search?q=us+population+2008&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8

U.S. Population 2015: 320 Million and World Population 7.2 Billion: http://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/robert-schlesinger/2014/12/31/us-population-2015-320-million-and-world-population-72-billion

ACASignups.net | Tracking Enrollments for the Affordable Care Act: http://acasignups.net/

Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Looming Crisis for America's Hospitals

Having formerly lived in the Chicago area for years, I was shocked to hear that the city's oldest and most famous hospital, Michael Reese, had shuttered its doors in 2009.  Some think that the upkeep on this 120 year old facility was just too costly to maintain.  But, there was another set of reasons that were best explained by documentarian, Arlen Parsa, in the piece titled "Waiting for Michael Reese":
Located on the South Side of Chicago, many of Michael Reese's sick patients were not able to afford the care they received. A substantial number of the hospital's patients relied on government programs like Medicare (for the elderly) and Medicaid (for the poor) to cover their care expenses, but the reimbursement rates that the federal government provides for these has been insufficient for years. This is a problem that hospitals around the country have struggled with, particularly those in urban areas (the uninsured population on Chicago's South Side for instance is twice the national average and is growing).
So, clearly, Michael Reese -- which operated in an aging and increasingly poor minority inner city area of Chicago -- found itself being starved of funding because of a high charity patient load and too many whose only insurance was either the underpaying Medicaid (for the poor and disabled) or Medicare (for the retired, older American).  This will be a challenge for many hospitals in the country that are operating anywhere but among the younger and more affluent areas.

First of all, Americans are living longer and, as a consequence, are in need of increased hospital care in their later years.  As a result, the Medicare rolls are expected to increase substantially:

Medicaid, too, underpays.  Because of the slow recovery from the recession and the lack of good paying jobs and because of the expansion of Medicaid under ObamaCare, there are now nearly 70 million Medicaid enrollees; or, approximately 22% (more than 1 in 5) of our population.  And, it is expected that Medicaid will add another 10 million to its rolls by 2020.  Also, that number would be even greater if 22 states hadn't refused to expand Medicaid under ObamaCare.

A recent survey conducted by the American Hospital Association found that, on average, 58% of the patients treated in 2013 were insured by either Medicaid or Medicare.  On average, hospitals were only reimbursed 88 cents on the dollar for Medicare and 90 cents for Medicaid.  When it comes to Medicaid, there's an additional problem: State budgets. In all 50 states, Medicaid is the highest expenditure just behind education. So, when it comes to budgeting and politics, Medicaid tends to get cut before education.  In 2012 alone, 13 states cut the Medicaid budget in order to balance their budgets.  This is a trend that will only get worse and the current 90 cents on the dollar will only get lower.

For the hospitals, there is another problem and that's the uninsured which may, most likely, wind up as charity cases if they can't reimburse a hospital for their care.  Despite 2 years of ObamaCare enrollment, the number of uninsured is still high at 41 million (12.9% of a population of 320 million).  While that number is expected to drop to 31 million by 2016; the Congressional Budget Office expects that it will remain at that level for years forward.

ObamaCare insurance policies (sold in the exchanges) are also hurting the hospitals profit models.  Most people don't understand that the ObamaCare insurance plans are either Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO's) or Preferred Provider Options (PPO's).  What this simply means is that doctors and hospitals, in order to be plan eligible, must agree to treat their insured patients at prices less than their normal rates.  This is why so many -- who have been forced off their private insurance and into ObamaCare -- can't find their former doctors or hospitals.  And, the problem of hospitals losing full-fare private and employer-provided insurance is only going to get worse.  This year, as many as 12 million may signup for ObamaCare's insurance plans, but, in 2010, the Obama Administration predicted that 93 million insured would lose their private and employer-based insurance and will be forced to buy underpaying policies in the exchanges.

Another way that ObamaCare is hurting hospital profit margins is the 3.2% Medical Device Tax.  While the tax may affect veterinarians and doctors, the greatest impact will be on hospitals which, daily, must buy disposable medical equipment like surgical gloves, irrigation needles and syringes, plastic procedure sets, etc.   But, medical device tax also includes the replacement or upgrade of defibrillators, EKG's, and MRI's.   While the tax, itself, seems like a small amount at 3.2%, when taken against a $110 billion/year industry, its an additional $3.2 billion/year that most hospitals will have to pay to stay in business.  If a hospital is already struggling financially, this tax may could possibly be what finally forces it to close down.

The bottom line is that many hospitals in this country -- especially those in the inner cities and in rural America -- are going to shut their doors unless they are paid above their costs for medical services they render.  As usual it will be the poor and elderly who will be hurt the most.  Additionally, all of us will suffer because fewer hospitals will only increase wait times and seriously reduced bed availability for those hospitals that are able to remain open.  Also understand, that those hospitals that do close because of underpaying patients, will be pushing those problem patients to stable hospitals that, as a result, might then find themselves, too, in financial trouble.  So, in essence, this could cause the problem to spiral out of control.


Waiting for Michael Reese: http://waitingformichael.com/about-reese.html

Hospitals, doctors moving out of poor city neighborhoods to more affluent areas: http://www.jsonline.com/news/health/hospitals-doctors-moving-out-of-poor-city-neighborhoods-to-more-affluent-areas-b99284882z1-262899701.html

Medicaid Enrollment: http://kff.org/health-reform/state-indicator/total-monthly-medicaid-and-chip-enrollment/

Medicare Medicaid Underpayments: http://www.aha.org/content/15/medicaremedicaidunderpmt.pdf

13 States Cut Medicaid To Balance Budgets: http://kaiserhealthnews.org/news/medicaid-cuts/

22 States Are Refusing to Expand Medicaid: http://www.whitehouse.gov/share/medicaid-map

If you loathed HMOs, you're not going to like Obamacare: https://www.aei.org/publication/if-you-loathed-hmos-youre-not-going-to-like-obamacare/

Health Plan Types: HMO or PPO? - Obamacare Facts: http://obamacarefacts.com/health-plan-types-hmo-ppo/

Gallup: Uninsured Rate at 12.9%: http://www.gallup.com/poll/180425/uninsured-rate-sinks.aspx

CBO Graph: Projected Uninsured Rate Through 2025: http://www.newrepublic.com/sites/default/files/u18524/coverage_-_what_cbo_really_said.png

Obama Officials In 2010: 93 Million Americans Will Be Unable To Keep Their Health Plans Under Obamacare: http://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2013/10/31/obama-officials-in-2010-93-million-americans-will-be-unable-to-keep-their-health-plans-under-obamacare/

ObamaCare Shuttering Hospitals and Free Clinics: http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/health-care/item/19726-obamacare-shuttering-hospitals-and-free-clinics

Rural hospitals in critical condition - USA Today: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/11/12/rural-hospital-closings-federal-reimbursement-medicaid-aca/18532471/

Medical Device Industry: http://selectusa.commerce.gov/industry-snapshots/medical-device-industry-united-states

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

When Aren't Beheadings 'Acts of Pure Evil'

Back in November, after the beheading of aid worker Peter Kassig by ISIS, President Obama described it as an "act of pure evil".  Further, he also made a point that the ISIS beheadings were not representative of the "Muslim Faith".

Well, perhaps, he should also condemn Saudi Arabia then. That country is on track to set a record for public beheadings in 2015 with 45 already performed. Are they acting as non-muslims?  Or, maybe he should say the same about Iran, Qatar, and Yemen since these countries, too, use beheading as capital punishment.

Any attempt by President Obama to prove that ISIS isn't Muslim because they behead people ignores the fact that, until recently, the practice was even more widespread in the Islamic world.  He may also want to consider the other "evil" punishments common to Islam such as stoning women to death for infidelity or performing honor killings for "shaming" their families.

I guess, I'm a little tired of our President trying to paint Islam as a peaceful religion.  If it's so peaceful, why is there so much strife and war in the Middle East?


Obama calls hostage's beheading by ISIS 'pure evil': http://www.cnn.com/2014/11/16/world/meast/isis-kassig-killing-images/

Obama: ISIS Beheadings 'Represent No Faith, Least of All the Muslim Faith': http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2014/11/17/obama-isis-beheadings-represent-no-faith-least-of-all-the-muslim-faith/

 Steep rise in Saudi Arabia executions as 2015 tally reaches 45: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/saudiarabia/11475267/Steep-rise-in-Saudi-Arabia-executions-as-2015-tally-reaches-45.html

Beheading in Islam: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beheading_in_Islamism

Stoning: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stoning

Honor killing: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honor_killing

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Lies That Are Being Told About Buying Silver

If you watch cable TV -- especially cable news and business -- you are bound to see an advertisement hyping silver (or gold) as a great investment.   Now, I don't know how many people are influenced by these ads without doing their homework, but apparently many are or, a lot of gold and silver houses wouldn't be wasting their money running costly commercials. 

Sadly, most of these commercials are dishonest in one way or another.  But, one company is a leader in deception and, that is Lear Capital.  In their most recent advertisement they present you with this chart:

While showing the chart, the narrator claims that for the first time in 11 years silver is selling below its cost to mine it.  However, while making that statement, they only show you the price of silver from roughly May 2012 to sometime in 2014, only 2 years out of the 11.  The reason for not showing the full 11 years is this:

Blue and Green Lines 100 and 200-day Moving averages

Here we see that -- except for the period from October 2010 through April of 2013 -- a little over 3 years  -- silver has been selling below that supposed $24.05 per ounce cost. So, this begs the question; if it costs more to mine than what it is worth, why are any silver miners still in business?  The reason is simple.  It costs less than $10 an ounce to mine silver.  God only knows where Lear got that $24.05 price tag.

Lastly, the Lear commercial ends by telling us that silver is already up 9% since the beginning of the year.  Thus implying that you shouldn't wait to buy because it appears to be ready to skyrocket.  But, here's the truth.  Silver was up from the beginning of 2015.  However, that rise was short lived:

Silver did jump up from January 1st to around $18 but, by the 19th of that month it retreated.  The reason for this is simple.  In investing, it's called overhead resistance.  When silver dropped from a 2011 high of  $49 an ounce, it left a lot of people holding the bag who wrongly assumed it would rebound and continue its rise above $49.  Now, 4 years later, people still holding silver are ready to cut their losses anytime they see it rise in price.  And, this kind of selling activity is likely to continue for years; if not decades.

So, simply, don't buy the hype (lies) from companies like Lear Capital.  Also, note the fine print.  Lear Capital does not guarantee that they will buy back any of the silver they sell you.  Try finding a buyer on your own when silver is falling like a rock.


Video:  Lear Capital Silver TV Spot, 'An Investment': http://www.ispot.tv/ad/7a3D/lear-capital-silver-an-investment

Kitco Silver Charts: http://www.kitco.com/charts/techcharts_silver.html

CNBC Silver Chart: http://data.cnbc.com/quotes/%40SI.1

The Truth About Buying Gold and Silver: http://cuttingthroughthefog.blogspot.com/2014/04/the-truth-about-buying-gold-and-silver.html

CPM Group announced that the average cash cost to mine silver in 2013 fell to $9.68 an ounce from $10.01 in 2012. GFMS in their 2014 World Silver Survey stated the primary silver miner's cash cost increased from $9.16 in 2012 to $9.27 in 2013.: https://www.google.com/search?q=cost+to+mine+silver&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8

Monday, March 23, 2015

Like It or Not, Obama's Nuke Deal Will Give Iran the Bomb and Worse..

In order to have an effective nuclear weapons program there needs to be three elements.

First, the program must be capable of producing 90% uranium isotope U-235 in large enough quantities to build a bomb by using gas centrifuges.  Or, be capable of producing the platinum isotope PU-239 by operating a heavy water nuclear reactor.

Second, the program must include the development of a detonation device that is compact enough and limited in its weight to be put atop a ballistic missile. 

Third, the program must create a viable delivery system such as a ballistic missile.

In the case of Iran's nuke program, we know they can enrich uranium to 20% U-235 because they have already done so.  Many experts believe that given the current number of centrifuges, they could breakout to weapons grade U-235 in just two to three months if left to continue producing large quantities of 20% U-235.  Also, they are building a heavy water reactor in Arak that is quite capable of producing weapons grade PU-239.  Additionally, Iran has an active ballistic missile program.  Whether or not any of those currently developed missiles are capable of carrying a nuclear warhead is anyone's guess since that program is highly secretive.  Some, who have looked at satellite images of the launch site, believe the missiles are too lightweight to actually carry a bomb.  But, what is known, is that their latest missile has a long enough range to hit Europe.

That brings us to the detonation device.  It has long been suspected that Iran has already built and tested a nuclear detonation device at its Parchin military complex.  This is probably true since, to date, they refuse to allow UN weapons inspectors any access to the Parchin site.

Throughout the negotiation process, the sole focus has been on Iran's enrichment program; leaving them  free to keep developing improved missile delivery systems and detonation devices.  In terms of enrichment, the currently known "deal" would allow them to continue to enrich uranium to the 5% level. Existing 20% material would have to be either chemically neutralized or exported to an existing nuclear country.  Of course, if that is Russia, there's no guarantee that Russia, sometime in the future, couldn't just ship that material right back to Iran without the world knowing.  Especially, if trading sanctions are lifted.  Also, the neutralization of the 20% U-235 is reversible.  There may also be down-scaling of the Arak reactor site to slow the production of PU-239.

The bottom line is that the final agreement will only slow Iran's bomb making program; and, only that part of it that is related to enrichment.  No way will it dismantle it.  The Obama Administration has already admitted that the intent of the agreement is to extend the 2 to 3 month breakout time for enrichment to weapons grade material to a one year time frame. So, essentially, the President is saying that Iran can have its bomb in the future.  It just might take a little longer. A fact that won't sit well with either Israel or their neighbors in the region that see Iran as a threat, such as Saudi Arabia.  This, then, may leave them and others with no other choice but to build themselves a bomb as a deterrent to Iran's possible threats.

If a nuclear arms race develops in the Middle East, it will definitely sour Obama's legacy of having achieved a deal with Iran.  Think about it.  A nuclear arms race in the most unstable and war-prone part of the world.  That will be President Obama's real legacy.


Fact Sheet: Iran's Nuclear and Ballistic Missile Programs: http://armscontrolcenter.org/publications/factsheets/fact_sheet_irans_nuclear_and_ballistic_missile_programs/

AP Exclusive: Draft agreement cuts Iran's nuclear hardware [extends breakout time to one year]: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/4c7ad2158ed944579dc1e7ed6c550899/ap-exclusive-iran-limited-6k-centrifuges-draft-accord

Iran signs agreement with IAEA to allow broader inspections of nuclear sites [but not Parchin and other sensitive military sites]: http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/irans-signs-agreement-with-iaea-to-allow-broader-inspections-of-nuclear-sites/2013/11/11/fef81002-4ad5-11e3-ac54-aa84301ced81_story.html

Prince Hints Saudi Arabia May Join Nuclear Arms Race: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/07/world/middleeast/saudi-arabia-may-seek-nuclear-weapons-prince-says.html

Bolton: Middle East Nuclear Arms Race Is Already Underway: http://insider.foxnews.com/2015/03/17/bolton-middle-east-nuclear-arms-race-already-underway

Friday, March 20, 2015

Starbucks Should Have a Discussion on Race With Itself

In 2009, a Pew Research poll simply asked "Would you prefer to live in a place with more Starbucks or more McDonald's".   Only one in four blacks said they would prefer Starbucks while 56% favored McDonald's.  Basically, that Pew poll found that those who preferred Starbucks were generally non-black liberals who are mostly female, are between 18 and 29 years of age and, make in excess of $75,000 a year.  Not hardly the type of people who have a lot of experience mingling with the black community.

Yet, the Chairman and CEO of Starbucks, Howard Schultz, believes that, in the wake of Ferguson, his baristas should initiate discussions about race with its customers.   This is interesting since there isn't a single Starbucks in the town of Ferguson.  Nor, is there one in Selma, Alabama or many other majority black communities throughout the United States. 

Perhaps Starbucks should just have a talk amongst themselves about better serving all the communities in America before they start an elitist movement to encourage race discussions with their predominately liberal and non-black customers.   Especially when you consider that those baristas  are from predominately white neighborhoods near the Starbucks that they are working at.


Post-Ferguson, Starbucks initiates public conversations on race: http://www.kansascity.com/opinion/opn-columns-blogs/lewis-diuguid/article15247904.html

Pew Research: http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2009/02/10/mcdonalds-and-starbucks-43-yin-35-yang/

 Why Is There No Starbucks Coffee House in Selma?: http://www.cnsnews.com/commentary/jen-kuznicki/why-there-no-starbucks-coffee-house-selma

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Is ObamaCare Just Another Welfare Program?

According to ACASignups.net, a total of 14.1 million people have been enrolled in Medicaid (free healthcare) as a result of going through the federal and state exchanges for ObamaCare.  Additionally, another 11.7 million have signed up for insurance policies in those same exchanges.  All told, 25.8 million people are receiving their healthcare coverage as a result of ObamaCare being operational for the last two years.

I'm sure that supporters of ObamaCare would say, that all together, those are good numbers.  That is, until you find out that 87% of 11.7 million signups will be getting federal subsidies.  So conversely, only 13% -- or 1.5 million -- of those 11.7 million are paying full fare for the health insurance they chose.  What that really means is that, of the total of 25.8 million enrollees in either Medicaid or insurance in the exchanges, only 5.9% are paying full price.  The rest are only signing up because the government is either footing all or some of the bill.  So, obviously, few are finding it affordable enough to fully pay for the insurance being sold by the Affordable Care Act.

Essentially, ObamaCare is simply looking like another welfare program, and not one designed to improve healthcare or truly expand insurance coverage.   How can it possibly claim to improve  healthcare when thousands of doctors are now refusing to accept ObamaCare insured patients.  Additionally, with the expansion of Medicaid, a recent survey showed that only 45.7% of doctors will even see those patients; down from 55.4% in 2009.  As far as reducing the number of uninsured, still 13.2% or 42 million Americans don't have insurance after two years of ObamaCare being available.  In my opinion, those stats don't show ObamaCare as a shining success.  More like insurance in name only.


ACASignup.net: http://acasignups.net/

2015 ObamaCare Update - 3.4 Million Select Health Plan, 87% Eligible for Subsidies: http://www.zanebenefits.com/blog/2015-obamacare-update-3.4-million-select-health-plan

Over 214,000 Doctors Opt Out of Obamacare Exchanges: http://www.cnsnews.com/mrctv-blog/barbara-boland/over-214000-doctors-opt-out-obamacare-exchanges

2014 Survey - Merritt Hawkins: Medicaid and Medicare Acceptance and Wait times:  http://www.merritthawkins.com/uploadedFiles/MerrittHawkings/Surveys/mha2014waitsurvPDF.pdf

Uninsured rates drop dramatically under Obamacare: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2015/03/16/uninsured-rates-drop-sharply-under-obamacare/24852325/

Taqiyya (Lying) and Why Iran Can't Be Trusted on Anything

President Obama mistakenly seems to think that we can "honestly" come to an agreement with Iran in order to minimize their nuclear bomb ambitions.  What he fails to understand is that the Prophet Muhammad preached that taqiyya (lying) is moral and good when dealing with an enemy such as the United States.  Here are the Prophet's own words in support of lying:
"Lying is wrong, except in three things: the lie of a man to his wife to make her content with him; a lie to an enemy, for war is deception; or a lie to settle trouble between people (Ahmad, 6.459. H)"
This is why, for decades now, Iran has done nothing but lie to us about their nuclear program.  Consistently, they have told us that it is for the peaceful use of producing electricity and in aiding medical treatment. They have signed several agreements while denying their nuclear weapons program.  And, there is no reason to believe they aren't lying to us now in our current round of negotiations.


Taqiyya: http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Taqiyya

Iran Nuclear Program: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_program_of_Iran

Iranian Embassy Webpage: About Iran's Peaceful Nuclear Activities: http://iranembassy.no/en/6.htm

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Better Policing Won't Solve High Rates of Black Crime

In the wake of Ferguson, President Obama has called for better education for the police so they can find their softer side when dealing with the black community.  But, at no time is this President willing to admit that we have a serious problem with black crime in this country that results in too many confrontations with the police.

Currently, blacks make up 13.1% of the population.  Yet, 37.4% of the prison population is black.  Meaning that they are nearly 3 times more likely to have to deal with the police. In defense of the high black prison population, many point to the fact that they are being disproportionately arrested for holding, using, or selling drugs.  However, this flies in the face of FBI statistics that show blacks commit 51% of all murders, 69% of all robberies, and 32% of all crimes, while only committing 23.5% of all drug violations.  Obviously, drug arrests are disproportionately lower when compared to other black crime rates.

In 1991, a Lehigh University study found that 70% of prison inmates came from single-parent (broken) homes.  It's not surprising then, that the black prison population is so high. Blacks had a single-parent percentage of 67% in 2013.  That's double the all-race average of 35% in that same year.  Also, that same Lehigh study found that 80% of all inmates were in some way learning disabled; including 50% of all minorities who were functionally illiterate.  Obviously, there is a direct correlation between low rates of education, low literacy rates, and high rates of crime.  In 2009, President Obama's own Department of Education found that 50% of 4th grade African Americans were illiterate, and by the 9th grade things worsened with 56% being illiterate.

As the first black President, Barack Obama was in the unique position to focus in on black literacy and family unit problems as a means of reducing black crime.  Because, if crime rates among blacks more closely matched their population levels, police confrontations with blacks would be significantly fewer.  Instead, Obama constantly focuses on cops as the problem.  We had a sense of this in July of 2009, when a friend of his, a black Harvard professor, was arrested by two Cambridge, Mass police for breaking into his own home.  He wasn't arrested for the break in but instead, for his belligerence at the scene.  Yet, the President attacked the actions of the white police by saying they "acted stupidly". 

Simply, every problem is a result of some cause.  If you want to improve policing in black communities, lower the crime rates.  In doing so, attitudes by cops towards blacks would also improve and blacks would be targeted less for arrests.


Obama Calls for Changes in Policing After Task Force Report: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/03/us/politics/obama-calls-for-changes-in-policing-after-task-force-report.html

Federal Bureau of Prisons: Inmate Statistics: http://www.bop.gov/about/statistics/statistics_inmate_race.jsp

FBI: Crime Statistics by Race: http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2012/crime-in-the-u.s.-2012/tables/43tabledatadecoverviewpdf

70% Of Criminals Are From Broken Homes, Expert Says: http://articles.mcall.com/1991-11-15/news/2826825_1_inmates-psychology-professor-raymond-bell

Children in single-parent families by race: http://datacenter.kidscount.org/data/tables/107-children-in-single-parent-families-by#detailed/1/any/false/36,868,867,133,38/10,168,9,12,1,13,185/432,431

The Drug War And Mass Incarceration By The Numbers: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/08/drug-war-mass-incarceration_n_3034310.html

What’s up with African American literacy rates?: http://ourweekly.com/news/2013/oct/03/whats-african-american-literacy-rates/

Obama: Police who arrested professor 'acted stupidly' - CNN: http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/07/22/harvard.gates.interview/

Henry Louis Gates arrest controversy: Go to:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Louis_Gates_arrest_controversy Police report and 9-1-1 dispatcher recordings:

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Do You Really Think Iran Didn't Know Of Objections To Nuke Deal Until The Cotton Letter?

OK.  Republican Tom Cotton and 46 other Republican Senators addressed an open letter to Iran advising them that -- without two-thirds Senate approval (ratification) -- any agreement or treaty between Iran and the U.S. on a nuke deal would be worthless. For that, Cotton has been vilified in the press and by Democrats for trying to undermine supposed sensitive negotiations with Iran's Ayatollah.  Some are even arguing that Cotton has committed treason under the Logan Act which bans "private" negotiations with foreign governments.  I hardly think an "open letter" to Iran is somehow private.

All this hysteria over Cotton's letter is ridiculous.  Iran probably knows everything that is being said about their nuke deal because of the Internet.  I'm quite sure that they -- like most every country -- has a cadre of tech-savvy personnel whose only duty is to scour the Internet for anything pertaining to their country and, for sure, those nuclear negotiations.  They most likely even watch Fox News all day in order to get the latest anti-Iran tidbits.  Also, may even tune into MSNBC to get some feel-good moments from the political left.

The Democrats and the Obama Administration are fools if they think that a "schooling" of our Constitution is going to sink the negotiations with Iran.  The one thing that Iran knows is that America is an open book with few secrets; especially when it comes to politics.  Just the opposite of their society where truth hardly exists.  Lying is a fact of everyday life in Iran (see reference below).


Obama White House steps up pressure on Republicans over Iran: http://hosted2.ap.org/APDEFAULT/89ae8247abe8493fae24405546e9a1aa/Article_2015-03-15-US--United%20States-Iran/id-d8f90c903e034c3c9f12264ec793f1b3

Tom Cotton's unpatriotic forefathers: Treasonous Iran letter not the first time GOP has crossed the line: http://www.salon.com/2015/03/15/tom_cottons_unpatriotic_forefathers_treasonous_iran_letter_not_the_first_time_gop_has_crossed_the_line/

Republicans Are Worried That Treasonous Tom Cotton's Letter: http://www.politicususa.com/2015/03/10/republicans-worried-treasonous-tom-cottons-iran-letter-backfiring.html

Why Tom Cotton’s Letter Did Not Violate the Logan Act: http://dailysignal.com/2015/03/12/why-tom-cottons-letter-did-not-violate-the-logan-act/

How Does the United States Ratify Treaties?: http://www.childrightscampaign.org/why-ratify/how-does-the-united-states-ratify-treaties

"To Live in Tehran You Have to Lie": Revealing Hidden Lives in Iran: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/09/140907-ramita-navai-tehran-iran-ayatollah-khomeini-booktalk/

Monday, March 16, 2015

Is a Strong U.S. Dollar Making Our Economy Sick?

Unless you follow the stock market, you are probably not aware that the U.S. dollar has been on a literal tear when measured against a "market basket" of six currencies such as the Euro, the Japanese Yen, the British Pound, etc.

As you can see from the above Bloomberg chart, back in July, the dollar could only buy about 80% of that "market basket" of other currencies.  Today,  the dollar is strong enough to buy 100%.  That's a 25% improvement in the buying power of the dollar.  As a result, the American consumer should see lower prices for imported goods; assuming the retailers are willing to pass those cost savings onto the consumer and not just take them as increased profits.

While, lowered import prices might sound like a good thing, it isn't if you are a U.S. producer who must compete against them.  Foreign cars will be cheaper against those made in this country.  Imported fruits, vegetables, seafood, and meats will crowd-out similar U.S. products in the marketplace.  Thus, this could cost jobs, limit profits, and also reduce the tax base that it is needed to run the country.  In addition, U.S. manufacturers would be more tempted to move their operations overseas in order to sell more cheaply back home.  That, too, would definitely cost jobs and reduce tax revenues.

But, while other countries imported products become cheaper, our exported products become more expensive to sell overseas.  In theory, if the U.S. dollar is 25% stronger against the Euro, this means that any product made in the U.S. -- like a Harley-Davidson motorcycle or a Caterpillar tractor  -- is now 25% more expensive to buy in Europe.  That fact may price some Europeans out of the market for those items.  So, all over the world, our products are getting more expensive and this, in turn, will hurt the taxable profits of our multinational companies.  As a result, layoffs could ensue.

Our fourth quarter economic growth was a weak 2.2%.  Because of the factors involved with a strong dollar, such as lower profits, tax losses, and layoffs, the first quarter of this year and each quarter, there after, may be even weaker.


U.S. Dollar Index: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._Dollar_Index

DOLLAR INDEX SPOT Exchange Rate: http://www.bloomberg.com/quote/DXY:CUR/chart

Dollar gallops to fresh highs; stocks fall: http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/03/13/us-markets-global-idUSKBN0M902620150313

Strong Dollar Squeezes U.S. Firms - WSJ: https://www.google.com/search?q=us+companies+hurt+by+strong+dollar&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8#safe=off&q=Strong+Dollar+Squeezes+U.S.+Firms+-+WSJ

The economy grew 2.2% in the fourth quarter - USA Today: http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2015/02/27/fourth-quarter-gdp-revision/24087197/

Strong Dollar And Weak Global Economy Could Cause U.S. Recession: http://www.forbes.com/sites/mikepatton/2015/01/27/low-oil-prices-could-send-economy-into-recession/

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Is It Now Open Season On Our Nation's Police?

The attempted murder of two cops in Ferguson was inevitable. My guess is, it won't just stop there.

When the two top law enforcement officials -- President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder -- declared that the Ferguson cops are racist, it became music to the ears of those who already hate police.  Further, to some, it may have been a green light to even the score for the shooting death of Michael Brown and others.

But, Obama and Holder didn't just label the Ferguson PD as being racially biased, they went on to say that the problem wasn't limited to Ferguson.  Thus, the crazies who may be inclined to murder police officers may not be limited to that now-famous town in Missouri.

Simply, racial tensions are on the rise because of the way Ferguson and other similar racial issues have been handled by the President, the Attorney General, and many black leaders.  In a CNN/ORC poll in 2009, 6% of whites and only 2% of blacks thought race relations had gotten worse.  After 6 years of Obama's presidency, that same poll -- taken just last month -- found that 45% of whites and 26% of blacks think race relation have worsened.

These stats are horrible and not what was expected to happen with a supposed post-racial President in charge.


Eric Holder believes all cops are racists: http://nypost.com/2014/12/07/eric-holder-believes-all-cops-are-racists-targets-unconscious-bias/

President Obama Acknowledges Ferguson's Racist Police Practices. Not an 'Isolated Incident':   http://www.politicususa.com/2015/03/06/president-obama-acknowledges-fergusons-racist-police-practices-isolated-incident.html

Chief: 2 officers shot in Ferguson were 'ambushed': http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2015/03/12/shots-fired-ferguson/70194012/

2009: Henry Louis Gates arrest controversy: Obama: "police acted stupidly":http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Louis_Gates_arrest_controversy

CNN/ORC poll: http://www.pollingreport.com/race.htm

Friday, March 13, 2015

Why Hillary's 'Convenience' Argument Doesn't Hold Water

In Hillary Clinton's press conference regarding her private email server, she said that she did it for the 'convenience' of not having to carry two mobile devices around.  One for private emails; and, another for State Department business.

The problem with this argument is the National Security Agency (NSA) had already solved the two-mobile-device problem for her boss, Barack Obama. When he came to office, the NSA gave him a Blackberry 8830 that was specifically modified to provide ultrahigh security on outgoing messages.  At the same time, it protected the President's Blackberry from being hacked or infected.  Thus, he was able to use this single device for both private and Presidential emails.  This fact was no secret.  It was widely reported in January 2009 when he took office.

So, this begs the question.  Why didn't Hillary contact the NSA for a single-device solution like the President's?  After all, she too is a Blackberry user.  Why, instead, use a possibly unsecured private server and a hackable off-the-shelf device for all her emails?  It doesn't make sense.  Unless of course, the intent is to hide what you are doing; which many believe was the case.


President Obama gets to keep his BlackBerry - NBC News: http://www.nbcnews.com/id/28780205/ns/technology_and_science-tech_and_gadgets/t/obama-gets-keep-his-blackberry/#.VQCjjy6S-Ng

Infosecurity Europe: President Obama's Blackberry revealed:  http://www.infosecurity-magazine.com/news/infosecurity-europe-president-obamas-blackberry/

Hillary: I used one email 'for convenience' .... because I thought it would be easier to carry just one device for my communications: http://www.cnn.com/2015/03/10/politics/hillary-clinton-email-scandal-press-conference/

Convenience? Two weeks ago Clinton said she had both iPhone and Blackberry | WashingtonExaminer.com: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/article/2561329

Why Clinton's Private Email Server Was Such a Security Failure: http://www.wired.com/2015/03/clintons-email-server-vulnerable/

Thursday, March 12, 2015

February's Jobs Report Only Deepens the Debate On How Jobs Data is Calculated

Early each month, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics releases its employment statistics for the prior month. In February, the highlights of that report, as generally reported by the media, were that the economy added 295,000 jobs and the unemployment rate fell to 5.5%.

What most Americans don't know is that those two statistics come from two separate monthly surveys  and that a debate still rages as to whether or not which survey is more accurate at calculating jobs added to the economy.

In February, the 295,000 jobs added comes from something called the "Establishment Data" (Table B)  which is a result of surveying the employment activity of 190,000 supposedly representative businesses in the U.S.   And, from that 190,000 surveyed businesses, the hiring practices of the more than 27 million firms in the country are then estimated.  On the other hand, the "Household Data" (Table A) extrapolates employment data from nearly 50,000 phone calls to households across the country.  According to that survey, the number of unemployed fell by 274,000 but, at the same time, 178,000 left the workforce. So, net-net, the economy only actually added 96,000 jobs; leaving the labor participation rate at a 37-year low. 

For decades, the consensus has been that the Establishment Data is more accurate for counting job additions because it looks at job activity within the businesses themselves.  At the same time, the Household Data is the only real means to determine unemployment rates because it samples real people.  But, the problem with both assumptions is the low sampling rate.  Sampling 190,000 businesses of the 27 million firms in this country is a representative sampling rate of about 7 tenths of one percent.  Sampling 50,000 households (assuming each household is equal to 2.1 persons on average) means that out of a population of 320 million, the sample rate is less than 3 one-hundreds of a percent.  Either way, there is certainly a lot of wiggle room to be wrong on any numbers being collected.

The bottom line is that I, personally, wouldn't bet the bank on the accuracy of any employment numbers that we see from the federal government.  On the other hand, there have been numerous other reports that have not been as "glowing" as this last jobs report.  For that reason, I believe that the Household Data on jobs is closer to the truth with only 96,000 jobs created in February.  But, that is just my opinion. 


February 2015 Employment Situation Report: http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm

Establishment vs. Household Survey—The Debate Continues: http://research.rerc.com/blog/establishment-vs-household-survey-the-debate-continues

Quick Facts From the U.S. Census: http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/00000.html

Soft U.S. data hints at near-term hiccup in economic growth: http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/03/05/us-usa-economy-unemployment-idUSKBN0M11IA20150305

U.S. Economic Data Not Meeting Expectations: http://www.wallstreetsectorselector.com/investment-articles/editors-desk/2015/03/u-s-economic-data-not-meeting-expectations/ 

US jobless claims rise; Q4 productivity revised down: http://www.cnbc.com/id/102476643

Weekly Economic Calendars: http://www.briefing.com/investor/calendars/

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The Misconception That Slavery Built the South's Economy

In his Selma anniversary speech,  President Obama got the loudest applause when he said:
"We’re the slaves who built the White House and the economy of the South."
While it is true that some slaves were used to build the White House, it is also true that many black free men, black non-slaves, and freed slaves also worked on that noted symbol; especially true after the Civil War.  However, when it comes to the building of the southern economy, slavery actually caused the economy to regress.

Increasingly, slavery made the South dependent on a "plantation" economy that drew it away from the type of industrialization and economic diversification that was happening in the North.  As such, the South was relatively poor when compared to the North. The overuse of the land resulted in soil erosion and soils that were being exhausted of their nutrients. A fact that ruined the South's future agricultural success.

Also, slaves had no incomes.  They were totally dependent on slave owners for their food, shelter, and clothing. By 1750, half of the Southern population were slaves.  Therefore they had no money to buy the kinds of things that could have grown an economy.  So, simply, as the number of slaves grew, so did the South's overall poverty.  Additionally, because so many slaves tended the plantations and served as housekeepers, handymen, construction workers, and cooks, the whites, too, got poorer for the lack of any of those jobs due to something that economists call the "crowding-out effect."

As a result of this, there are many economists who think slavery would have died out on its own. Not just for moral reasons but, because of economic self-preservation.  Today, some of the poorest states in the union are still in the South as a hangover from those days of slavery and the failure to industrialize their economies.


Transcript: Read Full Text of President Barack Obama's Speech in Selma: http://time.com/3736357/barack-obama-selma-speech-transcript/

White House History: http://www.whitehousehistory.org/history/white-house-timelines/african-americans-1790s-1840s.html

 The South's Economy: http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/disp_textbook.cfm?smtID=2&psid=3558

Plantation economy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plantation_economy

Did slavery make economic sense?: http://www.economist.com/blogs/freeexchange/2013/09/economic-history-2

List of U.S. states by income: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_by_income

The South Is Essentially A Solid, Grim Block Of Poverty: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/02/poverty-increase-map_n_5548577.html

Poor [Southern] Whites: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poor_White

Crowding-out Effect: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crowding_out_%28economics%29

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Hillary's Con: The State Department Should Release My Emails

How stupid does Hillary Clinton think we are?  Calling on the State Department to release her emails is a con.  The issue isn't the emails that she selectively sent to the State Department.  Its whether or not there are still State Department emails sitting on her private server that she doesn't want us to see.  And, whether or not some of those were classified documents that were at risk of being hacked into.  Also, we do not know if some State Department emails were purged from the private server and, are now, never to be seen. 


Hillary Clinton to State Department: Release my emails:  http://www.cbsnews.com/news/hillary-clinton-to-state-department-release-my-emails/

Great Jobs Report? Think Twice..

As with every jobs report since the recovery began, the issue has always been quantity rather than quality.  And, February's report is no different.

Sure.  295,000 jobs were created and the employment rate fell to 5.5%.  The far-left Politicus USA website points out that this is the 12th straight month of job creation over 200,000 and the lowest unemployment rate since 2008, plus all other kinds of statistics to cheer-lead the recovery under Obama.  But, one sorry fact remains:  Americans aren't getting better-paying jobs.

In February, the average hourly wage for all jobs in the U.S. only rose 3 cents or about $1.04 per week for four weeks. Annualized that's just $12.48.  How would you spend your $12.48?

The simple fact is that, under President Obama, our economy continues to create lack-luster, low paying jobs.  In fact, of those 295,000 created, Zero Hedge has identified that 152,000 (more than half) were low paying with the most gains (62,000) in the leisure and hospitality industries. Obviously, we're real good at creating jobs for waitresses, bartenders, and hotel maids.


Politicus USA: Fox News Ignores Latest Jobs Report Showing Lowest Unemployment Rate In Seven Years: http://www.politicususa.com/2015/03/06/fox-news-ignores-latest-jobs-report-shows-lowest-unemployment-rate-years.html

Recovery Has Created Far More Low-Wage Jobs Than Better-Paid Ones: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/28/business/economy/recovery-has-created-far-more-low-wage-jobs-than-better-paid-ones.html

February 2015: Employment Situation Report (Page 3): http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf

A great jobs report for waitstaff and bartenders: http://www.cnbc.com/id/102484051

Why No Wage Increases: More Than Half Of Jobs Added In February Were Lowest-Quality, Lowest-Paying: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-03-06/why-no-wage-increases-more-half-jobs-added-february-were-lowest-quality-lowest-payin

Monday, March 9, 2015

By Calling Ferguson PD Racist, Holder Cites 'Disparate Impact'

In law, discrimination may be proven by something called "disparate impact".   What disparate impact really means is that if a minority is x-percent of the population, then, any percent of arrest activity "above" that x-percentage is disproportionate and racially biased.  Thus, in the Department of Justice's Report on Ferguson, Attorney General Eric Holder claims that the police department is racist because, while blacks "only" make up 67% of the population of Ferguson, they are involved in 85% of the traffic stops and 93% of all arrests. Therefore, in accordance with the concept of disparate impact, the predominately white police force must be racist.

The problem with the concept of "disparate impact" is that it fails statistically; especially when it comes to the black community.  Blacks, as a whole, makeup 13.2% of our entire population.  Yet, according to Eric Holder's own FBI reports, they commit 49.4% of all murders in this country.  54% of all robberies.  32% of all forcible rapes and, the list goes on.  In addition, blacks makeup 34% of all gangs.

What really matters is whether or not the 85% of traffic stops and 93% arrest rates are justified.  Something that Holder and his gang of attorneys don't seem to want to prove with these top line statistics.  If, in fact, the high arrest rate produces few convictions, then there is truly racial bias.  Or, if too many of the traffic stops weren't justified then, that too, proves racial bias. So, where is that data?

To call the Ferguson Police racist because blacks disproportionately commit crimes is a crime in itself.  If Holder and Obama want to see less black arrests and traffic stops then work on the black community -- not the cops --  to reduce black arrests.  Blaming white cops for the high number of black arrests is a form of political subterfuge of the worst kind; and, it does nothing to solve the high crime rates among blacks in this country. 


Racial disparities in stops and arrests conducted by the Ferguson police department: http://documents.latimes.com/racial-disparities-stops-and-arrests-conducted-ferguson-police-department/

Holder Frames Ferguson PD For Racism Using Bogus 'Disparate Impact' Stats: http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/030515-742174-holder-frames-ferguson-pd-with-bogus-stats.htm

Disparate Impact: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disparate_impact

USA Quick Facts: http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/00000.html

TABLE 43a: FBI Crime Statistics By Race: http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2012/crime-in-the-u.s.-2012/tables/43tabledatadecoverviewpdf

Gangs in the U.S.: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gangs_in_the_United_States

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Holder's Admonishment of the Ferguson Police Just Raised Racial Tensions

In his very public press conference outlining the findings of a months long Justice Department investigation of the Ferguson Police Department,  Attorney General Eric Holder has basically told the world that the Ferguson Police are racists.  Further, he said that those kind of abuses weren't just limited to Ferguson but in many communities across the country.  Thus, implying that racism was rampant throughout America's police forces. 

Now, if Holder (and Obama) thinks that, by certifying cops as "generally" racially motivated in their actions, he will somehow improve race relations in community policing, he's dead wrong.  All he did with those words in that conference is reinforce in the minds of blacks that most white cops are racists.  That, in itself, just sent racial distrust through the roof.

Sometimes discretion is the better part of valor when dealing with sensitive situations.  Holder could have discretely handled this by using the power of his Justice Department to enforce better community oriented policing in Ferguson without going public and declaring that their police are racially motivated.  Instead, he elects to throw out some red meat to the crowd and further inflame an already volatile situation.

At the same time, he's has effectively handcuffed the Ferguson cops; causing them to avoid any confrontation with the predominately black community they work in.  As a result, the years of reduced crime in Ferguson will reverse itself due to an overly cautious police department that is under the federal microscope. 


Holder Slams Ferguson Cops for Racist, Money-Grubbing: http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/michael-brown-shooting/holder-slams-ferguson-cops-racist-money-grubbing-practices-n317491

Crime rate in Ferguson, Missouri (MO): murders, rapes, robberies, assaults, burglaries, thefts, auto thefts, arson, law enforcement employees, police officers, crime map:  http://www.city-data.com/crime/crime-Ferguson-Missouri.html

Obama calls Ferguson an example of 'broken and racially biased' policing in America ahead of historic Selma anniversary speech:  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2983389/Obama-calls-Ferguson-example-broken-racially-biased-policing-America-happen-ahead-historic-Selma-anniversary-speech.html

Friday, March 6, 2015

The Last Thing Chicago Needs is an Activist Pro-Labor Mayor

Let me first say that I am no fan of Rahm Emanuel -- the current Mayor of the City of Chicago.  I consider him too abrasive and too much of a bully to be an effective negotiator in a city that currently needs a skilled one to save it from insolvency. Its this brashness that probably resulted in his being the first Mayor of that city to face a runoff in his bid for reelection; with his opponent being a pro-labor and labor activist by the name of Jesus "Chuy" Garcia.  Some are already saying that Rahm may lose the runoff, but, the last thing Chicago needs is a pro-labor Mayor because it is labor and its rich pensions that are killing the city financially.

To understand this, you need to look at this chart put together by Crain's Chicago Business:

So, essentially, the City of Chicago does not have enough money ($29 billion) to cover continued pension payouts for the top 5 groups of union workers that already have or will have retired in the future.  But also understand that there is an additional $3 billion in other unfunded pensions; bringing the total to $32 billion dollars in commitments that the City just doesn't have.  In fact, that $32 billion is nearly 4-1/2 times the $7.3 billion dollars the City plans to take in and spend in 2015.   And, that 2015 budget already fails to include $550 million in unfunded pension liabilities due by the end of the year.  So, somewhere, over the next few months, the City (Rahm; assuming he is still the mayor) must find an additional 7.5% increase in revenues (taxes) or, some combination of reduced pension commitments, tax increases, and reduced spending, in order to meet that year-end pension shortfall or default on it.

But, rather than solely raising taxes, which would have greatly ticked off the voters, Rahm has opted to do a "combination" of things to try and avoid the city defaulting on its commitments and, potentially, following Detroit into bankruptcy.  Besides raising property taxes, Emmanuel has greatly put himself at odds with the unions -- primarily the Teacher's Union -- by closing 50 non-performing city schools and by trying to negotiate concessions in wage increases and a reduction in pension commitments and increases in pension contributions. 

So, as a result of his effort to try and save the city, he now finds himself struggling for his political life because the voters seem to think there is some magic bullet out there that will solve the pension liability problem without raising taxes or by cutting services and pension benefits.  Thus, by letting the fox guard the hen house, the voters may just put "Chuy" in charge of the city's labor pension problems.  As such, I see no way that the City could survive.  While  "Chuy" says he will hold the line on taxes while maintaining city services and, at the same time, honor union pension commitments, you just can't have everything and still avoid future bankruptcy.  If he does get elected, it will be on the basis of promises he can't keep.  So, my guess is that -- being a labor guy who won't reduce pension commitments and city services -- he will just raise taxes to solve the City's problems.  That, in turn, will most likely force people and businesses to leave Chicago; resulting in even less tax revenues, and even bigger pension problems in the future.  That's exactly how Detroit got itself into bankruptcy.


Rahm could actually lose: http://www.politico.com/story/2015/03/could-rahm-actually-lose-115739.html

Emanuel's pension fix costly, but pain is likely to double: https://www.google.com/search?q=Emanuel%27s+pension+fix+costly%2C+but+pain+is+likely+to+double&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8

Chicago Teachers Union: Rahm Is Finished: http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/02/26/chicago-teachers-union-rahm-is-finished/

Jesus "Chuy" Garcia - Chicago Tribune Election Center:   http://elections.chicagotribune.com/candidates/jesus-chuy-garcia/

How Detroit went bankrupt, how it got out and where the city goes from here: http://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/2014/11/07/qa-how-detroit-went-bankrupt-how-it-got-out-and-where-city-goes-from-here/

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Hillary's EmailGate: Intentional Deceit and High-Risk Behavior

In just the last few days, we found out that Hillary Clinton, while Secretary of State for four years, used a private email account to "exclusively" (as the New York Times is reporting) conduct State Department business.  We also learned that recently, her former staffers -- in order to comply with federal law -- went through all of her private emails and supposedly culled all those that were State Department-related and forwarded them to that federal agency for proper archiving. Also, as Gawker is reporting, that very email account was hacked into by Guccifer.

Any way you look at it, this latest problem speaks volumes about the character of this woman who would be President.

The account she used in order to circumvent the State Department's "secured" email system, was setup only a week before she became Secretary of State.  This obviously implies that she, from day one, intended to "hide" correspondence from the very agency she was heading up.  Further, she put this country at risk by using an unsecured private account which may or may not have had a strict encryption process applied to it. But, we do know it wasn't too secure because a person by the name of Guccifer was able to hack into her messages.  Then, too, we don't know that her "staff" -- in sorting through them  -- actually forwarded "all" those State Department emails to the appropriate government servers. This leaves in question whether or not some -- either incriminating or questionable in nature -- could have been intentionally left out of the process.

In my opinion, this further demonstrates bad judgement on her part; from White Water to TravelGate; to FileGate and Benghazi.  Questionable judgement and deception is the last thing we should want in any president; especially after Barack Obama. Ron Fournier at the National Journal said it best: "Maybe Hillary Clinton Should Retire Her White House Dreams."


Hillary Clinton Used Personal Email Account at State Dept., Possibly Breaking Rules: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/03/us/politics/hillary-clintons-use-of-private-email-at-state-department-raises-flags.html

This Is Hillary Clinton’s Secret Email: HDR22@ClintonEmail.com: http://gawker.com/this-is-hillary-clinton-s-secret-email-hdr22-clintonem-1689178736

Ron Fournier: Maybe Hillary Clinton Should Retire Her White House Dreams: http://www.nationaljournal.com/twenty-sixteen/maybe-hillary-clinton-should-retire-her-white-house-dreams-20150303

Whitewater controversy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whitewater_controversy

White House travel office controversy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_House_travel_office_controversy

Hillary Clinton tries to escape from on-going Filegate case: http://www.freedomwatchusa.org/hillary-clinton-tries-to-escape-from-on-going-filegate-case

ABC News’s Diane Sawyer destroys Hillary Rodham Clinton on Benghazi: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/erik-wemple/wp/2014/06/10/abc-newss-diane-sawyer-destroys-hillary-rodham-clinton-on-benghazi/

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Radical Islam: The President of Egypt Gets It

It was the first time, I actually heard an international leader and a Muslim, express the scope and intent of radical Islam.  That leader -- Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi -- put it concisely into the following words of a speech he gave before a gathering of imams back in November:
"Is it possible that 1.6 billion [Muslims] should want to kill the rest of the world's inhabitants – that is 7 billion—so that they themselves may live? Impossible!  I say and repeat again that we are in need of a religious revolution. You, imams, are responsible before Allah. The entire world, I say it again, the entire world is waiting for your next move… because this umma [international Muslim community] is being torn, it is being destroyed, it is being lost – and it is being lost by our own hands."
Clearly, he understands that radical Islam wants to destroy the non-Islam world.  But, he also knows that radical Islam is willing to kill Muslims that won't follow their radical form of religion as well.  He explains that the problem of radicalization is welling up from within the religion itself, through the radical teachings of all too many imams.  As a result, Islam, as it is known today, "is being lost by our own hands."

That is the key element of the speech.  Simply because it exposes the fact that radical Islam cannot be stopped by a top-down attempt to conduct battles that eliminate already-radicalized soldiers.   Soldiers who believe that killing and dying in the name of Allah is their pathway to heaven.

Instead, we must focus on destroying radical Islam from the bottom-up by stopping the teaching process by which children are being radicalized.   Until then, for every one we kill on the battlefield -- no matter what they call themselves (ISIS, Taliban, Al Qaeda, or whatever) --  there will always be more who, radicalized as children, are willing to kill in their place.  One sure way to end this is to convince Saudis and others who fund these radical schools that their actions are ultimately hurting Islam itself.


Egypt's President Urges Muslim Clerics to End Violent Islamic Ideology, Lead Peaceful 'Religious Revolution' in Groundbreaking Speech:

Madrassas: https://www.google.com/search?q=Madrassas&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8

Analyses - Madrassas | PBS - Saudi Time Bomb:  http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/saudi/analyses/madrassas.html

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Yawn.....Rand Paul Wins CPAC Straw Poll 3 Years In a Row

Last week, the Conservative Political Action Convention (CPAC) ended with Senator Rand Paul winning the straw poll as their most desired presidential nominee.  However, that fact alone, speaks volumes regarding the makeup of this annual meeting.  By voting for Paul, CPAC shows that it is extremely conservative; almost as libertarian as Paul himself  and, libertarian philosophies have been soundly rejected in the past.   For example, the Libertarian Party -- in Presidential, Senatorial, or House elections -- have generally received less than 1% of the votes.

In my opinion, CPAC is a worthless exercise because its views are out of step with greater America.  I may be wrong but, my guess is Rand Paul will never be President; even if he, somehow, gets the nomination. 


Conservative Political Action Conference - Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conservative_Political_Action_Conference

CPAC straw poll: Rand Paul wins, Scott Walker surging: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/feb/28/cpac-straw-poll-rand-paul-wins-scott-walker-surgin/

Rand Paul: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rand_Paul

Libertarianism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libertarianism

Libertarian Party: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libertarian_Party_%28United_States%29

Rand Paul's Long History Of Controversial Views: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/06/22/rand-pauls-long-history-o_n_621071.html

Monday, March 2, 2015

The Firearm Industry Brought Obama's AR-15 Ammo Ban On Itself

Gun owners are in a rage over the fact that President Obama, through executive order, will ban the sale of 5.56/.223 ammo that is used by millions of AR-15 Rifle owners for hunting and target practice.

The argument that Obama and the ATF are using is not only that this ammo is armor piercing but, more importantly, that there are now handguns that are capable of firing these bullets.  If there were never handguns capable of firing the 5.56/.223 ammo, the President would never have been able to issue a ban. Under a 1986 law -- Law Enforcement Officers Protection Act of 1986 -- it was legal to sell armor-piercing ammo as long as it was only used in rifles.

The reason for this exemption was logical because rifles, of any kind, are little used in murders in this country; let alone the murder of cops.  For example, in 2013, the FBI reported that of the 8,454 firearm murders that year, only 285 were caused by rifles with most of those incidents occurring in home invasions or neighborhood or family disputes.  Not in the killing of cops.  The simple fact is that rifles aren't used in the commission of most crimes because they aren't concealable; either before or after the crime.  But, when you have a firearm that looks like this (below) and is capable of piercing a light-weight police vest, you have a major problem under that 1986 law:

The above gun is one of the potentially concealable Kel-Tec PLR16 5.56/.223 handguns (pistols) which probably prompted the ban on the .223/5.56 ammunition. Others like it are either available now or will be soon.

So, simply, Obama wants to show that he is doing something about mass shootings by killing off weapons that look too militaristic such as the AR-15; even though an AR-15 is rarely used in any murders let alone mass shootings because, again, it can't be readily concealed.  But, the fact that he can now do this, was handed to him on a silver platter by the firearm industry itself.  Thus, with a stroke of a pen and the slim possibility of any valid legal challenge in the courts, Obama will starve much of the AR-15's out of existence for lack of ammunition.

The only way this action might be reversible is if the firearm industry decides to voluntarily stop making 5.56/.223 handguns.  But, this might not be doable because the cat is already out of the bag.


ATF proposes banning 5.56mm/.223 caliber ammunition used in popular AR-15 style rifle: http://fox43.com/2015/02/26/atf-proposes-banning-5-56mm-223-caliber-ammunition-used-in-popular-ar-15-style-rifle/

Law Enforcement Officers Protection Act of 1986: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/granule/STATUTE-100/STATUTE-100-Pg920/content-detail.html

Expanded Homicide Data Table 8: http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2013/crime-in-the-u.s.-2013/offenses-known-to-law-enforcement/expanded-homicide/expanded_homicide_data_table_8_murder_victims_by_weapon_2009-2013.xls

WTS Kel-Tec PLR16 .223/5.56 Pistol: https://www.ar15.com/archive/topic.html?b=7&f=88&t=458952