Archive for February, 2016

Planned Parenthood

Sunday, February 7th, 2016

Just as legalizing abortion in 1973 did not make it moral, it also did not make it something that we all pay for through our tax dollars. Since part of our tax dollars go to Planned Parenthood, we all have blood on our hands for the violent murder of millions of babies. It’s bad enough to know that it’s happening, but much worse to know the every taxpayer is supporting it.

The selling of baby parts is just a peripheral issue here.  The heart of the problem is murdering babies, including chopping them up, poisoning them, and / or vacuuming them out of the womb.  If we were to hear about this happening to babies in Africa, or even to animals, activist groups would come unglued by this violent genocide.

We’re Not Gutting the Military

Sunday, February 7th, 2016

All of the Republican presidential candidates seem to agree that we’re “gutting the military.” The fact is that spending on national defense has doubled in the past 15 years, increasing from $294B in 2000 to $603B in 2014. In fiscal year 2015, military spending accounted for 54 percent of all federal discretionary spending. We’re not gutting it–we’re doubling it, and spending over half of our money on it.

Military spending has to be cut like every other federal program in order to wipe out the deficit and the national debt before we pass a $30 debt to our children in ten years. Maybe we need to stop fighting wars in which we’re willing to sacrifice our own soldiers but we’re not willing to win the wars. Also, we could defund some of the extremely expensive pet projects of some generals that we don’t really need and that will never come to fruition anyway.

Rape and Incest

Sunday, February 7th, 2016

Republican presidential candidates Jeb Bush and Chris Christie are pro-life except in cases of rape and incest. This makes no sense. In the life / choice debate, pro-life means that you err on the side of life–period, including cases of rape and incest. The tragedies of rape and incest aren’t fixed by adding to them the murder of a completely innocent child.

Marco Rubio joins Bush and Christie in allowing abortion when the life of the mother is in danger. Again, killing the baby isn’t the answer. In fact, one could argue that the baby’s life is more important than the mother’s life, since the murder of the baby destroys some 80 years of life, while the death of the mother ends life only some 50 years prematurely.

If families in these situations don’t want their babies, there are plenty of couples eager to adopt them.

Presidential Party Cycles

Sunday, February 7th, 2016

In the last 100 years, there have only been three times that one party controlled the White House for more than 8 years, and that has been due to extremely popular and charismatic presidents. Reagan and Bush had it for the Republicans for 12 years, largely due to Reagan’s extreme popularity. Franklin Roosevelt and Truman held it for an unprecedented 20 years, probably because the country was afraid to change presidents with World War II looming, as well as FDR’s charisma. The Republicans also had it for 12 years with Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover, due to Coolidge’s popularity. In fact, this 8-year “rule” has only been broke five times in American history.

Although it’s possible this year, it seems unlikely that the Democrats will extend their 8-year reign. History shows that it takes someone with a good deal more charisma than Obama to make history like that.

America’s Genocide

Sunday, February 7th, 2016

Genocide is the deliberate and systematic extermination of a national, racial, political, or cultural group. Genocide is what Hitler promoted in wanting to exterminate the Jews, blacks, and the mentally challenged. We’ve also seen genocide in various African and Middle East countries where masses of people have been killed due to their ethnic or religious background.

Now we also have genocide in America where there’s a cultural group being wiped out–unwanted babies. We have performed 50 million legal abortions since 1973. This is probably even worse because we’ve now chosen to pick on a completely innocent and helpless group that can’t fight back.

Conservatism is Back, Along with Socialism

Sunday, February 7th, 2016

Ted Cruz’s surprise win in Iowa shows that Republicans are leaning more toward conservatism now. That’s only natural, after eight years of a Democrat in the White House. There’s usually an 8-year swing where Democrats push everything to the left until the country gets fed up with it, and then the Republicans push everything to the right until public sentiment swings back again.

However, this year is a little different because just as the right is leaning more toward the right, the left is leaning more toward the left. With Sanders popularity with his socialistic platform, Hillary is having to lean more left too, putting her moderate vote in jeopardy.

Without a true leader like Reagan or FDR, instead of coming together, we’re becoming a nation of extremes.

Dirty Politics

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016

I watched the coverage of the Iowa caucuses as the votes were coming in. With about half of the results in, Hillary’s lead over Sanders had dwindled from 4 percentage points to 2. With about 90% of precincts reporting, it had continued to shrink to 0.4 percentage points. With 94% of the votes counted, it had slipped to 0.2 percentage points, 49.8% to 49.6%.

Then an amazing thing happened. If you watched closely, you noticed that the total precincts reporting briefly changed from 94% to 93%. I believe that what happened was that Sanders was doing too well, so the Clinton corruption machine jumped in and “recounted” some of those votes. When it did, her lead rose to 0.3 percentage points, 49.9% to 49.6%, and it stayed about the same until 100% of the results were in, and she won by 0.2 percentage points.

Oh, and what about those six precincts that each awarded an extra delegate based on a coin flip? Hillary happened to win all six coin flips. If they had gone the other way, Sanders would have won. Are you kidding me? Do you know how hard it is to win six coin flips in a row? Sit down and try it sometime.

This was reminiscent of the many precincts in Chicago where John McCain didn’t get a single vote in 2008. Some precincts report over 2,500 votes for Obama, and zero for McCain.

It also reminded me of the LBJ corruption machine. In his close races in Texas, it was almost a normal thing for them to “find” an extra box of ballots a few hours or a few days after most of the votes were in. And lo and behold, those extra ballots were always in his favor by 95% or so.

Come on, Hillary. At least do a little better job of camouflaging the corruption. And while you’re at it, tell us the truth Benghazi about and the classified e-mails on your personal server–Oh, and what really happened to Vince Foster.

Don’t Believe the Polls

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016

According to Real Clear Politics, of the 12 latest polls immediately preceding the Iowa caucuses, 11 of them predicted that Trump would win. So, only 9% of them were right. Those 12 polls had Trump getting anywhere from 26% to 39% of the votes, so 0% were right in that respect. You’d get much more accurate results by just flipping a coin (like they did for Hillary).

Living Within Your Means

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016

I drive a 20-year-old car. I bought it used, when it was five years old, and I’ve driven it for 15 years. I’m not sure how many miles it has because the odometer broke five years ago at 134,000 miles. It leaks oil so I keep a newspaper on the garage flood to absorb it, although it doesn’t leak so much that I have to add any between oil changes. The rear wiper doesn’t work, and the cruise control buttons on the steering wheel are all melted or busted. The passenger window doesn’t go up and down anymore because the motor went out and I put a 2X4 in there to keep it up all the time. One of the latest things to go out were the dome lights, and there’s some kind of clicking going on under the console.

Yet, keeping this car so long has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

I keep a spreadsheet that reveals a “Cost per month” for all of the cars we’ve owned recently. You take everything you’ve ever spent on a car (payments, repairs, maintenance, insurance, and even fuel), less the current value of the car (the amount that you could sell it for), and this gives you the total expense you’ve invested in the car. Then divide that by the number of months you’ve owned it, and that’s the “Cost per month.” Here’s what this is for that car:

Cost of Payments: $16,000
Repairs & Maintenance: $2,500 (mainly oil, tires, and batteries)
Insurance: $9,000
Fuel: $18,750
Total Expenses: $47,250
Current Value: $1,000
Total Cost / Investment: $46,250 / 180 months = $257 / months

In contrast, we bought my wife a new car in 2013, and we’re making payments of almost $600 per month for 6 years (although, fortunately at an interest rate of only 1.5% interest). Here are its numbers:

Cost of Payments: $16,200 (with nearly four years of payments to go)
Repairs & Maintenance: $300
Insurance: $2,700
Fuel: $3,000
Total Expenses: $22,200
Current Value: $3,000 (Value less what we still owe)
Total Cost / Investment: $19,200 / 27 months = $711 / months

What’s interesting to note is that instead of driving my same used car for 15 years, I could have bought three new cars during that time. I would have had 15 years of high car payments, and on each one of those cars my “Cost per month” would have probably been $700 to $800 per month.

Could I have afforded to do that? Probably so. I make decent money. Did I deserve three new cars during the time I drove my used car? I probably could have made that argument too. I’m entitled to it as much as the next guy. Why not drive a new car every five years? It would have certainly been more stylish to do so.

The reason I have driven my used car for 15 years is that I wanted to live frugally–within my means. My cost per month was only $257, but had I bought those three new cars instead, my cost per month would have been $500 more than that. I would have spent $6000 more each of those 15 years, but instead I chose to save $90,000 over 15 years.

And yet, my frugal living did not cause a negative impact on my transportation. I got everywhere I needed to go, whenever I needed (or even wanted) to, although probably not quite as comfortably. And I was able to use the $90,000 I had saved on other things, such as retirement savings, gifts for the grandchildren, and family vacations.