About Me

In writing the "About Me" portion of this blog I thought about the purpose of the blog - namely, preventing the growth of Socialism & stopping the Death Of Democracy in the American Republic & returning her to the "liberty to abundance" stage of our history. One word descriptions of people's philosophies or purposes are quite often inadequate. I feel that I am "liberal" meaning that I am broad minded, independent, generous, hospitable, & magnanimous. Under these terms "liberal" is a perfectly good word that has been corrupted over the years to mean the person is a left-winger or as Mark Levin more accurately wrote in his book "Liberty & Tyranny" a "statist" - someone looking for government or state control of society. I am certainly not that & have dedicated the blog to fighting this. I believe that I find what I am when I consider whether or not I am a "conservative" & specifically when I ask what is it that I am trying to conserve? It is the libertarian principles that America was founded upon & originally followed. That is the Return To Excellence that this blog is named for & is all about.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Holiday Season Cyber Crime Message From The FBI

Thanks to the Borough of Somerville for sending the timely subject message.  It provides several red flags & reveals common schemes to be aware of that cyber criminals use to steal money & personal information.  If you are unsuspecting you will find the message very educational.  For others it will be a good reminder of things to look out for. 
 
Since reading the FBI message I have noticed reports of malicious software disguised as legitimate apps for Android smartphones & tablets that have gained control of over one million Google accounts (out of 1.4 billion) – specifically the Trojan-horse software Gooligan & its predecessor Ghost Push.
 
I sent all of the above information to the best computer expert I regularly work with who offered the following advice – "follow the Google recommendations, download only from official app store, and don't rely on outdated versions of operating systems."
 
Hope the information herein is useful. 
 

Sunday, November 27, 2016

An Outsider's Selections For The Fed & DOE

"The key to better jobs is increased business investment in equipment & research to raise labor productivity, supplemented by more skill training in firms & community colleges."  - Harvard economics professor Martin Feldstein writing in the WSJ on November 15
 
"You educate people - & you give them the keys to freedom." – Dr. Ben Carson being interviewed by Harris Faulkner on November 20
 
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Professor Feldstein & Dr. Carson both succinctly express above the essential bedrock feature that is key to obtaining employment & the freedom that produces the dignity of people supporting themselves & their families – skill training & education.
 
But the 2015 science test scores from the Nation's Report Card [National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP)] shows that 78% of high school seniors were not proficient in science with scores @ "basic" or "below basic" achievement levels.  Twenty percent scored @ the "proficient" level" & two percent  were recognized as "advanced."  Hardly a sign that these young Americans are ready to face college &/or the global economy.
 
The above education state of affairs is a perfect example of what I have for years called Citizen Control Point #1 - provide seemingly free education through government schools where the graduates are little more than illiterate & not proficient in math or science.
 
Professor Friedman writes in "Free To Choose" that "@ first schools were private & attendance was voluntary.  Increasingly, government came to play a larger role, first by contributing government support, later by establishing & administrating government schools . . . That movement gained additional support in the 1930s along with the general tendency toward both expansion & centralization of government."
 
So now we know how America's government-dependent society was formed – attendance in failing government schools that make up the largest socialized enterprise in America.
 
In addition to skill training & education Professor Feldstein includes above increased business investment in equipment & research to raise labor productivity as the key to better jobs.
 
Since 2008 employer business startups have been exceeded by business failures.  Gallup reports there were 400,000 new business startups & 470,000 business failures in 2011.  This not only is not the formula for better jobs it is the reason the number of jobs keep decreasing in America.
 
Jim Clifton, Gallup CEO & Chairman speaking about business survival in America says "when small & medium-sized businesses are dying faster than they're being born, so is free enterprise.  And when free enterprise dies, America dies with it.  Let's get one thing clear: This economy is never truly coming back unless we reverse the birth & death trends of American businesses."
 
Professor Carl Schramm of Syracuse University writes that "considering population growth, America needs @ least 325,000 new jobs every month to stanch the growing numbers of discouraged workers . . . New firms are the country's principal generator of new jobs . . . fewer than 500,000 new businesses were started in 2015. That is a disastrous 30% decline from 2008 . . . In eight years more than a million new companies have 'gone missing' from the economy. This absence accounts for an estimated seven to 10 million jobs that, had they existed, could have provided employment for every one of the nation's discouraged workers. Simply put the U.S. will never reach full employment without more startups . . . More businesses start when GDP expands @ 4% rather than 2%."
 
Nick Eberstadt, author of Men Without Work, reports that between 1965 & 2015 the percentage of working-aged men outside the labor force increased to 22% from 10% with many millions more underemployed (U-6), including many college graduates in their twenties who can not & never will find a job in their chosen field of study - a consistent theme on RTE highlighting that the official U-3 unemployment rate has not been representative of the health of employment in America the past eight years, if not even longer.  The employment to population ratio for men 25 to 54 is 6.8% lower than it was in 1930 @ the start of the Great Depression.  See graphic & table below prepared by Mr. Eberstadt.
 
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Check out the following table to see where America's productivity is going:
 
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Mr. Eberstadt's research also shows that the U.S. does not fare well in the percentage of working-aged men outside the labor force when compared to European nations:
 
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Business investment in equipment & research to raise labor productivity has been hampered because, under BO, the total business cost of compliance of federal regulations has soared (cost of compliance in 2012 was $2.028 trillion in 2014 dollars) – the annual compliance cost burden for an average U.S. firm is 21% of its payroll thereby leaving little or no room for investment of any kind.
 
In addition to the burden of increased regulations, BO has purposely worked against encouraging business investment by raising income tax rates & subjecting many business creating investors to the 3.8% ObamaCare surtax on capital gains & dividends as well as a 0.9% additional Medicare payroll tax plus putting barriers in front of business hiring with requirements to participate in ObamaCare based on the number of employees in a firm.
 
BO insincerely pays lip service to cheap money as the financial tool used to promote economic growth but without any proactive fiscal policies cheap money can only go so far – in fact not far enough.  The Fed has held interest rates near zero for years in America & the European Central Bank (ECB) followed by the Bank of Japan (BOJ) has pushed the large economies of both Germany & Japan respectively into negative interest rate territory in an attempt to force commercial banks to increase lending – which so far they haven't. Given the choice of lending their excess reserves or paying negative interest rates on these reserves the commercial banks have chosen not to lend into what they consider to be an uncertain global economy.
 
Taken in the entirety of all of BO's policies cheap money is just a way that BO has inexpensively financed all of his government spending.  Just imagine what the annual deficits & cumulative national debt would be if interest rates had not been purposely manipulated by the Fed the last eight years. 
 
There are 94 million Americans who do not have jobs & are not looking for one – some of the 94 million people are too young to work & some are too old but it still is a record number & these people need a growing economy to sustain them in their youth & their old age.
 
A majority of economists surveyed thought that uncertainty to one degree or another regarding the U.S. presidential election was hurting the economy but the Trump victory has relieved these tensions.  Trump, being a Washington outsider, has the astonishing opportunity to reverse or put an end to the great majority of BO's ruinous anti-American policies that were intentionally pursued to rob people of their freedom & make them dependent on government.
 
Little noticed or rarely mentioned is that President-elect Trump has the opportunity to recast the Federal Reserve's seven-member Board of Governors over the next 18 months – when he could fill as many as five seats.  This gives Trump a perfect opportunity to nominate governors interested in auditing the Fed before ending the Fed – the biggest currency manipulator in the world.
 
With regard to the above education points – Trump has nominated Elisabeth "Betsy" DeVos – American politician, billionaire (her husband's family is heir to the Amway fortune), businesswoman, philanthropist, & education advocate for more school choice to liberate children particularly in poor neighborhoods as Dr. Carson mentioned above.  DeVos supports charter schools & vouchers which is a good start but her higher calling, as Trump's DOE secretary, is to abolish the Department of Education.
 
Selecting people who would end the Fed & abolish the Department of Education – that is my idea of a president who is an outsider.
 

Monday, November 21, 2016

Thanksgiving Proclamation In The Year Of Independence Of The United States The Eighty Eighth

Below is President Lincoln's Proclamation 106 – Thanksgiving Day, 1863 – written in the midst of the Civil War - that made the customary & time-honored Thanksgiving observance a nationwide holiday on the "last Thursday in November."
 
Every president from 1863 to 1938 issued an annual Thanksgiving Day proclamation designating the holiday as "the last Thursday in November" – in 1939, for one year only, FDR moved the holiday to the third Thursday in November to expand the Christmas shopping season.
 
Congress tried to end the debate by passing a joint resolution assigning the holiday to the last Thursday in November but soon after amended the resolution calling for the Thanksgiving Day holiday to be observed on the fourth Thursday in November – where it has been observed since 1942.
 
Abraham
Abraham Lincoln
Proclamation 106—Thanksgiving Day, 1863
October 3, 1863
 
By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation

The year that is drawing toward its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added which are of so extraordinary a nature that they can not fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever-watchful providence of Almighty God.

In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign states to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere, except in the theater of military conflict, while that theater has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union.

Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defense have not arrested the plow, the shuttle, or the ship; the ax has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege, and the battlefield, and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom.

No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.

It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow-citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners, or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it, as soon as may be consistent with the divine purposes, to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility, and union.

In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the city of Washington, this 3d day of October, A. D. 1863, and of the Independence of the United States the eighty-eighth.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

By the President:

WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.