Sadomasochism Writ on a National Scale

So Argentina defaulted! So what?

Well internationally, it is a big deal and a warning.

Argentina defaulted on its debts in 2001, and, as a consequence the only way they have been able to borrow is at high interest rates or from specific funds designed for defaulted nations — but those are sparse. So Argentina went to Hedge Funds in the US, and borrowed.

Argentina paid back, or at least paid interest to the International Monetary Fund and other international funds, but as Socialists are accustomed to do, they want to stiff the private lenders, or, as the President of Argentina calls them, “Vultures.” Their debt is a paltry $1,5 billion to a New York City Hedge Fund.

Many other debtors settled for pennies on the dollar, but the Hedge Fund went to US Court and won a judgment of 100 cents on the dollar! That really annoyed Argentina because if one debtor gets a better deal, all debtors get the same deal!

Argentina is a typical Socialist nation. It has just $26 billion in cash reserves while Apple Computer has $170 billion.

Argentina has 40% inflation rate and its citizens are suffering, but Argentina sits on a huge shale oil potential which, because it is a Socialist nation, international oil companies won’t enter production agreements for fear of their successful operation being appropriated! (It took over a Spanish oil company in 2012, and actually settled with them for $5 billion, which they are paying.)

Of course it is difficult to feel sorry for those who voted for Socialism, and I don’t. Cuba! Venezuela, Argentina…get exactly the government they deserve.

No one knows what will happen in Argentina. It is already an economic basket case and having defaulted twice in 15 years will have to do something. Its salvation is free enterprise, but that is not in the cards — all Socialist nations measure their success in some ethereal concept that does not equate with economic well-being.

It is sadomasochism writ on a national scale.

Mini Quick Hits

There is a battle in San Diego, and if not in your city today it will be soon, and it is about taxis.
In San Diego it revolves about the age of the taxis, which some committee wishes to limit to less than 10 years.

Arghhhhh! At the same time, San Diego has banned Uber from making pickups at the San Diego Airport!

Solution: Free Uber (and its competitors LyFT and Sidecar) from the restriction, and competition from the newer and better cared for cars will drive the taxi owners and operators to get better!
Competition is good. It makes everyone better, and in every city taxis are one thing that desperately need to be better.

Taxi owners, whose association or union have long been heard in the halls of every city, are trying to get Uber to conform to the ancient rules for taxis. They are NOT taxis.
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I have reduced my comments on the war between Israel and Hamas, in which Palestinians get caught in the middle — as happens in every war — because war is intractable in that area.

It SHOULD end only when the Israeli Army reaches the Egyptian border, because that will at least delay the time they have to do it again. That is why we demanded Unconditional Surrender in WWII from both the Germans and the Japanese.

You can tell what happens when we leave before finishing the job: The North Koreans continue to threaten us, causing us to keep thousands of troops for 50 years on the border; causing the Communist North Vietnamese to occupy South Vietnam for 30+ years and kill a MILLION Cambodians; causing ISIS to occupy half of Iraq; and will cause the Taliban to occupy Afghanistan and subjugate millions of women back to the Stone Age.

The Israelis suffer the same way. They have beaten Arab Armies to a fare-the-well, several times, but since they were humane and never occupied the territories, they must do it again and again.

Gaza is a small area. Level it to the Stone Age. Finish the job. I tire of hearing the body count of children in Gaza — we killed a thousand times more children in one day fire-bombing Tokyo, and no radio commentator did a statistic of how many children died compared to the number of Airmen who died in the raid.
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Quick Hits

Arghhhh…. The federal government is at it again!

Or, rather, still!

The latest is the Disability Case Processing System, or DCPS. It is just the latest government computer problem, and in this case a $300 million problem.

Sometimes, the computer problems are relatively small but turn out to be a big problem, like the $30 billion fiasco of an electronic fence on the Border that Boeing had canceled by Homeland Security in 2008.

Sometimes it is huge and costly and very visible like Obamacare, which left taxpayers shaking their heads and still today, clutching their wallets.

Now it is a Social Security computer disaster, a $300 million boondoggle that Lockheed Martin agreed to build six years ago, and which, for each of the last few years has been “three or four years away.”

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The president has played the “Patriotism” card over US corporations using something called “Inversion” — which can be a US corporation buying a cheaper European company, and the transferring the tax base to a nation — often Ireland, to take advantage of lower tax rates.

The purpose of a corporation is to make money! Period! It is not to employ people, or pay taxes, or donate to charity, it is to make money.

Our president apparently does not understand any of the above.

For more than a few years I was invited to the Law School of the Univ. of San Diego to debate their Professor on the subject, but all of the student lawyers disagreed with me.

Obama is a lawyer…’nuff said.

In fact, I argued (because I believe it), that corporations should not give money to “Doers of good deeds” because — quite simply, it’s not the corporation’s money! It’s the Stockholder’s money!

The Stockholders may individually agree with the “donations” or disagree but it’s their money and they have no choice if the corporation gives the money to political or charitable entities.

Give the money to the Stockholders, and let them decide whom they individually support! They do not march in step, politically or charitably.

Marian High School in Chula Vista is listed by Wikipedia as vacant.

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As I recall, the Junior Senator from CorrupTown missed half of his votes in the Senate, so making decisions is not his strong suite. Even the Democrats are grousing that he is just mailing it in until he can make half a mil per speech before his fainting crowds.

That’s O.K. — the world seems to be just fine without US leadership. (Uh-Oh, there goes another crises…power abhors a vacuum, but Russia and Iran can fill it in our absence.)

Latest headline in POLITICO: “Obama immigration Flip-Flop”

“President Barack Obama insisted for years that he had absolutely no legal authority — none whatsoever, zero, zilch — to slow deportations on a broad scale.

Forget everything he’s said.”

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2014/07/barack-obama-immigration-rhetoric-then-vs-now-109352.html#ixzz38VJX0h9c

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European fecklessness is so ingrained, so cultural, that twice in World Wars we have had to rescue them — partly for tribal reasons. When Europe sneezes, Washington gets a cold. The Capitol should be moved to Kansas City to break the European mindset!

Even today we can’t get them to spend half the % of GDP on defense that we do, and we maintain a presence there just because retaking land is so much more costly than defending it.

The Dutch are traders, not fighters, and Russia is a huge trading partner for them. They may bluster, and so will the EU, but in the end it is all for show.

Putin was a Colonel in the old KGB. He knows!

Recovering From a Space Mistake

A Federal Judge has made a major decision that is not getting a lot of press — and, no it is not the latest one that threw a wrench into Obamacare, or the one that threw out the a District of Columbia gun carry rules — those were widely reported, but the SpaceX decision is “inside the (technology) beltway” story.

This nation has been dependent upon Russia for heavy lifting — like putting our Astronauts into the Space Station — but actually a combination of corporations, Boeing and Lockheed Martin (called United Launch Alliance) uses Russian rockets to put US spy Satellites into space. You may have heard that Russia no longer loves us. They have cut off the supply of massive rockets.

For some time, SpaceX has been challenging the contract that the Alliance has been awarded by the Air Force, saying that it was not a proper competitive bid — and at least in step one, SpaceX has won the right to see the Alliance contract. For years SpaceX has said they can launch much cheaper, and, importantly, SpaceX does not use Russian lift rockets.

The Judge’s ruling is just a start. It could be a long legal fight but with the Russian reluctance to sell us rockets, the issue may get settled quickly depending upon how many Russian lift rockets the Alliance has in storage.

It is a $70 billion potential contract, although the initial contract the Alliance is working under is a mere $11 billion.

Space X is getting ready to demonstrate the ability to launch Astronauts to the Space Station.

It can’t come too soon, considering the Russians are not just holding us up to too much money for launches, but threatening to stop launching US Astronauts, altogether.

Just Too Jucy To Ignore!

The revelation that Michael Moore, the fat king of the Occupy movement who rants against the “1%” is himself one of the 1%, is just too juicy to ignore!

(His estimated worth is $50 million)

Because he is undergoing a divorce from his wife of 22 years, Moore has been forced to admit that he owns nine homes, and lives in a 10,000 square foot home on a Michigan lake with neighbors like Madonna and Bruce Willis.

Of course we have all known that Moore, who wrote so lovingly of Cuban medicine, had HIS weight loss attempt in the good ole United States! (It obviously was not Gastric Bypass!) He could have lost a lot of weight just living on the diet of a normal Cuban citizen!

The left, which loves to demonstrate the hypocrisy of “Family Values” types who can’t keep their pants zipped, somehow ignores the mote in their own eye!

Seeking Solutions

I am so tired of hearing that the reason for California students ranking 47th in the nation is that we have so many English Learners who not only score poorly on tests, but hold back the English speakers.

For 14 years, and 6,000 classroom hours I taught Computer Science at a local university, everything from Beginner through Artificial Intelligence, Undergraduate and Graduate, and more than half my students, particularly graduate students, were foreign. Some Indonesian, Thai, Korean and Chinese. Even a Brit or two.

Not once did I slow my delivery because one of them looked puzzled, nor did I have to stop and explain a word — and the reason is simple: They had to pass a State Department proctored exam to demonstrate English proficiency, just for entry on a college Visa.

Yes, I know many of the ESL group in high school do not arrive on a Visa, but the system should remain the same: No one should enter a classroom who does not understand the language. It harms both the person with the language difficulty, and those whose study is compromised while explanations take place.

Immigration, legal and illegal (so the Feds tell me), is a federal matter. Education is a State matter. The federal government should run language classes until such time as the ESL student can be mainstreamed into State public education.

Public education has accepted many non-academic roles to increase its managerial power: Transportation, food services, physical exercise, and now ESL classes.

I don’t care where the ESL students came from, who they are, or how they get here, I t is a federal problem, and the Feds must solve it!

Asking public educational professionals to reduce their non-academic footprint is asking the Sun to rise in the West!

Executives get paid depending upon the size of their domains, and that is why Superintendents and Principals happily accepted non-academic activities — bigger employment rolls and larger budget equal better management salaries.

Every bureaucrat quickly learns that there are two easy paths to higher salary — move to a larger district/city, but that entails moving the family and leaving your Country Club — or growing your domain. Often growing your domain is easier.

The only way to get ESL into the Feds is to appeal to some related federal agency to grow THEIR ranks and budget, and the Feds could then take over their rightful responsibility. The Feds will have to seize it, the public schools will not easily give it up.

We may have to await a Cosmic Event — the schools in Louisiana were really terrible, at least around New Orleans, until Hurricane Katrina struck and destroyed the schools and scattered the students. Governor Jindal seized control of the schools and reconstituted them as Charter Schools. A similar, if less violent event happened in the 1990s, when Massachusetts instituted a pop literacy exam (based on 10th grade literacy) to their incoming teachers — and more than 50% FAILED. The outcry of parents was so great it even overcame the teacher unions, and reform took place.

California must pick its time and place.

Don’t Know Nuthin’ About History

I am sick of reading how the evil Europeans decimated the “Native Americans.” (Actually, they did, but most Native Indians who died never saw a European — they died of Smallpox.)

The way history is being taught these days it is a constant drumbeat of “The US is a terrible place, because our Founders were racists who killed the sweet, loving inhabitants of this land!”

All technologically superior societies overwhelm each and every aboriginal society in history.

Does anyone believe that if the Portuguese, British and Spanish explorers had not found their way to the Americas, that Native Americans would roam the plains unmolested by the modern world today?

Preposterous!

Every inch of America, North And South, would have simply been occupied by a different European or Asian nation.

One more recent “occupation” about which I have written extensively, is Hawaii. King Kamehameha recognized that his aboriginal nation would fall to modernity, and sailed to Britain on a British warship to beg the Crown to TAKE Hawaii!

(The Crown refused! What could they possibly do with a bunch of islands in the middle of the Pacific?)

Nevertheless, if you look at a photo of the Hawaiian State Flag, it has the British flag incorporated in it!

Subsequently, a Russian trader established Forts in Hawaii, on Oahu and two on Kauai and tried to get the Russian Czars to take it (they too refused); and a British warship hoisted the British flag over Honolulu and declared it a British colony for a year (The British Admiral in Hong Kong made him stop)…it is just a question of who shall occupy every place.

Considering the Spanish bloody occupation of Central and South America, the Native Americans had the more benign occupation.

All aboriginal societies fall to ANY technological society. You may not like it — and obviously many ignorant bloggers do not like it — but they may just as well curse the tides.

Step Up!

For many years, immigration has required a Sponsor, who would vouch the immigrant has employment, live with the Sponsor or in Sponsor paid housing, and be fed by the Sponsor if employment was not sufficient. It was required that the Sponsor pay for any required insurance if the immigrant could not (or would not) do so.

For the current influx of illegal immigrants, this could work just as well, if those who support them would just open THEIR homes!

Don’t just “like” on Facebook when illegal immigration stories show up — offer to adopt a family!

Step up!

Clicking “like” on Facebook is empty!

Of course not all immigration stories correctly describe the situation. In the U-T pages is a Commentary about the children “immigrating.’

The children are not “immigrating” — they are crashing the gate and jumping to the head of the line!

A 2009 Pew Center determined that 1/3 of all families in Mexico would like to live in the US, and I suspect the numbers may be higher in Central, and possibly South America.

I would support doubling or tripling the LEGAL quotas. STOP CRASHING THE GATES!

Those who support the illegal immigrants need to step up and adopt a family — then I’ll take them more seriously.

How The Dutch See The Murder of 193 of Its Citizens

The Dutch are not a military country, they are a nation of merchants, and apparently the government of the Netherlands initially misread the anger that the population, because the government — whatever their personal feelings — didn’t react sufficiently to the murder of 193 of their citizens.

The Dutch, even more than most European nations, have elected to deeply ingrained Russian economic interests, particularly oil and gas, into their economies, and Russian Oligarchs but lots of expensive homes, condos and expensive cars!

It does not make introducing strict penalties any easier, particularly if President Obama refuses to open up the spigots on American oil and gas to Europe, leaving the normally feckless Europeans even less interested in taking actions. (They do not need much reason.)

Certainly, one of the aspects of President Obama’s thinking, however small or large, is Obama’s feeling — shared by most if not all Americans, is that Europeans do not carry their weight, and in fact, their percentage of GDP dedicated to defense has always been half of ours.

Name the conflict — Iran, Syria, Ukraine, Iraq, Afghanistan, even the Middle Eastern Israeli/Palestinian conflict, they are all much closer to Europe than the US. My own reluctance to see the US further involved is not so much that we should not help, but that we carry too much of the load.

The Dutch situation I have found from all of my reading, is best described in a POLITICO article, found here: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/07/time-for-the-dutch-to-man-up-109159.html#.U83A6GK9KSM

I STRONGLY recommend it!

Quick Hits (At Least Sort of Quick)

Kudos, in fact “Major League” Kudos to philanthropist David M. Rubenstein! He is one of the three founders of the Carlyle Group, and has a net worth of $3.1 billion!

You may have heard that he put up half the $15 million needed to repair the Washington Monument, damaged by an earthquake (you may remember seeing the scaffolding on TV), BUT “here is the rest of the story.”

Rubenstein is into American history in a major way. He paid $14.2 million to purchase the 1640 Bay Psalms Book, the first book published in America, which he will put on a revolving library loan; $10 million to create a Washington Library at Washington’s Mount Vernon home.

After the Washington Monument was completed, Rubenstein asked the head of the National Park Foundation head, “What else you got?”

The Park Foundation said that he could use $12.3 million to restore Robert E. Lee home that anchors the Arlington Cemetary — it is an imposing Greek Revival mansion in which Lee lived before what my people call, The War Between the States.

I had never seen the grandeur of the Lee residence pre- Civil War, but it is amazing and reminds me that both he, and Washington, rich beyond imagination for their times, left it and went into the fields with their troops to share deprivation for the causes in which they believed.

The other thing is that Rubinstein is an American hero for saving these historical items.

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Democrats are accusing Republicans of holding up many Ambassador nominations.

The fact is that President Obama is the Nomination King Of Bundlers!

Some 40+ bundlers of cash for President Obama’s election or reelection have been nominated, and while the practice is not unheard of, Obama has taken it to a new level.

The nominee to France, is a major league Bundler. The nominee to Argentina admitted he had never been to Argentina! (Oooooops!! ) The nominee to Norway admitted he did not know what form of government that Norway had! (Ooooops in spades!)

As of last October, 46% of all Obama nominated Ambassadors were Bundlers, not State Department professionals.

France, Norway, Argentina, Czechoslovakia, New Zealand, Australia, Luxembourg….the list goes on, but I don’t have time to go past the first two Google pages!

If the president is going to nominate dilettantes, ignorant of the countries to which they are to serve, and whose ONLY skill is raising money for the President, the nation is well-served with stopping this Chicago-like spoils system!

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So, how bad are the San Diego Padres?

So bad that the New York Times has noticed: “At this point, their awful offense is about as bad as any in history, and there are still more than 60 games to be played.”

Ahhhh, yes. They are awful, at least at offense, but their excellent pitching staff has kept them in a few games. The Padres have fired their General Manager, but while he never picked up a bat, he did recruit or select this bunch that is looking to make history.

The best hitter is in the low .280 range, and we just spent weeks remembering the Hall of Fame career of the great Tony Gwynn, who had a .338 batting average for a 15 year career! His WORST season was a .308!

This years Padres have a .214 batting average, and have scored 80 fewer runs than the next worst team — in effect, they are not as good as a good AAA team.

There is no real reason for this — they are not as good as last years team with essentially the same lineup! As I write this, the Padres are behind 3-0 in the first inning with their best pitcher on the mound!

(Sigh!)