The Killing of Bear #399

This just in:  Last night I was watching 60 Minutes and they had a segment on a nature photographer.  One of his favorite subjects is grizzly bear (tagged as #399).  Recently, the bear population was healthy enough that there is now talk about allowing some people to hunt bears.  The photographer said many hunters have told him they can’t wait and that they hope to be the one to shoot the famous #399.

I don’t get this.  It is so far from what I could consider as a “good idea” that it makes me feel like there are aliens among us; or at least a branch of the human race made up of gun-toting sociopaths.

The NRA recently had a convention in Texas.  The President and V.P. were both there.  In the President’s speech, he managed to anger both the country of France and the country of England.

Here are Trump’s views on gun violence as far as I can tell…

  1. If the violence was perpetrated by a non-white, then it is terrorism.
  2. If the violence happened at a school, then blame video games and arm your gym teachers.
  3. If the violence was by a white supremacist…silence.

Also, while the NRA convention was taking place, a breakfast place in Dallas put a note on receipts that portion of the receipt would go to organizations that support “reasonable and effective gun regulations.”  How did the NRA visitors respond?  With death threats; threatening to “shoot up the place.”  This…is the NRA…our very own, homegrown terrorist organization.

We’ve become a country where we can make stuff up to suit whatever fantasy we like.

For example:

  • Universal Health care is a government takeover of healthcare.  The facts actually tell a different story.  Countries that have universal healthcare pay much less for much better outcomes.
  • Guns are not the reason we kill each other with guns.  The facts say that we have the same rate of mental illness and video game addiction as other countries and yet…we kill each other with guns at a much higher rate.
  • Tax cuts for the rich will spur economic growth and create high-paying jobs.  The facts say that this economic policy (also known as trickle-down economics) is a failure 100% of the time.
  • Unlimited campaign financing is Freedom of Speech.  Actually, you can link the Supreme Court’s decision on Citizens United to the rapid fall of the Republican Party into a corrupt organization that profits by legislating based on the whims of their billionaire donors.

It’s getting to the point where nothing makes sense anymore.

However, there is hope.  Here is a…something created by the young daughter of a artist friend.

This is so cute I can’t help but have a positive outlook on our future.

Time to save the world.

Up, up and away…

Jim

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Economic Tug-O-War

This just in:  I want to be clear…this post is NOT about politics.  It might feel that way but it’s not.  It’s about economics.

There are two basic ways to control the pace of growth, or fight off a recession: (1) fiscal policies – government spending or (2) monetary policies – the Federal Reserve raising or lowering interest rates.

Over the last year, including last week, the Federal Reserve has been raising the interest rate.  They do this for two basic reasons: (1) keep the economy from growing too fast – overheating and (2) prevent inflation.

Raising the rates encourages saving instead of borrowing.  This is true for companies and individuals.  By saving, like in a bank, we take money out of circulation and make it more scarce.  The more scarce it is, the more valuable it is and thus, stops inflation (the devaluation of money).

The fact that the Fed is doing this now is their way of saying “The economy has too much cash and is growing too fast.”

Let’s also add a bit of other current information: (1) There are 6 million unfilled jobs in the United States today, (2) American companies are sitting on $2 trillion in cash and (3) the last time their was this much income inequity between the rich and the poor was the months leading up to the Great Depression in 1929.

Now, let’s consider the current tax plan.

It’s stated goals are to create jobs and to give companies more cash so they can create even more jobs.  All of this is supposed to put more money in the hands of consumers and to stimulate the economy.

In short…it’s stated intent is to do THE EXACT OPPOSITE OF WHAT THE FEDERAL RESERVE IS TRYING TO ACCOMPLISH.

We don’t need the jobs and the economy is flush with cash as it is.

The economy is growing at a borderline “too fast” rate as it is.

Most of the tax cut goes to the ultra wealthy, thus increasing the already gross amount of income inequality.

So…This current tax proposal is not something an economist would consider “well thought out.”

Just sayin…

Cute clip of the day…

Quote of the day: “Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.”— Albert Camus

On politics…If I had voted for a politician because they promised to Repeal and Replace Obamacare, I would not consider replacing it with something “worse” to be keeping that promise.  If I had voted for a politician because they promised Tax Reform, I would not have considered Tax Cuts that increase the deficit by $1.5 trillion be be keeping that promise.   But hey…that’s just me.

Time to save the world.

Up, up and away…

Jim

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