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 22, 2019

Christmas & New Year's Message For Hong Kong

Long time readers will remember the Christmas & New Year's post of 2013 dedicated to Ukraine – a country fighting for its freedom much like America was on Christmas night 1776.
My interest in Ukraine started when Google provided me with statistics showing that Ukraine consistently had the second biggest readership in RTE, after the U.S., for over two years running.  I know that many pro-liberty protesters in Ukraine use Facebook posts & blogs to communicate with each other.  I am just so humbled & honored to think that RTE played even an infinitesimal part in this revolution for freedom.
Well, in this same light I was very surprised the past few weeks to see that the readership in Hong Kong has skyrocketed to more than three times the U.S. readership.
The situation in Hong Kong is a little different than in 1776 America or 2013 Ukraine – both America & Ukraine had gone through the bondage to spiritual faith & spiritual faith to great courage stages & had moved to the courage, fighting for liberty stage of a young country seeking freedom.
Hong Kong had experienced freedom under British rule from 1842 until July 1, 1997 when once again Hong Kong was returned to China under the "One Country, Two Systems" principle that called for Hong Kong to be autonomous for 50 years, until 2047, – Hong Kong is part of China but has a largely separate legal & economic system.  In 1997 Hong Kong was both freer & wealthier than mainland China but the wealth gap has narrowed while the freedom gap has widened.
Equating freedom to taxes – Hong Kong has no capital gains tax, no withholding tax, no estate tax, no dividend tax, no sales tax or value added tax, & no tax on interest.  Tax is paid by property & land owners @ a rate of 15% of their rental income.   The first tax in America was the Tariff Act of 1789 that imposed a 5% flat rate tariff on all imports.  See graphic below that shows the low rate of taxation from 1792 until 1913 when the income tax was implemented & the mid 1930s when the Social Security payroll tax was implemented & then again in the mid 1960s when it was expanded to include the Medicare payroll tax.  Notice the height of the yellow line over the entire time frame of 1792 to 2016 which shows the method & level of taxation of our Founders.
  click on graphic to enlarge
The problem for Hong Kong started last June when a bill that would have allowed Hongkongers to be extradited to mainland China for trial was introduced – this didn't sound good to them.  On June 9 an estimated one million people marched in an antigovernment protest of this bill & Hong Kong has not been the same since.  One large protest march after another has followed & confrontations with the police has escalated.  See photo below that shows the inspiration America is for this freedom movement.  Hongkongers are calling for U.S. support – not from anyone or any place else.  The U.S. is the only place that enthuses hope for freedom & that is why we are constantly being beaten down by enemies – both foreign & domestic.
click on photo to enlarge 
The quest for a constitutional republic with strong democratic principles like America usually starts with a few people of substance, living under tyranny, quietly getting together to plan a better way.  This is happening in many dictatorships around the world today & of course is squashed by the dictatorship as soon as it is discovered – with the freedom planners being killed.  Ukraine & Hong Kong are still in the liberty to abundance stage while America has descended into the apathy to dependence stage, unfortunately led by millennials who don't know better, that every democracy goes through once the voters foolishly realize that a majority can always vote for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury – & boy do we have that now with every Democrat candidate for president outdoing each other in their lurch toward total government dependence (i.e., socialism & communism).
Last month Hongkongers exercised their right to vote when pro-democracy candidates won 201 seats to only 28 for the Hong Kong establishment or pro-Beijing parties.  This was a very great defeat for the Hong Kong government set up by Beijing.  The turnout was over 70% of eligible voters.  The problem is that the district councilors elected have little power except for local concerns so the freedom fighters are still living under the heavy handed threat of the tyranny & brute force of mainland China – but they persist as we did in the 1770s.
So it is to Hong Kong, & specifically the libertarian people who dare greatly to protest in the streets against as brutal a regime as exists on earth, that I dedicate this Christmas & New Year's message – namely, it is the future that they bring when tomorrow comes.

Sunday, December 8, 2019

ACTA, VOC, & Hillsdale College Show Socialist/Communist Trouble For Trump Reelection

On September 10 ACTA (the American Council of Trustees & Alumni) released their annual signature publication What Will They Learn? 2019-2020Long time readers know that I feature the release of ACTA's annual report every year as well as information about other ACTA projects as they occur during the year.  The ACTA website is an invaluable asset in helping to choose a college that will provide a useful learning experience @ the lowest tuition.  There are thousands of students & parents responsible for large student loans for students who received useless degrees that wish they had been aware of this resource.
This year's ACTA report graded 1,124 schools that enroll more than eight million undergraduate students - & awarded 2% of the schools with an "A" & 12% with an "F".  Eight-two percent of schools do not require a course in U.S. government or history so it is not surprising that 1 in 5 Americans think that AOC is the author of the New Deal.  This type of misinformation helps explain the current American preference for socialism & the rise of ill-informed citizens who are stupid enough to graduate from college with tens of thousands of dollars of student loan debt totally unprepared for the workforce.  They are naturally attracted to Democrat presidential candidates who promise to expunge that debt for starters.
It is natural for the the education gap, the income gap, & every other measure of the excellence of high personal achievement to widen versus the collective mediocrity of socialism & government dependence.  For instance, the median annual income for math majors graduating from MIT in 2019 was $120,000.  These graduates had a median student debt of just $8,219 – the lowest debt to income ratio for bachelor's degrees.  These people really understand math – & economics.
Hillsdale College reports:
1)  Only 30% of millennials believe it is essential to live in a democracy – a 2017 Gallup poll found that 55% of 18 – 29 year olds had a positive view of socialism & a YouGov.com poll reported that 44% of millennials would rather live in a socialist country instead of a capitalist one such as America;
2)  61%  of Americans aged 18 to 24 (the generation that will make up 10% of the voting electorate in 2020 & could be the cohort that denies Trump reelection if they turnout to vote) had a positive reaction to the word "socialism" – beating out capitalism @ 51%;
3)  In 2016, socialist Bernie Sanders received 13 million votes for president in the Democrat presidential primariesmore than 2 million votes for him were cast by those aged 17 to 29 amounting to 72% in this age category & 45% of Bernie's voters were college graduates, who have little or no idea what they are passing up; &
4)  In just the last two years the Young Democrat Socialists of America experienced a 280% increase in active chapters on college campuses across America.
And the fourth Annual Report on U.S. Attitudes Toward Socialism, Communism, & Collectivism released by the Victims Of Communism Memorial Foundation (VOC) found that 36% of Millennials support communism – an increase from 2018.  Opinions of capitalism took a decline over the past year with only half of Millennials (ages 23 – 38) & Generation Z (ages 16 to 22) having a favorable opinion of capitalism.  Socialism's favorability decreased over the last year except for Millennials & the Silent Generation (ages 74+). 
The VOC survey polled 2,100 people in the U.S. who were 16 & older.
The results of the survey prompted Marion Smith, Executive Director of VOC, to properly appraise the situation in America today when he said "The historical amnesia about the dangers of communism & socialism is on full display in this year's report.  When we don't educate our youngest generations about the historical truth of 100 million victims murdered @ the hands of communist regimes over the past century, we shouldn't be surprised @ their willingness to embrace Marxist ideas.  We need to redouble our efforts to educate America's youth about the history of communist regimes & the dangers of socialism today."  The increasing support among younger Americans for socialism & other ideas destructive of liberty is because these younger Americans take their liberty for granted – thinking it will always be there under any system of government, which of course it won't.
The following graphic is from the VOC report. 

click on graphic to enlarge

Click here to see a video of students @ Carleton College in Minnesota support free college (their annual tuition of $54,759 is the highest in Minnesota) but with no idea of how to pay for it.  The student with the hammer & sickle shirt provides a good idea of where these student are coming from & the communism they are going to – see photo below.

click on photo to enlarge

But the Democrat onslaught doesn't stop with free college.  For instance Bernie's plans are typical of all the Democrat presidential candidates - they total $97.5 trillion in new spending over the next ten years made up of Medicare for All @ $32 trillion (unrealistically low as documented on this blog in previous posts), climate change @ $16.9 trillion, full-time government employment that pays $15 per hour plus benefits guaranteed to all Americans @ $30 trillion, free college tuition @ public colleges & forgiving all student loan debt @ $3 trillion, expansion of Social Security (a program actuarially running out of money) @ $1.8 trillion, housing plan @ $2.5 trillion, paid family leave @ $1.6 trillion, infrastructure plan @ $1 trillion, K-12 education plan @ $800,000 billion, & higher education teacher salary plan @ $400 billion.  Source – City-Journal.

The above programs would double the number of Americans who work for the federal government, increase total government spending to 70% of GDP from the current 40% level, & bring annual budget deficits to the 30% level.  Doesn't sound good – but it does sound like socialism & communism.

Anybody who has been paying the least bit of attention – anybody who is breathing – knows that the Democrats have a sick obsession with President Trump simply because they cannot accept that he won the 2016 presidential election.  Democrats have to get rid of Trump for no other reason than he is just too anti socialist & anti communist for their own good.  Trump is pro-business.

When Trump took office there were 1.9 million more people unemployed than there were job openings.  Since March 2018 there has been a dramatic reversal with more than a million more job openings than people who are unemployed.  The November 2019 Unemployment report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) on December 6 showed the number of people marginally attached to the labor force fell from 1,678,000 to 1,246,000 in the last year as more & more people have hope of finding gainful employment.  In addition, & in this same line, the BLS report showed that the % of long term unemployed people fell to 20.8% in November compared to 24.7% – BO's last full month in office. This is dangerous to Democrats because it flies in their government dependent faces that prefer to think of people as discouraged workers who have given up looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them, victims of something, anything, that in turn makes it easy for anyone to become dependent on government – & them.

Americans are constantly being asked whether they believe in personal responsibility or not.  Democrats entire existence is to make this decision easy by putting temptation in front of people in the form of one government giveaway after another by taking money from the haves to give to the have-nots – until we are all have-nots with no one creating wealth any longer.

We need an educated workforce of people who can provide valuable services but instead we have had 19 straight months of a million more job openings than we have unemployed people.  Many police recruits in South Bend, Indiana – Mayor Pete Buttigieg, presidential aspirant - fail the required written exam as the high school graduation rate in South Bend fell to 77% from 83% in 2015, about 11 points lower than statewide.

Over twenty years ago Professor Friedman said "America has been more than fifty percent socialist for many years & we are not getting our money's worth."  It doesn't take much first hand experience with government projects to know the inefficient government road to ruin we would be on if any of the Democrat candidates win the presidency in 2020. 

Social spending totals 20% of the economy already & Americans currently spend 18% of GDP on healthcare with projections of 21% by 2027 before continuing to rise further.  Add the additional programs listed above from Bernie's plan & you can clearly see Professor Friedman's point even before including current state & local government spending. 

Socialism means that the government is entitled to the proceeds from the income private enterprise receives.  Take federal, state, & local spending & add the unfunded mandates government imposes on private spending (about 12% of the laws enacted between 2001 & 2011) – mostly utilized in regulation of civil rights, anti-poverty programs, & environmental protections (ADA, Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, No Child Left Behind, & fees for continuing education training & licenses for engineers, pharmacists, tattoo artists, & hairdressers – as examples) & over 50% of the output of the country is controlled by the government – this is equivalent to saying the government owns 50% of the means of production.

Four of the five wealthiest counties surround Washington DC indicating the degree of entrenched socialsim.  We will have turned communist when it is five out of five.

Our Founders, the first five presidents, mutually pledged their lives, their fortunes, & their sacred honors to each other & most importantly to fight for the liberty of their new country when they renounced their status as British subjects in favor of being citizens of the United States of America.

Hillsdale College reports that only 19% of Americans younger than forty-five can pass the U.S. Citizenship Test.  This shows just how far we have gone – down.


Sunday, November 24, 2019

President Washington & The First National Presidential Thanksgiving Proclamation

click on image to enlarge
On October 3, 1789 President Washington issued the first national presidential Thanksgiving proclamation (see below) to "the People of the United States" – not simply to "We the people" – calling for a day of public thanksgiving on Thursday the 26th day of November, 1789.  That was the first national celebration of our current Thanksgiving holiday.
President Washington's proclamation was especially noteworthy to me because of its reference to the Constitution that is the basis of our safety & happiness today.
President Washington shows his wisdom when he acknowledges that what we are experiencing in America is a "degree of temporal prosperity" in a world where slavery & poverty had been the norm for all of human history until the United States, the first moral society in history, gave mankind its first steps toward abolishing serfdom & slavery & a pathway to freedom & a rational way of life.
Thanksgiving Proclamation

By the President of the United States of America. a Proclamation.         
[New York, 3 October, 1789]


Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor—and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me "to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness."


Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be—That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks—for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation—for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his Providence which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war—for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed—for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted—for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.


and also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions—to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually—to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed—to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord—To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease of science among them and us—and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.


Given under my hand at the City of New-York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.


Go: Washington


Sunday, November 10, 2019

Ruinous Democrat Tax Proposals Versus Supply Side Economics

click on image to enlarge
Above is a pictorial of the famous Laffer Curve drawn on a cocktail napkin by Arthur Laffer in 1974 to explain to Jude Wanniski, Dick Cheney, & Don Rumsfeld that there is a sweet spot on the tax rates axis that will yield the maximum tax revenue for the government.  This sweet spot is paradoxically @ a lower rate than what many politicians instinctively think it should be.  Lower marginal income tax rates, especially @ the highest level as shown on the Laffer Curve, are part of the economic principles known as supply side economics.
Now I have always had a problem with the Laffer Curve because its proponents, including Art Laffer, emphasize the part about "the maximum tax revenue for the government" – the curve shows the government how to get the most money possible from an income tax system but by so doing provides politicians an open invitation to spend even more money than they normally would – give them more money & they will spend it.  Many of us remember that in the 1980s the branch of supple side economics known as Reagonomics lowered the income tax rates & the tax revenues increased only to find that spending increased also & large deficits continued & interest on the national debt grew.  See data below, in millions of dollars, taken from OMB Historical Table 1.1 entitled Summary of Receipts, Outlays, & Surpluses or Deficits (-): 1789 to 2024.
click on table to enlarge                           
The most successful president who practiced supply side economics was Calvin Coolidge in the 1920s.  The income tax, ratified by the 16th Amendment in 1913, was supposed to be a flat tax with a single rate of 4% but it quickly changed to a graduated tax of 1% to 7% with the income brackets determined by the ability to pay.  By 1921 Congress had raised the top marginal rate from 7% to 73%.   President Coolidge was the only president to follow all of the supply-side economic principles:  1) the reduction of the size of government and its claims on earned income, 2) a lower marginal tax rate for the highest income earners, & 3) sound-money policies – the gold standard.  Silent Cal reduced the top 73% income tax rate to 25% by 1925, reduced the national debt, & balanced the budget – a budget that actually was smaller when he left office than when he took office.  Federal spending was 3% of GDP in 1928 – it is 21.3% today.
Now none of the current Democrat presidential candidates are proposing anything like the supply side economic principles listed above that bring prosperity, dignity, strength, & liberty to the American people.  In fact the Dems' proposals bring weakness & government dependence through higher & more taxes & increased federal government spending on one welfare program after another.  The Dems' plans are no more than redistribution of wealth schemes designed to buy votes from the recipients of the welfare programs.
For starters virtually all the Democrat candidates for president would not only repeal the Trump tax cuts of 2017 but would actually reverse them by increasing the top federal marginal income tax rates for individuals to 70% to 90% & corporations to 25% with the mistaken notion that this would start to finance their myriad new Democrat welfare programs.
Elizabeth Warren, the current front runner, would impose an annual 2% wealth tax on households with a net worth above $50 million & Warren's plan originally proposed taxing households with a net worth above $1 billion @ 3% of their wealth annually. 
But after pressure from her fellow Democrat presidential candidates to reveal how her Medicare for All universal single payer healthcare plan would be financed by the federal government Warren released the details that included an increase in her wealth tax, which is a minor part of Warren's overall healthcare financing plans.   
First, employers, other than the smallest businesses, would pay a new "employer Medicare contribution" to the federal government that will start just below what employers pay now in employee healthcare premiums – currently $8.8 trillion over ten years.  These contributions would increase to a national average over time. 
Second, Warren would raise the federal corporate tax rate back to 35% from 21% under Trump & require U.S. companies to pay the 35% rate on their worldwide profits – specifically, & most pointedly including money earned outside the U.S. that is subject to foreign taxation – instead of the minimum tax rates instituted in Trump's 2017 tax cut bill. 
Third, Warren would lengthen depreciation schedules that also reverses an investment incentive tenet from the 2017 tax cut law.
Fourth, Warren's wealth tax has been revised to tax the households of billionaires @ 6% annually on their net worth - twice the original 3% proposed rate. 
And fifth, Warren would employ Oregon Senator Ron Wyden's mark to market tax plan on capital gains that would require people in the top 1% wealth category to pay capital gains taxes on their asset increases each year whether they sell them or not.  Wyden's plan exempts primary residencies & 401(k) plans & would apply to the top 0.3% of taxpayers.  Wyden would increase the capital gains tax rate to ordinary income tax rates.  Democrat presidential candidate Julian Castro endorses Wyden's plan for the top 0.1% of taxpayers.
Prior to Warren's wealth tax rate revision, but not to be outdone, Bernie called for an annual tax on the wealth of couples with a net worth of $32 million ($16 million for individuals) starting @ 1% & increasing to 8% per year for couples with a net worth of $10 billion - thereby proposing a bigger drag on the economy in this regard than Warren.  Bernie also calls for imposing an exit tax of up to 60% on the assets of wealthy people who renounce their U.S. citizenship.  There is no freedom in Bernie's proposals – only tyranny.
Warren has also proposed giving every current & future Social Security recipient an additional $2,400 a year permanent benefit increase to help lift senior citizens out of poverty – that would be financed by additional taxes of 14.8% on high-earners income, capital gains, & dividends.  Warren's plan provides no additional benefits to the high-income earners footing the bill so it is a pure redistribution of wealth to a welfare scheme.
Naturally Biden likes to preach continuation of BO's policies & his tax plan calls for repealing the "stepped up basis" for capital gains in the death tax laws.  Biden would have heirs pay capital gains taxes on realized or unrealized increases based on the original purchase price of an inherited asset @ double the current capital gains rate for taxpayers with incomes of $1 million or more.  And Biden masquerades as a moderate?
All of the above taxes are needed to finance the gargantuan spending programs that Democrats have in mind that dwarf the current level of federal government spending that totaled $4.45 trillion in FY 2019 that ended September 30.  For instance, previous posts have detailed the cost of AOC's Green New Deal @ $93 trillion over the next ten years.  Warren calculated that the federal government will spend just under $52 trillion over the next ten years on her Medicare for All plan – to be funded by the wealthy & corporations.
Specifically, virtually all of the remaining 16 Democrat presidential contenders want, or can easily be led to support, people of substance paying for Medicare for All, a guaranteed federal jobs program, free public college or trade school, reparations for slavery, & a Green New Deal that includes switching electricity & transportation to 100% renewables by 2030, including the trading in of fossil fuel powered vehicles for new electrical vehicles, a regional high speed rail system, school & transit buses being replaced with electric buses, & truckers replacing diesel powered tractor trailers.  Democrat presidential contenders would ban fracking, ban drilling offshore & on federal lands, ban imports & exports of fossil fuels, & cancel oil pipelines already being built.  Federal tax money would be used to help small businesses & families weatherize & retrofit buildings to be energy compliant.
Now all of the above projects will overwhelm the money of corporations & millionaires & billionaires in the top 1% as detailed below.
Long time readers will remember the excellent video posted on January 3, 2012 (see reference post below) entitled Eat The Rich of Bill Whittle going through every day of the year marking a calendar, starting @ 12:01 AM on January 1, to show just how far money goes, @ a time of much less federal spending than being considered today, from the following sources: confiscated profits from the Fortune 500 companies, the combined salaries of professional athletes in the four major sports plus the total winnings on the PGA tour & NASCAR, every penny of people's annual earnings above $250,000, the money funding the Iraq & Afghanistan wars, proceeds from selling everyone's homes in Beverly Hills after evicting them, money confiscated from Bill Gates, Warren Buffet & the other 398 billionaires in the Forbes 400 plus another 100 for good measure, money from the elimination of all foreign aid, & to round out the year to midnight on December 31 add in $40 contributed by every man, woman, & child in the country – except illegal aliens (my opinion).
The above video is very enlightening & instructional in that you will never again fall for the false claim that the top 1% can pay for everything politicians propose to people who think they deserve everything.  One year wipes out the millionaires & billionaires & gives corporations no reason to exist – one & done.
Wealth taxes & high income taxes on the wealthy are the worst taxes of all.  When you tax the rich normal people get hurt the most when they lose their jobs.  The rich invest their money after covering living expenses while the average person pays bills if they have a job @ all.  High income tax rates & wealth taxes take money from the most productive Americans & give it to the least productive through the 126 welfare programs identified by the Cato Institute.
Supply side economics as practiced by Coolidge, JFK, & Reagan show that tremendous economic growth & prosperity result when low top marginal income tax rates unleash human ingenuity, innovation, enterprise, & genius that encourage productive investment by corporations & the wealthy.
BTW - our glorious Constitution protects us from wealth taxes that are direct taxes that have to be apportioned among the states on the basis of population per the decennial census specified in the Constitution (Article I, Sections 1 & 9) & that are in violation of the Takings Claus of the Fifth Amendment.  Of course these principles have no effect if we don't have a Constitution & a country left if Warren, Sanders, Biden or any of the others come to power.
Reference Post:  One & Done

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Fuel Mixture Quiz

Several years ago my friend Anne Neal, former President of ACTA, told me that people love quizzes.  I never found this to be truer than when I checked the audience of RTE one night recently & found 2,875 people had clicked on to the website that day.  First of all I was astonished @ the number – far & away an all time high for one day.  But upon further checking I found that this high activity was virtually all on quizzes in that eight of the top ten posts that day were quizzes – Water Bucket Quiz, Salt Deduction Quiz, Buffalo Quiz, Birthday Quiz, Rockefeller Center Christmas Store Quiz, Stock Market Quiz, & Compound Interest Quiz – long time readers will remember these quizzes because these good sports participated in all of them – & like me learned a lot.
Just think of the popularity of Tucker Carlson's weekly quiz on FNC to get a grip on the grip quizzes have on people.
The subject quiz of this post is a real life question from a charter member of this blog involving a WWII era generator, shown below, that was used to recharge batteries in military air fields.  The generator had been given to our subscriber – who loves this sort of thing - & after all the years of the equipment sitting idle he made substantial maintenance upgrades to it in his garage.  He made a new gas tank from a stove pipe & soldered in copper end caps & salvaged the original gas cap and shut off valve.  The old tank had a inch of gunk in the bottom, & the top of the tank looked like Swiss cheese when tested with water.  It rusted out from moisture collecting on the top half of the tank. The carburetor also had gunk and needed cleaning.  And after all this corrective work he told me that "after a few pulls" the generator was functional again.  After working with him in the engineering – construction business for twenty years I can well believe he made this relic work.
The problem that our expert mechanic presented to me pertained to fine tuning the right fuel mixture so that the generator would not smoke – it is 2 cycle (oil & gasoline).
He asked me – "Could you calculate the proper mixture?  Instructions: Mix ½ pint of oil to each gallon of gasoline.  What is the mixture for one quart of fuel?"
Please let me know how you work the problem reducing the specified proportions of oil & gasoline for a gallon of gasoline to a quart of gasoline.  Specifically, how many fluid ounces of oil should be added to each quart of gasoline for this generator?  I will post all correct answers or alternatively will send the solution I calculated privately to anyone who requests it if no one gets the right answer.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

The Failure Of The Peaceful Transfer Of Power & Its Effect On 2020 Senate & Presidential Races

The last post focused on both the headwind & the opportunity involved with the GOP trying to take back control of the House in 2020.  The headwind is due to the sheer number of House seats needed to be won to replace Pelosi as speaker.  The opportunity is replacing the many House Republican retirees who have Democrat-like failing liberty scores with Representatives who are more in tune with liberty & adherence to the Constitution.  Since the last post two more House Republicans have retired – Chris Collins of NY (F @ 35%) & Mac Thornberry of Texas (F @ 36%) bringing the total to 20 House Republicans retiring to six Democrats.
The Senate presents a different problem – one of trying to hold on to control of the Senate but doing so while electing Members who will be more faithful to their oaths than the retiring senators & those facing primary challengers.  The Senate portion of the makeup of the 116th Congress is 53 Republicans, 45 Democrats, an Independent (King of Maine), & an Independent Socialist (Bernie).  King & Bernie caucus with the Democrats.
Republicans will be defending 23 Senate seats in 2020 while Democrats will defend 12.  These figures include the 33 Class II senators up for reelection in 2020 & two special elections in Arizona (caused by McCain's death) & Georgia (caused by Isakson's retirement @ the end of 2019 due to poor health).  Four Republican senators are not running for reelection in 2020 & one Democrat incumbent is not seeking reelection – Tom Udall in NM. 
The biggest surprise is that Susan Collins (R,ME) has not made her intentions known regarding seeking another term.  Collins won her last Senate election by 36.2% but since then gave an impassioned speech in favor of Bret Kavanaugh, who won his Supreme Court seat 50 to 48, & also voted for Trump's December 2017 tax cuts that did away with the individual ObamaCare mandate – two votes of questionable appeal in Maine.  Collins has a liberty score of F @ 12% joining the other 3 Members of the Maine delegation who are all graded F.
Defending two Senate seats in Georgia will be extra hard for the GOP in a state that has indications of turning blue with the latest indication being the closeness if the 2018 gubernatorial election in which a Republican squeaked out a victory.
Republicans can lose three Senate seats & still control the Senate if Trump wins but confirming Supreme Court Justices is dicey even now because some current Republicans are not reliable votes – like Lisa Murkowski (F @ 27%) of Alaska who opposed Kavanaugh.  The most difficult races in 2020 are in Arizona, Colorado, North Carolina, & Georgia where, as mentioned above, two seats are being defended.  Texas poses a special problem if presidential candidates Beto O'Rourke or Julian Castro or Castro's twin brother Texas Congressman Joaquin Castro decide to run for the Senate.  O'Rourke lost the 2018 Senate race to Ted Cruz by a narrow 3% so the seat could be in play again in 2020.  John Cornyn is the Republican incumbent with a liberty score of F @ 31%.
Martha McSally narrowly lost the 2018 Senate race in Arizona to Kyrsten Sinema but was shortly thereafter appointed to fill McCain's open seat until the 2020 special election.  McSally has a liberty score of D @ 60% & is not strong on opposing Red Flag laws so many conservatives in the state are not pleased with her.  Businessman Daniel McCarthy is planning a primary challenge – the type of challenge that hurt McSally in 2018.  The Democrat opponent is most likely former astronaut Mark Kelly, whose wife, former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, was shot in an assassination attempt in 2011 so a debate on gun policy or allowing families & law enforcement to remove guns from people deemed dangerous under Red Flag laws will be very sensitive.  Could be a no-win for Republicans either way.  Trump has endorsed McSally.
In Colorado Cory Gardner won his last election by 1.9% & has a liberty score of F @ 49%.  His most likely opponent is former Democrat presidential candidate John Hickenlooper who already has won two statewide elections as governor in addition to winning two terms as mayor of Denver.  Hickenlooper is a very formidable opponent.
In North Carolina Thom Tillis won his last election by 1.5% & has a liberty score of F @ 38%.  Tillis faces a primary challenger in businessman Garland Tucker who believes that Tillis has not supported Trump sufficiently.  Trump formally endorsed Tillis in June.  Many readers will recall the post North Carolina Patriots Help Influence Senator's Vote from last March when two very dear friends, who live in NC, shared their positive experience with Tillis after writing to him. 
Kansas has an open Senate seat with the retirement of Pat Roberts who has a liberty score of F @ 42% – so Republicans have a chance to make a real improvement.  Kris Kobach, former Kansas secretary of state (SOS), lost his gubernatorial bid in 2018 despite Trump's endorsement so many are trying to tempt Mike Pompeo to leave his national SOS position & run for the Senate representing Kansas.  Pompeo could secure this seat for the GOP which could be very pivotal especially regarding the confirmation of Supreme Court Justices.
One bright spot for the GOP is Alabama where Democrat Doug Jones (F @ 11%) won the seat vacated by Jeff Sessions in a special election when Sessions took the job as Attorney General in 2017.  Alabama is one of the most conservative states in the country & retaking this seat is highly likely if Judge Roy Moore, who lost to Jones, does not win the Republican nomination.  Moore was inundated with sexual misconduct charges involving teenage girls that he could not overcome in the 2017 special election.
The above analysis shows that the Senate is up for grabs, if not stacked against the Republicans maintaining control.
click on image to enlarge
The above image shows the electoral college win of Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton in 2016.  In essence, all other things being equal, Wisconsin (10 electoral votes) brought Trump to the 270 electoral vote total necessary to win the presidency.   Pennsylvania (20) & Michigan (16) provided the increase in electoral votes to 306.
But even @ that the victory was very fragile – by a total of less than 80,000 votes combined in all three of these states.  Razor thin.  BO could have mustered up more than the ten thousand votes Trump won Michigan by in Detroit alone.  Trump won Wisconsin by 22,748 votes statewide & Hillary received 43,000 less votes in 2016 than BO did in 2012 in Milwaukee alone.
And of course the popular vote tally, that is of no consequence in the electoral process, is a foregone Democrat conclusion.  Since 1988 Republicans have won only one popular vote total in the last seven presidential races.  With Hillary's 4.48 million vote advantage in California & 1.73 million vote advantage in New York it will be hard enough for any Republican to win the electoral college in the foreseeable future let alone the meaningless popular vote.
If you discount California (55) & New York (29) Trump had a 3,134,432 popular vote plurality in 2016 over Hillary in the combined other forty eight states – 55,686,707 to 52,552,275 – so even spotting the Democrat nominee 84 electoral votes in 2020 still gives Trump a chance in the electoral college.
Please note that Hillary did not win the popular vote in 2016 – when the votes were certified in all fifty states Hillary had not received a majority of the popular vote.  She led with a plurality of 2,868,519 votes (65,853,625 – 62,985,106) or 48.0% versus 45.9%, as the polls had indicated.  The polls were not wrong in their polling data – they were wrong in erroneously projecting Hillary as the next president.  Hillary did receive 2.1% more of the popular vote than Trump as the polls correctly forecast.
So with many of Trump's advisers correctly worried about his losing Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, & Michigan in 2020 Trump has set his sights on four other states just in case any or all of these three fall back into Democrat hands – New Mexico (5 electoral votes), Minnesota (10), New Hampshire (4) & Nevada (6) total 25 electoral votes if all four states are swept by Trump, enough to win the electoral college if all things remain the same as in 2016 except Trump loses WI, PA, & MI.  The electoral college totals, in that case, would show Trump winning 285 to 253.
At his September 16 KAG rally outside Albuquerque Trump touted that New Mexico leads the nation in job & wage gains under his administration – Nevada is second on this list.  Trump is counting on this type of prosperity growth meaning something to these people.  But we have little or no reason to believe it does with the socialist mentality in the country exemplified by the share of prime-age Americans (25 to 54) seeking or holding jobs being less than it was when the great recession started in December 2007 – 83.1% versus 82.6% last month accordingly to the Bureau Of Labor Statistics.  The labor force participation rate of people in their prime working years has dropped by 1.9 percentage points from 1998 to the present begging the question how important are jobs to these people in their prime working years.  In 2016 Trump lost New Mexico 48% to 40% in a 62% turnout election with Hillary not putting a foot in NM to campaign – but the former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson received 9% of the vote as the Libertarian candidate.  Hispanic voters comprise almost 40% of NM's electorate.  Based on all this Trump thinks NM is in play. 
Trump lost MN to Hillary in 2016 by 1.5% in a 75% turnout election - MN has not voted for a Republican since 1972.  Reagan lost it to Mondale in 1984 by 0.2%.  Trump lost Nevada by 2.4% in a 77% turnout election – the third time in a row that NV has voted for the Democrat nominee.  Trump lost NH by 0.40% in 2016 in a 75% turnout election – the second closet state election after MI.  NH last voted Republican in 2000.
The close high turnout loses in 2016 do provide some credibility for Trump's NM, MN, NV, NH strategy especially if the turnout drops off which is highly unlikely.  Low turnouts always favor Republicans.
But even a sweep of the seven states mentioned above by Trump does not mean he is home safe.  Georgia (16), Texas (38), Arizona (11), North Carolina (15), Florida (29), & Ohio (18) all look to be in play to some degree & are worrisome.  Trump is underwater in his approval ratings in both AZ & NC & a loss in those two states would wipe out any gain from Trump's four new targeted states that he thinks are in play.
But getting back to WI, PA, & MI - Trump's job-approval rating is currently @ or below 45% in WI & MI.  It is below 40% in PA.  A Marquette University poll conducted August 25 to 29 showed Biden beating Trump in Wisconsin by 9 points.  Democrats have no state with more reason to beat Trump than WI – they still can't believe Hillary never put a foot in the state in 2016.  The Democrat National Convention will be held in Milwaukee in 2020.  In 2018 longtime popular governor & former Republican presidential candidate Scott Walker lost his reelection bid to Democrat Tony Evers.
More recent polls than the above mentioned Marquette poll from several states show Biden beating Trump in eight key swing states.  Warren trails Trump in five of the eight.  The latest national poll shows Biden winning 51% to 44% & Warren winning 48% to 46% – the same plurality that Hillary had in 2016.
Based on this post & the last there is much reason to believe that the electoral process in 2020 is stacked against Republicans & especially against Trump. 
Free market capitalists will have 11 months of angst waiting for the debates to start.  The debates provide the best chance for Trump to directly & unfiltered expose the decadent destructive plan of ruin for America that Democrats are prepared to implement.  For a few hours on maybe two occasions one of the uninspiring Democrat socialist presidential candidates, who take their marching orders from AOC to a large extent, will have emerged to stand on a stage with Trump - a man of stature & unlimited energy.  This appears to be such a mismatch that I would not be surprised if Democrats make up a reason to not participate in the presidential debates. 
The Democrat presidential nominee will have to explain to the nation on national TV:
Why he or she is more worried about transgender bathrooms than sanctuary cities that harbor illegal aliens, why they think illegal aliens have more rights than you & me, why they propose decriminalizing illegal border crossings, why they plan to hand out reparation money to Blacks & homosexuals, why they want to eliminate our borders & ICE, why they want to expand welfare programs @ taxpayers' expense including a federal jobs guarantee & free public college & trade school, why you need to show ID for virtually everything except to vote, why there was a wall with armed guards around the Democrat convention center in Milwaukee last summer but Democrats are against a wall to protect America @ our southwest border;   
Why they want to vacate the Second Amendment & eliminate the electoral college, why they believe universal single payer government healthcare is a human right that depends on someone else (i.e., doctors) providing that right @ their expense, why they plan to make employer provided healthcare insurance illegal for over 150 million American workers, why their policies amount to a gigantic give away of the citizenry's life's savings to the poorest least educated unskilled people in exchange for their expected votes that will keep the socialist Democrat elites in power for the rest of their lives @ our expense – including extending healthcare insurance to illegal aliens, why taxpayers should be on the hook for the forgiveness of all student loans, why they won't admit that the Green New Deal, that calls for the end of the use of fossils fuels by 2030 thereby eliminating all the jobs of people employed in coal & fracking, is the largest expansion of government since LBJ's Great Society & is
more about AOC's economic agenda
for America & less about eliminating carbon emissions;
Why they honor thugs as heroes while vilifying policemen who bring them to justice, why they do not condemn illegal aliens who have been deported six times & are free to walk a pier & fire the gun that killed Kate Steinle, why bakers, florists, pizza store owners, & photographers have to prove they are "religious enough" to avoid discrimination lawsuits after not participating in homosexual marriage ceremonies, &
why the Democrat socialist policies attract caravans of illegal aliens to America, who turn out to be fraudulent asylum seekers @ rates of over 75%, thereby making U.S. citizens wonder if it is worth it to work, or even to look for work, (there are 102 million Americans working full time year round & 108 million Americans receiving some portion of the 126 welfare programs identified by the Cato Institute – source Dick Morris Power Grab, Page 48).
Trump will counter the above sick anti-American Democrat ideas by pointing out he has been securing our borders against an onslaught of people intent on violating our sovereignty @ their pleasure & our expense, building our economy (lowest U-3 unemployment rate since December 1969 @ 3.5%, the lowest U-6 rate since 2000 @ 6.9%, the lowest unemployment rate for high school drop outs @ 4.8% since the labor department started keeping such records in 1992, a 3.9% Hispanic unemployment rate & the lowest jobless rate for Hispanic men on record @ 3.0% going back to 2003), strengthening our military as opposed to the Dems no-first-use nuclear policy that means the United States under a Democrat president would be willing to see major cities on either coast wiped out by a nuclear strike before responding in kind, protecting & supporting Israel, reducing taxes & regulations on businesses, protecting the unborn, & eliminating unfair trade even @ his own personal short term political disadvantage.
Trump can counter Democrat's tremendous bias against the well off & corporations by pointing out that the general public owns stocks & bonds outright as well as through pension funds & 401(k)s.  How many million people work for corporations? – corporations are not the enemy they are our employers.
Trump can ask why his Democrat opponent favors failing government schools where teachers' unions call the shots rather than allowing the growth of charter schools that caring parents want their children to attend because of the higher learning achievements especially for blacks & Hispanics.  Democrats & teachers' unions have a personnel interest in not fixing the education problems of this country & Trump must make this clear.
While on the subject of education, the August Jobs Openings & Labor Turnover Summary (JOLTS) issued by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) on October 9 showed there were 7.1 million job openings in America on the last business day of August, a figure exceeding the number of unemployed people who are actively looking for a job by over 1.2 million.  See graphic below that shows job openings over 7 million & new hires under 6 million.  There have been more job openings than unemployed people looking for work since March 2018.  Trump has unleashed an economy that cannot find enough qualified workers & poor education & lack of training is the essential reason.  The relationship to this bottleneck has to be hammered home.
click on graphic to enlarge
Trump can use the Dems own words to show they will reverse the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act of 2017 & institute 70% to 90% top marginal income tax rates on individuals, raise the capital gains & corporate tax rates, & implement wealth taxes. 
But worst of all for our Republic, the Democrats have been in a constant impeachment mode since the day after the election of 2016 when they were stunned to realized that Trump had won the presidency.  Prove this for yourself by clicking on the following montage that starts in November 2016 & goes to the present without a month missed in between.
Democrat hopes for a basis for impeachment were placed on Robert Mueller's investigation that, after two years of wasting time & money (two terms I hate), did not prove Trump colluded with Russia or obstructed justice.  How do I know? – because Dems unceremoniously dropped Mueller & moved on to put the next worm on the hook after the last one fell off without a whimper meaning bring the fake Ukraine story front & center.  In between we had claims regarding Stormy Daniels & Trump's tax returns, both of which still float around the media in case they catch on.  Dems aren't choosy which basis for impeachment they use just as long as they can find one.
It is important for the electorate to recognize just how long this impeachment obsession has gone on – the Mueller investigation @ least partially masked the obsession because it took almost two years to conduct & came up with nothing.  
Trump's impeachment onslaught has been relentless as the above video montage proves without the hostile anti-American media's least bit of suspicion or interest regarding Hillary's campaign hiring Christopher Steele & paying for Steele's phony dossier, Bill Clinton's large speaking fees following Hillary's state department trips, & contributions to the Clinton Foundation from foreign actors - or Joe Biden bragging on national TV about his getting the prosecutor fired while investigating Burisma Holdings Limited, a Ukrainian natural gas company doing business with Joe's son Hunter Biden, or Hunter Biden's compensation & contract execution that wreak of nepotism @ the U.S. vice presidential level.  The hostile anti-American media sees no possible perception of any of these Clinton or Biden dealings being wrong or worthy of any investigation.
We have descended past the point where we can have free elections & peaceful transfers of power because it would undo all the work the socialist Democrats have done to brainwash our children starting with primary education & running through elementary & secondary schools & college.   This brainwashing has far too many of the citizenry, especially the young, willing to throw away their heritage of liberty, as they become enemies of capitalism in favor of a government-dependent socialist life, after graduating from college with tens of thousands of dollars of student loan debt & no viable or visible gainful employment.
It should be obvious that the Democrats hatred of Trump shows that Democrats cannot tolerate the peaceful transfer of power from BO to Trump where the power of the people, as a result of an election, is given to the person chosen to lead the U.S.  Such a peaceful transfer, if allowed to happen without constant & intentional harmful interference, would start to reverse years of socialist brainwashing in the kindergarten through college government school system – a system Neal Boortz called "more dangerous to America than al Qaeda" - as people see for themselves the benefits of replacing government dependence with limited government, personal responsibility, & free enterprise.
Before Trump, Democrats thought they had the country on a glide path to socialism.  After Trump won, Dems had to resort to attacking free market speakers on college campuses & people dining or wearing MAGA hats.  Tactics of tyranny designed to intimidate & shut up any opposition have been regularly used since Hillary lost the election of 2016.
But the current belligerent antagonistic state of affairs has progressed way past the peaceful transfer of power from BO to Trump.  It is now something that half of the country just cannot stand or tolerate.  We will keep this up until we destroy ourselves & one of God's two great gifts to the world – America.  The Democrat socialists cannot afford to let Trump govern, without their constant interference, so that people see the fruits of free market capitalism after BO expanded every government program he could find during his eight years in office.
This predicament is important enough that one reader sent me the following message after the last post  – "I remind people even if having heart surgery go & vote first."