The riots, Ebola, Squeaky Fromme, the click and the Hand of God

I know it is a strange title but I think they all connect. I’ll start by telling a short story about tipping points. The year was 1975. The first appointed (spelled unelected) President of the United States (Gerald Ford) had chosen the second (appointed and unelected) Vice President (Nelson Rockefeller) the previous year.
For some, it was somewhat disconcerting to have the brother of David Rockefeller, arguably the man holding the world’s purse strings, sitting in the co-pilot seat of the most powerful man in the free world.

Along comes Squeaky Fromme and her Colt M1911 handgun. She pointed it at Ford and – click. Nothing happened. It turned out later that though she had rounds in the magazine, the chamber was empty. Click – Nelson Rockefeller never became President and thereby could not bring forth what ever diabolical plot the conspiracy theorists thought was afoot. Click – Ford continued as President tripping down air stairs and beaning people with golf balls.
Was it simply a mistake on the part of Fromme? Was it, as she said, an intentional act to aim and not fire? Was it the Hand of God preventing this nation from going past the tipping point?

Fast forward to this year.

We have had an economic collapse (called a correction) in the stock market. Click – The economy didn’t follow the lead and business went on as usual.

We have had an Ebola outbreak in West Africa, yet we don’t secure ourselves from the danger. In fact, we even bring the virus into the country and let it roam around unheeded and unchecked for days. Click – Despite the ease it is transmitted, the disease didn’t spread.

When the Grand Jury in Ferguson, Missouri came back with a decision in favor of Mr. Wilson. People gathered in that town and started a violent demonstration. It was an outburst of anger that destroyed several buildings but, thankfully didn’t kill anyone. At the same time there were people organizing demonstrations in several major cities around the county. The goal, some say, was to have them spin out of control and cause national unrest. This kind of unrest would result in Marshal Law and bring our nation fully into a police state. Well, the other demonstrations were few and never really amounted to much. Those that were held, were peaceful. Click – No nationwide rioting.

We again are very close to a tipping point. The United Sates of America is teetering on the edge of extinction (at least as we know it). There are powers on both sides of this debate that want to see the tip and want to see it fall in their direction.

Click – Something is stopping it. Believe what you will and say what you will. For me, I will continue to pray for my country.

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ON MARRIAGE AND GOVERNMENT

We have been having this national conversation about just what the definition of marriage should be. Sometimes that conversation gets quite heated. This conversation has been going on for years in homes, in classrooms around the water cooler and in the taverns. It has also been discussed judges’ chambers, in State Legislatures, in the National Legislature and even in the White House.

There are many opinions. I have mine. Those who know me can guess where I am on thus issue. BUT that is not the topic I want to talk about this morning, so I’ll leave that alone for now.

I want to ask a different question:

Simply put, Why do I need the permission of government to marry? Who decided that? If I want to join in matrimony with my significant other, why do I have to ask my government for permission?

If two consenting adults want to make a binding contract merging their lives and assets together, why do they need the State’s sanction. A contract is a contract. Let’s let it be that.

I say the answer to same sex marriage, opposite sex marriage should be an individual answer and an individual decision.

If I were in the state legislature I would propose a bill that simply states, “As of Jan 1 (pick a year), the state of (your state here) will no longer record or require the recording of marital records. Counties and municipalities will from that date no longer record such events.”

That takes the argument out of the courts and the halls of government and puts it back in the homes, churches and bars where it belongs.

Sometimes reality hits you right in the face

I found this paging through an 1883 Fourth Grade reader I was getting ready to sell on eBay.  

The following is the exercise at the end of an eight paragraph reading.  In other words, not an exam, just a typical homework lesson.  Just so you know, the numbers in (parentheses) are the paragraph numbers of the text in question.

I.  Explain “advertisement” (1); “townsmen” (4).  Give the distinction between “neighbor” and “friend” (4). What phrase (6) now and then? To work “by fits and starts” is the opposite of working  ——-  How?

II.  Write an analysis: — advertiser   clothier   industrious.

III.  Write the plurals of: service; salesman; child; quality; correspondence; duty.

IV.  Separate the compound sentence in paragraph 8 onto the simples sentences (prepositions) of which it is made up.

V. Write the form of a newspaper advertisement stating that an honest, industrious boy is wanted by a grocer.  Write an answer to an advertisement of this sort

I don’t think, 130 years later (with the government in control of education for the past 100 years) that even a fourteenth grade student could correctly answer all of these questions.

The current school system is the miserable failure that only government can create.

This is a shining example.  I believe it is time to get rid of the brick and mortar and get beck to education

A simple Question 2.0

About four years, eleven months and two weeks ago I wrote a blog post called “A Simple Test.”  If you don’t remember it (and I’m sure you don’t ) remind yourself of it here:

https://p3bfco.wordpress.com/2008/11/07/a-simple-test/

I will ask you today an go to your sock drawer and get the notes you took back then.  Let’s compare them to what we have today.

Here are some of mine.
On November 7th 2008 I said “My electricity costs me $8.50 per kilowatt hour.  This is about $100 a month in winter.  More in summer with the air conditioner running.  But I’ll use the winter number.”

Today my electricity is $10.50 per kilowatt hour but my monthly connection fee has increased from $13.00 to $55.00. My lowest electric bill now is about $150.00 a month and I’m told it is about to go up again. Seems the current administration is squeezing our coal fired power plants.

Here’s more: “A loaf of bread is about a dollar and a quarter today and a gallon of milk is about $3.50.  Butter is $2.28 lb. Eggs are about $1.20 a dozen.”

Today a loaf of bread I about $2.25. A gallon of milk is $4.27, Butter is $1.88 and Eggs are $1.80. With the exception of butter, all the other things are higher.

Let’s look at some more notes from my sock drawer. “Gasoline in town yesterday was $2.10 gal.
Oil is running at $61.00 a barrel on the market this morning.”

Today gasoline is running about $3.96 and the price of oil is $86.00 a barrel.   Now here’s something curious, the last time gas was around and over four bucks, oil was running in the 140 range. All the liberals were blaming George Bush for cronyism and being in bed with big oil. Where are the finger pointers now? But I digress….

Here’s more from the 2008 post, “Now, on to other things…..
My local stores are well stocked.
I can get a doctor’s appointment on the day I call in.
I have a high quality (in patient) medical facility only a few miles away
The national unemployment rate is around 6%.
Inflation is being reported at about 5%.
Remember the Misery Index?  That is the unemployment rate plus the inflation rate.  Today the Misery Index is at 11%.
The current President has an approval rating under 30% and the current congress is at about 10%.”

Okay, Obamacare hasn’t kicked in yet (it won’t until after this election {wonder of wonders}) so I still can call my doctor and get an appointment for later today.
The stores are still stocked but I am noticing empty shelves more and more often.  Especially in the big box stores like Walmart.
The national Unemployment rate is 7.8% (that is if you forget to count California like they did with this last release {oops})
Inflation for 2012 is being reported as 4.8% (but here’s a new twist, they no longer count gasoline of food {well, who uses those things anyway.})
The misery index today conservatively measured is 12.6% A truer measure of the misery index is taking the percentage number of the unemployed and adding it to the Producer Price Index (a more accurate indication of inflation). Today’s PPI is 10.8%. The true (without government jinking the numbers to make the administration look good) unemployment, according to Gallop, is 9.7%. Today’s un-underemployed index is 17%. So… You can place a real misery index at somewhere between 20.5% and 27.8%.
The current president approval rating is 48% and Congress has gone from 11% to 21%.

Now…. How about you? Got that note from your sock drawer in your hand?
What is your energy costing you today?
What is your medical care costing you today?  AND…  How good is it?
Do you think you are better off than your parents?
Do you think your children will be better off then you?
How do you see the future?  Bright or bleak?

Now ask yourself…
“AM I BETTER OFF THEN I WAS FOUR YEARS AGO?”

I think the answer is obvious.
I’ll close this by saying, “I told you so.”

South Dakota Legislative Leaders Try To Sneak Around The State’s Constitution

I saw a story on KELO last night that truly concerns me.  Before I talk about it, I want to remind my friends (and less than friends) that we live in the lowest tax and one of the freest states in the Union.  There is a reason for that.  It is called limited government.

Now, there are some in Pierre who think limited government is just too, well… limiting.  They want a year round legislature.  You know, like California, New York and New Jersey (we can all see how good they’re doing).

Certain legislators are trying to circumvent the South Dakota Constitution and establish a year round legislative body.  It can’t be called a legislature, of course, so they want to call it a “Committee”.  Lets have no doubt here, this “Committee” would become a fulltime legislative body with all the fraud, corruption and perks that go with it.

What we have in this state and what has worked very well for over one hundred years is a part time legislature with citizen representatives who sit in Pierre for 35 or 40 days making decisions then going home and having to justify those decisions for the other 340 or 335.  This is good.  They watch what they do because, in the back of their minds they know they might get stopped in the grocery store by a concerned citizen asking, “What the hell were you thinking?”  It keeps our representatives (spelled representatives) honest for the most part.

I see nothing but danger here with this “committee’ concept.  This is nothing more than a power grab.  It establishes an “ad hoc” legislature to rule for 340 days.  It will write the bills, it will tell the real legislature how to vote when the real session commences.  It also lets out legislators off the hook. “Look, that’s what the Committee said to do… I had no choice.”

Here’s another question:    Just who is this “Committee” accountable to?  Are they appointed?  By whom?  Can they be fired or recalled?  By whom?  Since they are not elected, the people will have no standing with them. The people will have no say in what this “Committee” does.

To see that the Democrats like this does not surprise me but to see that our Republican leadership is behind it is greatly alarming and appalling to me.

The scary part?  There is bipartisan support for this usurpation of the very Constitution these people have sworn to uphold and defend.  

I urge you to contact your representaves and tell them you will not tolerate this.  If they want a full time legislature let them put the change on the ballot and modify the Constitution. 

No sneaky end arounds here. Not while we can vote.

 

Here’s the link to the original story:

http://www.keloland.com/NewsDetail6162.cfm?Id=126273

New York Post… Look to your own house before throwing stones at us.

Concerning the NY post article:

The Great Wide Open – How rural America has become a vanishing way of life.
Read it here:  http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/opedcolumnists/great_wide_open_WqL54fjvoNYjfFI74GlmmL?fb_ref=m_site&fb_source=home_oneline

Hey New York, clean up your own cesspool before you look at our Prairie!  Last time I looked you have more murders in a week than we do out here in year, and out here carrying a gun is legal.

As to the population loss, I truly believe you have seen the last of it in Rural America.  The 2010 census shows the change in population over ten years.  In 2000 we didn’t have high speed internet, a cell phone in every pocket and I-pads.

The census looks at a population shift but not the dynamic.  The true paradigm shift has been outbound from the troubled, crime ridden, overtaxed and under serviced cities to smaller cities like Sioux Falls, Fargo or Cedar Rapids.  Now the shift is happening again.  From those towns to even smaller towns.  

People not from here are starting to find out that they can send their kids to public school with class sizes of about twelve.  They are finding out, through the new media, that South Dakota has no income tax.  In fact, per capita, the taxes here in South Dakota are lower than any other state in the nation.  

Businesses owners in tune with the information age find that they can conduct business in this state which encourages entrepreneurship rather than the one they are in which is trying to tax and regulate them into oblivion.

The next census will tell a different tale.  It will be a tale of two cities (or rather one city crumbling under the weight of it’s own bureaucracy and a small town with few government constraints).  Those cities could be New York, Chicago, Baltimore, Huston or even Los Angeles.  The other Doland, Eureka, Harried, in South Dakota or perhaps Brandon, Iowa or Bloomfield Nebraska.  One shrinking and one growing.

People who work from home are starting to realize that “home” can be anywhere.  They are choosing to leave the high cost and congested areas and moving where the kids can go out and play without the fear of being molested.

Watch the 2020 census…. South Dakota may just have TWO Congressmen.

By the way New York, just how many congressional seats did you loose this year?

Oh…. and one more thing…..  It’s pronounced “Harry-id”, not “Harried”.

Rick Skorupski

A proud transplant in South Dakota.

Out of Power they will get louder. And more obnoxious.

OK the liberals are mad and doing what they do best.  Whining, crying and out shouting everyone in the room.  They will talk over anyone trying to explain a conservative idea.  Why? They don’t want conservative ideas  explained.  When we do – they loose.

Here’s the latest rant.  The dems in control of Congress right now are going to set it up so the new congress will have to vote to raise the debt ceiling in order to keep the government from default.  When that happens they will be like a young child taunting through a fence saying things like, “SEE!!!!  I thought your were conservative!!  You are spending more money – you have added to the debt!!!”

Let’s put this in terms that even the left can understand. 

Here’s the scenario… 

You allow your son (call him Barry) to play with his friends (Harry and Nancy) in the back yard.  You see them going out the door with a ball and bat.  You tell him not to play ball in the back yard. You explain to them there is not enough room in the yard for that.  They ignore you.  As you expect, Barry hits the ball over the fence and breaks the neighbor’s window.  You punish Barry by taking away his ball and bat.  You tell his friends Harry and Nancy they can no longer play ball where they can cause damage.  You gain control of the back yard and stop further destruction.  

But the neighbor still has to be paid for the broken window.

On unemployment and the economy.

I was asked what I would do to reduce the unemployment rate in the country.  Before I answer that I would like to mention that the worst unemployment is in states that have been in control of the Democrats for a very long time.  The vast majority of states that have Republican governors AND Republican controlled Legislatures seem to be in much batter shape. – just an observation.

 Now – on to my answer on reducing the unemployment rate.

It seems to me that 90% of the time the solution to a problem starts with, “Get the government out of the way and…”

In this particular case we need to do certain things to restore our economy.  First, we need to stop the uncertainty in the financial and business arenas.  Things like a 1000 plus page health care bill and an 1800 page omnibus budget bill do not give confidence to people who are thinking about investing capital into a business.  I have an opportunity right now to start a business.  It would bring more tourism into the area and fill a demand that already exists.  Nothing big, maybe 3 jobs.  It will also require me risking capital and taking on some loans.  Personally, I will not stick my neck out, not with the current anti-business climate in Washington causing an unstable economy.  I can surely understand why no one else will either.  Most business are trying to survive the downturn and have little confidence that they will not get slammed again.

What do we need to get the economy moving?  Get the government out of the way and:

Eliminate 90% of the silly regulations that stifle business.  Did you know the paper containing regulations on raising and selling cabbage weighs over eight pounds?  Get the government out of banking and let the bankers (the people who know how to make money grow) do their job.  Repeal the Heath care bill and while your at it, get the government out of medicine.  Get the government out of the housing market, let it stabilize at the actual cash value level.  Then it can start to grow.  Defund Fanny and Freddy.  Sell the assets to private business.  Eliminate the EPA’s ability to regulate Co2 (while we are at it eliminate the EPA’s ability to regulate – period).

Another big slice of the solution?  Eliminate the confiscatory personal, business and corporate income tax and replace the whole thing with the Fair Tax.  When businesses don’t have to spend gazillions on accountants and tax lawyers to maintain their records, they will have more money to invest.  Business that went off shore to get a better tax break will come back.  Business from other countries will come here simply because the cost of doing business will be lower.  Now, this may cause some unemployment in Washington DC, particularly on K street where all the lobbyists are working to get the tax code rewritten in favor of their clients.  Frankly, I don’t see a down side there.

Finally once you get the government out of the way you re-energize the free enterprise system that allowed this tiny 13 state piss pot mini nation to become the most powerful economic engine in history.  We did it without the EPA, the DOE, the FDA, ATF, FTC, HHS or even the USDA.  We can do it again if we just “Get the government out of the way and…”

On education

I sent a note to a friend of mine this morning concerning the failure of our public education system.  He lives in Arizona and is not convinced that the private sector can do a better job educating our kids than the government.  After I read it I thought it might make a good post:

————————————————————————–

South Dakota, like Arizona is constitutionally bound to provide an education.  I don’t have a problem with that.  What I have a problem with is the institution created by government to perform this function.  It has failed and, in many places, failed miserably.

I propose taking the money from the Department of Education (or Arizona equivalent), local school taxes and all other education funding and divide it by the number of school age students in your state (or mine) and send each parent or guardian a voucher for that divided amount (less 2% for administering the program).  This would force education into the private sector and still meet the obligation of the state.  With all education in the private hands, the power to choose (spelled liberty) would fall on those most concerned with their child’s welfare.  Good schools would flourish and bad schools would go out of business.

“What about the inner city schools?”, you ask. “There is a possibility that crack moms will sell the voucher to a disreputable “school” and the child will get no education?” Good question, I’ll answer it with a question, What are they getting now?  Chicago has a 50% percent drop out rate, Baltimore is worse.  Washington DC (which has the highest cost per child/year) is worse still. What is Phoenix?  Six percent of the graduates of the Philadelphia school system (which is less than half of those who initially enrolled) can read at grade level.  What is the rate in Nogales? 

No, Jon, government schools have done no favors for these kids,  and that includes our current under thirty  generation.  We need to disestablish the education system with all the administrators and lobbies that go with it.

Get back to the roots of local control – the parents.  The inner city kids  stand a much better chance of being in jail than graduating high school with the system in place today.  Perhaps, just perhaps, with a 100% voucher system, some of the kids might actually get an education and get off the welfare / drugs treadmill.

Other than the above, I have no strong opinion on the subject.

“Curiouser and Curiouser”, said Alice

So, I’m watching the 10 o’clock news on my local CBS affiliate last night and they come out with this story on how a local Hotel is in the process of being torn down.

http://www.keloland.com/news/NewsDetail6371.cfm?Id=105084

“So?”, you ask, “Old buildings are torn down all the time.”  No big deal – right?  Or is it?

From the story I find out that this nice looking fairly new structure was hit with “a six page letter” containing “health and property violations”.  So the city forced the business to close.

Over time it seems that the owner could not “comply” with the city and the property was subsequently condemned.  Now it is being demolished and the property will be left vacant.

Now, I was not born yesterday and I was not born in South Dakota.  Having been raised in New Jersey and not South Dakota it is not my nature to think the best of people (something the Midwest culture teaches here).  The culture I grew up in was corrupt.  So I look for the corruption when I see stories like this.  I immediately look for the story behind the story, The skullduggery if you will.

I did a little homework this morning and to my surprise (yeah right) it seems that this property is in the same neighborhood as the proposed location of the New Event Center.  Remember the New Event Center?  The one voted down by the residents of the city (twice)?

Now I am not accusing – I am curious.  I find it odd that the city of Sioux Falls chose to single out this individual and this property for so much attention when there are other parts of town and other blatant violations being ignored.

Could it be as they say in the Real Estate business … Location – Location – Location?