Friday, September 22, 2017

An Oldie, But...

... a Goodie.

(Actually not that old - from 9/12/17, but - in Internet Dating, it's a lifetime).

Also, something that has driven me nuts for years. Leftists saying/writing something outrageous, then pretending that they were just kidding when confronted with it. But, not being able to handle even slightly 'triggering' words.

Also, a new way of looking at political divisions - not as simple as it seems. Go there, the explanation is worth it.

Just one more - some good pictures/memes.

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You Never Want to Go Full ---------

I'm posting twice today - I thought about scheduling it, but decided to get this out there.

Ace of Spades is a regular stop for me, each day.

They epitomize the best of blogging. They've developed a hard-core group of commenters - some of them commenting just to be able to write FIRST. You could learn a lot from how they do it:

  • Regular posting - in their case, every day. But, that's not absolutely necessary. Just start using a schedule. 
    • If you run across an idea that can't wait, OK, ignore the schedule and post it right then.
    • Then, the next post should be back on schedule.
  • Use of guest bloggers. If someone is permitted to post on your blog, they will likely visit it, even when they don't have a post - it's human nature.
  • Themes for the day/week.
    • Pet thread - with pictures.
    • Chess day.
    • ONT - the Overnight Thread. Basically, Ace throws it open to all comers, and the commenters run it.
    • Gardening.
    • Painting.
    • Food.
    • Anniversaries - 9/11, but also military or historical.
  • A free-wheeling atmosphere. No Triggly-Puffs shutting down comments through outrage.
  • Little, if any, censorship of ideas/language shows. There may be some behind the scenes, but it isn't obvious.
  • Trolls are made fun of, then - if continuing, banned.
  • Copious use of links. AoS doesn't try to provide all the writing, but points to where you'll find it. 

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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Draining the Swamp, Part II

An essential part of getting rid of corruption, influence-peddling, and bureaucratic over-regulation lies in reducing the size of government.

For some background information on HOW the federal government grabbed all of that power, see the link here.

The real questions are:
  • What should we do? and
  • How should we do it
The first question can be answered simply - 10% less.

Cut department budgets by 10%. Challenge every Secretary to examine budgets for the last 5-10 years, and eliminate any program, grant, or increase since that time. Give incentives to people who identify places to cut in their departments - perhaps a substantial bonus, or paid vacation time, or a bump to their retirement savings?

What? Employees don't have retirement savings? They depend completely on government pensions?

Offer a match for any employee setting up an account - for every dollar you save, we'll add $1 the first year (or two). Get them to set up regular payments through payroll deduction. Use the idea of Nudge, which says that people are lazy (well, many are), and will likely keep the deduction going even after you stop the matching.

We need to gradually move government employees from dependency on pensions, to taking control of their own future.

Back to cuts - if the management DOESN'T successfully hit the target, their own pay gets cut, by the same percentage.

Eliminate 'bumps' to retirement payouts. If an employee is fired for not doing their job (are you listening, Lois Lerner and others?), the ONLY way to reduce jail time would be to give up their pension rights. They can have back any money that they personally contributed, but have to walk away from the rest.

Privatize anything that can be. Eliminate whole departments:
  • Energy
  • Education
  • EPA
  • Labor
  • ATF
  • Consumer Agency
  • Farm/Agriculture
There should be a wholesale removal of any vestige of the above. If you get rid of it completely, they can't just come back later and re-build.

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Monday, September 18, 2017

Beyond Theory - Practical Applications

The Right has a lot of people making cogent, thoughtful, well-researched analyses of the theory of political action.

They do a piss-poor job of actual putting that theory into action. You really need to read the article at the previous link - it will give you a lot to think about.

One thing that will help is to read more on the Left's many political analysts' writings. One such is:


How can you find out more about how the Left thinks without sending some money their way (by buying books)?

  1. Borrow from libraries
  2. Buy ONE copy (preferably at a discount), and share among members of your group
  3. Use Kindle Unlimited for these purchases
Now, that doesn't completely eliminate the profit to the (spit!) Leftist, but it does reduce it - a lot.

But, for serious thinkers, there is little substitute for getting into the actual writings of people, in order to learn from their tactics and strategies, and come up with effective ways to counter them.

Knowledge is Power.


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Sunday, September 17, 2017

Pushing Back Against the Culture

I've been reading Jacobite - an online magazine dedicated to: philosophy, cultural analysis, exit, and post-politics. It has interesting content, and is worth looking at.

One article that caught my eye - it has to do with the idea that the Right can't merely be non-Left. They have to embody a way of living that is more than just an angry anti-whatever. Felix Miller, the author, also pushes against the idea of The Red Pill Moment - that conversion to Right Thinking comes as a bolt of enlightenment. 



Instead, he argues, living the Right Life is a process, rooted in a way of living that cherishes, and takes delight in, the underlying cultural foundations.

Another article explains a phenomenon I've long wondered about - why on Earth would someone engage in actions that have a low likelihood of success, and a high likelihood of jail time?

Wonder no more. And, there are some practical suggestions for activities for Would-Be Hardcore.

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Ikea Humans - Are YOU One of Them?

I have to admit, some of this piece hit a little too close to home. I recognized the extent to which I have become 'commoditized' - stripped from my roots, and willing/able to fit in anywhere, without regard to culture.

And, yet, compared to my kids, and grandkids, I have connections to my older, cultural heritage. I actually remember those relatives that were born in the 19th century, listened to their stories, and picked up the flavor of their lives.

And, yet, thanks to a father who left WV at a young age, and re-located in Cleveland, OH, I retain only a tenuous connection to that part of my family. My mother's parents moved to FL when I was about 10, for good, and only returned for occasional visits. My memories of them are still strong and vivid, unlike my younger brothers and sisters, who knew them primarily through photos.

America has always had its share of people with wanderlust - the unrooted folks, who pushed across the country, restlessly moving into new environments, only to leave again once the place acquired permanence.

Some of them were escaping legal or other accountability, disinclined to follow social restrictions on behavior, men with PTSD after wars or other calamities, or those used to hustling the unsuspecting for a quick buck - then scooting out of reach before being caught.

Others tried a move west, hoping for opportunity. Some succeeded, making good in their fresh start. Others, bringing with them the factors that were responsible for their earlier lack of success, failed once again.

Once in that new location, these Western settlers were able to jettison many of the traditional restraints on social behaviors. They mingled freely with the new neighbors - mixing cultures, social classes, and religious traditions. Eventually, that new culture developed around their new combined heritage.

Other settlers, those that landed in less accessible terrain (such as the Appalachians), didn't experience that cultural mix. They retained a deep connection to their family/kin heritage, and resisted influences that weakened those ties. In those cultures, the cosmopolitan influences failed to permeate until the spread of television, and the bland media culture crept in. It may not be a coincidence that the so-called hillbilly community began to disintegrate rapidly as the mass media drove a wedge between the generations. Current generations are more influenced by Duck Dynasty and other shows than Granny and Paw-Paw.

Conversely, although the new media, and the internet, COULD allow people to connect across cultures, perhaps surprisingly - they largely DON'T. Instead, the majority of connections are:

  • To the distant past - Ancestry.com (one of the fastest growing trends is use of DNA relation matches to re-connect with long-lost branches of the family tree)
  • To the recent past - friends from childhood, school, old sweethearts
  • FaceTime and other live-video media - to those separated from home/family/friends - an opportunity to re-fresh that connection, despite distance
  • Instagram, SnapChat - using pictures to retain that connection, even when in other company
  • LinkedIn - business connections with those known in the past
  • Matchmaking sites - for those from cultures that arrange marriages, these provide the ability to widen the pool of choices, yet satisfy the desire to guide the young into appropriate cultural connections
  • Classmates.com - whether far from home, or just want to re-visit the past, this is your site
I don't really know what all this means for America's future. I do know that the hunger for connection, and a dogged willingness to spend large amounts of time finding and retaining those connections, is a major driving force for people of all ages.


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Friday, September 15, 2017

We Need to Reform Flood and Hurricane Insurance

We don't currently charge those in flood/hurricane-prone locations sufficiently. And, that makes the rest of the USA pay for cheaper housing in those areas.

 The National Flood Program is in the hole, financially. This has to stop. A really bad season can wipe out disaster relief for years to come.

Let's start phasing in the changes - at the end of the next 10 years, ALL locations in the USA must have their residents charged according to what their actual risks are. What will that likely mean?

  • In some locations, housing will become absolutely unaffordable. Housing, for all but the very rich, will be higher than can be paid for.
  • Some weather-disaster-prone locations will experience less growth, even shrinkage.
  • Other areas will find that they are advantaged, as they seldom have catastrophic events happen.
  • Individuals will try to go without insurance. Some will be wiped out.
  • Bankers, on the hook for much of the money, will refuse loans for those not having high enough levels of insurance.
  • NGO's will start screaming 'RACISM' - cuz' that's what they do.
The approach mentioned here, is wrong-headed. I'm in favor of Tough Love - for the next 5 years, those wiped out by flood damage can EITHER:
  • Get a check, OR
  • Rebuild in the same place
It's a relatively gentle boot in the butt to locate in a NON-flood-prone area. It's a ONE-TIME payout, for the lowest-cost housing ONLY. Those with homes above some set amount will receive NOTHING. If you can afford a pricey home, you can afford to insure it properly.

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Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Managing Harvey

Some ideas for managing the mess of recovery - I'm thinking Triage, which uses the following categories:
First responders using START evaluate victims and assign them to one of the following four categories:
    1. Immediate (red)
    2. Delayed (yellow)
    3. Walking wounded/minor (green)
    4. Deceased/expectant (black)
    Immediate 

    This category is the one that gets immediate attention. In medical patients, it's the person who, without immediate assistance, would die.

    For disaster victims, this would be business/hospitals/gas stations/restaurants/insurance agencies, etc., that provide vital resources, and whose facilities can be cleared out relatively quickly. Get those businesses back on their feet, and, they will not only provide services, relieving the rescue groups, but also provide employment and cash flow.

    Local businesses should get the most help; the nationally-affiliated companies should get involved with their local businesses in need.

    Delayed

    Here I would group the bars/clothing stores/office supply stores, etc. - they are important, but the economy could survive without their quick resuscitation.

    Walking Wounded

    They are in need of help, but can provide most of it themselves. They can clean out their own business, contact the insurance companies, provide for their own equipment needs, security, etc. They might occasionally need a question answered, but can mostly function on their own.

    Deceased/Expectant

    Not gonna come back - pull the plug. They will need to work with their insurance company for a payout, but they are not going to re-build.

    If any business is under-insured, that's their problem. Direct them to a lending source, and leave them alone.

    That's the business side of things. But, individuals follow the same pattern.

    Immediate

    Here, the issue is focused on getting those individuals who have lost everything out of your hair.

    You are NOT going to solve all their problems. You cannot restore them to where they were, without massive infusions of cash. For this group, they will continue to call upon your resources for years to come, if you let them.

    Who are they?
    1. The long-term unemployed. I'm going to separate those that are not disabled from the rest. If that person did not have a job before Harvey, but is not disabled, they should be offered a job in a clean-up crew for their keep in a shelter. No work, no shelter - and, I'm talking 8-12 hour days. Pay them for their work, but let them know - this is TEMPORARY work. It will pay for the shelter costs, and a little bit more, which they can save to get back on their feet. NOT a 'Living Wage" - it should make them uncomfortable enough to find other means to support themselves.
    2. Women with kids - bring in child care workers, but get those women working. Other than those with under 6 month-old kids, EVERYBODY works (at least 1 adult per household - so, the more traditional families can have the father/husband be the worker). If they are not working at something else, they do child care, cleaning, cooking, etc. - 8 - 10 hours a day, just like the workers.
    3. Give a one-time bonus payment, IF they get the hell out. Move to another city - locate in some other place where they can get back on their feet. No more than $5000. NOT to be repeated. NOT to be combined with other aid. Don't come back and don't let the door hit you.
    4. It should not need to be stated, but NO money for illegal aliens. If the adults in the family are not legal, they need to go. If they have American citizens as their children, they may take them with them, and - as an incentive to go away - each American-born kid gets them $2000 cash. Just don't come back. Take their fingerprints, eyeprints, blood for DNA testing - if they are caught again, jail time. They will NOT be eligible for immigration later, even as the parent of an American citizen.
    Once those people are gone, the problems are reduced. You can deal with those who have roots in the city, and have reasonable expectations of getting back on their feet, with a little help.



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    Tuesday, September 12, 2017

    Big Mistake! HUGE!

    My university, Cleveland State, made a boneheaded, and over-reaching move this weekend.
    Tiffany Roberts, chapter president of CSU’s Turning Point USA club, told The College Fix that members of the chapter gathered around 6 p.m. Sunday evening to chalk a 9/11 tribute onto the sidewalks of the public university to honor those killed in the terrorist attacks. Roberts said that around 7:45 a.m. Monday morning, a university employee arrived at the memorial with a power washer and removed the memorial.
    Like many, Cleveland State University’s Turning Point USA chapter wanted to recognize the 16th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. So members of the pro-capitalist student group gathered Sunday evening to chalk a memorial onto the sidewalks of the public university’s campus, an exhibit that included an American flag with the words “No day shall erase you from the memory of time” under it.
    However, the artistic memorial didn’t last long. Hours after it was created, the university removed it. An image tweeted by Charlie Kirk, founder of Turning Point USA, shows a maintenance employee washing away the memorial with a power washer this morning.
    That employee had been directed by his boss, the university’s Director of Facilities Maintenance, Shehadeh Abdelkarim. Make of that what you will.

    This is likely to bite CSU in the butt.

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    Monday, September 11, 2017

    This is the Quietest Day for Me

    It was the defining moment of my adult life. It was a sharp break between The Way I Thought It Was, and The Actual Reality.

    Up to that point, I'd always been a Liberal, Democrat-Voting, Accept that the Left is ON THE "RIGHT" SIDE OF HISTORY kind of girl.

    It really was a beautiful morning. I was quietly working in my classroom when my husband came in, tears in his eyes.

    Then, he told me what had happened.

    This blogger gets it - and expresses it so much better than I.

    Check out the difference between the Google.com page, and Bing.com - Google has NONE of the doodles it uses for less important days. Bing's page is low-key, and lovely.

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    Tats, Again

    I've made no secret about my general dislike of tats. They're expensive (which is a concern mostly because most of the people getting them are not over-flush with cash), potentially health-threatening, and, to many other than the possessor - ugly.

     


    They may not be compatible with many jobs, even today, when so many people visibly have them.
    In a recent study in which participants were asked to rate the employment suitability of people with and without tattoos based on photographs, the findings revealed that there is “still bias toward tattoos in the workplace,” says Michael J. Tews, an associate professor in the School of Hospitality Management at Penn State University, who conducted the research.
    Tews also found a correlation between those with a higher number of tattoos and counterproductive behavior at work, such as tardiness, being argumentative and theft, so “there may be a grain of truth to the deviant stereotype,” says Tews.
    Imagine that! A stereotype might be based, in part, on experiences with those possessing that trait.

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    Friday, September 08, 2017

    Love & Marriage

    Sex and marriage are - shall we say - intimately entwined.


    The share of Americans ages 25-34 who are married dropped 13 percentage points from 2000 to 2014. A new book by sociologist Mark Regnerus blames this declining rate on how easy it is for men to get off.

    Today's American norms show that very few people need to marry to achieve their goal of having as much sex as they want.
    Self-love for men and women is at an all-time high. A 1992 study found that 29 percent of men (and 9 percent of women) masturbated at least once a week. In 2014, 49 percent of men (and 32 percent of women) confessed to doing it at least once in the previous six days. Unsurprisingly, “as frequency of [watching] porn increased, so did masturbation.”
    That's sex. Not love.

    Love remains elusive for many, if not most, of the American population.

    Ironically, the things that drive men to marry aren't what you'd think - the Top 4, according to Match.com:
    1. Someone who treats them with respect
    2. Someone who they can trust and confide in
    3. Someone comfortable with communicating their wants and needs
    4. Someone with a sense of humor who can make them laugh
    So, since scarcity of sex is not what drives marriage, perhaps we can work on teaching our young women the Art of Being a Wife:

    • Being agreeable - disagreeing without needing to tear your mate down
    • NOT complaining about him to family, girlfriends, or on FB to a few thousand (or more) people
    • Listening to their needs
    • Finding the funny in everyday life - not shutting down their attempts to get you out of a bad mood - even if (as is probable) that remark is not that funny
    • Focusing on the good that they do - once, early in their marriage, my mother decided to file for divorce. The attorney knew her family well, and said:
      • You're entitle to X amount
      • Let's take all that we can get
      • Let's make him suffer
    • After she heard that, she was on the fence (his intention) - she didn't think he was that bad. The attorney told her to go home, and - for one month - think ONLY of his good points. If she still wanted a divorce, he would file.
    • Of course, after a month of changing her focus, my mother realized that she needed to make some changes herself. Most attorneys today wouldn't have the perception to realize that this was a temporary feeling, not a complete collapse of the union.
    My own husband refers to me as his Partner. We are a team, dedicated to what is good for both of us. Sometimes, the scales lean one way, sometimes, the other. But, the good of the TEAM is the focus.


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    Wednesday, September 06, 2017

    Big Brother is HERE!

    Talking Points Memo has a long, but very comprehensive post about the dangers of monopolies like Google.

    Other Things of Interest:

    Hamilton was NOT a fan of unrestricted immigration. Oh, NO! Will the musical be boycotted, due to unacceptable veneration of a HATER?




    Hamilton - The Musical.

    ALL attempts at biography get some things wrong. In part, this can be influenced by biases of the writer.

    However, a more dominant impact is wielded by the fashionable cultural/social/political trends at the time. Biographies during the 50s tended to view subjects through an American lens - hence, Winston Churchill was analyzed via his connections to America - FDR, Jennie Churchill (his mother, an American), and other people in his life that might have influenced his life.

    In the 60s, opposition to 'the Establishment' was the theme of several biographies, which played up those aspects of Jefferson's term that opposed a prior president's actions - The Alien Act, The Sedition Act - and downplayed those parts of his life that marked him as an Elitist, a slaveowner, and a traditionalist.

    So, too, are the attempts to shoehorn Hamilton (an absolutely fascinating figure, literally a self-made man who came out of nowhere by sheer force of personality and intellect) into the current idea of a 'good person'.

    People are more complex than that. Their motivations, beliefs, and actions may be, in part, explained by their heritage/ethnicity/culture.

    But, not all. We are all capable of acting in unexpected ways, counter to what might be perceived to be our personal interests.

    Speaking of Personal Interests, here is the Social Media for Those Unfortunate Few Who Can't Face Reality.



    Just for fun, I went to Verrit, found a post related to Protecting Our Children (did you know it's one of their Core Values - unlike those EVIL Deplorables, who eat children whole). I posted this:

    Let's see if it manages to survive moderation. BTW, Verrit has a process before you can enter, allegedly meant to protect against DDOS attacks. Let's test it out for a few weeks, and see if it starts keeping us Deplorables out.

    Views of the Proletariat




    Hurricane Irma - barring a miracle, this will affect us in several possible ways. I would prefer these solutions:

    • Puerto Rico, the Florida Keys, the Gulf, or the Carolinas get hit - this would require direct action by FEMA. Those places are our responsibility. Coming on top of Harvey, this will stress the emergency response systems.
    • Other Caribbean islands - let the big disaster organizations assist with this. IF the CDC is not too busy, cut loose some of the staff to work with the local response forces. Otherwise, no action.
    • Cuba - other than praying for the dictators and their helpers to die, do nothing. Do not accept escapees or refugees under any circumstances (other than enemies of that state).
    IF we have ships in the area, they MIGHT provide some medical/logistical help, if they are near and able.

    In the event of landfall in the Carolinas, I'm likely to be VERY wet for a few days. I've experienced hurricanes hitting areas nearby, and I've learned that the water continues dumping along the path even after it loses hurricane velocity. My first year in SC was 2005 (you remember that year, don't you?), and my whole yard looked like a swamp for ages.

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