Monday
Jan162017

STILL RAMBLING...

During the heat of the Clinton-Trump campaigns, I was having some issues. I strongly felt that Clinton would be a disastrous President; I strongly felt that Trump would be a disastrous President. I chose to express those views on social media and other venues. That led me to engage in "discussions" that were frequently damaging, mainly to relationships.

So on September 1st, I opted to shut down my blog site until a less heated time prevailed. I've concluded we're at a point at which I need to either accept this "new state" we're in--of deep-seeded dissatisfaction with the state of our political environment--or abandon ever expressing my opinions and views. Of course, I have chosen the latter.
I admit that I was stunned by Trump's victory. All the otherwise reliable evidence pointed to defeat. The lesson learned is that reliable evidence can be unreliable. Nevertheless, I accept that Trump is now our President, by law, fairness, and ethics. He won! I hope he tempers his attitude, his anger, his volatility. I will always respond to what I believe is happening, but I have every intention of giving President Trump the benefit of a doubt. I sincerely hope he becomes a remarkable statesman, servant of the people and guardian of our Constitution. Those who pretend that he is not our President are juvenile and dangerous.What we celebrate on Inauguration Day is not the passing of leadership to a new leader. What we celebrate is the lawful, peaceful and remarkable transition of power for over 200 years. That, in itself, is an astonishing achievement in world history and man's evolution.
And so, I'm back to rambling!  
Tuesday
Aug302016

TRUMP VERSUS CLINTON SUPPORTERS: THE GRAMMAR "DIFFERENCE"

Grammarly is an app that uses a series of powerful algortihms to study (and is actually a very useful tool for double-checking a writer's grammar, punctutaion and spelling). It decided to take a comparative look at how the respective Trump and Clinton campaigns scored in those key grammatical areas. It's also developed a method for assessing the use of "political correctness". 

The results are interesting. The short conclusion, as the authors put it, is that "conservatives and liberals are more alike than you might think". In spite of that conclusion, Trump supporters are 135% more likely to use vulgar and foul language than are the Clinton supporters, and they rely upon "politically incorrect" terms 88% more often. Finally, Trump supporters on Facebook were almost twice as likely to make grammatical errors. (It's worth noting, though, that Reddit users in both camps seem to be much more grammatically correct than are the Facebook users.)

In any case, the following inforgraphic summarizes the findings nicely and is worth a minute or two of your time. 

Wednesday
Aug242016

NEED A LITTLE MORE SUNSHINE?


I wish I were shocked by these graphs. Sadly, I'm not. These data document a very steep increase in both the growth in federal employment-related costs and the number of federal employees excludingy non-regulatory employees such as the IRS, Defense and the Social Security Administration. We now employ federal bureaucrats numbering in excess of 270,000.

The issue is not just that the costs are disproportionate to the benefit, although they certainly are. As bureaucracies grow so does their real and perceived powers. In our form of government, this means it becomes not just another branch of government--an unelected "branch"--but a separate "ruling class" within our government. It now fines without authority, propagates regulations which have the effect of law and dramatically impacts everything from our manufacturing base to our local education. And, it often does this with absolutely no authority under law.

From my knothole, then, this growth of the bureaucratic class is far more than an economic "injustice", it is a danger to our republic. Placing this sort of power in the hands of people who have no real accountability or authority is a frightening thought. As it grows of its own accord, it hopes to entrench. That is precisely what has happened.

Every American seeing these graphs should be concerned on many levels. They are road maps to ever-larger issues.