Monthly Archives: November 2013

Where’s the KaBoom?! There’s supposed to be an earth-shatering KaBoom?

wheres-the-kaboom-theres-supposed-to-be-an-earth-shattering-kaboom-marvin-the-martian-12-21-12Like Marty Martian many of the lame stream media were/are expecting an earth-shatering explosion when the Senate Democrats went and changes the rules on the Senate Republicans.  What really happened is more like a preemptive strike with an EMP than the kaboom people think about when they heard ‘Nuclear Option’.

All that really has happened is that the majority (aka Democrats) in the Senate changed the rules of the Senate to reflect the customs & traditions or the US Senate before the election of Pres. Obama.  Before 2009 it was the custom in the Senate to not filibuster or put a hold on a presidential nominee unless there was specific reasons to do so and that these reasons would be made public.  The holds by an individual senator was only honored if the senator was from the same State as the nominee.  None of this has been honored by the Senate GOP since 2009 as any objective review of the record shows.

Finally, most Democrats have gotten to the point that they feel if the Republicans do gain control of the Senate next year in the mid-terms, that they will changes the Senate rules on Filibuster anyway.  After all, it today’s atmosphere in Washington, “sauce for the goose is definitely not sauce for the gander”.

Wealth Redistribution and Entropy

money-signs-hiFor sometime now I’ve been working on the idea that wealth is being redistributed all the time, just like energy is.  One of the most fundamental laws of the universe is entropy.  Basically entropy says that energy will move from hot to cold, lots of energy to little of energy, till both are equal.  I’m thinking that wealth works the same, wealth wants to move from high to low concentration.

In any system, if energy is allowed to keep concentrating in one part of the system the energy level will eventually reach a level of concentration that breaks the system so that the energy is released.  Another participle is that no system or transferring energy is 100% efficient,  there is always some energy that gets converted into what is known in engineering as ‘wast heat’.  I think that these same principles have corollaries in economics when dealing with wealth.

So what does this mean?  First it means that wealth will be redistributed, that is, it will move.  That when wealth is moved, there will be some wastage, that 100% of the wealth moving will not reach the destination.  That wealth seeks to be absolutely equally distributed across the economy.  Finally when wealth is absolutely equally distributed the system will stop.

Gotcha!  I bet some of you thought I was going to justify a Socialist view.  Well, I’m not, nor am I going to justify a Capitalist system, nor any other Socioeconomic theory.  What I’m attempting to do is look at true nature of wealth and how it behaves.  Once we know that we can then move on to the questions of what kind of Socioeconomic system is the best, and how do we build it.


“the Fraternal Order of Them What Has Been Shot At”

Bill Mauldin
Bill Mauldin

This is the 95th anniversary of the armistice that we mark the end of “The Great War”.  Since WWII we have used this day to honor all who serve in our national military.  Me, I take this day to give special honor & thanks to all those who are, as Bill Maulden called members of  “the Fraternal Order of Them What Has Been Shot At”.  For me, this order includes all those who got close enough to the enemy (AKA Other Guys) to be shot at, and were.

So join me in a hearty and sincere ‘Well Done’  & ‘I remember’ to all those who really know what war is all about.

The Social Safety-net & the poor U.S. of A.

MrPooter Image
The Richest Man in Bedford Falls Owner of half of the town

For the past several days I’ve been listening to the talking heads, Right, Left, and Lame Stream, and I was caught by one of the talking points in the forefront. This was that we, the USA, can not ‘afford’ to support the social safety-net.  That is Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and the ACA.

What came to me is that do they understand just what they are saying?  They are saying that the US of A is too poor to fund this programs.  That a country with $16.6 trillion in June 2013 (estimate) can NOT find the money to fund the social-safety net.  That it costs more than fighting wars in two countries half way around the world for ten years?  That it is more a financial burden than expanding the NSA/CIA/FBI/DHS anti terrorism intelligence? That we can afford massive farm, energy, corporate subsidies?

Do conservatives & libertarians really want to play the ‘poor mouth’ game?  If they do, I think they will rue-the-day.  History is full of examples of people saying they can’t afford to do something, when what they mean is that they can’t afford something with out giving something up.  To put it in a more personal way….What would people think of someone with income that is one fifth of the towns total wealth who says he can’t afford help out a close relative who has fallen on hard times?  Shades of Mr. Potter.

Think about it.

Me and the ACA

This is a red letter day for me, my MediCal application has been accepted.  This means that UCLA et al will be paid by MediCal in total since I was making less than $600/Mo when I had my hart attack last year.  The bad news is that because I had to retire, my hart is too week for me to work, and I’m now living solely on Social Security.  It seems that MediCal feels that now make too much and from now on any time in any given month I will have to pay the first $840 for any medical.  For someone like me that is just as good as having nothing but catastrophic.

I wanted to see what the ACA could do for me next year.  Being a Californian I went to Covered California and found several plans under $100 with very low co-pays (usually $20).  So if the rules of MediCal don’t change this coming January I have something to fall back on.  The old system sucked for anyone in my situation.  Uninsurable people like me, I had preexisting condition(s) that every insurance company I contacted used to turn me down.  Under ACA this is no longer the case.  Nice now that I have a condition I need to see the doctor every three to six months and I now need to take 9 different Meds every day too.  Even the poorest, lest expensive plan on the site will be much better for me than what MediCal is doing for me currently.

I plan to keep posting my adventure thru Medical Insurance, MediCal and the ACA. So keep an eye out for my next exciting chapter.  An to everyone out there who want to scrap ACA and go back to the wonderful system we had before I say this 😛

I don’t think that word means what you think it means?

Today I’m going to talk about one of my most favorite subjects, the Constitution of the United States.  More specifically,  2nd Amendment and to start things off, I will quote the Amendment (When I was just getting started in my studies of the Constitution I heard  Justice Hugo Black say that he never relied on his memory when quoting the Constitution, he read it.)

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

With the shooting at LAX this morning I’m already hearing some people advocating more armed people at the airport. So I’m going to point out that as things stand now with the “McDonald v. Chicago” decision the right of the individual to keep & bare arms is a fundamental personal right.  An that means any law or regulation that infringe on that right must pass the ‘strict scrutiny’ test or be declared unconstitutional.  I will not bother to debate the rightness of ruling, the fact of the mater it is the law of the land.  What I’m going to talk about is what was missing from the ruling.  What is missing is any procedure or test or anything that will help anyone to know just what is meant by arms.

Because the definition in law is not simple (there are several competing definitions but not one of them is blessed by SCOTUS) definition it is any ones guess on just what the Constitution means.  Many of the pro gun rights supporters hold that it means ‘guns’.  There not wrong, but they’re not right either.  Arms does include guns, but it also includes things like horse tack and cavalry sabers.  If you take the ‘originalist‘ view of the Constitution arms means everything from pikes, axes, and knives to flintlock pistols to cannon, to ships of war.  What we call ‘weapons systems‘ today.

I have no philosophical with using this definition of arms, but I do have a few practical objections.  Mainly I have a hard time coming up with a logical and rational rule that keeps WMD out of the hands people who should not have it and still let people to have SAWs.  Yes, the court can just rule on the specific law without coming up with any test but that will take up a lot of time of the court to adjudicate each and every one of the type and class of weapons.  Not something they will likely like doing.  Also remember that what ever the court decides on any given case will be used by the legislature, aka the Congress,  to write laws that will pass muster.

Nor can we just use common any more successfully.  Just consider the word “gun”.  In common usage it means small arms, pistols & rifles. But it also means 14″ coastal artillery or the main batteries of a the USS Wisconsin.  We have the same problem with rifle (106 recoilless rifle for example) just to name one.

This is why I dislike the “McDonald v. Chicago” decision, it gives us the right to have every type of weapon ever made and no guidance on how to keep most of those weapons out of the hands of people who should not have them.