The Truth Behind the Boy Scout Decision

The Czar remains a huge advocate for The Boy Scouts of America (and Girl Scouts, too!). Although some under-educated right wing commentators have incorrectly bad-mouthed the manliness of the BSA recently, the fact remains that Scouting is a dirt-cheap way to get young men able to run, row, and climb for miles, perform life-saving operations, shoot rifles, shotguns, and bows to a high degree of competence, cook, clean, and repair things for others, and more. The amazing thing is that all of the boys in our local troop can’t wait to do even more stuff. Many just returned from a week-long canoeing adventure in the international boundary waters: minimal shelter, eating only what they could catch, sleeping on the ground, no comforts of home. Sounds pretty tough to us.

With that out of the way, the Czar should probably comment on the news that the Boy Scouts of America—tired of being sued into bankruptcy—have decided to drop a long-standing ban on gay leadership.

That’s not actually the story.

Fears that gay men will somehow transform into molesters is unwarranted since even “straight” adults are not allowed to be alone with the kids. Two or more background-checked adults must be present with scouts, and a parent or guardian must also be present if a scout is by himself at any scout activity. The gays didn’t necessitate all these safety requirements against molestation: heterosexual molesters back in the 1950s—1980s did.

Because really, the BSA doesn’t give a crap about that; at least, none of the adults with whom the Czar associates within scouting. There’s a general acknowledgment that (a) gays aren’t child molesters any more than straights, and (b) the BSA needs so much adult assistance, funding, and involvement to survive that hell yeah they’ll welcome the extra help.

There’s a lot a gay man could do to help scouting, not that many have applied. Lead merit badge courses. Re-write and update the manuals. Test gear and products. Donate money. Go through mountains of paperwork. Lead a service project. Assemble patrol boxes. Clean and fold tents. Mow lawns and clear brush at scout camps. On and on. Just like any other adult volunteer.

Of course, the counter-argument is that the BSA is a private organization, and like any private organization, they should be able to select or reject members according to their beliefs. The Czar agrees, but notes most of the people saying this aren’t involved in Scouts, because the ones involved with Scouts will refer you to points (a) and (b), above. They need the money and the help.

Having said that, the Czar doesn’t begrudge a private troop who refuses a gay leader. See, there are de facto public troops—like Muscovy’s own troop, who are based in a community—and private troops—who are tied to a church or other parent organization. If an old-school church runs a troop, and they are opposed to gay leaders, fine: they should retain the right to reject leaders based on whatever facet they choose.

The BSA agrees, and in its decision today stipulated that it will be up to individual troops to admit or reject potential gay leaders—assuming of course that any actually apply. If a gay adult had a great experience as a scout himself, or simply understands the great things that scouting does for a kid, he can easily join his local municipality’s troop—or start a new troop himself and recruit members. He can just as easily bop across the road and ask to be a leader in another town’s troop: there are no geographical restrictions. Problem solved.

Say, remember the Left’s own attempt to start a scout troop? So does the Czar!

But that’s not good enough for the LGBT activists, and that’s the real story.

The usual screeches from the Left are coming out that private organizations who host troops should be compelled to admit gay leaders, even if this violates their religious beliefs.

Because this was never about scouting, and the Leftist activists have always known this. It’s about the dismantling of organized religion and nothing less. The BSA has always been a strongly religious body which makes its prior refusal to admit gay leaders a perfect lever to shift the churches, synagogues, and temples who host private troops. Within hours of the allegedly landmark decision came voices not from the LGBT community but the Professional Left that Religion Shall Not Pass. More protests, more indignation, more lawsuits are on the way.

Religions, and their insistence on maintaining the integrity of their beliefs, still remain the biggest threat to Leftism, for what else is the opiate of the people? Nothing.

Boy Scouts? Just another big nail to hammer into the eye of religious belief. The BSA could have either announced they were allowing gay leaders, or announced they were disbanding the entire organization—the Left wouldn’t have given a crap. This has always been about target numero uno: God, government’s biggest competition.

NYT’s Editors Want Your Young Daughters To Shower With Horny Boys At School Because You’re A Bigot Or Something

We can’t march in gay pride parades anymore because it’s insensitive, but we’re welcome to hang out in your daughter’s locker room.

The New York Times editors are wrong. This is not exactly news. But today, the editors plumb the depths of just how wrong allegedly intelligent, educated people can be.* Take a moment and read this editorial, helpfully titled “For Transgender Americans, Legal Battles Over Restrooms.”

We are informed by editors it is both immoral and illegal to require a transgendered student to use the restroom associated with his chromosomal makeup. We are also informed that the transgender struggle for potty parity is real, the indubitable equivalent of Blacks’ centuries long struggle for civil rights in America.**

The editors actually wrote this, to show us history’s arc bends to requiring all of society to accommodate the mental illness called gender dysphoria of a tiny minority:

Access to public restrooms has been a divisive issue in past civil rights struggles. During the 1950s, African-Americans challenged Jim Crow laws that barred them from so-called white restrooms.

Pretending to have a penis is the new Black, ‘Puter guesses.

The editors focus on a female student with gender dysphoria who wants to pee in the men’s room at her school. Gavin seems sympathetic enough, but her story isn’t a reason to ignore reality. Gavin chooses to dress like a male, but Gavin is biologically and genetically female. Any editorial (or law) that relies on a single sympathetic “victim” to make its point is generally full of crap. It’s intellectually lazy to claim “because this one person is sympathetic, we must change our entire system to accommodate him.” That’s how we got ObamaCare.

The editors helpfully inform us government has figured everything out, and that OSHA and New York’s Education Department have put out guidelines indicating transgendered people should be permitted to use whatever restroom they wish. Further, the editors urge a federal judge hearing a pending case to right the historic wrong of single-sex bathrooms, and let transgendered students pee wherever they damned well please, because Title IX.

Not so fast, editors. There’s a reason OSHA and New York’s Education Department only issued guidelines. That’s because there is nothing in federal law that bans discrimination against transgendered people.

Here’s Title IX (20 U.S.C. §1681(a)) on men in drag using the women’s room, or vice-versa:

No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance

See? It’s completely clear Congress intended Title IX to require school districts to permit young, horny men who self-identify as women for the day to shower with vulnerable, buck nekkid young women! It’s all there in the text! Except it isn’t. Nowhere in Title IX does Congress mention transgendered people. Or gay, lesbian or bisexual people, for that matter.

So, too, with the Civil Rights Act (43 U.S.C. §2000e-2(a)(1)). There’s no mention of transgendered people being a protected class:

It shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.

Curious. ‘Puter sees “race, color, religion, sex, or national origin” right there in the Civil Rights Act. ‘Puter must’ve missed “females who want to take a set of male genitalia out for a test drive instead of the vagina with which they were born” clause.

No matter. The editors are familiar with the game. They’ll just urge executive branch agencies to read “sex” to mean “individuals with the mental illness currently called gender dysphoria.” It doesn’t matter what Congress wrote. It matters only what the editors’ feelz dictate. And why should the editors think they won’t be successful? The editors have pulled this trick off before.

But don’t be fooled. Despite the New York Times editors’ desperate wishes to the contrary, there is no provision of federal law that requires anyone to permit females to use the men’s restroom, whether such female is transgendered or not.

* At a certain point, reasonable people may begin to suspect the editors aren’t merely wrong, but lying to support a narrative.

** Somehow, ‘Puter suspects many Blacks may not see transgendered people’s fervent desire to deny their biology in order to pee in the wrong restroom the same as centuries of state-sanctioned racism, but ‘Puter doesn’t presume to speak for Black people.

Airline Complaints

Sigh.  GorT isn’t a big complainer.  In fact, being around folks who do complain wear on GorT.  People get bad service, bad luck, and have bad experiences all the time.  And yes, sometimes GorT will share but I strive to be objective and move on from it.

The things that get me, however, are instances where the situation is easily remedied – either through better use of technology or a bit of better thinking.  Case in point: airline seating.

passengers_1766855bGorT and family have taken three long-distance flights in the last 5 years and has one coming up this summer: DC to Seattle, DC to Hawaii, DC to London, and DC to Rome.  In all four cases, the carrier chosen has been United.  That choice may become a thing of the past.  GorT has a family of five and he booked these flights relatively early – easily at least 180-200 days out.  In all four cases (as I just checked our seating for the upcoming trip), our seat assignments have changed.

Traveling as a family of five isn’t easy.  Most hotels aren’t set up well to accommodate it and seating on planes usually results in some dispersement of the family.  In some cases, namely the trip to Hawaii, it was weather-induced, as a hurricane was passing through the islands and all flights to Hawaii were canceled*.  I don’t blame United in this case and the agent in the terminal was helpful in rebooking us.  The quirks in that case were an inability to assign seats for some reason when we at the terminal for the first time (when we found out about the cancelation).

Vacation isn't the time for meteorological experiments

Vacation isn’t the time for meteorological experiments

In two of the other cases, United changed the equipment (meaning the type of plane) for the flight.  They didn’t notify us even though I register multiple phone numbers and an email address on the booking and marked that they should send updates to me.  The third case remains a mystery that they never were able to explain.  In both international trips, the planes were originally the 2-5-2 seating plan (Boeing’s 777-200 v1) which we were happy (unlike most) to take the 5 across in the middle.  It fits our family perfectly.  In both cases, they changed to the 777-200 v2s which is a 3-3-3 seating (GorT dreams of Business class).  In the first case, our seats were totally distributed with three single seats and one pair distributed as far as five rows apart.  No United agent, either at the terminal, at the gate or on the plane, would assist us in trying to remedy the situation.  And an 8-hour interational flight isn’t the best for children (all under 16 at the time) to be seated apart.  Luckily, we found several other helpful passengers, including another family of four in the same situation, that together, we were able to form two groups of seatings for us.  The other flight has us in the three middle seats and the aisle on either side.  Not ideal, but about as best as can be done, I suppose.

WHERE are our seats?

WHERE are our seats?

United, in three of the four cases, fell back upon a single stance: seat assignments are not guaranteed.  Given how many people will state that they “have” seat 14B (or whatever), it is likely that airlines don’t make this policy prominent enough.

There are two general approaches that I would recommend:

  1. Follow the Southwest Airlines approach and do boarding order assignments.  They have ways to favor their loyalty program members and business class – and some adjustments might need to be made for airlines with different seating classes (First, Business, Economy Plus, etc.) versus Southwest’s single seat type.
  2. Have people register a few preferences – aisle or window; front, middle, or back of plane; left or right side, etc.  Then develop some optimization programs that take the seating preferences, the number of people in their party, and maybe weigh in their loyalty level and generate seating assignments.  GorT has to believe that it would be better than what currently happens and doubt the airlines are doing anything along these lines.

For now, I’ll cross my fingers and hope for safe and pleasant flights.  If any airlines would like help on developing such a solution, reach out, I’d be happy to consult.

* Yeah, when you’re flying 2+ hours over water to a small, isolated set of islands and there might be a hurricane there when you’re scheduled to arrive, generally the flight will get canceled.  There aren’t places to re-route to.

Progressive Gray

Boneman writes in after too long an absence to wax politically philosophic on Progressivism.

Like a heavy gray blanket, the gray grip of progressivism continues to slowly smother the United States. Progressivism is the cancer that we all contracted more than 125 years ago and it is still here, more virulent than ever. It seemed like a great idea. Let’s just get the smartest people in the land to get together and control education, healthcare, and the economy. What wasn’t mentioned was the necessity to control us, me and you! Central control makes sense, doesn’t it? I mean people are generally too stupid and lazy to take care of themselves, anyway. “If you just do what we want, we’ll take care of you! Just give us your freedom and we’ll give you housing, food, healthcare. It won’t hurt even a smidgen.” And, boy, we loved it. We ate it up! Americans were more than happy to let the government do for them what they otherwise would have to do for themselves. We didn’t really want freedom anyway – we just want a kind master; someone who’ll take care of us.

Now, in the summer of 2015, we see the full fruition of progressivism on parade: generations of people who have never had a job but still get paid; wholescale destruction of minority communities by a bloated and increasingly lawless government; the Supreme Court inventing laws; a President disregarding his oath of office and the laws he doesn’t like; “free speech zones” on university campuses which are supposed to be bastions of free speech; hyper sensitivity and over reactions on any number of different topics and symbols (Christmas crèches, flags, statues, the list never stops); “reimagining” history to expunge anything we don’t like or find uncomfortable; A President graveling to the world as penance for our past collective sins; Popular progressive presidential candidates who, in more rational days, would have been in prison for fraud, lying, and theft; A presidential candidate who gets “booed” off the stage for daring to admit all lives matter; A President who circumvents Congress by proffering a treaty agreement with a professed, known, enemy who admits – immediately after the agreement was signed no less – that they have no intention of abiding by any of the “treaties” tenets! And yet the Administration is all high fives and pats on the back for this “great” achievement! Our world unravels in front of us yet all we want to do is play with our phones, watch television, or anesthetize ourselves with alcohol or marijuana. We all know where this ends yet are content to enjoy the circuses and free bread. The free exchange of ideas is gradually replaced with a crushing progressive silence as more and more things become “settled,” verboten, or uncomfortable. The light dims and then goes out.

You’d think the Volgi wrote that, but it was Boneman.

Let the Czar engloom you further, Boneman. Yes, you are correct.

But the problem is that the Progressives of yesteryear were educated people who had good intentions, and yes, the masses were generally unwashed and not as experienced or educated. At best, they were simply powerless to effect positive change on their own, so naturally they ate up the idea.

Let us not forget that the Progressivism also grabbed hold of many Republicans back in the day because it seemed to make historical sense: a group of intellectual giants gathering together and using their genius to protect the community? Just like Philadelphia, 1776.

Whatever. The problem of course is that in 2015, the Progressives are not particularly smart. In fact, many or most coasted through higher education specializing in veneer-thick pseudo-intellectual courses, never really developing the classical foundation required to turn experience into helpful thought.

They’re basically a bunch of dimwitted hippies who think helping people means tearing down the root-radical structures of their parents. They’re godawful dopes who cannot tell the difference between theory and practice. In their minds, European soft socialism is alive, well, and viable. There’s no acknowledgment that it’s fundamentally unworkable and a continuous disaster. Single payer healthcare? Where in the world isn’t this providing world-class healthcare at bargain basement prices? The rich don’t create jobs, they steal them! And so on.

Of course, the Communists knew this back in the day, and accurately referred to them as useful idiots. We should remember that while a lot of golden age progressives were chowderheads as well, most progressives a century ago knew full well that communism was bad, socialism unworkable, unions corrupt, and the government not always a good thing. However, by the 1920s, this all changed.

And since you never hire anybody smarter than yourself, by the 1960s, we had a bunch of doped-up adolescents living in a fantasy world believing every piece of nonsense that came along in the guise of having an open mind. They did a lot of overt damage in the 1960s and 1970s; unfortunately, they started getting elected in the 1980s and 1990s, and now are in control.

However cynical this all is, the Czar isn’t sure that society is too ready to go gentle into that good night. The more leftward the country tilts, according to news broadcasts and headlines, the more polls show dissatisfaction with the whole thing. It’s almost as if the Left is starting to declare Potemkin victories toward the end of a withering war, in an effort to boost morale among the suspicious masses. The masses know the end is coming, and it’s going to be better than this.

A good Republican leader—because really, that’s where he or she will be forced to appear—could, like Reagan, plant a standard in the ground that will reassure folks that America can be positive instead of progressive. After all, gray doesn’t mean pitch black.

Could Government Shrink?

Recently, the Czar grumbled about why the government grows and never will, in reality, shrink. This is a big issue for lots of people on both sides of the aisle, but only conservatives and libertarians seems to come up with ideas for how to reduce government. One candidate says he’ll slash a bunch of useless departments; others say they’ll enforce 10% budget cuts on each department and let them kill themselves.

It’s not that easy. Candidate and Florida governor Jeb Bush has proposed a lengthy and detailed plan for reducing the government with a three-out/one-in policy, in which government agencies cannot hire another person until three employees leave, either by normal attrition or firing. In the latter case, he proposed making it much easier to fire employees.

Here’s the problem with all these theories: they will genuinely hurt the economy. Government has gotten so big that reflexively cutting something like the Sub-Bureau of French Language Studies can result in thousands of federal workers dumped on the streets. And let’s face it: some of these folks might perform with outstanding mediocrity in a government job but have zero chance of landing a job in the private sector with outdated computer training and poor communication skills. But as Island Dweller points out:

I don’t think there is any way to avoid some painful layoffs for superfluous or redundant federal employees, if we are to trim the size of the government. Mr. Bush’s suggested course of action has merit, as does just “blanking” a retiring employee’s position when they go, automating and consolidating duties whenever possible. In the agency I retired from, management tried a merit-based pay system but some job performance measurements are hard to quantify. For example – how does one go about determining how efficient an agency’s foreign counterintelligence section is in their labors? Do they deserve a merit pay boost because nothing happened this year on their watch? How do we know no penetrations, compromises, and so on occurred? Was that due to their diligence – or was it because the perps just haven’t slipped up yet?

Excellent questions, but Island Dweller also has an interesting thought. Generally, you can transfer a federal program to a state program and both benefit. So why not employees? After all:

Not all federal employees who implement those various and sundry programs everyone finds so onerous due to centralized control in DC actually reside there. A significant number of them live in the states where the programs are implemented, in field activities. The Bureau of Land Management is one activity that is covered under this description. Why not go ahead and lay these people off from the federal govt but absorb them into the state government (if they so desire), at state rates of pay and benefits, to continue implementation of the programs they are involved in?

Of course, considering ‘Puter’s rants about the exorbitant rates of compensation paid by some states to their public employees, this may actually be a step up for many of them. I know if I had signed up to work for the state in which I now reside rather than the federal government, I would actually have a slightly higher benefit check every month, but the big gain would have been in medical and dental benefits, which are better than for us retired feds. After reading what he has to say about New York state employee benefits, it sounds like if the state hires a person for any position whatsoever, and they make it past their probationary period (if there is one), you’re essentially on the payroll for life since your retired pay and benefits just about equal what you were making when you were actively working. I hear it’s about the same in New Jersey.

I’m not sure what we would do with those bureaucrats who live and work in DC administering these monstrosities; I reckon they would have to fend for themselves since their state-level counterparts would now be running the programs that were originally mismanaged so badly out of DC.

True: many states have their own BLM groups doing a great job in addition to the federal ones; indeed, many of the two agencies are probably friendly with each other. Field skills, in particular, transfer over well: BLM is a good example where a person in the field has real job skills valuable to a state agency.

Of course, the next question is what percentage of federal employees live well outside the DC area? Probably not enough to make a difference.

The Czar’s Ant-Man Review

The Czar was not expecting to see Ant-Man this weekend as the Цесаревич is just back from Цѣсарь Scouts Camp (merit badges in Serf Punching, Long Distance Shooting, Worst Aid, and Axemanship). But it turned out that after a good late afternoon nap, he was raring to go. Unfortunately, the Царевич was up drinking with his friends the night before, and a handle of beet Kvass takes a toll on a ten-year-old with only a couple hours of sleep. Nevertheless, we fed him taco meat and he was all set to see it.

Here’s some data on ants you can read from Nature.

As usual, the Czar takes your questions on Ant-Man.

How much do we need to know about the different ant species to understand this movie?

Fortunately, director Peyton Reed gives you a lengthy explanation of the biology and taxonomy of ants, so in no time you’ll be able to differentiate between Odontomachus and Orectognathus like a boss, even though neither of those ants appear in the movie.

My dog likes to eat ants. Will he like this movie?

The Czar’s dog is also an ant eater, which sounds really strange when written, but please note the space between the words. Yes, the Czar anticipates your dog will bark happily throughout the entire movie, so please bring him along. Mandarin and the Czar enjoyed The Abyss that way, with some dude’s dog barking through the entire movie.

Hank Pym said he controls the ants through the use of pheromones emitted from his ear bud. How was he able to control them from several miles away, since pheromones don’t travel that far?

Shut up.

Seriously! How was he able to control the ants that helped Scott Lang in the early part of the movie when he was on the other side of San Francisco?

Okay, the neurotransmitter is radio-linked between Pym’s ear bud and Lang’s helmet, and the pheromones were actually being emitted from the helmet, right by the ants.

Really? Where in the movie was that explained?

Shut up.

Was the absence of Edgar Wright that obvious? Did Peyton Reed pull off a really good homage to Wright’s unique directorial style?

Who the hell knows. The Czar would rather talk about pheromones.

How is the character’s name actually pronounced?

Ant-Man, unless you’re from the Eastern seaboard, in which case it sounds more like Awnt-Man.

Are the special effects any good? Does he fight a cat in a doll house?

Yes and no. Particularly impressive was the way Michael Douglas was youthanized for scenes taking place in 1989. The effect was actually flawless. And no, there is no doll house in the movie that we saw. Perhaps you are thinking of a different film.

WaPo Reporter Defends Open Borders Immigration Narrative At All Costs

WaPo reporter Jenna Johnson wonders why Gov. Walker why he wants to deport the Flores family, and their best known member, Dora.

Republicans are evil people who want nothing more than to separate hard-working brown parents from their cute-as-a-button children, at least according to Washington Post “reporter” Jenna Johnson. Today’s WaPo whipping boy is Scott Walker, smeared with innuendo in Ms. Johnson’s Post Politics blog post.

Ms. Johnson shares with her readers Mr. Walker “tells undocumented worker [illegal immigrant – ‘Puter] that immigrants must follow the law.” Oh, the horror! The horror! A candidate for the highest executive office in the land thinks everyone should follow the law! Why, Mr. Walker’s practically a fascist! Ms. Johnson can almost see the torch-lit rallies and jackbooted brown shirts marching.

Here’s the real story, much of which Ms. Johnson downplays in her post. Walker had a campaign stop in Plainfield, Iowa where he lived as a child. Radical leftist open borders group Voces de la Frontera** brought Mexican illegal immigrant Luis Flores and two of his four children from Waukesha, Wisconsin to ambush Walker. And ambush Walker they did, trailing him from campaign stop to campaign stop. Rather than report facts (politically motivated illegal immigrant activists hound Walker in search of a negative sound bite), Ms. Johnson sets out to advance the Left’s “naturalize all the fings” narrative.

Ms. Johnson opens her post by describing Mr. Flores as “an undocumented worker from Mexico [border jumping illegal alien – ‘Puter] who is living in Wisconsin” who “demanded to know why Walker does not support President Obama’s plan to give temporary status to some undocumented workers, including parents of children who were born in the United States.” Walker gave the illegal immigrant (who by all rights should’ve been arrested on the spot) the proper answer: “We’re a nation of laws.”***

Ms. Johnson helpfully slants the story here, “reporting” Mr. Flores’ daughter “had tears rolling down her cheeks throughout the exchange.”**** Ms. Johnson wants her readers to think mean old Republicans who insist on enforcing the nation’s laws as written are cruelly abusive to innocent children. Again, support the narrative at all costs. In reality, illegal immigrants who either haul their kids across the desert to enter illegally or have kids once illegally present here are the child abusers. Illegal immigrants willingly chose to put their kids in this emotionally damaging situation, not Republicans. For suggesting otherwise, may ‘Puter politely suggest Ms. Johnson can suck ‘Puter’s el cerdo de amor.*****

Ms. Johnson also helps the narrative along by informing us Walker’s idyllic Midwestern upbringing is white privilege, or at least that’s what ‘Puter takes from the following passage:

Walker’s parents and third-grade teacher were in attendance, too. Walker spoke fondly of buying circus peanut candy at the corner store, swimming in a neighbor’s pool and collecting money for a state flag for the city hall. He posed for photos with corn and cows and gushed about Midwestern values.

It was a childhood quite different from that of Leslie and Luis Flores, who said they worry about their parents being deported. Leslie Flores, who is in middle school, said her mother was unable to travel to Mexico to see her father before he recently died. The teenager said that she has seen “so many families” torn apart by deportation.

‘Puter’s terribly sorry Mrs. Flores (presumably an illegal immigrant as well) couldn’t go visit her father in Mexico before his death.******  May ‘Puter suggest that had Mrs. Flores not illegally entered the United States and either stayed in Mexico or sought legal entry to the United States, visiting her dying father wouldn’t have been an issue?

Puter’s even more sorrier-er for Mr. Flores’ two children,******* Leslie and Luis. They are child pawns in a grown-up game of screw the Republican candidate. According to Ms. Johnson, the kids are American citizens, born here to illegally present parents. Mr. and Mrs. Flores have no compunction about using Leslie and Luis to argue against all logic that the act of procreation in America entitles criminally present individuals to permanent residence. Nor do the Flores have any problem being used to hammer Republican candidates for Democrat advantage. ‘Puter’s sure Leslie and Luis are great kids. It’s too bad for them (and their psyches) they got stuck with criminal, emotionally abusive narcissists for parents.

Here’s Mr. Flores, as “reported” by narratavist Ms. Johnson:

“When are you guys going to fix the immigration system?” Flores said. “When are you guys going to take the time to fix immigration reform? So we’ve got to be deported?”

And his son Luis (the non-female, non-weepy one), as filtered by fabulist and “reporter” Ms. Johnson:

Then Luis Flores jumped in: “Do you want me, like, to come home … come from school and my dad get deported?”

Let ‘Puter be clear. Yes, Mr. Flores, you should be deported. And yes, Luis, you should come home from school one day and find your father deported. Your father and mother should be deported because they have broken our nation’s immigration laws. To allow them stay makes our immigration laws laughable. Why should people legally migrate if they know they can illegally enter, stick around a while, spit out some anchor babies and get citizenship? You, Luis, and your sister Leslie, can choose to stay in the United States with legally present relatives. Or you can go to Mexico with your parents and return when you’re eighteen. That’s what legal status as a citizen gets you: options.

Like Walker, ‘Puter sympathizes with the plight of illegal immigrants. And like Walker, ‘Puter thinks we need to enforce the immigration laws on the books. But ultimately, illegal immigrants and their children have no one to blame for their plight but themselves. Illegal immigrants made the choice to enter our country illegally. Now illegals don’t want to suffer the consequences of their choices.

Too damned bad, no matter what the narrative-pushing Washington Post and its stable full of brainwashed J-school asshat “reporters” would have us believe.

It is arrogant to illegally enter this country. It’s more arrogant to subject your children to years of psychological abuse and blame others for your criminal acts. It’s most arrogant of all to insist the United States must change its laws to accommodate your criminal activities.

And Mr. Flores and fellow travelers Ms. Johnson and Voces de la Frontera are the most arrogant bastards of all.

* Ms. Johnson identifies the children as “Luis, 7, and Leslie, 13, who had tears rolling down her cheeks throughout the exchange.” Y WONT U RETHUGLIKKKANZ THINK UV TEH CHILLDRUNZ??!!?! Y U WARSHIP TEH BUSHITLERBURTONZ SITUZIN YOONITID KKKORPRIT PEEPULZ???!?!!?! There’s an “undocumented worker” who illegally snuck into the country and holds a job poor folks in Waukesha can’t have, but think of his children! This is akin to arguing for clemency after murdering your parents because you’re an orphan. But hey, man, it’s the narrative or something.

** Just how far left is Voces de la Frontera? This far left. It has campaigns for: immigration reform (Day Without Latinos marches); driver’s licenses for illegals; free education for illegal minors; opposition to E-Verify; new sanctuary movement (using leftist churches to shield illegals from the consequences of their crime); workers’ rights for illegals (illegals don’t have to follow the law but their employers do?); civil rights for illegals (‘Puter’s guessing after Fourth Amendment issues, voting rights is at the top of the list); and the anti-war movement (“[Voces de la Frontera] joined with a coalition of local organizations in opposing an escalating Iraq War and the War on Immigrants that was waged alongside”)

*** Walker also offers up, correctly, that noted Democrat President Obama “The president had years to deal with this throughout the legitimate legislative process.” Further, Obama “had his own party in charge [of both houses of Congress] for the first two years … he was in office.” Suck it up, Buttercup Flores. Even Democrats can’t get America to accept illegal immigrants should be rewarded for their crimes with citizenship.

**** Open borders activists and illegal immigrants are only too happy to exploit children to further their cause, even to the point of emotional damage. Add child abuse to illegal entry on their list of crimes.

***** ‘Puter thinks that’s Spanish for “love hog.” Even if it’s not, you get ‘Puter’s drift.

****** Actually, Mrs. Flores could’ve gone to visit her father in Mexico before her death. Whether she’d be able to reenter the United States illegally is another question. Mrs. Flores chose to continue her illegal occupation of America rather than visit her father on her deathbed. Truly, Mrs. Flores is a candidate for daughter of the year.

******* Leslie is truly an American. ‘Puter can tell because she’s adopted the American teenager/Millennial Precious Q. Snowflake persona, where all must bend before her wishes. “Laws be damned!”, says Miss Flores. “My criminal parents should be granted legal residence, that which they set out to steal, because ALL TEH FEELZ!”

Driverless Cars Are an Inevitability

ConstructionResistance is futile.

Ok, maybe it’s not the Borg coming to take over the joys and pains of driving oneself, but GorT believes that if you look at the trends in technology and society, we will have mainstream driverless cars within the next 10 years.

I should probably lay out some definitions for the terms I’m using so I’m being clear.  By “driverless cars” and “self-driving cars”, I refer to automobiles that can navigate roadways with no direct human interaction, aside from choosing a destination and maybe some options (scenic route, quickest route, via 14 Starbucks drive-thrus, etc.).  These cars will likely have some “manual” mode but in designated areas human driving will not be allowed.  Seriously.  These areas are probably densely populated areas, high-speed interstates, and state highways.  More rural and lesser traveled roads will not have the mandatory tag.  These latter areas might not even be capable, depending upon the technology required, of supporting the autonomous driving mode.  Finally, by “mainstream”, I mean that it won’t be in one or two “test markets” – it will be in most major cities within the United States.

So why does GorT buy into this?  For three basic reasons: (1) the statistics build a burning platform begging for the problem to be solved, (2) the trends in technology have set up the possibility to be in the near term, and (3) the trends in society are propelling us towards this solution.

One could look at various surveys and statistics but they largely trend the same way as far as safety in transportation.  For this post, I refer to numbers in a CNN Money post that cites the following deaths per billion miles traveled:

  • Motorcycles:  217 deaths
  • Cars & Trucks: 5.75 deaths
  • Commuter trains & Amtrak: 0.47 deaths
  • Buses: 0.14 deaths
  • U.S. Commercial airlines: 0.06 deaths

The difficult problem to solve here is the motorcycles.  It is unlikely that anyone will target autonomous motorcycles.  It largely defeats the reason many people purchase one and they’re rather fuel efficient to end.  Options might include banning them from certain areas, certain roads, or during certain times.  And just note, for a later point in this post, that this isn’t restricted to the United States.  China experiences around 275,000 and India around 238,000 driving deaths of the estimated 1.2 million driving-related deaths annually.

I’m going to wrap the second two points together as they are intertwined.  Technology and society have reached a point where much of what we do, particularly for the Millennial generation, is interconnected.  Think about the social media and extend that to IMG_3973-640x360Waze, the popular navigation app that crowd-sources traffic information from its users who freely are kind-of-anonomously sharing with others where they are and how fast they are driving.  Or FourSquare for sharing with others in that community where you are (or at least your device is) at a particular time.  We are becoming more and more connected, especially with the “Internet of Things” movement growing – automated homes, appliances, and others.

Imagine what a work commute could be like with autonomous cars: drink your coffee without spilling it when slamming on brakes because the traffic ahead of you has slowed for no apparent reason; read the paper or actually start your day when you get in the car rather than 40 minutes later* when you walk in the door of your office; or participate in the latest game made for commutes that takes a Niantic approach and gamifies the drive time.

The 55 to 70 mph speed limits will likely give way to higher rates in autonomous zones as computers could control the spacing and safety margins much better than humans.  Some estimate that it could increase freeway capacity by six to eight times.  Cars would likely evolve into lighter weight, more fuel efficient vehicles as the safety cages protecting drivers won’t be as crucial.

There is a real opportunity for the United States to take the lead on this.  It would likely create a large number of jobs and an explosion in new and innovative technology.  Referencing my early deferred point: the United States isn’t the only country with this problem.  It’s a global one.  Other countries are starting, as is the United States, but we can’t get mired down.  I’m hoping we see some real progress on this in the next decade here are at home.  At least until we can get such thing of supercar.hqdefault

* Studies estimate that the average U.S. commuter spends over an hour and a half in the car per day.

Why Government Will Always Grow

Prior to Obamacare’s passage, there were about 18 million people uninsured.

Today, the estimate of people uninsured is, well, 18 million.

We’ve seen early on from the “revised downward” news reports (usually released on Fridays) after the launch of the Obamacare website that, um, no one is signing up. Yet everyone’s health costs are rising. Sometimes drastically.

The rise in healthcare costs and the lack of additional insured combine to show the inherent waste in the program. This reveals its true cost: your rising healthcare costs are not covering any newly insured people but are going to pay for administrators, website coders, clip-board scanning middlemen, and pencil pushers.* Obamacare, like so many things government has given us, is little more than another jobs program, meant to hire friends and relatives of politicians.

There isn’t much room for advancement in government, at any level. You could spend your whole life as some basement functionary, working for a little bit of pay. You could!

Or you expand your power by overseeing people. In government, the more people you oversee, the more money and power you get. Therefore, in nearly every government role, your first priority is to hire people. The more people you hire, the faster you advance.

Look at all these folks. Your desks are too clean. Slow down! Let the work pile up, and I’ll hire each of you your own assistant.

This can be a great career move if you have very few employable skills or lack experience or education that might be useful in the private sector. A high school graduate can make more money than a VP of operations in a medium-sized company, if he or she gets into government and suddenly winds up hiring department heads. And those department heads? They hire more folks under them, and like Amway, the more legs you have under you, the faster you earn income.

This is why government never grows smaller, and why we have 18 identical job training programs that never get coalesced into one. Because each person in government is looking to hire more folks, no matter how convoluted the logic is. Each year, the personnel request increases in every department because every department is miraculously doing something more than it did last year. While Republicans criticize the IRS’s “scope creep,” we have to remember that scope creep is something bureaucrats want desperately. Why does the Department of Education have to have platoons of armed troops? Because someone needs to be in charge of them, not because the Department is doing something it should’t be doing. Inefficiency and waste is rewarding: if your staff slows down to where it’s backlogged, you simply request more help next year to catch up. And then, you slow down again.

Conservatives like to say that if they were in charge, they would reduce the size of government by eliminating the public sector unions. Trust the Czar, here: even if you did, little would change. Heck, public sector unions have only been around for a couple decades, yet government has grown steadily since Hoover was president. And that’s only because of Coolidge—the only president to reduce the size of the government in a measurable way.

Until you can find an easy, high-paying job in the private sector for every government employee, you’ll never reduce government’s size. Because we have created a system where the only thing better than managing 5 people is managing 50.

*In today’s age, of course, they’re staring at Excel spreadsheets. But pushing a mouse is just as time-consuming as pushing a pencil.

Krugman is an Idiot

Do people really read and buy what Paul Krugman writes?  GorT knows he’s jumping into ‘Puter’s playground of mockery here by taking on a Krugman op-ed in the NYT, but he just couldn’t let it fly past without comment.

Krugman decided to spend his likely-placeholder real estate on the NY Times Opinion pages tackling presidential candidate Jeb Bush’s recent remark that Americans need to work longer hours.  Regardless of the spin you want to believe: it’s about the “nation of takers” belief that Krugman thinks all conservatives have, or Bush’s aides spinning it that it was about part-time workers needing to move to full-time status, Krugman fails factually later in his piece.

First, a brief aside: at the core, Jeb Bush is pointing to an issue that is largely ignored by the left – the labor participation rate.  It is the lowest it has been since the late 1970s.  Conservatively, the unemployment rate would be 7.3% (rather than 5.3%) if the workers that are “missing” from the labor pool were counted as actively looking for jobs.  But no one on the left is talking about that.  Some are starting to discuss the flattening of income but no one is talking about the shrinking labor pool*.

Ok, back on target.  Paul Krugman later opines:

Federal spending on “income security” — food stamps, unemployment benefits, and pretty much everything else you might call “welfare” except Medicaid — has shown no upward trend as a share of G.D.P.; it surged during the Great Recession and aftermath but quickly dropped back to historical levels.

Mr. Krugman is mistaken.  Some simple data digging is all it takes.

Welfare spending as a percentage of GDP

Welfare spending as a percentage of GDP


By using data here and here, it’s easy to create the chart pictured.  Clearly, welfare spending has increased and is the highest it has been as a percentage of GDP.  SO you have this Nobel prize winner for Economics and simple data analysis eludes him.  He has simply become a mouthpiece for the democrats and weak policies that have gotten us to where we are.

Much of the rest of his piece attempts to align Jeb Bush’s beliefs with those of an author of a book published in 1994.  He makes assumptions and guesses and essentially uses his opinion piece as a baseless attack on Mr. Bush.  At least the NY Times had the smarts to put it in the Opinion section where it belongs as it has no factual basis to support the claims.


* Many will argue that the decline is due to the Baby Boomer generation retiring, and while it is true that is the cause of some of the decline, it doesn’t fully support the numbers.  The missing labor force is comprised of folks from across multiple age demographics.