Saturday, August 16, 2014

Signs of Silliness

Last year Racine passed an ordinance that limits the size of signage in commercial buildings to 15% of window space. The issue is being revisited and it looks like their is momentum to increase the amount to 50% of window space.

Mayor Dickert, who supports the 50% signage allowance, said "The reason for the ordinance is to have the authority to enforce the rules on those who are breaking them and protect those who do not. We have to remember this situation came about because some companies were following the rules while numerous others were not."

This does not explain the need for the ordinance. It explains the desire for authority. And I can't help but wondering just who needs protection from a storefront sign.

Suppose the city passed an ordinance preventing people from wearing yellow shoes. Now imagine a mayor saying "The reason for the ordinance is to have the authority to enforce the yellow shoes ordinance on those folks who continue to wear yellow shoes. Meanwhile, we need to protect those who are wearing shoes of other colors. We need to remember that this situation came about because some people were wearing properly colored shoes while others were wearing yellow shoes."

The problem with the ordinance is that there is no good reason for it. So get rid of it.

Propaganda Time at RUSD

Is there anything a Racine Unified referendum can't do?

According to an Journal Times article/RUSD press release, if we pass a $127 million spending referendum, we can do so without raising our taxes.

"Rarely do you get a chance to increase funding like this without increasing taxes" said Superintendent Lolli Haws. And "School Board President Dennis Wiser compared the referendum to refinancing a home at a lower interest rate and using the savings for renovations" according to the JT article.

So just how do you manage to increase taxes by $127 million without increasing taxes? If RUSD propagandists are to be believed, the state funding formula is such that poor districts will get increased funding from the state if they manage to milk more tax revenue out of their poor constituents. I don't know this to be true, but I certainly hope the state has not incentivized local overspending as that is the reason we are a poor district to begin with.

In any case, perhaps the RUSD leadership needs to be reminded that RUSD taxpayers are also residents of the state of Wisconsin and therefore pay taxes to the state. The money that supposedly offsets local spending is being paid as well by local taxpayers.

In other news, candy company Hershey announced that their new 2000 calorie Megabar can be consumed daily without any associated weight gain.

Saturday, August 09, 2014

On Proportionality

So we dropped some bombs on ISIS in Iraq yesterday. I am ok with that. However, at present the world elites, including many in the US, are decrying the Israeli aggression against Hamas in the Gaza strip. The problem there is not so much the Israeli bombing/aggression per se but rather the proportionality problem. The Israelis are killing way more Palestinians than the Palestinians are killing Israeli's. And that just isn't fair say the elites.

So back to the US bombing campaign, led by a Democratic Nobel Peace Prize winner. Where is the proportionality? Has ISIS fired a single bullet at a US soldier? In the interest of proportionality, mustn't we allow ISIS the opportunity to lob some missiles into the US? Perhaps the advocates of proportionality could line up to take a bullet or have their throats slashed to demonstrate their commitment to proportionality and just to even things up a bit. Its only fair!

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Mockery Time

President Obama was asked today about the five terrorist for one US deserter trade. Here is what he had to say:

Let me be clear. I am mad as hell about this trade and I will get to the bottom of this reckless decision. Of course, like most Americans, I learned about this trade by reading the Washington Post. So today I am announcing the formation of a commission, headed by Susan Rice and Valerie Jarret, which will investigate this very serious issue. Within 90 days the investigation team will report back to me. The investigation team will determine who exactly is the commander in chief of the military, as it has been reported in the New York Times that the commander in chief had final authority regarding the terrorist deserter swap. And once we have identified the individual responsible for this trade, you can be sure that I will hold him personally accountable.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

On Thought Crime Penalties

The big news is that the Los Angeles Clippers owner, Democratic donor,  and one percenter Donald Sterling was taped making racist comments. And everyone is calling for his head. Not that they shouldn't.

That said, I do wonder what the appropriate penalty should be for this and other thought crimes. And does it matter what group it is that you don't like?

A little thought experiment. Suppose instead of blacks, it was gays that Sterling didn't like. What then? How about Muslims? Suppose he just didn't like Christians? What about Democrats? Republicans?

Why is it that not liking blacks or gays is an unforgivable sin while disparaging Christians or Republicans would not likely even be newsworthy?

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Obamacare Update

I could see the frustration on his face. Or maybe it was my imagination.

Someone I know well was scheduled for a medical procedure. And then the doctor arrived. He had been on the phone with the insurance company. They apparently have a new checklist of pre procedure requirements. At least one of those requirements was, in the estimation of the doctor, not medically advisable. He would never do that to any patient under any circumstances. So, with some requirements not met, and the insurance company not on board, the procedure was postponed. According to the doctor, in the past he would have been able to talk to a physician to explain the circumstances and the rationale for his medical decision. But now it was clerk with a checklist.

The doctor is a pioneer in his field. His method is less invasive, safer and I suspect cheaper, and is now standard procedure. Imagine the indignity of having his medical judgement usurped by a nameless clerk with a checklist. He is essentially semi-retired. I will not be the least bit surprised if he soon drops the "semi."

Note to Obamacare apologists. There is a difference between health insurance and health care.

Mission Accomplished in Racine

A month or so ago I wrote a letter to the Journal Times editor. Actually it was directed at one Todd Johnson, serial progressive diatribist. I asked just what should be done with the horrible conservatives. Reeducation camps, the guillotine, gulag?

His needlessly wordy response can be boiled down to "election routes" and his preferred solution, "self deportation."

Well then.... to borrow some phrases from an esteemed former president, mission accomplished! Heck of a job Johnsonny!

You see, Todd Johnson lives in Racine. Conservatives have been on the receiving end of electoral routes for years. Racine is a one party town run by liberals/progressives/Democrats and has been for years. Same with Racine Unified. And while all this was happening, Racine was gradually losing population as people "self deported" from Racine.

We should be living in a socialist paradise by now. But it never quite works out that way. Progressives like Todd Johnson can never be happy. This despite a plethora of his own "self deportation" options. Cuba, Detroit, North Korea etc... come to mind.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Observations on Gender and Pay

The big news lately is that we live in a horrible society where every employer apparently hates women and pays them 77 cents for every dollar paid to a man for the same job. This is of course complete b.s.

I own a business and have hired numerous people over the last twenty years. I need a job well done and I have no interest in overpaying for labor. Does anyone really believe that businesses (male and female owned) are really willing to pay 30% more (77 X 1.3 = roughly 1) for labor, just for the satisfaction of screwing over women?

Consider my business and the question of employee compensation. I own a retail jewelry, clothing, and accessory store and roughly 90% of my customers are female. One thing I have observed over the years is that when women are trying on clothes and looking for advice and candid observations on fit etc... that do not to want to hear that from a man. So a female is worth more to me than a man under such circumstances. So I should pay females more, right?

Not so fast. I also sell jewelry on the road sometimes. This requires filling a van full of stuff, getting up at 3 am, working until 6pm, staying in a crappy hotel to save expenses. Doing this job is far more physically demanding. Women can do it, have done it, and will continue to do it, but I find men to have a greater interest in this work than store work. They also save me money cause we tend to stay in the same crappy in room together, perhaps shaving $80 a day from my expenses. So I should pay men more for this, right?

The bottom line is that men and women are different. They bring different things to the table, they have different interests, abilities, tendencies, etc.... Additionally, on an individual level, some are more skilled, more reliable, more trustworthy, and so on. Pay decisions are a very complicated matter that requires in my business to know a person and determine their value to our business.

To suppose I or anyone else would purposely overpay for labor in a competitive marketplace is beyond absurd. The only thing more absurd is the arrogance of President Obama who believes that he has discovered a vast network of gender discrimination that he alone can fix.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Media Gag

Tons of coverage, lots of speculation, very few facts. I can't take any more "news" about the missing plane. As such, I am sure I have missed the speculation that perhaps one of the pilots has come under the sway of, er, more devout members of his religion.

I don't think speculation is an appropriate substitute for facts and news, but if you are going down that road, why avoid the one of the most obvious possibilities?

Victims Wanted

Voter ID bills are usually met with evidence free accusations of voter suppression. Why don't the Democrats trot out a real person who has been living without an ID and has been unable to secure one, and put a face on the victim of Republican policies?

Because no such person exists. If Dems are good at anything, it is finding or creating victims, especially the latter, with their policies. Yet they have yet to produce a single person to my knowledge who is unable to secure an ID.

Who is searching harder, Dems for an ID-less person, or OJ, for the killer?