Friday, February 05, 2016

New Jersey Continues to Lead in America's Race to the Bottom

In addition to the massive unfunded liabilities New Jerseyans face for their lavish government employee retirement programs New Jerseyans are now faced with the prospect of a bankrupt Atlantic City.

A testament to the evil incompetence that Crony Capitalism leads to. All of America should pay heed to the results of this government run economic development effort.

As a business financial planner For the past 30 years I have watched the rise of crony capitalism as government increasingly controlled economic development efforts; the results are the decline and decay we see and feel all around us today.

To the degree possible we need to get government out of the markets. America works best when Governments role is regulating the 'field' the markets,  evenly. Not manipulating the markets and picking the winners and losers behind closed doors. That is a tenant of fascism.  

We need to reach the young minds, todays teens and 20 somethings, where their interests are, technology and games. Help me reach out and spread the truth of Christian history and the battles and perils of fighting fascism throughout the ages. After all at the core,  it was fascists that ruled Rome and murdered Jesus. (the term fascism actually comes from ancient Roman times, the Fasces, the Roman symbol of collectivism and power. )

Join me on

VideoOnix.com    http://www.VideoOnix.com   

It is fun tech, Spacey even, and lots of info on the new business financing laws too.  If you think the bankers are a big part of the problem, the new series of laws will help put them in their place.

That is if Americans rally around freedom, otherwise we are toast.

By the way, the new investment laws called the JOBS ACT of 2012 create a lot of new opportunities for small investors too, opportunities to invest in startups.  Very big changes that everyone should know about.

One last thought, you might like this old adage I like to use

'Doing something, does something.'

Press On!


Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Commentary by James Shott

Frantic over the flood of evidence that shows that climate change is a natural phenomenon and is not made significantly worse by fossil fuel use, which runs contrary to the narrative that fossil fuel use is slowly killing the planet, officials in two states have begun using government power to punish those who dare to speak against the climate change demagoguery.

The Heritage Foundation’s Hans von Spakovsky writes, “California Attorney General Kamala Harris has joined New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman in trying to prosecute ExxonMobil for supposedly lying to its shareholders and the public about climate change, according to the Los Angeles Times. The Times reported that Harris is investigating what ExxonMobil ‘knew about global warming and what the company told investors.’”

Von Spakovsky’s article in The Daily Caller continues: “Neither Harris nor Schneiderman recognizes the outrageousness of what they are doing — which amounts to censoring or restricting speech and debate on what is a contentious scientific theory. In fact, they want not just to stop anyone who questions the global warming theory from being able to speak; they want to punish them with possible civil sanctions or even criminal penalties.” He goes on to suggest the two AGs badly need a refresher course on the First Amendment.

While trying to punish contrary opinions through government oppression is fairly new to the climate change debate, proponents of human-caused climate change have long been guilty of hiding inconvenient data, distorting and manipulating data, and ignoring a more recent and more accurate method of measuring the Earth’s temperature that does not produce “favorable” data.

For example, 37 years of satellite-based instrument measurements have provided the world's most accurate and unbiased temperature data. These measurements are free from coverage gaps and siting problems – such as artificial surfaces like concrete, asphalt, and heat sources like air conditioner exhausts – that pollute measurements of land-based instruments. Satellite measurements show no warming of the climate for 18 recent years. Despite their own satellite data, NASA advances theories based upon land-based measurements, which support the human-caused warming theory.

Mike van Biezen addressed the satellite measurement result in an article published on The Daily Wire online discussing ten of the “many scientific problems posed by the assumption that human activity” is causing climate change. In his commentary, the adjunct professor of physics, mathematics, astronomy and Earth science at Loyola Marymount University and Compton College, acknowledges things he says we know to be correct, such as that the global average temperature has increased since the 1980’s; since the 1980’s glaciers around the world are receding and the ice cap of the Arctic Ocean has lost ice since the 1980’s, especially during the summer months; and that the average global temperature for the last 10 years is approximately 0.35 degrees centigrade higher than it was during the 1980’s.

But while acknowledging that those points from 25 years ago are true, and charging that the global warming community exploits those facts to prove that human activity has caused increased temperatures, he then asserts that “no direct scientific proof or data has been shown that link the current observations to human activity.  The link is assumed to be simply a fact, with no need to investigate or discuss any scientific data.”

Among the many things he says are falsely assumed to be linked to human activity:
** Temperature records from around the world do not support the assumption that today’s temperatures are unusual
** Current temperatures are always compared to the temperatures of the 1980’s, but for many parts of the world the 1980’s was the coldest decade of the last 100+ years
** The world experienced a significant cooling trend between 1940 and 1980
** Urban heat island effect skews the temperature data of a significant number of weather stations
** The CO2 cannot, from a scientific perspective, be the cause of significant global temperature changes
** There have been many periods during our recent history that a warmer climate was prevalent long before the industrial revolution
** Glaciers have been melting for more than 150 years
** “Data adjustment” is used to continue the perception of global warming

Biezen provides scientific arguments to refute those commonly advanced ideas, and explains why they fail to demonstrate a connection to climate change from human activity, threatening the comfort and success of human-caused climate change advocates.

The American left, whose ideas routinely fall to logical counter-arguments, frequently resort to force of one sort or another to combat their opponents. Desperation clearly has set in, as evidenced by the radical and tyrannical use of government force by the California and New York AGs to silence dissent. But they and others who think they can quiet the voices of dissent should remember that the United States thrives because it protects its citizens’ right to think for themselves and make their own decisions based on their own preferences.

Whatever you believe about human activities contributing to changes to Earth’s climate, honest people of all ideological persuasions must agree that if you have to deceive the public in order to gain support for your ideas, perhaps there is something fundamentally wrong with those ideas.

Cross-posted from Observations

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

 Commentary by James Shott

Colleges are infected with liberal foolishness to a higher degree than ever before. It seems the most popular activity in colleges today is being offended. Many students are offended by such dastardly threats as contrary opinions, and males standing up while talking to seated females. This is the nature of things at too many campuses these days.

“Trigger warnings” are required to warn students of potentially “troubling class material,” and “microaggressions,” which are words and phrases that offend someone, even when the speaker intended no offense, are a really big deal.

A Harvard Law School dean has compared microaggressions to sexual assault and violence, and the University of California lists things that are just too horrible to say, including threatening phrases, like "everyone can succeed in this society, if they work hard enough" and "America is the land of opportunity." Rough stuff, that.

Such terrifying things slip by traditional, older Americans unnoticed, but cripple younger folk. These hallmarks of modern American liberalism have grown from the seeds that sprouted the belief that feelings are more important than anything, and that everyone deserves a trophy for merely showing up.

Americans who graduated from the school of hard knocks are amazed and bemused at the hypersensitive nature of our once-tough culture, and wonder how this could have occurred. Our education system, at all levels, played a big role.

As these changes occurred they were accompanied by, and perhaps abetted by, the liberalization of the college professoriate.

The Daily Signal published an article discussing a UCLA Higher Education Research Institute study that documents the increase in liberal professors. “During the past quarter-century, academia has seen a nearly 20-percent jump in the number of professors who identify as liberal,” writes Natalie Johnson. “That increase has created a lopsided ideological spread in higher education, with liberal professors now outpacing their conservative counterparts by a ratio of roughly 5 to 1.”

In 1990 only about 41 percent of professors identified themselves as “liberal” or “far-left,” but by 2014 the percentage had risen to 60. Over that same period those identifying as “conservative” or “far-right” fell from 18 to 13 percent.

In 2011 liberal profs reached their highest point at 63 percent, while conservatives reached a high of only 22 percent, in 1993. At the other end, liberals never fell below the 41 percent mark, while conservatives were as low as 12 percent in 2011.

In a perfect world this political imbalance should make little difference. After all, what difference does it make if your math professor is a Democrat, Republican, unaffiliated with a party, a Trotsky-ite or whatever? Math is math, right? Biology, music theory, graphic arts, English grammar and most other subjects are not political in nature. And in an atmosphere where professors merely guide students in learning their subject, it wouldn’t matter. But what if for some strange reason it became trendy for professors to inject a bit of political proselytization into their lectures and lessons?

But isn’t secretly and deliberately indoctrinating young people with ideological attitudes while they think they are only studying how to write a proper sentence, determine a standard deviation, or studying the War Between the States fundamentally dishonest, you may ask? Yes, it certainly is. But bias isn’t always deliberate, according to Matthew Woessner, an associate professor of political science and public policy at Penn State Harrisburg.

He said this ideological imbalance “raises critical questions of whether students are getting a balanced education—not because there’s some conspiracy to block out conservative ideas, but merely because the people who are teaching are either not familiar with or don’t embrace conservative ideas.” Even when faculty attempt to present an issue in a balanced and impartial manner, he said, personal biases naturally bleed into material.

The UCLA study reflects that this liberal tilt among professors has had an effect, with data from 2009 showing that the number of students who said their political views were “liberal” or “far left” grew by 9.2 percent from their freshman year to their senior year.

Daniel Klein, a professor of economics at George Mason University, cast more of a cloud on the collegiate atmosphere, opining that the reported 5-to-1 ratio is “not very meaningful” because the terms “liberal” and “conservative” have become “exceedingly troubled.” Instead, Klein suggested that the imbalance between faculty members who vote Democratic compared with those who vote Republican is closer to 9-to-1 or even 10-to-1.

Ideally, there would be relative equality of liberal and conservative ideology among faculty. Woessner, however, suggests that equal numbers of liberal and conservative professors really isn’t necessary for higher education to work well, so long as a sufficient number of faculty hold different views “to create a space for enough conservative ideas that students are exposed at least nominally to these other perspectives,” he said.

It is critical for colleges and universities to work much harder to even out the ideological divide if higher education is to regain credibility for delivering a balanced education. No group should want that more than the professors themselves, who should prefer a reputation of integrity as opposed to one of having a finger on the scale.


Cross-posted from Observations

How to Capture the Minds of the Young and Help them Lead America to Better Times

I am convinced that young people are well aware that America and our present culture is corrupted and dying. Sure I could point to polls and research to support my premiss but I base my position on the competency of the human mind to see truth in lies.

How to reach those people that intuitively understand the dangers America faces and rally them to see a better view. That is part of my daily goal. Reaching young people on levels that interest them and rallying them around the  history and principles of  "freedom".

The "Extreme Technology News" site can help do just that. We are the 'Drudge Report' of extreme Technology like robots and space travel. We combine that information with the new ways to "Equity Crowdfund" business startups under the new investment laws that went into place last year.

XtremeTech News Daily 
http://www.videoonix.com

Please help spread this website around to young and old. It's packed with fun tech stuff to read. With your help we can get the attention of many young people and help them see the constraints being placed on their freedoms and motivate them to vote for freedom in the next election.

God Blessed America.

Now we must show respect for that which he bestowed on us. We must take action to preserve what we were honed with, America: A Place Called Freedom. I offer this idea, this news site as a way to get more active and engaged with younger people.

A tool to interact around, reading these select articles you'll know as much or more about space travel and space farming than most 20-25 year olds.

Did you know the first flower to bloom in space was/is an Orange Zinnia? Just happened a week ago… This is it… Photo from Scott Kelly, part time space horticulturalist on the ISS.



Get active reaching out beyond your comfort zones. Reach out to people and share the website as a link to build on.


Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Obama's last State of the Union: Just another campaign speech

Commentary by James Shott

President Barack Obama gave his eighth and final State of the Union (SOTU) message last Tuesday night, to a mixed set of reviews. Commentators had noted that a president’s last SOTU generally is predictable and boring. Obama’s final flourish was both predictable in its petulance and arrogance, and boring, because most of it has been said before. And often.

Pledging near the beginning that this one would be short perhaps gave false hope. Going back to Lynden Johnson’s presidency from 1963 to 1969, our presidents’ addresses have averaged right at 50 minutes, and Obama’s speeches have averaged 63 minutes. Only in comparison to Bill Clinton’s average of 75 minutes does this one qualify as short, running just under 59 minutes. At 29 minutes, Richard Nixon’s 1972 address holds the record for the shortest.

Perhaps it is due to his 12-year stint as a lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School that the address was an hour-long lecture, one part of which dealt with the tone of current political discourse and contained an uncommon admission of failure. “It's one of the few regrets of my presidency – that the rancor and suspicion between the parties has gotten worse instead of better,” he said. “I have no doubt a president with the gifts of Lincoln or Roosevelt might have better bridged the divide...” That is no doubt true, as it is a commonly and broadly held opinion that Obama is the most divisive president in recent memory, or perhaps ever, and he has done nothing to calm the raging political waters in seven years.

Complaining that there has been precious little progress in Congress, he noted: “Democracy grinds to a halt without a willingness to compromise…” But compromise depends upon the details of the issue. Sometimes, compromise is simply not possible if it means one side abandoning fundamental principles. If one party demands the other party sacrifice their right hand, for example, the other party cannot be blamed for refusing to compromise by giving up two or three fingers. This is the nature of the compromise Obama and the Democrats slam Republicans for not indulging in, as they routinely demand things that even acquiescent Republicans cannot accept.

Burnishing his accomplishments, Obama said we have “a growing economy, shrinking deficits, bustling industry and booming energy production.” He also said that the U.S. is in the longest streak of private-sector job creation in history. Typically, this is the most non-specific and favorable part of the story, and there is much there deserving of clarification. Many jobs have, indeed, been created and the unemployment rate (U-3) is in good territory, but that is due to millions of Americans having stopped looking for work because they couldn’t find a job in the Obama economy. The Workforce Participation rate is at its lowest point in 35 years.

Wages have stagnated during Obama’s tenure, personal debt has increased by about $1 trillion, and fewer Americans are buying homes. And then there is the national debt, which has increased substantially under Obama. He took office in January of fiscal year 2009, with a national debt of nearly $12 trillion. In fiscal 2015 that figure stood at more than $18 trillion. Fiscal 2016 will end September 30 of this year, and it is likely that by that time the national debt will be $20 trillion.

All the while GDP limps along at rates ranging from a low of minus 2.8 percent in 2009 to 2.4 percent in 2014, never rising above 2.5 percent. GDP finally began approaching respectable levels in 2015, fully six years after Obama took office. Not much to brag about there.

Obama said it is a hallmark of his economy that today more Americans work in the solar industry than in the coal industry. But at what cost? He gave well over a billion dollars of taxpayer money in subsidies to a few solar firms that not long thereafter went bankrupt, and the administration’s harsh and unwarranted attacks on the coal industry put tens of thousands out of work and closed several coal-fired electric generation plants well before natural changes in energy production would have more gradually and less chaotically replaced coal with other methods.

In West Virginia, the loss of income from the Coal Severance Tax and Income Tax collections from out-of-work coal miners and workers in support industries have seriously damaged the state’s economy, and Kentucky and Virginia also have suffered job losses and economic harm, all without a sympathetic tear from the president.

Each year as the State of the Union address grows near there is talk of doing away with it, because it no longer has a valid purpose. “What’s tiresome is the hoopla about a speech that hardly anybody watches, and that, as a general rule, contains nothing new,” stated Yale law professor Stephen Carter. The SOTU originally was intended for the president to report to Congress on the condition of the nation, but also allowed the President to outline his legislative agenda.

Ah, but those were the good old days. More recently it has devolved into a grand political opportunity, as Obama so well demonstrated.



Cross-posted from Observations

Monday, January 18, 2016

RULES FOR TYRANTS

Rules for Tyrants
1) Confiscate all guns from the general population based on a fabricated premise.
2) Control all media output.
3) Revise history
4) Treat the treasury as your own bank
5) Hire the most ignorant people to do your bidding
6) Expand government to control the lives of the population who placed you in power
7) Encourage people to spy on each other
8) Devalue education to train a generation of idiots
9) Manipulate the military and police so they do your bidding not the population as a whole
10) Mingle with celebrities and the super rich because they generally control the masses.
Do these rules sound familiar? They should. Obama and his minions follow these rules as though they are the Ten Commandments. These are the basic ten. Please add to this list.
Please share this list. Thanks.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Obama brought to tears talking about gun violence in America

In his comments last Tuesday prior to signing an Executive Order expanding background checks for gun purchases, President Barack Obama became uncharacteristically emotional and shed tears as he discussed children killed in mass shootings. His emotional reaction gave weight to his message, but some doubted the sincerity of his tears, seeing them as a device to increase support for his proposal. The Executive Order issued days later expands background checks for firearms purchasers, but is an action that would not have prevented the shooting that brought the tears, or other recent horrific shooting events.

This rare show of emotion calls attention to Obama’s lack of tears for other tragedies – such as the death of an innocent young woman at the hands of an illegal alien in California, or the San Bernardino murders by radical Muslims – as further evidence of his selective use of emotion for political purposes.

Emotion is the driver of liberal initiatives, which are highlighted by the generous use of false information and/or exaggeration, and the twisting of truth. Demagoguery and shaming are always close at hand, as well. If someone opposes abortion, they don’t really want to protect life, they just want to deny women control of their bodies. If someone opposes stronger gun control measures, it isn’t because they value and want to defend Constitutional liberties, it is because they don’t care that children and other innocents are being murdered daily. Although this tactic sounds like it was developed on an elementary school playground, a lot of people rely on it and fall for it.

Obama quotes the statistic that there are more than 30,000 gun deaths each year, and Democrat presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton breaks that down to an average of 90 gun deaths a day. Those large numbers surely catch one’s attention, but throwing out large numbers cheats the public of both perspective and true understanding of gun deaths. For example, roughly 19,000 gun deaths are suicides. How many of those severely troubled individuals would decide to go on living because they could not lay their hands on a gun?

About 1,800 are gang related, and 900 others are accidents. A majority – 80 percent – of the remaining gun-related deaths is attributed to urban problems. And, of course, some gun deaths are justified, as in cases of self-defense. The CDC reports that there are 3.5 gun deaths in the U.S. per 100,000 people while the number of all deaths is 821.5 per 100,000 people.

The self-defense aspect receives far too little discussion. In 2013, Obama ordered the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to assess the existing research on gun violence, and a report prepared by the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council stated, in part: “Almost all national survey estimates indicate that defensive gun uses by victims are at least as common as offensive uses by criminals, with estimates of annual uses ranging from about 500,000 to more than 3 million per year … in the context of about 300,000 violent crimes involving firearms in 2008.”
Commentary by James Shott

Some suggest that three million is likely an unrealistically high number, but if guns are used defensively a half-million or more times a year, that is compelling. Given the record of people using guns to defend themselves from criminal activity and even death, wouldn’t it be appropriate for tears to be shed because so many have died in “gun-free zones,” where they were denied the ability for self-defense or protection from other people who were in the line of fire who were armed? There is a better than average chance that mass shooters would make a point to avoid places where they knew guns were being carried by their potential victims.

Americans are a rebellious lot; they don’t like to be controlled. Thus, in order to persuade them to go along with ideas like gun control, they have to be made to believe that existing laws are being enforced but that existing laws just aren’t enough, and we need more regulation. This is accomplished through various techniques, including heavy propaganda based upon myths.

Some examples: Background checks are not required for purchases on the Internet. Law enforcement is not present at gun shows, which are a free-for-all for prohibited individuals to obtain firearms. Obama has made firearms enforcement a priority, and his executive action on gun control will thwart criminals’ ability to obtain firearms. There is a general consensus in America that greater gun control is needed to prevent mass shootings in the United States.

Those statements are all false, and have been shown to be so by Senator Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, who wrote a commentary published on The Daily Caller online, listing and disproving 10 myths about guns, including those above.

Neither gun violence nor climate change is a critical problem for the United States. The threat of Islamic terrorism, a government too weak on the world stage, but grown too large and too controlling here at home, and a president who thinks he is an emperor, however, are critical problems. And that is why restoring conservative government is so important in the next election.

Cross-posted from Observations