They Get Paid for That!

The wife and were busy eating in a restaurant. She pointed to the speaker above us and said, “They get paid for that.”

She was, of course, referring to annoying, repetitive noise coming from above. It reminded me of the days when I worked in a restaurant. At that time, the company had a special radio that played pleasant music for our customers. Don’t know so much about what customers thought. They never said one way or the other. On the other hand, I knew exactly what the other employees thought about it. It would seem some folks like repetitive noise.

The point is, some of us really would prefer quiet as appo to repetitive noises, especially the yelling kind. Maybe it would be better if we stopped paying for junk.

Then again, I just might start bringing in my noise canceling head phones. After all, it is their function. Of course, if I did that, there would be no more conversing with my wife as we eat. I don’t much like that. I would rather the restaurant not pipe in the annoyance.

Notice the Connection?

Suddenly, Budwiser appears to be trying to commit corporate suicide, losing, not just millions, but billions in a few days.

Overnight, Target starts losing their billions. Why?

It seems they know better than we, the public. About what? About cross gendering. With Budwiser, it is their choice of spokesman during a TV ad. With Target, it was their choice of products to push.

Kind of a dumb thing to do while the object is to make money. If you watch, you get the idea it’s not their goal. It literally isn’t. Corporate boards are no longer required to represent the shareholders by making profits for them.

A short time ago, Joe came out with an executive order allowing corporations to make decisions based on social, environmental, and governmental reasons too. Now doesn’t that make you feel better about you 401k?

All y’ll invested in Target and Budwiser must feel good about now.

Inflation : Bad for Folks; Good for US Government

I’m not writing anything new. Most everyone knows it. I’m just, so to speak, putting it in one box. How-some-ever, I am sure I will leave at least 1 thing out, maybe 2.

First bad for folks:

  1. Increase in cost of living, for example, fuel, food, utilities and autos. I am sure you can add a few.
  2. Increased interst rates. This adds to the cost of just almost everything.
  3. Loss of value of savings. If you have a 1000 dollar savings account, it gains value by the bank interest while losing value by the rate of inflation. Bank int=3%. Inflation rate=6%. Annual Loss in value 3%. On the other hand, if you just hide the money in your mattress, the value will decrease at 6%. If you stuffed 1000 in that mattress, you’ll have to stuff an additional $60 a year into that mattress just to maintain the value.
  4. It eats into earnings. Assuming a 6% inflation, you will need greater than a 6% increase in earnings to maintain value of earnings. Bear in mind, with greater income, your income tax will also increase. Hope the company you work for provides healthy raises.
  5. Finally, saddest of all. Those who have set retirement payments will have the buying power of those payments dwindle. In just a short time, he or she will have to struggle just to pay the landlord. Indeed, some older folks have gotten the boot, primarily because of inflation. Moreover, don’t get the idea that Social Security COLA increases keep up with true inflation. COLAs don’t take many things into consideration. I virtually live off Social Security. I know.

Secondly, consider the benefits to government

  1. Increase in revenues due to greater incomes and number of people in higher brackets.
  2. Debts incurred by the government are repaid by lower value dollar values. Considering $1000 of 10 year bonds will be repayed with, per se, $800 dollars value. Generally speaking the interest on federal bonds is far less than the inflation rates. Hence, buying federal bonds might be more secure than that mattress, but it’s not much better on the return, either.
  3. Ironically, it “increases” the value of the gold reserves. However, this is really an error in perception. The value of the gold remains relatively constant. The paper, on the other hand, is worth less.

Unfair Author Advantage

For a while today, I listened to The Sean Hannity Show.  Only he was on vacation.  Greg Jarrett was subbing for him, and not well.  All he would talk about for the thirty minutes I listened was how good his new book was, “Trial of the Century.”

I actually like the man.  I’ve enjoyed his take on things.  He seems very knowledgeable on the law.  Thing is, I have known the result of the Scopes Trial since grade school.  I still wished it had come out differently.  It reinforced Darwin’s theory of evolution.

All that said, it is neither here nor there.  The man has an unfair advantage as an author.  I’ve written over thirty books.  No one is going to let me on his show and talk about any of them for thirty minutes, telling just how wonderful they are, and they are good.  You really can believe me.

The fact of the matter is, he is not the only one with a leg up in the world of authors.  Hannity, himself has written a few books, which he did hype but not to the degree that Jarrett has.  I read and enjoyed a couple of books by Mark Lavin.  I will certainly recommend his work as he does make some good points in the books.

Okay, maybe I can take a moment or two to write on one of my writings.  The name of the book is “Stormy.”  I’d like to tell you about it, but it will ruin it if I say too much.  However, I will say this.  It would make a very good movie.  It’s not just my opinion but most of those who have read it.

I considered sending it to movie studio, but I found things don’t work that way.  After considerable research, I found three things.  One, they throw away all books they receive, or at least, that is what they say on the internet.  Second, I can’t find a good address.  If you know one, how about letting me know.

Third, and most important, movie studios mostly just provide a shell.  Production companies make the movies and pay for the use of the studios.  Hence, my book really needs to go to a production company (or a producer).  I suspect many production companies start up for a production and then go away.

At any rate, this is how my movie, Stormy would start out.  Of course, there would be a storm.  There would be small cracks of lightings and thunders in an evening sky of an area of southern US.  The lone car would be going down the country road with the windshield wipers going full speed and the man driving the car is straining to see his way.

Suddenly, there is a huge bolt of lightning and the screen goes dark.  In large letters, the title appears in large letters and the thunder is heard rolling off into the distance.

The credits start rolling as the camera goes back to the poor man trying desperately to find an address.  As the credits begin, we hear the song Stormy.

I spent some time thinking about this.  If it can be arranged, the original 1968 recording might be best.  If the movie was a success, then the song might be re-released and have a second success.  On the other hand, a new recording, with or without words might be nice.  I simply don’t know which would be best.

At any rate, after the first verse, the credits would pause as would the song and the car.  The driver is comparing the address on his paper with the one on the mailbox.  Confirming it, he grabs his umbrella and hat.  As a sea captain, he’s used to the weather but would prefer to stay as dry as possible in this situation.

He exits the car, opens the umbrella.  Then the music and credits resume.  He makes his way to the door, still thinking things over.  He’s still not sure if he should go through with his visit or if he should simply return home.  After all, in all probability there is just no way the young man, Scott, could help him, or would want to.

Finally, he knocks on the door….

Okay.  I’m sure this is already far too long for some.  For those interested, maybe you’d like to order the book.  Just go to my author’s page (Ben Rhodes), select the digital or paperback.  (DO NOT CONFUSE WITH BEN RHOES, THE LIBERAL POLOTICIAN! Ben Rhodes is my name I had it long before the other guy arrived on the scene.) It is the one book I paid to have professionally edited so, hopefully, you won’t find too many errors.  Thing is, after paying 8,000 dollars for the editing, after proofreading it two more times, I still found errors, mostly simple ones.  I suspect I will find more if I proofread it a third time.  I do believe most will enjoy the plot, and the few surprises along the way.

Intentional Meritocracy

I have told the story before.  It bears repeating every other year or two, even if no one wants to hear it.  Mostly, the pro union people don’t like hearing it.  However, it is an objective example of how unions encourage meritocracy.

My father was a carpenter.  At fifty, he was on a major union job in California.  A short time after he started, the union rep approached him and said, “You’re going to have to slow down.  You’re making every else look bad.”

Well, of course, he made sure to drop his speed some.  He wasn’t really in much of a hurry to begin with.  It just was, at his age, he had experience and knowledge going for him.  He was also in good shape.  He could walk on his hands for a city block and he could run faster than most high school kids.  Mostly, he was very experienced at driving nails.  It was always one swing to set the nail and one swing to drive it home.  Then it was on to the next.  I have seen him do it.

With the new instruction, I guess it meant he had to take a breath or two between nails.  I don’t know.  He never told me that part of the story.

The problem is that every person who is a member of union really has two bosses, the supervisor and the union.  In some cases, I’m not sure.  Maybe they just answer to the union.  It causes problems.  It encourages meritocracy.  When people work too well, when they do too good a job, someone is likely to take them aside and have a short but to the point talk with them.  “Be careful.  You are making the rest look bad.”

I have said all that to say this.  There is plenty of blame to go around for poor results from the schools.  Everyone deserves some of the blame, teachers, schools, administrations and certainly colleges.  Even parents must accept some of the blame.  Certainly, we need to step back and have another look at methods and techniques.  However, I firmly believe that the bulk of the blame goes to the National Education Association, NEA.  Though it is called an association, it is a union and likely one of the most powerful unions in the country.

As a union, it is even worse with the NEA.  Not only do they encourage meritocracy with the teachers, but they also determine what the teachers teach, also known as the curriculum.  I suspect they’d just as soon us not know that, but it’s true.  There have been a few times they have let it slip.  They have made public statements that back up my point.

You might think that what your child is taught comes down from the district, from the principal and from the state.  I guess some of it does.  However, not without the approval of the NEA.  It is, my guess, the main reason they oppose private schools so much.  They would have to relinquish their control.  And make no mistake; the NEA is all about control.  Education is the one thing farthest from their minds.  They are a political organization and, as all unions, they have a solid allegiance with the Democrat party.

Are you looking around, trying to figure out why your child can’t read.  You don’t have to look far.  It’s the dems and the NEA.

Good teachers that excel are frowned on.  It’s the meritocracy that finds advancement.  Rid the country of the NEA and the schools will experience an overnight improvement of 15 to 20 percent.  It would be a different world in which the teachers would be encouraged to teach at their best.

The meritocracy would be discouraged and, in some cased not tolerated.  I am convinced at least 5%, maybe 10% of the teachers in our systems should not be permitted to teach.  They should find some other kind of work, assuming they can.

Now.  All we need do is find out some way to rid ourselves of the NEA.  At least, we need laws to keep them out of the curriculum and methods. Let them represent the members, not the public. They in no way answer to the public, or as near as I can tell, anyone.

Literacy Is Not Optional

A few days ago, I posted my remarks about a report I thought I heard. The report was about the abject failure of the Tennessee school systems to teach reading. When I say school that means teachers.

Since then, unfortunately, it has been proven true.

These teachers have been trained in universities, many with masters degrees. The schools are given massive amounts of monies. They are given all the most modern technological teaching aids.

I have heard the reasons, really excuses for failure. Yet, in tmes past, teachers with no more than 12th grade educations have taught using nothing more than Bibles to teach and far more successfully.

Maybe I’m wrong. Perhaps it isn’t the teachers fault. Maybe the fault lies with the teacher’s teachers. Perhaps, the problem originated in the colleges. Maybe they can’t or don’t want to teach how to teach. It is entirely conceivable that their modern methods are at fault.

Then too, I’d really like to see a breakdown by school, by area, by district and yes by teacher. I don’t think we will ever see that. I suspect many teachers and administrators would be embarrassed, or should be.

I certainly understand that some of the blame lies with the parents. Still, the the teachers of the early 1900s got the job done under much worse conditions, while we were much more an agricultural nation.

More importantly, as the title of this post implies, we are in a different world today. Even the farmers have college degrees. Even they must be able to read and perform basic math. In this modern world, failing to be able to read and write is a recipe for failure.

Finally, it is imperative we keep the drugs out of our schools, out of our communities and out of our country. If we don’t, we will certainly need to shoulder some of the blame.

A Challenge for Joe

That’s right. Little me. Never held public office. Never been a reporter on any news media let alone such as The Pravda Times. In my little blog, I am issuing a chalenge. Most likely he will never hear it, let alone pay any attention to it.

However, numbers have power us little individuals don’t. Maybe, if others helped. Maybe if the right people hear and help. Just maybe someone who matters will hear my challenge and find it important and just, the challenge will be publicly and forcefully placed at the feet of Joe.

He needs to be asked why he has done nothing, said nothing, or has never even acknowledged the loss of 70,000 people a year to the drugs that he permits across the border. He needs to publicly answer the question, especially before those that have directly and indictly lost loved ones to drugs and the drug trade.

I have hope he will be challenged, but not much. It would appear there are few that care as much as me.

Selectve Concern

Joe’s press secretary just brought to mind that 14 thousand died from guns in one year. That’s horrible. One is too many.

Yet they ignore the 70,000 that die from drugs. Maybe it is because of the dems open borders. Maybe it is because of Joe’s close relationship with China. For the life of me, I don’t understand why, but he also seems to be friendly with the cartels and drug smugglers. Maybe it is his hope to rid the nation of drug addiction by killing all drug addicts.

I like the idea of cutting down on addicts but I certainly didn’t approve of his methods. I also dislike his misplaced concerns. If we look closely at the deaths by gun, we’d likely find at least a third drug related. Seems to me, if we stop drug abuse, we’ll also cut down on gun deaths. Also, we’ll cut down on robbery, knife assaults, child abuse and wife beatings.

Better to treat the real problems more than the symptoms.

BUILD THE WALL!! NOW! Fix the illegal alien proplem, the drug problems and the crime problems. The gun problem mostly will go away… all by itself. Generally, law bidding citizens rarely shoot people without a good reason.

Not All Things Are Static

Contrary to the concepts and beliefs of some folks, the world is far from static.  If something is changed here, then it will result in changes there and maybe there too.

The dems believe they can increase revenue by increasing taxes.  The fact is, it can actually have the reverse effect.  After all, who is going to work harder if their extra pay will go to Uncle Sam?  I’ve heard, though it was not confirmed, that Elvis Presley limited the movies he did each year because he was tired of so much of his income going to taxes.  Don’t know if it is true, but it seems believable.  On the other hand, he might not have wanted to do any more movies.  Then again, he might have run out of plots or leading ladies.

The truth is that the dems are well aware that raising taxes does not always increase revenue.  It’s just in their blood.  They take the podium and, by their nature, they just insist it has to be done usually for the children.  One thing we do know, large amounts of taxation does stifle production, especially internally.

If you doubt this, consider what might happen if taxation were 100%.  It would totally bring the economy to a grinding halt.  Nothing would get done.  Farmers wouldn’t farm, bakers wouldn’t bake and it would be impossible to hale a taxi.

Now, I’m going to apply the static concept to something else, perhaps a little more touchy.  If I heard it once, I heard it a thousand times.  Even conservatives say that exceptions should be made for rape or incest.  I don’t like the idea.  I find killing any innocent child unthinkable.  But it’s worse.

As I said, the world is not static.  The woman wants an abortion, no problem.  She says my uncle raped me.  Or she says she was raped but she has no idea who it was or it was the man down the street that she doesn’t like.

Immediately, this causes at least two problems.  Innocent people become accused, perhaps convicted.  Moreover, police and court resources are used where there was no crime.

I have heard the argument against this idea.  No woman would ever do anything like that.  Hogwash.  Even today, men are falsely accused of sexual assault and rape.  This is without the additional incentive of a woman ridding herself of an unwanted burden.

It would divert needed resources away from real rapes and assaults.  Worse, it would weaken the case of women who have actually been raped.  The question in court would always come up, “Are you accusing this man because he raped you or because you want an abortion?”

To be sure, there are also legal problems.  Just when and who decides there was a rape?  Does the woman immediately get the abortion or does she have to wait until the case is proven in court.  If she has to wait, the baby just might be carried to term before the trial is over.

Finally, it can devastate the already weakened families.  Men, fathers, uncles or even brothers will have to guard themselves from ever being alone with a young lady.  Do we really want to expose our family life to such things?  Is this what we really want?

Such things might only happen one out of a thousand times.  If you were the relative, if you were the friend of the family, would you ever want to be charged with such a thing, even if you managed to prove your innocence?

The fact is, when you make such laws, they need to be thought completely through.

Is rape and incest bad?  Of course it is.  Personally, I feel men convicted of such things ought to be hung by their toes till dead.  Just my own personal opinion.  But not all fixes are good.  Sometimes, they are worse than the problem.