Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Free Market Solution to the Immigration Problem

The nation is tearing itself apart over the issue of immigration. We all know that many who swim the Rio Grande are coming here to escape grinding poverty and the terrors of the drug wars. As Americans we can sympathize. But several million people swimming the Rio Grande every year makes for a real problem for our economy, our culture and our safety. The good illegals don't come alone. Within their numbers are a lot of really terrible people. So why are we so reluctant to do something to stem the tide? Certainly what our government allows our border patrol to do is woefully inadequate. In fact, our reluctance to enforce our borders may downright encourage the problem by making any consequences negligible. Humans are really good at making the risk vs. rewards calculation.

The problem comes down to a dysfunctional economic system that provides incentives, not only for illegals to cross the border, but for employers to encourage it. Employers who have menial labor jobs to offer don't want to pay a lot of money. The less they pay, the more they make. They are, after all, competing against third world countries that use underpaid menial labor to do the same things. So the menial labor employers create work camps (in Texas we call them colonias - colonies of illegal alients). Employers send pickups every morning to the colonias to load up workers and take them to the fields. The wives and children remain home where the kids are picked up for school in buses and the wives barter things purchasable with food stamps for rides to town in the back of pickups to town to buy groceries. These shopping trips can cost
anywhere from $50 - $100 per trip. The colonias are frequently in isolated areas, have little or no running water, sewerage or trash pickup. Health care is non-existent and conditions are miserable. Once there, you remain there; to poor to escape.

This "system" works well for the employers, but creates a kind of slavery for the illegal aliens trapped in it, living hand to mouth and unable to get ahead. Trapped by the "system" and the language barrier, exploited and abused, these folks are the victims of the unwillingness of government to close the borders and to arrest the employers who exploit these refugees. The whole mess is tolerated by everyone because, bad as it is, it's at least a solution to the problem and keeps all those people from starving en masse.

"Round 'em up," you say. Well, the problem with that is that if you began rounding these people up and shipping them back home you'd create a tragedy that would make the "Trail of Tears" look like a Sunday picnic with millions dumped back into countries that can't handle the sudden influx of their own expatriate citizens. 

The only solution to the problem is to CLOSE THE BORDERS TO ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION.  Do it now. Make it stick.

Notice I said illegal immigration. Leave in place the proper kind of immigration. For that matter, we could even add a little humanitarian immigration without doing damage to our economy, but whatever happens we need to install a spigot or we're going to drown with it the way the flood is rising. Once that is done, we could let the free market system begin to take hold and clean up the problem naturally. As the unlimited supply of new, ignorant and easily exploited workers dries up, employers will be forced to compete against each other for the dwindiling supply of laborers. When it gets harder to find laborers, employers will have to up the wages they pay to attract them. As that happens, the laborers begin to buy cars, homes and to save money, reducing the would-be slaveowner's power over them. It would have to be a long process and like it or not, the only humane way to do it would be to create a guest worker program for those already here. As Americans we do not want to effectively murder millions of human beings, whose only crime was wanting a better life, by tossing them back into the horrors they tried to escape back in their home countries. Of course, there are criminals among them and I have no qualms about catapulting them back to Mexico or wherever they came from, but there are some cruelties Americans will not inflict on their fellow man.

Let's face it. Closing the borders is the first priority. Without that, the free market system cannot correct the problem and progressive meddling sure as hell hasn't fixed the problem; only exacerbated it. Feeding the problem with food stamps and subsidies only encourages exploitative employers to continue doing what they are doing. Actually it encourages them to do less than they are currently doing because the government is taking care of it now so they no longer have to.

You want to round somebody up, round up the exploiters who make money off the misery of illegal immigration. Send them to Mexico. We don't care that they don't come from there. It would be worth it to get these parasites out of the United States. We ended slavery more than a century ago. Let's not have a revival of it in the new millenium.

© 2014 by Tom King

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Pseudo-Science Doubles Down - The Global Climate Change Fraud

Al Gore's new 9 million dollar oceanside villa -
The House That Global Warming Built

With the "settled science" of global climate change having proved so spectacularly wrong over the past six decades, one wonders whether God is messing with those who believe that mere humans can fiddle with Earth's thermostat (or believe that they even should). Truth is, that we cannot protect ourselves from disasters and Mother Nature will do what she wants to do with Earth's climate. It's been done before in Babylon where they decided that, in order to insure God couldn't get them again, they'd just build this giant tower to get above the rising flood waters. Look how well that ended.

It seems, the takeaway from all the climate brouhaha is that we really can't do much about the climate, either by causing it to change or by "correcting" the changes that are happening.  I mean, I suppose we could blow ourselves up with nukes and eliminating ourselves from the planet, but that might not even make much of a difference.

If we do slaughter ourselves, however we do it, Nature will clean up after us and then go on about it's business.
Even atomic weapons have shown little of the horrific after-effects everyone predicted. You can visit a memorial in Hiroshima and Nagasaki today on the actual ground where they dropped the A-bomb without becoming a zombie mutant. Nuclear weapons, I was told as a child, would make a place uninhabitable for 50,000 years. Apparently, not so much.

First it was going to be global cooling and a sudden Ice Age. Then they changed the name of the "threat" to global warming and predicted the rising of the seas and the inundation of the Earth (remember Waterworld). Now it's global climate change, a science-for-all-seasons that jumps on any change in weather and takes credit for it on behalf of the human race. Virtually any other science, who's experiments, computer models and predictions had failed so miserably, would have been abandoned and relegated to the realm of superstition and pseudo-science long ago like its predecessors - astrology, alchemy and phrenology (that's the one where you read the bumps on people's heads and predict their psychological makeup).

Unfortunately, there is little likelihood that global climate studies will be abandoned as a bad job any time soon. The spectre of global disaster is far too useful a bugaboo for whipping up the proletariat into a frenzy and then convincing them to accept the kind of lower level lifestyle required to sustain progressive socialism. Once most of us trouble-makers, the working rich and middle class primarily, are suppressed and living in government housing, drawing our food stamps and riding public transportatio so that our movements are easier to track, the elite leader class will be better able to insure minimum standards of health and safety. I say "minimum" standards because that's what bureaucrats call the rules designed to make us all the same as much as possible "minimum" is what you usually get. The guys who set those kinds of standards, by the way, will be, themselves, exempt from the frugal lifestyle of the proletariate. After all, they argue, since they saved us from global climate change, don't they deserve a few perks?

The whole global climate change fraud is more about convincing the peasants that they owe it to the Earth to get by on less so that the really important people of the Earth can afford to fly 1700 or so private jets to a "climate conference" in Switzerland at the height of the ski season. It's no accident that rich people, politicians and scientists looking for big grant money are the primary ones so "concerned" about climate change. They've never had so good a tool for protecting their wealth from the greedy peasantry.

Even the richest church in the world is getting in on the global climate change hysteria. Its leader has instructed the church's members to get on the global climate change bandwagon (and while they're at it to oppose capitalism). Meanwhile, the church has been busily trying to re-establish its position of leadership at the head of the religions of the world by reuniting Protestants and Catholics and becoming head of a United Religions - a parallel organization to the United Nations. One of the pontiffs in question even called for a single world government made up of trade unions, industrial associations, world political parties and movements. He also suggested that such a government have "teeth" to keep unruly nations like the U.S. in line, making the case that such is necessary to save the planet.

I have to wonder whether God is getting a little tired of the level of arrogance His children have got to. Do we NOT remember Babel. The post-deluvians wanted to protect themselves in case God ever got mad at them and sent another flood. That enterprise didn't turn out too well for them. I suspect, neither will this one. Given how wildly off their predictions have turned out to be, it's starting to look like God is deliberately messing with the global climate change scientists. One climatologist (later proved a fraud) predicted snow free winters in Britain. The very next winter Britain got a 50% increase in snow setting snowfall records for the previous century or more.

If we seriously try to implement the Tower of Babel strategy that politicians and climate change advocates are pushing, are we inviting disaster? I'd expect that since this time there are more of us and we seem to be up to a great deal more shenanigans collectively, God may give us something a little more spectacular than lightning bolts and communication difficulties this time.

One wonders what God will do to the weather next and what convoluted story Al Gore and his ilk will tell us in order to keep gas in their Gulfstreams and pay those $4,000 a month electric bills their mansions run up?

For further reading:
  1. Environmentalists Wild Predictions by Walter Williams
  2. Pope Francis Calls for Action on Climate Change and Capitalism on a "Planet Exploited by Human Greed"
  3. Embarrassing Predictions Haunt the Global Warming Industry by Alex Newman
  4. 13 Most Ridiculous Predictions Made on Earth Day, 1970 by Jon Gabriel

    © 2014 by Tom King


Monday, January 26, 2015

Where are the Wild Killer Pigeons When You Need Them?

Roger Ebert - Professional Curmudgeon
I love the Internet, but there is one issue that I do have with it. It's not the Internet's fault. The Internet only allows it to be worse than it would be without it. Having Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and all the rest, gives us a platform from which to anonymously exercise our more unlovely tendencies to criticize our neighbors in order to make ourselves feel superior.

In the Garden of Eden, the Devil told two lies.

  • He told Eve that if she sinned, she wouldn't die.
  • He told Eve that the sin would make them like gods, knowing good and evil (as though that were a good thing).
Well, he's back at it again with a very excellent new tool we've created for ourselves - The Internet.

And it's the same lies. By giving us fancy platforms like blogs and Facebook pages, each of us is given a high castle from which to rain down criticism on the Earthlings below. No matter how big the target, be they presidents, pop singers or pastors, we can sit snug in our little fortresses and demonstrate how much smarter and better we are than others. 

On the Internet we're like little gods knowing what is good and what is stupid and telling lesser mortals what they should think about virtually everything. Also, on the Internet, we (or at least our brilliant criticisms) are immortal or as close as we can get to immortality as server technology can make us.

Because of the seductive call of Internet fame, we are fast becoming a nation of critics. We spout off constantly, making godlike pronouncements about things we know nothing about and couldn't do ourselves if we tried.

This is particularly true in the realm of art and entertainment. I've fallen in the trap myself of trashing a film or book I don't like. Why? It certainly will have little impact on anyone else. Once I realized this was going on, I tried to tone it down. These days I try to limit my criticism to things I feel are a threat to the freedom we enjoy in America and to the safety and security of our world. So, I'm stuck with politics and religion. In the arts I try to issue more positive reviews than negative ones.

As Thumper's Father said, "If you can't say something nice about someone, don't say nuthin' at all."

So, why do people feel the need to criticize movies, books, music and such. I mean the people they are trashing are people who actually made movies, books, music and such. Instead of talking endlessly about how bad everybody else's work was, they went out and by dint of hard work and effort, they created a work of art themselves and got it into the public square. If you haven't done that yourself, do you really think you have any grounds to tell other people whether it's of value or not.

I mean, what have you done lately that makes you an expert?

There's the old say about "Them that can do. Them that can't teach. Them that can't teach become critics."

Not to be critical, but this critic-written
film got a thumbs down from me.
When really good critics do try to do whatever it is they are criticising, the results are often not pretty at all. Rogert Ebert, the famous and influential movie critic, actually wrote a screenplay once - the truly awful "Beyond the Valley of the Dolls". All the critics said it was bad. The film, directed by the notorious Russ Meyer, was mostly about getting the clothes off a series of pretty starlets. Ebert never bragged about having written that film. I heard he tried to get his name taken off it as writer.

Anyway to avoid filling my brain up with unrelenting negativity, I try to avoid these sorts of snarky, nasty critical websites and TV shows that try to tell me which movies I shouldn't watch and what things I'm supposed to like and not like. I find that when I like what I like and do what I want to do without regard to what self-important stuffed shirts think, that I'm a much, much happier person.

As to critics? Well, as they say, "You can't live with 'em. Can't feed them to wild killer pigeons."

© 2014 by Tom King

Friday, January 23, 2015

King Salman Ascends to the Saudi Throne - Vows Not To Swim in Puget Sound

Prince Salman

King Abdullah is Dead. The 89 year-old king kicked the bucket yesterday. The 79 year-old Prince Salman will succeed him on the throne of the Kingdom of Saud.

Long live King Salman.

That said, the King should not swim in Puget Sound during the months of June, July and August. It's King Salmon season and Washington State's fishermen are notoriously poor spellers.

© 2014 by Tom King

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Democrat NY Assembly Speaker Arrested - Press Shrugs

Contrast this photo of Speaker Silver on his way to his arrest looking vaguely
like Boss Tweed with the pics in most of the mainstream press this morning.

(1-22-2015) Both Winston Churchill and Ronald Reagan both described attempts to appease your enemy as "Feeding the crocodile, hoping it will eat you last." It may have been "alligator". I've heard it both ways. At any rate, New York State Assembly Speaker, Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan) was arrested in New York City, adding some credence to that notion. The crocodiles definitely smell blood in the water, though some of them are holding back a little, apparently hoping not to damage him too much in case he hasn't run out of croc-o-treats quite yet.

I first got news of the Speaker's arrest in an email flash from Fox News. I can't say I was surprised, but I got to wondering if anyone else had it. My first sweep didn't find much besides Fox's report. Around 10:00 am PST the reporting went like this: 

Fox Business News had a pretty straightforward report, predictably without a lot of puffy praise for the Speaker's past accomplishments. The story didn't dwell on his being a Democrat in the headalines, but did indicate in the lead picture that Silver was (D-Manhattan).

Fox News didn't lead with the story but it gave the link to the Fox Business News Story at the top of it's "Latest News" ticker.
CNN didn't have a story at all when I searched the site this morning, the day after the arrest. Perhaps they're holding back to see whether this is a "real" story or not.

ABC News never directly said that Silver was a Democrat, but talked about how Democrats reacted to the arrest, obliquely suggesting that Silver was their leader. ABC talked about the Democrats needing to change leadership and then quoted a prominent Democrat, Daniel O'Donnell as saying there was "no chance of that." The article ended with praise for Silver's work over the years, making him sound like a warrior in a noble cause, then admitted there had been signs of scandal in the past that the Speaker had dismissed as "...having been handled by the ethics committee."

NBC News didn't have the story listed as a leading story and a search turned up nothing this morning.

CBS News, one of the better "which way the wind is blowing" members of the media did post the story with the headline - Sheldon Silver, powerful New York Democrat, arrested by FBI. The link was well down toward the bottom of the page, but at least they covered it. They also posted a recent picture showing Silver looking like a craggy old white guy in the back of a limo - the sort of perp walk picture you'd expect under a headline like the one above. The reporter did use the same text clip that ABC used about the Dems contemplating no changes in leadership by Assemblyman Daniel O'Donnell (D-Manhattan) though they did add this extra line from O'Donnell's quote - "It's "a sad day considering" all the work Silver and the conference have done protecting New York's poor and others."

MSNBC, perhaps hoping to avoid charges of one-sided reporting, listed the story well down at number nine in its top ten stories. The story is surprisingly up-front about the charges and the fact that Silver is a Democrat. Then, it waxes poetical....

"Silver, 70, was elected in 1976 and named Speaker in 1994, where he took a key role negotiating bills and hammering out budgets with the Senate majority leader and governor in back rooms. He earned a reputation as an unmovable force in the capital, while governors came and went and other legislators were felled by political blunders.  Silver’s office has not yet commented on details of the arrest. Investigators declined to comment on proceedings to NBC News. State lawmakers are legally allowed to serve during investigation and even after an arrest, but if they are convicted of felony charges they must leave office."

Good news that. Silver won't have to leave office till they actually convict him, huh? Also MSNBC's picture of the Speaker was of him when he was younger and less "old craggy white guy".

The Huffington Post to its credit placed the story third down on both it's front page and politics page and included a very nice picture of him (though the picture was probably a few years old). The headlines were Sheldon Silver Arrested By FBI On Corruption Charges and Top NY Lawmaker Arrested By FBI On Corruption Charges. The story was quick and straightforward without a lot of puff. It ended by quoting Silver, as he was quoted by the NY Times, saying, "I hope I'll be vindicated," as he entered the FBI building in New York to surrender. The story was surrounded by Huff-Po's usual collection of gleefully anti-Republican front-pagers.

Imagine if Silver had been a Republican. Given that he's also an Orthodox Jew, I really doubt the liberal press would have granted him as much of a "by" on this one, especially given the anti-semitic tone of reporting coming from the left of late. The headline in all the news media certainly would NOT have been about under-inflated footballs.

© 2014 by Tom King

Saturday, January 17, 2015

The FCC Takes Another Run At Net Neutering

Since telephone deregulation, Lily Tomlin's Ernestine
from the phone company sketch isn't funny anymore. The.
phone company now has competition and can no longer
bully customers like Ernestine did in the comedy sketches.

The FCC is at it again after they lost a lawsuit that threw out an attempts to create so-called Net Neutrality regulations. They're back with a 1930s style regulatory scheme that makes the Internet a public utility regulated heavily by the government - coming in February. Net Neutrality they're calling it. I call it Net Neutering.

In essence it gives us locked in rates, locked in connection speeds and ties the hands of Internet providers to regulate the delivery of Internet service as they see fit. If you grew up before the de-regulation of the telephone industry, you'll know what that means.

Prior to deregulation it cost you hundreds of dollars a month and a six to 12 month wait to get a car phone. After deregulation, within a few short years we were carrying cell phones in our pockets for a fraction of the cost. If you'd like an idea what pre-deregulation phone service was like (back when the government "regulated" phone service), get hold of one of Lily Tomlin's old skits about the phone company and you'll get an idea of where the Internet will be headed.  It's rather like communism - everyone equally misereable as government regulation suppresses the quality of Internet access for everyone. It's the old shared misery of communism/socialism all over again.

Think slowing down your streaming video on Hulu and Netflix to where it jerks and jumps so that Joe Blow can publish cat videos that jerk and jump in high def on his blog, just like the big guys. I can guarantee a major degradation across the board since competition between carriers will be virtually eliminated. So where will the motivation be to provide faster service? 

It's the old idea that if everyone is forced to be the same, suddenly, out of the goodness of our collective hearts, we all will strive to make everything better. It's kind of like thinking that if the boat sinks, the way to save lives is to have all the drowning people and all the swimming people clump together into one big mass and hope everyone decides to swim equally hard, only better because they have drowning people clinging to them and trying to climb on their heads.

One thing though: Internet customer service will probably be better - you'll be told they can't do anything about your probably because of government regulation in half the time it takes them to fix your problem now.

© Daily Tech

Won't it be a brave new world once the government controls the last free market on the planet? 

Yeah, right.

© 2015 by Tom King

Friday, January 9, 2015

A Tale of Two Wealthies

There are two classes of wealthy people:

1. The working rich from whom progressive socialists want to take money to give to the poor so they don't have to give to the poor themselves.

2. The pretending-to-be-working-but-aren't rich over whom those same progressive socialists fawn and go all atwitter (sometimes literally).

It is a sad fact that nothing elicits the admiration of the masses like someone who looks down on them. We are endowed by our creator with a natural desire to love and adore Him who is greater than ourselves. Sadly, too many of us have chosen earthly gods for ourselves and that natural tendency to worship that which is greater than ourselves has been co-opted.

I blame Satan, of course, but I also blame the short-sighted "masses" who have chosen to worship something more like themselves rather than someone who is so beyond them they can hardly comprehend Him. The original temptation Satan offered in the Garden of Eden was that we should seek to be gods ourselves. Failing in that (though not without trying), we've elected gods for ourselves and elevated them to airy heights where, apparently oxygen-deprived, they go all stupid. That's the only way I can explain the monumental dim-wittedness of the idle "progressive" rich. I mean really. What are these guys thinking?

Well, actually, I suppose the question should be more like, "What are these guys NOT thinking?"

Just one man's opinion.

Tom King

PS: I want to thank Paul Gleiser for the Inspiration for this post. Paul's blog on East Texas Station KTBB is well worth reading whenever you get the chance. It's one of only a handful of blogs I subscribe to.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

An Open Letter to the Federal Election Commission

Dear FEC Commissioners,

The right of free speech, especially that of free "political" speech is enshrined in the first amendment to the Constitution of the United States. I am, therefore concerned that the FEC is considering ways to further increase the FEC's power to regulate political speech online. The federal government has already over-stepped its bounds in regulating the messages I am able to see and hear on television, radio and other public forums. The FEC already regulates the paid placement of political advertisements on the Internet. We do NOT need to give the government power to further regulate free speech by individual Americans.

Existing regulations already suppress a robust debate over our nation's futureis. Increasing government meddling with the sacred American right to voice his opinions in the public square is a very very BAD idea, I don't care whether you are on the political left or the hard right. Regulating what can appear on blogs, social media, video platforms and other places online is a clear violation of the First Amendment. The Internet IS the modern public square. We have the right to assemble there, to speak there and to worship there if we wish and no politician has the right to take those sacred rights from us in order to protect his or her cushy government job.

We know who to turn our backs on without our nannies in government having to tell us what is worthy to see and hear and what is not. Handing to a government agency the power to control what we see and hear opens the door to abuse by those who disagree with what is being said by American citizens. The problem with bureaucracies with too much power is that eventually they seek, not to protect the rights of the citizens they serve, but instead to protect their own jobs in government "service". If you wish to "serve" do so by protecting the citizens you represent. We can decide for ourselves what we believe. We are not a stupid people. We realize that there are liars in the public square. You do not need to point them out to us. There are frauds and phonies out there raising their voices and demanding our attention. We know that already. Leave us be to deal with them ourselves.

As a citizen I should be able to say what I wish in the open forum of the Internet so long as I do not harm others or suppress the speech of others. Remember this. Just because a majority of opinions being expressed in the public square disagree with your own, does not mean that those opionions are wrong or that they need to be suppressed. Sometimes, you simply lose the debate. Sometimes even, if the citizens dislike what you're doing, you may lose your job if you do not act in good faith to represent those citizens. That is one of the great checks and balances we citizens reserve as a way to limit the power of government to oppress us.

Placing increased power to regulate speech on the Internet in the hands of any government agency is not only dangerous, but also hands the Commission the kind of power to suppress that almost inevitably expands to suppress economic activity and screw up whole economies. The Internet is the last bastion of free market capitalism we have left. We tamper with that at our peril. Like the market for goods and services, the market of ideas and beliefs has made America strong for almost a quarter of a millenium. We do well to continue to protect what has made us strong.

The Internet is the the most democratized marketplace we have in this rapidly changing world. It is given to you to protect that marketplace for the free exchange of goods, services and ideas. You are not called to shape that marketplace to your own ideas of what is fair and just and right, only to keep it open and free. Let us decide what we want to listen to and who we want to ignore. We are grownups. Please do not arrogantly treat us like dim-witted children. In doing so you insult all Americans.

Thank you for your consideration.


Tom King

Friday, January 2, 2015

Trolls and Restaurants and Pot-Heads Oh My!

Half the fun of this article in "Food and Wine about potheads face-planting in the middle of their meals at Denver restaurants, is the phony hate-speech from obviously phony "conservative" commenter. These stereotypical haters have such obvious names as I_H8_hippies, which no self-respecting hippie-hater would ever take as an avatar name.

But by posting such drivel, the fake hippie haters give the pro-pot crowd an excuse for some pretty hateful speech themselves in defending their beloved weed. What's odd is that some of them, while defending weed as God's gift to man's anxiety, also are in the same crowd that wants people to have jail time for smoking tobacco. This "Brave New World" we live in has apparently found its "Soma" and one of the unexpected results is that food servers are now having to learn how to re-animate marijuana users who lose consciousness over their tortellini. Apparently, these true believers in the magic of "ganga" actually believe the hype that you can do all the THC you want and there will be no side effects. 

Let the brain damage begin.

© 2014 by Tom King