Tuesday, April 30, 2019

The Plot Against the Head of State

It's happened before.

No, not Watergate - although that fits the description, as well. A dissatisfied civil servant abuses his confidential information to bring down a Head of State, aided by a well-connected "journalist" and his credulous partner, and facilitated by a wife/widow with something to prove.

It's the plot against the head of the British government - coincidentally, going on - part of the time - during the time Nixon was being targeted. The plot started in the bowels of the spy apparatus, which was also involved in the recent anti-Trump activity.

It's time to shrink the CIA/FBI/DHS staffing - how about a 10% cut overall, with many of the plotters/suspected sympathizers "gently encouraged" to retire/leave for greener pastures. When they DO leave, their security clearance - AND their access to those still in government who are retained - should be severely curtailed.

Removal of security credentials after employment ends should be standard, not optional.

AND, while we're at it, use an Executive Order to make it a firing offense to talk to a journalist - or "pass along information" to anyone without a Need to Know - without official, written information permission.

Sunday, April 28, 2019


These are the sorts of things that make me think treason was committed, and the appropriate punishment should be met. On TV, PPV.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

More Fake Outrage

This time, it's the students at George Mason, who are protesting Kavanaugh teaching a summer class.


It's something else entirely. I posted on Twitter about this.

Shhhh! Don't You DARE Suggest Arson!


Now, of course, for many reasons (the difficulty of getting old, very dense wood to burn, the reports that the fire had several different start points, the speed of the destruction, the fact that OTHER Christian churches in the EU have been targeted), many are concerned about the real possibility that the cause of the Notre Dame fire was arson - deliberately set by persons who are, at this time, unknown.

That speculation will NOT be permitted! The Authorities declared - even before the building's flames had been extinguished - that this was an accident, not deliberate.

But, many are questioning that statement.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

The Problem of College Debt

This post of Margaret Ball got me thinking on this topic:

Should we provide some relief to those who have large college debt? Not FULL payment for those who attended over-priced universities, but SOME relief for a debt that was undertaken by a person under the age of 21, that is a lifetime debt (cannot be discharged in bankruptcy), and that can even outlast their lifetime (when a student debtor dies, their co-signers inherit that debt).

Let's start thinking about some common-sense reforms:
  • MANDATORY life insurance equal to that debt for the debtor AND any co-signers, that reduces over the life of the loan, and is owed to the lender. That would eliminate, at a very low cost, that possibility of the burden of payback outlasting the debtor's life. It would be quite cheap, as few young people die early.
  • A debt-counseling program for any debtor that looks at their program of study/major and their current job situation, and lays out - in stark terms, just how impossible it will be to pay that loan back, given the best-case salary of that career choice. 
    • Couple that slap in the face with alternative career choices - commission sales, trades jobs, and other possible job changes that could make that debt disappear. If they want to reduce their debt, they need to get with the program, including, if necessary, working an additional part-time job or moving out of a very expensive city.
  • ELIMINATION of loans exceeding the cost of tuition, books, and MINIMAL housing and food. 
    • NO loans that will fund international trips, even for educational purposes. 
    • NO budget that includes putting pizza/beer on the credit card. In fact, one big disqualifier for loans should be student debt - clear it up before applying for a loan - AND close the credit account.
  • No student plan for managing their education should include a car - public transportation only. Yes, I know this is impossible for those students with a family. They need to go to a 2-year college, and pay for it themselves or with grants alone.
  • Any college/university with an endowment cannot accumulate money tax-free if they don't disburse at least 5-10% of it each year in scholarships.
  • No student may borrow more than 1/2 their yearly need - and that includes grant/scholarship monies. This will limit the Ivies to the Elite/Financially Cushioned, but it's better than suckering poor kids into the schools, on the pretense that they will make those lifelong contacts that will pay off hugely. They don't. The Elite hang out together. Those who haven't the money to fund their association are nobodies. The Elite will NOT bring them into an inner circle, simply by virtue of having gone to the same school.
  • MANDATORY college monitoring of student progress. If they make a grade below a C, their student aid is in jeopardy. They have to follow the course of study, including college-level English and Math coursework, at all times.
  • In the future, lenders and colleges will be on the hook for part of the money paid, if the student can't pay. That means, those colleges accepting kids who haven't a prayer of repayment in that field, unprepared for college, or otherwise a poor risk, costs them money. Future loans are only PARTLY guaranteed, lenders and colleges to SHARE 10% of the risk
    • It also means that bankers will take a look at the career plans with an eye to how likely that choice is to pay off, and will likely require regular grade updates as a standard feature of agreeing to lend the money.
What might they get in return for accepting these restrictions?
  • Reduction of interest to that equal to standard savings accounts/CDs. Banks and financial institutions will have to accept this, or lose their ability to issue future government-secured loans. Might this dry up the available market for student loans? I certainly HOPE it reduces it.
  • Tax deduction/tax credit for any extra money paid towards the loans, over the mandatory amount. Yes, this rewards those with extra money, but the goal is to get rid of the debt and allow those people to get on a stable financial basis.
  • All of the above dependent on repayment. If they fall behind, or fail to pay, the cost goes back to what it was before. It's a one-time easing of the situation.
These are just some ideas. I do think that SOME of the borrowers got screwed, and, without help, will not be able to get out from under.

If you still have some concerns about the equity of relieving some of the debt incurred, consider this:

If the same person had, instead, taken out a government-guaranteed business loan, later became unable to pay as agreed, that person COULD get that debt discharged in bankruptcy. 

Let's level the playing field for student debtors, as well as reform the system to make both bankers and colleges take more responsibility for engulfing vulnerable and relatively clueless kids in un-payable debt.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Praise You In This Storm - Casting Crowns (with lyrics)

What more need be said? Have I neglected my posting duties? Yes. Has there been thought about stuff that needs to be said? Yes again. Know this: I have to have something worth saying to say. This is that.

Monday, April 1, 2019

How Soon They Forget

I'm not surprised, anymore, about the forgetfulness of humans. We forget MORE than we remember - which can be a good thing.

If we remembered every tedious detail, we might find out personalities altering, to reflect that grim, uneventful line of memories. Instead, we remember the good times, the peaceful times, those times when we were filled with the joy of life.

We also remember the awful times - the times when we suffered pain, loss, embarrassment, and fear. Fortunately, MOST of those terrible memories exist only in dulled recollection, without the sharp pains being vividly felt, over and over again. The sharp memories that remain are those that guide us away from repetition of those actions that landed use there.

It's worse for institutional memory. In the past, memories of group pain and suffering were enshrined in the culture; the Jews yearly remember their Egyptian slavery and subsequent wandering through the deserts, before reaching home.

The Armenians passed down the stories of the atrocities suffered at the hands of the Turks. And, so on. For millennia, if not longer, the culture preserved those stories of prior pain and suffering, as a way of warning - Beware of Greeks Bearing Gifts, Stepmothers May Show Preference Towards Their Own Children, Women May Lie About Men, etc.

Such memories also honored those long-dead ancestors, by ensuring that they would never be forgotten, and that their suffering served as a warning.

Over the last few years, I've realized that I failed to remember MANY events of my lifetime. A sizable chunk of the mid-60s through mid-70s failed to be encoded into long-term memory.


Those were my teens through mid-20s. Life was fast-paced and personally event-filled. I was often more focused on my own life than the well-being of my country. Plus, I was well under the thrall of the Left at that point, and readily accepted their explanations for the True Meaning of the Events.

In short, I was only semi-aware.

One of the few counters to the programming of my youth was when I read The Gulag Archipelago. That the book was largely ignored by academics, and the information contained was not incorporated into World History classes, is just more evidence that the education fraternity works VERY hard to keep to the script.

For events I'd personally witnessed and been a part of, my memories are sharper. Watergate was one such series of events - I was obsessive about reading the papers and watching the news/hearings. At that time, I accepted what was reported by the Left/Liberal/Democrats as revealed truth. It was only later that I began questioning those Official Facts.

That's the main reason for FULLY investigating the attempted coup of Trump. Not merely to dispense whatever justice can be squeezed from the treasonous attacks, but - more importantly - to nail down the facts that can be found, and make sure that they exist in official memory.

Even so, in 20 years, will kids have a clue how close a President came to partisan removal?