Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Taking Care of Business

We don't normally make a whole post by just pointing to a link. This is an exceptional exception.  Tal Bachman (son of Randy, the Bachman of BTO, hence the post title).  Tal was featured as a guest columnist on Mark Steyn's blog today, here he hammers and truly nails it. 

Thursday, February 4, 2021

Beware the person driving the van

Years ago I read a warning to American tourists, especially those traveling to cities in third world countries. There had been reports that Americans would be walking down the street in a large city and street thugs would try and force the tourists into a dark alley where they would be robbed and assaulted. At that very moment, a "Good Samaritan" would drive up in a van and tell the tourist to get in and the driver would help the tourist escape.

As you might imagine, the street thugs were merely the setup people. The person who was really going to rob and injure the tourist was the driver of the van.

Today we have street thugs in the form of the Democratic Party and we have a van driver in the form of the Republican Party.

Japan attacked Pearl. Harbor on Sunday, December 7, 1941. The Japanese signed their unconditional surrender on Sunday, September 2, 1945 -- a span of 1365 days.

As I write this it is Thursday, February 4, 2021. The next Presidential election is Tuesday, November 5, 2024 -- a span of 1370 days. While we were able to defeat the Japanese in a world war  and the Germans in even less time during the same war, we are told that we do not have enough time to get a new party up and running.

We are told that what we should do is reform the Republican Party, to nominate strong candidates who will do what needs to be done to "Make America Great Again," not that anyone in power in the current Republican Party would even dream of using that phrase.

Meanwhile the party is searching high and low for the next wimpy candidate that they can shove down our throats. Today came the news that House Republicans have voted to keep Liz Quisling Cheney in her #3 position in Republican House leadership.

With friends like that, who needs enemies. 

There is a school of thought that says, "I don't mind being beaten, I just don't like losing." In other words, if I give it my best and the other guy beats me, that is one thing. However if I put up a pathetic performance and I lose to a mediocre opponent. than I am upset. The current Republican Party is a bunch of willing losers. They like talking a big game in order to get elected but, for the most part, never deliver on their promises. Any Republican who makes a strong effort to actually deliver is treated like a leper and is ostracized from any position of importance in the party at the first possible moment. Newt Gingrich put forth a good effort as the Speaker in the House in the 1990's but then became a footnote in history. Donald Trump did more to deliver on his promises than any President in recent history with the possible exception of Ronald Reagan but is now being shunned with all the might that GOP leadership can muster.

Meanwhile we are supposed to be happy with soundbites from the latest version of Trey Gowdy the party can dredge up. They may sound good, but they never go anywhere. A nation does not live by soundbites alone. We need action to back up those soundbites.

The problem with third parties can be categorized in one of two ways: 1) a party that represents fringe elements that will never win an executive position or a significant number of legislative seats, or 2) a vanity party started at the last minute by someone who could not get nominated by either the Republicans or the Democrats.

The Democratic Party is a danger to the United States. Currently they are trying to do a purge of the military as have dictatorships in the past. The Republicans are about as useful as the piles found in the middle of cow pastures.

We need to start a new party. Maybe such a party would not win the election in 2024. It is questionable that anyone but a Democrat will ever win a Presidential election again now that Democrats know they  can steal such an election and threaten anyone who questions their victory with social isolation and perhaps, given enough time, prison sentences. Democratic leaders and supporters have already suggested that  people who supported Trump should be "deprogrammed" and have their children taken away. Meanwhile, few in the Republican Party are challenging such rhetoric. Some are even quietly nodding in agreement.

We need to stand up now.

Friday, January 29, 2021

Everything I know about the stock market I learned from Eddie Haskell.

 Years ago I watched an episode of Leave It To Beaver where Eddie Haskell explained the basics of the stock market to Wally and the Beav. That enlightened me about a few things regarding Wall Street, but there is still much I do not know. For instance, if Bob buys 100 shares of stock in an initial public offering at $10.00 a share and he sells it two years later at $15.00 a share, it seems that Bob gets his original $10.00 back plus an additional $5.00. All the company ever got was the initial $10.00 which they still have in some form or another. So if a company originally sold $1,000,000 worth of shares, then all they will ever get is the original $1,000,000 even if the value of that stock goes to $100,000,000.

What has me thinking about this is the current situation with GameStop, AMC, Nokia, Blackberry, etc, causing ulcers in hedge fund operators. What hedge funds do is a process called "short selling."

What is short selling, you ask? As I understand it, it works like this. You know your friend Bob has 100 shares in Conservative Kitchen Table, Inc. You go up to him and ask, "Hey Bob, can I borrow those 100 shares of Conservative Kitchen Table, Inc.?"

Bob says, "Yeah, here you go." You then go and sell those 100 shares -- that you do not own -- and you sell them for $20.00 a share, bringing in $2000.00. You know that the stock is on a downward spiral. You wait for the stock to go down a bit then you buy the shares back at $15.00 a share, or $1500.00 total. You then bring the stock back to Bob and say "Thanks for letting me borrow the stock" and pocket the $500.00.

Or something like that. If you look up "short selling" on the internet, just about everything you see reads something like this:

The Lord created the earth in six days, and on the seventh day He created short selling. It is the fuel of the economy and provides liquidity and is the grease that keeps the the country moving forward. Blessed be short selling.

Such a practice is dependent on the value of the stock going down. If the stock goes up, you are up a creek that looks like a horse stall that has not been mucked out for a while -- especially if the value of the stock skyrockets.

That is a simplified explanation and may not be an entirely accurate one, but at least it gives you an idea.

What has happened with GameStop, AMC, Nokia, Blackberry, etc., is that people have gone out and actually purchased those stocks, driving them way up. This left the hedge funds having to cover their transactions -- which they are in no position to do. I heard that one hedge fund actually went bankrupt.

Of all the nerve! We can't have the great unwashed do such a thing. To combat this, the Powers That Be have ruled that no one can buy those stocks -- they can only sell them. I don't know how you can sell a stock if nobody can buy it, but what do I know? The purpose of this is so the stock prices will plummet so the wise denizens of the Powers That Be can sleep easy in their mansions while many Americans get to sleep in because the small business they used to own or work for is no longer in operation because of the lockdowns that only seem to apply to the average Joe and Josephine. Well, it does apply to the members of the Powers That Be if they have reason to believe there is a camera around. Other than that, forget it.

It is as if they are able to change the rules of how things work because it suits them. I don't know where they got the idea that they could do that. It's not as if a Presidential election was stolen by changing the rules at the last minute in an ethically challenged manner.

I am certainly open for a better explanation of how short selling works, but the rancor the recent events have caused tends to indicate that my explanation may not be that far off.

UPDATE: This video explains the situation fairly well. The meat of the video is maybe ten minutes long but it is worth watching.

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

They were bad times, they were the worst of times.

The usual procedure in an impeachment trial of a President is for the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court to preside. For anyone other than a President, the trial will be presided over by a member of the Senate. In the second impeachment trial of Donald Trump, Democratic Senator Patric Leahy, who has already come out in favor of conviction, will preside.

Yes, but Donald Trump is not the President. Donald Trump is a private citizen. So Democrats are trying to impeach a private citizen. The purpose of impeachment is to remove someone from office. Mr. Trump does not hold an office. So on what basis is Mr. Trump being impeached?

Well maybe they are trying to prevent Mr. Trump from holding office again. That didn't work in the case of impeached U.S. District Judge Alcee Hastings. Mr. Hastings was impeached for engaging in a “corrupt conspiracy” to extort a $150,000 bribe in a case he presided over, even though he had been acquitted by a jury for the same charge.

What was Hastings' long term punishment? He was elected to the House of Representatives in 1992 and was re-elected 13 times after that.

Did I mention that Hastings is a Democrat?

Senator Rand Paul forced a vote in the Senate to declare that the action against Mr. Trump is unconstitutional and that the case should be dismissed. 45 Republican Senators voted for that resolution. Being that the Senate has 100 members and a conviction in the impeachment case requires a 2/3 vote -- or 67  votes -- it is unlikely that the Senate will convict Mr. Trump this time, either.  

Hopefully in future years, after the Democratic Party has gone the way of the Whigs, people will look back at these current events as a tragic chapter in our nation's history.

I hope you are sitting down, but just so you know: Mitt Romney (D-Utah) was one of five RINO's who voted against the resolution. Lisa Murkowski was another one.

Shocked! Shocked, I say!

In another example of non-biased news reporting, Vox called the resolution a "stunt." Politics USA has a headline that reads:    

The Senate Just Crushed Rand Paul's Bid To Kill Trump's Impeachment.

As I mentioned, 67 votes are needed for a conviction in the impeachment. That means if 34 or more Senators vote against conviction, it fails. 45 Senators voted for Paul's resolution. That would suggest that conviction will fall 11 votes short.

Not exactly what I would call a crushing blow to the resolution.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Frightening times, indeed.

One of the strengths of the United States is that our Founding Fathers codified a Bill of Rights. The rights contained therein were not rights granted by the government, but rather they were rights that the government could not take away.

Let us speak hypothetically for a moment. Yeah, hypothetically my foot, but let's pretend we're are being hypothetical for a moment. Imagine that one political party just took control of the federal upper legislative body by using fraudulent tactics in a recent state runoff election -- the same tactics that party used to take the last Presidential election.

The Bill of Rights in the Constitution grants freedom of speech to allow people to express their concerns about such corruption in government. What does the Lt. Governor of one state, a state that was suspected of corruption in the last Presidential election, have to say about the people's right to freedom of speech about such matters?

"So, this idea that saying that Pennsylvania was rigged or that we were trying to steal the election, unquote, that’s a lie. And that — you do not have the right, that is not protected speech." -- Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (D)

That is right, a government that does not have the power to deny rights now claims that lying is not protected free speech. Who gets to decide what is a lie and therefore is not considered free speech? Why, the corrupt government that the First Amendment is there to allow people to speak out against. Makes sense to me.

That reminds me of a line from a classic movie. 

"Victor Lazlo published the foulest lies in the Prague newspapers." -- Major Strasser (Conrad Veidt) Casablanca -- 1942

For those who do not know the film, Major Strasser is a Nazi officer. Victor Lazlo is a heroic figure in the European underground movement. How any elected official in the United States can even think of uttering such an absurdity as did Pennsylvania's Lt. Governor is frightening.

Now comes news from Breitbart contributor Peter Schweizer that Mitch McConnell and his wife, Elaine Chou, have financial ties to China by having interest in a Chinese ship building company -- but I suppose talking about that is a lie and  therefore not protected as free speech. Then again, McConnell is a Republican so all bets are off.

When one looks at the corruption in the United States government, it is clear why the entrenched elites went after President Trump with such vengeance.

For Joe Biden's inauguration as the anti-President, there were 26,000 troops in Washington DC. The Federal Bureau of Intimidation screened the soldiers to make sure that none had political views that the government did not find acceptable. So now we are seeing the beginning of a purge of the American military.

We live in interesting times. I just wish they were not so interesting.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

So now what do we do?

Dan Bongino was being interviewed by Glen Beck. Bongino was saying that he cannot go along with anything that might be considered as a call to violence to defend America. He used the old "That's not who we are" platitude. I would like to agree with him.

I am just not sure that I can.

Another video included snippets from Ami Horowitz. He was in New York asking New Yorkers about "unity." All of them were saying how we should live in peace and harmony and sing Kumbaya. He then asked the same people if they were willing to work with or compromise with conservatives. It turns out that conservatives were not to be included in the Kumbaya Choir. Conservatives should be exiled and be punished for their views.

It has been said in the past that if conservatives do not like the censorship, or should I say, protections offered by social media sites, conservatives should just "start their own."

Well, people have taken them up on that. Parler was making tremendous gains as people were leaving -- either voluntarily or involuntarily -- sites such as Twitter. Then Apple and Google removed the Parler app from their app stores. It is not as though Parler is a "Conservative" site. It was started by a Democrat, John Matze Jr. It's just that Matze understands what section 230 means and acts accordingly. Parler was using servers provided by Amazon, but Amazon decided to remove Parler from it's servers in violation of its contract to give 30 days notice. Gab, another non-censoring social media site was told that it was being dropped by its domain registry company, Go Daddy. Gab has also been dropped by PayPal.

So conservatives should not only start their own social media sites, but they should start their own app stores. And their own server providing companies, and their own domain registration companies, and their own online pay services. Just to be sure, such "start your own" defence is not available to Christian bakeries.

A President calling for people to peacefully exercise their First Amendment rights is now an impeachable offence. Prominent Democrats and leftists calling for Trump supporters to be sent to re-education camps and having their children taken away is perfectly acceptable.

We just saw the Democrats take control of the United States Senate after another questionable vote count in the run-off election in Georgia for its two seats. That was another case of "Oh, let's stop counting for tonight and pick up where we left off in the morning" but somehow a ton of votes, favoring the Democrat candidates, mysteriously were counted in the night when there was no counting going on. At least one of the Republican candidates fell victim to shrinking vote count syndrome.

I see no way that anyone who has an IQ above room temperature can even believe that there were not some questionable things that happened with the Presidential election. However, for some reason, to even question that election implies that you are a direct descendant of Benedict Arnold. I can't help but wonder why not look closely at the concerns and either put them to rest or find out they were true. There is enough evidence to suggest that it is worth looking at.

I still have a hard time believing that the Democrats really won enough elections to take control of the House in 2018. There were a number of races where the Republican was ahead. They were not landslide victories, not they were not squeakers, either. Most, if not all of those "recounts" had the Democrat come from behind. I doubt there was a one where, after the recount, the Democrats said, "Gosh, I guess the Republican won that after all."

The Democrats have been honing their skills at stealing elections since the Washington Governor's race in 2004.

And now Dan Bongino says we cannot even think of resorting to violence. I am not, necessarily, issuing a call for violence, but just what does he suggest?

Obviously, elections are a fools errand now.


Friday, January 1, 2021

Picking revisited

A few years ago we were exchanging some posts here on the table of some mighty fine picking. My contribution to the mix was this great tune by the David Grisman Quintet written by guitarist Tony Rice.


Today in my suggested videos on YouTube was this interview of and performance by Tony Rice. Again his playing is smooth as silk.

While reading the comments I discovered that Mr. Rice had passed away. I checked and found that he passed away on Christmas Day, 2020.

Rest in peace, Tony.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Happy Veterans Day and Don't Give Up Hope!

Today, President Trump and First Lady Melania visited the Tomb of the Unknown at Arlington National Cemetery. It was a touching moment, I'm so thankful to have a president who truly loves our great military, law enforcement and first responders.
God bless all veterans today and I'm especially thinking of my dad, a 21-year Army Veteran and my father-in-law, who was a decorated WWII vet with the 82nd Airborne. They are both gone but still greatly loved.

Friday, September 11, 2020

19 Years Since 9-11: Enemies - Foreign and Domestic

Always remember.

The pain becomes more manageable but the anger and the outrage never die. At least not for me.  A fundamental change occurred that day. The most successful nation in the world was hated so much that human beings flew passenger planes into buildings full of human beings.

There were no doubts back then, these enemies were foreign.  And here we are 19 years later.  The biggest threat to our survival isn't foreign but domestic.  

Our governments hate us...lockdowns, travel restrictions, mandatory mask laws, self isolation, cancelled concerts, cancelled weddings, restrictions on numbers of people who can attend funerals/weddings etc.  Terminally sick patients left to die without being allowed to see their loved ones. And on, and on, and on.

And people hate us.  BLM and Antifa.  They hate us. And they are willing to go ape shit crazy to prove it.

Our enemies are domestic.  And far more deadly than than the foreign.

Friday, August 7, 2020

News feeds and other fairy tales

 I get news alerts on my cell phone and my iPad. I don't know what set me up to receive them. On my computer I get news links from Pocket. I did not sign up for that either. Usually those links come from Slate, the New York Times, the BBC,  and similar unbiased news sources.

Today on my iPad I received an alert to an article entitled "Why Trump is losing." I had no interest in reading the article. I notice that the articles and links that come from these services all seem to run in a certain vein.

 "Why Trump is losing" strikes me as news analysis.  I spell news analysis o-p-i-n-i-o-n. I would say that even if it said "Why Trump is winning" -- but these stories newer seem to say anything remotely like "Why Trump is winning." It is not "news."

Perhaps the title should have been "Why Trump appears to be losing." That would make more sense. 

First, we need to look at how the questions on the survey were worded. "Would you vote for Joe Biden if voting for Trump would mean that everyone in the world would die a long, painful death?" Maybe they don't go that far, but that is probably closer to the truth than it is to fiction.

Second, we need to consider these surveys tend to over sample Democrats and under represent Republicans. Surveys have a problem now. Many people have no time with survey takers.  Survey takers have resorted to voluntary participation -- "Have your voice heard. Take this survey." That defeats the randomness of surveys. You can probably find surveys in Cosmopolitan that show that 3 out of 5 married American women have three male and two female lovers. Is it true? Maybe for the readers of  Cosmopolitan, but not for the population at large. Even the groundbreaking study into human sexuality in the 1940's, the Kinsey Report, was found to have conducted many of its surveys with prison inmates -- not exactly a representation of public morals.

Third, we need to consider that people who express support for the President legitimately will be in fear of losing their jobs, being assaulted, or worse.

I do not agree with the infatuation of public opinion polls in the news media. The only poll that should be widely covered is the poll taken on a particular Tuesday in November. Everything else is manipulation.