Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Fantasy sports: When do you reject a trade?

One team recently traded Greine, David Wright, Angel Pagan and Martin Prado
for Ian Kinsler, Josh Donaldson, Jenry Mejia, Alex Gordon, and Lance Lynn.
Many in the league saw this as a lopsided trade, and hotly criticized it.
Regardless, the trade was approved, and rightly so.
When a trade is approved between two teams in fantasy sports, allows the other general managers to approve or disapprove of the trade. So, what do you do with this opportunity.

I think what most of us do, and this is the natural tendency, is we veto trades that we perceive as unfair. Or, we veto trades that would not benefit our own teams.

I have to admit that I, too, have been found guilty of this in the past.

In fact, sometimes I have been known to veto a trade just because I don't have time to investigate it. The idea here is I trust the judgement of the other GMs to decide the matter.

However, according to the experts at, this was not the intended purpose of the veto or accept trade option.

The truth is, there is no such thing as a fair trade. Every trade comes with the risk of making your team worse.

So, that said, the purpose of the vote is to prevent one team from selling out to the other.

We actually had this happen a few years ago in a fantasy baseball league I participate in.  One GM wanted to quit, so he offered all his good players to another team. This trade was rejected.

So, my policy for accepting trades is this: so long as it appears to me both teams are honestly trying to make their teams better, I accept the trade.

The only other time I might reject a trade if , in my opinion, it is severely lopsided. Still, it's difficult to define "lopsided" when we all have a unique perspective on each player. So, I usually resist rejecting trades for this reason.

So, this is what I think? What is your trade voting policy?

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

It's okay to dump CO2 into atmosphere, but only if you are a celebrity

Members of the Environmental Protection Agency decided to make a week out of Earth Day by jetting around the nation championing for global warming education. They are championing on the mantra provided by the U.N. that even a slight rise in global temperatures will end mankind.

So the EPA sends chief on earth day tour on call to action on earth day week.  It's a week long 5 city tour to NY, Boston, Cleveland, Atlanta, and Memphis that will dump tons of CO2 into the atmosphere.

Basically, do as I say not as I do  They are mocked by some, but not many.  Most people don't realize the hypocracy. The Daily Show had this guy on.  Basically, since this EPA chief is raising awareness, no one bats an eye at the fact he is also dumping millions of tons of CO2 into the atmosphere in order to tell you not to pump CO2 into the atmosphere.

Al Gore is another one who does this.  He champions for us not to pump CO2 into the atmosphere, while jetting around, dumping CO2 all over the atmosphere.  He also has several homes, each of which dump CO2 into the atmosphere.

They dump CO2 into the atmosphere while telling us not to do it.  So it's okay for them to do it, but we can't do it.  Hypocracy?   I guess they say it's okay so long as they are raising awareness.

Imagine this.  Imagine a police officer pulled you over for speeding.  "Sorry officer, yes, of course I knew I was speeding.  I'm raising speed limit awareness."

Yeah!  Sorry! It won't work for you the way it does for the progressive elitist world.

Monday, April 28, 2014

It's time to end class warfare, and stop hating the rich

They say it's not fair that the rich don't pay their fair share,
even though the top 50% pay 86% of the taxes. 
Just to be blunt here, I'm tired of people bashing the rich.  I'm tired of the class warfare where politicians pit the poor versus the rich.  I'm tired of people saying that it's not fair that the rich have so much money while the poor have so little.  I'm simply tired of it.

Instead of bashing the rich, we should set the rich up on a pedestal for our kids to see what can happen in America.  We should teach that anyone can become rich, all you have to do is work hard and be willing to relocate.

I think the reason for the class warfare is that some people actually believe, based on some idealist theory, that there is only so much money to go around, and if one person has a billion dollars, that's a billion dollars that other people can't have. They think that if one person is rich it's at the expense of everyone else.

But that couldn't be further from the truth.  The truth is that there is plenty of money in the pie, plenty of money for everyone to be rich.  That's what America is all about, creating equal opportunity for everyone.

One of my favorite quotes, and I can't remember who said it:
America is an idea: We promise equal opportunity, not equal results.
I love that quote.  Some people just don't get it.  They think America is about equal results, and so they take from those who have and give it to those who have not. That's where this idea about redistribution of wealth comes from.

But who creates all the jobs in the country?  I would be willing to bet that the poor don't create many jobs.  The people who create jobs are the middle class and the rich. The people who create jobs are the people who make money.

So, instead of trashing the rich, we should be thanking them.  They have made America what is is today.  They are the ones who have made America the greatest nation in the history of the world.

The rich are the reason we have iPods, and iPads, and Google Chrome books, and cable TV, and satellite TV, and computers, and Internet, and spaceships, and electricity, and what have you.  We all as a nation have made it possible, but the rich have made it real.

So, the next time you want to trash talk the people making most of the money, think again: thank them helping to make America the greatest nation in the world.

Rand Paul. It was my hero Rand Paul who said the above quote.  But I don't think the quote originated with him, but he was the most recent to talk about it.  I love it. I also love Rand Paul, and I pray someone like him becomes our next President, but I digress.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Here's why everyone should pay taxes, even the poor

I've always been a believer that if Congress wants U.S. Citizens to pay taxes that we should all pay the same percentage, regardless of how much we make.  Call it a flat tax or whatever you want, but that's what I believe.

The reason I think a flat tax would be good for everyone is because it would put an end to the class warfare.  The reason I think this would be good is because it would make it so that every American had a stake in what that money was spent on.  It would make it so all people would care how our tax dollars were spent.

I mean, think about it.  If you don't pay taxes, why would you care where that money went? Why would you care if taxes went up on the rich, or the middle class, if you don't pay taxes? Well, the obvious answer should be love of country before love of yourself, but I'd imagine personal selfishness, or ignorance due to lack of interest, might also serve as useful answers here.

With 52 percent of Americans no longer paying taxes, that means that more than half of U.S. citizens have no stake in how tax dollars are spent.  If we had a flat tax, 100% would have a stake.  In other words, a flat tax would make it so that we were all in it together, and it would end the class warfare, something that began in 1913 with the 16th amendment.

I'm not necessarily proposing a flat tax, but I think everyone should pay something into the system, if there is going to be taxes at all.  Even if it's $10 a year, or even $5.

I am, however, proposing an end to the progressive tax system.  I think that all it does is punish people for making more money.  About seven years ago I took on a second job as an asthma writer for, and my wife wanted me to quit because it made it so our income tax return was reduced.  Actually, there was fear we would have to pay in.

So, there really is no incentive to take on a second job.  I do this one because I love it more so than for the money.

My point is, the progressive tax system is a deterrent to making more money, because doing so may put you into a new tax bracket, resulting in you paying more taxes.  A flat tax would end that.  A flat tax would make it so if you made $50 you'd pay, let me make up a rate, say it's 15%.  So you would pay $5 in taxes.

And, if you got a good job with benefits and made $50,000 a year, you would pay $7,500 in taxes.  Now, of course there could still be tax breaks for families, and tax breaks if you make under a certain amount of money, and stuff like that.

Since people will no longer be thrown into a new tax bracket as they make more money, there would be an incentive for everyone to move up the ladder, so to speak. As more people do this, then the government would make more money in the long run anyway.

But the idea is that we would all pay taxes, and therefore all have a stake in the system; an incentive to care; an incentive to vote for candidates who champion for a responsible government.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Is Obama's Malaysian trip hypocritical?

This weekend, while on his Asian tour, Obama will become the first President since Johnson 50 years ago to visit Malaysia. There's a reason no President has gone to Malaysia in 50 years, and that's not because of the weather, which, I am told, is beautiful this time of year.

The reason no President has gone is because the Malaysian government does not support personal liberties, nor religious freedom.  They didn't go there because it would be hypocritical to support personal liberties and yet visit and bring credibility to a nation whose government does not.

The Malaysian government has more than a few offenses to personal liberties, and here I will name just a few of them.

  1. Denial of legal status of some religions groups
  2. Restrictions on proselytizing.  Cannot evangelize that you should look into other religions unless converting to Muslim
  3. No public discussion for religious freedom.  It is forbidden.
  4. Marriages not between Muslim and non Muslim are not recognized. 
  5. Children of non Muslims considered bastards.  
  6. Non Muslim kids cannot get religious education. It is compulsory if you are a Muslim.  
  7. Bibles have been seized in parts of country
Despite this, Obama, through his press secretary, said the following:
"Malaysia is an emerging partner of the United States just like it's been an emerging economy. It's an important visit for president, one that can elevate U.S. Malaysian relations."
The problem with this is: why would you want to elevate a nation that does not support the same personal liberties that you say you do?  This sounds hypocritical to me.

Basically, what he's saying is, "I support personal liberties, and I want you to support personal liberties, but in this case, because it's me, it's okay that I support this one nation that doesn't."

---------------Update 4/29/14
During a press conference with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, Obama was asked why he hadn't said anything about Malaysian human rights yet during his trip.  Obama answered:
I think the prime minister is the first to acknowledge that, uh, Malaysia's still got some work to do -- uh, just like the United States, by the way, has some work to do -- on these issues. Uh, Human Rights Watch probably has a list of things they think we should be doing as a government.
So he says he didn't mention it because, when it comes to human rights, we have nothing to brag about at home.  Really?  Where are their human rights issues in the U.S. anywhere comparable to what is going on in Malaysia?

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Fewer workers are supporting more takers, a system bound to fail

There's a nice article over at Terence Jeffrey called "86M Full-Time Private-Sector Workers Sustain 148M Benefit Takers."  I think that title pretty much says it all.

Basically, the article notes that there are 86 million workers paying the bill so that 148 million non-workers or part-time workers can take entitlements from the government.  

The direction we are headed in right now is in the direction of more takers, meaning that fewer people will be working and more will be taking.  As this happens, the taxes of those who work will have to rise in order to support such a system.  

Sometimes it appears that the goal of progressive leaders
is to take from the haves and give to the have nots
in order so that everyone has equal pay. 
As you might imagine, this type of system is not sustainable.  At some point in the future it's going to collapse.  Only Congress continues to kick the can down the road, because they don't want to be the bad guys to tell the takers that they need to quit taking.  So nothing ever gets done; nothing ever gets fixed.  

Of course then we have Obama come in and he gives every poor a free phone, and subsidized healthcare, and this exacerbates an already inflamed problem.  

In a way, I think it needed to get worse so that people wake up and smell the fumes of an eroding system.  For years people knew this was going on, but they chose to look the other way.  

This is why the tea party exists.  This is why it's so important to remember what this country was built on, and to get back to the basic principles of independence and personal accountability that this country was formed on.  

Surely you can call me a doom and gloomer for being a realist and stating the truth here, but so be it.  If America is ever going to rise to the heights it was during the 1980s and 1990s and early 2000s, we are going to have to upset some people with truths.  

Monday, April 21, 2014

Is the Affordable Care Act really affordable?

They call it the Affordable Care Act. Some simply refer to it as Obamacare. Regardless,  is the idea it's afordable true, or is it a lie.

Consider that it is not affordable for people making minimum wage.  It is not affordable by most young people starting out in life.  It is not affordable for many retired folks living on a single income.

Consider that the cheapest plan available is $400 a month.  I couldn't even afford that, and I have a good job. So the only way most people can afford it is to receive a subsidy, which means your neighbor is paying for it.  It means I'm paying for your healthcare. Or, it means you're paying for mine.

Some people will say: "Your neighbor is not paying for it, the government is paying for it."  But these people don't realize that hard working people like you and me, people who work hard to support our families, are making sacrifices to pay for it.  We are paying more taxes.  We are taking home less money. That means we have less money to buy food and clothing, and we have less money to pay for college.

And, we also have less money to purchase material items like stereos, computers, cable TV, the Internet, snowmobiles, etc.  So the entire U.S. economic system suffers as a result.

To qualify for a subsidy, you have to earn no more than 400% of the federal poverty level. A family of four can qualify for a subsidy, I think, if your family income's $87,000. So I would, if I didn't have a job that offers it, qualify for a subsidy.  I would be a slave to you.

It's not affordable.  If you have to get a subsidy to afford it, it's not affordable, it just isn't.  In fact, it's welfare.  If you receive a subsidy to pay for your healthcare, you are receiving welfare.

I'm not saying welfare is bad, and I'm not judging those who have no choice but to receive it.  I'm just saying that if you have to receive a subsidy to pay for healthcare, chances are you are going on welfare because the government is forcing you to do it.

Those of us who are receiving healthcare as benefits, we are paying for it with a rise in our premiums.  In fact, premiums for most people have doubled since Obamacare passed.  Many people have lost, or are going to lose, their health insurance plans because of Obamacare.  Copays for prescriptions is doubling, even tripling.

If statistics are correct, three out of four people signing up for Obamacare (that's 75%) received subsidies, that means the cost of Obamacare will be even more than anticipated. notes that it's also not affordable on a national scale: "A nearly 100-page analysis from the government’s official revenue estimators at Congress’ Joint Committee on Taxation pegs the price tag at over $1 trillion, almost twice the nearly $570 billion suggested when the law was passed by legislative trickery three years ago."

Actually, the price tag is now up to $2 trillion.

If the price of Obamacare goes up, surely they will find some way of getting this money from us.  They will raise our premiums, or they will take more of our well earned, hard earned, money.  They will take it from our families.  They will take it from our friends.  They will keep taking it until there is none left, and the entire program falls in and on itself, dragging down with it the entire nation.

In fact, many have, or will, lose their full time jobs because, in order for businesses not to have to purchase healthcare for their workers, they have to be under 50 workers.  So if they are at 49, one person will not be hired.  If a company is at 49, there is no incentive to expand the business, because doing so would mean paying out more for healthcare, or paying a tax that might put the company in the red.  If the company is at 55 workers, it means six people will lose their jobs.

For those people no longer working, or who cannot find work, because of Obamacare, it is in no way affordable. In fact, I think we can see here, that the Affordable Care Act is, in fact, is not affordable at all. Those who say it is might just be telling a lie.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter!!!

This should be a happy day.  It's a day where the kids wake up to a feeling of joy that they will be able to hunt for their Easter baskets.  It should be joy for parents watching the joy of their children.

Yet, more important, it's a day for spending time with our families to celebrate the fact that Jesus Christ paid the penalty of sin by dying on the Cross on Good Friday, and then rose into Heaven in a symbolic gesture that we may all enjoy eternal life in Jesus Christ.

Let this be a good day. Let us pray that everyone receives the right message.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

5 rules for debating

The only place progress is made is in the arena of ideas, a place where ideas are shared and debated.  

In order for a debate to be successful, one must first form an opinion, whether supported by facts or not. 

Here are a few simple rules for debating:

1.  Stick to the topic at hand:  Do not bring up topics that are antiquated.  Do not talk about pot or abortion when the issue here is clearly debating.  

2.  Keep it pithy:  Make your point short and sweet.  One of the best means of doing this is simply to stick to the topic at hand. 

3.  Use facts to support your argument:  This is where your study of history and facts come into play.  Facts make an argument credible.  So move your argument forward using facts. 

4.  Do not attack the other person on a personal basis:  Do not say things like the following: "You are an idiot," You are a Nazi," "You are a moron," or "You are a liar."  Such statements do not advance an argument, and essentially confirm that you are mad and have no facts to back up your side of the argument.  Once you start chiming hate the other person wins and the debate is over. 

5.  Stay calm:  The best way to show that you are in control is to stay calm no matter what.  If the other person says something that offends you, let it roll off your tough skin.  If you do get mad, which may happen when you perceive you are arguing with an idiot, do not use puerile words such as were discussed in rule #4, as this merely shows that you are not in control.  

Bottom Line:  Other than moving ones position forward by the use of facts, the most important aspect of debating is controlling emotion. When someone becomes angry in a debate, or starts spewing vitriole and personal attacks, that person has lost the debate -- period.

It’s fine that the issues cause anger, but it is not fine to say things to invoke anger. Progress would never have been made in this world if past debaters participated in personal attacks. For progress to be made, all the facts need to be placed on the table and tossed about in a constructive manner.

When it's all said and done, the debaters should at least be able to shake hands and go on about their lives as though the debate never occurred.  

Sticking to these simple rules will generate an intelligent discussion by keeping the debate on the issues, and should result in an educational and fun experience. You may even change your mind on an issue or two, I have.

Friday, April 18, 2014

One should resist voting on social views

My wife and I both agree that we do not vote for people just because of social issues.  What I do vote for are people who are constitutionalists, or anyone who has a track record of supporting the Constitution.

I believe if a leader is someone who defends and protects the Constitution, it shouldn't matter what their personal views on social issues are, because their personal opinions shouldn't matter so long as they obey the law.  

This is the argument I made when Rudy Guliani was running for President even though he voiced pro-choice opinions when running for New York Mayor.  I said that if he obeys the Constitution, or the law, we shouldn't have to worry about his personal opinion about abortion.  

I am a strong pro life person, as I believe it is wrong to kill babies.  On the other hand, I am a strong supporter of the 10th amendment, which states that anything not covered in the Constitution is left for the states, the people, to decide.  

For this reason, if the Judges decide Roe-v-Wade had followed the law and not their opinions, abortion would have been left to the states to decide. Barring a new amendment, that is the law of the land. 

If you want to change the law, be it that you are a conservative like Rick Santorum who wants to force people to accept the pro life argument, or a liberal like Nancy Pelosi who wants to force people to accept pro choice argument, you will have to convince the people that your argument is the best.  

So, you see, I vote for people who have a strong track record of defending the Constitution as it was written by the founding fathers, and not based on someones social issues. I vote based on fiscal issues, not social issues.  

Now, I'm not implying that I don't hold strong opinions on social issues, because I do.  I'm just saying that, so long as the law is followed, the people will be happy. All Roe-V-Wade did was tick off half the nation and create a social divide and partisan divide. 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

We must continue to resist becoming sheep

Lacking wisdom and the will to fight, people become sheep. 
The founding fathers championed for natural rights on the phrase: "Taxation without representation."  It is a given fact that the founding fathers had no representation.  They had nobody in the government who represented them.  But we do, and we don't seem to care.

We have people like Rand Paul, Paul Ryan and Marco Rubio who are champion for the rights that we were born with, the rights the are handed down from god. 

The founding fathers had to work from scratch, even at the risk of losing their own lives, in order to create the founding documents: Declaration of Independence, U.S. Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.  We do not have to work from scratch, but our representation is down to a scratch.  

Why?  Because too many people are unwilling to educate themselves about the struggles people went through for 99% of human existence just to get an ounce of freedom.  I think people today have it so easy they take their freedom for granted, even to the extent they no longer care about how hard people fought for it; to the extent they can no longer fathom the idea that freedom is very fragile.  

Think about that for a second:  Freedom is fragile.  Think how easy it was for Hitler to take away freedom from the people and turn them into sheep.  Think how easy it was for Stalin and Mussolini to do the same.  This is how it was for almost all of history, in nearly every nation ever formed: that the people were turned into sheep, believing in whatever the powers that be say.  

There are people in this once great and proud nation who have no clue that the U.S. Constitution is the only one in the history of the world that does not tell the government what it can do, but tells the government what it can't do. They do not know this, because many of our leaders and teachers have become sheep. 

What are sheep?  They are people who vote for the most popular person, which is how Obama got elected.  They are the people who believe in idealist theories because they sound good and make them feel good, which is why so many people support global warming.

Sheep want to change what worked in the past, such as marriage and values and virtues and God.  They want to change those things because they stand in the way of them accomplishing their idealist theories.  They say single families are the way of the future, and that we should not talk bad about them.

Sheep are afraid to state facts even when they know them.  Sheep, when they hear facts, shun them off because that's what they are told to do.

Sheep do not think for themselves.  Sheep do not know who they are electing.  Sheep do not know about economics. Sheep do not know, and may not even care, about wisdom and history.  They simply believe the feel good theories postulated by the idealists and vote for them; and follow them. They heed to the whips of idealists. Sheep heed to the whims and wishes of the idealists.

People who think for themselves, who go against the sheep, are called controversial.  They are called controversial even when they champion for the same causes the founding fathers fought for, such as natural rights

Let me give you an example. You have idealists say we need to give more money to public education in order to improve education.  Yet you look at the statistics that show U.S. schools as the best funded in the world, while other nations that spend far less have better educated kids.

While you have idealists saying its okay to have a lot of single families.  Those who refuse to become sheep, the realists, show evidence that children of single parent households are at a significant risk of obtaining a poor education and remaining in poverty.  The sheep don't care about such facts.

The sheep don't want to hurt people's feelings, so they create these politically correct names for people so we don't even recognize who anyone is anymore.  This has even come into the medical profession.  For years nurse practitioners were called mid-level providers.  But that's offensive, so now we have to call the Advanced Placement Providers (APP).  Yeah, it's crazy.  

So you show an idealist your evidence and they call you a liar.  Yes, they call you a liar because you dare go against the sheep.  They call you controversial. If you do not conform, even if you have the facts on your side and they have no facts on theirs, you are the idiot.  

Yes, so we are controversial.  We are controversial because we refuse to become sheep.  But that's fine with us, because, to the British, Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, George Washington, John Adams, James Madison, James Monroe, and all the other founding fathers were called controversial too.

Now you have idealist who chime that the founding fathers were the sheep.  They say that the documents they created are the only things standing in the paths of their idealist theories being accomplished.  And so they use phrases like "it feels good, and "we're doing it with good intentions" in order to convince people that it's okay to trample all over the Constitution.  They say it's old, antiquated, and needs to be updated based on the whims and wishes of the modern idealists.

And we are, for refusing to become sheep, are controversial.  They flog you because you refuse to reform. 

Our founding fathers used history and facts to oppose the sheep, and what they created was the greatest nation the world has ever known.  In order to preserve what they created, we must  continue to resist becoming sheep.  

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Putin and Obama prepare their war strategies

Putin's strategy involves gazing at a map of the world,
trying to decide where in the West he wants to attack first.
Obama tries to stop him with doctors, nurses, negotiations
global warming threats, and sanctions.   
Do you remember when Clinton was president the West promised to defend Ukraine?  Well, the West did.  On that promise Ukraine demilitarized and disarmed itself.  This contract was renewed by Obama.

So when Putin aimed tanks at them, Ukraine was a sitting duck. But all the United States did was promise sanctions.

Now there are warnings that Putin might be trying to rebuild the Soviet Union, and most people are ignoring these warnings.  The realists who say it are called idiots and conspiracy theorists by the idealists.  No one wants to hear the warnings.

And I'm not saying the warnings are true, either.  I mean, who knows what Russian has planned.  But, I think, it's better to be prepared and proactive than to respond. Or, worded another way, there's nothing to fear except not being prepared.

Yet people like me are called conspiracy theorists.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

In Washington, good intentions appear to trump facts

Look, I'm not going to say here that I'm an expert on politics, because all I really am is a respiratory therapist.  But I do study politics, and chances are I do a lot more reading on it than most people of any age.  So, in a way, that kind of makes me an expert of sorts.  

What I have learned about Washington politics is that many people involved in it, many people who are elected or selected to the various offices, have no clue.  The don't know about taxes.  They don't know about websites.  They don't know about the law.  They don't know anything but reactionary idealistic theories.  

Everything they do, all the decisions they make, are based on these idealist theories.  And these theories are based on the idea that if they do this, or if they do that, they can create a Utopia.  They do not care about facts.  In fact, facts are the enemy.  If someone  comes at them with facts to disprove their theories, they say things like, "I'm doing it for your own good," or "we are doing this with good intentions.  

In other words, when someone attacks their theories they react, and they usually react by saying things like the following: 
  • "If you aren't for gay marriage, then you hate gay people. Period." Of course, we know this is not true, that people who don't support gay marriage don't want to do anything that will hurt the sanctity of marriage.  
  • "If you hate Obamacare, then you want to take away healthcare from good people."  The truth is, no one wants to take healthcare from people.  In fact, Obamacare had taken away more healthcare programs from people than any other program ever. 
  • "If you don't support government programs you don't care about the people who receive government supported charities, social security, medicare, medicaid, etc."  The truth is, during the 1980s, when taxes were at their lowest, people made more charitable contributions than anytime in world history.
I could go on.  The general idea is, that to these people, good intentions berates good facts.  Nothing they do ever works.  Everything they do, good intentions or not, simply leaves behind train wrecks.  

Voters let them get away with it because they do it with good intentions. So, again, good intentions trump facts.

Further reading:

Friday, April 11, 2014

The global warming debate

According to recent studies, only 44 percent of say there is “solid evidence” that global warming is mostly due to human activity.  What doesn't help the argument is that there has been no increase in global temperatures since 1996.  Still, that does not mean we should completely disregard the theory.

Actually, I think many of the most adamant champions of the global warming theory forget is that it is, after all, just a theory; an educated guess.  I don't have a problem with schools teaching global warming, the problem I have is that they teach it as though it were a fact, and not the theory it is.  They teach that there is global warming, and that we humans are the cause.  

Those in favor of the theory say that increased CO2 emissions by man are leading to global temperatures. They say:
  1. Combustion of fossil fuels in cars, factories, and electricity production
  2. The gas responsible for global warming is carbon dioxide, or CO2
  3. Overpopulation causes global warming because people exhale CO2
  4. Methane from landfills and agriculture causes it
  5. Nitrous Oxide from fertilizers causes it
  6. Gases used for refrigeration and industrial processes causes it
  7. Loss of forests that store CO2 is also a contributing cause
There are those who are so in love with this theory that they believe that people who don't believe in, or who downplay, the global warming theory should be tried for treason, according to New York Times Columnist Paul Krugman in 2009.  Yes, there are those who want to go that far.  

At the very least, they want to create more regulations to force people and industries into complying with the global warming theory.  

To this, those in opposition to the theory would say: "All this based on a theory?  You want to risk destroying the economy based on a theory?"  To be honest, such opponents do make a good case.  

For instance, many corporations say that complying with such regulations costs so much that it comes at the expense of expansion and job creation, and this hurts the economy.  

For instance, there are those who say they won't even consider opening a new business because the cost of complying with regulations would offset the benefits of opening one.  This, they say, has resulted in fewer jobs.  

Supporters of the theory would say back:  "So what?  The loss to the economy is to the benefit of the planet."  

Opponents of the theory will say that global warming theorists only use data from 1970 on, and that if you use data from 1900 onward you will see that there is a good argument that can be made to support a cyclical trend of global warming and global cooling, regardless of how much CO2 is emitted by man.  

Well, who is right?  Well, it depends on whether you are an idealist or a realist.  If you are an idealist, your theory is your ideal, and you will do whatever is in your power to defend it.  If you are a realist you will stay open minded, consider the facts, and make a wise decision.  

It also depends on what your priorities are.  Do you put the planet before people, or do you put people before the planet.  To me, I believe it is best to trust people to be environmentally responsible, and err on the side of man.  

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Why am I a libertarian-conservative?

I believe there is no shame in telling people where you stand religiously and politically, and that this has absolutely no bearing on how friendships and relationships are formed. 

I also believe that what political philosophy you embrace should have nothing to do with what political party you are associated with.  That the party, or the particular candidate, you embrace is the one who most represents the particular philosophy you believe in.  

That said, I want people to know that I am not a republican, I am a conservative libertarian.  I embrace this particular philosophy because...
  1. I believe in God, and that the Bible inculcates values and individual responsibility
  2. I believe the Bible stands for values and principles that are non wavering, and that are essential for a stable and functioning society.
  3. I believe strong family values are at the core of any productive, prosperous and peaceful nation; that these values can be sucked dry by well-intentioned governmental intervention
  4. I believe we should value human life over all other forms of life.
  5. I believe all people are born with natural rights, or those inalienable rights we are born with that can only be taken away by government, therefore...
  6. I believe that the U.S. Constitution protects our natural rights, which includes all our freedoms, it does not give us these
  7. I believe a Constitution must be etched in stone, and be very difficult to change, in order to create a stable economy
  8. I believe in the individual, that freedom from the bondage of governmental fetters creates an environment that allows individual creativity to achieve
  9. I believe people are smart enough to solve their own problems without the intrusion of governmental interventions
  10. I believe that when people are allowed to solve their own problems they have to potential to flourish to greater levels than any governmental program could accomplish.
  11. I believe government is a necessary evil, and should be limited to those trammels that are absolutely essential to the survival of a nation. 
  12. I believe that taxation should only occur when necessary to provide for the common defense, civilian police agencies, firefighting organizations, roadways, railways and other essential aspects of our nation's infrastructure.
  13. I believe that if income taxes are to occur that everyone should pay a portion of it, with the exception of the absolute destitute, so that every person has a vested interest on where those tax dollars are spent.
  14. I believe the only way to peace is through strength
  15. I believe compassion is defined by how many people can thrive on their own without government intervention, and not by how many people are on the government dole. 
  16. I believe that a social Utopia cannot be achieved by government taking from those who achieve and giving it to those who do not achieve, and history has proved this ad nauseum
  17. I believe the American dream offers every person equal opportunity, but not equal outcomes
  18. I believe we should value and take care of the environment, but environmentalism based on theories is harmful to the nation, especially when it is based on fear and deceit. 
  19. I believe that free market principles should be applied to education and healthcare, that this is the best way for these necessary systems to flourish
  20. I believe honest and hard working immigrants are at the core of this nation, and those immigrating into it should do so by legal means only, and those who are here illegally should be sent home and encouraged to follow the legal track.
  21. I believe that all nationalities and languages should be respected, although I believe English is the language of success and prosperity, and that learning the English language should be at the core of any immigration program.
  22. I believe that all American citizens, and all immigrants, should be educated on what this country was founded upon, including God, the Bible, Natural Rights, the founding fathers, The Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.
  23. I believe that the Declaration of Independence is still a binding and fully functioning document that should be respected just as faithfully as the U.S. Constitution is
  24. I believe that American Exceptionalism does not mean our nation is better than other nations, only that our nation was the first ever nation, and still the only nation, where, freed from the bondage of governmental intervention, all people are provided an equal opportunity to succeed. 
  25. I believe that most financially well-off (rich) people obtained success through hard work, and that we should stop thinking of rich people as greedy and selfish
  26. I believe that race relations are not improved by governmental intervention, that it only makes race relations worse, and that affirmative action is a perfect example of this. 
  27. I believe the first amendment right of religion should not be taken out of context to prevent religious expression on governmental property, especially in our public school system
  28. I believe the 2nd amendment should not be misinterpreted to mean that only the military is allowed to defend and protect the people, because this would make it very easy for the government to control the people; that people should be allowed to arm and defend themselves to provide safe and secure environment for themselves and their family
  29. I believe that the 10th amendment should be respected, and that anything not covered in the U.S. Constitution should be left to the states and the people to decide, and this includes abortion and healthcare. 
  30. I believe that most people are smart and will make wise decisions for themselves, and do not need experts in Washington deciding what is best for them, such as what drugs they can and cannot ingest or inhale, what foods they can eat, what air they can breathe, etc. 
  31. I believe that those who break the law should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law in order to discourage people from breaking the law
  32. I believe people will work harder for themselves than someone across the country, and for this reason I think capitalism and limited government are essential to a prosperous nation
  33. I believe that the United States is the greatest nation in the history of the world, and that we should teach this to our kids

Monday, April 7, 2014

Franklin's 13 Subjects

If you want to be successful in life, the best way to do this is to follow the advice of a successful person.  Thankfully for all of us, one of the most successful people in the history of the United States was Benjamin Franklin, and he left for us his advice on how he became successful.

When he started writing his autobiography he was writing to his son, and he wrote about the thirteen subjects that he believed were necessary or desirable for him to acquire and master.  In this way, he was able to go through his entire list in thirteen weeks, and repeat the process four times a year."  

If a man as successful as Ben Franklin had created a method of making his life better, then perhaps it would be wise for other people who wish to succeed in life to follow his plan, or develop an individual plan based on his.

Franklin’s thirteen subjects:
  1. Temperance: Eat not to dullness, drink not to elevation.
  2. Silence: Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.
  3. Order: Let all you things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.
  4. Resolution: Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.
  5. Frugality: Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing.
  6. Industry: Lose no time; be always employed in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.
  7. Sincerity: Use no harmful deceits; think innocently & justly, and if you speak, speak accordingly.
  8. Moderation: Avoid extremes; further resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.
  9. Justice: Wrong none by doing injuries, or emitting the benefits that aren't your duty.’
  10. Cleanliness: Tolerate no unseemliness in body, clothes or habitation.
  11. Tranquility: Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.
  12. Chastity: Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of our own or another’s peace or reputation.
  13. Humility: Imitate Jesus and Socrates.
He admitted that he had occasions where he failed at these, but would always make himself aware of his fault, and attempt to come up with a method as to prevent himself from repeating them. For one thing, he was overweight, and that in itself probably led to his health failings later in his life, like his gout.

And while he was a great speaker, ambassador, scientist and writer, he admitted he was a failure at family. His wife never left him, but he was never a good husband. And while he started writing his autobiography to his son, he had disowned him before he wrote the second half, which is why the second part of his autobiography is not written to his son and is fairly dry reading as a result.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

How intelligent are you?

How smart are you? I bet you are smarter than you think.

Recently I mused with one of my patients that "I'm not as smart as the average man."  He said to me, "I bet you are."  He proceeded to introduce me to Dr. Howard Gardner and his "Nine Types of Intelligence."

You can read about the nine types of intelligence by clicking here.  I used Dr. Howard's types of intelligence to determine how smart I am.  I encourage you to do the same; it was quite fun, and self educational too.  The following is what I learned about myself.

1. Natural IntelligenceDesignates the human ability to discriminate among living things (plants, animals) as well as sensitivity to other features of the natural world (clouds, rock configurations). This ability was clearly of value in our evolutionary past as hunters, gatherers, and farmers; it continues to be central in such roles as botanist or chef. It is also speculated that much of our consumer society exploits the naturalist intelligences, which can be mobilized in the discrimination among cars, sneakers, kinds of makeup, and the like. 

I don't have the ability to relate things to my natural surroundings, so this is not me.

2. Musical IntelligenceMusical intelligence is the capacity to discern pitch, rhythm, timbre, and tone. This intelligence enables us to recognize, create, reproduce, and reflect on music, as demonstrated by composers, conductors, musicians, vocalist, and sensitive listeners. Interestingly, there is often an affective connection between music and the emotions; and mathematical and musical intelligences may share common thinking processes. Young adults with this kind of intelligence are usually singing or drumming to themselves. They are usually quite aware of sounds others may miss.

I don't even need to go here. I have none of this.

3. Logical-Mathematical Intelligence (Number/Reasoning Smart)Logical-mathematical intelligence is the ability to calculate, quantify, consider propositions and hypotheses, and carry out complete mathematical operations. It enables us to perceive relationships and connections and to use abstract, symbolic thought; sequential reasoning skills; and inductive and deductive thinking patterns. Logical intelligence is usually well developed in mathematicians, scientists, and detectives. Young adults with lots of logical intelligence are interested in patterns, categories, and relationships. They are drawn to arithmetic problems, strategy games and experiments.

This includes scientists, mathematicians and detectives, of which I am not.

4. Existential intelligence:  Sensitivity and capacity to tackle deep questions about human existence, such as the meaning of life, why do we die, and how did we get here.

I definitely have this, which is at the core of all my blogs.

5. Interpersonal Intelligence (People Smart)Interpersonal intelligence is the ability to understand and interact effectively with others. It involves effective verbal and nonverbal communication, the ability to note distinctions among others, sensitivity to the moods and temperaments of others, and the ability to entertain multiple perspectives. Teachers, social workers, actors, and politicians all exhibit interpersonal intelligence. Young adults with this kind of intelligence are leaders among their peers, are good at communicating, and seem to understand others’ feelings and motives.

I'm not this in the slightest.

6. Bodily Kinesthetic Intelligence (Body Smart): Bodily kinesthetic intelligence is the capacity to manipulate objects and use a variety of physical skills. This intelligence also involves a sense of timing and the perfection of skills through mind–body union. Athletes, dancers, surgeons, and craftspeople exhibit well-developed bodily kinesthetic intelligence.

I do not have the ability to manipulate objects and use a variety of physical skills. No, I'm not athletic, although I might pretend to be.

7. Linguistic Intelligence (Word Smart)Linguistic intelligence is the ability to think in words and to use language to express and appreciate complex meanings. Linguistic intelligence allows us to understand the order and meaning of words and to apply meta-linguistic skills to reflect on our use of language. Linguistic intelligence is the most widely shared human competence and is evident in poets, novelists, journalists, and effective public speakers. Young adults with this kind of intelligence enjoy writing, reading, telling stories or doing crossword puzzles.

This is definitely me.
8. Intrapersonal Intelligence (Self Smart): Intra-personal intelligence is the capacity to understand oneself and one’s thoughts and feelings, and to use such knowledge in planning and directioning one’s life. Intra-personal intelligence involves not only an appreciation of the self, but also of the human condition. It is evident in psychologist, spiritual leaders, and philosophers. These young adults may be shy. They are very aware of their own feelings and are self-motivated.

Well, I consider myself a philosopher of sorts here in the blogosphere, and therefore I am definitely this.

9. Spatial Intelligence (Picture Smart): This is the ability to think in three dimensions. core capacities include mental imagery, spatial reasoning, image manipulation, graphic and artistic skills, and an active imagination. Sailors, pilots, sculptors, painters and architects all exhibit spatial intelligence. Young adults with this kind of intelligence may be fascinated with mazes or jigsaw puzzles, or spend free time drawing or daydreaming. 

I think I am definitely this.  I'm a drawer, a writer, a blogger, and a daydreamer. I think all writers have to have this.  I have the ability to see outside my own mind. Once, a long time ago, I took an advertising class where we created ad campaigns. On the top of one of my papers was the following note from my teacher: "You have a visual head, Botthead."  I have the ability to see the big picture, as opposed to just seeing what's in front of me.  I think having empathy, the ability to feel what others around you are feeling, is part of seeing the big picture.  I definitely have the ability to see more than what is in front of me.

So, there you have it. You can head on over and check out where your intelligence lies.  Just don't blame me when you find our you are smarter than you originally suspected.  Click here.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

What Putin did shouldn't shock anyone

Let's talk conspiracy theories for just this one post.  Based on what I have read on the subject, and I read a lot from a lot of sources, the writing appears to be on the wall that Vladimir Putin is trying to reassemble the Soviet Union.

By listening to the various folks in Washington you'd think they were just shocked that Putin used his military might to over take Crimea.  But should they be?  Isn't it the job of the people running this country to be expecting this kind of stuff, and to be prepared for it, in order to prevent it from ever happening?  

I mean, it's not like Russia has never invaded a country before? In 1979 they invaded Afghanistan, and they did it on Christmas while everyone else was distracted. They also colonized Georgia, and what about Shalikashvili and South Ossetia? So, there should be no surprise to what Putin is doing, for those who pay attention to history anyway.

So Russia puts troops around Crimea in the Ukraine, and folks in Washington are all surprised about it. Let's use Obama's words from March 24, 2014,as one example:
The United States does not view Europe as a battleground between East and West, nor do we see the situation in Ukraine as a zero-sum game. That’s the kind of thinking that should have ended with the Cold War.
As Charle's Krauthhammer said in his March 24, 2014, column, "Obama vs. Putin: The Mismatch:"
Should. Lovely sentiment. As lovely as what Obama said five years ago to the United Nations: “No one nation can or should try to dominate another nation.”
That’s the kind of sentiment you expect from a Miss America contestant asked to name her fondest wish, not from the leader of the free world explaining his foreign policy.
 Now let us use Secretary of State John Kerry's words: 
What has already happened is a brazen act of aggression in violation of international law, in violation of the UN charter, in violation of the Helsinki Final Act, in violation of 1997 Ukraine-Russia basing agreement. Russia has engaged in a military act of aggression against another country, and it has huge risks, George. It's a Nineteenth Century act in the Twenty-First Century.
Kerry and Obama are acting like it's a big surprise surprise what Putin is doing. Kerry is upset Putin violated rules set by the United Nations.  The truth, however, is that world history is a history of wars, so it should be no secret that the aggressor in any war sets the rules. In this case, Russia is the aggressor. Russia wants to win.

So it should be no surprise that Putin is setting the rules.  Why?  Well, consider the following:
  1. The purpose of any military is to kill people and break things. It's not to advance anybody's social agenda. It's not a laboratory for social ideas or playgrounds. It is to kill people and break things
  2. The aggressor in any conflict sets the rules. And if they violate an existing rule book, then so be. In other words, the aggressor does whatever is needed to win, regardless of the century.
When people like Vladimir Putin are the aggressors, they don't care about international law, U.N. Charters, or things like that.  They don't care that we are in the 21st century and rulers aren't supposed to do things like this.  Putin wants to take over Crimea, and so he's going to do it by any means he can, regardless what the rest of the world thinks.

So here you have Putin acting, using 19th century tactics as Kerry said, and you have people in Washington, the media, and other people, standing around with their mouths agape saying things like: "He can't do that!"

Well, he just did.

Prior to WWII, despite warnings by Nevelle Chamberlain, neither Britain nor the United States were ready for war.  Prior to 911, no one expected Muslims to blow up the twin towers.  We were not prepared.

Krauthammer said:
Putin’s irredentist grievances go very deep. Obama seems unable to fathom them. Asked whether he’d misjudged Russia, whether it really is our greatest geopolitical foe, he disdainfully replied that Russia is nothing but “a regional power” acting “out of weakness.”
Where does one begin? Hitler’s Germany and Tojo’s Japan were also regional powers, yet managed to leave behind at least 50 million dead. And yes, Russia should be no match for the American superpower. Yet under this president, Russia has run rings around America, from the attempted ingratiation of the “reset” to America’s empty threats of “consequences” were Russia to annex Crimea.
Annex Crimea it did. For which the “consequences” have been risible. Numberless 19th- and 20th-century European soldiers died for Crimea. Putin conquered it in a swift and stealthy campaign that took three weeks and cost his forces not a sprained ankle. That’s “weakness”?
What are the allies thinking now? Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, the Philippines and other Pacific Rim friends are wondering where this America will be as China expands its reach and claims. The Gulf states are near panic as they see the United States playacting nuclear negotiations with Iran that, at best, will leave their mortal Shiite enemy just weeks away from the bomb.
America never sought the role that history gave it after World War II to bear unbidden burdens “to assure the survival and the success of liberty,” as movingly described by John Kennedy. We have an appropriate aversion to the stark fact that the alternative to U.S. leadership is either global chaos or dominance by the likes of China, Russia and Iran.
The main job of any government is to protect the people; to provide national security.  In fact, this is the number one, most important, job of any nation.

It's the job of our leaders to be proactive, as opposed to worrying about the media calling them conspiracy theorists, as I will probably be called.

I think people today are so isolated from bad people, from war,  from history (because they don't teach it in public schools) that they forget that human history is a history of war, and war isn't pretty. It's gotten so bad that too many Americans forget that the world is filled with people waiting, salivating, for an opportunity to strike.

At all costs, we should do everything and anything, even what's not popular (as George W. Bush learned), to prevent it: and we aren't.  Instead we have our leaders making arms agreements to get rid of our nuclear weapons, and tearing down our military.

If we need to spend money on anything in this country, those are the two most important things.  If we are not secure, if some other nation takes us over, nothing else matters.  If another nation gains power over us, it won't matter what job you have, or that you have one, nor that you are fed, nor that you have a retirement plan, nor that you have health insurance.

Someone is going to be the world's super power.  Do you want it to be the good guys, or do you want it to be Putin.  Or, worse, do you want it to be Iran? Or North Korea? Or, even worse than that, some rogue terrorist organization.

Aggressors like Putin don't care about rules, they care about getting their way. Putin is salivating, says the writing on the wall, about rebuilding the Soviet Union, and the only way he will succeed is if the United States lets him.

Sure you might be unpopular to tell your friends that Putin looks like he's trying to re-create the old Soviet Union, which might cause a new cold war.  Surely Washington might not be popular in doing so either?  But isn't it better to err on the side of caution?

Further reading: