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.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Solution - Water Bucket Quiz

Thanks to everyone who participated in the subject quiz presented in the last post – the quiz certainly was not multiple choice & drew on your analytical skills.  I think everyone who responded had fun whether they got the solution or not – having fun & learning like I did is the point.
The quiz was taken from the May edition of CEP magazine to illustrate how a project team should focus on the simplest solution to a problem that minimizes the delay, cost, & additional equipment required to complete a task – a principle that is the heart & soul of the engineering-construction business as well as a good trait for all of us to use in our every day life.
The responses revealed there are two methods for working the problem.  I worked out solution # 1 below & then stopped thinking until I realized, as the responses came in, that more people derived solution #2 than #1.  All of the responses received are posted in the comments section under
Water Bucket Quiz.
Solution #1 – 1) Fill the 5-gal bucket.  2) Use the contents of the 5-gal bucket to fill the 3-gal bucket. (You now have a full 3-gal bucket & 2 gal of water left in the 5-gal bucket.)  3) Empty the 3-gal bucket, then pour the 2-gal of water from the 5-gal bucket into the 3-gal bucket.  4) Fill the 5-gal bucket again.  5)  Pour water from the 5-gal bucket into the 3-gal bucket (which currently contains 2 gal of water) until it is full.  What remains in the 5-gal bucket is 4 gal of water.
Responders who worked the problem this way include – our SC businessman (who called for tougher quizzes), HowK, & PB (also got #2).
Solution #2 – 1) F
ill the 3-gal bucket & pour it into the 5-gal bucket.  2)  Fill the 3-gal bucket again and use it to fill the 5-gal bucket to the top, leaving 1 gal of water remaining in the 3-gal bucket. 3) Empty the 5-gal bucket & pour the remaining 1 gal into the 5-gal bucket.  4)  Fill the 3-gal bucket again & pour it in with the 1 gal already in the 5-gal bucket, creating 4 gal total.
Responders who worked the problem this way include LW, Jg, Alison, RV, JR, Debbi, the Moonlight Gambler, & PB (also got #1).
When you combine the two solutions you realize that you can produce not only 4 gal of water using two unmarked buckets (the original task) but every whole number of gal from 1 up to 8 gal.  Just another benefit of creative people working together on a team – you always go higher than expected.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Water Bucket Quiz

click on image to enlarge
Here is the latest quiz (from CEP) that I think the readership will enjoy – it is not multiple choice like the last one that several people admitted guessing some answers on their way to excellent scores.
Suppose you are given two buckets as shown above, one that holds exactly 5 gal of water & one that holds exactly 3 gallons of water & that neither bucket has any incremental measurement indications.  How can you measure exactly 4 gal of water using these two buckets?  Assume you have unlimited supply of water.
I will post all correct answers & send the solution to anyone who requests it if no one figures it out.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Supreme Court Uses Homosexuals As Pawns In Undermining America

Below are excerpts from all four of the dissenting justices regarding the June 2015 Supreme Court decision establishing a right of homosexual couples throughout the entire U.S. to marry under civil law - OBERGEFELL ET AL. v. HODGES, DIRECTOR, OHIO DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, ET AL.
Roberts Dissent
The Constitution itself says nothing about marriage, and the Framers thereby entrusted the States with '[t]he whole subject of the domestic relations of husband and wife.' . . . as a judge, I find the majority's position indefensible as a matter of constitutional law . . . we have no longer a Constitution; we are under the government of individual men, who for the time being have power to declare what the Constitution is, according to their own views of what it ought to mean. . . . Those who founded our country would not recognize the majority's conception of the judicial role. They after all risked their lives and fortunes for the precious right to govern themselves. They would never have imagined yielding that right on a question of social policy to unaccountable and unelected judges . . . If you are among the many Americans - of whatever sexual orientation—who favor expanding same-sex marriage, by all means celebrate today's decision.  Celebrate the achievement of a desired goal.  Celebrate the opportunity for a new expression of commitment to a partner.  Celebrate the availability of new benefits.  But do not celebrate the Constitution.  It had nothing to do with it.
Scalia Dissent
It is of overwhelming importance, however, who it is that rules me.  Today's decree says that my Ruler, and the Ruler of 320 million Americans coast-to-coast, is a majority of the nine lawyers on the Supreme Court.  The opinion in these cases is the furthest extension in fact—and the furthest extension one can even imagine—of the Court's claimed power to create "liberties" that the Constitution and its Amendments neglect to mention.  This practice of constitutional revision by an unelected committee of nine, always accompanied (as it is today) by extravagant praise of liberty, robs the People of the most important liberty they asserted in the Declaration of Independence and won in the Revolution of 1776: the freedom to govern themselves. . . A system of government that makes the People subordinate to a committee of nine unelected lawyers does not deserve to be called a democracy.
Thomas Dissent
The Court's decision today is at odds not only with the Constitution, but with the principles upon which our Nation was built. Since well before 1787, liberty has been understood as freedom from government action, not entitlement to government benefits.  The Framers created our Constitution to preserve that understanding of liberty.  Yet the majority invokes our Constitution in the name of a "liberty" that the Framers would not have recognized, to the detriment of the liberty they sought to protect.  Along the way, it rejects the idea—captured in our Declaration of Independence—that human dignity is innate and suggests instead that it comes from the Government.  This distortion of our Constitution not only ignores the text, it inverts the relationship between the individual and the state in our Republic.
Alito Dissent
The question in these cases, however, is not what States should do about same-sex marriage but whether the Constitution answers that question for them.  It does not.  The Constitution leaves that question to be decided by the people of each State . . . What [those arguing in favor of a constitutional right to same sex marriage] seek, therefore, is not the protection of a deeply rooted right but the recognition of a very new right, and they seek this innovation not from a legislative body elected by the people, but from unelected judges. Faced with such a request, judges have cause for both caution and humility. . . . The Members of this Court have the authority and the responsibility to interpret and apply the Constitution.  Thus, if the Constitution contained a provision guaranteeing the right to marry a person of the same sex, it would be our duty to enforce that right.  But the Constitution simply does not speak to the issue of same-sex marriage.  In our system of government, ultimate sovereignty rests with the people, and the people have the right to control their own destiny.  Any change on a question so fundamental should be made by the people through their elected officials. . . .Today's decision will also have a fundamental effect on this Court and its ability to uphold the rule of law.  If a bare majority of Justices can invent a new right and impose that right on the rest of the country, the only real limit on what future majorities will be able to do is their own sense of what those with political power and cultural influence are willing to tolerate.  Even enthusiastic supporters of same-sex marriage should worry about the scope of the power that today's majority claims . . . Most Americans—understandably—will cheer or lament today's decision because of their views on the issue of same-sex marriage.  But all Americans, whatever their thinking on that issue, should worry about what the majority's claim of power portends.
Despite the above unemotional legal reasoning based on the Constitution presented by each of the four dissenting justices - Justice Kennedy joined the four liberal justices (Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, & Kagan) who vote in lockstep in their results-oriented pursuit to transform America - this time finding that the Fourteenth Amendment requires a State to license a marriage between two people of the same sex and to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed & performed out-of-State.  The Court found that the Constitution promises liberty & the specific right for people to express their identity, by among other things, being able to marry people of the same sex - despite the Constitution, that they all swore to uphold, not mentioning marriage meaning that under the Constitution marriage is an issue reserved to the States or the people in accordance with the Tenth Amendment.
This activist result was very predictable because the four liberal justices would undoubtedly be expected to vote to support homosexual marriage (Ginsburg & Kagan have actually officiated @ homosexual weddings but still saw no need to recuse themselves from the Obergefell case) & in the 2003 Lawrence v. Texas case Kennedy concluded that homosexual sodomy is a constitutional right (source – Mark Levin, Men In Black, page 69) which he had no problem extending to homosexual marriage being a constitutional right in Obergefell.
Ron Prykanowski addresses the legal rights & civil rights questions when he writes "marriage is a contract, not a civil right. You do not sign a paper (license), have two witnesses, an official & exchange an act of consideration (love and affection is such a consideration) for a civil right.  If marriage were a civil right, why would you need a pre-nuptial contract or a property settlement agreement much like a business? It is a contractual life partnership."
The biggest problem with the decision of the Obergefell case is yet to come.  Apathetic people only react, even to the most dastardly acts, when they are directly affected.
There are already documented cases of bakers, photographers, florists, landlords, & pizza pie makers being cited for violating anti-discrimination laws that protect homosexuals – an Oregon baker has been fined $135,000 in a case that started by the refusal to bake a wedding cake for a homosexual couple & then escalated when the bakers fought back claiming religious freedom under the First Amendment.  The fine is being appealed meaning more trouble.
Confrontations were predictable even before oral arguments in the Obergefell case ended when the Solicitor General, presenting the government's case, agreed that tax exemptions of some religious institutions would be in question if they opposed homosexual marriage when he said "It's certainly going to be an issue.  I don't deny that."  The actual decision was even worse for many people of religious faiths where homosexual marriage is considered an abomination (sin in general) (e.g., Catholics & many Muslim countries) in that the majority goes beyond merely concluding that the Constitution protects the right to homosexual marriage but explains that everyone who does not follow the Court's "better informed understanding" of what constitutes marriage demeans or stigmatizes homosexual couples meaning such people are bigots subject to the enforcement of anti-discrimination laws.
In addition to religious institutions losing the tax exempt status mentioned above it is not far fetched to one day soon seeing priests forced to officiate @ homosexual marriage ceremonies; for all faiths to be pressured to redefine marriage to include homosexuals; for all churches to accept members & even leaders who are homosexual; or for homosexual teachers to be common place in religious schools teaching doctrine they do not agree with themselves.  
This decision is much more than just giving homosexuals equal protection of the laws – it is violating the free exercise of religious rights under the First Amendment that have been in existence for centuries of everyone who is not homosexual so we can see there is more going on with this decision than just protecting the rights of a minority group.  In fact with all the problems it will cause as described above the majority of the Supreme Court has used homosexuals as pawns to undermine America.
Prior to 1962 sodomy was a felony in every state – punishable by imprisonment or hard labor.  The graph below shows the year sodomy laws were struck down or repealed in each state.  Accordingly, as the sodomy laws were removed homosexuals started to publicly announce their sexual preference which in turn resulted in homosexuality coming much closer to many homes & families.  For instance Ohio Senator Rob Portman has turned to supporting homosexuality when he learned his son was homosexual.
  click on graphic to enlarge
Fair minded people are not for destroying one person's rights while upholding another's.  Many people who support homosexual marriage find it appalling that someone else's religious rights or personal beliefs can be the reason for fines or penalties.  But this is the situation we are in today thanks to the Supreme Court's activist ruling. 
But getting back to the $135,000 fine levied on the Oregon bakers - click here to see how Muslim bakers intend to comply with the Supremes.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Hillary's Numbers Problem Provides An Opening For Democrat Opponents

Hillary's campaign for president has & will continue to focus on equality of outcome & her idea of what constitutes fairness – not exceptionalism & excellence that America was founded upon & originally followed.  At the center of her fight to continue America's deterioration along the path of apathy to dependence is the concept of income inequality – this from a woman & her husband who have reported income of $130 million from speaking fees since 2001. 
The Clinton's have made public 30 years of income tax returns – but none since 2006 when a great percentage of the large speaking fee income was generated.  For political planning purposes (as differentiated from tax planning purposes) the Clinton's effective tax rate was overpaid @ 30% in 2014 – meaning the Clintons don't want to be caught in the trap Mitt found himself in during the 2012 presidential campaign when his effective tax rate was legitimately determined under the tax regulations to be 14% in 2011, the year before he ran for president.  The Clintons can say on the campaign trail that they paid their fair share of taxes which is peanuts in the overall scheme of things during the rest of their lives.
On numerous occasions Hillary has said that the average annual CEO's compensation is well over 350 times that of an average worker.  LSU Professor Arthur Bedeian determined that this ratio is based on the average annual CEO's compensation ($13.5 million) for companies in the S&P 500 index compared to that of the $36,134 average annual pay for production & non-supervisory workers.  Source - AFL-CIO Paywatch website.  Google this website for specific compensation of these executives.
To get the true picture you have to expand this analysis beyond 500 people & companies to learn that this large pay-differential ratio doesn't hold up when comparing an average CEO's compensation to that of an average worker.   
Professor Bedeian reports that the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates that there were over a quarter of a million non-self-employed CEOs in the U.S. in 2012 whose mean annual salary was $176,840.  The ratio drops from Hillary's stated 350 to 1 to less than 5 to 1 when considering all of these businessmen – not just 500 in the top companies. 
But Hillary's numbers problem gets worse than this the closer you get to home – when you learn that she paid her own female employees 72 cents for every dollar she paid her male employees despite making the wage gap between the sexes a central issue of her campaign.  Click here to see the reaction of some of her supporters upon finding this out.
Now I don't think that any Republican would turn many votes away from Hillary based on the above information but I sure do believe that if Sanders or Webb have any chance they would want to clear the above record up – @ least the parts that favor their socialist positions.


Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Interactive Knowledge Quiz

Thanks to our SC businessman for sending this interactive knowledge quiz that will challenge your grasp of current events - there are no trick questions.
After completing the quiz you can compare your score with that of the general public & with responses across demographic groups.
Our SC businessman got 11 of 12 correct.  I will post the one he missed on RTE under comments.
Please let me know how you make out.