Friday, January 29, 2016

Expansion of Clean Waters Act? EPA Can't Even Do Their Current Job!

In May of 2015, the Obama Administration announced that the EPA would start managing water supplies over and above the original intent of the Clean Waters Act.  Unfortunately , since then, there have been two major screw ups by this agency for things for which they have had a long standing responsibility.

Just 3 months later in August, there was the "Gold King Mine" waste water spill of 3 million gallons of a toxic slush into the waterways and water supplies that connect Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, and Arizona.  That slush was made up of poisonous heavy metals which included lead, cadmium, and even arsenic.   Who caused the spill? The EPA who is charged with maintaining clean waters.  Worse than that, they knew of the possible risk a year earlier.  Yet, they carelessly proceeded with the work they were doing.

At the same time as the Colorado incident, the EPA caused another heavy metal spill in Georgia.  Like Colorado, the they were directly responsible for releasing toxic waste into another water source; this despite prior concerns of the local government.

Then, there was the Flint drinking water's lead contamination.  While the EPA didn't directly cause this problem, they knew about it in February of 2015 and did nothing. Instead, they argued with the State of Michigan over testing standards and safe lead limits.  It wasn't until October that they actually admitted there was a problem.  In the meantime, the residents of Flint were drinking water that had lead levels 5 times more harmful than the EPA limits for drinking water.   As a result of all the delays due to bureaucratic blame gaming, 100,000 residents have been poisoned and will probably suffer debilitating mental and physical health issues in the future.  Of course, the EPA claims no responsibility.  However, its Regional Director announced her resignation.  There is no indication as to whether or not the resignation was voluntary or sacrificial.  My bet is on the latter.

As with most government agencies, expansion merely creates monsters where one hand doesn't know what the other is doing.  Simpler and smaller is always better and more efficient than the creation of massive bureaucracies.  But, try and tell that to Obama and the Democrats.


EPA Broadens Clean Water Regulations:

2015 Gold King Mine waste water spill:

Another EPA disaster, this time in rural Georgia:

The EPA’s Silent, Guilty Role in the Flint Water Crisis:

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Democrats Abuse of the Word 'Loophole'

To most people, the word loophole has a negative connotation.  It implies that someone has found a way around something.

When Democrats talk about the gun show loophole, corporate tax loopholes, or the loophole that allows the automatic approval of a gun sale if the FBI fails to provide a background check within 3 days, they are actually talking about laws, passed by Congress and signed by various Presidents, allowing certain things to happen.

Take the so-called gun show loophole referred to by Democrats.  This is actually the legal right of a private party to transfer a gun to another private party by sale, gift, inheritance, or loan without the receiving party having to go through a background check.  This is how the law is written.  And, it doesn't matter if the "transfer" takes place at a gun show, in someone's home, or out of the back of a car.  Now, understand, the law also has some serious caveats in the transfer of a firearm that could cause the original owner to be charged with a felony.  Those caveats are simply that you can't transfer a gun to another party if you know that party couldn't, themselves, pass a background check, or you are aware that the gun will be used in the commission of a crime.

Then, there are the corporate tax loopholes that both Barack Obama and Bernie Sanders like to talk about.  Again, these aren't loopholes.  These are tax breaks given by Congress to corporations as incentives.  For example, incentives to find more domestic oil and reduce our dependence on foreign oil. Or, to write off the cost of making corporate owned buildings more energy efficient.  Or, the accelerated depreciation of certain capital expenses.  Believe me, if a corporation does skirt the law, the Internal Revenue Service will be all over it and would advise Congress to ange the law.

Now, Democrat Representative James Clyburn wants to close what he defines as another gun-sale related loophole.  This newly minted loophole is the "default proceed rule" under the Brady Bill that allows a gun sale to proceed if the FBI doesn't provide a result to the background check within 3 days.  If it was up to Clyburn, you could die waiting for an FBI background check to be completed.

The fact is that Democrats are using the word "loophole" as a disingenuous means to force legislation that would reverse laws that they don't like. That's why every time they want to close such "loopholes" they can get legislation passed because closing them would result in broader consequences.


Definition of Loophole:

The Facts about Gun Shows:

Eliminate all oil and gas tax loopholes - PolitiFact:

Congressman introduces bill to close loophole that allowed alleged Charleston shooter to buy gun:

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Obama Wants To Criminalize Having as Little as One Drink and Driving

In the U.S., a blood alcohol measurement of .08 while driving is considered legally intoxicated and subject to DUI enforcement. In 2013, President Obama's National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) asked states to lower that limit to just .05.  Fortunately, the states never bought into this because that level of supposed drunkenness would make millions of Americans criminals.  This, according to the following Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) to weight chart.

Primary Source: California DMV
As shown above, any woman weighing less than 160 pounds couldn't have a single, 5 oz. glass of wine and drive legally.  And, no woman could have two glasses of wine; no matter what their weight.  Further, no man could drink more than one beer without being legally drunk. 

But, also, think of the consequences.

Anyone drinking one drink who has an accident or has been caught speeding could have their licenses taken away and/or serve time in jail; depending on the DUI laws in his or her state.  Also, being legally drunk at this low level could result in millions more personal injury lawsuits.  Bartenders in states with the Bartender's law could find themselves criminally and civilly liable for allowing anyone to have more than one drink.  No bar could remain open if they could only serve one drink to a customer.  Restaurants would probably give up their liquor licenses. This would be a job and business killer. 

Now, Barack Obama's NTSB has resurrected this apparent overreach just this month; citing that one third of all driving-related deaths were a result of drunk driving.  But, here's the thing.  California's DMV says that less than 5% of people even test at the .08 level when stopped for speeding or when involved in a traffic accident.  Lowering the level to .05, would only increase the number of violators and may not even lower the number of alcohol-related traffic deaths.  That's because the people who drink and drive while being impaired will continue to do so; no matter what the legal limit is.  Also understand, that out of the top ten causes of automobile accidents, drunk driving ranks 5th behind: (1) Speeding and reckless driving, (2) mobile phone use; (3) eating and other forms of distraction; and, (4) fatigue or falling asleep.

Some are speculating that Obama may use his powers of executive action to force this level into law by withholding federal funds for transportation projects.  This is only more wrong-headed B.S. reasoning from this President and his people.  Just like assuming that terrorism won't continue to expand if we would just close Gitmo.  Seriously, this is an attempt to create prohibition without the 21st Amendment and a two-thirds approval by the American people.


2016:  Federal government wants to lower legal alcohol limit:

Source of Chart: BACTrack:

Top 10 Causes of Car Accidents:

Monday, January 25, 2016

Chicago: Gun Violence Spirals Out Of Control!

The following graphic speaks volumes about the so-called "Ferguson Effect" in Chicago.


Less than 3 weeks into this new year,  Chicago has had 2.4 times more people shot than in 2015.  Sadly, 29 of those 195 shooting victims lost their lives.  What is more disturbing,  is this graphic which reflects the race of those murdered through January 20th:
The assailant percentage is somewhat deceiving, since the vast majority of murders in Chicago this year have yet to be solved; and probably won't be solved since many of these killings are gang related and witnesses are afraid to come forward.  In fact, 70% of homicides in the City go unsolved.

Obviously, President Obama's focus is on cops killing unarmed blacks. The emphasis on that as the primary problem in our major cities, has put hundreds of people in Chicago at a greater risk of being shot or killed.  As long as police feel that they are under a microscope, they will be reluctant to more aggressively confront these situations, especially those involving Blacks. Tragically, gun violence will continue to spin out of control.


Chicago Shooting & Homicide Statistics:

Under Emanuel, more unsolved murders, fewer detectives:

Obama, FBI director spar over the 'Ferguson Effect' on police:

Friday, January 22, 2016

Hollywood -- Home of the Liberal Hypocrites

I find it almost laughable that there is a big flap over the fact that the Oscars -- for the second year in a row -- didn't nominate a single Black person to win their coveted award.  It's not laughable that a Black didn't get nominated, but that Hollywood -- the most liberal bastion of Democratic ideals and the strongest supporters of Democratic candidates -- once again displays its rampant liberal hypocrisy.

When Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama take money from Hollywood, they seem to turn a blind eye to the fact that it consistently pays male actors more than female actors, or that there are few female directors, or as mentioned above, that the predominately white Academy doesn't recognize any Blacks worthy of being nominated. It must be difficult to rise to those lily-white standards.


Calls for Oscar boycott over lack of non-white nominees spark debate:

Everything You Need To Know About The Hollywood Pay Gap:

Feds Officially Probing Hollywood’s Lack Of Female Directors:

Hillary Clinton Returns for Hollywood Fundraisers | Variety:

President Obama Arrives for Hollywood Fundraisers | Variety:

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Hillary Clinton's Reckless Disregard for America's Most Secret Secrets

Hillary Clinton was just one of an elite group of people in our government that was  allowed to have a security clearance beyond "Top Secret" in what is called the "SAP" or "Special Access Program".  "SAP's" are so sensitive that they could seriously damage the United States; or even get people killed.  Yet, Hillary thought very little of this when she allowed that information to be on a private email server that was called by one cyber security expert: "Amateur hour".

I can't comprehend that Obama's Justice Department will ignore this and not file charges against her.  Especially after General Patreaus had been to sentenced to 2 years of a probationary sentence and fined for a lesser similar violation.  And, I don't think it matters if she sent or received those highly classified documents.  The fact that they wound up on an unsecured server, in her home, without being encrypted, is a reckless act that endangers the country.  Is this the person we want as our Commander In Chief?


Hillary Clinton Emails Held Info Beyond Top Secret: IG:

Inspector General: Clinton emails had intel from most secretive, classified programs:

Watchdog: Clinton's server had classified material beyond 'top secret':

AP Exclusive: Clinton email server setup risked intrusions:

Petraeus Sentenced To 2 Years' Probation, Fine:

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Cheap Oil Isn't Helping Our Economy

All through 2015, gasoline prices fell.  Many economists wrongly predicted that this would stimulate the economy with stronger retail sales.  Yet, when it was all said and done, 2015's consumer activity was the worst since 2009, when sales were at a negative growth rate as this chart from shows:

Click on Image to Enlarge or See Link Below
Overall, total retail sales came in at just 2.1% for 2015.  Less than half that when auto sales are excluded.  What's worse, retail sales in December actually fell one-tenth of a percent in a month that most retail expected strong Christmas sales.

But, this data comes on the heels of another piece of worrisome data: the Consumer Price Index (CPI). Like retail sales, saw its lowest growth in prices in years.  This time since 2008. Note this chart from

Click on Image to Enlarge or See Link Below
The reason that these two charts are so important is that they both show a serious slowing of consumer activity which may result in a recession in 2016.  The reason being that 70% of our growth is a direct result of consumer spending.  For example, in 2014, our economy was calculated to be $17.4 trillion dollars.  Consumer spending was responsible for $11.9 trillion dollars.  So, any significant slow down in that area would result in negative growth; and, two consecutive quarters of it are the classic definition of a recession.

So, the slowing in retail sales is obviously a problem.  But, the slow down in the CPI inflation is less obvious but an equally serious problem. A healthy economy should see CPI inflation between 2 and 3% per year.  That indicates that wages are increasing; a confidence in the economy and the job market; when retailers feel like the can raise prices without losing business.  But, we haven't seen that kind of growth in the CPI since 2011.  Simply, the year-by-year fall in any CPI inflation shows that there are pricing restraints.  In other words, people are buying enough to convince retailers to increases prices.  To economists, this is called disinflation.  And, should the growth in the CPI go negative in the coming months, that would be called "deflation".  That is serious and that would also show a contraction.  Possibly, a recession.

Thus, when I hear certain politicians and economists claim strength in the economy, I look at these two charts and think not.  To me, these charts are like two canaries in a coal mine; signalling economic disaster in the not too distant future.  Despite falling gasoline prices, the consumer has decided to save and not spend; indicating a certain amount of fear and uncertainty.


Retail Sales in U.S. Decrease to End Weakest Year Since 2009:

Current US Inflation Rates: 2005-2015:

What Are the Components of GDP? Explanation, Formula and Chart:


Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Closing Gitmo Won't End It As a Recruiting Tool

Come hell or high water, Barack Obama is dead set on closing Gitmo before he leaves office, and it doesn't matter how many of the remaining worst of the worst he releases into the world.  In doing so, the President will erroneously believe he has shutdown a main recruiting tool for the terrorists.  However, he would, as usual, be wrong.

When Gitmo closes, ISIS, Al Qaeda, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), the Taliban, and all the other terrorist groups will see this as a win for them and a defeat for the United States.  They will relish that fact because they know that this "defeat" can be used as a "real" recruiting tool. Mark my words.


January 2016: Obama vows to 'keep working to shut down' Gitmo | TheHill:

January 2016: Obama Releasing 10 More “Hardcore” Terrorists:

Obama: ISIS using Gitmo to rationalize 'demented, sick' violence:

Monday, January 18, 2016

The Real Reason Behind the Oregon Standoff

Based on media coverage, most people think that the standoff in Oregon and the prior one in Nevada were all about some right-wing, anti-government, wacko ranchers in the West refusing to pay grazing fees for allowing their animals to graze on Federal land. But, there's a bigger issue that is driving these events and here's the graphic that explains it:

Source: BigThink: See Link Below
For decades, every President has burnished their legacy by creating new federal lands by executive order.  Congress unfortunately afforded each president this ability with the passage of the Antiquities Act of 1906. The West has been the biggest target with now, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) controlling 58% of the land in the 10 farthest western states; and, an astounding 85% of Nevada.

In recent years, the target of these land grabs have been more about blocking human activities such as drilling for oil and mining, than preserving lands as national treasures.  The bottom line is that the Federal government is controlling massive tracts of land and is collecting all kinds of fees that should rightly belong to the states. Also, it is believed that $2 billion annually is lost to mismanagement of these lands by the BLM and other federal agencies.

By comparison, the East, the South, and the Midwest have been unfairly left alone in the efforts to nationalize lands as noted by the red areas on this map:

This is why we may see many more Oregon and Nevada standoffs in the future; and I don't think it will just be by ranchers.  In 2015 alone, there were 50 bills submitted in western state legislatures to reclaim land taken from the states by various Presidents.  By all accounts, the Obama Administration has made it much more difficult to do anything on Federal lands; especially for ranchers.

Lastly, President Obama's latest edict to place a moratorium on new leases for coal mining on Federal land primarily hurts 5 western states: Wyoming, Montana, Colorado, Utah and New Mexico.  Again, because of the decades long Federal land grab, it is the states in the West that will see potential losses of jobs, and certainly, losses in revenues.


I’m an Oregon rancher. Here’s what you don’t understand about the Bundy standoff:

Imbalance of Federal Land Ownership Sheds Light on Oregon Militia:

Western States Fighting for Control of Federal Lands:

Antiquities Act of 1906:

Mining moratorium a blow to Wyoming's coal industry: The vast majority of that mining on government land takes place in Wyoming, Montana, Colorado, Utah and New Mexico: 

Friday, January 15, 2016

Hillary is Bullied into Submission on Illegal Immigration

One of the things I expect from a potential President is the ability to talk straight about the issues.  However, on the political left, "political correctness" always clouds some very serious problems that face this country.  Our current President refuses to use any variants of the words "terrorist" or "radical" in conjunction with the words "Islam" or "Islamic" in the assumption that such usage would slander all Muslims.

Then there's Hillary.  Back in November, in a town hall meeting in New Hampshire, she used the terms "illegal immigrants"; for which she caught heat.  Shortly afterwards, she wrote this Facebook entry: "That was a poor choice of words".

Then, in another recent town hall-like forum on January 11, Jorge Ramos brought the incident up to Hillary. She responded by promising never to use the phrase"illegal immigrant" again.

So, basically, Hillary caved on the issue.  Not because those words don't accurately describe the flow of people across our southern border; but because she is pandering for the Hispanic vote.

These people that are coming across the border know they're coming here illegally.  Otherwise, they wouldn't be crossing in the dead of night and in remote areas to avoid border patrols.  Ramos and  Hillary would have us believe they have some kind of right to be here.  I think it is things like this that cause Hillary to slide in the polls.  She's weak and can't tell Ramos the truth, or what she believed to be the truth before she started her second campaign for the presidency.


Clinton says her use of term 'illegal immigrant' was a 'poor choice of words':


Thursday, January 14, 2016

The Real State of the Union

Barack Obama would have you think that our "Union" is strong, but the people know differently. That is why his approval numbers have stayed below 50% for months since 2013.  Here are some of the numbers that prove the "Union's" lack of strength.
  • 9.9%: This is the real unemployment rate when the following are taken into consideration: (1) part timers unable to find full time work; (2) underemployed workers; (3) discouraged workers that have given up trying to find a job.
  • The 2nd Quarter 2013: This is when Obama promised that we would see a 5% unemployment rate as his stimulus package was passed into law.  Instead, unemployment didn't hit 5% until late 2015.
  • 8.3%: The current Black unemployment rate.
  • 23.7%:  The rate of unemployment among Blacks ages 16 to 19.
  • 2.1%: The slowest Economic Growth since World War II.
  • 1989: That's how far back you have to go to find the average median household family's current income.
  • 47.6 million: A record number of people in poverty.
  • 27%: The percentage of Blacks in poverty; and 24% of all Hispanics in poverty.
  • 10.8 Million: The number of disabled workers.  Up from 7.4 million when Obama came to office; a 44% increase.
  • 20.3%: The average increase in ObamaCare premiums going into 2016.
Believe me, there are many more statistics that prove this"Union" is not strong, but the key ones listed above speak volumes.


Obama Job Approval:

The Worst [economic] Expansion Since WWII: 

Alternative Measures of Unemployment:

The Employment Situation December 2015 - Bureau of Labor Statistics:

White House Stimulus Predictions for Unemployment:

Record 46.7 Million Americans Live In Poverty; Household Incomes back 1989 levels:

Poverty Rate by Race/Ethnicity:

Table 2. Social Security benefits [including disability beneficiaries], November 2015:

Average Increase in ObamaCare Premiums going into 2016:


Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Obama Continues the Lie About Gun Violence in Other Countries

When President Obama announced his executive actions on guns from the East Room of the White House, he once again, repeated this lie:
"This type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries. It doesn’t happen in other places with this kind of frequency."
That claim has already been debunked by, stating that it is "Mostly False".  The fact is that Norway, Sweden, and Finland all have "Mass Shooting" rates that are higher than the U.S.; relative to the size of their respective populations.

In terms of homicides, our neighbor to the south, Mexico, has a rate 4 times higher than the we do.  In fact, Central and South American countries, in general, all have excessive gun violence and homicide rates despite having lower per-capita gun ownership.  The United States ranks 18th.  This despite the fact that the we rank number one in gun ownership with a per-person rate of 112.6 guns per 100 persons.

This is a perfect example of the type of claims that Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and other Democrats use to try and push gun control measures in this country.

What we never hear from any of these people is that gun-related homicides in the U.S.  have fallen by 49% since peaking in 1993.  Non-fatal gun violence has fallen by nearly 75% over the same period.  Some of that can be attributed to the fact that gun ownership has tripled in this country since the 1990's from an estimated 270 million to 310 million.  Simply, a person with criminal intent is less likely to commit a crime if they think that a potential victim may be armed.


Barack Obama's emotional evolution on gun control:

Is Barack Obama correct that mass killings don't happen in other countries?:

List of countries by firearm-related death rate:

Number of guns per capita by country:

Gun Homicide Rate Down 49% Since 1993 Peak; Public Unaware:

Gun Violence Statistics 1993-2011:

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The Gender Pay Gap Closes for the Third Year in a Row

In this election year, expect Democrats -- especially Hillary Clinton -- to make "equal pay for equal work" a campaign issue in order to garner women's votes.  In doing so, also expect them to trot out the old statistic that women only make 77 cents for every dollar a man makes.  But, that 77 cent claim hasn't existed since before 2002 when women, for the first time, made 78 cents on the dollar.  An example of this is Hillary tweet made in 2014:

That is totally false; and of course, nearly 10,000 followers liked it ("Likes") and apparently believe it to be the truth.  At least Obama has given up on the 77 cent claim.  Now, he's using 78 cents.

Here's the truth.

In November of 2015, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) published its latest report on women's pay titled "Highlights of Women's Earnings for 2014" and women reached a new milestone; making 83 cents for every dollar a man made.  This is up from 82 cents in 2013 and 81 cents in 2012.  So, neither Hillary nor Obama have an excuse for not knowing the true number.  Also understand that 83 cents is a 34% improvement in pay disparity in the last 35 years when, in 1979, women made just 62 cents on the dollar.  That's almost a one percent improvement per year.

Additionally, in Table 1 of that report, women -- before the age of 35 -- made between 89.9% and 92.3% of what men made.  The reason that is significant is the fact that, prior to that age, many women leave the workforce to raise a family.  Upon return, they have lost all the pay raises and seniority that they may have enjoyed while they where gone; and, basically, they wind up starting all over again in their chosen career fields with lower pay.

The simple truth is that Democrats prefer to lie about the size of the pay disparity between the sexes in order to enhance the victimization of women in the workforce.  It's all about politics and votes, and not the truth.  Also, the closing of the gender gap was a result of economic forces and not because of anything that the federal government did.  If it had, you know Barack Obama would be front and center taking credit for it.


Highlights of Women's Earnings for 2014:

Hillary's Tweet on Women's Pay:

The ‘Equal Pay Day’ factoid that women make 78 cents for every dollar earned by men:

President Obama gives up 77 cent wage gap statistic: 

Highlights of Women's Earnings for 2013:

Highlights of Women's Earnings for 2012:

Highlights of Women's Earnings for 2002:


Monday, January 11, 2016

Obama is the Gun Industry's Best Salesman

In 2009, the Congressional Research Service estimated that Americans had 310 million firearms.  Since then, and since Barack Obama has been in office, there have been 129.6 million background checks conducted; with the vast majority done on new weapons being sold.  Thus, under Obama's watch, there has been a 42% increase in the number of guns purchased in just 7 years.  Quite the record.

Smith & Wesson, Remington, Ruger and the rest of the gun manufacturers are really going to miss this President when he leaves office next January.  Of course, he still has another year before that to improve on his 42% record.  Probably close to 50%. 


Number of Guns in U.S.:

FBI Background Check Statistics:

Smith & Wesson stocks peak, gun sales rise amid Obama's actions on firearms:

Saturday, January 9, 2016

The December 2015 Jobs Report Exposes Deceptive Calculation of the Unemployed

Despite supposedly creating nearly 900,000 new jobs in the last three months of 2015, the unemployment rate remained at exactly 5% for each of those months; and the number of unemployed has remained at roughly 7.9 million. (Sources: Employment Situation Report: Tables A-1 and A2).

To any logically thinking person, creating 900,000 new jobs should have reduced the 7.9 million unemployed to 7 million, and the unemployment rate should have dropped to at least 4.5%.  But no.  And, that "no" is all about how this country has been calculating unemployment rates since the Great Depression and how it is all about politics.

For all the years that Obama has been in office, the unemployment rate and the number of unemployed have been artificially enhanced by not counting the number of people who are out of work; frustrated at not being able to find a job; and therefore, no longer looking for work.  Now, to use that well-worn phrase: "The chickens have come home to roost!"

The fact that the unemployment rate has stayed constant, despite the creation of thousands of new jobs, just tells us that the market is finally improving to the extent that those people who previously were not counted are finally able to find work.  This is a good thing.  But, to a politician like Obama, it could be bad thing.  Especially, if more and more people start looking for work and the unemployment rate starts rising again; versus just holding at 5%.

The reality is that Americans are not being told the truth about overall unemployment.  The fact that bench-sitters haven't been counted means that the unemployment rate is understated by half.  I think it's high time that the practice of reporting unemployment numbers be changed to reflect the actual truth.

One more thing.  In those last 3 months of 2015, the average weekly wage fell from $871.92 in October to $870.78 in December (source Table B-3).  Creating jobs is one thing.  People getting good paying ones is another issue.


The Unemployment Situation Report for December 2015:

What's the REAL unemployment rate?:


Friday, January 8, 2016

Echoes of Clinton's North Korea Nuke Deal Haunt the Iran Deal

When North Korea announced its detonation of a hydrogen bomb, many of us were reminded of the nuke deal struck by then-President Bill Clinton in 1994, when North Korea supposedly agreed to "freeze and dismantle its nuclear program".

In so many ways, the words of Bill Clinton are nearly the same as President Obama regarding the Iran nuke deal.  This is why so many people on the political right believe that lightening will strike twice and Iran will get the bomb quicker than the President  would have you believe.


Thursday, January 7, 2016

Obama's Gun Control Orders: Why In His Last Year in Office?

Surrounded by gun control advocates, survivors, and family members of mass shootings, Obama announced his gun control measures that he will institute in this, his last year of office.

But, what nobody seems to be asking is why this President had waited so long to do anything prior to this year if he was, as he appeared to be, so passionate about gun control.  However, as PBS reported:
"Six months after the Jan. 8, 2011 shooting in Tuscon, Ariz. that left six dead and several others wounded, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, the White House said the attorney general had formed working groups in the Justice department to identify “common-sense measures” to prevent another mass shooting while respecting gun rights. The department came up with a list of proposals, including ways to strengthen background checks for prospective gun buyers. But according to a recent New York Times story, it shelved those ideas about a year ago as the administration focused on the upcoming election..."
So, for this President, it didn't come down to saving lives in 2011 but, instead, the politics of winning the 2012 election.  And, don't think that politics isn't what his current actions (executive orders) are all about.  In this, an election year, Obama wants confrontation with the Republicans over expanded gun background checks.  He wants to paint them as heartless people who won't take common sense steps to fight violence in this country.  He also knows that in polling, nearly 90% want expanded background checks.  Not because expanded checks are necessarily needed; but, because the Democrats have convinced Americans that tens of thousands of guns are being sold without background checks. Which is false.  According to the FBI, more than 220 million background checks have been conducted in the U.S. since late 1998.

Lastly, everything that the President has announced will probably wind up in the courts with litigation lasting long after he leaves office.  And, my guess all those orders by Obama will be struck down because his executive actions are an attempt to re-write existing laws.


PBS: What’s Obama’s Record on Gun Control?:

Polling Report: Gun Polls:

FBI Background Checks Tallies:


Wednesday, January 6, 2016

The Myth That Too Many Guns Are Being Sold Without Background Checks

If you're a gun control advocate, you most likely believe that the current amount of gun violence is a direct result of too many guns being sold without background checks.  However, the FBI statistics throw cold water on that argument.

Since the FBI started conducting the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (aka NICS), under the Brady Bill in late 1998, more than 220 million checks have been performed at the time of firearm sales:
Click on image to enlarge
There are now an estimated 270 to 310 million guns in this country compared to approximately 90 million in 1998, when the checks began. Therefore, at least 100% of the guns sold (primarily as new) were given background checks.  Of course, this is not to say that there aren't guns  being transferred between individuals as gifts, private sales, or inheritances, that aren't required to get background checks.  But, statistically, it is a little hard to believe that as many as 40% of the 310 million guns in this country, or 124 million, never received background checks because of individual transfers; as some gun control advocates would have you believe.

The simple reality, is that the gun background check system is working for the vast majority of firearm sales in the U.S.. Increasing checks for personal transfers is not going to take the many stolen guns off the streets that ultimately find themselves in the hands of criminals. Nor, will it stop those who may become dangerously mentally ill many years after a gun purchase. Nor, are increased background checks going to stop the near 90% of all violent crimes in this country that don't involve guns.


FBI: NICS Stats:

CNN: Polls: Gun ownership declines, support for less gun control on the rise:

Guns and Crime:

Property Crime has been reduced as handgun supplies increased:

Clinton's claim that 40 percent of guns are sold at gun shows:

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Why the Paris Climate Change Agreement Will Fail

In Paris, In mid-December, after two weeks of talks between 195 countries, ended with an agreement on climate change, there were high-fives and pats on the back for all those politicians, from all those countries that attended the summit.  The media called  it "historic".  CNN proclaimed "The End of Fossil Fuels", as if the world will somehow toss all their gasoline-powered cars to the wayside; commercial jets will find some way to fly without fuel; people will find something other than natural gas to heat their homes and cook their food with; and cement and steel will, I suppose, be created without high-carbon coke as fuel.  Also, somehow, we will figure out how to pave our roads without the asphalt that is a by-product of refining oil.  All before 2030, in order to keep the global temperatures from rising another 1/2 degree Celsius.

Of course, those items mentioned above, and many others, are just many of the impossible hurdles facing the Paris agreement.  Then, there's the toothlessness of the agreement itself.
  • The agreeing parties will set their own goals and targets to reduce carbon and "do their best" to implement those reduction targets "as soon as possible".  
  • Progress towards the stated targets/goals will be on the honor system with each country self-monitoring its own progress and self-reporting such progress.
  • Those failing to meet their goals will be "named and shamed" and, supposedly, spat upon by the world community as a polluter; assuming that each country will honestly report their progress. 
  • The 55 dirtiest countries will ante-up $100 billion a year to be handed over to the other 140 of the total 195 participating counties, so they too, can fight climate change.
There you have it; and I'm quite sure that last item was a real crowd pleaser among the 140 countries who are now licking their chops in anticipation of billions of dollars coming their way that will surely be used solely for fighting climate change.  More importantly, this agreement is like having no agreement at all.  Especially since most of the "politicians" involved probably won't be around over the next 15 years of initial commitments.  For sure, Obama and his people won't be around past February 2017 to insure that the U.S.'s progress toward our targets and goals will be met.

But, here's the two biggest reasons that the Paris agreement will fail:  (1) Growing populations and (2) Growing affluence in emerging economies.

Take India for example.  By 2028, India is expected to overtake China in total population.  Also, by 2030, a 2012 BP study projects that automobile ownership in India will grow from just 20% in 2011 to 65% by 2030.  That's just one country and a massive growth in affluence.  China will also see huge growth in automobile ownership; nearly 300% on a per capita basis by 2030. All told, there will be 2 billion cars on the world's roads just 5 years later in 2035; according to a Navigant Research study published last year.  That's a 66% increase in automobile ownership and a presumed growth in affluence in just 21 years.  So, with this in mind, every car sold going forward from today has to be more than 66% more fuel efficient just to keep automobile emissions the same as they are today.  If that's not an impossible task, I don't know what is.

However the growth in affluence doesn't just stop with the world buying more cars. Air travel demand is expected to double by 2035.  And, as a result, emissions from commercial aircraft will substantially increase unless fuel economies are at least halved.  Even so, most of today's aircraft will probably still be flying in 2035.  Just as improving automobile fuel inefficiencies is an impossible task, improving jet liner fuel efficiency would be even more difficult; especially when you consider that many of today's planes (and some cars) will still be operational for the next 15 to 20 years.

Simply, growing populations and even faster growth in affluence will be the downfall of the Paris agreement. The growth in affluence won't just be with cars and air travel.  It will be seen in all other forms of human activity.  There will be larger, better heated, and well lit homes with more electrical appliances, and highly unreliable wind and solar will not be able to keep up with the demand without the assistance of energy produced by fossil fuels.  So much for CNN's "End of Fossil Fuels" folly. Also, do we really think that building nuclear power plants is the solution?  The inherent problems and risks make the choice not a good one.  Just look at the Chernobyl and Fukushima disasters.

In my opinion, the Paris agreement is historic alright.  A historic failure!


2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference:

COP21: Paris climate change deal is end of fossil fuels - 

India To Overtake China As Largest Populated Nation:

India will add more cars than China in 20 years:

Two billion vehicles projected to be on roads by 2035:

Air travel demand projected to double in 20 years:

    Monday, January 4, 2016

    What's In Your Safe? Hopefully Not Gold or Silver!

    There's no Happy New Year if you bought either gold or silver in the last 6 or 7 years; respectively.

    As of the end of 2015, gold sits at a price per troy ounce of $1060.  You have to go back to September of 2009, to find a lower price.  Since peaking in 2011 at $1916, gold now ended the year 45% off that high.

    Silver has been an even worse investment.  In  2011, it was selling at a high of $51.52.  Today, at $13.80, your loss would be a whopping 73%.  You literally have to go back to December of 2008 -- 7 years ago -- to find a lower price.

    Now, will 2015 lows be the bottom for these two metals?  Probably not.  The current trend still indicates a downward slide.  My guess is that if gold falls below $1000 a troy ounce, the next possible bottom will be around $800.  Silver, may go to below $11 an ounce before it takes a pause.

    I sure would like to know how much of those metals William Devane has in his safe and what he paid (in the aggregate) for it.  My guess is that he and his financial adviser are a lot smarter than that;  he probably doesn't have a penny's worth.  I sure hope he's not being paid in either of those increasingly less precious metals.  If he is, he's the one getting stroked as well as the listeners of his TV ads.


    Historical Gold Prices:

    Historical Sliver Prices:

    William Devane Rosland Capital Commercial: Protect Your IRA:

    Rosland Capital | Invest in Stability & Avoid "Crisis":

    Urban Dictionary: getting stroked: